News Story

French Polynesian Latter-day Saints Exercise Faith in Jesus Christ

Church members share their feelings about vaccinations

Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are getting vaccinated in French Polynesia. And for many, it is a practical matter of following government and health advice, but also a matter of faith.

Teaveura Parker, 13, said, "I chose to get the vaccine because it's important. My whole family is vaccinated except my little brother who is nine and not old enough. The vaccine protects me, it protects my family, my grandparents and my great-grandparents. It protects me but I can have the covid but it will be less strong.

He continued: "Some of my friends are vaccinated and some are not. Maybe they are not vaccinated because they can't or they don't want to. But it's better to be vaccinated. I'm less stressed of socializing like playing soccer in my football academy or going out with family and friends because I'm vaccinated.

Teaveura Park with his mother after getting vaccinated.
Teaveura Park with his mother after getting vaccinated.
Teaveura Park with his mother after getting vaccinated.© 2021 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

"People are not vaccinated because they believe it is useless and there will always be the covid. They don't understand that if you don't get the vaccine, your illness will be more serious and you may die. I lost two aunties during the latest surge, unfortunately they were not vaccinated and the virus was too strong in their bodies.

Teaveura added, "I know the Prophet is vaccinated, I saw his picture, and I think this is what we need to do as well. It’s important to follow the prophet so at least I will be obedient, blessed and protected."

Elder Frederic Riemer, Area Seventy, is the most senior leader of the Church in the country. 

"Last year, the Prophet [President Russell M. Nelson] asked the whole world to pray and fast for our survival amidst the pandemic. In response to our fervent prayers and fasts, scientists, with the financial support of the largest countries including our Church, were able to manufacture several vaccines to protect the population. I believe in God’s miracle as this vaccine was produced in such a short time."

Elder Riemer continued: "And when President Russel M. Nelson confirmed that the vaccines were reliable and that he encouraged Church members to get vaccinated, my family and I made the decision to trust the Prophet of God, a doctor and world-renowned cardiologist.

"In the face of contention and division even among members, I chose to exercise my faith and decided to sustain the Prophet, to be one with him and with the Saviour.

"As Elder Renlund declared during the General conference: 'If we are unable to place our discipleship to Jesus Christ above personal interests and viewpoints, we should reexamine our priorities and change.'”

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