News Release

Leaders of Church Schools Prepare Youth for Missionary Service

“I have felt impressed over the last several months by the critical role our Church schools play in preparing missionaries,” Wayne Maurer, Director of Seminaries and Institutes for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, throughout the Pacific Area, wrote recently.

“With the option now for youth to go on missions at ages 18 and 19, the responsibility is now even more critical for our schools to take on the role of a Missionary Preparing and Training School for future missionaries.”

“We have focused more recently upon ‘Living the Gospel’ at school because we want our students to personally live righteously at all times and move towards the goal of missionary service,” he said.

Latter-day Saint schools in the Pacific have been established in the islands of Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga and Samoa and are supported and guided by the Church, operating under the direction of the Church Board of Education. 

In Fiji, Form 7 students of 2012 developed friendships among each other that are admired by many.  Many of these young people from this close group of friends are either waiting for their mission calls or are already serving in the mission field.

Melita Matanatabu, one of these students in Fiji, is the first member in her family to be serving a full-time mission for the Church.  “I have always had this desire to serve a mission and when the lowering of the age was announced I was so excited.”

“Attending a Church school and having good friends with high standards has prepared me well,” Melita said.

Melita recently received her call and is now serving in the Cauayan Philippines Mission.

Wayne Maurer says the caliber of the young people coming out of Church schools is very high.  “While visiting in Samoa I was impressed that many of the students are planning on serving a mission following the completion of this school year,” he said.

“Five delightful Samoan girls talked with me and shared their dreams and aspirations which included missionary service.”

Mr Maurer expressed his gratitude for the “great teachers” who are helping to “instil these desires into our students.”

“Our desire,” he went on, “is to have more missionaries who are well-educated and have completed their schooling.”

“We want to follow the Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, by encouraging students to complete school (Form 7) or equivalent to high school before serving a mission.”




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