News Story

Mayor Congratulates Young Seminary Students in French Polynesia 

Pandemic changes graduation ceremonies in remote Taha’a Branch 

Seminary is a four-year religious education program sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is open to youth ages 14 to 18 regardless of their religious affiliation. The course usually takes place in the morning before school from Monday to Friday. 

The new year of Seminary for the youth of the Haamene, Taha’a branch began in the usual way but with the COVID-19 pandemic the graduation award ceremony could not be held. 


Instead, to launch the 2021 Seminary year, the young awardees were invited to a small meeting to share what they had learned and how Seminary had uplifted them over the year.  

They were pleasantly surprised when Tavana Patricia Amaru, the mayor of the island of Taha’a, came to their event. 

“I am so impressed that you young people wake up early every morning to study the scriptures before going to school,” the mayor said to the students. 

"I am touched to hear the messages that you shared. You are so impressive! It is the first time that I’ve seen young people speaking with so much confidence in front of a group of people. Usually, young people are shy and afraid; but not you, you were all awesome. I was touched by your messages." 

Tavana Patricia also gave a message of encouragement to all young people to follow Jesus Christ. 

The Seminary students were delighted to be able to meet the mayor and to see her interest in their spiritual well-being. 

As President Ian S. Ardern, president of the Pacific Area for the Church, recently stated, “I know that as I testify of gospel truths, my own testimony is strengthened. I therefore encourage our members ─ especially our young men and women and young single adults ─ to share their testimonies; for I know, all will be edified." 


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.