News Release

New Leadership Announced for Latter-day Saints' Nuku'alofa Tonga South Stake

Naikano Tu’ipulotu Paletu’a was called to serve as the new president of the Nuku’alofa Tonga South Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Kapiolani Kaufusi as first counselor and ‘Alani Falevai as second counselor on Sunday 8 December, 2013.

The previous stake president, Leimiuela Vea, and his two counselors Seluini ‘Iloa and Taniela Mafi, were extended honourable releases after serving for almost eight years.

Elder James J. Hamula, President of the Church’s Pacific Area, presided over the stake conference at which these changes were made.

President Naikano Paletu’a and his wife, Mele, have six children ― four girls and two boys ― and live in the village of Ha’ateiho.  Prior to his calling as stake president, he was a ward young men’s president.  

A stake president is the lay leader of a stake, which is a group of several congregations called wards. He is responsible to help the members of his stake in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ. He also oversees the activities of the bishops or ward leaders, counseling and training them as needed.

A stake president and his counselors are not paid for their service, but donate their time to serve the congregations they preside over. They typically serve for eight to ten years and are then released, allowing others the opportunity to serve.

In his remarks to the conference, President Paletu’a extended an invitation to the “…fathers who are spiritually blinded and to the children who live in the dark, to come to the waters of Bethesda to be made whole.” He also invited the members to “…help as the Saviour did for the man with infirmities for 38 years by the pool.”

As the concluding speaker of the conference, Elder Hamula said, “No matter what illness you may have, or broken relationship, or inability to forgive, or inadequacies to provide for your family, or death or illness in your matter what you are afflicted with...there is power in Jesus Christ to heal. That power also rests upon the leaders of the church. I invite you to pray for them, look past their weaknesses, listen to their voices, then follow in faith...I assure you they will help bring about healing regardless of what afflicts you in your life."



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