News Release

Latter-day Saint Believes 'Tonga Will Be Blessed As It Remains a God-Fearing Nation'

Government and Community Leaders Discuss the Nation They Want to Help Build

Garrick Parr, manager of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Tonga Service Centre, was recently invited by Hon. Prime Minister, Mr. Akilisi Pohiva, and Leo Hoponoa, Chairman of the Tonga Broadcasting Commission to participate in a two day National Dialogue, 2 - 3 May 2018.

Mr. Parr was invited to provide perspectives on the topic: “What is the Tonga that we truly need?”


Asked what he believed Tonga truly needed, Parr responded, "I believe it should be a nation whose people are healthy and happy, where there is peace, harmony, safety and security.”

He continued, (It should also be a nation) “where there is national growth and development, a nation founded on the core values of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but not exclusive of those like our Jewish brothers and sisters or others of non-Christian faiths.”

Also participating in the panel discussion on 2 May were Catholic Church of Tonga Vicar General, Dr. ‘Ahio, and the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Director of Schools, Reverend Dr. Meleana Puloka.

Responding to a question on same gender marriage and the western world encroaching on Tonga’s values, Parr quoted from the Church’s The Family: A Proclamation to the World: “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and … the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”

He added, “We need to be respectful of the beliefs of others, their agency and decisions, but still remain united in our stand to maintain and hold on to the values held dear by Tonga, aligning with God’s laws.”

He suggested that Tonga’s excellent stand on keeping the Sabbath day holy was an example of remaining firm despite the pressures of the world.

In conclusion, Parr said, "I believe Tonga will be blessed as it remains a God-fearing nation. We should set aside our differences, like religion and background, and be united in building a Tonga and Pacific community that is a Kingdom of peace, harmony, security, social inclusion and prosperity, so that all Tongans and Pacific peoples can live free, healthy and productive lives, being resilient and self-reliant.”

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