MEMBERS of the church of Jesus Christ for the Latter-day Saints celebrated the church’s 30 years of development in PNG on Oct 10.
The church said in a statement, the latter-day saints were known for their abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, their emphasis on leading strict moral lives, and good citizenship and on service to others.
“The church teaches that it is in the family that principles of Christian living can best be taught, shared and demonstrated,” the statement said.
Under the direction of the Port Moresby branch president in 1979, Athol Pike got the church organised on Oct 10 and it is believed that church members had visited PNG long before the first missionaries arrived in 1980.
Five branches were organised in 1983 under the direction of mission president, Dennis D. Flake with the completion of a church building a year later.
That year also saw two full-time missionaries from Papua, elders George Mauhi and Robert Goisisi.
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has grown since its humble beginnings and today, there are six church owned chapels in the country and 53 congregations.
“There is one stake (diocese) with six wards (parishes) and one branch. There are eight districts (like a stake but smaller) comprising 46 branches in rural PNG,” the statement said.
It said that latter-day saints might be the only Christians who actively teach that families could be eternal.
“The church teaches that marriage is sacred and that special church service can unite a family throughout eternity.”