For the first time ever, young single adults in Tonga will have a congregation of their own where they can meet and gather with other Latter-day Saints their age and in a similar stage of life.
The new Liahona Young Single Adult Ward was established in the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Liahona Stake and will serve unmarried local Latter-day Saints between the ages of 18 and 30. According to General Authority Seventy Elder Steven E. Snow, one purpose of a YSA ward is to ”provide enhanced opportunities for them to serve in leadership positions, to teach, and to lead.” And new ward leadership is already seeing that vision.
“This new ward will be a wonderful blessing for the young adults in our area,” newly called bishop and Tongan resident Henry Liutai told Newsroom New Zealand. “I can spend my time working with each young person, training them to be leaders, especially with achieving their goals.”
Missionaries first arrived in Tonga well over a century ago. The first stake in Tonga was organized in 1968, and the Nuku‘alofa Tonga Temple was dedicated in 1983. The groundbreaking for a second temple in Tonga, in Neiafu, was held in September 2021. Today, Church statistics show that there are over 66,000 members of the Church, 21 stakes, and 173 congregations in the country. Roughly 60 percent of the entire population of Tonga are Latter-day Saints, meaning Tonga has the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints of any nation in the world.
Young adult members of this new congregation are excited for this opportunity to meet others of the same faith and to help grow the Church in Tonga.
“It is such a beautiful and historic thing to be part of, and I can’t wait to enjoy this ward together with my fellow YSAs,” new member Eric Tautua’a told Newsroom. Maheikau Na’a said that the new ward is “awesome and exciting.” And Bradford Kalonihea said he was happy to see all the new faces. “It’s exciting! It makes me want to dress up for church now seeing all the young single adults. Who knows, maybe I’ll find my future wife here?”
You can watch a video with interviews from the new YSA ward’s members below: