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‘Mormon Land’: The latest on Tongan relief and how the islands resemble Utah in at least one big way

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is sending tons of post-tsunami aid to a place that, like the Beehive State, is about 63% LDS.

(Malau Media and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) Scene of destruction in Tonga after volcano and tsunami on Jan. 15, 2022.

On Jan. 15, after an undersea volcano showered the kingdom of Tonga with tsunami waves, flooding, rocks and ash, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sprang into action.

The Utah-based faith provided tons of food, clothes, water and other household goods to the devastated islands. Church-owned Liahona High School became a welcome refuge for some 1,250 people seeking emergency housing. The governing First Presidency sent a letter of support and consolation to Tonga’s king and queen as well as Latter-day Saints throughout the nation.

The church’s imprint on the country is undeniable — Tonga has the highest percentage of Latter-day Saints of any country in the world (nearly 63%; about the same as Utah’s).

On this week’s show, Verna Tukuafu, a Tongan native and international area manager at BYU-Pathway Worldwide, discusses the relief efforts in her homeland and what life is like there for members of the majority faith.

Listen here:

(The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) The ship, the Maui, chartered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is loaded with donated supplies to be delivered to Ha'apai and other outer islands in Tonga on Jan. 22, 2022.

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