Rebuilt Temple Dedicated in Samoa

Rebuilt Temple Dedicated in Samoa

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The rebuilt Samoa Apia Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been dedicated by church President Gordon B. Hinckley.

The temple was dedicated Sunday as thousands of church members watched the proceedings on closed-circuit broadcasts in Western Samoa, American Samoa and in other Samoan congregations.

"It's a great pleasure to have a temple here again," Faamoana Utai of Apia told the Deseret Morning News.

The country had been without a temple since a fire two years ago.

Watching the temple burn was devastating to many Samoan Mormons who had been frequent visitors since the building was dedicated in 1983.

Utai had been working as the temple's engineer when he got an evening phone call from an associate that it was on fire.

"When I saw the temple burning, I cried," Utai said.

Iamafana Lameta, a translator,joined other volunteers on the roof and tried to save the building.

"(The temple) means a lot to me, so I didn't mind getting up there. We tried so hard, but the fire was out of control," said Lameta, a bishop.

The Apia Samoa Temple's new president, Suauupa'ia K. Pe'a, admits to feeling worried and a bit impatient after he learned the original Samoan temple had been destroyed. It passed in a single second. "(God) would not let us go without. We prayed for a temple, and look what he has given us."

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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