Mormon digitising of Tonga’s records would benefit country, Deputy PM Sika says

‘E hanga ‘e he siasi ‘o Sīsū Kalaisi ‘o e Kau Mā’oni’oni ‘o e Ngaahi ‘Aho ki Mui ni’ ‘o tisitaisi pe ko hono liliu e pepa ‘o e tohi ta’u, tohi mate, mali mo e ngaahi tokiumeni pehee’ ke ‘i ai hanau tatau faka’initaneti. Ka 'oku te'eki maau 'a e ngāue ki heni 'a e pule'anga ke aofangatuku neongo kuo 'osi 'io e Kapineti'. Pehē ‘e he Tokoni Palēmia, Sēmisi Sika ‘e kaunga lelei ‘eni ki Tonga. Ka tō ha sunami pe vela e fale ‘oku tauhi ai ‘a e lekooti ‘a Tonga ko ‘eni’ ko ‘ene ‘auha’ ia. Na’a’ ne toe pehē ‘oku ‘ikai malava ‘e Tonga ia ke fua ‘a e fakamole ki he ngāue ko ‘eni’. ‘Oku ‘ikai ko Tonga pe kuo nau fai e nga’unu ko ‘eni’. Lahi e ngaahi sitieti ‘o ‘Aositelēlia hangē ko Niusauele, Vikatōlia, ‘Aositelēlia Saute mo Tasimēnia kuo nau ngāue’aki ‘a e Māmonga’ ke fai ‘a e ngāue ko ‘eni ki he’enau lēkōti’. ‘Oku kau foki mo Papua Niukini he fonua kuo fai ‘e he Māmonga’ ‘a e ngāue ko ‘eni ma’a kinautolu. ‘Oku ‘i ai pe ha ngaahi fehu’i kuo ‘ohake foki heni hangē ko sio ‘a e ni’ihi ki he tui ‘a e siasi’ ni ki hono papitaiso ‘o e mate’ pea ‘e ala lava ia hoko ai heni ke uesia ‘enau tui fakalotu ‘a kinautolu’. Ne ‘osi ‘ohake mo e lave ki he palaivesii’ pe fakamatala fakataautaha ‘a e kakai’ ka kuo pehē ko e taha kotoa ‘e pau ke nau fa’u ‘e nau ‘akauni ‘i he uepisaiti’ ni kae lava ke nau kumi ai honau lekooti pea ‘oku ‘atā pe ia ki ha taha ke fekumi ki ai. ‘Oku toe hao mo e pa’anga lahi fau heni ‘a e pule’anga’.

The Mormon church’s plan to digitise Tonga’s births, deaths, marriage and other documents would benefit the nation, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika said today.

Hon. Sika, who is also a Mormon, said the government could not digitise its official records.

He said the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family Search programme could access the government records.

Hon. Sika said if a tsunami or fire destroyed the buildings where the records were kept that would be the end of it.

He told Kaniva news Tonga was not the only country to allow the Mormons to digitise its records.

He said the Mormon applied to digitise the records during Lord Tu’ivakano’s government.

Final endorsement

He said the Pōhiva government finally approved the church’s application after it was submitted through the Ministry of Justice.

Hon. Sika said the application was then returned to the Ministry of Justice for processing.

He said the process was slow but he was following it up.

“This will benefit and bless our country,” he said.

What is FamilySearch?

FamilySearch, formally known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, was founded in 1894. It is dedicated to preserving family records.

According to the Latter Day Saints’ Family Search  website, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the primary benefactor for FamilySearch services.

It said members of the church used family history records to perform baptisms, marriages and other church rites.

These include baptising on behalf of the dead, a rite in which a living person stands in as a proxy for a dead relative.

However, the names of the dead who have had baptisms performed for them are not added to the membership records of the Church.

FamilySearch holds more than three billion records and offers services which include image capturing, digital conversion, preservation, online indexing and access.

Tonga not the only country to take part

Last year South Australia partnered with the Mormon to digitise its official records including social welfare records, family history, and school admissions.

Other states of Australia including Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania have also had agreements with the Mormon in the past.

“The partnership with FamilySearch allows us to increase that reach so that members of the public who live in regional areas who aren’t able to get to our Gepps Cross site or who live nterstate or overseas, are able to actually access the records of the state of South Australia,” Director of State Records of South Australia, Simon Froude told ABC Radio in Adelaide.

In 2013 the Papua New Guinea government announced that it had partnered with the Mormon to digitise the nation’s birth, death and marriage archives in an effort to protect the records from decay and natural disaster.

Hon. Sika said he understood the Niuean government has just agreed to let the Mormons digitise its records before the latest tropical cyclone struck the country and destroyed its archives.

Not everyone happy with the project

In 2001 it was reported that the New Zealand Internal Affairs Department had considered handing over four million births and deaths records to the Mormons in the United States as one option for preserving the old documents. 

However, the proposal upset the Maori community  which said it could have led to their ancestors being posthumously baptised as Mormons.

At the time, the Wellington Tenths Trust managing trustee Peter Love condemned the proposal.

Mormon authorities could not be reached for comment.

The main points

  • The Mormon church’s plan to digitise Tonga’s births, deaths, marriage and other documents would benefit the nation, Deputy Prime Minister Semisi Sika said today.
  • Hon. Sika, who is also a Mormon, said the government could not digitise its official records.

For more information

About Family search

Why does the Mormon Church want state records? And what do they do with them?

2 COMMENTS

  1. There are plenty of other companies and organizations that could digitize Tonga’s records WITHOUT subverting them for puffing up the LDS – a destructive mind control cult – roles. (They absolutely do keep records of those posthumously baptized – why else would they do it??)

    How about putting the job up for a contract bid and contracting with the lowest bidder capable of performing the work?

    ‘Oku lahi ‘a e ngaahi kautaha mo e ngaahi houalotu ‘oku lava ke faile fakatisitolo e ngaahi lekooti ‘a e Tonga ta’e ‘i ai ha faka’auha kinautolu ki he fie hake ‘a e ngaahi fatongia ‘o e LDS – ko ha the mapule’i ‘o e fakakaukau fakatupu ‘auha – kehe. (Na’a nau matu’aki ‘oku tauhi ha lekooti ‘o kinautolu neongo ‘ena maloloo papitaiso – ko e ha mo ha toe te nau fai ai ia??)

    Fakamu’omu’a fefe nai e ngaue ko ha talamahu’inga aleapau mo e aleapau mo e bidder ma’ulalo taha ‘oku lava ke ne fakahoko ‘a e ngaue?

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