Mormon Beginnings in Samoa : Kimo Belio, Samuela Manoa, and Walter Murray Gibson
Mormon Pacific Historical Society
Brigham Young University - Hawaii
The arrival of the first “Mormon” missionaries in Samoa, and their 25 year stay in those islands without correspondence or assistance from the church’s headquarters, is a fascinating account worthy of being related in the most complete form possible. The calling of two native Hawaiians to serve such a mission helps to uncover the motivations of the politically ambitious man who had entwined his aspirations for empire with the building up of the Mormon Church. The unauthorized dispatch of Kimo Belio a Manoa to Samoa by Walter Murray Gibson was an attempt to further his own political aspirations by spreading the Mormon faith in the Pacific. However, the resulting missionary service of Belio and Manoa failed to grant Gibson greater political influence, but did successfully lay the foundation of a lasting Mormon presence in Samoa.