Pipe Dreams and Beyond
Ofa came to BYU–Hawaii with a plan to start a plumbing business, but three mentors helped him go from fixing pipes to renovating a temple.
By President John S. Tanner
This year is the centennial anniversary of the Laie Hawaii Temple, and BYU–Hawaii has been commemorating the profound impact that our beloved temple has on the university and its students.
As the first temple built outside the continental United States, the Laie Hawaii Temple has always blessed more than just Hawaiians. Before the temple was even completed, Saints from Samoa moved to Laie to live close to the temple. Less than a year after the temple was dedicated, a group of Saints traveled from New Zealand to receive their temple ordinances and do work for their ancestors. They were followed by Saints from Japan, Korea, and elsewhere. For decades the Laie Hawaii Temple was the spiritual center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for all of the Pacific and Asia.
Even as temples began to dot the globe, the Laie Hawaii Temple continued to be a source of spiritual strength for Saints from around the world who came to study at BYU–Hawaii. The university was purposely built next to the temple—the only Church college to be so located from its inception—to draw strength and light from a house of the Lord. As students regularly worship and serve in the temple, their education and development are made complete with the knowledge and power they receive in the temple.
For many international students who live far away from a temple, their time at BYU–Hawaii is their first opportunity to enjoy the supernal blessings that come from a house of the Lord. Endowments are received, families are sealed, family history and temple work are performed, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is forever inscribed in their hearts. Their experience is akin to that of the early Saints, who traveled great distances at great costs to enter the temple. And when those students finish their studies and return home, they are prepared not only for successful careers but also for lives of service and leadership in their families, communities, and stakes of Zion worldwide.
Thank you for supporting BYU–Hawaii. Your donations help students come here to receive a secular and spiritual education from two houses of learning and light. Their inspiring stories are examples of the impact you have in students’ lives and the great work you are helping accomplish. Mahalo nui loa.