There are 8 thoughts on “Remembering and Honoring Māori Latter-day Saints”.

  1. Greetings. I am very excited to have found your work! My former bishop, now my stake’s patriarch spoke in my ward’s Sacrament Meeting yesterday (May 28, 2017). It was the first time I had heard your name, Midgley – my fault, I have been gone too long from NZ. It is with interest, and I am cutting and pasting your endnotes #10 and then #9. “10. I was privileged to know five of these truly remarkable Saints: Polly Duncan, Sid Christy, Wetekia Elkington, Stuart Meha, and Hohepa Heperi. Stuart Meha was my paternal grandfather and Hohepa Heperi was my maternal great-grandfather (the two of them actually arranged the marriage of my parents, John Taylor Meha and Morwena Blanche Ngakuru (from Waimamaku, Hokianga). I note in your writings that you served in the Bay of Islands, from whence my mother came. Polly Duncan: my parents spoke fondly of her; Uncle Sid Christy (related to my mother – I love my Christy cousins), Wetekia Elkington – I am related to them for her son, James Rongotoa Elkington’s first wife was Huitau Meha (sister to Stuart). “Uncle Jim” – known to my family as “Granduncle James” gave me my patriarchal blessing in Temple View in 1978. I love my Elkington cousins – there are tons of them too :). The Goings: “9. The Goings raised a large and faithful family, whose gifted children and grandchildren often married Māori and eventually Samoan Saints.” I attended CCNZ with many Goings. My former bishop, here in Redlands, California, is of the Going Family (his middle initial is “G” – for Going). I brought back with me, from one of my trips back home to family who reside in Hamilton, copies of “Turning the Hearts …” for members of his family (his family is mentioned in the chapter as the branch that immigrated to the US – they settled in Idaho.)
    I have a spare copy of “Turning the Hearts.” I could donate it to the BYU library, if you would like – as I had read in a previous comment that the BYU library lacks a copy of this book. I quickly read your article this evening. I will reread it and take more details in. I was raised in Hastings and so I know more of the Hawkes Bay/Stuart Meha side of the History of the Church. I have a copy of Stuart’s “History of the Church” in my keeping. Oh, and you mention Apiata Kuikainga as one of the poropiti. He was Stuart’s grandfather and he indeed was prophetic for when Stuart was in utero, Apiata told his daughter, Mere TeHauerangi Meha, that the babe she was carrying would travel across the mighty Pacific and enter into a white house and perform redeeming work for the dead. In 1913, that utterance came to pass: Stuart, his wife, my grandmother, Ivory TePora Morris (aunt of Jenet Watene Spencer of Utah – do you know her? Jenet’s mother was Ivory’s sister) traveled with their party of saints to the Laie, Hawaii Temple where they were able to perform some 3,000 ordinances.
    In closing, I am grateful that Stuart, Mere, and Arapata Meha – along with Apriata Kuikainga – were faithful early saints (oh, my brother Arapata Toi Meha wrote the chapter on Stuart Meha in Dr Katene’s book, “Turning the Hearts.” I have tried to instill into the hearts and minds of my children that they can look to these early family members, as well as the prophetic utterance of Paora Potangaroa, as a testimony that the church is true and that they will be happy if they remain faithful. My goodness, this post is long. My apologies.
    I remain,
    Wikitoria Mae Meha Lovett
    Redlands, California

    • Love you korero cousin Wiki. Wait till you have the opportunity to meet Koro Louis & Nana Ireta. They are truely taonga❣️
      na Huiarangi Paewai Smith

  2. As far as I can tell thos wonderful volume, the turning the hearts book, does not exist in the BYU library. This is a lack of an important work that should be there. It is in the University of Michigan library and so I may manage to read it in the not too distant future.

    • You should also check to see if Mana Maori and Christianity (Huia Publishers, 2012) is available, since it contains an important essay by Robert Joseph entitled “Intercultural Exchange, Matakite Maori and the Mormon Church,” pp, 43-72. Keep in mind that the Maori word matakite means “seer.” And Professor Joseph has made an important contribution to both the understanding of their role in preparing certain Maori tribes for the arrival of Latter-day Saint Missionaries and also for their message which fits rather snugly with the esoteric teachings communicated with elite Maori men in special schools. Professor Joseph’s essay in in the volume of essays i was reviewing.

    • Ryan:
      I appreciate your kind remarks. But the fact is that one a number of crucial issues, I am an interested outsider to such things as the relationship of the instructions given in those wānanga once undergone by an elite in what was an aristocratic Māori world. I call attention to this sort of thing and dance around the details and contents, since I firmly believe that it is both the business and opportunity of Maori Latter-day Saints to make this sort these things our. So I expect to have my brief, cautious comments corrected and supplemented.

  3. I very much appreciate Keith Thompson’s interesting comments. I know essentially nothing about the “dream time” of the aboriginal peoples of Australia. I am confident, however, that Europeans have not been sufficiently sympathetic with those peoples to fully grasp their world.
    I liked Marjorie Newton’s Tiki and Temple, her 2012 narrative history of what was primarily a Māori community of Latter-day Saints. I will. however, eventually address what I believe are serious flaws in Marjorie Newton’s second book, Mormon and Maori (2014). And I expect to soon see an expanded version of Robert Joseph’s fine essay made available in Interpreter.

  4. Thank you for bringing these essays to light Louis. I particularly appreciated your gentle treatment of the “Io” understanding in the whare wananga from page 287. It has been interesting to me that this knowledge was kept sacred by those who had been inducted into it. There are many similarities here with the so-called ‘dream-time mythology’ of the aboriginal people in Australia. They have likewise been quietly content to allow Europeans to treat that knowledge as pure mythology in the interests of preserving its sacred significance in the absence of ‘enlightened skepticism’ or the more typical mockery of uninitiated unbelievers. I am glad that Rob Joseph and Selwyn Katene have begun this work – to add to Rangi Parker’s ‘magnificent obsession’, all in fulfilment of a need Marjorie Newton sensed when she wrote her book. Many of us remember these stories of Maori seers from the days of the NZ Temple Pageant, but like you, I had not realised they had not been recorded formally.

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