Special Reunion For Two LDS Church Leaders Who Find Joy In Serving People

Bishop Inosi Naga and President Anil Bhan, in their 70’s, say being in God’s service, gives them strength and happiness.
08 Jul 2019 18:18
Special Reunion For Two LDS Church Leaders Who Find Joy In Serving People
From left: Bishop Inosi Naga, President Anil Bhan and Sister Bhan at the Suva Fiji Temple. Photo: Nemani Delaibatiki

When Bishop Inosi Naga and President Anil Bhan met in Suva after 19 years it was a special reunion.

They are converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in various callings and positions in Fiji.

Bishop Naga, 75, is currently the bishop of Sacramento Fourth Ward, California State in the United States, the only Fijian ward outside of Fiji.

President Bhan, 70, was recently called the first Indo-Fijian president of the Suva Fiji Temple, at Princes Road, Samabula, Suva.

Bishop Naga is in Suva with his family to seal his granddaughter and her husband in marriage for time and all eternity in the temple. Members of the church believe that the sacred ordinance enables the couple to live together after mortality.

President Bhan presides in the temple. His wife, Sister Kanisia Vuki Bhan, originally from Naivakacau, Nakelo, Tailevu, serves as Matron to look after female ordinance workers and patrons.

The reunion was special because Bishop Naga and President Bhan served together  before the temple was built. During that time members used to make sacrifices to go to the Tongan temple in Nuku’alofa and sometimes to the New Zealand temple in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Bishop Naga was one of the local leaders who led the church from a district status to a stake organisation as it rapidly grew in strength. He became the first local Stake President in 1983 and was widely respected for his humility and compassion as a leader. He was called by the late President Howard W Hunter who went on to become the world president of the church.

Bishop Naga, originally from Naioti, Yale, Kadavu,  is a former principal of Fiji LDS where he taught and a former  Director of the Church Educational System College, serving Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Tuvalu.

Before he joined the church he worked as a private secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture.

Apart from his church calling which he serves voluntarily, he works for the Sacramento Job Corps, a training institute for young men and women between the age of 16 to 24. The institute trains them for certificate in trades like construction and in nursing.

When they graduate, they either move on to apprenticeship schemes, military enlistment or get a job.

Bishop Naga said in his ward there were iTaukei, Indo-Fijians and Pacific islanders.

He said the church in Fiji had grown and it had expanded to villages in the rural and maritime areas. He said the growth was impressive.

He said the calling of President Bhan as first Indo-Fijian temple president was significant and part of this growth. President Bhan’s wife is an iTaukei woman from Nakelo, Tailevu.

“I know President Bhan is a very humble priesthood leader. I served with him when I was here. He has the welfare of the people at heart.”

President Bhan said he respected Bishop Naga’s leadership and the fact that he was still serving as a bishop at 75.

He served as a high councilman when Bishop Naga was the first Fijian Stake President. He said his family and the Nagas had known each other for more than 30 years.

President Bhan had served as bishop, a member of the Stake presidency and family history co-ordinator

Both men enjoy good health. Their secret lies in serving people and being obedient to God’s commandments.

Bishop Naga said: “They key is to focus on being positive despite the trials we go through. Service helps us to keep our perspectives about life in a positive frame. It gives us joy and happiness.”

Edited by Percy Kean

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