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Posted by: behindcurtain ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 02:51PM

Tongans and Samoans have a religious-like culture. That is why they find it easy to identify with and join the Mormons. If you lived isolated on an island, you would develop a culture that is similar to the culture the isolated people in Utah developed. It is a simple, respectful, obedient culture.

Why didn't the Tongans/Samoans have their own religion before being proselyted by the Mormons? If the islanders were so religious, they should have already had their own strong religion, which should have been strong enough to resist foreign religions. So why did they take up Mormonism?

Maybe not all of them took up Mormonism, and maybe a significant number of the islanders still believe in the old religion, if there was one, but it's interesting that Mormonism made such inroads into that area of the world.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2014 02:53PM by behindcurtain.

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Posted by: moremany ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 02:57PM

They will take anyone who will give them money for being #V<*=D

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Posted by: Keyser ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 03:01PM

And both adopted Christianity easily to go along and because their polytheism and laid-back culture made doing fairly easy. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of Tongans and Samoans are not Mormon.

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Posted by: jerry64 ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 03:54PM

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Posted by: grubbygert nli ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 03:10PM

the first contact between Tongans and Europeans happened around 200 years before Joe Smith started his church - I think it's safe to assume that the first Tongan converts to Mormonism were Christians - not much of a religious leap

it's not hard to understand why islanders would convert to Christianity - google "cargo cult" for an interesting (although much more recent) look at what happens when two cultures with vastly different technologies cross paths (hint: if your god is 'blessing' you with fish and taro and the other guys' god is 'blessing' them with guns and steel and airplanes you'd probably do your damndest to make the switch, too)

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 03:26PM

The Polynesians and other islanders were COLONIZED by Europeans with gunboats! Christianity was forced down their throats! The societies were governed by hereditary "nobility", who saw advantage in alliance with Christian Europeans, to become wealthy and maintain their social status at the top of the heap. The "nobility" pushed the commoners to become Christians. This strategy basically worked for them, and is still in force today.

Mormonism is a relative latecomer. The Catholics were in first and hardest, with London Missionary Society soon after.

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Posted by: hello ( )
Date: July 09, 2014 03:33PM

Of course the Polynesians had their own religion before Europeans showed up!

But once the nobles went Christian, the old ways were forcibly overthrown, and assimilation pushed.

Today, some Hawaiians are practicing their traditions again. But very few Tongans do so, and not many Samoans either. They are conformist cultures, and that culture today is Christian.

Interestingly, for Tongans, Christianity is a big step up from the old religion. Tongan commoners were given no afterlife, which was reserved for the nobility. Tonga is a very top down feudal culture, with no room for dissent.

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