Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai‘i, second edition

Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai‘i, second edition
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Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai‘i, second edition
Author R. Lanier Britsch
Laie, Hawai‘i: Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i, 2018

Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai‘i, second edition

Reviewer Alec J. Harding

Moramona is the quintessential history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints in Hawai‘i. The book journeys from the first missionaries arriving on the islands in 1850 and their initial struggles to maintain a foothold there to the eventual success of the Church on the islands. The book concludes with a summary of the current prosperity of the Church in Hawai‘i, including the successes of Brigham Young University– Hawai‘i, the Kona Hawai‘i Temple, and the rich culture of faith among today’s members. Moramona is recommendable to those interested in the Church and its history in the Hawaiian islands. The book accommodates casual reading with its easy-to-read language, elegant organization, and narrated personal histories, but also facilitates detailed study with its glossary, a Hawaiian pronunciation guide, and statistical reports.


Moramona is the quintessential history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hawai‘i. The book journeys from the first missionaries arriving on the islands in 1850 and their initial struggles to maintain a foothold there to the eventual success of the Church

on the islands. The book concludes with a summary of the current prosperity of the Church in Hawai‘i, including the successes of Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i, the Kona Hawai‘i Temple, and the rich culture of faith among today’s members.

The first edition of Moramona was written in 1975 and published in 1989. This second edition enriches the original content with colored photos, personal stories of significant figures, and refined presentation. The second edition also adds over forty years of relevant history after 1975. Other additions include a foreword by Reid L. Neilson, an assistant Church historian; an explanatory preface by author R. Lanier Britsch; and a prologue on pre-1820 Hawaiian history.

The contents of the volume were “painstakingly gathered, refined, and shared” (xviii) by Britsch, the Church’s foremost expert on Church history in Asia and Oceania. Britsch received a PhD in Asian studies from Claremont Graduate University in 1967, and he taught history and Asian studies at Brigham Young University–Provo and served as the vice-president of academics at Brigham Young University–Hawai‘i.

Moramona is recommendable to those interested in the Church and its history in the Hawaiian islands. The book accommodates casual reading with its easy-to-read language, elegant organization, and narrated personal histories, but also facilitates detailed study with its glossary, a Hawaiian pronunciation guide, and statistical reports.