Church History


    They Named Their Town Iosepa

    From 1889 to 1917, converts from the Pacific Islands settled a community in the west desert of Utah. They named their town Iosepa, the Hawaiian word for “Joseph,” after Joseph F. Smith, who had been a beloved missionary in the Sandwich (Hawaiian) Islands and was a counselor in the First Presidency at the time of Iosepa’s founding. Joseph F. Smith became the President of the Church in 1901 and after the announcement of the Laie Hawaii Temple in 1915, he encouraged the residents of Iosepa to return to their homelands and help build up the Church there.

    Benjamin Pykles, “Iosepa: Utah’s Pacific Islander Pioneers through an Archaeologist’s Eyes,” Men and Women of Faith lecture series, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 11, 2013;