Abt. 55 B.C.
...Hagoth, he being an exceedingly curious man, therefore he went forth and built him an exceedingly large ship...and launched it into the west sea... and behold, there were many of the Nephites who did enter therein and did sail forth with much provisions, and also many women and children... this man built other ships. And the first ship did also return, and many more people did enter into it... And it came to pass that they were never heard of more... (Alma 63:5-8)
1st Century A.D.
Earliest carbon-dated recording of civilization in Hawaii (this date is disputed).
Polynesians migrate to Hawaii by sailing canoes from the Marquesas.
Polynesians migrate to Hawaii by sailing canoes from Tahiti.
Balboa "discovers" the Pacific Ocean.
Magellan discovers the passage around Cape Horn and enters the Pacific Ocean.
Mendaña, a Spaniard sailing from Santiago, Chile, to the Philippines, is the first European to "discover" Polynesian islands. He names them the Marquesas after his patron.
January 18, 1778
Captain James Cook "discovers" Hawaii (see image at right of Cook at a meeting with Hawaiians). There are historical indications and oral traditions that Spaniards might have come earlier. At first, Hawaiians believe Captain Cook is their god, Lono, who visited them many centuries before and promised to return. The Laie Hawaii Temple Visitors Center has explained this tradition as an example of Christ visiting his "other sheep" as recorded in John 10:16.
Kamehameha begins his campaign on the island of Hawaii to unify the islands.
Kamehameha completes the conquest of Oahu at the Battle of Nuuanu and establishes the first centralized government in the islands.
The London Missionary Society sends the first Christian missionaries to the Pacific Islands. They arrive in Tonga and establish a mission in Tahiti.
December 23, 1805
Joseph Smith Jr. is born at Sharon, Vermont.
Henry Opukahaia from the Napoopoo area of west Hawaii arrives in New Haven, Connecticut and begs to be taught. His actions lead the Protestant-based American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions to establish a seminary and eventually send the first Christian missionaries to the Sandwich Islands (see March 30, 1820).
Kamehameha treats with the king of Kauai and Niihau to unite all of the Hawaiian islands under one government.
The first Christian mission is established in New Zealand.
May 19, 1819
Following the death of Kamehameha a few days earlier, his favorite wife, Kaahumanu, jointly rules with his son, Liholiho or Kamehameha II. They declare they will no longer be subject to the kapu (taboo) system. The ruling alii (chiefs) soon abolish the system.
The first Christian missionaries arrive in Hawaii. About this time, Joseph Smith Jr. experiences his first vision in a grove of trees near his family's log cabin home in Palmyra, New York. Later this year, Kamehameha II moves his court and capital from Kailua-Kona to Honolulu.
April 6, 1830
Joseph Smith Jr. and five others incorporate The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fayette, New York. This same year Christian missionaries arrive in Fiji and John Williams establishes the first Christian mission in Samoa.
Joseph Smith calls President Noah Rogers, Addison Pratt, Benjamin F. Grouard, and Knowlton F. Hanks as the first LDS missionaries from the Seventies Hall in Nauvoo, Illinois, to travel to the Sandwich Islands. Pratt, who previously served aboard a whaling ship that wintered in Hawaii had reportedly intrigued President Smith with his tales of the South Pacific.
May 1, 1844
After almost a year in transit and Elder Hanks' untimely death at sea, the surviving missionaries arrive in Tubua'i (now a part of French Polynesia) and decide to remain in that area.
July 22, 1844
Elder Pratt baptizes four islanders — Napota, Teri'i, Pauma and Hamoe — the first known Polynesian members of the Church.
June 20, 1846
Sam Brannan and his group of approximately 240 Latter-day Saints who had sailed down the Mississippi River and around Cape Horn, heading for Utah, make landfall in the Sandwich Islands. Before leaving 10 days later, Brannan preaches the first known LDS sermon in Hawaii.
January 27–March 7, 1848
The Mahele [or division of land] begins the process of large-scale private land ownership in Hawaii among royalty and lesser alii.
December 12, 1849
The Privy Council of the Kingdom of Hawaii approves the ownership of smaller kuleana property lots.
July 10, 1850
The Kingdom gives alien residents the right to buy and sell private property. With the discovery of gold in California, travel (and commerce) between the United States and the Sandwich Islands becomes easier and more frequent.
September 25, 1850
Elder Charles C. Rich of the Quorum of the Twelve calls LDS missionaries from the California gold fields to start up the Sandwich Islands Mission.
December 12, 1850
Following a 20-day voyage from San Francisco, Hiram Clark, mission president; Henry Bigler, Hiram Blackwell, George Q. Cannon, John Dixon, William Farrer, James Hawkins, James Keeler, Thomas Morris and Thomas Whittle arrive in Honolulu. The Church, with a total membership of approximately 52,000 at this point, set apart only 50 missionaries this year — 10 of them now in the Sandwich Islands.
December 13, 1850
Elder Clark leads the missionaries to a point above Honolulu — later identified by George Q. Cannon as the slopes of Punchbowl and now known as Pacific Heights — and dedicates Hawaii "for the preaching of the Gospel."
Faced with the lack of response among the Caucasian residents and the difficulty of learning Hawaiian, President Clark releases Elders Morris and Whittle. Elders Dixon and Blackwell soon follow.On Maui, Elder George Q. Cannon — penniless and staying in the home of Nalimanui (who does not join the Church) — writes in his journal:
…I could not go home under the existing circumstances without feeling condemned. He seeks a private place near Nalimanui's home and fervently prays for guidance. The Lord gives Cannon the conviction that he should proselyte among the Hawaiians who are of the House of Israel. Soon after Elders Cannon and Farrer receive the gift of tongues and quickly learn Hawaiian.
February 10, 1851
President Clark baptizes the first Hawaiian member of the Church.
September 27, 1854
15-year-old Joseph F. Smith, son of the late Hyrum Smith, begins to serve his first mission in The Sandwich Islands. Later that year he recommends Laie as a possible gathering place.
The first LDS missionaries arrive in Auckland, New Zealand.
President Brigham Young, in a letter, directs that the Sandwich Islands Mission be closed because of a potential "war" in Utah.
Walter Murray Gibson, who earlier met Brigham Young in Salt Lake City and joined the Church, arrives in Hawaii en route to his mission call to "Asia." He eventually creates the title "Chief President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Islands of the Sea," and takes unofficial control of the closed mission.
Gibson unofficially calls two Hawaiian Elders — Kimo Pelio and Samuela Manoa — as missionaries to Samoa
April 8, 1864
A delegation from Utah excommunicates Gibson and later tells the members at the Lanai gathering place to return to their homes. The missionaries begin to look for a new gathering place.
Elder Cluff, assessing conditions on Windward Oahu, visits Laie and later records the following in his journal:
One day, feeling somewhat lonely and depressed in spirits, I retired to one of the thickets and knelt down in secret prayer, after which I strolled along a path winding through grass plots and hau thickets, more or less in a listless mood or reverie, when suddenly — and to my astonishment — President Brigham Young came walking up the path and met me face to face. After the ordinary greetings were exchanged, we sat down on the grass beside the path, and a brief conversation about the work on the islands passed between us. He then referred to the beautiful landscape before us, commenting on the beautiful plain, the rich alluvial soil, the verdure covered and timbered mountain in the distance and of the beach washed by the gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean.
"This," he said, "is a most delightful place." He then rose to his feet and silently casting his eyes over the surrounding country, turned to me and in his pleasant and familiar manner, said: "Brother William, this is the place we want to secure as headquarters for this mission." The interview was then terminated and I was alone.
President Brigham Young officially directs the co-presidents of the Sandwich Islands Mission — Elders Francis A. Hammond and George Nebeker — to find a suitable agricultural colony site for the Church. En route to Hawaii, they meet home-bound Elders Smith, Young and Cluff in San Francisco and learn of the latest conditions in the islands. Cluff tells them he is confident they will buy the Laie property.
January 26, 1865
President Hammond purchases the ahupuaa (traditional land division) of Laiewai and Laiemaloo from Thomas T. Dougherty for $14,000. The purchase includes over 6,000 acres, more than a thousand head of livestock, a large frame house and five Hawaiian hale (buildings).
Brigham Young, in a letter to King Kamehameha V, requests permission to locate an agricultural colony in Laie. The king grants his request.
October 16, 1875
The Church organizes Brigham Young Academy at Provo, Utah. It eventually becomes Brigham Young University.
President Joseph F. Smith instructs the missionaries in New Zealand to focus their efforts among the Maori.
June 18, 1888
Elder Joseph Harry Dean and his wife arrive in Aunu'u, American Samoa, where Manoa was still living (see December 1862), to officially begin the LDS mission in Samoa.
July 15, 1891
The first LDS missionaries arrive in Tonga (from the Samoan Mission), but they soon leave.
January 17, 1893
Revolutionists overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy and eventually establish the Republic of Hawaii.
The U.S. Congress annexes the Republic of Hawaii, making it the U.S. Territory of Hawaii (T.H.).
December 17, 1900
President Cannon writes in his journal of visiting former Queen Liliuokalani, giving her a blessing, and during it prophesying that one day a temple would be built in Hawaii.
October 10, 1901
President Lorenzo Snow dies, and seven days later Joseph F. Smith succeeds him, ushering in a new era for the Church in Hawaii.
The Latter-day Saint Tongan Mission resumes.
June 1, 1915
President Joseph F. Smith dedicates the Hawaii Temple site. Elder Reed Smoot, who accompanied President Smith, records:
President Smith came to me and said, "Reed, I want you to take a walk with me." And as we went out the door, he said to Bishop [Charles W.] Nibley, "I wish you would accompany us." I never saw a more perfect night in all my life; the surroundings were perfect. You who have been to Laie know the surroundings; all nature smiles. We walked toward the meeting house [I Hemolele]. Nothing was said of what we were going for until we stood at the back of the meeting house, and President Smith then said: Brethren, this is the birthday of President Brigham Young, June 1, 1915. I feel impressed to dedicate this ground for the erection of a Temple to God, for a place where the peoples of the Pacific Islands can come and do their temple work. I have not presented this to the Council of the Twelve or to my counselors; but if you think there would be no objection to it, I think now is the time to dedicate the ground." I have heard President Smith pray hundreds of times. He has thrilled my soul many times with his wonderful spirit of prayer and his supplications to our Heavenly Father. But never in all my life did I hear such a prayer. The very ground seemed to be sacred, and he seemed as if he were talking face to face with the Father. I cannot and never will forget it if I live a thousand years.
November 27, 1919
President Heber J. Grant Dedicates the Hawaii Temple on Thanksgiving Day.
February 7, 1921
Elder David O. McKay, a member of The Quorum of the Twelve on an around-the-world inspection tour of Church missions, stops to observe the children of the Laie mission school in a flag-raising ceremony. The next day while visiting Maui, Elder McKay — still moved by his experience the preceding day — decides to recommend founding a new college in Laie.
August 6, 1941
Elder David O. McKay of the Quorum of the Twelve dedicates the new Honolulu Tabernacle. While addressing stake leaders, he reminds them: Don't forget Laie. This is the educational center and the spiritual center of our people in these islands.