Featured Story

One Daughter's example changed her family forever

Tihpen family 2023
Tihpen family 2023
L-R Kansner, Kevin, Rohse Tiphen© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Kansner Tihpen and his wife, Rohse Etse are from the island of Pohnpei.  They had the opportunity to go to the Yigo Guam Temple and be sealed together for eternity.  They are the parents of six children.  Their youngest son, Kevin, was able to be sealed to them as well.  One of their daughter’s was the first one in the family to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 2015.  Rohse watched the change in her daughter over the next two years and decided that maybe this Church was a good thing.  Because of her good example, when the missionaries invited the family to come to church, they went.  While there, they also taught them about the gospel.  Sister Tihpen’s heart was touched when the missionaries taught her about the Word of Wisdom.  She realized that she had some bad habits that she needed to change.  She said: “The Holy Spirit helped me know if what I was doing was bad for my body and not good for me.”  Learning little steps at a time, she was able to stop altogether and get baptized.  She learned about keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  She would always do her chores on Sunday like most of the people on their island.  She was taught that this was not good.  She was used to going to church then coming home and doing her chores.  She learned that she needed to keep the entire day holy.  She also learned from the missionaries that it wasn’t good to swear.  This was another habit that she tried hard to change.   She has been a member of the Church now for six years.  She is currently serving as the Relief Society president in their branch.    Rohse said: “I love this Church.  I believe that Joseph Smith is the prophet that restored the gospel. I’m thankful we have a temple here to seal my family together and receive our endowments." And placing her hand over her heart, she said:  "The good feeling in my heart right now, I want to keep.” 

Brother Tihpen expressed his gratitude to our Father in Heaven.  He is grateful to be here and be able to be sealed in the temple. He was baptized April 9, 2022. He was raised as a Catholic, but over time, stopped going to church. He began attending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his family.  He felt like he was a weak man, but through the examples of his wife, daughter, and other members, he became stronger in the faith.  He had been taught about Jesus Christ from his father, but discovered more truth when he found the Church.  He is learning how to read by studying the Book of Mormon.  (Only a portion of The Book of Mormon is translated into the Pohnpein language.)  His wife would read The Book of Mormon to him, then they would discuss what they had learned.  He felt the Spirit as he continued to come to church and learn more.  Kansner said: “The Book of Mormon is very important to me.  I believe everything I have learned about the restoration of The Church of Jesus Christ.”

Brother Tihpen is currently serving as the Elder’s Quorum president in his branch.  When the church leaders asked him to serve in a calling, he was willing to do it.  He and his wife said that coming to the temple was both a happy and a sad day for them.  Four of their six children have not joined the Church yet.  They humbly said: "We are pressing forward with all the good that we have learned and try to be good examples to them.  It will be a real happy day when all of our children are sealed to us." 

Kansner is a leader and the spokesman in his family.  His brother is a Deacon in another faith.  Because Kansner was a leader in the Catholic church and known as a peacemaker, his brother often called on him to settle disagreements as well as interpret for him.  His brother didn’t want him to come to the temple.  He wanted him to come back to his church.  Kansner told his brother: “It is the Lord’s will that I come to the temple to be sealed to my family.  So, I must come.  I feel different and better by coming here.  I know that the Lord wants me here.” 

A while ago, one of his other brothers was in the hospital in the Philippines.  It is tradition that the family puts on a fundraiser by playing Bingo/gambling type of games, to raise money to help with the expenses.  There is also a lot of alcohol involved at the gatherings.  His family wanted to do it on Sunday.  This was difficult for Kansner because he had learned in the Church that Sunday is a day of worship.  One of his daughter’s, who is not a member of the Church but sees her father studying the Bible, went to these family members and asked them why they weren’t following what the Bible says about the Sabbath day!  Through his example, he is teaching others in their family.  He loves his brothers and sisters, but he knows now what is right.  Instead of attending these types of fundraisers, he sends money to them.  In sharing his testimony, he said: “I really believe and respect the Church and know that it is true.  The reason why I didn’t become a member of the Church sooner is because I want to be obedient and respectful to my parents.  My father didn’t want me to join the Church.”  Another tradition in Pohnpei is that no matter how old you get, out of respect, you must ask permission to do things such as join another church.   Kansner was baptized after his father passed away.    

Their son, Kevin described his experience in the temple by saying: “I felt the Spirit inside.  I am really happy to be able to go to the temple with my family.”  He enjoyed performing baptisms for his ancestors. 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said: “People do not join the Church because of what they know. They join because of what they feel, what they see and want spiritually. Our spirit of testimony and happiness in that regard will come through to others if we let it. As the Lord said to Alma and the sons of Mosiah, ‘Go forth…that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls’ (Alma 17:11).”         

Yigo Guam Temple 2023
Yigo Guam Temple 2023
© 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

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