News Release

Sasaki George from Kosrae: A Son, Husband, Father, Senator, Lawyer, Branch President, and Friend


Sasaki George is from the small island of Kosrae in Micronesia. His father was a judge and a lawyer. He was a good man. Sasaki always thought that he would be a lawyer like his father.  He was a good student in school and became known throughout the island for his academic abilities.  It became “front page news” when he was accepted to East Texas State University.  His first semester there he received straight A’s.  It was not easy, but he worked hard.  He wanted to become a doctor.  He continued his studies at a university in Louisiana and the University of Hawaii where he studied premed.   After his father passed away, he changed his major back to law.  With the passing of his father, it became his responsibility to care for his mother and family.  He and his wife returned to Kosrae where he continued studying law on his own.  He took the law bar exam and passed, fulfilling his goal to follow in his father’s footsteps.  He worked as a high school teacher and a legal service attorney.  This change led him to run for state senator in Kosrae.  The name “George” was well known throughout the island and all the Federated States of Micronesia due to his father and many other relatives who served in varying public offices.  “George” was also the last sitting chief in Malem, a village on Kosrae.  Sasaki feels like this helped him get elected to the office of senator.   People have told him that he helped to put Kosrae on the map!  He is continuing to carry on the good name of “George” and trying to do his best in helping others and his island home.    

One day he met two missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They gave him a Book of Mormon to read.  He remembered cleaning out his father’s office after he died and coming across his briefcase.  Inside the briefcase was a copy of the Book of Mormon. He was sure that his father had read it.  Sasaki read the book in English.  He explained that there are words in English that cannot be translated into Kosraean.  He did not have trouble believing the Book of Mormon, but it would be twenty years before he joined the Church.  Traditional ways are hard to change.  He became a member of the Church on December 25, 2009, and his wife Jessamyn joined two weeks later.  At first, she was angry with him for joining the church.  He read and talked to her about the Book of Mormon.  She saw a change come over him for the better and liked it.  Through his example, she also joined the Church.  The people treated them differently.  Some of Sasaki’s close friends were angry about him joining the Church and refused to talk to him.  Over time, some of those people returned and became friends again.  He was elected as a senator after joining the Church.   

Brother George said that joining the Church had been a good thing for him and his wife.  Keeping the faith is especially important to them.  He said that he remembers one faith experience he had as a lawyer.  He had two court cases where he felt the State court did not treat either one of them fairly.  He felt strongly that he needed to appeal the cases to the supreme court.  He prayed and worked extremely hard for these clients.  He said he received a lot of help and guidance from the Lord.  It turned out in the end the Supreme court overruled the state courts.  He knows that the Lord helped him in this process.  He learned that our Father in Heaven would help us with our Church callings and in our jobs outside the home.  He stated: “To be a good person in Church and at work is a way to also build the Kingdom of God. We can be His fingerprints.  When we are helping others in temporal ways to get what they need, we are in some ways building up God’s Kingdom.  Of course, everything we have is part of His Kingdom. When he says the Lord’s prayer, it reminds him to be nice to others and do the Lord’s will.”   

Sister George likes to share with others that she knows the Church is true and about how special this church is.  She tries to share the gospel with her family and friends. She asks them to please listen to her.  She hopes that someday her family and friends will join the Church.  The gospel has become a way of life for Brother and Sister George. As a branch president, Brother George admonishes them to keep their family close and the gospel strong in their homes.  He is very thankful for his wife and does not feel like he could have achieved what he has without her. 

As a senator, he took an oath to defend and uphold the constitution of Kosrae. He feels that the constitution of Kosrae was modeled after the constitution of the United States which was inspired by our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He said: “I think it’s important for a person in government, like a senator, to work prayerfully to achieve the kind of law Jesus intended.”   

He and Jessamyn attended the Brigham Young University International Law and Religion Symposium in Provo, Utah.  This was a wonderful opportunity for them to go, learn, and have their testimonies strengthened.  Sasaki gave a presentation at a breakout session for the Pacific Government’s Leaders session.  He represented the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).  He talked about freedom of thought, conscience, religion, liberty, human rights, women’s rights, and freedom of education.  These freedoms have blessed people around the world.  He said: “It is not a coincidence that I am here at this very moment speaking to you now; it is not a coincidence that you in this room are sitting where you are now; it is not a coincidence that BYU has been doing these such conferences.  All of you, all of us, have been prepared for this very moment.  We must make advances and progress in our work from now on in relations to these freedoms and rights.  God has planted seeds even before the foundation of the world, that leads to our being here at this very moment.”  He spoke about how the principles of freedom need to be advanced in Kosrae.  He states: “Freedom, rights, human dignity, equal opportunity, all these are in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Living these things and living the gospel in our family unit is important.  Children learn these things in the family.  As one family lives these things, other families take note, learn of it, and live it also.  This spreads across the community, then the entire community lives it; then the entire island lives it.  The seed of the gospel will grow and cover all Kosrae and all the globe…These principles of freedom are a good thing for Kosrae.” 

The highlight of their trip was to travel to Salt Lake City and meet with Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the twelve apostles, Sister Stevenson, Brother Michael Dowdle (former mission president, Micronesia Guam Mission), and his wife, Gayla Dowdle. Brother Bill and Wanda Davis were their escorts from Guam to the symposium.  They were all able to meet with Elder Stevenson before the General Conference.  They also were invited to a private luncheon between conference sessions on Sunday.  Brother and Sister George ended the lunch with a request from Elder Stevenson to sing “God Be with You Til We Meet Again.”  He and Sister George sang it in English, Kosraen, and finally in Gilbertese (Kiribati).  Brother Davis said: “It was a heartwarming and spiritual experience for all of them filled with lots tears.” 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.