News Release

Six Samoan Siblings Succeed in Educational Pursuits 

Brisbane Latter-day Saint family sets example for future generations

Despite the challenges of moving to a new country, and without a family history of higher education, all six children from the Alofipo family have chosen to study at university.

The family moved from Samoa to New Zealand in 1970 and then to Queensland, Australia in 1999.   

The Alofipos have supported one another through their educational challenges and successes, and now see the benefits for their entire family.

Alofip Family Photo

Mesina, the eldest daughter in the family was the first of the siblings to receive a tertiary education.  

She credits a retired Brigham Young University (BYU) professor and his wife for instilling in her a desire to seek further education. “I am eternally indebted to them for their belief in my ability.”

Francella, the next eldest sibling, explains, “My older sister had graduated from BYU, so I thought, if she can do it, so can I.”

Emma, the third daughter, became a student after she was married with a mortgage. When she and her husband had their first child, her husband and extended family stepped in to help support her, so she could obtain her double degree without taking an extended break. 

“Every time I wanted to give up, my husband would encourage me to stay the course.” Faith and prayer were also important in her educational journey, she says.

The other three children -- Lee, Joseph and Ardeth -- have also attended university and say their older sisters inspired them.

The examples of these six young people have now trickled down to another generation.  

Francella’s daughter, Moriah, says, “Having my mum study at uni first, made me see the importance of furthering my education.”

Latter-day Saints place a strong emphasis on education. 

Former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008), told young people in 2000: “You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get.” 

He continued: “Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field. You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands.”
Watch a video about Latter-day Saints and education.



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