Laie Tourist Attractions
Laie is situated on the north-east coast of Hawaii. The town is the center of Mormon activity for the Pacific.
One of Hawaii's most prominent tourist attractions is the Polynesian Cultural Center. Productions feature Polynesian cultural displays of music and dance, representative of Hawaii, Tahiti, Marquesas, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, and the Maoris of New Zealand.
The Mormon community has a membership of more than 30,000 and this makes it the largest non-Catholic Christian community in Hawaii. Mormons first came to Hawaii in 1850 and had already founded their first community there by the following year. The missionaries were called away again, however, because of internal disputes. Only in the next decade, when the missionaries returned and were able to buy about 5930 acres/2400 hectares of land in Laie, did the gradual rise of the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" (the official name of this faith) begin. They built on the land and also planted many flowers. When in 1874 King David Kalakaua visited the by now well-developed village community, he is supposed to have said that wherever Mormons were, he had found "health and thrifty loyal subjects".The building of the temple began in 1916 and three years later it could be officially opened. Building costs amounted to 250,000 U.S. dollars. The completely-white building, which stands out from the pali (mountainsides), can only be entered by Mormons but its location alone makes it an attraction. On the right-hand side of the temple grounds is a visitor center where a film about the history of the Mormons can be seen and printed information about the community and its ongoing missionary work is available.
Brigham Young University
In Laie there is part of the Brigham Young University of Salt Lake City, whose students in Hawaii originate from the many South Pacific islands and earn their fees through their work in the Polynesian Cultural Cente, run by Mormons. About 400 students are singers or dancers who take part in performances given in the Polynesian Cultural Center. The young students are chosen by missionaries working there to study in Laie.