church history, Palawai pioneers, LDS, Hawaii


A decade after the death of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, the message of the Restoration continued to breathe new spiritual life into thousands who were part of scattered Israel, and the Hawaiians were no exception. The call to gather had go forth: "Gather ye out from among the nations, from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Send forth my elders of my church unto the nations, which are afar off; unto the islands of the sea" (D&C 133:7-8). After the Saints had been exiled from Nauvoo in 1846 and had migrated to the West, missionaries thought that following conversion, members should gather to the Utah Territory. However, the Hawaiians could not gather to Utah at that time because of a law in the kingdom of Hawaii that would not permit emigration because of decimation of the population by disease. Instead, Hawaiian converts were directed to a local gathering place. the year 2004 marks the sesquicentennial of the gathering of the Hawaiian Latter-day Saint pioneers who began to assemble at the Palawai Basin on the island of Lanai, commencing in the late summer of 1854. Therefore, it is timely that the story of the Palawai pioneers should once again surface.

Original Publication Citation

Fred E. Woods, "The Palawai Pioneers: The First Hawaiian Latter-day Saint Gathering Place," forthcoming in Mormon Historical Studies 5, no. 2 (Fall 2004).

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Mormon Historical Studies




Religious Education


Church History and Doctrine