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COLORFUL STAMP FEATURES TEMPLE

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One of the signal honors paid to the Church by the government at the 150th anniversary of the Church in French Polynesia was the issuance of a postage stamp bearing a picture of the Papeete Tahiti Temple.

The colorful stamp sold out soon after it was issued on April 30, which was the date of the arrival of the first missionaries in French Polynesia in 1844. But additional copies were supplied to the outlets by the main office in Papeete.The popular stamp is among a growing list of LDS stamps printed to commemorate significant anniversaries in the United States and in other countries. (See Church News, Jan. 15, 1994.) The LDS series now includes some 20 stamps, postcards, and cancellations issued between 1944 and 1994 by eight countries in addition to French Polynesia - the USA, Brazil, Nicaragua, Rarotonga, Sweden, Samoa, Saint Vincent and Tonga.

In August 1991, Yves Perrin, then president of the Tahiti Papeete Mission, visited a cabinet minister, A. Teriierooiterai, regarding a sports and youth matter. While there, he realized that the same minister was also over postal services.

Pres. Perrin took the opportunity to ask if the Church could have a stamp in commemoration of its upcoming sesquicentennial, and was told to put the request in writing, which he did.

From then on it was a matter of formalities, such as selecting the subject and photograph, and printing the stamp, a process completed by 1994.

Elder Jean-Michel Carlson, regional representative who inherited the stamp project after Pres. Perrin was released, said that when the stamp was finally issued, it listed the name of the Church as "The Church of the Latter-day Saints."

He immediately contacted government officials, who were distraught over the mistake. They deferred to Elder Carlson the decision of whether or not to release the stamp, and the matter was taken to high levels in the Church. Eventually, word came to Elder Carlson that the Church would accept the stamp despite the mistake.

The stamp was issued as scheduled.