News Release

1500 Youth in Accra, Ghana Meet with Apostles in Special Devotional

Devotional broadcast to thousands of young people throughout the West Africa Area

Youth in Accra, Ghana, gather for Special Devotional with Elder Bednar, Elder Kearon, and Elder Godoy. 25 February 20242024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

On 25 February 2024, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Accra, Ghana held a special Youth Devotional at the Christianborg Stake Center.  The Youth gathered to hear from Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Patrick Kearon, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Carlos A. Godoy, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. 

Over 1500 youth from the Accra area attended the devotional in person at the Christianborg Stake Center.  An overflow group met at the Accra Ghana Missionary Training Center, adjacent to the Stake Center.  The devotional was also broadcast to thousands throughout West Africa.   

Joining the Church leaders at the devotional were Sister Susan Bednar, Sister Jennifer Kearon, and Sister Monica Godoy.  They were also joined by the presidency of the Africa West Area, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, a General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area, and his Counselors Elder Jorg Klebingat, a General Authority Seventy, and Alfred Kyungu, also a General Authority Seventy.  Sister Wendy O. Nielsen, and Sister Lucie Kyungu also attended and participated in the devotional.

The church leaders fielded questions from youth throughout the Africa West Area. Questions came from Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria. Elder Bednar said, “I hope that these questions represent the thoughts and concerns of youth throughout the area.”

When asked about balancing the gospel with technology, Sister Kearon noted that the internet provided youth with access to beautiful and uplifting things, but also to dark and destructive content. “We need to have a purpose when we get on our phones and we need to stick to that purpose,” she said.  Elder Godoy added that, “It is better to avoid than to resist temptation.  Don’t put yourselves in situations where you must resist doing things you know are wrong.”

Youth Devotional with Elder Bednar, Elder Kearon, and Elder Godoy in Accra, Ghana. 25 February 20242024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

“There is no man-made filter that will keep everything evil away from us,” said Elder Bednar.  “The only filter we need is the Holy Ghost. If the Holy Ghost leaves you, you need to stop what you’re doing.  The Holy Ghost will guide you, protect you, and inspire you.”

A youth from Liberia asked how the Book of Mormon can be inspiring to young people.  Sister Godoy noted that we are promised answers to our questions when we read the Book of Mormon. “When we have concerns or questions, the Book of Mormon will touch our hearts.” Sister Bednar added that, “The scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon, give us power and protection from sin.  The Book of Mormon has always spoken to my heart.”

Elder Bednar answered a question from a young person in Cote d’Ivoire who was struggling to understand the scriptures.  He said that “The prophets who wrote the Book of Mormon were inspired by the Holy Ghost. When we look to understand the scriptures, we need to use that same gift, the Holy Ghost, to help us understand and be blessed by the scriptures.”

“President Russell M. Nelson has said that we need to work with a will for the things we desire,” noted Elder Kearon. “If we want to better understand the scriptures it will take persistence and a strong desire to have the scriptures bless our lives.”

When asked what the youth can do to not give into the negative influence of their friends and peers, Sister Kearon shared that “Bad friends are not friends at all.  We need to find friends who love us and support and respects our beliefs.”  Elder Kearon said, “We must find the courage and the words to talk to our friends about our values and beliefs.”

Elder Bednar added that “If we know who we are, daughters and sons of God, and disciples of Jesus Christ, we can resist the negative influence of others and be a force for good in their lives.”

The youth devotional marked the conclusion of Elder Bednar, Elder Kearon, and Elder Godoy’s ten-day visit of the Africa West Area of the Church.  Previously the church leaders visited with leaders, church members and missionaries, as well as government and inter-faith leaders in Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire.

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