News Release

Elder Bednar and Elder Kearon Conclude Ten-day Visit to West Africa

Apostles visit with leaders, members, and missionaries in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia

Area leadership training in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. 24 February 20242024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

 On 25 February 2024, Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Patrick Kearon, also a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and Elder Carlos A. Godoy, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, participated in a Special Youth Devotional in Accra, Ghana with 1500 youth attending  at the Christianborg Stake Center.  The devotional was also broadcast to thousands across the Africa West Area.  The devotional concluded a ten-day visit to the Africa West Area that included stops in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Liberia.

Joining the Church leaders in Africa 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.

Their time in Africa began 16 February 2024 in Lagos, Nigeria as the Church leaders met with missionaries from the Nigeria Lagos Mission.  While in Lagos they attended Special Stake Conferences in the Lagos Ikeja Stake and the Lagos Agege Stake.  They also held area leadership meetings with the nine local coordinating councils and the area seventies of the Africa West Area.  Sister Bednar, Sister Kearon, and Sister Godoy also held meetings with the women leaders in Lagos, and they all participated in a Special Young Single Adult Devotional which was broadcast throughout the Africa West Area.

On 19 February the Church leaders were in Abuja, Nigeria where they were hosted by Prof. Ibrahim Ahmad Maqari, the Chief Imam of the Abuja National Mosque.  They met with Muslim leaders and toured the National Mosque.  Later that day they met with the missionaries of the Abuja Nigeria Mission.

In Accra, Ghana the Church leaders held devotionals with Church employees, missionaries from the Accra Ghana, and the Accra Ghana West missions, and the missionaries in the Accra Ghana Missionary Training Center. 

During their time in Accra, they had the opportunity to visit the Gathering Place in Kasoa and the Succeed in School program in Tesano.  The Gathering Place is a designated church location for Young Single Adults (YSA) and their friends to gather and participate in priesthood directed and YSA led experiences and activities. The focus of program is to strengthen YSA spiritually, socially, emotionally, educationally, and professionally.  The Succeed in School program is a Church sponsored after-school program that gives children and youth the opportunity to gain skills that allow them to persist in their education and increase their desire to learn.  

In Monrovia, the Church leaders visited with the newly elected President of Liberia, Joseph Boakai, at the Executive Mansion of Liberia.  While in Liberia they had the opportunity to meet with missionaries form the Monrovia Liberia Mission.

In Cote d’Ivoire, the Church leaders toured the Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire Temple, which is nearing completion.  They held Area Instructional Meetings with local coordinating councils and had a devotional for the missionaries in the four missions of the Ivory Coast.  Sister Bednar, Sister Kearon, and Sister Godoy also led a meeting of women leaders.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to thrive in the Africa West Area.  In the 45 years since the first baptisms, the Church has grown to 465,000 members, with 141 Stakes and 1672 congregations.  There are currently 21 missions in the Africa West Area and 10 temples announced, under construction, and currently operating. 

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