News Release

Elder Bednar and Elder Kearon Meet with the President of Liberia

Church leaders visit Liberia on a ten-day tour of Africa West Area

Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, presents a stained glass replica of the tree of life to President Joseph Boakai of Liberia. 22 February 20242024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

On 22 February 2024, Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Elder Patrick Kearon, newly called member of the Quorum of the Twelve, met with President Joseph Nyumah Boakai of Liberia. President Boakai is recently elected, taking office on 22 January 2024. The meeting took place in the executive mansion of Liberia, in Monrovia.

The apostles visit with the President comes weeks after the Church participated in a number of significant humanitarian projects in Liberia. The Church provided immediate emergency response to the victims of a tanker explosion in Totota, Liberia, which killed over one hundred Liberians in December 2023. See story here. The Church also built and renovated school buildings in Wein Town and Zapai.

In January, the Church’s collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme was highlighted during meetings with Liberian officials, Church leaders, and representatives of the World Food Programme in Monrovia. See video here.

Accompanying the apostles were Elder Carlos A. Godoy, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Sister Susan Bednar, Sister Jennifer Kearon, and Sister Monica Godoy.  Also attending was Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and President of the African West Area of the Church, Elder Jörg Klebingat, General Authority Seventy and first counselor, and Elder Alfred Kyungu, General Authority and second counselor.  Local leaders attending the meeting were Elder Kenneth Pambu, an Area Seventy, Sister Susan Pambu, and President Prince S. Nyanforh of the Monrovia Liberia Bushrod Island Stake.

Elder Nielsen introduced the Church leaders and gave a brief summary of the growth of the Church in Liberia and the humanitarian effort. He reminded President Boakai that their initial meeting was the result of the President's chance meeting two missionary elders serving in Liberia. "That connection is what brought us together."

Elder Bednar shared the Church's desire to help the people of Liberia. "We want to know how we can help you, we love the people of Liberia," he said and added, "This is not to boast, but to let you know about the things the Church is doing in your country, and to let you know that we can do more together."

President Boakai shared that his country was challenged in many areas. "We have lots to do.  I have been following you for quite a while and know of your good works."  The president shared some of his priorities in moving forward to meet the promises of his recent campaign.

"We're grateful for the picture you have painted and look forward to working with you to better the lives of the people of Liberia," said Elder Kearon.

At the conclusion of the meeting Elder Bednar presented the President with a glass replica of the tree of life and Elder Kearon presented him with a Christus statuette. The President also received a personalized copy of the Book of Mormon and a framed copy of The Family Proclamation.  Elder Kyungu read a portion of 3rd Nephi for the President and encouraged the president to read the book to know for himself of the great truths it contains.

The Church of Jesus Christ was initially recognized in Liberia on 3 July 1987 and the first district was established in 1989, but shortly after that the first Liberian Civil War began. The saints endured faithfully through the conflict even though many were scattered or killed, and the first stake of the Church was established in Monrovia in June 2000.

The Church has seen rapid growth in Liberia with over 21,000 members meeting in seventy-five congregations throughout the country. There are currently six stakes of the Church and one district. On 3 October 2021, the Monrovia Liberia Temple was announced.

The apostles, accompanied by Elder Godoy, are on a ten-day tour of the Africa West Area and will also visit Nigeria, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire.

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