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African Leaders Visit Ghana MTC and BYU in October

Leaders from several African nations have been learning more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through visits to the Ghana Missionary Training Center, Brigham Young University and Salt Lake City for October 2023 general conference.

Parliament members visit Ghana MTC

Members of parliament from four countries visited the Missionary Training Center in Accra, Ghana, this month and learned more about the purpose of the missionary program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

During their tour, the leaders from Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana and Australia met and interacted with the missionaries — some of whom came from their home countries.

The visit was organized by Australian Member of Parliament Elizabeth Kikkert, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. Alice Karungi Kaijage from the United Republic of Tanzania, Misheck M. Nyambose from the Republic of Zambia, and Emmanuel Marfo and Gizell A. Tetteh-Agbouti from Ghana joined Kikkert during the visit.

The parliament members were in Accra for the 66th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

“Visiting the missionary training center was a heartwarming journey of witnessing the dedication and faithfulness of these young men and women,” Kikkert said. “In the halls of the center and in the classrooms, I found inspiration in every smile, and I felt the warmth of hearts committed to making the world a better place.”

Elizabeth Kikkert, right, a member of parliament from Australia, talks with a missionary from Tonga at the Ghana Missionary Training Center.

The guests were welcomed by Ghana MTC President Mark O. Lords and Sister Gwen Lords. Elder Samuel Annan-Simons, an Area Authority Seventy of the Church in Accra, accompanied the dignitaries on the tour of the facilities. He explained the missionary program and answered any questions that they had.

A highlight of the tour was the MTC choir singing “Nearer my God to Thee.” The dignitaries were able to sing along with the choir with Kaijage singing in Swahili.

After the tour, Kaijage said she hoped to learn more about the Church of Jesus Christ.

“We had a beautiful and learning, informative tour around the church and teaching center. I thank you for your generosity and altruism,” she said.

Missionaries sing to members of parliament visiting the Ghana Missionary Training Center.

Nyambose said, “I’m grateful to have experienced this place with my fellow colleagues from Africa’s parliaments. This is truly a place where young citizens are molded into extraordinary messengers of love and hope.” 

Marfo said he drives past the grounds in Accra almost every day, but he never knew there was a missionary training facility inside.

“The tour was very instructive, and I was amazed at the level of organization,” he said.

“My interaction with the young men and women being trained was very interesting, especially when I asked them to explain to me what the Book of Mormon was all about and why the Bible was not sufficient,” he continued. “I was intrigued and asked for a copy of the book, for which I have committed to read.”

African representatives attend U.S. religious freedom event

Delegates from eight African nations attended the annual Symposium on Law and Religion at the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, from Oct. 1-3.

The plenary session of the 30th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium held at Brigham Young University

Delegations from Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria and South Africa presented about religion, law and human rights in their countries, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

“I have learned so much. I leave here more illuminated and richer as a person. Thank you to the center and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” said Gabriel da Barca Júnior, a member of parliament from Mozambique.

In total, 115 delegates from 52 countries gathered to speak about how diverse religions can build a united community. 

“It is really amazing here,” said Francis K. Kagema, secretary general of the African Council of Religious Leaders and executive director of the Inter-Religious Council of Kenya. “It is hugely diverse, providing us a great opportunity to learn from each other.”

Francis K. Kagema from Kenya attends the 30th annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University

This year marked the university’s 30th consecutive symposium. One of the organizers, Elizabeth Clark, said they started as a small conference primarily hosting Eastern European leaders after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

“Over time, this has become truly global,” Clark said. “We’ve had tremendous leaders come from Africa and are grateful for the wisdom and insights that they have shared with us.”

The event is by invitation only and will reconvene next year. A regional event will be held in May 2024 in Zimbabwe.

While in Utah, the African leaders also attended the Church’s 193rd Semiannual General Conference in the Conference Center.

“General conference was a wonderful event. The choral music was beyond this world. The next time I come, I want to bring my wife,” said Kagema.

Source : The Church News