Mormon youth participated in the first broadcast event of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from West Africa. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Ruth, hosted a regional Face to Face event Saturday, August 5, 2017.
Thousands of young Latter-day Saints gathered by satellite in countries throughout the African continent and around the world via the internet. There are more than a half million members of the Church in nearly 1,800 congregations in Africa.
Dozens of youth also attended the event held at the newly completed Ghana Missionary Training Center in Accra. Chimi Kwuatsenu, a 12-year-old new member of the Church traveled twelve hours and raised money to be in attendance by selling popcorn. “I’m very happy to be here today,” she said. “We’re meeting an apostle of God, and getting my questions answered. I feel very glad for that.”
The Renlunds fielded questions from youth during the two live broadcasts that originated from the new missionary training center in Accra, Ghana, in languages spoken across Africa. The first broadcast held during the morning was in English, with live interpretation in Portuguese and Malagasy. The afternoon broadcast was in French which the Renlunds speak.
“The reason why we wanted to speak French,” said Sister Renlund, is that we hoped it would improve our communication with the youth, and to let them know we also appreciate their culture and language.” Elder Renlund added, “The French speaking church in Africa is powerful and strong. So, we wanted to do that with our feeble attempts at French.”
Each broadcast had two different youth hosts. Helene Mawuli Delalie, who was one of the hosts said, “Of all the things I’ve done in my life, this is my number one and it’s very important to me. It makes me feel so happy, and pleased.”
“I loved having the opportunity to be able to sit in the audience and listen to Elder and Sister Renlund speak, said teenager Lethe-Ann Kauzeh-Anfo of Ghana. “I felt the Holy Ghost strongly as he spoke about the principles of the gospel, and I also had a lot of my questions answered through what he said today.”
“Ruth and I were thrilled to get the assignment to return to Africa,” said Elder Renlund, who served as president of the Africa Southeast Area prior to his service as an apostle. “While we lived in Africa we were frequently in awe of the immense faith we found in the members [here] and in the island nations of the Indian Ocean. There is no question the light of the gospel shines brightly in their countenances.”
The Renlunds encouraged the youth to read some scriptures in the Bible and Book of Mormon that address life’s challenges prior to the Face to Face event, including James 1:2–8 and Alma 37:35–37.
At the broadcast Elder Renlund said, “Faith grows as we come to church. Faith grows as we read the scriptures. Faith grows as we keep covenants. Faith grows as we do what the Savior would have us do.”
The Church’s Face to Face events are live online broadcasts to reach Mormon youth around the globe. Guests have included senior leaders of the Church and Latter-day Saint performers.
You can watch the entire English broadcast below.
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.