News Release

175 Young Single Adults Complete Institute Courses in Nairobi West Stake

The Nairobi West Stake Young Single Adults Successfully Complete Several Religion Classes in Kenya’s Nairobi West Stake

President Thomas S. Monson made this promise to young single adults who attend Institute of Religion classes, “I promise you that as you participate in institute and study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased. Divine favor will attend those who humbly seek it. That is a promise which I leave with you”  (Thomas S. Monson, April 21, 2009).  175 young single adults in the Nairobi West Stake, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints follow this prophet’s counsel and regularly participate in Institute of Religion classes.  On 10 December 2023 their consistent participation was recognized at a graduation ceremony held at the Upper Hill Chapel of The Church.  Young Single Adults completed one or more of the following Institute courses:

                        Eternal Family

Book of Mormon

Pearl of Great Price

Missionary Preparation

Doctrine and Covenants

Prince Omondi, President of the Nairobi West Stake, presided at the graduation.  President Omondi is also the Director of Seminaries and Institutes for the Church in Eastern Kenya.  Joining President Omondi to present diplomas to the graduating students was Elder John and Sister Laurie Barger of the Africa Central Area.  Elder and Sister Barger were Mission Leaders in Kenya from 2004 to 2007 and Elder Barger served as Executive Secretary to the Africa Central Area until late December 2023.  Elder and Sister Barger were keynote speakers at the event.

Sister Barger shared that a young Laurie and John met at an Institute Class in 1977.  Their participation in Institute was foundational in many ways in their lives.  Sister Barger encouraged the graduates to follow the counsel of President Nelson to Think Celestial.  Thinking Celestial is about using agency to make good choices.  Avoiding things that take away agency like drugs, gaming, and pornography is key to Thinking Celestial.  Doing the right things is also key to Thinking Celestial.  The right things include regularly reading of the scriptures, studying General Conference talks, praying constantly, look for opportunities to serve others and serve them, do church callings well, and make and keep Temple ordinances. 

Elder Barger reminisced that he and Sister Barger attended in the Upper Hill Building the very first Stake Conference ever held in Kenya.  The church has grown significantly in Kenya since then and will continue to grow.  He then shared a favorite story from the early history  of the church and explained that the lesson for the Institute graduates from the story is that the heritage of The Church is that we do hard things.  Even though the story Elder Barger shared took place almost 200 years ago on another continent, it is the Institute graduates’ story.  We are all part of the Lord’s family and all of these stories belong to all members of The Church.  If the early Saints can do what they did, the members of The Lord’s Church today can do what they are called to do.

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