News Release

Apostle Concludes Africa Ministry at Nairobi Kenya Temple Site

Elder Ronald A. Rasband leaves a blessing on the people of Kenya

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pronounced a blessing upon the people of Kenya on Sunday as he concluded a 10-day visit to three countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Apostle was joined by his wife Melanie; Elder S. Mark Palmer of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Jacqueline; and members of the Africa Central Area Presidency.

Elder Ronald A. Rasband arrives in Nairobi, Kenya, on May 20, 2022.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Download Photo

Leadership Instruction Meetings

Church leadership from across the Central Africa Area, which has 150,000 members in over 450 congregations, gathered in two historic meetings to receive instruction from Elder Rasband, Elder Palmer and the Area Presidency. The four hours of meetings allowed local African leaders to ask questions and receive council on a variety of topics. An in-person meeting was held with stake, district and temple presidents from East Africa on Saturday, May 21. The next day a similar video conference took place with leaders from the area’s French-speaking countries.

“It was a privilege to be instructed by Elder Rasband in a such setting as this,” said Yves Bizimana, a district president from Rwanda. “Elder Rasband promised that this meeting would be memorable for those attending for the first time. It really was. I have been touched by the fact that the Apostle wanted to know what we needed, I felt like it came from the Savior. I felt the spirit and new strength to go forward with others to build up the kingdom.”

Elder Frederick M. Kamya, an Area Seventy from Uganda, said, “Today was historic. For the first time I had training from an Apostle of the Lord, even Ronald A. Rasband. I received such great teachings and testimony from him. During the question-and-answer session, he simplified issues in ways unimaginable to us before. Oh, what a tremendous opportunity and blessing we have had. I am so grateful for having attended this training. It was one of a kind.”

Downloadable B-roll & SOTs

Mission presidents attending the training expressed deep gratitude for the experience.

“I am grateful to the Lord for having been part of this great meeting,” said President Walter Chatora of the Uganda Kampala Mission. “The instructions were so inspired to help us to enhance the efforts in building the kingdom, and to become even better husbands and fathers.”

President Robert Dudfield of the Ethiopia Addis Ababa Mission commented, “as I prepare to return to Ethiopia, I am deeply grateful for the feelings I felt, the instructions I received and impressions on how I can help His children in Ethiopia.”

Nairobi Kenya Temple Site Visit

While in Kenya, Elder Rasband visited the construction site of the Nairobi Kenya Temple.

Addressing the media at the site, he commented, “I speak as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. I know that God loves the people of Kenya. We as a Church are grateful to have freedom of religion here. May God bless this wonderful country of Kenya and all its wonderful citizens.”

The temple will be the sixth operating temple in Africa. It is expected to be completed by 2025. An additional 12 have been announced or are under construction in Africa.

Robinson Aliero Imende, a Latter-day Saint from Kenya who was at the temple site during the visit, said it’s uncommon to experience a visit from an Apostle.

“To see Elder Rasband in Kenya, and at the temple site giving apostolic direction to all the members, gave me a burning in the bosom. He even gave an apostolic blessing to Kenya live on the country’s public TV station.”

Special Missionary Sacrament Meeting

On Sunday May 21, Elder Rasband and Elder Palmer were joined by their wives, Melanie and Jacqueline, for a special sacrament meeting with almost 100 missionaries from the Kenya Nairobi Mission. Elder Palmer, mission presidents and members of the Area Presidency, blessed and passed the sacrament.

An Expression of Love and Gratitude

Just before departing the African continent, Elder Rasband expressed gratitude for his time in Africa.

“As we conclude our trip to Africa, Sister Rasband and I are so grateful for the privilege to have been here. We have met wonderful members of the Church, missionaries, friends of the Church, leaders of countries, and visited the Nairobi Kenya Temple site. We will take home many memories and share them with our brothers and sisters in Salt Lake City, Utah. My thanks and appreciation to everyone who made this trip so memorable. And please know that my testimony for the Lord has increased because of being with you here. We love you all, and we love the Lord Jesus Christ.”

To read more on historic leadership meetings held in South Africa, see these articles:

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.