News Release

Elder Christofferson Concludes 12-Day Tour of the Africa West Area

Apostle ministers to members in Ghana, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Liberia

Elder Christofferson talks with members after Sacrament Meeting at the Tesano Ward, Accra Ghana2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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On February 26, 2023, members of the Burma Hills Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Accra Ghana, sang the hymn “God be with You” at the end of their worship meeting, presided by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  This was a fitting send off to Elder Christofferson who was finishing a 12-day visit to the Africa West Area.  “You are a beacon of light that shines forth,” he told them. “I hope you feel God’s good pleasure with you.”

Elder Christofferson began his tour in Africa on February 15. He was accompanied by his wife, Kathy, and by Elder Paul V. Johnson, of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife Jill.  Assisting Elder Christofferson in his teaching and training visits were members of the Africa West Area Presidency, President S. Gifford Nielsen, a General Authority Seventy, and his wife Wendy, Elder Jorg Klebingat, a General Authority Seventy and his wife, Julia, and Elder Alfred Kyungu, a General Authority Seventy and his wife, Lucie.

The trip included a meeting with the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who Elder Christofferson had met previously in 2019.  They discussed their shared focus on education and reviewed the BYU Pathway International and Gathering Place programs. "We value our relationship with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I hope that it will continue to grow," President Akufo-Addo emphasized. "We will do all we can to make sure your Church succeeds in everything you do here in Ghana."

Elder Christofferson taught and inspired Young Single Adults during a devotional in Accra Ghana that was attended by over 1000 YSA’s and broadcast to countries throughout the Africa West Area. He reminded them that “the Lord knows where you are, and if you keep the commandments you can prosper here”.  He added that “you can overcome the world by loving God, and his son Jesus Christ, more than you love anything else.”

While in Ghana, Elder Christofferson and the other Church leaders attended the Accra Ghana Temple together.  The Accra Temple is one of two operating Temples in West Africa, the other is in Aba, Nigeria.  There are nine Temples announced, under constuction, or operating in the Africa West Area.  The Accra Temple was dedicated on 11 January 2004.

Accompanied by Elder Johnson, Elder Christofferson instructed missionaries in Monrovia, Liberia and at the Missionary Training Center in Accra.  In Accra, the Apostle encouraged the missionaries to “pray and ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  He will answer you because you are authorized to act in his name.” Elder Christofferson and the other leaders had the opportunity to greet each of the missionaries individually.

Elder Christofferson and the other Church leaders conducted leadership councils in Lagos Nigeria, Accra Ghana, and Abidjan Cote d’Ivoire.  During the training in Abidjan Elder Johnson encouraged the priesthood leaders to "grow closer to the rising generation by being patient with them". Elder Christofferson added "leaders need to be examples of integrity to their members."  Then he encouraged them to practice sincere repentance.

While in Abidjan, they were able to visit the Temple, which is currently under construction.  Ground was broken on the Abidjan Temple on 8 November 2018. 

While in Liberia, Elder Christofferson presided over a 6-Stake Devotional in Monrovia.  The meeting was held in the Centennial Pavilion.  The Church members in Liberia anxiously await the construction of the new Temple in Monrovia announced 3 October 2021. Elder Christofferson counseled the gathered congregation to "make a list of things you can take out of your lives and things you can bring into your lives before the Temple is built." He added "we need to make and keep covenants – doing that simply means, changing from doing the things we want and doing the things Heavenly Father wants us to do."  He offered this special blessing to the Liberian saints.  "We are a small number in Liberia, but if we were faithful to the commandments of God, He will bless this whole nation".

The trip afforded Elder Christofferson the opportunity to attend sacrament meeting in 2 Accra wards, the Tesano ward and the Burma Hills ward where local members were privileged to hear from both Elder and Sister Christofferson.

At the conclusion of his tour, Elder Christofferson had the honor to meet with His Majesty King Tackie Teiko Tsuru II – Ga Mantse and President of the Ga Traditional Council. The King visited with Elder Christofferson and the Africa West Area Presidency at the Area office complex, adjacent to the Accra Temple. The Ga King is highly revered in the Ga lands, Greater Accra Region and other parts of Ghana, and is one of the prominent traditional rulers in Ghana.

During the 12-day visit, Elder Christofferson and Elder Johnson ministered in Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d' Ivoire, and Liberia. They blessed the lives of the young single adults, missionaries, leaders, and members throughout the Africa West Area.

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