News Release

General Young Men President, Steven J. Lund, and 2nd Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, Jan E. Newman, Visit Kenya to Teach and Inspire

General Church Leaders Join Africa Central Area Presidency for Two Days of Instruction in Nairobi, Kenya

In a small session with several families in the High Council Room of the Nairobi South Stake Center, Elder Paul B. Pieper, 2nd Counselor in the Africa Central Area Presidency, looked into the future and said, “the church is new here.  The church will continue to grow here.  In 25 years, Kenya will be one of the 20 most populous countries in the world, and the church will have grown from 3 stakes today to 50 stakes.”  And then he said to the gathered families, “the church is strong when we have strong families.”  In order to continue to strengthen the foundation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kenya, the Africa Central Area Presidency, along with regularly visiting General Church Leaders consistently teach leaders and church members how to effectively teach and minister in the Church.

General Young Men President, Steven J. Lund and his wife Sister Kalleen Lund, and 2nd Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency Jan E. Newman and his daughter Cami Moody, spent May 18 and May 19 in multiple locations in Nairobi and along with members of the Africa Central Area Presidency taught and inspired leadership and members of the Church.

Afternoon leadership training was held on Saturday May 18 at the Upper Hill Building.  Stake Presidencies, high councils, bishoprics, stake and ward relief society, young women, primary and Sunday School presidencies, and Elders Quorum presidencies filled the Upper Hill Chapel to overflowing as they learned from Africa Central Area First Counselor Thierry H. Mutombo, Second Counselor Paul B. Pieper and 2 General Church Organization Leaders. 

In the Saturday leadership training, Elder Mutombo addressed the upcoming For Strength of Youth (FSY) Conferences that will take place in many locations in the Africa Central Area in 2024.  “5,605 youth participated in FSY Conferences last year.  We expect 6,500 youth to participate in 2024.  In some countries, such as Rwanda, more non member than member youth participated in 2023.” 

On Sunday, May 19, President and Sister Lund and Africa Central Area President Ian S. Ardern attended the Ward Youth Council of the Langata Ward, Nairobi West Stake and then journeyed to the Upper Hill Building for a youth group discussion and then a youth devotional.  Sister Paula Ardern joined the latter two meetings.  Africa Central Area Second Counselor, Paul B. Pieper and Sister Lisa Pieper, Elder Johnny Baddoo, Area Seventy, and Sister Josephine Baddoo, and President Jan E. Newman and his daughter Cami Moody spoke to and responded to questions from Young Single Adults from around Nairobi at the Nairobi South Stake Center in Buruburu. 

In the Langata Ward Youth Council meeting, the youth leaders, the ward’s Young Men Presidency (the Bishopric), the Young Women’s president, and the general church leaders discussed the challenges resulting from many of the ward’s youth being away from family and from church classes while at boarding school.  This challenge faces youth and families in most wards and branches in Kenya.  President Lund acknowledged the unique challenge and recommended that boarding school youth be encouraged to develop three habits - read the Book of Mormon every day, pray every day, and keep a journal especially focusing on recording what the Holy Ghost is teaching each boarding school youth.  At the conclusion of the Langata Ward Youth Council, Elder Ardern complimented the youth leaders for a really good council and then he reminded them of the charge they have received, “you have been called up by the Lord to stand up and speak up.” 

To the youth of Nairobi Sunday afternoon, Sister Kalleen Lund said, “I beg everyone of you to read every word in the Book of Mormon and ask Heavenly Father if it is true.” Building on that request, she said, “good people deserve the blessings of the temple,” and then, “the Book of Mormon and the temple will empower you to be better.”  President Lund added to his wife’s request and testimony by saying, “a Patriarchal blessing is a gift Heavenly Father gives to each of us to give us direction.  If you don’t have a patriarchal blessing, get one.”  And he made a promise the a chapel full of youth.  “I promise you, if you serve a mission, everything about your life will be better.”

The General Authorities and General Leaders frequently shared their personal experiences with members of the First Presidency and Quorum of Twelve Apostles such as counsel given to the Sunday School General Presidency by President Russell M. Nelson.  “Help us get the scriptures deeper into the heart and souls of the saints.  Help us improve teaching in the home and in the Church.”  That instruction, shared from the Prophet, typifies the excellent counsel given over two days by three General Authorities and two General Leaders of the Church to members and leaders of the church in Kenya.

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