News Release

Somaliland Meets Salt Lake City 

Church leaders met with Edna Adan Ismail from Somaliland on September 8 in Salt Lake City

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with Edna Adan Ismail, a nurse midwife and activist from Somaliland on September 8 in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The visit coincidentally happened on Adan’s 84th birthday. 

Adan, a former Minister of Family Welfare and Social Development, served from 2003 to 2006 as the first female Foreign Minister of Somaliland, where “we have people power which helps keep our boarders and our country safe,” she said. Adan was “overwhelmed with the reverence and the spirit she felt as she met these leaders,” said Erlynn Lansing, Church VIP Hosting director.

During Adan’s visit to Church headquarters and Temple Square September 7-8, she toured Welfare Square and the Humanitarian Center, where she happened to meet a worker from Somaliland whose father was an acquaintance of Adan’s, and met with Sister Sharon Eubank, first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency and director of Latter-day Saint Charities worldwide. Adan also enjoyed a demonstration by principle organist of The Tabernacle Choir Richard Elliott on the Pioneer-era Tabernacle organ.

After meeting with Matt Eyring and John Wilson about BYU Pathway Worldwide, a program that improves lives through access to spiritually based, online affordable higher education, Adan said, “I am overdosing on emotions.”

In addition to attending a luncheon at the World Trade Center hosted by Miles Hansen and meeting with the state of Utah’s Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Adan attended an interfaith roundtable discussion with Avais Ahmed, chair of the board of the Utah Muslim Civic League, and Iman Adad Atar of the Somalia mosque in Salt Lake City, who gave Adan a quick tour of the mosque.

The visit concluded with a dinner with General Authority Seventies Elder S. Mark Palmer and Elder Anthony D. Perkins, and Utahns Dave and Laurea Stirling, who donated a hospital in Somaliland that was dedicated in May.

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