News Release

Elder David A. Bednar: Latter-day Saint Apostle Makes First Visit  to Three African Countries

Thousands Rejoice in Listening to an Apostle of God

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles emphasized the simple truths taught by Jesus Christ at gatherings of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Senegal, Guinea and Mali from May 21-23, 2017.


“We are all brothers and sisters of a Heavenly Father who loves us,” he said. “Every father and mother hearing my voice want the best for their children. Heavenly Father wants the same for each of us. God provided a plan for us. Knowing we are His children changes everything, it gives us direction and purpose.”

Elder Bednar’s visit was historical—the first time an Apostle of the Church of Jesus Christ has traveled to these three countries in West Africa to meet with Latter-day Saints and others.

As part of this visit, Elder Bednar met with a small group of Latter-day Saints on the morning of May 22 at Les Mamelles Lighthouse situated near Cap Vert, the westernmost point of Africa, on the outskirts of Dakar, Senegal. He offered a special prayer, asking God to bless the people of Senegal with faith to hear and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Elder Bednar noted the symbolism of this lighthouse, as well as the sculpture of man, woman and child on a nearby hilltop, when he shared thoughts with those gathered for the occasion.
“Blessings will be showered down from Heaven as the people of Senegal exercise faith in Christ,” said Elder Bednar prior to offering the prayer. 


Elder Bednar was joined by his wife, Sister Susan Bednar, as well as Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Jan Robbins.

Elder Terence M. Vinson, President of the Africa West Area of the Church, and Elder Marcus B. Nash, first counselor in the Area Presidency, with their wives, Kay Anne Vinson and Shelley Nash accompanied the Bednars and Robbins as they met Church members and friends of other faiths in Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ghana and Nigeria.

After arriving in Bamako, Mali, these Church leaders traveled by car to Tabakoro where a group of more than 250 people anxiously awaited them. The group consisted of 17 Latter-day Saints who meet every Sunday in an outdoor building that was once a chicken coop. The remainder often attend Sunday worship services with neighbors, many learning the teachings of the Church for the first time.


Over a ten-day period, the Church leaders conducted leadership and other meetings in the Uyo, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Enugu Stakes (groups of Latter-day Saint congregations) located in Nigeria. Meetings were also held with local Church leaders, Latter-day Saints and full-time missionaries throughout West Africa. 


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