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Elder Emmanuel Abu Kissi to discuss LDS Church in West Africa April 8

Elder Emmanuel Abu Kissi, an Area Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will discuss the growth of the Church in West Africa Thursday, April 8, at 11 a.m. in the Harold B. Lee auditorium at Brigham Young University.

Elder Kissi received his medical training in England, after which he returned to Ghana and established the Deseret Hospital. Between 1980 and 2001, he served as the first president of the Accra Branch, as district president, as acting president of the Ghana Accra Mission, as a regional representative and as a counselor in the Ghana mission presidency.

In 2001, Elder Kissi was called as an Area Authority Seventy.

The establishment of the Church in West Africa has a unique history: long before the 1978 revelation that extended the priesthood to all worthy males, unofficial congregations patterned after the Church and calling themselves Latter-day Saints had formed in West Africa.

Soon after President Spencer W. Kimball announced the revelation in 1978 extending the priesthood to all worthy male members of the Church, senior missionary couples arrived in Ghana, and within a year 400 people were baptized.

In June 1989, the Ghanaian government instituted an 18-month "Freeze," forcing all Church activities to cease. Since the Freeze was lifted, the number of stakes has multiplied, and this year a temple was dedicated.

"Walking in the sand," a Ghanaian expression meaning "alive and well," aptly describes the Latter-day Saints in Ghana.

For more information, contact John Welch of BYU Studies at (801) 422-3168.

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Photo by Mark A. Philbrick/BYU Photo

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