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Elder Emmanuel Abu Kissi to discuss religion in Ghana at BYU March 28

Area Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Emmanuel Abu Kissi, an Area Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will discuss "Christianity, Islam and Mormonism in Ghana" at the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium at Brigham Young University on Monday, March 28, from 1-3 p.m.

The public is invited to attend this free lecture sponsored by BYU Studies and the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History.

Elder Kissi received medical training and joined the Church of Jesus Christ in England, then returned to Ghana and established the Deseret Hospital. He was instrumental in helping establish the Church in Ghana.

Between 1980 and 2001, Elder Kissi 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.

Elder Kissi is the author of "Walking in the Sand: A History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ghana."

"Walking in the Sand" is a Ghanaian expression meaning "alive and well," and the book contains everything from the unique beginnings of the Church in West Africa to the dedication of the Accra Ghana Temple earlier this year.

With Church growth came persecution and rumors that both the organization and the missionaries were American spies. In June 1989, the Ghanaian government instituted an 18-month "freeze," forcing all official Church activities to cease.

According to Kissi, "Congregating in meetinghouses was prohibited by decree, so most members met in their homes and in small groups to study the scriptures, sing and administer the sacrament." On a few occasions, members of the Church were arrested and held overnight on charges of holding meetings.

The "freeze" was lifted Dec. 1, 1990. The number of congregations in Ghana has since multiplied. There are now 57 congregations and nearly 24,000 members of the Church in the country. The first temple was dedicated in February 2004.

For more information contact David Johnston at (801) 422-5194.

Writer: James McCoy

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