Wednesday, May 31, 2017

LDS Apostle Visits Guinea, Mali, and Senegal

Elder David A. Bednar became the first LDS apostle to visit the West African nations of Guinea, Mali, and Senegal on a recent trip to the region between May 21st-23rd. A recent article on the Ghana Mormon Newsroom site reported that Elder Bednar met with members of the Dakar Branch in Senegal and offered a special prayer in which he appeared to dedicate the country for missionary work. Elder Bednar also visited with a group of 17 Latter-day Saints and 250 prospective members in the rural village of Tabakoro, Mali. There are now two member groups that operate in Mali at present, including another group that has functioned for several years in Ouélessébougou. Unfortunately, the article does not give any information regarding the Church or Elder Bednar's visit to Guinea. This visit may signal plans in the near future to officially establish LDS congregations in Mali and Guinea, and begin formal missionary activity in Senegal. Currently there are seven West African nations without an official LDS presence, including Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger.

11 comments:

Christopher Nicholson said...

Captions for a couple of the pictures describe "church leaders from Guinea", so evidently there is at least one group there.

Bryan Baird said...

I think maybe a year or two a mission might be organized in that area
One that may seem more likely could be the Senegal Dakar Mission

James said...

This is amazing and inspiring news. Elder Bednar has long been one of my favorite apostles. It was great to hear about the progress these nations are making in the gospel. This is bound to be a very important step in furthering the work in these nations. While I cannot guess how soon formal congregations or missions might be established in these areas, this report gives me a lot of hope that we could see major progress going forward. Thanks for this report, Matt!

John Pack Lambert said...

I have to admit that I would love to see a mission for this area, and I could see lots of advantages to such an approach. However I could also see it being administered from either a mission based in Sierra Leone or Ivory Coast. Ivory Coast has the advantage of a shared official language, while Sierra Leone has a similar situation of a majority Muslim population.

We will see what happens.

Eduardo Clinch said...

A US embassy in countries like these could have some church members, who would normally be set apart as group leaders and probably maintain LDS services without branches or wards and missions. Until now, hopefully.
Let these nations open up! About time.
I always have felt that if more people had applied to serve missions in higher numbers countries like Guinea would have opened a while ago. It still will, but we as a people are not as diligent as we should be.

James said...

I fully agree with your assessment, Eduardo. I do not find it in any way coincidental that at least one general conference talk every six months focuses on the importance of missionary work, and serves as a plea for those who are able to serve to do so. My brother is one who did not serve a mission. During his teenage years, he kind of fell in with the wrong kinds of crowds, being much more of a follower than a leader. His church attendance stopped, and while he was able to meet and later marry a fairly nice young lady, the problem is that she has little interest and even a certain degree of hostility towards the Church, primarily because of the Church's stance about same-sex marriage. And their situation has gotten to the point where he has put in a request to have his Church membership withdrawn. He says they still pray at times, but the decisions that they are making and the lack of proper values they are instilling in my brother's daughter (whom he did not know about until roughly the time when my brother and his girlfriend were getting more serious about getting married. I have often thought of my brother in light of the statement by John Taylor: "If you do not magnify your calling, God will hold you responsible for those you might have saved, had you done your duty." My brother somehow allowed worldly things to draw him away from doing what he should have. He has turned his back almost completely on religion, at first claiming he was trying to find out which Church would work for him, but more recently asserting that religious membership was not necessary for him or his family. I have a horrible feeling that all this will come back to haunt him, but, unfortunately, he doesn't seem to appreciate the importance or value of these things, and has adopted the attitudes of his wife and her family concerning certain moral and ethical positions. And they both now either avoid our family because they feel we have no common ground, or else just do brief visits. I hope that my brother and the family he now has will one day see how wrong and self-defeating he and his mindset has been, but unless something drastic happens to change all of that, I don't see it as a possibility. And it breaks my heart to hear of some that are avoiding missionary service for any reason. One of my wife's nephews is of missionary age, but because his parents are not active, and because they are not encouraging him to go, he has stated to many of us that he doesn't feel like missionary service is something he can handle. Since my wife and I are sure he would go if he had parental support and encouragement, and if he could be sure that there would be someone to take his two younger sisters to Church every week, I am hoping that, in his case, any blame for his not going will rest on the shoulders of his parents. I love all of these family members but cannot condone the poor choices they have made, are making, and will make. It will be interesting to see the moment come when they will realize what their poor choices has messed up. I know a lot of young men don't serve in view of concerns that they could get past if they chose to, and in their case too, there will be an accountability for those they might have saved had they served. So I fully understand and agree with your statement, Eduardo. Sorry for the unintentional sermon.

In other news, a third attempt to fix the problems that arose when people tried to comment on my blog appear to have been fixed. You can find all the latest posts at the link below. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope I got this fixed correctly this time. Enjoy! I look forward to regular discussions resuming there. Thanks to you all for this great conversation and for letting me be a part of it.

http://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Ohhappydane33 said...
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Ohhappydane33 said...
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Eduardo Clinch said...

Sorry not everyone can be published on this site. Some of us bemoan when those who could be missionaries do not go because we see the benefit for billions by their service, and the Godly self benefit and blessings for them, our siblings, cousins, and friends. It seems all lose out.
Unless you think it is a waste in the first place, which there are plenty who do that. The Salt Lake Tribune has hordes in their comments section alone.

John Pack Lambert said...

There is no reason to expect it to only be US embassies that have LDS members. I would more expect in Guinea to see it with the Nigerian or Ghanaian embassy.

Eduardo Clinch said...

Good point about other than US embassies and consulates, and even US and non-American NGOs, charities, commercial ventures, etc. LDS can be in these countries from many different places, including foreign living native born nationals.
But missionaries would certainly bring growth to these nations and kindreds.