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Bright day for youth in Ghana

Program was opportunity for youth to 'have some fun'

ACCRA, Ghana — With song and dance, children and youth performed in a cultural program, "A Day of Celebration," Jan. 10, on the afternoon preceding the dedication of the Accra Ghana Temple.

The program, the first of its kind in Ghana, was requested by President Gordon B. Hinckley, who said that he wanted to see the children and youth "have some fun, to have a great time."

Nearly 2,000 children and youth filled a large stage in the stadium, taking turns as stakes and districts to perform. Colorful costumes, music on bamboo flutes and drums accompanied dancers and singers. The crowd cheered and clapped. Special guests, including chiefs and tribal leaders, smiled and kept time with the music. President Hinckley smiled — a lot.

Large murals painted by a local member, Fortunatus Acolatse (FoJig) adorned the stage. The narration centered on Kwaku Ananse, the legendary "curious little spider" who searched for all the good things in the world. At one point, a mural of the Accra Ghana Temple was unfurled as Primary children sang "I Love to See the Temple."

Two highlights of the program came when full-time missionaries stood on the stage and sang "Called to Serve," and 850 Primary children, dressed in white, walked along the stadium's track and took their places on the stage and sang "I Am a Child of God." Many in the audience, including President Hinckley, became misty eyed.

In the last session of the temple's dedication, President Hinckley mentioned how much he enjoyed seeing the children and youth perform.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, center, is joined at performance by his wife, Marjorie, right, and Eld
President Gordon B. Hinckley, center, is joined at performance by his wife, Marjorie, right, and Elder Russell M. Nelson. | Photo by David M.W. Pickup

Seeing those children dressed in white, said Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy and Africa West Area president, represents the future of the Church in Ghana, a generation that will grow up with the blessings of the temple as they are sealed to their parents. Elder Emmanuel Abu Kissi, Area Authority Seventy, welcomed people to the "Day of Celebration" event. The opening prayer was by Emmanuel O. Opare, a former Area Authority Seventy; the closing prayer was by Agnex Xaxagbe.

Sister Joyce Wall assists Gertrude Carlis-Tagoe as she sings solo as part of Primary chorus.
Sister Joyce Wall assists Gertrude Carlis-Tagoe as she sings solo as part of Primary chorus. | Photo by David M.W. Pickup
Desmond Ahwireng, 12, performs the legendary "curious little spider," who searched for all the good
Desmond Ahwireng, 12, performs the legendary "curious little spider," who searched for all the good things in the world. | Photo by David M.W. Pickup
Nearly 2,000 youth from Ghana, a generation that will grow up with the blessings of the temple, perf
Nearly 2,000 youth from Ghana, a generation that will grow up with the blessings of the temple, performed music and dance in celebration of the temple dedication. | Photo by David M.W. Pickup
Emotional moment during performance came when missionaries sang.
Emotional moment during performance came when missionaries sang. | Photo by David M.W. Pickup

E-mail: gerry@desnews.com

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