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Elder Christofferson visits with government leaders in West Africa


During a recent visit to West Africa, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles met with government leaders in the Republic of The Gambia.

It was the first time an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has visited the country. Elder Christofferson arrived in the capital of Banjul on Wednesday, Feb. 23.

Elder Christofferson and his wife, Sister Kathy Christofferson; Elder S. Mark Palmer of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Sister Jacqueline Palmer; and Elder Larry S. Kacher of the Africa West Area Presidency and his wife, Sister Pauline Kacher, met with President Adama Barrow, Vice President Isatou Touray and first lady Fatoumatta Bah Barrow at the State House.

The first lady said, “It’s the mighty God [who] works in miracles. I’m happy about this visit and I hope this is a beginning. … And we will continue in strengthening and changing the lives of people of this country.”

Elder Kacher had attended Adama Barrow’s inauguration in January by invitation. He and Elder Hugo E. Martinez, General Authority Seventy and president of the Africa West Area, also recently gathered with Latter-day Saints in Gambia. 

Elder Christofferson and the other senior Church leaders traveled to several countries in West Africa from Feb. 19 to Feb. 28. They also met with government officials in Nigeria. Other countries in the visit included Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Elder Christofferson told Africa Newsroom that the outreach meetings provided an opportunity for the government leaders to “become better acquainted with us … and we can understand what their priorities are and where we can contribute.”

Elder Christofferson also conducted several leadership meetings with local Church leaders. He and other senior leaders offered instruction to stake, district and mission presidents in Lagos, Nigeria, on Feb. 19, then held another leadership meeting in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the next day. Leadership meetings were also held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, and Accra, Ghana.

Elder Christofferson said the meetings gave the senior Church leaders time to address questions from local leaders and to counsel together. Members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles plan to hold these meetings annually around the world, reported Newsroom.

It has been two years since an Apostle has visited the region. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles ministered in Africa before the pandemic began.

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