Members of the Soweto Branch, Johannesburg South Africa Stake, are proving that the Savior's love and gospel ties are stronger than the violence and suffering that have affected their area for years and resulted in the tragic deaths of hundreds.
Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Seventy and president of the new Africa Area of the Church and his wife, Marian, recently visited the branch consisting of approximately 100 active members in the black township, 20 minutes by car from Johannesburg.Elder Lindsay applauded the leadership of South Africa Johannesburg Mission Pres. Peter Mourik and stake Pres. David Barnett for encouraging and supporting the Soweto Branch during recent times of great trial and turmoil in the area.
"The cooperation that exists between the stake and mission leaders and the faithful saints of Soweto can be a model for an entire nation which so desperately needs the pure love of Christ as its guide in the relationships of its people," Elder Lindsay noted.
Mission and stake leaders meet regularly with branch leaders and members assisting their efforts to provide all the blessings of Church affiliation to members of the branch. Stake and branch leaders look forward to the day when branch members have their own meetinghouse in which to worship, rather than the humble school facility where they presently meet, Elder Lindsay said.
Several members of the branch were recently endowed, and some are serving as ordinance workers in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, according to temple Pres. Charles Canfield.
Elder Lindsay reported, "It thrilled our souls to hear the Soweto saints conclude an especially spiritual sacrament meeting by singing with great emotion and beautiful harmony, without benefit of organ or piano: `And soon we'll have this truth to tell, all is well, all is well.' "