Ghana president visited by Pres. Hinckley

Impressed by temple's beauty, what it adds to the Accra area

ACCRA, Ghana — After dedicating the Accra Ghana Temple Jan. 11, President Gordon B. Hinckley paid a courtesy call on the nation's president, John Agyekum Kufuor.

The meeting took place in a large reception hall in Osu Castle, an 18th century edifice that serves as the president's administrative headquarters. President Hinckley was accompanied by Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Sheldon F. Child of the Seventy and president of the Africa West Area, Elder Emmanuel A. Kissi, an Area Authority Seventy who is a medical doctor in Ghana, and Georges Bonnet, director of the Ghana Service Center.

President Kufuor, who had traveled from Kumasi Sunday afternoon specifically to meet with President Hinckley, extended a warm welcome, saying that with "your temple rising in Accra, your church has gained citizenship in Ghana." He spoke of his visit to the temple during the open house and said that he was impressed by its beauty and what it adds to the area.

President Kufuor affirmed that Ghana's constitution promotes religious tolerance. "You will find Muslims, Hindus and many other religions. The happy news is that we all live together happily. We respect each other," he said.

He spoke of his visit to Salt Lake City in 2002 and said he was surprised with the orderliness and industry he found in such places as the Church's Humanitarian Center and Welfare Square, "where people could go to get support to keep body and soul together."

President Hinckley told President Kufuor, "We're trying to do good in Ghana. We have about 25,000 members of the Church here. We built this beautiful new temple, which adds to the tone of the city immensely, and other buildings. We try to be helpful, to lift the people, to help them in any way that we can. We have no ulterior motives. We don't expect anything from them, but to improve their lives, help them to live better, to be better. You'll find them to be good citizens of this nation."

The meeting was attended by members of President Kufuor's Council of State, key ministers, and the Secretary of the Council.

At the end of the visit, the national leader asked President Hinckley to offer a prayer. In the prayer, President Hinckley expressed gratitude "to be in this good land."

"We are grateful to be in this good land. We are grateful for freedom of worship here. We are grateful for the government, which conducts the affairs of this nation. We are grateful for President Kufuor and his great acts as leader of this nation. We thank Thee for his Cabinet, his ministers, and all who conduct the business of the government of this land. . . .

"May the people be blessed and prospered and saved from evil and trouble and sickness and disease."

He also asked for blessings to be upon President Kufuor and his council and ministers.

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