African Continent Stake Conference is Held
Sister Edy Howes
A remarkable unity fell over Africa as conferences were held in sixty-six stakes and fifty-nine districts throughout the continent on Sunday, November 18. The proceedings, which originated in the Conference Centre in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, were broadcast to congregations via DVD in Amharic, Lingala, English, French, Portuguese, Malagasy, and Swahili.
Church President Thomas S. Monson, Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Craig A. Cardon of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and Sister Mary N. Cook of the General Young Women’s presidency spoke in the conference.
President Thomas S. Monson encouraged members to join the ranks of the “fishers of men”. Many feel isolation’s despair- especially the elderly. Home teachers and visiting teachers must first be a sincere friend to those whom they teach.
President Monson invited each to reach out to the aged, the less active, the handicapped, and to all who are in need. He reminded that love is the binding balm and language of the heart.
Elder D. Todd Christofferson dedicated the country of Angola in 2010. He urged those at conference to respond to four of the teachings of President Thomas S. Monson:
-Serve as a missionary. He especially encouraged couples to work to find a way to serve a mission.
-Rescue those who have strayed from the safety of the gospel.
-Marry and raise a family. Education and work will never be as important as marriage and family.
-Church and family must unite to strengthen youth.
Elder Craig A. Cardon, formerly a member of the Africa West Area Presidency for five years, drew upon his experiences in Africa. He told of a meeting in a humble facility in Africa.
A two-year-old boy kept busy during the meeting gathering one hymnbook at a time and stacking it on the podium. He had to reach higher with each added book. Finally the teetering stack was too tall as he stretched to add yet another book. The toddler’s father then came from the congregation and lifted him up to place the book on the stack.
Elder Cardon concluded that when you have done all you can do, Heavenly Father will lift you up to do one more thing.
Sister Mary N. Cook of the General Young Women’s presidency based her remarks on the theme “Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations.” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5) The light of the gospel brings hope to everyone.
She encouraged the Young Women and all attending the conferences to do four things every day:
-Read scriptures- especially the Book of Mormon.
-Obey the commandments
Elder Cardon conducted the pre-recorded meeting. Each stake and district held individual leadership and adult conference sessions on Saturday, November 17. Sunday’s opening and closing hymns and prayers, as well as stake and district business were conducted prior to and following the DVD presentation.