“Elder Joseph W. Sitati,” Liahona, May 2009, 137
Elder Joseph Wafula Sitati believes that happiness comes by doing the simple things of the gospel over and over again. “I don’t second-guess the counsel of our Church leaders,” he says. “When I do what they ask, things always work out fine.” Doing those simple things is what unites us with our Savior, he says, and “the essence of that unity begins with our families.”
Born on May 16, 1952, in Bungoma, Kenya, to Nathan and Lenah Sitati, Elder Sitati was 34 when a business associate invited him, his wife, Gladys Nangoni, and their five children to attend church in his home. The family had become disillusioned with organized religion but felt something special with this small group of Latter-day Saints. So they returned week after week. Six months later, in 1986, the family joined the Church.
“Even before we were baptized they asked us to give talks and to teach in church,” he says. He felt compelled to know that what he was saying in front of his children was correct. Slowly he came to recognize the Spirit, and staying connected with the Spirit has been a constant goal.
Elder Sitati earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nairobi in 1975; he also holds a diploma in accounting and finance. He worked in several positions with a global oil and gas company. More recently he served as the Church’s international director of Public Affairs in Africa.
Elder and Sister Sitati were married in July 1976 and sealed in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple in December 1991. They reside in Nairobi, Kenya.
At the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy, Elder Sitati was serving as president of the Nigeria Calabar Mission. Before that, he served as a counselor in both a branch and mission presidency and as a branch president, district president, stake president, and Area Seventy.