Elder David A. Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with his wife, Susan K. Bednar, the Africa Southast Area President, Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, and second counsellor in the Area Presidency, Elder S. Mark Palmer and his wife, Jacqueline A. Palmer, visited church members of the Democratic Republic of Congo Lubumbashi. Many of the Saints in Lubumbashi had been preparing for months for this special visit. With friends, family and loved ones they gathered in large numbers, some in outside tents, and larger rooms in the meetinghouses where they watched the Apostle speak via live video streaming. He visited 3 congregations in Lubumbashi, Kolwezi and Likasi, not only teaching but giving the members the opportunity to ask him questions.
During his instruction Elder Bednar often mentioned how the members needed to prepare spiritually to receive the blessings of the temple currently being constructed in the DRC Kinshasa. He taught of the special promises they will make to the Lord in the temple and how they will be blessed by doing so. He also taught about the atonement of Jesus Christ and quoted from his talk given at the April 2016 General Conference titled, “Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins”. He expressed his love for them and the love that the Lord has for them.
This is what Elder Bednar said of his visit:
I recently returned from an inspiring assignment in Africa. The members of the Church on that beautiful continent are present-day pioneers helping to establish the Lord’s Church in their native lands.
Each time I visit, I am thrilled by the joy expressed as the African Saints sing the hymns of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As they sing, the light in their eyes, the smiles on their faces, and the joy in their voices illustrate how the atonement of Jesus Christ strengthens us to press forward in our lives with faith in the Savior.
During a meeting in Kumasi, Ghana, I was particularly touched by the testimonies of a 12-year-old boy and a teenage girl. Neither the young man nor young woman knew they were going to be called upon to share their testimonies of Jesus Christ, and their willingness and ability to express their testimony of the truths of His gospel were remarkable.
These faithful members—and all of us—face trials and challenges. But as we honor our covenants to always remember Him and keep His commandments, the Lord blesses us with increased capacity to do and become good. The Saints in Africa are living proof of this truth.