The message of the restored gospel is very strong here in Alexandria, Virginia – especially among the local Ghanaians. Many have joined the church recently and it is invigorating to feel of their testimonies.
This missionary experience recently occurred to three Elders serving in my city. I learned of this experience through my bishop and it has been posted on our mission’s blog. The original was a letter from one missionary to President Albright. I have copied it as I received it. The bolding is mine for emphasis.
Dear President Albright,
Elder Davie, Elder Harper, and I were at church on Sunday two weeks ago. As we prepared to walk into the Mt. Vernon Ward sacrament meeting, a recent convert named Patrick Onoche, a Ghanaian, approached us with another man, also from Ghana. Patrick introduced us to the man as his uncle. As we discussed the gospel with this visitor, we discovered that he is actually a Prince from Ghana’s Ashanti Tribe. His name is Oheneba [Prince] Osa Kyme. Here are the interesting facts about this prince: The Ashanti Tribe, with over 3 million members, is the largest and most powerful tribe in Ghana. He and his family are the actual caretakers for the numerous idols and shrines owned by the King of the Ashanti. He was born into royalty and it has been his life-long duty to protect the King’s shrines and idols. He is now about 75 years old. He showed us photos of the idols and the King with his family. His passport also confirmed that he was a tribal leader.
Last month he was asked by the King of the Ashanti to come to America to purchase a new idol from the gold dealers and craftsmen in New York City. As he arrived at the meeting in New York to acquire the new items, he heard a voice tell him that “you will not find salvation by worshipping [sic] these idols.”
As he pondered on the words that had come into his mind, he remembered the warm and sacred feelings he had experienced when he had driven past the LDS Temple in Accra, Ghana. He recalled feeling that our Temple was a sacred and a holy place. He then remembered that his nephew Patrick Onoche had joined the LDS Church in Virginia last year (baptized by Elder Doman) so rather than continuing on with his meetings with the gold dealers, he felt a strong desire to fly to Virginia where he met with Patrick. Patrick immediately taught his uncle about the restoration of the gospel and brought him to attend Sacrament meeting the next day where we met him. After he came to church and learned more about the gospel he told us that he wanted to be baptized and that he would not return to Ghana until he was a member of the true Church.
We met with him every day last week to make sure he fully understood the covenants he will be making with God before he returns to his homeland. After he attended church for two weeks we held a special baptism for him on Jan. 9, 2011, just three days before he flew home to Ghana. He delayed his flight for several days to accommodate the instructions you provided that he attend church for at least two weeks before his baptism. Oheneba intends on resigning from his royal position as caretaker of the King’s idols upon returning home, so he can spread the Gospel among his people. We tried to persuade him that maybe he should just care for the idols as a custodian but not worship them. However, he was adamant that he wants to spread the gospel and give up his leadership position with the Ashanti Tribe. He said he was willing to give up all his possessions to become a member of Christ’s true church because he is more worried about his family’s salvation than property.
President, it has truly been a blessing to meet Oheneba and teach him the gospel with the help of Elder Davie and Elder Harper. Thank you for coming to help teach him and baptize him. We have already heard from Oheneba that the elders in Ghana have made contact with him.
What a remarkable story. It reminds me of King Lamoni’s father from the Book of Mormon – who was willing to give up his entire (and probably lengthy) previous life just for the truthfulness of the Gospel when he heard it preached from Aaron:
Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy (See Alma Chapter 22).
Ladies and gentlemen, the fullness of Christ’s gospel, including the priesthood power, temple blessings, and all the rites and ordinances necessary for salvation, has been restored to the earth in these latter-days. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the face of the earth that embodies the fullness of these blessings. That I know for certain. It is very heartwarming to see the message of the Restoration spread throughout the entire world – even among the nobles in foreign countries.
If you or someone you know has questions regarding the LDS church, feel free to ask representatives who will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
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