The International Conference Center in Accra, Ghana was filled to overflowing Sunday, April 23 2017 with members and friends of the Accra Ghana Christiansborg Stake and the Tema Ghana Stake, as well as two wards from the Accra Ghana Ashaiman Stake, who came to witness and sustain the organization of the Teshie Ghana Stake Because of the growth in membership in the area, it became necessary to divide some wards off of each stake, as well as two wards from the Ashaiman Stake, and join them together to create this new stake.
Elder Terence M. Vinson presided over the 10:00 A.M. session while President Isaac Kwabena Abankwah conducted the proceedings. A choir made up of members from both stakes performed beautiful hymns, both during the prelude and postlude, as well as during the meeting.
After the announcement and sustaining of the new ward assignments and leadership callings for the three stakes, several of the new officers were asked to bear their testimonies, and Stephen L. Graham, President of the Ghana Accra Temple spoke. Lethe Ann Kazeh-Anfo shared her thoughts on ‘How Repentance Can Help Me Everyday, and John Acquah spoke of his testimony of the gospel.
Following the interlude, Elder Raymond Idyo Egbo, recently sustained as an Area Seventy, spoke to the 50+ investigators in attendance and shared a quote by the Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. that the difference between the Latter-day Saints and all other churches is that we have the Holy Ghost. He said that when choosing whether to join the church the Spirit would bring the confirmation of it’s truthfulness into their hearts.
The capstone of the meeting came with the messages given first, by Sister Kay C. Vinson, and then Area President, Terence M. Vinson.
Sister Vinson remarked at how beautiful the choir both sang and looked, as they were dressed in the traditional Kente patterned fabrics. She expressed her love of the wonderful people of Africa and her gratitude for the many examples of faith she sees here. Her counsel was that we should make our decisions and choices through the direction of the Spirit of the Lord, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth everything because He gave everything for us.
Elder Vinson instructed in the process of calling a stake president, that it is not done by the high council or any group of men, but by inspiration of the Spirit. Interviews are carried out by two members of the Seventy, and the answers seldom come immediately, and both of them have to receive the revelation and be in agreement. Those chosen must be ordained with someone in authority. A letter from Elder Russell M. Nelson, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles sent a letter officially bestowing the keys and authority to perform the ordinations. This authorization was for this occasion only and would need to be granted in each new circumstance.
Elder Vinson concluded the meeting by reminding us of the story of Ammon and King Lamoni’s father. He pointed out that this king said he was willing to give up half his kingdom when pleading for his life, but when he heard the promise of forgiveness and redemption offered by Jesus Christ, he was willing to give everything to receive it. We have what this king begged for, but sometimes we hold back and then the Lord cannot bless us. We must be willing to give all to be saved through the merits of Jesus Christ. Nothing else is important.
This historic event was an inspiration to all in attendance.
Newly sustained Stake Presidencies:
President – Dennis Ocansey
1st Counselor – Earnest Gyampo
2nd Counselor – Augustine G. Adjei
President – Isaac Abankwah
1st Counselor – Charles Ajegbe
2nd Counselor – Frank Ata Mills
President – Jerry Nipah-Nipz
1st Counselor – Jacob Abbam
2nd Counselor – Jeffrey Botchway