Following the Counsel of Prophets Brings Blessings

Following the Counsel of Prophets Brings Blessings

After working for the government as a mapmaking expert for 22 years and then for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 11 ½ years as an Area Facilities Planning Manager, Isaac Andoh-Kesson’s retirement day finally arrived. At a devotional held at the area office building in Accra on 29 September 2014, colleagues paid tribute to Brother Andoh-Kesson as a man of integrity. Elder Daniel Yirenya-Tawiah, the Area Facilities Manager, commented, “Sometimes we think that cutting the corners very short makes things easier, but Brother Isaac is a man of integrity who did not do this. He will insist on doing the right thing, sometimes to the displeasure of many. His preoccupation is to please the Lord.”

Raised in Cape Coast, Isaac came to Accra for schooling in cartography (mapping) when he was 20 years old (1975-78). His schooling was sponsored by the government and the UN, a great help in getting the education he needed. Although Isaac was aware of the Church and had met Billy Johnson, one of the earliest Church pioneers in Ghana who stayed in his parent’s home occasionally, he expressed no interest in attending church. He did wonder why there were so many churches. At one point, he had planned on being a priest in the Anglican Church. He wanted to make sure he was a priest in the right church.

When his niece, Lily, was going to be blessed in the LDS Church, his mother was unable to be there, Brother Andoh-Kesson stepped in for his mom and attended the blessing. This was a positive experience for him and started him thinking. He read the pamphlet by Elder Mark E. Petersen, “Which Church is Right”. This made an impression on him. Deciding to see for himself, he attended church. When he entered the church, he heard a familiar voice in his mind which said: “You are welcome home.” From there he never looked back. Isaac joined the Church in February of 1982 in Accra. 

Joining the church brought about a great change in him. He learned much from the Church. He felt that if he wanted the best of what God was offering, he needed to do the best in whatever he did. Brother Andoh Kesson’s basic disposition was to follow the commandments.  He made an effort to ensure he was honest. In the very early years, the counsel from the prophet was to be prepared. The following quotes are typical of direction given by leaders at that time.

“We also learn from the parable (of the 10 virgins) that preparation necessary to help them meet the immediate circumstances was a simple, everyday task. The arrival of the bridegroom did not require unusual or elaborate preparation. Our preparation should be deliberate and structured to meet today’s problems. We should prepare ourselves one step at a time as the Lord so inspires us.” Bishop Victor L. Brown “Preparation for Tomorrow,” October 1982

“I ask you earnestly, have you provided for your family a year’s supply of food, clothing and, where possible, fuel? The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah.”

In an effort to heed the counsel from Church leaders, he decided to look ahead twenty years and not get caught on the wrong foot. In order to be prepared, he needed to see his day of retirement and plan for it. He said, “Much was put in place financially so I would be able to enjoy this day. It took work and sacrifice. There will always come rough times. Follow the prophet’s counsel. It requires a lot of discipline, sacrifice and prudence.” Because he paid the price and worked hard and saved, he can be happy at this day of retirement. He encouraged young people to think ahead and prepare themselves for their day of retirement.          

Married in 1987 to his wife, Georgette, they have one son who is fourteen years old named Isaac. Other children were also raised in the Andoh-Kesson home. Many opportunities to serve in the Church came to Brother Andoh-Kesson. He served as a branch president for nine years, as a high  councilor and also as a counselor in a stake presidency. Since February of 2011, he has served as stake patriarch. He speaks of his Church service as having been very rewarding.  

Looking back on his career with the Church, Brother Isaac said, “It is an honor to be part of this work. Not many people have this privilege. We don’t work in isolation. Others helped me to find my feet. Even people in Salt Lake City helped me. Thanks to many people who helped me. I want to say a very big thank you. Without them, it would not have happened.” He mentioned several principles that had helped him in his career. Love, being generous, seeking inspiration, and sacrifice are important teachings that have had great impact in how he has lived his life.

Although Brother Andoh-Kesson has retired from his employment, he knows he will still be busy. He has not retired as a family man nor as a lively member of the church. There is still work to do.