Our Heritage: Brother Kenneth and Sister Janet Andam of Ghana

Our Heritage: Brother Kenneth and Sister Janet Andam of Ghana

Sister Andam

Two friends first introduced Janet Andam to a group called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1978 in Kweikuma. This was one of several ‘branches’ of the church which had been established prior to the official presence of the Church in Ghana. The particular congregation she began to attend with her friends at that time was led by a Sister Rebecca Mould who was considered a prophetess. Although there were some LDS teachings it was more like other Pentecostal churches, with drumming, clapping and dancing.  Sister Mould had one copy of the Book of Mormon which she discussed with some of the elders, but not too much was shared with the congregation.  Janet felt welcomed, loved and at home in this new church. That same year, Sister Andam heard that Brother Dadzie, a member of the congregation, had written a letter to President Spencer W. Kimball in the United States requesting that the Church send missionaries.  During these years Joseph “Billy” Johnson had also been communicating with Salt Lake City.   Finally, word was sent that that missionaries were coming soon.

The first two missionaries came – Elders Cannon and Mabey and their wives.  They held an initial meeting with members of Rebecca Mould’s congregation.  The following day, December 12, 1978, Janet Andam along with 200 others of the congregation were interviewed and were baptized at Sekondi.

Following the baptisms, the congregation was instructed to discontinue their practices of removing shoes prior to entering the building, as well as dancing, drumming and clapping.  They were instructed in the ways in which meetings were to be conducted.  The Church was properly organized under the Priesthood.  Sister Rebecca Mould became the Relief Society President.   However, confusion and dissatisfaction ensued.  Sister Mould was unhappy that “brethren” had taken over “her” church and “her” building.  She and many members split from the Church and their newly organized branch.  Thus, the branch, with its remaining members, began to meet elsewhere.  Sister Andam did not attend either and went back to her former Methodist Church.   Although she was often invited by Brother Dadzie to return, she did not do so for several years.

Brother Andam

Brother Andam had always loved the gospel having attended the Methodist church with his parents.  As he grew up, he became dissatisfied with some of the doctrines and began seeking for the truth.  He tried to understand the doctrines taught in other churches but was not satisfied.  In about 1983, Kenneth came upon a book, The Gospel Principles, which belonged to a co-worker.  Finding that several others of his colleagues were also members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints, Brother Andam read other pamphlets and Articles of Faith by James Talmage.  He began attending the church and felt he was on the right path at last.  However, a five month assignment in Accra took him away at this time.  Upon his return, Brother Andam re-joined the members and was baptized on August 11, 1984.

The Discovery

Janet relates that her husband told her in 1984 that he had found the true church.  When she inquired about which church it was, his reply was “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.”  She reminded him that she had attended that same church years earlier.  However, Janet did not immediately begin worshiping with her husband.  After the branch moved to a new location, the Takoradi Polytechnic, Janet decided to attend with Kenneth one Sunday.  There she became re-acquainted with many members whom she had known years earlier.  They were so happy to see her back.  Two missionaries were assigned to home-teach the Andam family.  It was during these discussions that Janet heard and understood the principles and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which she had not previously done.  She says, “It was like something I had heard from my parents and now they tell me the same thing.  And they always told us to pray for the Spirit to testify of the truthfulness of the Gospel.  So, whenever they left our home, my husband and I would discuss what we were taught.  And we felt that what they were teaching us was true.”  “Compared to my former church, this doctrine was deeper.  I loved it with all of my heart.  The Holy Ghost testified to me that what they were teaching me was true.”  Janet now knew what the baptismal covenants meant.  Their children were all baptized as time went on and all remain faithful members of the Church.

Sister Andam related that through the very difficult period known as the “Freeze” in Ghana (1989), during which the government did not allow the Church to operate or meet, she faced a dilemma.  She asked herself, “Should I go back to my former church?  Should my husband, who holds the Priesthood, organize our family and continue to meet and have the sacrament in our home?”   She wanted a group of Saints to meet with so why was the government doing this if it was the true Church?  As is wonderfully common in Africa, Janet had a dream which settled the issue for her.  Through this dream she knew what she should do.  In the dream she was told “My children, never, never go back.  You are on the right direction….You will not find it easy but at the end of it all of you will be happy.”   Upon awakening, she told Kenneth, “I’m not going to any other place.  I am going to remain until the Church re-opens.  We’re going to have our sacrament meeting at home –do everything at home.   The “Freeze” was lifted eighteen months later in November, 1990.

Brother Andam relates how the Gospel has changed his life:  “I had already felt the need to conform my life to the style that the Lord would want me to.  But then the gospel added a lot of knowledge to what I knew already and how best I can serve.  It has made me more humble.  It has made me have a desire to seek the welfare of people around me…to know that every single person I meet is a child of God and therefore the sort of treatment that I should give that person should be the sort of treatment that I should give to myself.  Again, it has given me the hope and knowledge that if I live my life according to the desires of the Lord, according to the gospel that He has brought to us, I will have an opportunity to live with my Father in Heaven and his beloved Son Jesus Christ after this life.  It has made me more aware of the relationship between my wife and me.  If we live our lives well, we will see ourselves together again after this life and live forever and ever.

The Andams have served faithfully in many callings through the past thirty years.  They currently serve in the Accra Ghana Temple Presidency as First Counselor and Assistant Matron.