LDS Church creates first stake in Togo

By Elder Douglas Green Stoker

By Rebecca R. Stoker

For LDS Church News

Published: Thursday, Dec. 26 2013 9:05 a.m. MST

The stake center was filled to capacity as more than 800 members of the Church, missionaries, investigators, media and local tribal leaders listened to the new presidency address the congregation. President Edgeweblime and his counselors, Anani Kouegan and Boevi Edem Lawson, all expressed deep appreciation for the gospel in their lives and for the opportunity to help the work move forward.

“We may not see the importance of it now, but the formation of the Lomé stake will be a great blessing to Togo,” the new stake president, Kcodgoh Laurent Edgeweblime, said. “There are millions of people in our country who need to hear the word of God. The growth of the Church in Togo is a testament to how the gospel of Jesus Christ is spreading throughout the world.”

Members and missionaries alike shared their thoughts about the events of the day.

Y. Blaise, second counselor in the Attiegou Ward, said, “We have waited for this day for some time. I wanted to be present for the organization of the stake of Lomé, the first in the history of the Church in Togo.”

Elder Ounleu, Area Seventy for the French-speaking countries in West Africa, commented that when he first came to Togo to help organize the new mission, he had the impression it would be very successful. He expressed sincere gratitude for President and Sister Weed, noting that “they are for me angels sent to help do all this work.”

“My thoughts about this wonderful event are simple — God loves His children,” said Elder Ounleu. “I have seen His hand helping us during the conference. It is just the beginning of the growth of the Church in Lomé, Togo.

“We have faithful members who will move the Lord’s business forward. I have seen during the conference mothers, husbands and children being overjoyed. They strongly believe the stake will change their lives and protect their country.”

In his concluding remarks, Elder Vinson thanked the released district leaders, President Amegandji and his counselors, Mathieu Gbedevi and Koffi N’Sougan, for their service. Members of the congregation were reminded that, even though a new stake has been formed, there is still much to do.

“To have the opportunity of presiding at the creation of Togo’s first stake was a marvelous experience,” Elder Vinson said after the conference. “To feel the Lord guiding me and Elder Ounleu in the identification of the man the Lord Himself had already chosen to be the president of the stake is a wonderful privilege.”

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