News Release

Former Missionaries Receive Instruction in Harare

Mormon missionaries who recently returned from serving missions throughout the world, received instruction from one of their world leaders

Arriving in Harare Friday 17 October were several general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including one of the Twelve Apostles, Quentin L. Cook. Accompanying Elder Cook, were L. Whitney Clayton, of the Presidency of the Quorum of Seventy, and Gary L. Stevenson, Presiding Bishop of the Church. Wives of these visiting authorities also joined them. Throughout their visit to Zimbabwe, leaders will hold various meetings, such as the one held on Friday with returned missionaries. Audiences will include local priesthood leaders, women, young adults and youth.

Speaking to the group of over 200 young men and women who had recently returned from their missionary service, Sister Clayton began her opening remarks by saying, “I am proud, like a mother, for all of the work you have done to serve.” She expressed her excitement about attending this first formal meeting since arriving on the African continent.

Under the direction of Elder Clayton, an open discussion session was held addressing questions regarding marriage, church inactivity, temples, self-reliance, & expectations after missionary service. Sister Clayton, responding to a question from a young woman about fear of marriage said, “It is a risk worth taking.  Good men will get better; good women will get better. You don’t marry a finished product!” Elder Clayton counselled young men to help take care of their children, their home & their wife. He stated, “Your job as a man is to make sure your wife is happy…period.” Also participating in the panel discussion was Elder Walter Chatora, of the Quorum of Seventy, a native of Zimbabwe.

Counsel was given regarding how these young people, who faithfully & voluntarily served missions for the Church, should now be conducting their lives. The importance of getting an education was stressed, as well as being an example for good, both at home and in their communities.

The Mormon Church places a great deal of importance on family and family values. The young men and women in attendance at this meeting seemed anxiously engaged in wanting to live their lives in such a way that they will make a difference in the world.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently has over 88,000 missionaries serving throughout the world, with over 200 in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission. Of those 200, over half are native Zimbabweans. Young men typically begin mission service at age 18-19, and serve for two years. Young women may serve at age 19, for a period of 18 months.

In his closing remarks, Elder Clayton stated, “God does not promise riches to everyone on the earth…not yet! But, God promises everything he has in the life to come if you keep his commandments and work to earn the blessings you deserve.”

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