News Release

Zimbabwean Youth Receive Instruction from LDS World Leaders

Hundreds of youth received counsel from world religious leaders during their tour of Africa

In two meetings held simultaneously in the Highlands Chapel and in the Marimba Park Chapel, youth (ages 12-18) received counsel from world leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Continuing their visit in Zimbabwe, Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder L. Whitney Clayton, of the Presidency of the Seventy, and members of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, Carl B. Cook and Stanley E. Ellis, instructed young people on how to conduct their lives. Leaders’ wives also presented at the meetings.

As young people gathered outside in anticipation of the upcoming meetings, several shared their enthusiasm for having an apostle visit their homeland. “I am so excited to hear what they have to tell us. I never thought I would be able to meet an apostle in person!” stated one smiling young girl. When a young man was asked what he was hoping to hear at the meeting, he shared, “I’d like to know how I can prepare myself for a mission and to become closer to Jesus Christ”.

In the panel discussion held at the Harare Stake building, some very thought-provoking and sensitive questions were posed by inquisitive, remarkable young people. Subjects such as temple blessings for part-member families, divorce, excommunication, and how to stand up for what you believe were addressed. Responses were given by panel members, including Elder L. Whitney Clayton and his wife. Also participating in the discussion were Elder Carl B. Cook and his wife.

The youth’s questions were answered directly and with love, as they were encouraged to be open with their families as they have discussions together. Leaders suggested that a good time to talk openly as a family is at Family Home Evening. Holding regular family counsels was also encouraged.

Responding to a question regarding how to prepare for a mission, Elder Clayton called one of the young men, “Eldon”, to come to the podium and join him. He asked Eldon, “When do you think you should start getting ready for a mission?” Eldon was reluctant to answer, when put on the spot in front of hundreds of his peers. Putting his arm around the young man, Elder Clayton declared, “You should be preparing now…not in a few years…but NOW!”

As the discussion on missionary service continued, Elder Carl B. Cook stated, “From the time this building (in Harare) was built in 1963, it is remarkable to see the growth from one little branch, to several wards and now many stakes…it is remarkable!” He said that Zimbabwe has a great reputation of sending wonderful and successful missionaries to serve throughout the world. “We LOVE to see missionaries from Zimbabwe!” Elder Cook cheerfully declared. He counselled the youth to make a commitment to serve the Lord and serve wherever He wants you to serve. Holding a missionary handbook and the Strength of Youth pamphlet up, he stated, “If missionaries follow what is in these two booklets, they will be more effective and successful missionaries.”

Several parents and youth leaders accompanied the young people to these meetings and all expressed gratitude for the counsel they received. They felt the love and support of their beloved leaders, and enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with them in person for such meaningful instruction. 

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