Africa-Press – Ghana. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has formally launched its Light the World initiative with a Christmas concert dubbed ‘Miracle of Christmas’, with a message of love and hope conveyed through beautiful songs.
Under the theme ‘Let Your Light Shine’, the initiative is an invitation to all to transform Christmas into a season of service and love just Jesus Christ did when He was on the earth. The musical presentation included musical groups from throughout the Accra area and was held at the Christianborg Stake Center on the grounds of the Accra Ghana Temple. The programme was presented to help the Accra community celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ through music and worship.
Light the World
Other activities lined up to commemorate Light the World initiative include a major launch event in Tamale in the Northern Region where more than 800 needy households would be presented with food packs on Thursday, November 30, 2023. In addition, there will be a visit to the Ya Na and a donation to the Tamale Children’s Home.
On December 11, 2023, another donation of food packs to 800 needy households will come off at Kasoa in the Central Region. From December 1 to 25, an activity dubbed 25WaysIn25Days will be marked with daily messages of doing good and putting smiles on the faces of everyone.
Have hope for the future
Speaking during the launch, Mr. Kojo Oppong-Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, who served as the special guest of honour said a reflection on the blessings of the past and hope for the future should give rise to an attitude of thankfulness.
“The yuletide coincides with the end of the year and it is a time to, first of all, be thankful for all that we have experienced thought the year. Another thing we should be at this time is hopeful, especially the young ones here are we still have the opportunity to do great things in the years ahead,” he added.
Mr. Oppong-Nkrumah admonished participants to be ‘grounded’ in their actions during the season to ensure that the outcomes of their actions remain consistent with the goal of the church. He also urged other organisations to emulate the action of the church by spreading gifts and joy among the poor and needy in the society.
Spreading love, joy, hope and peace
On his part, Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, General Authority Seventy and President of the Africa West Area of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints explained that the initiative was consistent with the church’s aim of spreading love, joy, hope and peace. “We want everyone to live Christ-like lives and share His love with others, we believe that everyone has a unique light within them, and we want to encourage you to let that light shine brightly,” he said.
Elder S. Gifford Nielsen stated that the Church of Jesus Christ has not relented on its positive engagements with the society in its years in the country and pledge future commitment.
Only last month, the Church of Jesus Christ donated items worth US$300,000 to constituencies affected by the Akosombo dam flooding. The items, conveyed in five large trucks, included medical supplies, food, emergency sanitation and bags of rice, mosquito nets, aquatabs, student mattresses with blankets, boots, boxes of canned mackerel, among others.
7th Miracle of Christmas
The programme included musical numbers by local choirs and soloists. Highlights included the ‘Twinkle Voices’, a choir of 40 children from Accra, and a performance by Elisha Joseph, a local musician who was one of those chosen to sing with the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square at the April 2023 General Conference. The musical programme concluded with all the performers gathering together to sing the closing number, O Come, O come, Emmanuel.
Over 1500 people attended the event on the Temple grounds and thousands viewed the programme throughout West Africa on-line on YouTube and Facebook. Attending the event were many civic, inter-faith, and traditional leaders from throughout Ghana including traditional leaders from the Ga kingdom and friends from the Muslim community.
After the musical programme, Elder Nielsen, along with Minister Oppong-Nkrumah and Ghanaian Ambassador to Belgium, Her Excellency Harriet Sena Siaw-Boateng, and all of other dignitaries, joined to switch on the Christmas lights that illuminated the Temple grounds.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints currently has more than 100,000 members with 29 stakes, 353 congregations that comprises 201 wards and 152 branches. It has four (4) missions, 10 districts, 75 FamilySearch Centres and one (1) Temple.
In 1978, Church President Spencer W. Kimball received a revelation extending priesthood ordination to all worthy men and directed that missionaries be sent to Ghana. Hundreds of believers were baptized, branches organized, and a mission established. For the next decade, the Church grew in Ghana at an accelerated pace.
In 1989–90, the government banned the activities of several religious organizations, including the Church. For more than a year, Ghanaian Saints continued to practice their faith in their homes. After the freeze ended, Saints continued to work to share the gospel and to build the Church. In 1998, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley visited Ghana and announced that a temple—the first in West Africa—would be built in Accra. The Accra Ghana Temple was dedicated in 2004.