“Ivory Coast Grants Recognition of the Church,” Ensign, Aug. 1991, 76
On April 19, Elder Richard P. Lindsay of the Seventy, President of the Africa Area, announced recognition of the Church in the Ivory Coast, which is the center of French West Africa and a leading nation among its African neighbors. Elder Lindsay made the announcement at a special meeting for Church members in the Ivory Coast.
“What has taken place today is important to the future of the Church in the Ivory Coast, but what is more important is the spirit in the hearts of its members,” Elder Lindsay noted. “I promise that you will see a great outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord if you place first in your lives your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”
With the official recognition of the Church in the Ivory Coast, Elder Lindsay observed, more missionaries will be able to serve, and they will also be able to proselyte.
“We will see miracles performed if we are faithful,” he promised. “Be faithful, brothers and sisters, and the blessings of the temple will follow.”
The history of the Church in this small country is relatively short. Elder Marvin J. Ashton dedicated the land for the preaching of the gospel in September 1987. At the time there were sixteen members of the Church there. Today there are more than six hundred members in a country with an approximate population of five million people.
During the last four years, five missionary couples have served in the country, with the first missionaries arriving in April 1988. At the time, the Church was one of seventy-seven religious groups awaiting official government recognition.
Much of the Church growth in the nation can be attributed to member referrals. Several of the early Church members were converted in Europe and shared the gospel upon their arrival in the Ivory Coast.