“Cyprus Dedicated for Preaching of Gospel,” Ensign, Feb. 1994, 74–75
As the sun rose on the morning of Tuesday, September 14, 1993, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve dedicated the Mediterranean island of Cyprus for the preaching of the gospel.
“The rising of the sun was wonderfully symbolic,” Elder Wirthlin noted. “The dedication represented a new day for these wonderful people: a new day of peace, salvation, and eternal life is now possible. The dedication site was also near the National Monument of Freedom, which was wonderfully symbolic.”
Witnessing the dedication, which took place in a grove of olive trees on a hillside in the city of Nicosia, was Elder Wirthlin’s wife, Elisa; Elder Hans B. Ringger of the Seventy, second counselor in the Europe/Mediterranean Area presidency; Elder Ringger’s wife, Helene; President Blaine C. Tueller and Sister Jean Marie Tueller of the Greece Athens Mission; and a small group of missionaries and members of the Cyprus Branch.
“There is a great spirit among the people there,” said Elder Wirthlin. “It’s interesting that this island was actually the crossroads of early Apostles. It was the birthplace of Barnabas, and a refuge for the Saints of the early Church.”
In the dedicatory prayer, Elder Wirthlin prayed that “the government of this country will open its doors to the missionaries who will be sent here. … May these marvelous Saints … be a catalyst around which strong units of Thy Church will be established. Let Thy Spirit be poured out upon the inhabitants of this land.
“We are mindful at this hour of the many conflicts suffered over the years, but we also know that the gospel of Jesus Christ can and will heal the wounds if the people follow the principles of the gospel.”
Cyprus is located about forty miles south of Turkey and sixty miles west of Syria in the eastern Mediterranean. The island, which is about 60 miles long and 140 miles wide, is the third largest in the area. Currently, the island branch includes twenty-six members, with investigators regularly attending meetings.