“Cape Verde Dedicated by Elder Oaks,” Ensign, Nov. 1994, 111
In a prayer asking for specific blessings on the land and the people, Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated the Republic of Cape Verde, a string of ten islands and islets off the western coast of Africa.
Others at the September 14 dedication included Elder Oaks’s wife, June; Elder Hans B. Ringger of the Seventy, first counselor in the Europe Mediterranean Area presidency; Portugal Lisbon South Mission President W. Robert Coleman and his wife, Marilyn; and almost one hundred local members and missionaries.
“As I visited these islands and met their beautiful and wonderful people, I recalled the Lord’s assurance that he remembers those who are upon the isles of the sea,” said Elder Oaks after he returned from the visit (see 2 Ne. 29:7).
The islands in the republic, which are formed from volcanic rocks, are barren and quite dry. The dedication was held in Fifth of July Park, a park commemorating the date the republic gained its independence from Portugal in 1975. This park is one of the few places on the island with trees, Elder Oaks observed. Fresh water is also scarce in the republic.
In his dedicatory prayer, Elder Oaks asked that the deficiencies of the land might be overcome. He prayed for rain and food and blessed the land that it would provide for the people.
Elder Oaks also prayed for the people of the small republic, especially the members, that they would be helped to remember God’s commandments, that they would be strong in keeping those commandments, and that they might have vision and energy and freedom.
In dedicating the land for the preaching of the gospel, Elder Oaks prayed that the people might have the opportunity to accept the gospel and ordinances of salvation and to make covenants that would open the windows of heaven for unlimited blessings.
Of the 350,000 people living in Cape Verde, approximately 2,500 are members of the Church; there are three mission districts in the republic. In January 1989, two missionaries were sent to create a branch. Today, forty-eight full-time missionaries serve in the islands.