Church History
“Coming True in My Own Country”

Stories of Faith

“Coming True in My Own Country”

Dieudonné Attiogbe joined the Church when he was working at the Togolese embassy in London in 1989. At the time, he was troubled by the thought that the gospel was not yet available in Togo. “When I got baptized,” Attiogbe said, “I cried—for almost the whole day I cried. When I’ve been crying, I’ve been thinking about the people of my country.”

Attiogbe resolved to bring the gospel home, but it was hard being the only member when he returned to Togo. “I missed the church a lot,” he recalled. Sometimes he would make trips to wards and branches in Ghana or Côte d’Ivoire “just to feel the spirit of the Church over there.” On one trip to Ghana, Elder Emmanuel Kissi of the Seventy encouraged Attiogbe to write a letter to the Church’s area headquarters in South Africa for advice and assistance. “He would be behind me pushing,” Attiogbe said of Kissi. “And he said … you can help the church to grow in Togo.”

As it turned out, Attiogbe had not really been the only member in Togo. The Church office in Johannesburg sent him a list of several Togolese people who had returned to the country after being baptized abroad, and Attiogbe wrote letters to each of them. Along with Koffi Afangbedji, who had joined the Church in Denmark, and Agnon Didier, Attiogbe formed a group of Latter-day Saints in Togo around 1996. The group met in a small room Attiogbe secured in the village of Nkafu, sometimes with as many as three people sharing a chair and the hymns being accompanied by Attiogbe’s son on a toy piano.

Africa- Togo

Members of the first branch in Lomé, Togo, 1999

The next year, a Togolese member named Michel Avegnon, who had recently returned from a mission in Ghana, was called to lead missionary efforts. He taught people Attiogbe had introduced to the restored gospel. Soon after, the first baptisms in Togo took place at a hotel swimming pool.

For Attiogbe, this growth was the culmination of several years of dreams and effort. “On that day, it was a great joy because I think about how I received the gospel,” he said. “My intention was to share it with my fellow Togolese when I got back home, because I was so excited.” The Church’s progress in Togo, Attiogbe said, was “just a part of the stone about what Daniel talked in the Bible. … The Prophet Daniel’s prophecy is coming true in my own country.”