News Release

Church Public Affairs Hosts Media Executives

Because of its relative newness in Nigeria, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had to deal  with the problems of being misunderstood. For that reason it was an important occasion when media executives in Lagos and the Church’s public affairs representatives gather for a dinner on 30 December, 2011. The media leaders learned first-hand about the Church’s mission, beliefs, and impact, especially its humanitarian services.

The Church’s Public Affairs representatives, who hosted the dinner, expressed deep appreciation for the media’s coverage of Church activities and accomplishments during the preceding year, and celebrated the success of service projects done in partnership with some of the media houses.

Tola Hassan, the director of the Nigeria National Public Affairs Council of the Church, invited questions. In the dialogue that followed the attendees learned that the Church believes in God the Father, in His son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. Its members accept as true the Holy Bible, comprising both the Old and New Testaments, and another book of scripture, called the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon, like the Bible, witnesses and teaches revealed truths about Christ’s divinity, ministry, and plan of salvation. In addition, it authenticates the Bible.

The Church itself, its members believe, is a restoration of the New Testament Christian Church, led by apostles and served by lay ministers – bishops, priests, seventies etc. The Church’s Sunday worship service, equivalent to communion in the other Christian churches, commemorates Christ’s sacrifice.

Some of the questions concerned the relation of the Church to other Christian churches. The Public Affairs people explained that notwithstanding doctrinal differences, the Church and its members embrace as fellow Christians those who share their belief that Jesus Christ as the Son of God and Savior of mankind. Moreover, the Church also regularly joins hands with people of other faiths to address humanitarian needs of people all over the world.

Other questions concerned the Church missionary program. It is based on the New Testament pattern of missionaries serving in pairs, teaching the gospel and baptizing believers in the name of Jesus Christ. More than 50,000 missionaries are serving in nearly 350 mission areas throughout the world. Most are young people under the age of 25.

Responding on behalf of other media executives, Godwin Haruna, the editor of ThisDay newspaper said; “We shall continue to support the Church by way of covering its activities whenever we are called to do so”.

The event had in attendance people from 12 print and electronic media houses, including David Ibemere of The Guardian, Johnson Ayantunji of Daily Independent, Godwin Haruna of ThisDay, Aboyeji Kayode of Nigeria Compass, Adeboye Oluwole of PM News. Others are Abdul Ibrahim of Voice of Nigeria, Jide Alli-Balogun of Radio Lagos, and Adebisi Adewusi of Eko FM and others from Radio Nigeria, Rockcity FM, The Nation and OGBC.

The Church was represented by Elder Adesina J. Olukanni, its director of Public Affairs in West Africa; President Okechukwu Imo of Lagos Nigeria stake; President Edward Karkari of Lagos Nigeria Mission, and other Nigerian Public Affairs representatives.

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