Elder Quentin and Sister Mary Cook Depart Southern Africa Tour With Messages of


The reality of Jesus Christ, personal peace, the great blessing of repentance, and the need to reach out to one another. These are some of the central messages shared by Quentin L. Cook and Sister Mary Cook with congregants of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they concluded a ministry tour of southern Africa in February 2023.

The couple travelled to Madagascar, Zambia and Mozambique; training leaders, strengthening missionaries and ministering to members and friends in each country. In Mozambique, a group of more than 500 friends of the church joined thousands of members in a regional conference.

In each country, Elder Cook taught of the blessing of having a Saviour who provides an avenue for forgiveness, change and hope.

Jesus Christ Brings Forgiveness

In Mozambique, quoting from “Preach My Gospel,” Elder Cook said, “As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”

Speaking to young adults in the same country, he spoke about the importance of forgiving oneself. “Everyone has challenges,” he said. “But don’t label yourself when you make a mistake.”

The Saviour’s role, he said, is to obtain forgiveness for us and allow us to move forward.

At the same time, he encouraged young people to repent as needed.

“Don’t make excuses. Don’t rationalize,” he said.

Elder Cook bore his testimony of the Saviour and His ability to forgive and alleviate burdens. “The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real,” he said.

Having faith in the Saviour can help cut out confusion in our lives, Elder Cook taught.

“When you have faith in the Saviour, the tough questions are already answered. The questions that are really significant are answered by having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In Madagascar, Elder Edward Dube, who oversees the church in southern Africa and accompanied the Cooks, spoke about the importance of building faith in the Saviour in the way President Nelson has taught members of the Church to ‘let God prevail’.

“Allowing God to prevail means we trust Him,” Elder Dube said. Trusting Him is one part of conversion, he continued. And repentance is another.

“Repentance is conversion. A repentant soul is a converted soul,” he said.

Peace and Hope

In Zambia, Elder Cook promised members that peace would come at an individual level by honouring covenants and repenting regularly.

“The reward of righteousness is peace in this life and eternal life in the world to come,” he said.

“We will not have peace in this world. We will have individual peace the Lord can provide us even with the tumultuous times and the difficulties we face.”

In Madagascar, he extended a similar invitation to members. By following Christ, he told them, “you will have personal peace even though there will not be world peace.”

Speaking to crowds in Mozambique, Sister Cook highlighted the theme of hope. She said that one of the things she has learned is that “we don’t give up on people.”

She also said that even when there are limited positive examples in someone’s life, that doesn’t mean they can’t learn from what they see.

“You can learn from a bad example just like you can a good,” said Sister Cook.

Throughout the meetings, Elder Cook and accompanying leaders invited the congregants to turn their sights outwards.

“Be a light on the hill. Be an example to the world around you,” he said in Madagascar. “Be a beacon of light.”

Ministering to others is not limited to sharing a good example or learning the gospel in the home. It also includes service to those in need, he taught.

“God always expects His saints to care for the poor and the needy.”

Elder Cook encouraged Church leaders on the island nation to use all the resources they have available to them to support those with varying needs.

In Zambia, he shared four things “that the Saviour wants us to do today”. Two of those things involved moving out of our comfort zones and connecting with others.

“We need to care for those in need,” the Apostle admonished.

And “we need to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone. We need to love, share and invite.”

Members share their feelings

There was a palpable enthusiasm amongst the audiences Elder Cook addressed. After the events, many of the messages that audiences remembered focused on the Saviour. Circy Ouana from Magoanine in Maputo, Mozambique said she had learned the importance of being aligned with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

“It was good to learn how important it is to be unified with the Lord because in moments of adversity we will already be close to Him to gain strength from,” she said.

Dulcidonio dos Santos Jr. from Mogal Ward in Matola, Mozambique shared how touched he was at Elder Cook’s teachings on the Saviour’s Atonement.

“He [Jesus Christ] gave His life for us, and we need to give Him time in our life,” he said.

Cristophe Chion-Hock, a regional leader from the island of Réunion, attended the Malagasy conference in person while his family watched from home via broadcast — a 90-minute flight east over the Indian Ocean.

“I can’t wait to teach my children what I’ve felt and to take action,” he said. “I have the feeling that we need to teach the youth more about the temple.”

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