A Right Turn That Made All the Difference

A Right Turn That Made All the Difference
Fred Antwi had been baptised for a year when his brother, Chief Nana Asomobore, passed away. Unknown to Fred, plans were being made by his sister, the queen mother, for Fred, the next in line, to take over the position of chief of the tribe. When he learned of these plans, he was emphatic that he could not do so. His response was, “My religion will not permit me.”
Fred Antwi.JPG

To serve as a chief is an honour. A chief is respected in his village and is the first contact man for the large extended family. When he speaks, the people do as they are instructed. A chief receives financial support, and whatever he feels he needs will be provided for him.

“That same evening, I drove to one of our elders in the village to inform him of what I had heard. He told me, ‘Kofi, I am part of the plans. I know what they are saying, so there is nothing I can do to prevent you from being a chief.’ I said, ‘You know I am a Christian and my religion will not permit me to be a chief because there are a lot of things that we do that I no longer believe I should do.’ Nana replied, ‘Well, go back to your people and tell them that you are a Christian and from what you have said you can never be a chief.’ 

“I went back to inform the elders, but they ignored my message. My brother was to be buried at midnight, so around 7pm I was driving along with all the other family members in their own cars. Upon reaching a turning, instead of turning left with the others, I turned right and sped off.” For the next six months there was no contact from the extended family. Fred later learned that had he gone to the burial, he would have been named as the next chief, putting him in a very difficult situation. He heard after some time that his nephew, son of the queen mother, was named the next chief.

What compelled Fred Antwi to give up this position of honour—one which many may esteem desirable? Fred had found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Firm in his testimony of the principles and doctrines of the gospel, Fred’s course in life was changed. He had received the priesthood and was fully engaged in his calling as a Branch President, dedicated to the service of the Lord. Since then he has continued to serve in District and Stake Presidencies. Honouring the priesthood is much more important to Fred than the honours of the world.