An African Prince Visits Temple Square

An African Prince Visits Temple Square
During a business trip to Salt Lake City in November 1990, Ejikeme Egwuatu Enyii-Ineh‍ of Chad took some time out to tour Temple Square. When he returned to his home, Ejikeme thought often about what he heard on that tour.
Pioneers of Africa

In late August 1991, Ejikeme, a major supplier of building materials, spare parts, and computer components to the government of Chad, returned to Salt Lake City on business. “This time in Salt Lake City, I came across one of the most important and unforgettable experiences I have ever encountered in my life,” Ejikeme said.

Ejikeme, whose father was the king of Imo, one of the twenty-seven states in Nigeria, stayed with a cousin who introduced him to a man from the Ivory Coast. While they were chatting, the man said he was a member of the Mormon Church. This was a pleasant surprise; Ejikeme mentioned that he had been searching for this church but had been unable to locate it.  The man invited Ejikeme to Church the next day.

The next morning, Ejikeme arrived just in time to join the man and his family as they were walking to the Liberty Second Ward. After attending the meetings, Ejikeme was introduced to S. Duane Smith, then bishop, and other members of the ward. “The type of reception I received convinced me it was really the true church of God,” he said. Ejikeme told the bishop’s wife, Connie, that he would like to learn more about the Church, and the Smiths arranged for the missionaries to teach him.

During the next week, Ejikeme listened to all the discussions. “God bless whoever gave him a tour of Temple Square a year ago,” Sister Smith said. “He accepted the gospel long before he received the lessons.”

Ejikeme was baptized on 7 September 1991, and in the week before he left, he received the priesthood, blessed the sacrament, and went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. “This must be what it’s like to be in heaven,” he said upon entering the temple.

Ejikeme said he wanted to be able to take the gospel back home so his family could benefit. Now that Ejikeme has returned to Africa, his wife, Uchenna, and four of his seven sons—Nnanna, Umunna, Chukwudi, and Ezindu—have been baptized, and Ejikeme is now teaching his extended family—father, mother, and nine brothers and sisters.

Wherever he travels in Africa, he talks of the gospel. As he teaches others about the Church, Ejikeme hopes to share the joy he has found in the gospel of  Jesus Christ.

 Taken from “Newsmaker: A Prince Indeed,” Eliza Tanner, Ensign, April, 1994.