Sister Jean B. Bingham, first counselor in the Primary general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has visited with Church members in Kampala, Uganda at the start of a week-long trip that would also familiarise her with the work that the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is doing in the country.
Sister Bingham is visiting Uganda at the invitation of UNICEF, a UN programme for humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers around the world.
On Saturday, February 25, 2017, Sister Bingham visited two families in the Kisugu neighbourhood of the Kololo Ward. In the Church, a ward or a branch is a geographic location at which members living in a specific area congregate or worship. In turn, contiguous wards and branches make up what is known in the Church as a stake.
Sister Bingham was accompanied by Sister Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities worldwide and of Humanitarian Services in the Church’s Welfare Department, President of the Kampala Uganda North Stake Jimmy C. Okot, and David Frischknecht, director of temporal affairs in the Africa Southeast Area.
Sister Bingham visited with the family of David and Sarah Nalutaaya Mulinda in Kisugu, and the family of Samuel and Hakabugo Zaina Isanga. Just one of the Mulinda children was home for the special visit, 11-year-old Wisdom. The other children were working or at a school.
Brother and Sister Mulinda shared with Sister Bingham their family’s goal for the family to receive the ordinances of the temple. Brother Mulinda is the high priest group leaders of the Kololo Ward, while Sister Mulinda serves in the primary.
Sister Bingham, Sister Eubank, and President Okot discussed with the family their preparations for the temple. The family also shared with Sister Bingham their conversion stories and the upcoming ordination of Wisdom to the office of deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood when he turns 12 in May.
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LEADERSHIP AND TRAINING
On Saturday afternoon, President Okot was assigned by the Area Presidency to preside over a special training session of auxiliary leaders in the two stakes in Kampala. Sister Bingham and Sister Eubank led the training and the discussions. Nearly 120 local leaders of the Church attended the training.
Sister Bingham expressed gratitude to the leaders for their serves and assured them that the general leaders of the Church love them and pray for them always. She reminded the leaders that all the auxiliary organizations of the Church exist “to help Church members grow in their testimonies of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the restored gospel.”
The leaders were also instructed by Sister Bingham and Sister Eubank on the four fundamentals of leading and teaching in the Saviour’s way. Many of the leaders answered questions and provided inspired insights throughout the discussions. Four points were emphasized:
1) Prepare spiritually
- Be able to get on our knees and seek the Lord’s help in prayer and receive answers through the Holy Ghost.
- Think about something in which you would like to do better. Write it. Pray over it. You will receive answers.
2) Counsel together
Sister Bingham organized some of the participants into a simulated ward council to illustrate how the most important work of a council is done outside of the council meeting.
Sister Eubank reminded the leaders that four responsibilities given to sisters are: to relieve suffering; to save souls; to expound scriptures; to lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better.
3) Minister to others
- Ministering with love.
- Observe what people need physically, emotionally, or spiritually.
4) Teach the gospel of Jesus Christ
During the training, Sister Bingham also invited the leaders to write the doctrines taught in the Church hymn, ‘I Am a Child of God’. Some of those mentioned included that:
- We are literally children of our Father in Heaven.
- We are dependent on the Lord. We are what we are because of Him.
- As children of God we should remember we want to return to Him.
- The Holy Ghost leads and guides us.
- We have commandments that help us return to God.
- We should ask to understand God’s word before it’s too late.
- Our earthly home is a school where we will learn and be guided.
Sister Bingham and Sister Eubank concluded the training with their testimonies.
They also encouraged the local leaders: to share the message of the restored gospel with others; to find and bring back those that have wandered off; to pray always to receive answers to “our sincere prayers”; and to submit to the will of the Lord. That way, they said the Lord will give us strength to face all our challenges.
The following day, Sunday, February 26, Sister Bingham and Sister Eubank then hosted a Young Single Adult devotional.