Joseph W. Sitati

Joseph W. Sitati
First Quorum of the Seventy
4 April 2009 (2009-04-04)
Called by Thomas S. Monson
Personal details
Born Joseph Wafula Sitati

(1952-05-16) 16 May 1952 (age 67)

Bungoma, Kenya

Joseph Wafula Sitati (born 16 May 1952) has been a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) since 2009, when he became a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He is the church's first black African general authority and the second general authority of black African descent.[1][2]

Early years [ edit ]

Sitati is a native of Kenya.[2] He has a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nairobi. He worked in the oil and gas industries (such as Total Oil) as well as for Reach the Children, for which he was also a member of their international board. Immediately prior to his call as a mission president in the LDS Church, Sitati was the church's director of public affairs in Africa.

LDS Church service [ edit ]

Sitati first attended the LDS Church in 1985 and became a member in March 1986.[2] In 1989, he became the church's first district president in Kenya.[3] At that point the LDS Church was not fully recognized in Kenya, so Sitati organized tight knit groups of nine to meet together in meetings because this was the most allowed by the laws at the time for unrecognized religious.[4]

Sitati also became the first stake president in Kenya when the Nairobi Kenya Stake was organized in 2001.[3][5] On 3 December 1991, in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple, Sitati and his wife and children became the first Kenyan family to receive the church's sealing ordinance.[3][6] In 2004, Sitati became an area seventy of the church[7] and in 2007 he became the president of the Nigeria Uyo Mission.[8]

General Authority [ edit ]

He was still a mission president at the time of his call to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 2009. He served as a counselor in the church's Africa West Area from 2010 to 2013. He then served for a time as an assistant executive director of the church's temple department. In October 2015 he gave a significant address on the LDS Church in Africa at the University of Utah's "black, white and Mormon" conference.[9]

Advisor assignment [ edit ]

Sitati became an adviser to the church magazines in 2014. In 2015, Sitati became the editor of the church magazines, succeeding Craig A. Cardon, who in turn succeeded Sitati as one of the advisers. Sitati also served as assistant executive director of the church's priesthood and family department, and later as an assistant executive director of the missionary department and member of the boundary and leadership change committee.[10]> Sitati served as one of three general authority seventies who oversaw the work of the church's committee planning the "Be One" celebration marking the 40th anniversary of the priesthood revelation, along with Claudio R. M. Costa and Edward Dube.

Area presidency [ edit ]

Since August 2018, Sitati has served as a counselor in the presidency of the church's Africa Southest Area.[11] In November 2018, Sitati, along with Neil L. Andersen, met with Kembo Mohadi, Vice President of Zimbabwe.[12]

Sitati spoke at the Sunday afternoon session of general conference on October 4, 2009, where he stated the LDS Church is a "global faith."[13] Sitati spoke again in the April 2015 general conference on the subject of the commandment to be fruitful, multiply, and subdue the earth, saying that God has not revoked this commandment.[14]

Personal life [ edit ]

Sitati and his wife, Gladys, are the parents of five children. A talk she gave was the most recent and final in the book entitled At The Pulpit: 185 years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women.[15]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Helvécio Martins, who was a general authority between 1990 and 1995, was the first general authority to be of black African descent. Martins was of Brazilian nationality. Christoffel Golden Jr., a native of South Africa who was called to the First Quorum of the Seventy in April 2001, was the first native African general authority.
  2. ^ a b c Peggy Fletcher Stack, "Spiritual satisfaction: Africa's 'Mormon superstar' is first black African LDS general authority", Salt Lake Tribune, 2009-04-17.
  3. ^ a b c Gerald W. Jensen and Carolyn Jensen, "First stake in Kenya created", Church News, 2001-09-29.
  4. ^ article on Sitati
  5. ^ *2008 Deseret News Church Almanac (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret News, 2007) p. 403.
  6. ^ Julie Dockstader Heaps, "Serving in Africa: Members teach, testify of gospel blessings", Church News, 2003-05-31.
  7. ^ "Sunday School, Young Men receive new presidencies", Deseret News, 2004-04-04.
  8. ^ "New mission presidents receive assignments", Church News, 2007-03-03.
  9. ^ Tad Walch "Major LDS growth in Africa unaffected by priesthood restriction, Elder Sitati says", Deseret News, October 9, 2015
  10. ^ "Elder Joseph W. Sitati". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  11. ^ "First Presidency Announces 2018 Area Leadership Assignments". The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  12. ^ Chikwati, Elita (15 November 2018). "Latter Day Saints to expand Zim presence". The Herald. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  13. ^ "Elder Joseph W. Sitati: Blessings of the gospel available to all", Deseret News, 2009-10-04.
  14. ^ "Elder Joseph W. Sitati: 'Be Fruitful, Multiply and Subdue the Earth'", Deseret News, 5 April 2015. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  15. ^ Jerry Earl Johnston "'At the Pulpit' has a treasury of talks to read before you die", Deseret News March 15, 2017

Further reading [ edit ]

  • E. Dale LeBaron, "Kenya" in Arnold K. Garr et al., ed., Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2000) p. 605

External links [ edit ]

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