The new presidency of the Africa Southeast Area is getting busy by being a major presence at what is, essentially, a religious freedom conference in the city that many consider to be the political capital of the African continent, Addis Ababa.

From the African Southeast area sub-site of LDS.org:

“Elder and Sister Stanley G. Ellis of the Africa Southeast Area Presidency find themselves right at the centre of the fourth annual African Law and Religion Symposium in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week, greeting guests from 17 countries and participating fully in the event.

Standing together with other religious leaders, Elder Ellis was part of the panel starting the event. He quoted the eleventh article of faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which states, ‘We claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where or what they may’ . 

The event focuses on religious freedom in Africa. Brigham Young University Law school is one of the event sponsors.”

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Elder Ellis and Professor Cole Durham with religious leader panel

No doubt Elder Ellis played a bigger role than being part of a panel. With a government degree from Harvard university, and as a member of the first graduating class in the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, this Idaho farm boy is known for his straight talk and for being explicitly pro sister missionaries.

As First Counselor in the Africa Southeast area presidency, we’ll likely see more of this kind of thing go on as these leaders use their background and the Church’s resources to carve out important advances to improve the lives of those living in this region, while preparing a social context wherein people can pursue faith and live freely to practice religion—including ours—if they choose.


Learn more about Elder Ellis. Read about his wife and their unique call to the Africa Southeast area. And see more photos from the Symposium.