West African pioneer preached gospel before missionaries

When the LDS Church officially sent representatives to bring the LDS Church to Ghana in December 1978, the gospel was already well-established there.

Fourteen years earlier, the man most responsible for the preparation of the Saints in Ghana had been converted to the LDS Church after reading the Book of Mormon and other tracts. Beginning with a pamphlet containing the testimony of church founder Joseph Smith, Joseph William Billy Johnson was immediately touched by what he learned.

“Oh, I wept when I read the testimony, and I felt the Spirit,” Johnson said. “I became convinced immediately. … So I started reading the books, all the books. I couldn’t stand; I couldn’t sit without sharing.”

Indeed, Johnson’s conversion launched him into a missionary career that didn’t waver in the face of persecution at home and an at-times-frustrating brand of long-distance support from Salt Lake City.

Read the rest of this story at history.LDS.org
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