Missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are returning to Liberia after no reported new cases of Ebola in that country since June. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Susan, recently traveled to the West African nation to show the country is safe for missionaries.
“The World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola free,” explained Elder Bednar. “We want people to know that we’re here. … We would not be calling young men and young women to serve in Liberia if there was great danger or concern.”
Mormon missionaries serving in Liberia and Sierra Leone were transferred out of those countries and reassigned to other missions by the Church as a precaution in August 2014 following an outbreak of the Ebola virus. The first cases were reported in Liberia in March 2014. The World Health Organization declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission September 3. Young full-time missionaries began returning in early September.
There are currently 53 young Mormon missionaries and four seniors serving in Liberia. About half of those missionaries are from Africa, and the other half are from outside the continent. The Church Missionary Department hopes up to 100 young missionaries will be serving in Liberia once the buildup is complete, in addition to 12 senior missionaries. Prior to the Ebola outbreak, there were 80 young missionaries serving in that country, along with six seniors.
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