While growing up, Isaac Nii Ayi Kwei Martey was introduced to the Hindu religion by his father. He came in contact with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he was staying with his Uncle in Cape Coast. He met LDS missionaries as they were rescheduling an appointment with a neighbor. He approached them and consented to listen to the restored Gospel. Isaac had in mind to thwart the message of the restored gospel. When the missionaries visited with him, they gave him the Book of Mormon and he loved the teachings he found there. He genuinely wanted to learn more.
He decided to take the challenge of praying about the Book of Mormon, he persistently prayed to know if it was true and he got his confirmation three weeks later. After the witness of the Holy Ghost, he was faced with a new challenge.
He informed his mother about his desire to get baptized and join the LDS Church, but she threatened to disown him if he ever did. All his relatives were against the idea of him joining the church. Isaac had been admitted to study for his bachelor’s degree at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Isaac told the Cape Coast missionaries of his plan to attend the LDS Church at Kumasi without the knowledge of his family. Isaac had studied with them for a little over a year without getting the opportunity to attend Church. While in Kumasi, he looked for the LDS Church but could not find it. A student colleague directed to the LDS Church about a month later. Isaac again met with the Kumasi missionaries, they were impressed with his knowledge of the restored gospel, but this was no surprise as he had been taught much by missionaries while in Cape Coast.
The missionaries fixed a baptismal interview date with Isaac, he agreed and got baptized on 16th October 2010. However, he kept all this from his family. Isaac had the privilege of performing a proxy baptism in the temple when he came to Accra for Christmas vacation. He shared his experience in the temple this way, “When I got to the Temple, I felt so much about being different and I remember reading a talk in the waiting room by President Monson. Dare to be a Mormon, dare to stand alone, dare to have a purpose firm, dare to make it known”. This impression compelled him to inform his mother about his newfound church and the blessings he had acquired. Breaking the news, his mother was furious initially, but subsequently, she began to understand and accept his decision to be a Latter-day Saint. However, his extended family was unforgiving of his decision.
Isaac’s faith in the gospel began to enlarge, even to extent of desiring to serve a full-time mission. He decided to save some money toward such ecclesiastical ambition. His mother pleaded with him against it while his other relatives warned him to rescind his decision when he told them about his desire to serve the Lord for two years. Isaac stood firm and proceeded to work toward his mission goal rather than heeding to whims and caprices of family members.
He tendered in missionary forms and had the call to serve in Nigeria Port Harcourt Mission. Seven days into his MTC training, he was informed that his mother had passed away. Having already lost his Dad as a fifteen-year-old, his mother’s death made him an orphan. It was a really difficult time for him, and he was faced with the choice to either return home or continue with his mission. He prayed concerning this and sought counsel from his leaders. He finally decided on continuing his mission. He informed his family about his decision, as expected, it was not well received. An Uncle told him that if he went ahead with his mission, he should not consider himself as a family to him. Even though he had the option to return home for his mother’s burial, he resolved to rather keep serving the Lord after he had read few passages in the scriptures.
And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God”. Luke 9:61,62.
He served his mission faithfully and extended for a few more weeks before returning. Even though he hasn’t been accepted by his extended family, Isaac firmly believes the Lord is mindful of the little things we do on this earth and the unending blessings we gain as we obey his commandment. “We all have different challenges and the Lord has prepared our backs to these challenges that we face… all he requires from us is a broken heart and a contrite spirit,” he says. Even though he is unsure of what lies ahead for him, he knows that if he relies on the Savior, he can be able to achieve all things.