"We are seeing firsthand the most thrilling fulfillment of prophecy," Elder Stephen D. Nadauld declared during Women's Conference at BYU.

Serving as moderator in a May 1 concurrent session in the Marriott Center, Elder Nadauld, who was honorably released in October 1996 as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy, spoke of the Old Testament prophecy in Daniel, chapter 2, of the stone cut out of the mountain. "We live in that dispensation spoken of by the prophet Daniel."Elder Nadauld led a panel of four LDS women for the session, "Celebrating Pioneers: Then and Now." Sharing conversion stories, testimonies and the history of the Church in their countries were Nenita Gapiz of the Philippines, Endang Prihatini of Indonesia, Elizabeth Kissi of Ghana, and Paula Lopez Pe`a of the Dominican Republic.

Addressing the congregation first was Sister Gapiz, who serves as a counselor in a stake Relief Society presidency. She said: "When I decided to be baptized Nov. 25, 1961, little did I imagine that the tiny group to which I belonged - an assembly of less than 20 people meeting in the living room of the four missionaries' apartment - would someday blossom into a huge congregation of Saints now numbering almost 400,000 with 47 stakes, 93 districts, 284 wards, 704 branches, 258 chapels and 13 missions spread out in the beautiful islands of the Philippines."

Sister Gapiz spoke of the sacrifices of both missionaries and members as the gospel grew in the Philippines. "My dear brothers and sisters, I am a pioneer; a pioneer of the Church in the Philippines. I helped build the foundation in my homeland in my own little way. I am part of the history of the Church from the very start. I saw it all happen from the very beginning.

"I've had my share of trials and tribulations, sometimes heart-breaking experiences that almost sent me to the brink of despair and resignation. I thank my Heavenly Father for giving me the courage and the strength to overcome all these."

Sister Endang (following Indonesian custom, she goes by her first-given name), who lives on the island of Java, is a district Relief Society president and a returned missionary in a country with 5,000 members in three districts and 20 branches. She joined the Church in 1977 and, today, teaches in the Church Educational System.

She expressed her gratitude for "those who opened the kingdom of God in Indonesia. They are truly our parent pioneers.

"With love comes sacrificing, teaching people, helping them with all their hearts so that my people and I understand the message. Then I can carry on the message to the other generations. The youth are going to carry on the work and message to the other generations, and so everybody is a pioneer."

Sister Kissi was introduced to the Church in 1976 in England where her husband, Dr. Emmanuel Abu Kissi, was studying to become a surgeon. "I became so depressed, I could not sleep. I could not eat," Sister Kissi recalled. "One day when I was alone at the house, I took myself into prayer and meditation. As I was praying, I heard a knock at the door. When I opened the door, I saw two young men in white shirts, black ties. I told them the only thing I needed was the way to peace."

The two Mormon missionaries gave her a priesthood blessing, after which, "I became myself again."

Brother and Sister Kissi returned to Ghana and became part of a pioneer group of members that grew to what is now 15,000 members in two stakes, 12 wards, one mission, five districts and 37 branches. Brother Kissi is first counselor in the Ghana Accra Mission presidency.

"The growth of the Church in Ghana is due to our faith in Jesus Christ," Sister Kissi declared. "I wanted to be on the winning side, that's why I'm on the Lord's side."

Sister Pe`a, in speaking of her homeland, the Dominican Republic, said: "Dominicans have a deep belief in God; we are always open to hear the good news of the gospel." Continuing, she spoke of the coming of the Church to her country in the late 1970s. "The first families converted still are working in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father, in different callings, helping the new generation to continue His work, showing us that we can be together forever.

"Today, about 50 percent of the missionaries [in the Dominican Republic] are Dominicans, and we are harvesting branch presidents, bishops, stake presidents and mission counselors." She added that seeds are also being planted for mission and temple presidents.

Today, there are 54,000 members in eight stakes, 42 wards, 99 branches, 11 districts and three missions in the Dominican Republic.