News Story

Lesotho Community Welcomes New Mormon Meetinghouse

The small Chapel was completely full. The Spirit in the room was felt by everyone as they sang a hymn and prayed at the closing of a very successful open house. The leaders and members of the Masianokeng Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Lesotho had prepared for months to share their new meetinghouse with the community. Over 200 people attended the event, including government dignitaries and the Maseru Community Choir. Although the meetinghouse was beautifully ready, it was the Spirit, not the building that influenced the guests.

The simple act of opening the doors of a Latter-day Saint meetinghouse is an important gesture of goodwill. Members of other faiths sometimes perceive the Church in negative ways, and by inviting them to the open house they can become better neighbours and realise a "sense of community," and learn to be more inclusive of people of other faiths and backgrounds. With this in mind, The Masianokeng Branch of the Church opened their doors for an open house on August 4, 2012, a wonderful day of sharing their beliefs, and their love of Jesus Christ with the community.

The baptismal font was freshly painted and members of the Church, along with full time missionaries, set up booths and displays for the tour of the meetinghouse. The displays included Seminary and Institute, Employment, Temples and Family History.

Beautiful displays were also set up in each separate meeting room to describe its purpose for instruction and worshiping Jesus Christ. Many members of the Masianokeng Branch were there to answer questions and give information on the various aspects of the Church. Full time Elders were also assigned to help with community members who could not speak English.

A VIP session was held before the public arrived. Three government dignitaries attended, including the Minister of Social Development. After a private tour, a delicious luncheon was served.  Before she left, one of the ministers stated, "My heart is filled with big feelings. I have learned so much today." She said she has things to tell them (the missionaries) and would like to talk more.

The Maseru Community Choir not only provided beautiful music, but they stayed and showed great interest in the Church. Many of them went through the entire tour and asked thought provoking questions. 14 of the choir members requested copies of the  Book of Mormon.

Masianokeng Branch's first full time missionary will be home soon. His mother, who is not a member, was warmly welcomed by the branch members. She was not very familiar with the Church, and was thankful to learn more of the work her son has been doing as a missionary on behalf of the Church.

The following day, Sunday, there were 76 people in attendance at Church, 11 of which were first time attenders. The Village Chief was unable to attend the open house but his assistant attended on Sunday. He spoke to the group after the meeting and told them that he accepted and welcomed the Church to their village. The Elders of Masianokeng were thrilled with all the new contacts they met as a result of the open house.

The sweet spirit that was felt, as Saints and members of the community interacted with each other, will be remembered as the Church continues to grow in Lesotho. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons) strive to be faithful followers of Jesus Christ, and contributing members of the communities in which they live.

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