Thursday, November 21, 2019

Eight New Missions to be Created in July 2020


Today the Church announced plans to open eight new missions effective July 2020. This is the earliest that the Church has announced plans to organize new missions, as these announcements are traditionally made in January. As such, today's announcement proceeded my predictions for new missions that I usually make every year. The world total for new missions will be 407 in July 2020. No mission consolidations were reported in the announcement. There are currently more than 68,000 missionaries serving in 399 missions. There were 65,137 at year-end 2018, indicating a more that four percent increase in the number of members serving full-time proselytizing missions thus far in 2019 - the first year with significant increase in the number of full-time missionaries serving since the "surge" in the full-time missionary force ended in the mid 2010s.

The Church announced plans to open the following eight mission:
  • Brazil Recife South 
  • Cameroon Yaounde 
  • Ecuador Guayaquil East 
  • Ethiopia Addis Ababa 
  • Mozambique Beira 
  • Tanzania Dar es Salaam 
  • Texas Austin 
  • Texas Dallas East 
Of these eight missions, three are located in countries where the Church currently does not have a mission headquartered within the country (Cameroon, Ethiopia, and Tanzania). Today's announcement signals a major development with greater allocation of mission resources to receptive and under-serviced areas of the world, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Also, the creation of three of the new missions in Central/East Africa will coincide with the opening of the new Africa Central Area in August 2020.

BRAZIL RECIFE SOUTH
The Brazil Recife South Mission will be organized from a division of the Brazil Recife Mission. It is unclear whether any additional missions will be involved with the creation of the new mission. There are 11 stakes in the Recife metropolitan area, and the current Brazil Recife Mission has 13 stakes and 1 district, and services most of Pernambuco State which has a population of 9.6 million people. The Brazil Recife Mission currently numbers among missions with the most stakes in all of Brazil. The Church has experienced slower growth in Recife than most missions in the Northeast of Brazil in the past two decades. For example, the most recently organized stake in the Recife metropolitan area was created in 2006. Once the new mission is organized, there will be 36 missions in Brazil - more missions than any other country outside of the United States.

CAMEROON YAOUNDE
The Church will be reestablishing the Cameroon Yaounde Mission in July. Cameroon has a population of 25.6 million as of July 2018. The Church originally created a mission in Cameroon back in 1992, but relocated the mission to Cote d'Ivoire in 1993. The Church in Cameroon has had a long history of being reassigned from mission to mission and has received little attention from mission and area presidencies in regards to the allocation of missionary resources. More specifically, Cameroon pertained to the Cote d'Ivoire Abidjan mission from 1993-2005, the Ghana Cape Coast Mission from 2005-approximately 2008, the Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission from approximately 2008-2014, and the Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission since 2014. The Church in Cameroon experienced stagnant growth from its initial establishment in the early 1990s until the early 2000s. However, growth rates have been high since the 2000s. Church membership in Cameroon totaled 155 in 2000, 374 in 2005, 1,003 in 2010, 1,480 in 2015, and 2,215 in 2018. Annual membership growth rates have generally exceeded 10% since the early 2000s. There are only two cities in Cameroon with an official Church presence (the first branch was created in Yaounde in the early 1990s, whereas the first branch in Douala was organized in 2004). In the 2010s, the Church has grown most rapidly in Yaounde, where the ninth branch in the city was recently organized.

The creation of the new mission in Cameroon has been desperately needed given the country's large population that has been chronically under-served by mission resources available. Tens of millions have never received mission outreach, including English-speaking areas in the highlands near Nigeria. The new mission will allow for the Church to expand into previously unreached areas. It is likely that the new mission will also include the Central African Republic and Equatorial Guinea for a total of 32.2 million people within the mission boundaries. Gabon appears most likely to remain assigned to the Republic of Congo Brazzaville Mission.

In 2018, the Church reported 7,903 members in the Republic of the Congo, 2,215 members in Cameroon, approximately 300 members in Gabon, and 239 members in the Central African Republic. There is no Church presence in Equatorial Guinea and likely fewer than 10 members in the country.

ECUADOR GUAYAQUIL EAST
The Church will organize its fourth mission in Guayaquil in July. There are 17 stakes in the greater Guayaquil metropolitan area, two of which have been organized since 2017. The Church organized its first mission in Guayaquil in 1978, followed by two additional missions in 1991 and 2013. The Church in Guayaquil has experienced slow growth for most of the past two decades, with only four of the 17 stakes having been created since 2000. Nevertheless, reports from scores of local members in Guayaquil I have collected since approximately 2015 have noted that most wards in the city have 100-200 active members, and there has been a significant increase in the number of active members in most congregations for the past 20 years. Additionally, several new wards have been created in Guayaquil in 2019 to accommodate growing numbers of active members, particularly in northern areas of the city.

With the creation of the new mission, there will be six missions in Ecuador, with an average of 2.8 million people per mission.

ETHIOPIA ADDIS ABABA
The first mission of the Church in Ethiopia will be organized in July. With 108 million people, Ethiopia currently ranks as the country with the third largest population without its own mission, after Pakistan (208 million people) and Bangladesh (159 million people). The Church organized its first branch in Ethiopia in 1994 in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia originally pertained to the Kenya Nairobi Mission until it was assigned to the Uganda Kampala Mission when it was created in 2005. The Church has experienced inconsistent growth rates that have vacillated from stagnant to rapid growth. At year-end 2018, there were 1,933 members and four branches. Unlike most Sub-Saharan African countries, the Church in Ethiopia has significantly struggled with achieving steady, rapid growth and local leadership development. Furthermore, the Church in Ethiopia appears to experience the lowest member activity rate of any country on the continent. In contrast, other nontraditional, proselytizing-focused Christian denominations have achieved rapid, steady growth in Ethiopia. For example, at the end of 2018 Seventh-day Adventists reported approximately 185,000 members and Jehovah's Witnesses reported approximately 10,500 members.

There are several reasons for the lack of growth in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ethiopia, such as translations of Church materials only in Amharic, infrequent visits from mission leaders based in other countries, significant challenges with young, full-time missionaries learning local languages, intermittent visa problems for foreign missionaries, negative societal views of the Church, a lack of teaching materials tailored to Orthodox Christians, and internal challenges with long-term convert retention and self-sufficient local leadership. The creation of the new mission will provide many opportunities to rectify these issues with greater mission president oversight and more mission resources allocated to this minimally reached East African country. Furthermore, the mission may also include neighboring Eritrea and Djibouti, which currently are not assigned to a full-time mission.

MOZAMBIQUE BEIRA
Perhaps the most surprising new mission announcement for 2020, the Mozambique Beira Mission will open in July from a division of the Mozambique Maputo Mission. South Africa is the only other country in the history of the Church in Africa that had its second mission organized with as few members of the Church as Mozambique at present (approximately 12,200 at year-end 2018). Generally, the Church in Africa does not organize a second mission in a country until there are at least 20,000 members of the Church and 70+ congregations. The Church created its first mission in Mozambique in 2005 from a division of the South Africa Johannesburg Mission. The Mozambique Maputo Mission also administered Angola until 2013 when the Angola Luanda Mission was organized. The Mozambique Beira Mission will service northern areas of Mozambique, whereas the Mozambique Maputo Mission will service southern areas of the country. There are 27.2 million people in Mozambique.

The Church in Mozambique has undergone two periods of rapid growth, the first of which occurred in the early 2000s and the second of which has been ongoing since 2013. The Church in Mozambique has grown from 200 members in 1997 to 4,216 in 2007, to 10,835 in 2017. The most impressive recent growth developments in Mozambique have been the proliferation of stakes and congregations. The Church organized its first stake in Mozambique in Maputo in 2015, and there are currently four stakes and one district in the country. Growth in active membership and the number of new converts joining the Church in 2019 has reportedly accelerated in 2019, and the mission president earlier this year anticipated the organization of two additional stakes in the next year. Earlier this year, the Church noted that average sacrament meeting attendance in the country is nearly 70% - much higher than most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. One of the most extreme examples of growth in Mozambique has been in the northern city of Nampula, where the number of branches increased from one in mid-2017 to six in March 2019. The creation of a second mission of the Church in Mozambique will allow for more penetrating outreach in the two most populous cities of Beira and Maputo, as well as expansion of the Church into additional areas.

TANZANIA DAR ES SALAAM
The Church's first mission in Tanzania will be organized in the capital and most populous city of Dar Es Salaam, where the first branch in the country was organized in 1992. Tanzania has been minimally reached by the Church despite widespread religious freedom and a highly receptive population. As such, the Church reported only 1,726 members and six branches in the country as of year-end 2018, whereas the estimated population for Tanzania at the time was 55.5 million. The Kenya Nairobi Mission has administered Tanzania since the first branches were organized. Slow growth has generally occurred for the Church in Tanzania since its initial establishment. Most recently, the Church organized two new branches in Dar Es Salaam earlier this year - the first new branches created in the city in approximately 15 years. There are only three cities with a Church presence in Tanzania: Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza, and Arusha. Other proselytism-focused groups originally from North America, such as Seventh-day Adventists, report significant membership in Tanzania. Adventists reported nearly three-quarters of a million members in the country at the end of 2018. Jehovah's Witnesses maintain a more limited presence than Adventists, but nevertheless claim 18,705 active members organized into 455 congregations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Tanzania switched its official language for the Church from English to Swahili in 2011, which reportedly made major improvements in the Church's outreach and functionality to meet local language needs. The new mission will undoubtedly permit greater allocation of mission resources and will likely permit the organization of congregations in additional cities.

TEXAS AUSTIN
The Church will create a new mission headquartered in Austin, Texas in July. The Texas Austin Mission will be organized from a division of the Texas San Antonio Mission and likely the Texas Fort Worth Mission. The new mission will probably include nine stakes in central Texas. The first stake in Austin was organized in 1973, and the most recently created stake was organized in September 2019.

TEXAS DALLAS EAST
The Church's third mission for the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area has been long overdue as significant growth in the number of active members, congregations, and stakes has occurred since the last new mission was organized in this urban agglomeration in 1986. The first mission was organized in Dallas in 1961 when there was only one stake in the metropolitan area. When the Texas Fort Worth Mission was organized in 1986, there were eight stakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Today, there are now 22 stakes in the metropolitan area. The most recently organized stake is the Little Elm Texas Stake, which was organized in August 2019.

With the creation of the two new missions, there will be 10 missions in Texas, with an average of 2.9 million people per mission. The number of missions in Texas will equal the number of missions in Utah - the state that currently has the second most missions of any state in the United States (California has the most with 15). However, Utah's population of 3.2 million is almost the size of the average population served by a mission in Texas. The most recently organized mission in Texas is the Texas Lubbock Mission, which was created in 2002. There are currently 77 stakes and 2 districts in Texas. At year-end 2018, there were 357,625 members and 698 congregations. Much of the Church's growth in Texas has been attributed to members from the Western United States who move to the state, albeit many Spanish-speakers have also joined the Church in the past several decades. These changes will result in the number of missions in the United States totaling 119.

33 comments:

Downtownchrisbrown said...

Great news! Particularly for Africa

Eric S. said...

Fantastic news!

Also, I have been following the reports of President Nelson's ministry to Southeast Asia this week. In both Singapore and Indonesia he strongly encouraged the Saints to prepare now for a day when temples will come to those countries.

Eduardo said...

Very cool to see these earlier than normal announcements. Below 3 million people per mission is a decent standard for most of the world. 3 new country mission headquarters is big deal.

John Pack Lambert said...

Many places in the US there are more than 3 million people per mission. The Lansing Mission has at most 4 million. The Detroit Mission is probably over 7 million. The New York City mission is probably over 10 million.

The mission in Ethiopia only looks to have 5 branches. On the other hand Ethiopia alone has 90 million people.

I am a little surprised that the Africa West Area is not getting a new mission. I was hoping we would see a mission in Bo. I was also hoping Abuja would get a mission and maybe Enugu would see a new mission split off to the east.

All 4 new missions are in the current Africa South East Mission. If I am following right the Africa Central Area is going from 5 missions to 8 missions.

Kenya and Tanzania will both have their own mission. We have not yet had a 1 country mission in east Africa.

Texas seems to be the new happening place. Dallas East surprises me the most. I am still hoping for an Austin Temple.

StephenB said...

A third mission in the Dallas-Fort Worth area isn’t surprising. For comparison, Houston has 3 missions. Both metro areas have relatively the same population.

Christopher Nicholson said...

I've been sharing the gospel online with a very curious pastor in Kenya. He wants to attend one of our meetings and see what it's like but the nearest congregation is three hours away. With these new missions and the new Area I hope that will change soon.

Eduardo said...

Christopher: how did you develop that relationship with the pastor in Kenya?

Ray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christopher Nicholson said...

Eduardo: Many Kenyans believe that "Mormons" are literal devil worshipers who sacrifice chickens and dance naked around fires and stuff. A journalist had attended one of our meetings, then written a rather positive account of what it was actually like and speculated on the reasons for the negative misconceptions. I read this article and in the comments, this pastor had commented "Just want to know more about this church" and left his phone number. So I contacted him and he asked me how our church differs from other denominations and then where he could read the other books of scripture I mentioned. I believe he's been working his way through the Book of Mormon online for several weeks. The other day he asked me why it says there were three days of darkness after Christ's death instead of three hours. I worried that someone had given him a list of insincere "anti" questions, but I answered it and he said "Okay" and that was that. I have also added him to a couple of Facebook groups and sent him the links to watch General Conference. Unfortunately he's way out in some rural area with no missionaries or congregations, but he wants to visit one when he can find the time and means. The new Tanzania mission will also bless Kenya, which will now have a mission to itself, and the new area will even be headquartered there, so I have hope for this situation to improve soon.

Johnathan Whiting said...

That's some good online missionary work, Christopher Nicholson!

L. Chris Jones said...

I think we could do more on spreading the gospel either in person or online. I need to do better myself.

James said...

Hello again, everyone! Wanted to make sure you all saw this:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/saturday-session-change-april-2020-general-conference

Summarily, the First Presidency has announced that the usual April Priesthood Session will be preempted for a general evening session for Church membership age 11 and older. The announcement also noted that all five sessions would originate from the Conference Center, which likely means none of it will originate from any special locations.

And this suggests that what will make the General Conference unique is what the addresses and music will focus on the important events of the restoration, and not so much on anything out-of-the-ordinary (such as the announcement of a mass number of temples). Just some food for thought.

Anyone interested in reading further analysis on this development can do so on my blog at the following web address:

https://stokessoundsoff.blogspot.com

Also, am I the only one here who is anxiously waiting for Matt's new analysis on the top 10 nations with the strongest Church presence without a temple? Based on my own research, it appears as though most of the nations on the previous list just moved up two spots, although 2-3 of them switched places as well. In the meantime, my thanks again to Matt for his ongoing efforts relating to reporting Church growth, and for allowing me to share news and updates from my blog, and to all of you for all you do to increase my understanding of the relevant issues which are discussed here.

Chris said...

James, just one question. Can you explain why you downgraded these locations from your list of Prospective Locations (from your more recent published, Tues November 19th) :

1 Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
2 Augusta Maine
3 Montpelier Vermont
4 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
5 Preston Idaho
6 Pueblo Colorado
7 Savannah Georgia
8 Shreveport Louisiana
9 Vilnius Lithuania
10 Viña del Mar Chile

Thank you.

James said...

Sure thing, Chris! Thanks for the great question. The Middle East/Africa North Area is in the middle of a bunch of political turmoil. While centers of strength do exist there (particularly in the UAE), particularly regarding the latest list of locations, I had to weigh a bunch of factors against what I felt was likely to be announced. And based on that analysis, I have come to the conclusion that the Middle East/Africa North Area may not yet be ready for a temple.

With the United States locations you mentioned, I weighed the likelihood of each against how US cities for which a temple has been announced in the near future (along with the arguments for and against each location on my prior lists based on discussions that have taken plac3e on my blog) and any new information I could find on each location. And based on each of those parameters when it came to those locations, I either found other locations that seemed more likely (and therefore more imminent), or couldn't see enough supporting rationales for including them this go-round. But I do have two other lists that I keep of temple candidates that may not be immediately announced, and will almost certainly be announced at some point. Incidentally, the UAE and Vilnius Lithuania are also on that particular list.

And in relation to a Lithuanian temple, my rationale for renoving that particular prospect was a previously-voiced opinion on my blog that another Europe East Area temple might not be announced until the Russia temple is further along in the process, which is a notion that my subsequent research supported. As for the switcheroo on the next Chilean temple, a comment on my blog from Omar Valenzuela Escobar, a Chilean who sometimes comments on both my blog and this one under the "Historia Familiar Excobar" moniker, made a compelling argument against Vina del Mar Chile for the moment, although he indicated that a Vina del Mar temple could occur at some point further down the line. The nature of his comment led to further research on my part, which subsequently led me to conclude that a temple in Osorno Chile was actually the next most likely Chilean city to have a temple announced. Hope this information is helpful to you, Chris, and thanks for the great question.

OC Surfer said...

Here's a Church News article highlighting the growth of our local Mandarin speaking Ward.
https://www.thechurchnews.com/members/2019-11-21/chinese-irvine-california-mandarin-ward-166844

James said...

I apologize. In my comment to Chris above, "recent future" should be "recent past", as in "the location of temples announced in the recent past throughout the United States led me to change the US locations on my list" to which Chris specifically referred in his comment.

Also, a more careful reading of the First Presidency's letter from yesterday (which indicated that a Saturday Evening Session would replace the Priesthood Session) appears to also imply that this will also be the case for the October 2020 General Conference. It will be up to the First Presidency to clarify that either way, but that is what the wording of the letter indicated to me would be the case. Hope these additional thoughts are helpful.

Alex said...

The Lubao Philippines Stake will be organized from the Dinalupihan Philippines District on Dec. 7-8. This will the 115th stake.

John Pack Lambert said...

Someone recently posted how to use the Cumorrah site to fina a list of wards, branches and known groups. I was trying to find that post but could not. Could someone please repost that.

Ray said...

John, just access the Cumorah site and click on the country (and state, in the case of the US) that you want the wards and branches for. Then go to the resource site and click on the bottom option, which will give you the missions, and then the stakes and their wards for that country. Groups are not common, but where they are known they will be listed. For example, I found around 2 dozen groups in the Philippines and many more in South America, Africa, etc.

I stated that the growth of wards and branches in Texas has been very strong this year so far, amounting to around 3 1/2%. Some African countries are showing over 10% congregational growth so far in 2019.

The Accountant said...

I wonder with the creation of these new missions if this is the beginning of re-allocating missionaries that would normally be assigned to Canada and the US. I wonder if missions in Canada and the US will begin to reduce the number of what is deemed a fully staffed mission. I believe it is usually around 175 on average. Anyone have insight on the average number of missionaries in missions in the US that are not in Utah, Arizona, and Texas.

Eduardo said...

I used to know the full time missionary numbers of the DC South Mission, and to some extent the DC North mission.
It would be great to know numbers of each mission year to year.

John Pack Lambert said...

I was just reading this article https://www.international.ucla.edu/lai/article/176131 about teaching Nahuatl at UCLA. It turns out the University of Utah is also involved in this collaboration.

With over 1 million speakers I am wondering if the Church has translated any materials into Nahuatl. I think that this would be a worthwhile use of resources. We have translated matierials into languages with far, far fewer worldwide speakers, such as Yap. In fact, I doubt even Tongan or Samoan could boast 1 million speakers.

Johnathan Whiting said...

@JPL

If Wikipedia is to be trusted, then "Nahuatl is still spoken by well over a million people, of whom around 10% are monolingual."

So, most native Nahuatl speakers are bilingual (most likely in Spanish), which may be what is keeping the Church from extending too many resources on translation efforts.

Still, since the language is endangered, translating the Book of Mormon into Nahuatl might do some good in helping to preserve it, but that also depends on how many current Nahuatl speaking members we have (and who are literate) who could assist in that cause.

Johnathan Whiting said...

@JPL

I just came across this by Matt. Have you had a chance to?

https://www.cumorah.com/index.php?target=view_other_articles&story_id=243&cat_id=30

Chris said...

Are there any opinions or thoughts about Elder Holland's recent Ministry tour of the Africa Southeast Area?

John Pack Lambert said...

After reading the article on Elder Holland speaking to over 7,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in South Africa I want to know if Judith Mahlangu who spoke at the meeting is related to Moses Mahlangu. Brother Mahlangu was one of the key figures in a group that met in Soweto in the 1970s waiting permission to bvb e baptized. He was not baptized until 1980 because even the 1968 revelation could not fully rush events in the face of Apartheid.

John Pack Lambert said...

More details on Moses Mahlungu. He and several family members and friends came across the Book of Mormon in roughly 1965.

They found a chapel of the Church and then the mission home in 1968. Moses Mahlangu was initially the only one who traveled to the mission home. He went and talked with missionaries at the mission home for 3 weeks before the mission president gave the missionaries permission to teach him the gospel. Later the mission president Howard C. Badger was also involved in teaching Mahlangu.

Mahlangu was introduced to Marion G. Romney when he came on a visit. There was much deliberation both in Salt Lake City and by Badger and his successor over whether to baptize Mahlangu and other black Africans.

This will seem odd to those who have a sense of the history of black members in the US. Darius Gray was baptized no later than 1967, and Ruffin Bridgeforth I believe earlier. There were enough black Latter-day Saints in Utah by 1971 that the genesis group was f8rmed there presided over by 3 African-American brethren.

However Apartheid made the situation harder in South Africa. There was also a general antagonism towards the Church by the Afrikaans speaking, largely Dutch Reformed Calvinist government in South Africa.

This group held the number of visas the Church could issue very low. They did expel some missionaries from other religions for doing outreach to black Africans in ways the Apartheid regime didn't like. The decision was made to not baptize black Africans in the South Afrixa mission.

Even when the revelation in June 1978 changed the landscape action was slow. Among other issues was the widespread practice of polygamy by black South Africans.

The local white leadership in South Africa got all sorts of concessions. Potential black members had to go through a whole set of lessons on welfare principles before being taught the lessons on the doctrines of the gospel. Baptism for black converts required multiple interviews with both local and stake leaders. Today a man can be ordained to the Aaronic priesthood without a stake level interview.

It was not until 1979 that any black Africans were baptized in the South African mission. The 1979 baptism was Ernest Sibanda in Zimbabwe.

It was not until August 1980, over 2 years after the Revelation on t hff e priesthood that Moses Mahlungu was baptized. In 1981 a branch was formed in Soweto where Mahlungu his family and friends lived. One of his cousins was called as a counselor in the branch presidency. Mahlungu was called as a counselor in the elders quorum presidency.

The 2016 BYU Studies article I drew much of this from does not cover anything about Brother Mahlungu after 1981. He died in 2001. In I believe 2006 Jackson Mkhabrla became the first black african stake president in South Africa, presiding over t hgt e Soweto Stake. Brother Mkabela would later be an area seventy and president of the Zimbabwe Mission. His wife for a time was a member bgg e of t hff e Young Women General Board.

John Pack Lambert said...

Per the 1990 Ensign article on Mahlungu by E. Dale LeBaron, as of that year Mahlungu was employed as a grounds keeper for the Johanesburg Temple. He was also a regular patron of the temple and elders quorum president in the Soweto Branch.

I have yet to see any evidence that can say if Judith Mahlingu is one of his most likely great-granddaughter. In the BYU studies article all the direct descendant quotes seemed to be drawn from oral history interviews from a daughter, a granddaughter and a non-Mahlungu grandson. However I do not remember seeing how many children Moses and Elizabeth had ever delineated nor any statement of the sex of those children.

In my searching I did learn that the say the Johanesburg South Africa temple was dedicated coincided with an anti-Apartheid boycott. Going to the temple dedication made one suspected of colaborarion.

Julie Mavimbela wrapped her son's arm to look like it was injured and claimed she was going to the hospital to make it to the temple. That is a classic example of President Oaks point that in some cases lying is justified. I think he made it more on why in the 1890s Church leaders were not always forthright in stating plural wives were all still fully treated as wives.

John Pack Lambert said...

Elder Soares told the story of Mahlungu in October 2013 general conference. He told it largely from how he was told it by an unnamed friend of Mahlungu. The statements on sitting outside the chapel to listen are directly contradicted in oral histories by the likes of Piet Mafora, who was the man in the Soweto group who fFirst found the chapel.

John Pack Lambert said...

On the other hand Mahlungu appears to be a fairly common last name in South Africa. I came across references to the Siuth African Ambassador to the US in 2017 being a Mr. Mahlungu.

Eduardo said...

John P Lambert: earlier you put 1968 revelation, referring to the Church Second Manifesto, which occurred in 1978. Probably just a typo, but for the record it puts the 1980 baptism you cite in better context.

John Pack Lambert said...

I meant 1978, I am sorry if I put the wrong date. 1968 is when Mahlungu first met the mission president. It was about 1964 when he first found the Book of Mormon.

It is not the 2nd manifesto. The 2nd manifesto was an about 1904 statement that represented the true end to polygamy. The first manifesto was at the time interpreted to mean only ending new polygamy where the laws against it were actually enforced.

Eduardo said...

Ok, right, I was thinking of Official Declaration-2, mixing that terminology up with Manifesto. The word "Manifesto", by the way, in current references has somewhat of a negative connotation, so it is better that the priesthood policy change has a less nefarious name. Thanks for the correction.