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Moses Mahlangu- The Conversion Power of the Book of Mormon

As Moses Mahlangu read the Book of Mormon, he knew that it was true.

Moses Mahlangu told his brothers, “We fight every day over what the Bible says about baptism. We fight about the name of the church. The Book of Mormon is very clear on these points, and on the sacrament. People will have no need to fight if they read both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.” (All are alike unto God, E. Dale LeBaron, editor, Chapter 17, Moses Mahlangu, “I Waited Fourteen Years,” pages 153-161)

Moses was 39 years old when he received a Book of Mormon from a distant relative in 1964.  As he read it, he knew the Book of Mormon was true.  Brother Mahlangu received the missionary discussions in 1964 in Johannesburg, South Africa.  His request for baptism was denied due to existing laws of the land. 

Waiting patiently for baptism

“It was not difficult to wait to be baptized, because from the time I received the teachings of the Church, almost everything became clear to me.” (All are alike unto God, E. Dale LeBaron, editor, Chapter 17, Moses Mahlangu, “I Waited Fourteen Years,” pages 153-161)  For the next 14 years, Moses distributed copies of the Book of Mormon and other missionary material to his people.

On Sundays Moses would go to the Church in Johannesburg and sit outside the window. Members would open the windows and turn up the speakers so he could listen.  Conversant in many languages (including English, Afrikaans, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu), Moses was a true pioneer among the blacks of South Africa. He held regular meetings in his home, where he taught from the Book of Mormon and prepared many of his friends for the gospel. Beginning in 1978, Moses Mahlangu and others from Soweto were allowed to attend church meetings in the Johannesburg chapel.

Blessings of Church membership

Moses Mahlangu was baptized in June 1980. “When I became a member,” he wrote, “I was very weak. I had nothing in my house. I had not held a job for two years.  After I joined the Church, everything came easier, and I got a job. I feel the power of God in my body, through the priesthood. When I went to the temple, I felt like a man who had just woken up from death.”  (All are alike unto God, E. Dale LeBaron, editor, Chapter 17, Moses Mahlangu, “I Waited Fourteen Years,” pages 153-161)

(This article was compiled in part with notes and dates from Neo Madela, granddaughter of Moses Mahlangu, who was raised by her grandparents.)

[The Book of Mormon is the key to Moses Mahlangu’s enduring testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His is the first in a series of articles about African members of the Church who gained their testimonies by reading the Book of Mormon.

If you or someone you know gained your testimony by reading and rereading the Book of Mormon, we would like to hear that story.  Please submit the story along with your name, and e-mail address to editorsa@ldschurch.org ]

Link to another article about Moses Mahlangu:

Gospel Pioneers in Africa