News Release

Elder Rasband Prepares for Temple Dedication in South Africa

Church leaders meet with royal family in Lesotho

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is ministering in South Africa in preparation for Sunday’s dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple. Elder Rasband; his wife, Melanie; and other Church leaders arrived a week early to visit Latter-day Saints and government leaders throughout the temple district, including those in the nation of Lesotho.


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Lesotho is a landlocked country encircled by South Africa.

“I am meeting not only heads of state but tribal kings to talk about the temple with them,” said Elder Rasband.

Elder Rasband, his wife and leaders from the Africa Southeast Area met with His Majesty King Letsie III and Her Majesty Queen ’Masenate Mohato Seeiso in Maseru, the capital of Lesotho, on Monday, February 10, 2020.

Elder Rasband reaffirmed with the government and tribal leaders that the global Church — headquartered in Salt Lake City, more than 10,000 miles away from Durban — has a strong and growing presence throughout South Africa, with an organization of general and local Church leaders.

“I want them to know that in some sense, while it is a global Church, it is also a South Africa Church, it is a Lesotho Church and it is a Mozambique Church,” he said.

“It is a great blessing to have Elder Rasband dedicate the temple,” said Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy. He and his wife, Lynette, accompanied the Rasbands to Port Elizabeth, East London and Cape Town, South Africa, and Maseru, Lesotho. Elder Cook served as the Africa Southeast Area president from 2014 to 2016.

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