News Release

Mozambique Welcomes Baptisms After Two Years

Hundreds of Mozambiquans are joyfully entering the waters of baptism as COVID restrictions ease

A joyful flood of baptisms is taking place in Mozambique after a two-year pause induced by COVID precautions has now been lifted.

Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began, the government implemented rules in Mozambique to help curtail the spread of the disease. Among other precautions, the restrictions prohibited baptisms and other religious ordinances.

As these restrictions continued into the end of 2021, the number of people awaiting baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grew.

COVID restrictions eased – baptisms commence

On April 20, 2022, the President of Mozambique announced that COVID restrictions would be eased, allowing baptisms to take place. Those awaiting baptism were overjoyed with the news.

“Interviews were conducted, baptismal fonts scrubbed and baptismal clothes cleaned in preparations for the first baptisms in Mozambique, set for Saturday, April 23. The first baptism took place at 8am in Magoanine, where a faithful security guard for the chapel was baptized, after he had cheerfully helped clean and fill the font the day before,” recounts Elder Woodbury, a senior missionary in the Maputo Mozambique Mission.

“Baptisms continued throughout the day and into the evening in 15 different areas of the mission, with a total of 63 people being baptized, limited only by the number of baptismal clothes that were available.”

A second mission in Beira, a city about 1,000 kilometres north of Maputo, saw similar events take place.

The baptism of Cleidy Maria Francisco (23), came six months after she had first met with the missionaries.

As she waited to know when she could get baptized, “I felt really anxious,” she says. “But I kept thinking, maybe God sees the need for me to learn more before I take this step.” She continued to attend church and study the gospel.

First 3 baptisms, Ben Hur Daniel Titos, Cleidy Erika Maria Francisco, and Cacilda Alberto. In Nelspruit South Africa, 9 April 2022.2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Cleidy remembers the joyous moment when she finally walked into the baptismal water, holding her father’s hand. “I remember everything about that day,” she says. “The ultimate joy came when my father performed the baptism.”

‘It felt like I could finally shower after a long journey’

Flávia Amosse was one of the many people who was thrilled to hear that she could now be baptized.

After the long wait, entering the waters of baptism was a moment of intense joy and relief. “It was as if I had been on a long, long journey,” says Flávia (51). “It felt like I was dusty and sweaty, and I could now finally take a shower,” says Flávia. “When the baptism came, it was like the waters were there to cleanse me.”

Jaime Casa Branca (23) was another person who had eagerly awaited the announcement.

He had met the missionaries in the street outside his home at the beginning of the year. “The message that really struck me was how Joseph Smith was confused about which church to join,” he says. “It resonated with me because I was asking the same questions in my mind. As I met with the missionaries, I realised that all the questions that I had were being answered.”

Jaime waited over four months before he was able to enter the waters of baptism. “I was scared at one point, wondering ‘when is my baptism going to take place?’” he says. “But I continued to be faithful, knowing that one day the COVID restrictions would be lifted.”

The day of Jaime’s baptism “was the happiest day of my life,” he says. He was surrounded and supported by members in his new church congregation.

Missionaries in Mozambique shared their experience of these special experiences.

“There was a new and reverent Spirit of gratitude present during the baptismal meeting,” said Elder Hilbig. “Our bishop repeatedly said that the angels of heaven were blowing their trumpets, celebrating the grand work that will follow this miracle of baptism opening.”

Elders Njange and Elder Canamala shared: “With the opening of baptisms we felt that the Lord answered our prayers, we felt that the effort of fasting and supplicating to the Lord was answered with great strength. We saw the determination and joy of investigators as they entered the water to make a covenant with Heavenly Father. We are very happy to live this moment of great joy.”

About 900 baptisms have taken place in Mozambique in the two months since restrictions were lifted.

‘I am a much happier person’

A few months after their baptisms, Cleidy, Jaime and Flavia share how the gospel is changing their lives.

“Now that I’ve joined the church, my experience has been great,” says Flavia. “I feel like I have more family. I belong to a family of saints. I love the fact that there are other women to talk to, and other women can talk to me.”

For Jaime, it’s a joy that he has shared with other loved ones.

He had the privilege of baptizing his sister in June, with several other relatives also being baptized in the ensuing weeks. “I am so happy to share this experience with people I love,” he says.

Cleidy says, “Ever since I joined the church I am a much happier person. I feel it was the best decision that I have ever made.”

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