News Release

Zulu Queen Pays Visit to Church Leaders 

“We were meant to be here,” queen says of visit to Salt Lake City

Zulu Queen from South Africa, HM Queen Nompumelelo Mchiza Zulu, visited the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 March 2024. She met with Melanie Rasband, wife of Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and was hosted at a dinner by Elder Mark S. Palmer of the Presidency of the Seventy and his wife, Jaqui. The queen was accompanied by a colleague, Ms. Thembelihle Ngcobo.  

Queen Nompumelelo Mchiza Zulu joins Sister Melanie Rasband for a private tour of the Layton Temple in Layton, Utah, on Wednesday, March 27, 2024.© 2024 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Sister Rasband first met the queen in 2020 when the Apostle presided at the dedication of the Durban South Africa Temple, situated in the heart of the Zulu Kingdom. At the time, Queen Nompumelelo was accompanied by her husband, the late King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu. A deep friendship was struck, gifts were exchanged and a close relationship ensued.    

When the king passed away a short time later in 2021, Sister Rasband reached out across the world and ministered to the bereaving widow. This deepened their relationship.  

Elder Palmer, who attended the events of the dedication said, “It was delightful to once again meet with Queen Nompumelelo. It brought back cherished memories of when she and King Zwelithini visited the Durban Temple with Elder and Sister Rasband a few years ago. At that time, his majesty issued a decree that the Church was both welcome and needed in the Zulu nation. So, it was a pleasure to participate in welcoming the Queen on her visit to the headquarters of the Church.”

While in Utah, the queen visited the Church’s Welfare Square and Humanitarian Center. She had a private tour of the new Layton Utah Temple, which will be dedicated in June. She also met with South African students at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University, and young people preparing for missionary service at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. 

“We were meant to be here. I have learned a lot; I have learned how the Church is teaching its people to help one another. What I see is what the Lord teaches. People of the Church practice Christianity, it is not just lip-service,” the queen said.  

The queen, who is visiting the United States on business, made the trip primarily to greet the Rasband and Palmer families and said they made a significant mark on them as family. 

The Church has provided significant aid in the Kwa Zulu Natal area of South Africa, which has experienced recent flooding, including projects such as the provision of wheelchairs and resources to help with food security. 

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