Early Mormon Imprints in South Africa


The appearance in Cape Town, South Africa, on 8 June 1835 of Some of the Principal Doctrines of Belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints marks the printed beginnings of the Mormon missionary effort in that area of the world. Its author, Jesse Haven, was the first president of the South African Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Called during a special missionary conference in Salt Lake City on 28–29 August 1852, Elder Haven and his companions, Leonard I. Smith and William Holmes Walker, made their way to Cape Town via Liverpool, England, arriving on 18 April 1853. One month later (on 23 May) the trio officially organized the Church “in the Cape of Good Hope.” On the day they organized the Church in South Africa, Jesse Haven was appointed mission president. The first branch was organized at Mowbray on 16 August, and a second branch was established at Newland on 7 September. Within six months they had baptized at least forty-five persons into the Church, and by the time the missionaries left in December 1855, they had organized six branches and baptized about 175 people.


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