“A Temple in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Global Histories: Democratic Republic of the Congo (2020)
“A Temple in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,” Global Histories: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Thierry Mutombo was eight when he and his parents, Antoine K. Mutombo and Marie Therese M. Nzambu, were baptized in June 1986. Two weeks later, Antoine dreamed about a beautiful “big white house” that “looked like a white pearl from far away.” Confused and amazed, he asked a senior missionary couple what his dream might mean. They told him the building was a temple and that one day he would be able to go there. “For my dad, going to the temple became a lifelong dream,” said Thierry. “He talked about temples during family home evening throughout our lives.”
After serving a mission in Côte d’Ivoire, Thierry met Nathalie Sinda, who had a similar love for the temple. In 1994 Nathalie’s parents and some of her siblings had died. Three years later, she was baptized and began dreaming of her parents and siblings begging her to help them. Although she served a mission, Nathalie did not have the opportunity to attend the temple. “One day, I will go see the temple and do all the temple work for my parents,” Nathalie wrote in her journal as a missionary.
In 2002 Thierry and Nathalie Mutombo were married civilly. A year later, their firstborn son died two weeks after he was born. “When I cried about our baby,” recalled Nathalie, “my husband said, don’t cry, one day we will be sealed to him for time and eternity.” On November 18, 2004, Thierry, Nathalie, and their second son made the journey to the Johannesburg South Africa Temple to be sealed as a family. “For us, we have waited for that moment to be together as an eternal family,” said Thierry. During the trip, Nathalie also fulfilled her dream of doing the temple ordinances for her parents and siblings, extending the chain of sealings back a generation.
Seven years later, on the evening of Saturday, October 1, 2011, Thierry and Nathalie Mutombo were at their home in Kinshasa with their children watching general conference when Church President Thomas S. Monson announced plans to build a temple in Kinshasa. For Thierry, a temple there meant not only blessings for eternity, but the hope of blessings for his country. “A temple in Democratic Republic of the Congo means that the Lord is keeping an eye on our country and we will finally have peace,” he said.
Thierry was also excited that his father had lived to hear the announcement. “My father had been waiting for the temple in Kinshasa for his whole life,” he said. In February 2016 the Mutombo family, including Antoine Mutombo, were present for the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Temple. “This is an answer to my prayers,” said Antoine. A few months later, having seen his dream begin to transform into a reality, Antoine K. Mutombo passed away.