Thabo and Andronica Lebethoa read the Book of Mormon daily in their family. This has been a blessing in their lives, but they believe special blessings occurred from this daily reading when Thabo was called as mission president of the South Africa Cape Town Mission in late 2016. In a recent missionary couple devotional, President and Sister Lebethoa shared their experiences:
Thabo told of how his family had completed the Book of Mormon in their daily scripture reading in August 2016. The family decided they would start reading one of Thabo’s favorite volumes of scripture, the Doctrine and Covenants. This was soon to change.
During the October 2016 general conference, Thabo and Andronica felt impressed that they needed to read the Book of Mormon again as a family. They immediately started reading it again, but this time, in the early chapters, the journey of Lehi and Nephi’s family stood out. Little did they know in those early readings that they would be able to “liken” these chapters unto their family.
First, in November 2016, Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles interviewed Thabo and Andronica about their worthiness to serve in some unspecified calling. They were told not to worry, that likely nothing would come of the interview. But in December 2016, they had an interview with President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency. Thabo was called to serve as a mission president. President Eyring made them feel comfortable, and they left the interview feeling that all was well. They were asked to not tell anyone of the call until mission assignments had been made and the calls were made public.
Once they were able to tell their family of this new call to serve, doubts started arising as family asked questions such as, “What will you do with your house?” “Are you moving your children to another school?” Anxiety hit. But Thabo and Andronica found that their recent reading of the Book of Mormon helped them to be strengthened. They remembered how Lehi was called by an angel to leave his home in Jerusalem and go to another place; that he was told to take his provisions and his family and leave. For their family, it would not be to an unknown place, but they knew they had been called of God as was Lehi, to leave their home, friends, and extended family for three years. Just like Lehi and Sariah, they would take the provisions they were told to carry. They would take their children. They would find schools for them in Cape Town. Just as Nephi told his father, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them” (1 Nephi 3:7). The Lebethoas knew that the Lord had commanded them on a journey to serve in Cape Town and that He would make it possible for them to leave their home, find schools for their children, and do all that would be required of them.
Thabo and Andronica also wanted to help their children understand the implications of this new assignment on their family. In a February 2017 interview, Thabo relates, “As you know in the first chapters of the Book of Mormon, Lehi is instructed to take his family and move into the wilderness and to take nothing save it were the essentials. It is interesting that we were able to use the story of Lehi and his family to help explain to our children what the Lord was going to do here with our family. We were now connecting two families—Lehi’s and ours—together. We helped our children understand that this was becoming real in their lives, ‘Wow, you know that Nephi says we must use the scriptures and liken them to ourselves and so we painted that picture for them.’”
Thabo bore his testimony that daily reading in the Book of Mormon has helped his family in the past and as one of the goals set by the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, “Read the Book of Mormon daily” will help all of us as we “liken the scriptures unto ourselves.”