Philibert Rasolo has spent years studying the Bible and searching for a meaningful religion to call his own. After 27 years of looking for a faith in his home of Madagascar, he became discouraged and vowed to end his quest. Instead, Philibert put all his energy into building a large brick house — three storeys — much too large for his family that occupied only the top floor. Philibert said it would prove later to meet a need he had not yet imagined.
During that time, Philibert’s daughter, Zarlice brought home an unusual religious book while on break from her studies at the university. At first Philibert was not dissuaded from his original vow to cease his search for religion, but he remembers being drawn toward the pages of the Book of Mormon. “I felt like the book was calling to me,” he remembered.
Unable to ignore his feelings, he began reading the Book of Mormon and had a realization. “The Bible and the Book of Mormon complete each other mutually,” said Philibert. “It (the Book of Mormon) speaks about how to be happy and not be in misery.”
Philibert wanted to know more about the church behind the book but did not know where to find it. He wrote a letter simply addressed to “The president, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Antananarivo,” the capital city of Madagascar. The letter eventually found its way to the Church’s mission home in Madagascar, about 282 kilometers (175 miles) from Philibert’s remote rural village of Fokontany Andalona.
By the time Mormon missionaries arrived, Philibert and eight members of his family were ready to be baptized into the Church. The baptisms took place in a river near his village on 16 June 2009. “I am happy he joined,” said his daughter, Tsiresy. “His spirit is open. I can see that the Church has sent divine help to the family.”
Initially there was no meetinghouse in Philibert’s village, but the home he had felt compelled to build so large turned out to be ideal for Mormon worship services. Now a new meetinghouse has been built to meet the needs of more new members.
Taken from “Mormons in Africa: Stories of Hope and Faith,” LDS Newsroom, 22 Feb 2011