'The Golden Family'

'The Golden Family'

One Saturday as he was riding his bicycle in Bloemfontein where he was a student, Warner Molema came across an unusual shaped building, with the name “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” on the outside. Realising that the building was open, and that there were people inside, Warner waited outside for a while, to avoid disturbing them, until eventually someone emerged. Warner approached the person who had just come out of the building, asking if he could learn more about the church. “They sort of fell over backwards,” Warner said. “It’s not often they get someone off the street showing an interest.” Chris Vermeulen, who was the man Warner encountered on that day, told him that they were currently busy with family history, and invited him to attend church the following day. He did attend church that Sunday morning.

Warner was introduced to the missionaries and given a copy of The Book of Mormon, but was unable to meet with them as he was in the middle of writing exams. When he went home to Welkom, he asked the missionaries if there was a church in his hometown. At home he met with the missionaries, and while his initial plan had been to meet with them on his own, his father insisted that they meet with the entire family. The first meeting was casual, and was based on a question and answer session. Following that meeting, Warner’s father thought that they had scared the missionaries away, and would never see them again. Warner, on the other hand, was determined to find out more, and called the missionaries to invite them for a second session the following week.

To everyone’s surprise, it was during this second discussion, that Warner’s father said, “Elders, I can accept your faith. When can we be baptized?” The Elders were hesitant at this as they had not taught them all six missionary lessons, but an appointment was made and all the lessons were taught to the Molemas in one evening. Word of this “golden family” got to President R.J. Snow, the mission president at the time, and he felt that he wanted to conduct their baptismal interviews himself.

On the night of the interviews he asked Warner’s father to usher him to a room where he could interview the family as individuals, to which Mr Molema replied that they were a family, and as such did not have secrets. “This was probably his one and only time as a mission president that he interviewed the whole family together,” Warner said. Following the interviews, Warner, his father and his sister, Wendy were baptised on 27 December 1987, while his brother and mother were baptised on 17 January 1988. Warner’s father got to baptise his wife, and Warner got to baptise his younger brother, Mark, who had recently turned 8.

Since then, Brother Molema Senior has passed away. His wife, Sister Jen, and their three children, Warner, Wendy and Mark, have all served missions. They received the gospel through the missionaries and wanted to share the gospel with others by being missionaries too. Now they serve the Lord diligently in their callings.