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Former Baptists look forward to daughters’ Mormon mission

MEXICO CITY (BP)–Former Mexican Baptists Jaime Rojano and his wife, Martha, look forward to seeing their two teen-age daughters serve as Mormon missionaries when they turn 21.
“I would like to go to France, but I really don’t care where I serve as long as I get to go,” says Fabiola, 14.
Listening to the Rojano family talk about their zealous commitment to the Mormon Church, it’s hard to imagine that only a few years ago they were stalwarts in First Baptist Church of Mexico City and Jaime was a major player in managing the church’s operations.
The story of their migration from Baptist to Mormon begins with a major split at their church. Now the Rojanos speak mostly in gracious, general terms about their disappointment with individual Baptists as church unity fell apart.
It was a very unhappy situation, the family agrees. “We never saw brotherhood and love for the other members,” says Martha.
A period of mourning and withdrawal from the church, mixed with family turmoil, followed. Then, months later, while sitting in a doctor’s waiting room in Mexico City, Jaime picked up a Book of Mormon and started to read it.
“I found out that Jesus Christ came to America, which was something I had never heard before,” says Jamie. He asked the doctor there about what he had read. The doctor invited him to a Mormon meeting, then sent two Mormon missionaries to visit the Rojano family.
It was not Mormon theology, but rather the wholesome-looking, family oriented Mormon lifestyle, that captured their hearts. Harmony replaced family turmoil that followed the rupture at First Baptist. It is embodied in pictures of Jaime and Martha in wedding attire “sealing their marriage for eternity” at the mammoth Mormon temple in Mexico City.
Once the confidant of his Baptist pastor, Jaime found himself suddenly surrounded by Mormon leaders whom he felt showed a personal interest in him and his family. “They tried to involve us in the church’s activities,” says Jaime. “We were hungry and thirsty for this.”
Jaime also liked the Mormon teachings on baptism for the dead, because this reconnected him to his deceased father’s family, unknown to him until he performed his own genealogical search.
Daughter Daniela, 18, liked the Mormon youth activities. She says she enjoys the discipline of the church’s 5:30 a.m. weekday Bible studies for young people (called seminary).
Wife Martha liked the emphasis on clean living and what she says is consistency between faith and practice.
If they could tell Baptists worldwide how to keep Mormons from attracting other Baptists like themselves? “Work very hard with families and with family values,” says Jaime.

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  • Louis Moore