Mauricio A. Berger
For The Cause of Zion
This web page was blank, and I’m a writer, so it bothered me. I have never met Brother Mauricio Berger, but I’ve read his story many times and from more than one source. Nor do I know the saints in Independence, Missouri, but I have kept close watch on The Cause of Zion website to get any crumb of information about further happenings – not only the words on the page, but the spirit behind those words. So I think I can put words on this blank page that will serve the purpose of filling it now, and I think they might clarify the whole situation too.
We already know this, but it won’t hurt to say it again. Prophets – like all men, are subject to the same influences as the rest of us. Joseph F. Smith will attest to this. And when any person or group of people has potential for good, satan will be working hard to influence according to his destructive plan. The greater the potential for good, the harder satan works. And satan is the great pretender – an expert at mimicking the good spirit of his enemy, Jesus Christ. Would that a desire to serve the Lord God could completely shield us from the influence of the adversary, but this is not the case. The spiritual condition of God’s people everywhere is evidence of that. For people who really desire truth, seeking it is not about being error free. It’s not about being better than the other guy or girl. It’s not about who is right and who is wrong. It’s not about finger-pointing blame. It’s not about winning a fight. It is about understanding, it is about repenting, and it’s about stamina.
So, I’ll tell what I understand of Mauricio’s story, using one of the versions found online as a guide for dates and sequence and portions from other sources too. You, the reader, should envision a man who wants to do right by God, but by his own admission has made mistakes, and once he understood his error, tried and tried again. Stamina. May he be protected and blessed by his Heavenly Father and the guidance of our redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Brother Mauricio A. Berger lives in Brazil in the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. I have found that state on a map of Brazil, and I have found all the names of locations in the story below – Caxias do Sul, Santa Maria, and Agudo, where Mauricio grew up, but I have not found Monte Agudo where the angel Moroni first appeared. But, I myself live amongst many mountains, and I know that we locals have names for mountains, hills, valleys, creeks and rivers that are not on any map. Because I believe the story below, I must assume this is the case with Monte Agudo.
Mauricio first lived in the small town of Agudo. There weren’t a lot of churches there to choose from, but apparently there was spiritual influence from his father and probably the Lord Himself that set him on a path seeking God’s truth.
As a child he experienced end-time dreams and visions that tormented him. Perhaps his father spoke of the last days, and as with all children, it had a great effect on Mauricio, or perhaps God was preparing him even as a young child for the burden he would carry as an adult. But this situation began a quest for explanation of what was happening, spiritually, to Mauricio. As Mauricio grew older he was touched and influenced by outside institutions and organizations. One was a Franciscan Catholic Monastery; another was the church of Jehovah’s Witnesses; another was the LDS church.
At the monastery, he was surprised that he seemed to understand the Bible better than the monks. He even convinced one monk to leave Catholicism. Of course, he did too.
The Jehovah Witness group felt that Mauricio would not be relieved of the bad dreams until he was baptized by them. So Mauricio became a Witness. When he was baptized a Jehovah’s Witness, he had to move to the town of Santa Maria, and he was there three or four years. While there he saw some LDS missionaries and ended up with a Book of Mormon of course which must have contained Joseph Smith’s own story. He was so impressed with the way Joseph Junior went to the grove to pray for guidance that he found a grove near where he lived and did the same thing, being certain God would answer him.
That was when he first met an angel named Raphael and he was given some words of instruction and told to wait for more which he would receive in the future. At that point, Mauricio left the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Joined the LDS church. After all, that’s who he got the Book of Mormon from. As an LDS member, he married an LDS young woman, but because the Witnesses had encouraged him to drop out of school, he had to embark on the task of supporting a family with little formal education. In our land here, sometimes formal education can kill spiritual discernment, so that may have been a good thing.
At the time of his marriage, he looked for whatever work he could find, and eventually, in 2006, he had the opportunity to do vender-like work at a mall in the city of Caxias do Sul. To do this, he had to leave his wife and child behind for six months. When he was able to arrange it, he closed the mall one night and traveled to Santa Maria to bring his family to their new home. On this journey, as he passed by Agudo where he grew up, he grew sleepy, and since he felt safe near his home town, he pulled off the road for a nap.
It was then, after eight years that the angel Raphael appeared again. It was the morning of April 6, 2007. In the dark of early morning, he followed Raphael up the steep hill of Monte Agudo, and Raphael lit the way for him by making light rubbing his hands together. Mauricio was left there for a time, and he prayed to understand what was going on. That was when an angel named Moroni appeared wrapped in very bright light. Moroni did some explaining, and then gave Mauricio some golden plates and a sword. Mauricio had read the Book of Mormon. He was not at a loss as to what these things were. He was handling the plates of Mormon and the sword of Laban. Moroni also gave him information about another church, the RLDS church, and he told about the land of Zion, the temple lot, and impressed Mauricio with their importance. As I recall, Moroni helped Mauricio carry those plates back down the hill.
Mauricio then left the LDS church, but in doing so, he told them about the golden plates and his visit with Moroni. Mauricio was excommunicated and told that only the LDS prophet could translate those plates. Somehow Mauricio believed this, and he actually wanted the prophet of the LDS church to go up Monte Agudo and be a witness there.
In February of 2008, he went up Agudo again accompanied by Joni Batista, and two LDS friends named Jader and Sergio, and they witnessed heavenly hosts. While there, Mauricio asked Moroni if the LDS prophet Gordon B. Hinkley could accompany him as a witness, and he was told that Gordon B. Hinkley had died.
On December 12, 2009 Mauricio and family left home for a family gathering in another town. While gone, Mauricio was given a warning. He returned home, took the plates and sword from where he kept them in his attic and carefully buried them somewhere in the ground outside. Then he returned to the family gathering. That night, Mauricio’s apartment was broken into, in an apparent search, leaving the apartment in a huge mess, and leaving Mauricio terribly discouraged. He wanted to quit, and I can only imagine he felt dismayed and betrayed. That night he gathered his family and told them they would have to leave their home to find a safer place. It was then that across the street in some woods where he had visited with Raphael previously, he and his wife saw lights appear. Mauricio knew what this meant; he had seen those lights before. His wife stayed on the porch and Mauricio went to investigate. Not Raphael this time, but instead Moroni was there. Moroni introduced him to several prophets of the past. Mauricio was encouraged to never give up.
On December 22, 2009, when Mauricio turned 33, again he went up Monte Agudo with two of the same men as before – Jader and Joni. He had the promise from Moroni that he would receive a special “celestial” blessing. Mauricio went up part way and met Raphael. There he and Raphael disappeared, leaving the other two men on the hillside. Those two men estimated his absence lasted about 40 minutes. They said a light appeared above them – in their words, “like a portal.” Mauricio says he must have been taken to Enoch’s city of old in heaven. (See Joni’s email 6/27/2011)
Mauricio’s apartment then became a high security place with a huge iron entrance gate. One Sunday evening, as some of them were gathered to worship, there was a knock on the door. He opened it and thought he recognized a man as someone from past experience called Peter. But the man corrected him, saying his name was not Peter, and he blessed the home at that time. Then he with two other personages taught the importance of honoring the Sabbath and keeping it holy – a requirement for living in Zion. Months later, the same three returned to say the same about the sacrament. It is interesting to note that somehow these individuals were able to get past the high security gate unnoticed.
Before that, I assume in the former residence, at 3:00 in the morning, a phone call woke them. It was a neighbor warning them that someone was trying to break into their home. They called the police, but before the police arrived, those breaking in had fled. Mauricio called his neighbor back to ask why and learned there was a very bright light that shined directly down on the men and scared them away.
Earlier in Mauricio’s life, he had an experience where he was shown the Kirtland Temple and he heard the people inside sing “The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning.” Somehow, with no knowledge of English, he was so affected by the experience that he was able to learn the hymn by heart, and he had drawn a picture of the Temple many times over.
Mauricio was instructed to get at least one man from Church of Christ Temple Lot and two others from the LDS and RLDS church. This was for the purpose of bearing witness to the truth of what was happening.
Of paramount importance now in God’s agenda is that the saints overcome their differences, and get the designated place for Zion ready for the return of Christ. Church of Christ Temple Lot, the RLDS and the LDS –all have strayed from the original spirit of truth, and they must return to it to be counted worthy. Mauricio draws an analogy between the three churches mentioned and the three trees planted on Mount Zion described in Isaiah 60: 13, 14. The fir, the pine and the box – “three trees that were planted together on Mount Zion to jointly adorn the place of the sanctuary of God”
Mauricio talks of pride, that stumbling block for all, and he says the different church leaders must put off that pride. They must attain the humility to admit to mistakes, errors, and sin. They must become who they say they are, the predecessors to the return of Christ, by redeeming the land of Zion. In 2010 Mauricio said seven years would have to pass before any of them could see clearly with “spiritual eyes” which at that time were “blindfolded.” The literal fulfillment of 2 Nephi: 24-30 (LDS) and 2 Nephi 12: 30-38 (RLDS) was happening. We must be careful of believing “all is well in Zion.”
In the spring of 2017, Mauricio sent an email to Joseph F. Smith, and that fall, Brother Joseph made his first trip to Brazil accompanied by Brother Bob Moore.
This story, in my own words, with a pen name as a byline, can be replaced any time.
May God bless and protect the intent and understanding of these words.
P.S. to confirm Mauricio’s 2 Nephi above:
Matt 24: 44, 45 – But as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be also at the coming of the Son of Man. For it shall be with them as it was in the days which were before the flood, for until the day that Noah entered into the ark, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.