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Mormonism LIVE: 068: Out of Africa

RFM and Bill Reel sit down with special guests to discuss what The LDS Church looks like in Africa and how its membership upon this continent is affected uniquely.


2 thoughts on “Mormonism LIVE: 068: Out of Africa”

  1. A few items:

    My ward before I left probably was 20% African with a large population from Liberia, Sierra-Leon and the Ivory Coast. We had a large contingent of African refugees from the civil war in Liberia. So there are wards that have diversity.

    As mentioned on the episode, Africa is a continent with many countries and cultures. A lot is said of defending black culture and not imposing “whiteness”. This is not some moral high ground IMO unless you want the baggage that goes with it. What baggage do you say?

    How about child brides? I personally helped many of these familes. In one, the father had married a 13 year old girl who was pregnant and he had her get an abortion because he wasn’t raising some other man’s child. The then fathered a couple of children with her. He arrived in the USA and then fathered some children with some late teen sisters. How old was this man? He was a modern JS in his late 30’s. He would have fit right into Nauvoo. How did he treat women? Well he got upset when the “white” people started teaching his wife how to read because then the women started to “know things” and “they think they have rights”. He said his teenage daughter didn’t need to know how to read because she only need to learn to cook and clean and keep a man happy in his house. Can blacks be racist? You bet. When we helped him get a truck (I personally loaned him the money since nobody would hire him as I didn’t want the liability of being the owner) and get “whiteness” or shall I say a job, a place was found near the gravel yard where he would work to park it. He came to me upset about leaving it there because he was afraid of his gas being stolen? Why you ask? Was his gas stolen? Nope, it was just owned by a hispanic guy. He wouldn’t let his kids play with US blacks because they were up to no good. When his daughter was raped by his friend’s boys, he turned the other cheek and had them all over for dinner – how Christlike. /s Then to try and help his brother in Africa get to the US, he tried to convince his now 18 year old daughter to go back to Africa to marry him to bring him back to the US. This was a money maker for him as his brother would pay him $10k. He explained to my wife how his wife wouldn’t listen when he would tell her to “get on the bed”. She needs to do as told and give him what he needs. When he eventually divorced his wife in the US, he didn’t want to work because his wife and kids would get some of the money. Both parents didn’t want the children and thought the other parent should take them in the divorce. One of their children ended up attaching to our family and doesn’t want to be around his birth father. I think of him as a 5th son and we all love him dearly. Yeah, he got human touch. He would turn into putty if anyone tried to pick him up as he was severely abused. He would be the one that my “whiteness” has rubbed off on the most and is well not in prison like his older sister. We had subsidized the moving of the family into a nice neighborhood condominium. This put them in better schools and allowed us to help them more as they were closer. I remember getting a call from the neighborhood association. Could you please help us? The kids are playing with knives naked in the street. I could go on and on but I think you get the point. This IS cultural. A lot of the culture sucks. This family is one example in a sea of many that we helped.

    A big problem was welfare at church and while I didn’t like a lot of what the church and local leaders did, it is understandable when you realize many of the problems. Many of the Africans would spend their day church shopping as they went from church to church getting stuff for free. They used their kids as ATM’s while not really caring about their welfare. As EQP, I remember discovering how this one women we were paying rent to was married. She had claimed that she wasn’t and that the guy on her lease was just helping her out and had signed for her. I did some digging and found out she had been married to him by a priest in another church that they also attended. She had lied because she understood the system well enough that we would include his income when deciding how to help. She then claimed she had no idea that she was married when confronted. Good times.

    There is another man I helped who said he wanted to go back to Liberia and help his fellow countrymen. I will call him a success. He went from making minimum wage to getting a masters in accountancy and making six figures. He has since decided he isn’t going back to help. You see the key to success was leaving. He left his black community behind. The community is a crab bucket. They climb all over each other keeping everyone in the bucket. Upon reflection this is the conclusion he came to. Many parts of the culture suck. If imposing “whiteness” is what it I did, I am proud of it. My guess is this man is happy my “whiteness” rubbed off.

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