Black Latter-day Saints

The Accra Ghana Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

A group of African Latter-day Saint women at the entrance to the Accra Ghana Temple.

 Liberian Latter-day Saints posing before the temple in Ghana.
A group of Latter-day Saint men
standing at the entrance to the grounds of
the Aba Nigeria Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Johannesburg South Africa Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Additional temples, which are quite distinct
from ordinary congregational meeting houses, and much rarer,
have been announced for Durban, South Africa,
and for Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

One of the weapons that will be deployed against Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy will be the claim that, if not precisely a racist himself, he was at least acquiescent, as a mature adult, to racism in his church.  Indeed, it’s already being deployed:

I devoted a prior post to precisely this issue just slightly more than a week ago.

A potentially important resource for the next several months (and, of course, beyond) is

And, while I’m at it, I would like to share this YouTube video of the 2005 journey of a group of Latter-day Saints from Cameroon to the then-newly-dedicated temple in Nigeria.  I find it extraordinarily moving, and a rebuke to my own too-common comfortable complacency.

Latter-day Saints will recognize the background music as that of “Come, Come Ye Saints,” William Clayton’s great nineteenth-century Mormon hymn commemorating the heroic travails of their pioneer forebears en route to the Great Basin in the American West.  Its use here is entirely appropriate and fitting.

Come, come, ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;
But with joy wend your way.
Though hard to you this journey may appear,
Grace shall be as your day.
Tis better far for us to strive
Our useless cares from us to drive;
Do this, and joy your hearts will swell -
All is well! All is well!

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?
‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward
If we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take.
Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell-
All is well! All is well!

We’ll find the place which God for us prepared,
Far away, in the West,
Where none shall come to hurt or make afraid;
There the saints, will be blessed.
We’ll make the air, with music ring,
Shout praises to our God and King;
Above the rest these words we’ll tell -
All is well! All is well!

And should we die before our journey’s through,
Happy day! All is well!
We then are free from toil and sorrow, too;
With the just we shall dwell!
But if our lives are spared again
To see the Saints their rest obtain,
Oh, how we’ll make this chorus swell-
All is well! All is well!

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