Black History Month Celebrated by Mormons in Florida

Black History Month Celebrated by Mormons in Florida

Black History Month, also known as African-American History Month, is an annual observance in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. It is celebrated annually in the United States and Canada in February, and the United Kingdom in October. (Source: Wikipedia, Black History Month.) The precursor to Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States, when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be “Negro History Week”. This week was chosen because it marked the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson created the holiday with the hope...

LDS Church Leader Jeffrey R. Holland Reflects on Visit to African Nation

LDS Church Leader Jeffrey R. Holland Reflects on Visit to African Nation

Africa has been held in reserve by the Lord,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland  of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said in an October 2010 visit to Burundi. “Africa will someday be seen as a bright land full of gospel hope and happiness.” [2] Africa is one of the fastest growing areas of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (mistakenly referred to as the Mormon Church by members of other faiths) with some 320,000 members, the majority of whom have joined the Church over the past 30 years. These faithful Saints have found that hope and happiness spoken of by Elder Holland through embracing the teachings of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Every year, as congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ continue to grow in different areas of the world,...

Bessemer, Alabama LDS Stake Gets First Black LDS Stake President

Bessemer, Alabama LDS Stake Gets First Black LDS Stake President

According to The Birmingham News, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly referred to as the Mormon Church) has named Peter M. Johnson, who served a mission to Birmingham, Alabama from 1987 to 1989, as the Bessemer, Alabama  Stake President, the first Black regional leader for Mormons in Alabama. Johnson and his family were living in Utah and have just recently moved back to Alabama. A stake is an administrative unit of The Church of Jesus Christ comprised of multiple congregations – the smaller congregations are called branches and the larger ones are called wards. It may be compared to a Roman Catholic Church diocese. The name “stake” is derived from the metaphor employed by Isaiah, comparing Zion to a tent fastened...

Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah – A Modern-day Book of Mormon Story

Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah – A Modern-day Book of Mormon Story

Without mentioning their last names, when people hear the names Jabari and Ziggy, the first thing that may come to mind is that they are two popular rap or hip-hop singers. However, such is not the case, at least not in this particular case. If the names Jabari and Ziggy are mentioned on the campus of Brigham Young University, sports fans immediately recognize that the persons being spoken of are Jabari Parker and Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah. Both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and both are sports legends in their own right – Jabari Parker being well known in the world of basketball, and “Ziggy” Ansah being well known in the world of football. Jabari is finishing high school in Chicago and...

Black and Mormon: Sitting at the Welcome Table

Black and Mormon: Sitting at the Welcome Table

There are many people who know very little, if anything, about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly referred to as the Mormon Church), and quite a bit of what they do know about the LDS Church and its teachings and beliefs has come from critics of the Mormon religion. One of the main issues that critics of The Church of Jesus Christ tend to focus on is the relationship that exists between Blacks and Mormons, and whether or not the LDS Church is racist. The fact that Latter-day Saints of African American descent were not permitted to be ordained to the Priesthood for a long period of time has triggered, and continues to trigger, uncertainty in the minds of some people, in particular, those of the Black race, who view this action as a sign of...

Black Mormon: Different, but Yet the Same

Black Mormon: Different, but Yet the Same

Keith L. Brown is a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and currently serves as a Ward Missionary in the Annapolis Maryland Ward.   My name is Keith Brown. My heritage is predominantly Methodist, but I was born and raised as a Baptist. I am 52 years old, a 30-year retired United States Navy veteran, an Office Administrator by trade, an amateur writer, a brother, an uncle, a friend, and I am a Mormon. To be more specific, I am a Black Mormon. I was baptized on Tuesday evening, 10 March 1998, in Reykjavik Iceland while serving on active duty. The fact that I am Black and a Mormon should not be a major issue; however, there have been a few instances when some family members and friends have asked why I decided to become a member of the...

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