By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Meet the Twin Latter-day Saints - Africa to America

When people enter into a new setting, they like to see things that remind them of themselves. The same thing occurs in church, particularly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When African Americans join the church, they find in many areas that no one in their congregations actually provide them with a visual reflection that matches their own. Seeing so few people that reflect can cause social trouble and loneliness.
Ghana Temple

Members of Twin Latter-day Saints & Friends and Family

Abba Nigeria Temple
Abba Nigeria Temple

Members of Twin Latter-day Saints Friends and Family

The Need

Dale Wight saw a need in the Latter-day Saint community for something to help this minority in its US LDS community, Black Latter-day Saints. He calls it Twin Latter-day Saints.
The term Twin Latter-day Saints refers to the people on the other side of the world that look like African Americans who are joining the church and become examples of faith and strength.
What happens when you look in a mirror? You see your reflection! Your reflection looks like you and moves with you, but it is different in that it does the same thing on the opposite side. It will not disturb you because you know that it is a reflection of what you are doing.
In Africa, there exists a great many Latter-day Saints who look like their twin brothers and sisters in America, African Americans.
This group of twins to the African Americans purpose is to be lodestars of faith of people that look like them and are also Latter-day Saints!
The church is slowly growing among African Americans--too slowly in the view of many. Yet it is flourishing in Africa.
In the feature film Meet the Mormons the bishop as shown below is one of thousands of faith Latter-day Saints who identifies as African American
See Meet the Mormons in select theaters October 10th.
#meetthemormons  #sharegoodness
It is believed that African Americans ostracized in the LDS church after joining because many give up traditional cultural ties to music and worship to associate with the predominately White congregations in America.
With so few Black Latter-day Saints to associate with, these new members may find it tempting to leave despite the burning witness that the teachings of the church are true.
The cultural ties among African Americans as in any ethnic group can be very powerful being that African Americans had to depend on themselves as a group mostly through their Black churches over the decades after slavery and through the Civil Rights Movement.
Cultural connections pale in comparison to the blessing of the gospel, but they do exist. Dale Wight’s idea of providing a way for these members in America to see people that look like them participating in traditional Latter-day Saint practices is an unofficial step to move toward alleviating that issue. Dale said,
Part of the inspiration for this group came from an encounter my wife and I had with Elder Sitati in 2009. He spoke at the Los Angeles Stake's conference shortly after joining the [First Quorum of the Seventy]. My wife [Barbara] asked how we could get more missionaries from Africa to work in the black communities in the US like [the one] she came from.
Though the answer Barbara Wight sought did not come directly because of Elder Sitati, it came in the form of her husband. On the Twin Latter-day Saints Facebook page it reads:
This group is for Black Latter Day Saints and their friends and families. It also is for those who may be interested in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
The purpose of this group is to share testimonies, uplifting messages, scriptural quotes, references, questions and answers, upcoming events and activities, poetry, good clean comedy, and FamilyHome Evening Ideas.
Twins are two people who look alike but have had different experiences. "Twin Latter-day Saints" refers to the Black Latter-day Saints in Africa and in America; they look alike but have had very different experiences. The Church is strong and growing rapidly in Africa. Already, there are more than twenty stakes in Nigeria alone. So far, there only have been two black stake presidents in the US.
One purpose of Twin Latter-day Saints will be to become a forum to leverage the Church's strength in Africa to provide missionary and fellowshipping support in the U.S. This may be simple things like posting videos and photos of stakes and wards in Africa so our [church] members and others in the US can see and hear parts of the Church [in Africa] in which they would be like all the other [areas of the church].
Johannesburg South Africa Temple
Johannesburg South Africa Temple
Not yet under construction. This picture is of a Meeting House call a Ward Building in Durban, RSA
Not yet under construction. This picture is of a Meeting House call a Ward Building in Durban, RSA
Source: Durban South Africa Temple (Announce 2011)

Blackness Explored


On The African American Experience

Aside from the hurt and bitter feelings of some die-hard Mitt Romney supporters and the white-hot anger of the Anti-Obama people, electing President Obama for a second term created history again for the American people.
During Black History Month from 2008 forward, it can be said that a man of African heritage ruled the most powerful nation in the world for eight years! He ruled a nation where less than 200 years previously his African heritage would have pegged him a slave. Just 40 years shy of the Civil Rights Movement did a minority take office!
It does not matter that President Obama is a Democrat or that he is bi-racial. Because there is a shred of African in him, he is considered African American according to American racial tradition. He was born in America, no matter what the people say opposite about that. He lived his life mostly as an African American and will be listed in the annals of time as an African American President! During the first election, however, it was not so.
What the president did for Americans is to introduce the notion that race should not matter.

Black By Default

Over the course of the years President Obama served the country, the attitudes of many African Americans changed towards him.
Apparently, the fact that his father is not American and actually from an African nation means that Barack Obama, the president, has no African American stock in his genes.
He is the first generation, and his ancestors did not share in the humiliation of the African American historical struggle OUTSIDE of the Civil Rights Movement.
No matter how the dial is twisted, the president is of African descent and can call himself African American or Black, but he cannot claim the struggle that generational groups of African Americans claim.
The president knows his ancestral roots and has a connection to his heritage if he so desires. He has a brother residing overseas to connect to his father’s homeland. President Obama’s connection to true African American culture is through his wife Michelle who is actually a generational American of African descent.
What the president did for Americans is to introduce the notion that race should not matter. It seems that African Americans are so psychologically distressed culturally as a group that they will African-Americanize any and every person with African bloodlines—whether from slavery ancestrally or Africa itself!

Tiger Woods

It is no surprise that so many shades of African Americans exist with so many hair textures. Bi-racial and multi-racial people who have African ancestry are not allowed to express their unique heritage without ridicule. Even if, say, Tiger Woods says he is not African American, that group will claim him by default.
In 1997, Tiger woods attempted to except himself from the African-American community at large and defined himself. Silly man!
People are not allowed to define themselves in American society! Regardless of what he decided to call his ethnic and racial disposition, most of the world labels him Black.
President Obama slyly avoided racial remarks about his origin--the thing that Tiger Woods should have done on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1997.
When asked by Oprah did having the label of "African American" thrown at him bother him he admitted, “It does...I'm just who I am, whoever you see in front of you.”
"I'm just who I am, whoever you see in front of you."
The issue with Tiger Woods statement is that he did not leave it at that. He proceeds to describe what he IS when what people SEE in front of them is a light-complexioned Black man.
President Obama did what Mr. Woods should have done. He let people describe what they saw and did not pander to any direction. People saw, eventually, an African American president; no, an American president with African-American ethnicity and racial social classification.

Black People Claim Everybody


Why all this grabby behavior by this Group of Americans?

The simple answer is the past is not a proud one for this group. Millions of people were purchased by Europeans and taken to the American continent against their wills.
In The Truth about Being Black in America can be found a perspective on the psychological implication of this past of servitude. In it is a term coined for the article called Collective Social Regard or CSR. CSR can be applied to any group but fits specifically well with African Americans because of their unique, singular and peculiar history.
Since the past is such a negative matter for this group of Americans, it claims as much of the present and future that it can to fill the void of cultural heritage.
In America, some of these citizens go so far as to try to create alternate cultural heritages to differ extremely from the majority, Caucasians. The irony about diverging in such a way is that the new cultures are based on European values, and not those of the mysterious Africans forced to emigrate in ships.
African Americans are a uniquely American group through and through. This group has a heritage that even the Native Americans can not equal because their ancestors migrated here by land and sea—by choice!
No other group was forced as an entire race of thousands of ethnicities to relocate, as were African Americans with the additional suppression of their culture and language. Few other groups or races. if any other. in American history survived cultural genocide committed against them, as the African American.
The election of President Obama for two terms proves that racial barriers can be overcome by minorities grounded in his or her history and comfortable with his or her heritage as is President Obama. Culturally, he and his family are similar enough to the majority to appeal to their humanity.
In addition, as a bi-racial man in a European culture, President Obama had to bear his burden of ridicule from both Black people and White people. He had to decide with which group he identified most and hopefully be accepted into that group. He struggled with identity issues and found that he identified with African Americans. His struggle was real and personal though his heritage was not of slave stock.
Will the son (or daughter) of a slave ever be president of these United States? Will a person who has ancestral stories of sharecropping after the Emancipating Proclamation was put forth by the Great and Honorable President Abraham Lincoln gain such lofty heights? Does it matter if that ever happens because a minority won the race? The answer to those questions depends on the perspective from which the reader views these words.

When Americans voted, they voted for a president of the United States of America.

Americans did not vote for a Black president. Barack Obama did not run as a Black candidate. In meetings of some African Americans around the nation, certain expressions can be heard that are acridly describing the president calling him the head N**ger in charge.
Statements by comedians who say, “You know how WE do,” implying that there is some difference in the methods of enjoyment, style, life or integrity of Blacks as opposed to other races and ethnicities.
There well may be many cultural differences. Those differences are not a conviction that the “WE” are honorable and praiseworthy people.
President Obama means so much to African-Americans because he represents something good and positive like unto Martin Luther King, Jr.


The former president will always be to African-Americans the face of freedom in America. Maybe one day, some minority woman of Mexican ancestry will rise to popularity and represent the Latinos. Will the Latinos accept this person if he or she is born in the US Puerto Rico, with one parent from Spain and the other parent with Mexican heritage? For now, the spotlight is on President Trump, which to many seems like a step backward in "post-racist" America.

Place of Discovery

In life sometimes we can be refugees or outcasts due to persistent struggle. It is a strange way to look at things being that so many people are refugees seeking amnesty from one country or another. Individually as we seek amnesty from the trials of life, some of us seek amnesty in a drug or an alcoholic beverage finding it to be a trap worse than the thing originally causing a need for sanctuary!

Sweet as it can be, life Will have challenges, challenges potentially able to chase away the choicest chances of renewal and reward down paths that prove difficult to course correct. Notions arising that lead us to seek escape from life because of with what we are challenged overwhelms us to the point where we cannot be the hero of our own life story, warrants a reflective moment or more to reevaluate the purpose of life.

Why are we here? Where are we going? What is my true origin? Levels of discovery in these questions take us on emotional journeys and religious quests to find the centering answers that allow us the psychological steadfastness to endure and prevail. Short or long, easy or hard the journey to discovery is often where we find ourselves as we proceed to the eventual destination.

Journeying despite the factors of fraught littering the path has revealed personally who I am and who I want to be as I walk along the way outcast at times from life. What is that, pray, tell? I am a child of God. He has sent me here to Earth. He has given me a home with parents and siblings. Now I am a parent with children kind and dear to me.

I started a journey to Utah that led me down a path to see the destination God revealed to me as the stepping stones to a greater recognition of living--who I needed to be at that point. The stones are firm, but the water from which they provide me a dry crossing is cold because often do I fall in and have to start the trek across the waters anew. Feeling failure, a good instructor, God shows me, being outcast is sometimes the means of finding out with a vengeance that I am one of His chosen if I will have Him.

I, Refugee - The Hero of My Life StoryI want you to know reader, that I was at the lowest point of discouragement I could be and still call myself a Christian when we started this Utah journey. This is the first installment of being trapped in Utah.