Newel & Jean Daines Concert Hall
Two decades before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began official missionary work in West Africa, pamphlets, books, and other church materials had been circulating among Christians in Nigeria and Ghana. Brought by seekers who had studied abroad or encountered church members from other countries, those texts formed the basis for a Mormon community outside the bounds of U.S. institutional authority or oversight.
What did this "native" Mormonism look like, and how did believers craft churches out of the bare materials of tracts and inspirational volumes? This talk explores the circulation and interpretation of this homegrown Mormon faith in the 1960s and 1970s, and concludes with the dilemmas raised by the religious self-fashioning for LDS Church establishment after 1978.
Utah State University
Maffly-Kipp, Laurie F., "A Marvelous Work: Reading Mormonism in West Africa" (2021). Arrington Annual Lecture. Paper 26.