On a recent Sunday, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints in Jamaica gathered in a second-floor conference room for their
weekly meeting. During the sacrament prayer, members ate pieces of
bread and drank thimble-sized plastic cups filled with water instead of
wine because Mormonism requires abstinence from alcohol, as well as
tobacco, gambling and even caffeine. Then congregants rose to sing "I Stand All Amazed." The first
chords rang out and the room was filled with accents from Africa, the
Dominican Republic and Guyana.For many
Americans, the term Mormon may conjure a popular and incomplete
stereotype: a largely white, Utah-based religion of missionaries. But
the gathering in Queens offers a different glimpse. Of the 50 church
members attending that day, more than half were immigrants, most of
them from the West Indies.
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