The LDS Church History Department recently posted two videos showing how South African Latter-day Saints faced discrimination and pioneered ways to deal with it during difficult times.
Matt McBride, the Church History Department web content manager and editor, said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fosters so many opportunities for interaction with people from diverse backgrounds.
"We live in a world that is increasingly divided along racial, political or other lines," McBride said in an email. "The story of the Saints in South Africa shows how the gospel of the church can be a focal point for overcoming this kind of division. The faith of church members helped them look past their differences and learn to listen to each other's needs.
"I love these stories because they show the great potential the church has to be a unifying force in a divisive world if members will embrace simple gospel principles in their daily lives."
In the first video, "Break the Soil of Bitterness," family members and friends recount the life experiences of Julia Mavimbela (1917-2000). Following the tragic death of her husband and the 1976 Soweto riots, Mavimbela helped the community to heal through gardening projects. She later joined the LDS Church and served faithfully in the Relief Society before becoming one of the first members to serve in the Johannesburg South Africa Temple.
In the second video, "Learning to Listen," church members recall the integration of the first LDS branches in the black townships during the 1980s. With time, understanding and cooperation, these black and white members pioneered ways to come together and establish a foundation for future church growth in Africa.
For these and other videos related to LDS Church history, visit history.lds.org.
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