Monday, March 19, 2012

A Plea to Africa; Cease Your False Traditions!

The one thing that would really get under my skin when I was living in Africa was when the people would waste their precious money on tribal traditions (related mainly to marriage and funeral ceremonies) that were obviously not in harmony with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then would be unable to give their hard earned money to the Church.   

Finally an apostle of the Lord, even Dallin H Oaks, has addressed this issue head on, appealing to the people of Africa to give up their false traditions such that they can worthily donate to the Lord’s Kingdom upon the earth.  Brothers and Sisters please open up your copy of this month’s Ensign and find the article entitled “The Gospel Culture”, or follow along at this link:

Allow me to quote directly from the article:
“To help its members all over the world, the Church teaches us to give up any personal or family traditions or practices that are contrary to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ and to this gospel culture.…we appeal to our older members to put away traditions and cultural or tribal practices that lead them away from the path of growth and progress.  We ask all to climb to the higher ground of the gospel culture, to practices and traditions that are rooted in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.”

One of the main areas in which the people of Africa need to climb to the higher ground of the gospel is with the issue of marriage.  Africans just don’t do it the right way and Elder Oaks is forced to ask: “Marriage is essential, but in Africa we must ask, what kind of marriage?”

Finally someone who is willing to stand up to the African people and bluntly ask them what on earth they think they are doing!  Finally someone who has the courage to lovingly invite them to relinquish their long held traditions and do things the right way!  If ever you have doubted the divine calling of Dallin H. Oaks as an Apostle of the Lord now would be a good time to repent of, and forsake such feelings. 

With regards to the false cultural practices surrounding weddings and funerals Oaks goes on to lovingly counsel Africans to “Avoid expensive feasts and extensive travel.”

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not having expensive feasts at these once in a lifetime events.  A simple African meal consisting of fried bananas wrapped in Plantain leaves with perhaps a little fish should be more than sufficient for the occasion.  Family members including parents who do not live close by need not waste precious resources to attend.

This counsel is especially important as it will help keep members out of debt. Debt, warns Oaks, “will weaken or prevent your ability to pay tithing, to attend the temple, and to send your children on missions. Make plans that will strengthen—not weaken—your future Church activity.”

The people of Africa clearly have a choice; either they can have memorable feasts on special occasions or they can be obedient to the counsel of an inspired Apostle of the Lord by giving their money to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To me the choice is crystal clear. 

Africans need to keep in mind the following words of Elder Oaks “When the people of God withheld their tithes and offerings, God condemned the “whole nation” (Malachi 3:9).”  Church members ought to understand that to a certain extent they are personally responsible for the poverty, natural disasters, political unrest and other condemnations that the Lord pours out upon their nation if they are not full tithe payers, but there is much hope in the following words of the Lord's anointed: “I believe that when many citizens of a nation are faithful in the payment of tithes, they summon the blessings of heaven upon their entire nation.”  Surely truer words have never been spoken.

I would invite all to follow my personal example by sending a letter to Elder Oaks thanking him for lovingly counseling Africans in this way.  The time has come for them to stop using the sacred funds of the Church from America and to stand on their own two feet.  And to the critics that will surely accuse us of cultural genocide (claiming that we have no right to change the long held tribal traditions that exist in Africa), I testify that only in climbing to the higher ground of the gospel culture can the nations of the earth be blessed.  This solemn testimony I leave with you all, in the sacred and holy name of Jesus Christ, amen.


Anonymous said...


This is NOT an official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, it does link to and supports the postions of the church. "President Paternoster" is a unique Stake President with in the church. This site, aside from is by far the best place to learn about the Mormon church.

Most posts here are written by people who do not take the President seriously but mock those who are sincerely striving, albeit imperfectly, to follow Jesus.

Caveat utilitor.

Anonymous said...


The TRUE Anonymous here. OK so you've made a point. I agree that "Paternoster" does sorce his material but he is choosing material for his blog that puts the church in a bad light and I don't think that is fair. Good and honest ACTIVE mormons reserve the right to teach others about THEIR religon. Yes we are not perfect but neither are you and what people don't know about is won't hurt them but knowing will so LEAVE MY PEOPLE ALONE!

Caveat utilitor.

Anonymous said...

Thank you President Paternoster for your wonderful uplifting and testimony building post. This struck me particularly close to my heart as my families deeply held traditions do not aline with the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This gives me the strength to stand for whats right by giving my tithes to the LDS Church.

mathyou9 said...

“Avoid expensive feasts ..."

Well said, Elder Oaks. If you will now excuse me, I'm off to attend the sealing of my friend at the Salt Lake Temple. Afterwards there will be a huge [and expensive] wedding dinner at the Lord's very own banquet house, yea, even the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.

Anonymous said...


Actually I'M the TRUE Anonymous around here. "President" Paternoster is a bitter old man with nothing better to do than make light of the Mormon religion. I mean, who cares if it's a religion founded on fairytale, myth, and magic? Who cares if it isn't nearly as transparent with its members as it expects its members to be with it. Who cares if it makes excessive demands of its members' time, energy, and resources? It gives some of these members warm fuzzies when they sing "Come, Come, Ye Saints," so therefore it's all good.

Caveat utilitor.

Suspicious Minds said...

Wow TRUE anon, yes the church puts out its own material that puts itself in a bad light! How dare they be so negligent in whitewashing the good name and image of the church so that the good black people of Africa will know hence from where the white and delightsome blessings flow from! Your're absolutely right...milk before meat, but keep the more unuseful truths a secret! We wouldn't want them to be educated and informed to make intelligent choices now would we!

Anonymous said...


The One TRUE and Living Anonymous here. I love President Boyd K. Packer! Some truths are not very useful. He's Gods mouthpiece on earth, and that's good enough for me! Obedience in all things, no matter how big or small, no matter how great the sacrifice, no matter the cost, I will always follow the prophet and do my duty to God!

WWN said...

Members who marry outside the temple not only keep their own tithe from the church, but also the tithe of other potential attendees, who would otherwise be sure to get current in their tithing in order to get the temple recommend required to attend the wedding. How selfish of the engaged couple and their families to think only of cultural traditions! The church needs as much money as it can get in order to fund PR ads, political issues such as California’s Prop 8, future temples and perhaps future malls like the recently opened $5 billion City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City (well over its original projected cost of $1.5 billion.)

For Africans (or any other culture) to excuse their wedding practices on “tradition” shows a lack of righteous priorities. Tithing FIRST!

May your blog open many hearts to the Lord’s true gospel, President Paternoster!

Anonymous said...

I am saddened by the bitter tone of some of these comments. President Paternoster does not cherry pick from church sources. All material from church approved sources is peer reviewed before being released and is of a very hie standard and cannot cast the Church in a bad light.

Only the loving light of our Lord and Savior, even J. Howard Christ, can wash us clean of the bitter spirit that some here have let canker their souls. Listen to President Paternoster and learn.

I so manifest.

Anonymous said...

This stake president is as ignorant as many mormons I have met in my journey....I served a mission in Utah, attended school there, lived among these kind of folks, and their personal or cultural beliefs are by no means inspired by the gospel of Jesus Christ.....Now I know why I chose to raise my son as a catholic in fear of having his mind polluted by these type of men.....

Anonymous said...

Wow... as an Togolese Canadian married to an Ivorian American I am deeply troubled by this post. First of all, which Africa is he referring to? Wedding and funeral traditions, differ from region to region, country to country and differ in rational and implementation. Is spending money on the funeral or wedding what is again the gospel culture? OR going deep into debt for it? What in the world is an "African meal"? "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of not having expensive feasts at these once in a lifetime events. A simple African meal consisting of fried bananas wrapped in Plantain leaves with perhaps a little fish should be more than sufficient for the occasion. Family members including parents who do not live close by need not waste precious resources to attend." What in the world? Why don't we tell our righteous American "brothers and sisters" not to waste precious resources on engagement rings? My husband paid a dowry:a painting... Not because he was asked to but because he felt that he should respect what it symbolized in OUR region: the union of two families. Does it mean the same thing everywhere? No. Are the requirements and social expecations the same everywhere no? So please stop talking about Africans like they are all the same with the language and culture. I'm so annoyed with this right now that I can't even formulate my thoughts properly. If it's not a BYU professor, it someone else who manage to utter stuff like that.

Anonymous said...

I am the REAL Anonymous, not the so-called "TRUE" Anonymous or any other any other Anonymous poseurs that have previously posted. I denounce these lesser Anonymoussies and proclaim that the REAL Anonymous, the TRUE Anonymous, the ORIGINAL Anonymous embraces the wise president's message. No cake for you, kid. Pay up, cause the prophet needs a new suit.

Anonymous said...


President Paternoster is a real Stake President.

I challenge anyone who doubts this to pray with real intent to know that it is true and if ye do this, the truth will be manifest unto you.

Only by pure emotion can you know the truth!

As to Africa, what would you expect from the LDS church?

Mormons: Treating Blacks fairly since 1978.

cludgie said...

I'm sure that as An Apostle of the Lord," Elder Oaks understands this distant country of "Africa" very well, judging by the way he speaks of "African meals" and "African traditions." It is no wonder then, that he would have "the Africans" replace their short-lived, shallow and meaningless traditions for the rich and lasting traditions of Utah. It just makes perfect sense.

Still, I'd like to go to this country sometime. Where does one best get an African visa? Probably from the African Embassy in DC, I should think. Can anyone tell me what airline flies into the African capital?

cludgie said...

To the mysterious Togolese Canadian "Anonymous" (yeah, like anyone would name a country "Togo"...): What sounds good right now is a plate with a bit of fried nile perch, along with a gob of fou-fou, some fried plantains, and ngai-ngai (my favourite dish of sorrel). And a tall bottle of Tembo, ice-cold.

James said...

Hey Guys,

I think the TRUE anonymous is warming up to us. He accuses our dear President of making the Church look crazy when our President only speaks the truths spoken and/or conducted by the Church.

TRUE anonymous, the President loves you, and God will forgive you for thinking the church is completely crazy and for dumbing down the truths it teaches.

Be bold TRUE anonymous. If Elder Oaks says the Africans should forsake their culture, then be bold and stand with Elder Oaks.

Elder Bednar says you should pickle yourself in a garlic and dill brine. This means you should not question the facts our dear President teaches from the words of our prophets.

Be "pickled" TRUE anonymous. Don't be ashamed to own every piece of your religion. Or as we say in Almaville, Utah, "Don't be silly, be dilly."


Spencer said...


Will the truly anonymous Anonymous please stand up?!!

I disagree with his use of latin, as it reminds me too much of the liturgical services of the Great & Abominable Church of the Devil, but I agree with his one should ever point out the negatives of the LDS Church...EVER.


Only the positives should be noticed or discussed.

Unfortunately, though, this philosophy doesn't work for anything else in life except the One True Exception.

We are the only organization on the face of the earth who should NOT be examined in its completeness. But everyone else's only fair, guys.

Anonymous said...

There are moments when the comments on this blog make me sincerely laugh. Nevertheless, keeping up my tradition:


This is NOT a website sanctioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nor is "President Paternoster" a stake president within the Church. Rather, this site is farce, and [usually] not good farce, at that.

Most of the posts here are written by quasi-apostates who mock those who are sincerely striving, albeit imperfectly, to follow Jesus.

Caveat utilitor.

Looks like I'm going to have to create my own account for posting here.

Anonymous said...

These dear African brothers and sister can't imagine the "white man's burden" that Elder Oaks carries for them. He is simply reminding them that feasts can waste money that can be sent to the church so that the great mall, even the mall of the Lord Je$u$ Chri$st, can be funded to serve that great feast of the food court.

andisaythesethingsinthenameofthysonjesuschist, amen.

lowly sister in the one true church said...

(1835 Doctrine And Covenants) Marriage
"1....therefore we believe, that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder or priest, no even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
Verse 4 goes on to state, "Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."
As you can see, this so called "revelation" contains many falsehoods that were corrected in the 1876 version which stated polygamy is actually a commandment, and now it has been corrected further by the inspired words of an Elder of the Church so wisely given to avoid costly feasts. The money would be much better spent if this poor, benighted people would forgo these expensive "feasts" and use that money to send the couple in question to whatever temple is nearest them, so that they can covenant together with each other and God (and whatever wives the husband may want to add in the future to build up his kingdom in the hereafter) for time and all eternity. Amen

DISGUSTED. said...

This post is so arrogant it makes me sick. Who the heck are you to tell people their tribal traditions, that are THOUSANDS of years old, mind you, are null and should be stopped so you can cough up more money to a church that already makes millions and millions of dollars in tithing each year (thank you Mitt Romney)? What happened to preserving world culture? I thought Mormons were ever so caring about that... what a load.

There are so many sick, arrogant things wrongs with this post I can't even think straight.

You slap Africa with a 'one size fits all sticker' in terms of their funeral and wedding traditions, all of which differ from country to country, as well as their culinary traditions. They're all just a bunch of fish and banana eating people, is that it? Please. Africa is a HUGE and VASTLY diverse continent. What is one culinary delicacy in one country is probably unheard of in another.

THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS WRONG WITH YOUR SECOND TO LAST PARAGRAPH. Much of Africa is in poverty because of colonization in the early 20th century. European countries divided Africa up into territories that conveniently fit THEIR needs, not the peoples'. They took no consideration into tribal territories. The reason there's a border between Tanzania and Kenya is because Kaiser Wilhelm was jealous that Queen Victoria had two mountains and he only had one, so Queen Victoria gave him a mountain. Europe ravaged a lot of Africa of its resources and left many countries at the hands of corrupt leaders. It's a ballsy thing to say that they "ought to understand that to a certain extent they are personally responsible for the poverty, natural disasters, political unrest and other condemnations that the Lord pours out upon their nation if they are not full tithe payers." Give me a break!!!!! AFRICA ISN'T A NATION. It's made up of 56 countries.

Get out of white-washed Utah and Idaho and open your eyes. Mormons make up .2% of the world. .2%! And that's assuming all of the 14 million members you claim to have are all active believers, which probably not all are (sociologists believe 5 million of the 14 million are actually active). Get a grip. You're not even a blip on the world radar.

Debbie said...

To whichever Anon this applies to. Especially, 'leave my people alone'.

"If we have the truth, it cannot be harmed by investigation.
If we have not the truth, it ought to be harmed."

J. Reuben Clark

Your church is not 'being shown in a bad light'. It's being shown accurately. Deal with it.

Debbie said...

DISGUSTED: everything you just said was true. Now go look up 'satire' in the dictionary and read the post again. :)

DISGUSTED. said...

Thank God! I was going insane! Hahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Come unto me and I will give you all that your heart desires, and some things you haven't even thought of yet. Pay no heed to Anonymous, he has been constipated from birth and has no idea how to have fun.


Anonymous said...


You said "this site is a farce and (usually) not a good farce." Please tell us where to find the really good farce site.

You could start a cartoon blog of your own called the Farse Site. Maybe get Gary Larson to donate a few cartoons. Plenty of material for sure. Or just quote from the Ensign and draw stick figures in reformed Egyptian.

Anonymous said...


This is the actual, real, anonymous! I'll even prove it by telling you something that only the REAL anonymous would know. Ready? I have a freckle on my right pinky toe. There... now you know.

This post is true and President Paternoster is a true stake president. All of the earlier anonymouses are impostors. Amen.

Caveat utilitor.

Himzelph said...

DISGUSTED, If you follow the good President's link to Elder Oak's talk, there is a button down the bottom which reads, "Do you have feedback about this page?" Perhaps you could open up a discussion with the Lord's mouthpiece there.

Anonymous said...


I think so The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the official name of the religion commonly called the Mormon Church. We believe first and foremost that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and the Son of God.
False Path

Anonymous said...

Apostle Russell M. Nelson said, " "Indeed, in some instances, the merciful companion to truth is silence. Some truths are best left unsaid... .Any who are tempted to rake through the annals of history, to use truth unrighteously, or to dig up "facts" with the intent to defame or destroy, should hearken to this warning of scripture:

Romans 1:17-18 (a threat to the ungodly to beware of the wrath of God. That means this blog)
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;"

(Russell M. Nelson, "Truth-and More," Ensign, Jan. 1986, page 69)

Random Enigma said...

Unfortunately Brother Oaks is showing his insulated and ignorant American white man far right wing ways by alluding that all of Africa can be viewed as one homogeneous country instead of a diverse continent. Remember Sarah Palin from the 2008 election referring to Africa as a country?

Even my Kindergartener's non-Mormon white right wing conservative teacher made this mistake back in December when talking to the kids about Kwanzaa. She told the kids that Kwanzaa was celebrated in the country of Africa where they speak Swahili. I was volunteering in the class at the time and I was quite shocked. It was more shocking when I tried to bring up my concerns about the inaccuracies with the teacher and then the administration. I was treated like I was being much too picky and over reacting.

It's not just Mormons like Dallin Oaks. It's all of white bread far right wing conservative America.

Cindy said...

I agree that the direction given by Elder Oaks and supported by President Paternoster does sound a bit harsh but it is important to understand where it is coming from. In the scriptures we hear a lot about the "traditions of fathers" and the warnings that go along with that. In some cases the Lord's people were even forbidden to interact with those whose traditions would lead them away from the gospel. Traditions are powerful things and they can be used for good but they can also be used as the adversary's tool. We are so fortunate as a people to have precious truths such as how to conduct marriages that have been handed down from the time of Adam and Eve. It is our duty as members of the church to build up the kingdom of God and yes that may require sacrifices in the form of money. I believe as the people from the varying countries in Africa heed to the counsel of Elder Oaks we will see strength like we have never seen before.

Anonymous said...

You see, folks? Look at some of the posts in this thread... some people fail to recognize this site as satire!

@Debbie: Your quote from J. Reuben Clark is compelling. In response, I would simply state that I don't disagree with "investigation" of unsavory facets of the Church. Further, I would agree that many points are accurately made on this blog which are not favorable toward the Church. My true concern lies not with investigation, but rather with the idea that this blog could be construed as being actually representative of the Church and its membership. It is misleading for "President" Paternoster to hold himself out as a stake president, and for the participants to play along.

@"President" Paternoster: I'll make you a deal. If you clearly and conspicuously state the true nature of this website on your home page (i.e., that it is satire, farce, commentary, etc.), included with a declaration that you are not an actual stake president, then I will cease acting as gadfly.

Your friend,

Stake Pres. said...

I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all those who support my faith promoting blog with their comments. While I could (with a simple click of the mouse) choose to not have comments posted until I approve them I rather enjoy allowing the differing opinions and discussions to take place. May God bless you all as you strive to implement the words of our beloved prohets, seers and revelators into your daily lives.

Matt said...

anonymous, quit being a douche.


Anonymous said...

A douche. That's used for cleaning, right?

Hmm. Can't think of an analogy.

Anonymous said...


You and Cindy need to get something going. Perhaps you two can get together at a stake dance in President Paternoster's area. Imagine dancing, not too close, to Praise To The Man. As I hum that marvelous hymn to myself I find it hard not to see President Paternoster's smiling face. I hope I have not blasphemed in my heart.

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't go picking on our Cindy.

anon said...

I'm curious. How often does something have to be a good farce before it's not (usually) a bad farce anymore?

Anonymous said...

President Paternoster, wearing the heavy mantle of leadership, has correctly chosen to allow the readers of this blog to use their own "Power of Discernment" to understand the true and uplifting nature of this blog. With the Holy Ghost as their guide they should be able to tell truth from error in the blink of an eye.

If they are unable to do this it is probably because they are sinning and falling short of the perfection they are taught to pursue. Repentence is the answer. My Patriarchal Blessing says that I have the Power of Discernment and of course I was able to understand the nature of this blog instantly.

Anonymous, please stop being the ward nanny and let the true gospel work in the member's lives as it was meant to. Leave God's people alone.

Taryn Fox said...

Okies, we'll leave them alone when your 50,000 missionaries all go home and stop trying to tell other people to convert to their lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

I seriously thought that article you posted in the Ensign was a joke. Are you f***ing kidding me, Dallin? This church is full of lunatics.

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

Gottastayfreetochoose said...

One of the best comments threads I've read, thanks all, almost compares to a lively debate in Sunday School on such interesting topics as "If the lion shall lay down with the lamb in the celestial kingdom, are we all going to be vegetarians and could my daughter finally have a pet Tiger? I feel uplifted, really.