As promised, today we’re finishing up our look at comments made by Russell Nelson at his stop in Nairobi, Kenya. Yesterday we examined the Mormon ideology of how LDS temple attendance is mandatory for salvation. See SHAMEFUL LDS AFRICAN TOUR for more info.
To give readers a brief note on today’s topic of dowries, it’d be helpful to know that dowries is a hot topic in African countries today. Somewhere in time there was a major reversal of who paid the dowry, and who was the recipient. As it stands today, the bride’s family owes, and it’s a source of contention in many tribes.
Without belaboring this topic, we’ve found some really good info providing the historical aspects of dowries, both then and now.
Here in part is what the Deseret News reported –
“They received a message tailored for eastern Africa, where many tribes continue to insist that grooms or their families provide a dowry or pay a price for a bride.
“That’s not the Lord’s way,” President Russell M. Nelson told about 2,000 Kenyans and other Africans Monday night … “The Lord’s way is to be married in the temple, for time and all eternity, with your children sealed to you.”
He added that if he’d had to pay for his wife, “I would have missed five children, because only with my last five was I out of debt.”
One thing is certain. God doesn’t condemn dowries. Dowries are supposed to be a gift, and not a mandated expectation on either side. And in contrast to what Mr. Nelson stated, the Lord’s way does not include getting married in a temple somewhere. The prophet’s estimation of how he wouldn’t have had all ten kids, is a poor example of true godly leadership.
Genesis 29:16-28; “And Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. …”
There are two things to consider regarding the Mormon prophet’s talk.
1.He gave no scriptural references for the teachings he proposed.
2.He inserted controversial opinions on what is almost a political situation taking place today with dowries in Kenya.
The first link below (Women in the Bible) is a good visual for a quick overview.
The second link (Payment of Dowry) is a great article, albeit lengthy, on dowry history from a biblical perspective, and how Christians should handle these in a godly manner.
The other thing to consider with Nelson’s non-descriptive statement is how he threw out comments which can pit one family against another, and provided no resolution for amending the concerns of the day.
His talk reminded me of someone who went in to cause problems, muddy the waters, and then leaves, paying no heed to those it affects.
The last problem in his speech was when he made another statement that had nothing to do with the topic at hand. You’ll notice the order of his priorities and how Jesus’ name seemed like an afterthought. Moreover, it seemed rather patronizing in the way he phrased his comment. As a reminder, you can read the entire talk at ‘Dowry is not the Lord’s way’: In Kenya, LDS President Nelson says tithing breaks poverty cycle.
““I don’t know how long it will take to build that temple,” President Nelson said, “but let’s have a little contest: See if you can build your lives to be ready and your ancestral documentation to be ready for when the temple comes.”
He said it is easier for church leaders to build a temple than it is for them to build a people ready for the temple.
He also emphasized the importance of prophets, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the priesthood, family and worshipping Jesus Christ. He said one of the great lessons of his 93-year life is that people are God’s children and he speaks to them.”
As an FYI, Mr. Nelson. The matter of salvation isn’t a ‘little contest’. While the news of another temple being built is noteworthy to the Mormons, we’re wondering why they have to sit around waiting on salvation. What if they die before it’s built? What if they won’t have anyone to do the works for them? Then what?
Pray that the Kenyan people would see this for what it is – a lie.
With Love in Christ;