rich context in order to understand who their kinsmen were.” 6 As Spencer Kimball, the twelfth president of the LDS Church, once stated, “as our posterity read of our life’s experiences, they, too, will come to know and love us. And in the glorious day when our families are together in the eternities, we will already be acquainted.” 7 This has resulted in the creation of a large body of journals, correspondence, local church records, and oral histories relevant to the study of postcolonial Sub-Saharan Africa that remain underutilized by historians. These documents provide insight into not only the expansion of an American church in postcolonial Africa, but they also contain ethnographic data on a variety of topics, such as marriage practices, African childhood, and burial customs, that will be of interest to historians who are not necessarily concerned with the history of religion in Africa. 4 On baptism for the dead, see H. David Burton and Krister Stendhal, “Baptism for the Dead,” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 95–97; Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 112–128. 5 LDS church leaders have frequently encouraged the practice of keeping diaries. See, for instance, Matthias F. Cowley, ed., Wilford Woodruff: History of His Life and Labors (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret News, 1909), 476–77; Francis M. Gibbons, Heber J. Grant: Man of Steel, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 1979), vii; Spencer W. Kimball, “Let Us Move Forward and Upward,” Ensign (May 1979), 82; Spencer W. Kimball, “Therefore I Was Taught,” Tambuli (August 1982), 3; John A. Widtsoe, “The Meaning and Importance of Records,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine (July 1920), 100. Published LDS journals relevant to the study of African history, include, among others, Calvin Cottrell Crane, One Year in Africa (Blackfoot, ID: Crane Publications, 1991); Marjorie Wall Folsom, Golden Harvest in Ghana: Gospel Beginnings in West Africa (Bountiful, UT: Horizon, 1989); Ellen Dee Walker Leavitt, ed., Missionary Journals of William Holmes Walker: Cape of Good Hope South Africa Mission, 1852–1855 (Provo, UT: John Walker Family Organization, 2003); E. Dale LeBaron, ed., Glen G. Fisher: A Man to Match the Mountains (Edmonton, Canada: Fisher House Publishers, 1992); Rendell N. Mabey, An African Legacy (Salt Lake City, UT: Rendell N. Mabey, 1998); Rendell N. Mabey and Gordon T. Allred, Brother to Brother: The Story of the Latter-day Saint Missionaries Who Took the Gospel to Black Africa (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1984). 6 Mark P. Leone, Roots of Modern Mormonism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), 195. 7 Spencer W. Kimball, “President Kimball Speaks Out on Personal Journals,” Ensign (December 1980), 61.
LDS Materials for the Study of Postcolonial Sub–Saharan Africa 303 Materials for the Study of Postcolonial Sub–Saharan Africa While some LDS records relevant to South African history predate the postcolonial period, the vast bulk of LDS manuscript and archival collections relevant to the history of Sub-Saharan Africa were produced after 1960, especially following the