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Mary Jacob grew up in a large family in Calabar, Nigeria and moved to Ibadan, Nigeria in her twenties. She joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a child and was particularly drawn to its teachings about families. She served a mission in Benin, Nigeria. She credits her mission with helping her to become less reserved and to talk to strangers, which ultimately, she recounts, led to her receiving a job offer to become a teacher.

After returning home from her mission and finding it difficult to pursue her educational and professional goals, she decided to move from Calabar to Ibadan, Nigeria, where she now teaches children. This decision to relocate to an entirely new location was a difficult one, but as she told herself as she began contemplating her move, “Sometimes for you to succeed you need to leave your comfort zone and go out there.” After obtaining her father’s permission to relocate, she moved to Ibadan and found that the church eased her transition, as she found friendly Latter-day Saints there who invited her into their homes and befriended her.

Mary relates that it’s not always easy to be a Latter-day Saint in Nigeria, as the church has a reputation for being a cult. However, she finds the skills, values, and insights taught by the church very rewarding. Reflecting on the Proclamation to the Family, she says that she has “come to understand that I am not a nobody. I am somebody, and I have somebody that is a king, somebody that has a palace, and I have His DNA …. This just makes me feel special, makes me feel that we are all like Him. Everybody is equal.”

Mary Jacob

Mary Jacob

Mary Jacob