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.”
Read or listen to Mary Okam Jacob’s full oral history.