Ann is particularly attracted to Latter-day Saint teachings about the importance of the family and the emphasis on unity and love within the family. She also sees the church as a vehicle for social mobility, as those who join the church generally improve their English fluency and literacy since meetings are held in English. However, Ann notes the downside of conducting meetings in English, as it becomes difficult for the local congregations to retain converts if the converts do not have fluent English. She also notes the cultural divisions that are present in many Latter-day Saint congregations in Nigeria, as Yoruba, Igbo, and others tend to socialize within their ethnic groups rather than across them.
She finds that patriarchal attitudes common in Nigeria do seep into the church and she hopes that priesthood holders work to live up to the ideals espoused by the church. She is encouraged by the fact that in recent years, more black Africans have been added into West Africa Area church leadership. She emphasized the importance of black Area leadership in Africa saying, “They [black church Area leaders] understand our plight, and they understand where we are coming from.”
Ann hopes to one day do something in her community to relieve people’s suffering. She would like to open a motherless baby home or a home for poor people that could serve as a refuge to the most vulnerable in her community.
Read or listen to Ann Akomah Okafor’s full oral history.