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Genet Guno Hussen - Black Latter-day Saint
"About 18 years ago, an American family came to my Village to adopted my two Aunts and two Uncles with the family name of Kennards.
"These folks are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints," Sister Genet Guno Hussen described in a communique about how news of the restored gospel reached her ears.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is growing all over the world. Through service, Genet Guno Hussen from Ethiopia and the religious background of Islam accepted the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and is a member of Twin Mormons.
Twin Mormons is about connecting Black people in the United States with those in Africa who are members of the church to show that the church works the same, all over the world with different peoples. Success for the church in Africa among Blacks is a mirror for American Blacks to see how the gospel looks with a congregation of people that look like them. Sister Hussen agreed to share a portion of her life to reflect the blessings of the gospel to the world and as a supporter of Twin Mormons.
Genet Shares Her Faith
I was born on January 7, 1991, and my entire family is Muslim. My mother's parents passed away when I was just a young girl--one or two years old. My mother was married to my father--a marriage which was arranged by both my paternal and maternal grandparents when my mother was a child--it being the tradition of our people.
Being the oldest, Mother was first married. Soon after the deaths of my grandparents another of my aunts married, only 14 years old at the time, leaving four of my aunts and uncles orphaned--two uncles and two aunts, the youngest about 5 years old at the time.
My great grandmother was too elderly and destitute to take them in; so, the Kennard family came to adopt them.
The Kennards took Mother's siblings to the United States after the adoption, but they came back often to visit. The Kennard family are the nicest people that I have ever met and very giving. They would always bring with them second-hand items (clothes, shoes) and money for my parents, who could then afford to send us to school and purchase food. Back then my family did not have much worldly wealth.
I knew nothing about Christianity or ever conceived that I would become a Christian because of my family religion and culture.
The Kennards were peculiar to me. After adopting my aunts and uncles, they continued to visit our family bearing gifts and knowledge.
They became benefactors to our village by teaching all to be self-reliant They taught all the people who lived in the village to produce gardens and how to work together in our community.
They brought others with them to help such as doctors--making it so that we could get free medical treatment ever since I was a young girl. I had no idea they were doing all these things because they wanted to be Christlike. They were serving God by taking care of my people in my village.
When I was about 6 years old, Brother Kennard, the father of Mother’s siblings, gave her a copy of The Book of Mormon.
I saw the Book of Mormon for the first time as a girl.
She brought it home just to leave it in the house, never try to read it or anything! Mother said she only took that book because of her respect for Brother Kennard and his willingness to take care of her siblings.
I asked Mother what the book is about. She told me that they, the Kennards, were trying to make us Christian. I was intrigued though I was young.
I asked Mother if it was a good thing or a bad thing for them to try. Mother said it’s very, very bad. Though she respected them for the work that they were doing to help us and our village she said we would never be Christians. Christianity is not what our family believed she said.
I agreed with her as a child would. My mother is a very assertive woman. She was fearless--able to speak her mind. I was too respectful to disagree with her, but in my heart, I wished someday to become a person who could choose whatever she wanted to believe.
Even then, I wanted to find out what The Book of Mormon is about and make a choice of what I wanted to believe. Back then it was very tough to make your own choices. My mother was compelled by her parents to marry my father though she knew nothing about Father.
It is the tradition of my people to arrange marriages as I mentioned. It’s been like that for a long time--other people deciding what we could believe or how we should live.
Thank God it is not like that anymore.
I wanted to know Jesus
I knew then that I wanted to get to know Jesus. I did not know how to get that knowledge.
I turned 18 years old and I started asking people what does Mormon mean. I wanted to know what Mormons believed and was free then to do it.
The Kennards taught me everything that I needed to know about the church and Brother Kennard baptized me. So many years had I to wait to find out that Jesus was Christ, and is the redeemer of the world.
© 2013 Rodric A Johnson