Why do you attend the Genesis Group?

We are a multicultural family.

We try to celebrate the many races, nationalities and cultures that make up The R House. 

Mr. R and I try to educate ourselves about the races/cultures that our children brought with them when they joined our family. That is one of the main reasons we joined the Genesis Group several years ago. (And when I say “joined” I mean “started to attend” …that’s all you have to do to join.)

Several months ago I did an interview with a reporter from the Associated Press. She wanted to know why my family and I were so involved in Genesis. I explained to her that I am a White woman trying to raise a diverse family. I cannot do it alone. At Genesis my kids make connections with children that look just like them. They see Black men and women presiding over the meetings and leading the Black gospel songs that we practice every week …and they do it all within an LDS context. (We have other ways of celebrating and making connections with the many other cultures that make up our family.)

I grew up just west of Washington DC in a melting pot of cultures and races. While my current congregation is diverse (lots of Hispanic and Polynesian families, families from Peru, Japan and Vietnam on my street alone) it lacks the presence of the Black community that was so natural in my childhood congregation. I don’t want my kids to grow up with the misconception that there aren’t Black members of the church!

Genesis helps me with that parenting goal.

See for yourself in this piece from KSL’s Mormon Times.

 

{You will actually have to click this Gathering with the Genesis Group link as their embed feature is not working. Grrrr.}

 

This piece was taped on the first day that we took over as a new primary presidency and it was a zoo (our new primary president was in Haiti visiting the 3 children that she is in the process of adopting). It looks pretty good on tape though! I love that they captured the heart of Genesis here. Such a beautiful piece that brought tears to my eyes.

I also love that they captured how much I love being in primary. It is seriously like home to me. (I am in the green and white dress sitting with the kids.)

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the Genesis Group

When I tell people that I belong to the Genesis Group, they usually ask the same questions. Let me see if I can answer them for you.

  • Are you in your ward’s primary presidency AND Genesis’ primary presidency?

Yes I am and have been set apart by the leadership of both congregations.

  • Do you still attend your regular meetings on days that you go to Genesis?

Yes! On the first Sunday of the month, we go to 5 hours of church–3 in our “regular ward” and 2 at Genesis.

  • What exactly is Genesis and why was it created?

“The Genesis Group was established in October 1971 by the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a dependent branch to serve the needs of African-American Latter-day Saints.

“Following the priesthood revelation in 1978, The Genesis Group continues to host firesides and other activities to support and edify all Latter-day Saints, their families and friends, and individuals interested in the Church. The Genesis Group also provides assistance to mission presidents, stake presidents, and bishops. The Genesis Group operates under the direction of Elder Stephen B. Allen, managing director of the Missionary Department for the Church and a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy.” (From their website.)

The monthly meetings feature a fireside format with guest speakers, a Black gospel song as a practice hymn, and testimonies. The organization operates with Relief Society, Youth, and Primary auxiliaries. Youth and Primary have their own activities going on while the adults (and young adults) attend the fireside. Nursery is also provided.

  • When does Genesis meet?
The Genesis Group meets on the first Sunday of each month from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the meetinghouse located at 6710 South 1300 East in Salt Lake City, Utah. Everyone is welcome to attend. Read Genesis’ current newsletter.

 

 

The next meeting is July 1st! The speaker will be Alvin B. Jackson Jr., who served as bishop in the Kensington Ward in Washington, DC. Bring your kiddos to me in the primary room. I am in charge of sharing time this month.
See you there!

 
 

Comments

  1. Mormon Woman says

    I’m so happy that you found that group. I’m glad that you find strength in your religion. Sometimes it can be difficult. I found strength through mormon stories. It helped me understand and stay active. Beautiful photos! Wish you the best!

  2. Jen Paris says

    Hey! I love this post. You are so cute!!! My nephew is on his mission right now in Sierra Leone! He LOVES LOVES LOVES it! Thanks for sharing this.