Sometimes people who join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have to make great sacrifices to do so. Families might reject them, friends may abandon them, or neighbors can harass them. Sometimes they even lose their jobs. Despite such opposition, new converts faithfully answer Christ’s invitation to “Come, follow me.”
Pierre Kemle is such a stalwart. He had been a pastor in his church for 25 years and leader over all of Cameroon, and he had been invited to expand his church into Nigeria. He had heard that the Mormons were bad people, but when he encountered the missionaries, he learned differently. He recalls, “Before I could totally open the door to Elder Badger and his wife, when I was in the middle of a conversation with them, I heard an audible voice telling me to follow these people and allow them to guide me. I knew that it was the Lord speaking to me and telling us to join this Church.”
1. Stay with my old church, where I was paid 10% of the tithes of Central Africa as well as a steady income every three months
2. Take the considerable amount of money to establish the new English church,
3. Go where the Lord had commanded me, regardless of the cost. This last choice would mean that after having been a pastor for 25 years, I would need to be baptized again simply to become a faithful member.
“After a time of prayer and great reflection, I realized that it was the adversary who wanted to distract me by promising me 'heaven on earth' to disobey the voice of the Lord. All of my family and I decided to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
He acknowledges that his decision was followed by many persecutions. He says, “My former colleagues let me know I had disappointed them greatly. I received letters from my wife’s family demanding that we abandon this new Church,…'having lost everything!’”
However, Brother Kemle never looked back and does not believe he has lost anything of value. He says, “At present, I am a taxi driver in order to feed and support my family. I give thanks and bear testimony that I am in a Church led by the Savior himself. Jesus Christ supports my family, and each one of them believes that we are in the true Church.”
Any family would agree that is a great blessing. Yet some who make sacrifices in order to follow Christ would expect to be prospered in return. Brother Kemle’s example reminds us that God will indeed bless us for following him, even if those blessings do not include position, wealth, or status. The blessings He showers on us contain peace, hope, faith, and family joy.
Excerpted by Marnae Wilson from Pioneers of Cameroon, Edith and Dan Baker, August 2009