Two new videos released by the Church History Department depict the hardships and challenges South-African Latter-day Saints faced during the apartheid, a system of racial segregation used in South Africa from 1948–1994.
"We live in a world that is increasingly divided along racial, political or other lines," Church History Department web content manager Matt McBride said in an email to the Deseret News. "The story of the Saints in South Africa shows how the gospel of the church can be a focal point for overcoming this kind of division. The faith of church members helped them look past their differences and learn to listen to each other's needs.
"I love these stories because they show the great potential the church has to be a unifying force in a divisive world if members will embrace simple gospel principles in their daily lives."
One of the videos, “Break the Soil of Bitterness” follows Julia Mavimbela, a Latter-day Saint who was a pioneer in her Church and her community. Following the 1976 Soweto riots, Mavimbela started community garden projects with the local youth. While working with the youth, she compared the hard soil to the difficulties the youth had faced and taught them to “break the soil of bitterness” in their lives.
The second video, "Learning to Listen," depicts the bridging of white and black members as they laid the foundation for the Church to be spread across the country.