Asian American Mormons: Bridging Cultures

Did you know? In 1999, Dr. Jessie L. Embry collected and coded interviews of 108 Asian Mormons in the United States and published her findings in Asian American Mormons: Bridging Cultures. Most of the interviewees are first-generation Latter-day Saints from Buddhist or non-religious backgroEmbryBridgingunds who landed in Utah’s Wasatch Front.  Their transcripts give interesting insight into their lives–not only as practicing Mormons, but also as Mormons navigating a new cultural, racial and multinational world. Anglos with Chinese, Chinese with Cambodians, Cambodians with Taiwanese, and so on. One Japanese immigrant and Brigham Young University student said, “I had a very different view before toward Asian people from other Asian countries. . . . I had pre-judged Koreans, Chinese, Vietnamese, and people from other Asian countries.” On her first visit to her new LDS church congregation at BYU, she said, “Two Korean returned missionaries shared beautiful testimonies with us. I was touched. . . . I noticed how dumb I had been by pre-judging and avoiding to get to know these beautiful people.” The tapes and transcripts of this oral history collection are available at BYU’s L. Tom Perry Special Collections at the Harold B. Lee Library. The project was funded by the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies.  Here’s another source for your research.

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