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Not Paying Lobola

Not Paying Lobola

INTERVIEW WITH ANDY CHAUYA

INTERVIEW WITH ANDY CHAUYA

How did you and your brother join the church?

How did you and your brother join the church?

My brother, Kirth and I heard about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from my aunt in January 2005. I was 13 and my young brother was 11 years old. My mother had passed away 5 years earlier. We were baptized on 5 May 2005. We had all the missionary discussions by ourselves; our father was not interested in learning about the Church. We attended Church alone, but eventually my father joined the Church.


Where did the two of you serve missions?


Where did the two of you serve missions?

I served my mission in The Uganda Kampala Mission from 2011 to 2013. I was an Assistant to the President the last nine months of my mission. My brother served his mission in the Harare Zimbabwe Mission from 2014 to 2016.


Did your wife serve a mission?


Did your wife serve a mission?
Yes. She served in the Harare Zimbabwe Mission. We had been dating for about a year by the time she went on mission. When she decided to serve her mission I respected her decision and I supported her. I had just got back from my mission, so she went on her mission to give me time to work and save money. Waiting for her was difficult. We had our challenges but with faith we overcame them.
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Did you pay lobola?


Did you pay lobola?

When my wife returned from her mission we agreed to get married. We knew that we were going to face the lobola challenge, and that the First Presidency has asked Church members to discontinue this practice. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency stated the following during a satellite broadcast to all stakes in Africa on the 23rd of November 2014: “The consequences of [bride price] are manifold and lead to behavior unbecoming for a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. We urge our young people, our fathers and mothers, all our leaders and members of the Church to discontinue this practice. Our young people should follow the Lord’s pattern of marriage as practised in the holy temple and not follow traditions that undermine God’s sacred plan. The Lord’s way is the real path to bring families together forever.” We knew what God wanted, and we knew that the Apostles had counselled against it as one of Satan's traps to retard the plan of salvation. So I talked to my wife-to-be and we committed that we were going to get married outside of the requirements of the system.

We calculated the amount of money we would need to have a Church wedding and then go to the temple. We set up the dates for everything before talking to my wife's parents. Her parents aren’t members of the LDS Church so we thought that they wouldn’t accept it if we didn’t pay lobola. That’s why, in faith, we set up our wedding dates before anything else. We took our Bishop with us and talked to them. It was the most difficult and scariest conversation of my life. They expressed their desire for lobola, but we explained our position and what we felt was the Lord's will. 

They weren’t happy but they allowed us to do go ahead with our plans. We bore our testimonies and fulfilled our plans to marry in the temple of our God. We got married in the Johannesburg temple on the 16th September 2015. They have supported us up to now and they respect us for standing by what we believe. They attended our Church marriage. It was tough but we conquered. The apostles said no, and we obeyed.
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Now we have our firstborn son, Aiden Sam. We haven’t had any problems from my in-laws. We talk regularly and they regard me as their son. The key to this is that the girl getting married should be willing to walk away to her new life if her parents demand lobola. She should stand her ground. She should have the strongest testimony that obedience brings blessings. Many girls are afraid of being ridiculed if they marry for 'free'. People in the community will brand them all sorts of names. This makes them shy away and want lobola paid for them

I know that when the prophet speaks, man must obey. We have been blessed by our obedience to the commandment of not paying lobola. We have no regrets and we are willing to help other couples that are struggling with this decision of lobola.