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Title: Oral History Interview with Margaret Edwards, January 20, 2002. Interview R-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Edwards, Margaret, interviewee
Interview conducted by Copeland, Barbara
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2007
Size of electronic edition: 188 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2007.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2007-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2007-11-28, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Margaret Edwards, January 20, 2002. Interview R-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series R. Special Research Projects. Southern Oral History Program Collection (R-0157)
Author: Barbara Copeland
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Margaret Edwards, January 20, 2002. Interview R-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series R. Special Research Projects. Southern Oral History Program Collection (R-0157)
Author: Margaret Edwards
Description: 159 Mb
Description: 35 p.
Note: Interview conducted on January 20, 2002, by Barbara Copeland; recorded in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by L. Altizer.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series R. Special Research Projects, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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The text has been encoded using the recommendations for Level 4 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines.
Original grammar and spelling have been preserved.
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Interview with Margaret Edwards, January 20, 2002.
Interview R-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Edwards, Margaret, interviewee


Interview Participants

    MARGARET EDWARDS, interviewee
    BARBARA COPELAND, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
BARBARA COPELAND:
We're having an interview. This is an interview of African Americans who have converted to Mormonism. My name is Barbara, Barbara Copeland, and I am the interviewer. The interviewee is Sister Margaret Edwards, and today is Sunday, January 20th in the year 2002. Today we will be talking about African Americans who have converted to Mormonism. Okay Sister Margaret, I just wanted to start out asking some real basic simple questions before we get far into the interview. Wanted to know where was your first homeplace and where had your parents come from?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
My first homeplace was in Pitt County. As far as I know that's where my parents were from. Pitt County, North Carolina, Greenville.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So then when did you come here to Cary?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I came here in Raleigh in 1992, November 1992.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So you were, stayed in Pitt County for most of your life.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
In between I lived in a small town called Franklinton, which is thirty miles north of here. I stayed there about fifteen years and then came.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. How many people lived in your home when you were growing up?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh brother. I'm from a large family, fifteen kids. Fifteen kids. Ten girls, five boys.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Wow. Okay. Are you closer to the oldest—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Youngest, next to the youngest. So by the time me and my twin came a long some of the older had grown, so they would help my mother raise us.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So you said you have a twin?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I did. She's dead now.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Where did you attend school in Pitt County?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
In Ayden, North Carolina. I small town called Ayden. It's like ten miles east of Greenville.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did your family attend church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yes, they were Baptist. My parents, both parents were Southern Baptist.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So it was pretty strict that you all had to go to church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yes.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay, did you have any jobs or responsibilities as a child?

Page 2
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well we had our regular chores. Yeah. Oh yeah. We had a farm. In fact we were sharecroppers, so we had a lot to do helping my parents raise tobacco, cotton. So we had lots of things to do.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So after school you had certain chores that had to be done.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Wow. So then when did you leave home?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I was nineteen. I got married when I was nineteen.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's when you—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That's when I left home.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And went to Franklinton.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, not right then. I stayed in, about almost ten years I stayed in there, in Pitt County.
BARBARA COPELAND:
After you got married.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What was your first job do you recall?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
My first job working in a nursing home.
BARBARA COPELAND:
When you all were coming up, who made most of the decisions in the family? Was it your mom or your dad?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
My mother. My mother was the strong one. She was the disciplinarian, and she was a strong disciplinarian. My father I mean he wouldn't do anything unless you really pushed him to discipline us. She was the one who did the discipline.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did both of the parents work outside the home or did they just do like the sharecropping?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Sharecropping the whole family together.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What would you say was the most important to the people in your community when you were coming up?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I guess, I guess the church.
BARBARA COPELAND:
The church environment. Everyone in the area pretty much went to church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.

Page 3
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay, did, how were the houses like the community. Was it everyone lived real close together or—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
We were kind of spread out.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Or spread out. Was it the kind of closeness wherein you pretty much knew everyone that sort of thing?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Even the white and black. We all knew each other in the neighborhood.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What year, what year were you born because I was trying to see or trying to get a good understanding about the era wherein we had the sit-ins? You remember when we had the sit-in in Greensboro?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. I barely remember. I was born in 1950. I remember some of it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Because yeah, I was born in '60 so we're—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
So you probably don't remember.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Well, I wasn't born here in North Carolina. It wasn't until I got up some age that I stsarted learning about it through school. But wanted to know when you were coming up as a child did you experience racism—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yes.
BARBARA COPELAND:
In school?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I went to an all-black school all my twelve years to an all black school, but I remember, I do remember some of the racism like at the cafeteria in the town. We had to go through the back. Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
See that's what I was trying to—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Then they had one counter in Ayden and places where I went to school at we had to stay outside, and they gave us our food through the window, and the white people were allowed to go inside and eat. We had to stay outside. I remember that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And sit at the counter, they were able to sit at the counter.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
See and so that's what I was trying to figure out if maybe you ever experienced any of that because I never experienced any of it. I guess maybe because I was born up North. I was born in New York and lived there up until I was twelve, and then that's when I came to Durham in Durham, North

Page 4
Carolina ever since. But I never experienced like the two separate bathrooms, one for colored, one for white.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
And fountains, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
The two separate fountains. I never experienced any of that. All of the schools that I went to were mixed. We had all different races, and it was, I never got a sense that there was segregation of any sort nothing like that. I do remember, but of course this is way after I finished high school. Just here recently maybe I would say in the past ten years, maybe seven or ten years where they were, the school districts here in the Research Triangle area, Durham, Raleigh and Chapel Hill they wanted to do a redistricting of the subdivisions to make it so that it was an even distributions of blacks and whites in the county schools as well as in the city schools. Because I do remember when I was in high school in Durham that it was predominantly a predominantly black in the city schools and that there were more whites in the county. But it wasn't so cut and dried wherein you felt like this was a predominantly black school because we did have some whites, a good sizable population of whites who went to our schools. So I was just wondering if you experienced that and what those experiences were like for you.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I mean it made me angry, but it wasn't much being a child there wasn't much I could do about it. Just go with the flow. We just had to, to keep safe we just had to go along with it. We weren't allowed to fight back. Our parents didn't want us to fight.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. Was there any of the people or any one person in your family that's older than you that you were especially more especially close to?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, one of my older sisters Mae Ella.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Describe the different patterns of relationships between your parents and your siblings and yourself. What were the relationships like?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, mostly since my mother was so strong we were mostly scared of her. Yeah. We were scared of her. I was anyway. I'd try not to make her mad or anything. But me and my twin we were very close. Not as close to my younger sister. She had a twin too. The last four kids were twins, were two sets of twins.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's interesting. Oh wow. So then there are a set of twins that are still living.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. Right.

Page 5
BARBARA COPELAND:
What do you remember mostly about what your home looked like the decorations, the furnishings and just how things were arranged when you think about, when you think back to when you grew up in your home? What are some of the things that first come to mind about your house?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I remember the front porch like we used to sit out there in the summer time we'd sit on the front porch and drink lemonade or tea and stuff like that. I always wanted a house with a front porch, but I haven't been able to get one. I miss that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Let's just say not yet.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah not yet. I really miss that. I was a tomboy and I did mostly followed what my brother did, and what they did I did because I was a tomboy.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So you weren't like the type that would sit in the house and play with your babydolls and that—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Uh uh. I was a tomboy. My twin sister was just the opposite.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. Yeah. Describe what the holidays were like, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, how were the holidays.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh the holidays were wonderful.
BARBARA COPELAND:
I bet it was with all those.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
We had lots of food. We didn't have a lot of toys. There was some times when we didn't even get toys. But we had lots of food I can remember. I can still smell the cakes and turkey and stuff.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Just when you think about it. You can. Yeah.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Who would you say did most of the cooking, most of the arranging the holiday festive and that sort of thing?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
My oldest sister because she's old enough to be my mother. She's got a daughter older than me and a son the same age as me. She did that. She did most of the—because she had to take, she had to take over raising us because my mother had gotten sick. She had cancer, breast cancer, and she had heart trouble too.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Is your dad, your mother and father still living?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Uh uh. They're both dead.

Page 6
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. What would you say was the most important traditions at home when you were coming up? Like what were some of the things that you all did like all the time, like a ritual type thing besides like going to church every Sunday?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I can't think of anything now.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did you ever experience furnerals when you were coming up, going to funerals?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
I would imagine those were pretty sad events especially for children. I know that it was a pretty sad moment for me when funerals happened in my family when I was really young. It just it was just pretty sad. So when I think about funerals in my adulthood life I often not want to go and see the person because it just conjures up all of those sad memories from people that were in my family who passed away when I was little. So yeah. I can imagine. It could be a pretty sad state of affairs. Of course now a days they still pretty much have the same traditions. A lot of families they'll have like a wake in the house.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh yeah I remember the wake. I remember. Which I'm glad they cut out. Because I remember, when I was very small I remember them having wakes in the house. I remember being frightened. I was very, very scared.
BARBARA COPELAND:
I went to one family member's it wasn't my, the house that I grew up in when I was very little. We lived in New York, and some family on my mother's side had passed away, but they lived in like upper parts of New York, and it was like a cousin of my mothers. So we went and my mother, I remember her telling me and my three younger sisters because I'm the oldest of four. We're going to Aunt Sadie's because her brother passed away, and so we're going to the funeral. So I was just thinking that the funeral was going to be in a church, and it wouldn't have ever thought that it was going to be the body or the wake was going to be in the house. Sure enough it was. That was a very scary moment for me. Then a few years later after that event when for Easter my mom we're going to Aunt Sadie's, and we're going to visit. I remembered the dead relative being in the home, so I immediately did not want to go because I thought about that. That was my experience, one of my first experiences of funerals. So now a days they have, they still do have wakes at home in homes, but for the most part you go to a funeral parlor, and so I'm kind of glad about that because—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I am too.

Page 7
BARBARA COPELAND:
It just separates it more and makes it a little bit better I think to deal with. How important was religion, religious training in the home. Tell me about how your mother and your father viewed religious training?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They were very important to them. They kept some like they don't, Sabbath Sunday. They were very, very strong about not doing any work and stuff on the Sabbath day. So religion was very important to them.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Now what kinds of work would you say your dad did? I know that you had mentioned about the sharecropping, but were there other kinds of work that he did as well?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Uh uh.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Who would you say in your family took responsibility for childcare? Was it just primarily your older sisters or did you have a—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
My mother until she was not able. Then my father and then my oldest sister. She did.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What would you say is the major differences in your education and your parents' education?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, I mean I graduated from high school, and then I went to Wake Tech for a while.
BARBARA COPELAND:
In Raleigh.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Uh huh. My parents they had to stop at like fourth grade or something like that. My father couldn't read. My mother could read, but my father couldn't. So I think she stopped in something like the eighth grade or something like that. So they weren't that educated.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Well, yeah. Yeah sometimes that does happen wherein you can't continue schooling especially like with my parents, my mom comes from a large family as well. I think there were like twelve of them. My mom was one of the younger ones. I remember her telling me that she had to stop school at the eleventh grade because they had to help out on the farm.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That would hurt though.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah, because she came so close. She only had one more year to go. But the family, my grandparents needed her, and so she had to do most of her work, just working on the farm and could not really finish out that last year. What would you say that you learned from your parents that has helped you live your own life? What were some of the things that you learned from how they raised you how to bring into your own life and guide you in your own life?

Page 8
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Faith. I learned faith, their faith. Strength I learned from my mother. Although I felt like her discipline was misplaced sometimes. I learned I could be strong like her. I think I'm more like her than any of them.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Than any of your brothers and sisters.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Really. Were you ever married? You did mention. You said you got married.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I still am separated. Have been for awhile.
BARBARA COPELAND:
How long had you known your husband before you got married?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
About a year.
BARBARA COPELAND:
A year before. Okay. You have children. I think you mentioned you have—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
You have—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Four.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Four.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Three girls and one boy.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They're all grown.
BARBARA COPELAND:
I guess you probably said no I'm not going to have a large family like my mom had. You know now a days there are not, families are not as big as they were.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
In the Mormon church they are.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. Yeah.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because they believe in procreation.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They don't believe in that you should do anything to stop creation.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Exactly. Now that you've mentioned the Mormon church I guess this would be a good time where I could just ask you some questions about that. You were raised in the Southern Baptist tradition, and you continue going to the Baptist church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, at one point after I got grown I converted over to the Holiness.

Page 9
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. Okay the Pentecostal Holiness.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
At what point did you decide to convert to the Mormon church or how did you first become a Mormon?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, the missionaries came by my house. They asked me was I interested in hearing about the truth, the Gospel and I told them yeah. But I was busy then, and I asked if they could come back. So they were on it. They were back the next day. They went just like that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
The very next day. During that time were you still an active member in the Pentecostal?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, I had left the Pentecostal church because I had gotten at the point where I was disillusioned by it by the things I saw in the Pentecostal church.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh really. What were some of those—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I was very, very disillusioned. Now I had bad experiences in the church because okay my husband was abusive, physically abusive to me. I would go to my pastor and his wife and tell them that because they were supposed to have been counseling me. They would tell me that I had to stay with my husband until death. You made that vow; you have to stay with him. They told me you married a devil, you're a devil until you die.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh really.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh my gosh. Well were, did they counsel him as well?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No.
BARBARA COPELAND:
They didn't feel like he needed counseling that it was you that needed the counseling.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, they felt like I needed it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. So with that you just felt disillusioned and—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
With the whole thing the whole church at that time. I was disillusioned with the church period during that time. I was inactive in the church at all.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So when the missionaries came they came at the right time for you.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Right.

Page 10
BARBARA COPELAND:
So after they sat down and went over some of the lessons with you I imagine that's how you became involved is they went over the lessons. Then they invited you to the church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. I went to the church. I think I went to the church a couple of times before I decided to be baptized.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That was the next step.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Now what would you say from those first couple of church meetings, what would you say that was the most striking to you or that was the most important to you that made you feel like you wanted to become a member?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because they were accepting of me and it didn't matter to them what I looked like or how, it didn't matter to them about anything. It wasn't, they just accepted me because I was me. I didn't have to make a certain amount of money because you know how it is in so many churches.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh yes.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They've got looks. Some of the women have to be dressed from head to toe, everything matching. It didn't matter with them. It didn't matter that my skin was darker or lighter. It didn't matter. I the mission, when I went the missionary that came up to the house he sat beside of me in the church, and he walked me through the whole thing and stuff. He made me feel accepted.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Now was this, the church that you joined was that the one here in Cary?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I've been there four years now.
BARBARA COPELAND:
You've been a Mormon for four years.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Okay. Well that's wonderful. Now tell me a little bit about the church callings.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh yeah. When everyone becomes a member, they get a calling. Everybody. Right now my calling is the Gospel in Action coordinator. The kids have some goals to meet. By the time they're eleven they have four goals to meet, and they have to meet. I have to make sure they meet those goals by the time they get to be eleven years old.

Page 11
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. So those are like personal goals within their life or—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, one of them is. One is like doing something for their neighbor. Maybe working with food shuttle, doing something anything to help out people. That's one of them.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So that's like an outreach to the children to keep them actively involved in the church in doing things like community service type things.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's wonderful. So they have like an agenda of four different things.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
By the time they get eleven and they have to be [unclear] with those. I have to see through that they get them done.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh that's wonderful. That's wonderful.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Callings are very important. When you become a member of the church, you have to have a calling.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Now I'm wondering is, how does that work? Does, is it the bishop approaches you and tells you?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
And asks. He asks first.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. He asks you if this is something that you would like to do or does he come to you and say this I had a vision or the Holy Spirit told me—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
He is lead by the spirit.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Lead by the spirit that this is what you should do in the church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. Wanted to know also about I think it's called like family night on Mondays.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, family home evening.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Tell me a little bit about how that.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I'm by myself, but I still have it. It's important. The first presidency I mean he's adamant about us having family home evening. Most of what I do is I pray, sing a song and read scriptures and then pray in closing.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So you just do that for yourself on Monday nights even though—

Page 12
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. Sometimes people in houses sometimes they'll invite me over to their house on family home evening.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I thought I was exempt because I was by myself. The bishop, no way.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh wow.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Everybody has to do it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Even if it means that you have to go and fellowship with someone else just to get involved in it.
What do you think probably is the importance of family nights on Mondays? What is it that you think the bishop or the presidency sees that why that is so important and that no one should be exempt from it?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because really because they I believe that's what God wants us to do. The Heavenly Father wants us because the family is very important to Heavenly Father.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That's the other reason why I love being a member of the church because of the family. They're very, very family oriented. I love that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Had you ever thought about wanting to remarry or seek another husband?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. I am one day. One day I am hopefully. Hopefully I do. I don't—
BARBARA COPELAND:
So what would some of your criteria be for an ideal mate for you?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, he has to go the same church I go to. I don't want to marry somebody that's in another church. Financially able to that we both can be able to prosper financially, and looks, I'm not into looks the physical as long as he's a good provider physically and spiritually.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. Exactly. The reason why I asked that is because normally well there's two different—. Some people look at it and come at that question two different ways.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
The physical.
BARBARA COPELAND:
No. Some African American women who are in the Mormon church I'm a lot of times I'm wondering are they joining the Mormon church in order to just find an African, an ideal African American, marriageable African American mate. Some have said that well, yes I've gotten tired of relying on African

Page 13
American men of other traditions because they really don't live a holy life aside from Sundays. After Sundays then they're back.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Most Baptists do.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. So in talking with some they have said well I like the Mormon church, and I've joined the Mormon church hoping that I can find an eligible, marriageable African American man. Now the other flip side to that is that I've interviewed some African American women who are in the Mormon church. They feel discouraged that they're not going to meet another African American Mormon marriageable man to meet, to marry, so they have said that they would be willing to marry outside of their race as long—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I am.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I'm willing to marry outside of my race too. As long as the person makes me happy.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. Well for some women they said that race is very important to them. That they're willing, even though they're Mormons they're willing to marry outside of their faith to find an African American man and some have said to me that no, their faith is more important and they have to make sure that the person is Mormon like they are.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That's the way I would love to have it, but I couldn't if I had to marry outside my religion, I would. I would prefer—
BARBARA COPELAND:
You would prefer that they be Mormon.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
So those are the two different answers and two different ways that a lot of the African American women have been going. Some will go strictly with the notion that no if I find a marriageable man, he has to be African American. Then some have said to me no if find a marriageable partner, I would prefer African American, but if he's not African American, he has to be Mormon and I'm willing to go outside my race. So those are the two different ways that they've looked at it. Wanted to know also if just tell me a little bit about what you find are some of the benefits of families raising their children within the Mormon church? What are some of those benefits to the family?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, like I said they start early teaching their kids what right and what's wrong.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Because they do in the Baptist church too.

Page 14
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Most of them by the time they graduate and stuff they most of them have developed their talents. A lot of them, they start early teaching them like piano lessons. Most of them as soon as they learn to walk they're playing the piano, and by the time they graduate from high school they're very, I mean their talent is developed. That's what I miss from my childhood. I wish I could go back and my parents had taught me a talent.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Did you have the opportunity, you didn't have the opportunity to raise any of children in the Mormon church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, they don't like it. My kids are totally against the Mormon church.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay, and have they ever expressed to you why it is that they don't like the church? What are some of the things that they find against it?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They think that well the first time when I joined the church, they said it was a cult. Yeah. But I think they pretty much adjusted to me being a member, but they don't, you can be a member mama we don't. Don't try to put it on me and my kids.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So for your four children what religious affiliation are they then? Are they Baptist?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, one of them is a non-denominational. The other one I guess she's, I guess two of them are non-denominational. The other two, they're not active in church anywhere.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I have one granddaughter I used to take with me to church. She enjoyed going, but her mama, she was at the point to be baptized, but her mama didn't want for her to be baptized.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh right because once they get a certain age, I think it's age eight or nine.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Eight.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Eight then they're eligible to—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Be baptized.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Did your granddaughter like the church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
She loved it. She used to go with me every Sunday. She still talking about being baptized. Her mama—
BARBARA COPELAND:
Doesn't want her to—I just think it's a wonderful opportunity for the children. It's a beautiful environment to raise the children.

Page 15
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. And they learn the Gospel well.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Not like the church that I was in before I became a Mormon. The kids weren't taught. They were not taught. They didn't have anyone there to teach them.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. Yeah it's just very a huge difference between the church environment within the Mormon church and the Baptist church. It's just so family oriented, and you mentioned earlier about there are a lot of large families within the Mormon church. Tell me a little bit about that. You were telling me the reason why there are such a large families, many of them.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because they don't think they should do anything to hinder procreation. They believe in the Heavenly Father wants them to procreate to have kids, and so women for women it's a joy. It's a blessing for them to have children. They're adamant about that. So that's why you see so many children. Now my bishop he has eight.
BARBARA COPELAND:
He has eight children.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. It's another lady in there has nine.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Nine children.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Now are they older couples or are they—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
One of the ladies she's probably in early '60s. All her kids are grown now. She's got nine.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Wow. Tell me a little bit about like when the children, once they get a certain age there's something like a seminary school.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, they go to, I think it's fifteen.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Age fifteen is when they start.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. They have to go every morning. They have to get up at six. I think it's at six to seven every morning.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Wow for just that one hour. But they learn about the Bible and about the Mormon doctrine.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So that this way once they become, once they are ready to leave high school then they're ready to go to missionary, go out on a mission—

Page 16
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And know the Gospel.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That is very interesting because I often wondered how once they finish high school how are they equipped to be able to go to different countries and become, be a missionary. When do they get the time to learn the Bible really well, and that's I guess maybe it's when they go to seminary school. Is that like Monday through Friday or just—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm. Monday through Friday.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What do you say that the kids' response just from being in the church and you having a calling dealing with the children. Do they like going to seminary? Are they happy about it or—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
As far as I know they are. I guess they hate getting up so early, but they're excited. Their teachers always report that they're excited about because right now we're doing the Old Testament. They love that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. That's interesting. Wanted to know also about let's see I think I asked this question about the church, the temple, the new temple that they have in Apex.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Have you been there?
BARBARA COPELAND:
No. No I haven't been.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
How long have you been a member?
BARBARA COPELAND:
Well, I'm not a member. I've just been visiting the church because I've taken up this class learning about Mormonism through college. So I'm learning about the religion, and I've been going and visiting, but I have not become a member. I've been raised in the Baptist tradition, and so that's pretty much still really within me, the Baptist tradition, and it's just been so deeply ingrained in me. I've been in church all my life, and so I since now—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It's hard to get away from those Baptist.
BARBARA COPELAND:
It well, yes it is. Since I am a religious studies major I've been visiting different denominations. I've even gone to non-denominational churches.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They mostly shout [unclear] like Pentecostal.

Page 17
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. So just so that I could increase my awareness of the different traditions within the various denominations. So I really don't belong to any one particular denomination or one particular church because I've been spending a lot of time going and visiting different churches and learning about different religions. But I really like and see a lot of positive influences and positive teaching within the Mormon church. Yeah, but wanted to know if you've been to the temple.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm. Several times.
BARBARA COPELAND:
This one here in Apex.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What is that experience like?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It's wonderful. Well, I can't talk, I mean certain things.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Because some of it is sacred.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. We can't talk about. But I can talk, we do baptism for the dead. You ever heard of that?
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Do that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. And that's basically—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
By proxy.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
If some of your relatives had died and not knowing the Gospel, and everybody had to be baptized and before like the scripture said repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus, everybody had to be go through that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And that's being submerged under water.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, so we do it by proxy for someone that's passed on.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And that gives them the opportunity.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
To decide to become Mormon in the afterlife.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Decide whether they take it or not. Accept what we did for them or not.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. That's a very interesting. That is one of the things that I've learned.

Page 18
MARGARET EDWARDS:
You've been to the building.
BARBARA COPELAND:
No, I haven't.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It's so beautiful. It's marble.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. Yeah. I just well just seeing the various church structures in textbooks about the Mormon church they're so different in structure.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
The one in Washington, D.C. I went to that one. That's the first one I went to after I—you had to be a member a year before you can go.
BARBARA COPELAND:
To the one in Washington.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
For all of them.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
My year was up that's why I went to Washington. They hadn't built that one in Apex yet. The one in Washington, D.C., it is so beautiful.
BARBARA COPELAND:
I bet it is a wonderful experience to go into such a holy temple and to know that you're on holy grounds.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I was dressed in white from head to toe.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Wow. I bet that is a wonderful experience. If you were to get married again, would you want to have a temple wedding?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yes. Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Tell me a little bit about some of the differences.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
If I marry somebody outside of church, I can't have a temple marriage.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. I know so he would have to be Mormon.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Tell me some of the benefits of what you see of having a temple marriage would be?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I think for one I'm pleasing God. We're sealed together forever through all eternity. The spirit will be with you. I feel like the spirit would be with me if I got married in the temple and stuff. It would be stronger because I felt like I'm doing what God wants me to do.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. I know that the church is very, very adamant about if when the young couples when they get married, they try to encourage them to have their, have a temple wedding. But in order for

Page 19
them to have a temple wedding they have to get the temple recommend, and they have to have lived their life acc—
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]
BARBARA COPELAND:
Well I was just mentioning to you a second ago about the temple recommend. You have to have a temple recommend from your bishop, and it just seems that everything is just so organized, and you were telling me that you like organized churches. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about the church's stance on when there aren't a lot of African Americans within the church. Like if an African American person was to join do they, does the church try to match you up with another African American person, or how do they feel about intermarriage? Like when a single person comes into the church or when they counsel the youth the young, not the youth but young adults, and they counsel them like a premarriage counseling type of thing and they get new members and they're single. Do they counsel them in the way to try to match them up with someone of their own race or do they feel comfortable? How does the church feel about—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Mixed marriages.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right, mixed marriages.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well as far as I know they don't, they're not against it. They would prefer you to marry your own race, but if you decide to marry outside your race, they don't knock it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Would you say that they would prefer you and your mate remain, that the two of you be Mormons even if one was black and one was white or that you marry the two of you be of the same race even if one was in another church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I think they would prefer if one were white and one were black and be both Mormon. They would prefer it that way yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
They would. That's, it seems to be a prevailing controversy for different people's views regarding whether or not they would prefer if both of the couples be of the same race or one be of one race and one be another as long as the both of them are the same faith. Because I've often heard myself that coming from church leaders' authority that they really would prefer that the two, the couples both are of the same faith in the Mormon church. I think the reason for that is is because there's a, it's easy for the non-Mormon to convert the Mormon probably maybe there's a potential. Like if you were to marry someone outside of your faith, there's a potential that that person could get you to convert back to their—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So maybe the bishop would probably would feel more comfortable if both were Mormon.

Page 21
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. Does prayer play an important role in your life?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yes.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Tell me a little bit about how, why prayer is so important to you and what you see the benefits of prayer.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because me being by myself and having no one, well I have got the church. I'm really not by myself because I have got the church. I mean any time I need help or anything someone will come.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's good.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Prayer had, me being alone I have to pray often, and I feel like God protection is around me while I'm here by myself. So prayer is very, very important to me.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. Gee I had something on my mind I was going to ask. What are some of your favorite, the favorite passages that you like in the Bible and some of your favorite songs that you sing in the church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I Know My Redeemer Lives is my favorite song in the Mormon. Yeah. My favorite passage in the Bible is John where ‘let not your heart be troubled.’ That one.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Now when you went to the Pentecostal Holiness tradition and when you went to the Baptist churches, you know that there's a difference in the way that those churches are from the Mormon church. Wherein those two churches the pastor gets up and he preaches, but in the Mormon church the bishop will get up and talk and he'll have someone else talk.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. The person that speaks—it used to be three speakers, and they already had a week notice or two-week notice.
BARBARA COPELAND:
To go up and say something.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
To get their together.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Now—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They give them a topic to speak on.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. Tell me I had some people to say to me that what they miss in the Mormon church is that fire that they get—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh yeah.

Page 22
BARBARA COPELAND:
In the Baptist church—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That burning.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Feeling touched, yeah. Do you ever feel like you miss that in the Mormon church that you wish that that was there?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I don't miss it. I mean we have our way of praising God. But we are just not as out, not as charismatic about it like. I really don't miss it. I went to church with one of the ladies up stairs. I went to church with her one Sunday, well one Saturday, and all of a sudden I was up praising with that—
BARBARA COPELAND:
This was a Baptist church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No. I think her church was a Pentecostal church or a non-denominational one.
BARBARA COPELAND:
This was just recently.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It was about three months ago. Well no, I don't miss it bcause I just I like the quietness of the Mormon church.
BARBARA COPELAND:
It is pretty quiet and laid back, and they're not as expressive.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right and it makes it more reverent.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Now when you—tell me a little bit more about that experience that you had when you went to—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I was up praising, audible praises with along with everybody else. I felt pretty good. I felt that warm sensation.
BARBARA COPELAND:
You felt like you were being touched by the.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did you feel like it made you be more expressive?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Like you couldn't be in the Mormon Church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. That's interesting.
Did you feel that maybe you could be expressive because you were with others who were being expressive in the church, or did you feel like maybe the spirit just hit you?

Page 23
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I think the spirit just hit me because I wasn't even thinking about the people around me. I was an ordained minister.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh tell me a little bit about that.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah I was, I was before I became a member, before I left the church—
BARBARA COPELAND:
The Mormon.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, before I left the Pentecostal church I was an ordained minister. But like I said I got disillusioned with the way things were going in the church, and they way people were doing crookedness and all that stuff. Hypocrisy, a lot of hypocrisy I just got disillusioned with it and I just left.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Was that just that one particular church or—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, it was a lot of, not only that church other churches—
BARBARA COPELAND:
Were the same way.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Were you ever a pastor of any church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I wasn't a pastor just an ordained minister.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh. Where did you get your ordination from?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Franklin—
BARBARA COPELAND:
Franklington.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
In the Church of Jesus Christ, not Church of Jesus Christ, what was the name of that church? I can't think of the name of it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Apostolic House of Prayer.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. What are the things that a person has to do to become an ordained minister? I guess maybe I'm interested in wanting to know that because I'm getting ready to apply to go to Duke Divinity School.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh. That's wonderful.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. Yeah. But I don't feel led to be a minister. I'm going for they have a two-year program, Master's of Theological Studies. Ultimately I'd like to teach either in a seminary or at a community college or a four-year college. I'd like to teach about history of religions, black church history or just teach

Page 24
world religion, something along that line. I'm just really, really interested in courses about religious studies. So but they, I know that for the most part most people who go to seminary school it's because they are in route to becoming ordained and going to seminary to learn how to become better ministers. Or some of them may be lay ministers and want to learn how to become a really good minister. Tell me what are some of the steps that are involved in a person becoming ordained? What do they have to do?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, the way I did it, like I said I felt this burning of the spirit leading me to I guess leading me to, I felt it was leading me to become a minister because like I said I saw so much wrong. People would teach the Gospel that were teaching everything but the Gospel. So I felt like the Lord was leading me to teach what was right. That's how I felt. I went to my pastor, and I told him about it, and the next thing I know he well he told me that the Lord was calling me to preach.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
To preach the Gospel. So it was a long time before I accepted it, but I finally accepted it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did you have to take any classes or is it—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No because, as far as the Bible was concerned I know it from back to the front. I know it. But I did take a course at the theological seminary at Southeastern in Wake Forest. I did take a course there.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Okay. Was that so that you could become ordained or—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, in fact it was after I became ordained when I took that course.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. So once you became ordained were you in getting ready to have your own church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, I wasn't going for anything like that because I didn't feel like that was what God wanted me to have my own church.
BARBARA COPELAND:
You just wanted to minister to people that you came into contact with.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. The true Gospel yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Okay, well did you, had you ever told your bishop?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Oh yeah. He knows. Yeah, he knows.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Really, and what was his, what was his comments?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
He wasn't that surprised. It didn't surprise him.

Page 25
BARBARA COPELAND:
Well, I guess the reason why I am just curious to know is because in the Mormon church it's very hierarchical—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
It's only the men that have the priesthood that Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchisedec priesthood. So none of the women within the Mormon church are on the level of a bishop or—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Which is fine with me.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I'm not seeking for any hierarchy or anything like that no way. I mean I want to please God. That's what it want to do. It's fine with me if the men are up there.
BARBARA COPELAND:
It doesn't bother you at all. Do you feel—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because we do get a chance to teach anyway like in the relief society and even in sacrament we get a chance to speak.
BARBARA COPELAND:
To get up and give a testimony.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Do you feel ever feel that your some of your independence is being taken away when you have to obey church leaders' authority?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No.
BARBARA COPELAND:
No. Oh okay. So although you've been doing taking care of things on your own, doing things on your own and you just come and go on your own if you were to marry a man in the church and according to the hierarchical structure of the church, the man is more or less the leader. Do you feel that you would have that letting him take that position in your life to be in charge and be in control of some of the functions within a marriage? Do you feel like you would be giving up your independence?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's interesting, and I guess it's because some women although there are quite a few well quite a bit of women who are very independent climbing the corporate ladder that sort of thing, and they want to get a husband. But they still want their own independence. They don't want to feel like they're being up under him as far as power and things of that nature, and then on the other flip side of that, there are some women who want a man to come into their lives and have take charge of things. So I was just—

Page 26
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, I mean I don't mind being submissive to a man. If I know he's living within the laws and stuff that God had provided, I wouldn't mind being submissive to him.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Do you think or do you feel that having a husband would come to come and help you take care of things in the house, that would be a considerable help for you wherein you wouldn't have to do everything on your own?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It would help. Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right now if I need something done like the men folks on the church somebody from the church because we are part of home teaching.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
And our home teacher if I have anything broken or anything, he'll come in and do it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Anything to be fixed.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Well, that's wonderful. That's wonderful. So tell me a little bit about how the home teaching works.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, most of the home teachers are men.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
But they've got visiting teachers that's the women.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's the title that the women—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, we go to the women's house. All the women go to each other's houses and teach them, but nobody has ever been to your house. But you're not a member though.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
You have two or three houses that we'll go to that they are—the women are in teams of two.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
We go their houses and teach—there's always a lesson in a book we get every month. There's a lesson in there that they teach. So we teach those, ladies we go visit and we teach them lessons. That's how it is. The same thing with the, what other person did I say. Home teaching. But usually home teaching uses one of the priesthood.

Page 27
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh that will go out.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
That will come out—
BARBARA COPELAND:
The Aaronic or the—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
The Melchisedec, and they usually take care of the widows and women that are not married and stuff.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. So those are primarily the ones who are the home teachers who go out. So the ones, the members who are already married and they are family members they get assigned other home teachers who are either female home visitors or other male teachers.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They get other male teachers, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Do all of the male teachers have to have the Melchisedec priesthood?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
All the male teachers.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. All of the teachers, the home teachers.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, they have to have the Melchisedec priesthood, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
They do. Oh okay. Tell—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
The Melchisedec priesthood is higher than the Aronic.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. What's the difference between the two?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It's what they can do. The Aaronic priesthood can baptize. They can baptize and teach and stuff like that, but the Melchisedec can lay hands on people and receive the Holy Ghost. They can baptize too, but they lay hands on you to receive the Holy Ghost where an Aaronic priest couldn't do that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Tell me a little bit about have you ever had the Melchisedec priesthood to lay hands?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, when I've been sick, they have come and lay hands on and when I would go to the hospital, they would come and lay hands on me.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So and that's a benefit to you. You feel very comfortable when you. Right. Now the Baptists and the Pentecostal church I guess is the pastors and the deacons in that church they also go out to hospitals and do the sick and the shut-ins.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
You're talking about the Baptist church.
BARBARA COPELAND:
And lay hands. Do you see any differences in the Melchisedec who go out and lay hands than anything different from them than the pastors or the deacons who also can do the same thing?

Page 28
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It isn't much difference. Only thing is between the Mormon church and other churches is they're just organized. They're just more organized, and they're a little stricter than other churches because the Word of Wisdom you can't have caffeine and you can't smoke and no alcohol and stuff like that.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What about chocolate? Is that one of them too? Some people I hear that chocolate.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Some people don't eat it, but I eat it every once in a while.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I have drunk a soda every once in a while I haven't drunk one now in a long time, but sometimes I drink a soda.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. But do you on the whole do you find or feel that if you have a hard time living according to the Mormon doctrine and the Word of Wisdom. You don't.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Uh uh. No because I want to do it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's wonderful because for some it is hard if they've been smoking for years.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, I used to be a smoker.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I quit cold turkey when the missionaries came to my house. I quit cold turkey and I haven't been back.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Really, that's wonderful. Because you hear a lot of people that talk about how hard it is to quit smoking. So I mean I would think that that was God intervening to help you.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
To stop.
Do you ever from time to time I know you said that you went with your friend to her church a few months ago. But are there other times when you do visit from time to time other churches?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I had a girlfriend, which I broke with her because she stayed on my back about being a Mormon. She harassed me about it, and she's supposed to be my friend. In fact she supposed to have been my best friend. From her perspective she was my best friend but not from my perspective, but she had hounded me all the time about being in that church. You need to get out of that church. I'm going to find a way to get you out of that church. She made it her law that she was going to get me out of that church. I got tired of it. So I used to go to church with her.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What church does she belong to?

Page 29
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Some church in Durham.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. Is it a non-denominational?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Probably because, yeah. I think so yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did you like the church services there?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, they were okay, but the thing is after the service turned out they would kind of stay away from me like I was a leper or something.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh really.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I think it, I think it and I told her that too. I think the reason why they did it was because I was a Mormon. She probably told them I went to the Mormon church. They got don't touch me like—
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's awful in the church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I know. I know.
BARBARA COPELAND:
If anything they should've been more embracing.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I know, but they weren't.
BARBARA COPELAND:
But see now there's another difference because people from other denominations other than the Latter-day Saints, non-Mormons can go to the Mormon church and be a Baptist or Pentecostal, and the Mormons don't treat them like that. I've not seen that.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
We don't. We're taught not to. We accept everybody.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did you tell your friend that?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. One time we had an activity at our church because sometimes we have lots of activities. We have socials and stuff like that. I invited her. She wouldn't go up to that Saturday night when they had it. She talked about I wasn't led to go. She always wanted me to go to church with her, but she wouldn't go with me, so I stopped going with her.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. But she feels bad because she can't get you out of the Mormon church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. She tried her best though.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Is she the only person that has been so negative about you being in the church or what about maybe other family members or other friends who—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
She's the only one that's negative that was so negative, and she had, her husband had given me some anti-Mormon literature.

Page 30
BARBARA COPELAND:
Really. Oh my gosh. So he's trying too to get you out of the church. That's interesting. So do you have other family members who are also Mormon or is it just you?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Just me.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay. So but your husband or your, your ex-husband he wasn't Mormon either. Yeah. That's very interesting that you would have close friends who would not respect the religion that you choose. So she's never come to visit the Mormon church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, my daughter has been there with me like when we had a, we had a picnic for the get to know family members, non-members. So they gave a pig picking for non-members, and my daughter went. She came and some of her friends came with her. We had a talent show at the stake center over on Six Forks, and she came with us too.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did she like it?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
She said she did.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. That's interesting. Yeah. A lot of times people do get a lot of negative feedback from outside family members, outside friends, even people in the neighborhood that they live in once they discover that you are a member of a church that is not as widespread or not as big as or not as well known as the Judeo-Christian churches. Then they have a hard time dealing with that. I think some of that comes from just not knowing about what the church is all about. But now Mormonism is growing and is supposed to be one of the fastest growing—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It is.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Churches. It's increasing its membership.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It's the fastest growing.
BARBARA COPELAND:
It has churches. It's an international church now.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right it is.
BARBARA COPELAND:
It has churches in so many different countries.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Churches and temples.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. Yeah. That it's becoming a very, very big church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah.

Page 31
BARBARA COPELAND:
Well, I did have one other question that I wanted to ask you about. Now there was, did you know about the instance of the ban for African American males prior to the year 1978?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Um hmm.
BARBARA COPELAND:
In the Mormon church.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They weren't allowed to hold the priesthood.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. What—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They could go to the church, but they weren't allowed to hold the priesthood.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Yeah. When did you discover that or did you know that before you—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
No, I didn't know that before I—
BARBARA COPELAND:
So when did you discover that and how did you feel once you heard about it?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I was a little, I wasn't upset, but I felt like—
BARBARA COPELAND:
Was it a shock to you when you first?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Had you been a member long before you found out?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Not long. Right. I wasn't discouraged when I first heard about it. I assure you.
BARBARA COPELAND:
So how did you, how were you able to get past that and not let it bother you and to still remain within the Mormon Church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I kept telling myself this is today that was then, but this is today and it's not like that, and I thank God that the black men can hold the priesthood now.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. Okay. Wanted to know and this will be just my last question. How have you ever been involved in any type of missionary activities not like going to a different country to become a missionary but like missionary like in the Baptist churches or in the Pentecostal churches or just doing missionary type of functions within the Mormon church?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Uh uh.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Then too lastly this is will be the last one—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
When I talk to people that are going downtown waiting for the bus, I'll talk to the people about me being a Mormon. Some of them, I get some strange looks.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Really.

Page 32
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, but I usually talk to somebody when I'm downtown.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Just at the bus depot waiting and—do they ever ask you like want to know more questions like.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Some of them do, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What are some of the things that they have to say to you about it?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Why are you, why do you want to join that church? They say that church is wrong. You shouldn't be in there.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Why do you think that they feel that the church is wrong?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because of all the negative publicity that's spread out there, that negative stuff that they have spread out here against it, against the Mormons. When they had at the temple, when they finished the temple, they had an open house—
BARBARA COPELAND:
The one here in Apex?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Did you get to go?
BARBARA COPELAND:
No. I think that that might have been like two years ago. That was before it was consecrated?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Then anybody could just go in and see it right.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
But from what I understood because I did want to go just this past couple of months when I first learned about it I did want to go. But from what I understand is that now that it's been consecrated you have to be a member and you have to have a temple recommend before you can even go inside it.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Right. But the day that we had the—
BARBARA COPELAND:
Open house.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, they had people outside out there handing out anti-Mormon literature.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh really. Oh that's interesting.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
In fact they were Baptist.
BARBARA COPELAND:
In the Baptist tradition. That's interesting.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
We had a debate in where was it, in Zebulon not Zebulon, Knightdale, we had a debate between the Baptist church and the Mormon church. It was a very civil debate.

Page 33
BARBARA COPELAND:
Was it televised?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I don't think it was. It might have been. I don't think it was. But you could only go to the debate by ticket. So I got a ticket, but it wasn't but about four or five from our church that went, and I was one of them. They had a speaker, a teacher from Brigham Young University come out, and they had some people from Southeastern Seminary and from another college. They had three, and they had another professor from Utah. But it was very interesting, and it was very civil.
BARBARA COPELAND:
About the things that they had to talk about and the things that they had to say. It would've been a really good thing to capture all that on tape. Yeah, what were some of the things that they talked about?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well they, the difference some of the difference that we believe in like the creation and stuff. They saw it differently. The Baptist saw it differently.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Than what the Mormons.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. It was a lot of things that we believed in it that the Baptists—.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Didn't agree with like the, would you say the after life.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They didn't believe in that. The Baptists, they didn't believe in that because they say it's not in their doctrine and stuff.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Would you say—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Sometimes the Baptists came down a little hard too. They came, and they took their little potshots.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Right. Would you also say that some of the things that they probably couldn't agree on were the spirit world? They talk about that pretty much too. The idea that the Latter-day Saints believe that we were spirits before we became into our bodies.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah. We're spiritual children in Heaven.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Did they talk much at all about the concept of a hell, a Hades.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I don't remember them talking that much about it.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. Because I think if I'm not mistaken within the Mormon church they talk about the outer darkness being cast into outer darkness is what they call it. I don't know that they really call it a hell. Like in the Baptist, the Protestant tradition they talk about the devil and hell and it being down below.

Page 34
MARGARET EDWARDS:
They call it hell in the book of Mormon. They call it hell and the lake of fire and brimstone.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh they do. Okay. Okay. I thought there were some differences there between the two. Okay, so that must've been an interesting debate that you went to.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It was. It was.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Was it just for one day? Or how long did it last?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It lasted for one day.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Oh okay.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
It lasted about three hours.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Who would you say won the debate at the end?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Well, the professor from Brigham Young I think they did well. I think they won, but the Baptists think that they did. I think they think that they did.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Right. But they left being friends once it was over.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Yeah, because it was civil, yeah.
BARBARA COPELAND:
That's wonderful.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Because they had set the rules up nobody, no talking. It was a real nice debate.
BARBARA COPELAND:
I think things like that, they need to have more of those.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I think so too.
BARBARA COPELAND:
For not only for the members, the church members themselves but also just for the wider community who don't know a lot about one religion or the other. I think it's good to be able to listen to good, civil conversations that people can get their points across and talk about something in a civil fashion.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I got a book from a black author. I think she was the first woman missionary. I have read it twice. There are two of them… I've read them both twice.
BARBARA COPELAND:
What are the names of the books?
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Would you like to see them?
BARBARA COPELAND:
Sure. [Recorder is turned off and then back on.] Oh okay so the name of these two books here is He Restoreth My Soul by Mary Sturlaugson Eyer. The other book is Reflection of a Soul also by Mary Sturlaugson Eyer. Okay so I'm going to have to look into those books. Well, I guess this ends our conversation. I just wanted to know if maybe you had some questions that you wanted to ask me. I think I've pretty much asked most of the

Page 35
questions that I had in mind to talk about and things that I was just curious about. But wanted to know if maybe there was something that you wanted to talk about that I hadn't asked you a question about or there was just something else that you wanted to talk more about.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
I can't think of anything right now.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Okay. Okay. Well, I did want to say thank you so much. I know that we have planning to get together. We've made several appointments before I actually got here today for the past couple of months. Have made several appointments and for one reason or another because of the snow or the weather or the scheduling just haven't been able to get out here. I did want to say thank you—
MARGARET EDWARDS:
You're welcome.
BARBARA COPELAND:
For hanging in there with me and not giving up on me because I couldn't get out here all those other times that I had intended to get out here. I'm just so glad and so happy that I had a chance to finally get a chance to meet you and come out and talk. I have some forms that would like for you to fill out. They are release forms. You can just read them over and just decide whether you want to just put, give us permission to use your interview and to have your interview at the Chapel Hill, UNC Chapel Hill library in the manuscript department. I will leave those forms with you, and you can look at them and decide how whether you want restrictions on them or not. Then you can just mail them to me later.
MARGARET EDWARDS:
Okay.
BARBARA COPELAND:
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it. This ends our interview.
END OF INTERVIEW