Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Igbo Cultural Beliefs: Saving Coconuts From Falling

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Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Igbo Cultural Beliefs: Saving Coconuts From Falling

When i was younger, i used to think that a lot of Igbo cultural beliefs were fetish and revolved around idolatry and so on. This viewpoint had been canvassed mainly by the early missionaries and their early converts, leading to the decades - long brainwashing of the African, and altering of his mind to hate what is his, and accept wholeheartedly what is not. 








The carrot and stick approach ‘masser’, the early missionaries adopted led Africans to demonize their fellow Africans and condemn as heidous some of Africa’s traditional practices. Some of these include pouring of libation, sprinkling of blood on wooden carved objects regarded as Ikenga, through which our forefathers worshipped and communed with their gods and others.



There appear to be a resurgent attempt by Africans, Ndigbo in particular to re-connect back with their roots. Even some African -Americans are retracing their roots doing DNA searches to find their home African countries.


Many Africans are today searching for explanation and are beginning to rethink some of those acts and behaviours we term as ‘omenani’, but which have been condemned and demonized by ‘masser’ and some overzealous converts.


This afternoon i visited my parents in the village in Enugwu-Ukwu in Anambra state and couldn’t help but notice a broken piece of clay pot (udu), tied to a coconut tree. This is a sight i have not seen in a long while but surely i used to see back in the day during our younger and adventurous days roaming the tiny streets in our village during holidays, on our way to the village stream, or during our many endless searches for pears (ube), mango, udala and other trees to pluck.


People will tie bands of red clothes or other items around their trees and farms to scare ‘invaders’ like us away. I must admit that it never really worked as we lived to tell the tale after each successful adventurous outing.


Back to the coconut tree in the village with the broken clay tied to its stem with a rope. On enquiry, Chinedu and Onum, the two youngsters that live with my parents informed me that the object was to prolong the life of the tree, help it carry its birth of new coconuts to full term, and prevent the coconuts from falling, especially the young coconuts that hadn’t yet matured. I asked them if it actually works, they both confirmed that it does, and that since the object was tied to the coconut tree, the coconuts have not been falling.


My dear mother confirmed this. There is no explanation for this, so there is no need to attempt to understand the science behind it. Perhaps you may describe it as African magic but it works for us Africans. Has always worked for our forefathers.


Dr. Uche Ohia offers this insightful perspective; “Faith is an essential part of Igbo cosmology. Our forefathers had strong faith in many cultural practices that defy scientific explanation. And they worked for them. It is the same dependence on faith that propels many World religions including Christianity”.


Continuing, he said that “we need to take another look at some of these age-long cultural practices that define the Igbo essence”.


This awakening really got me thinking, how many of such traditional African belief systems that could have helped us to solve critical problems in rural Africa have we condemned and discarded, just because ‘masser’ says it is evil? Several i guess.


Our forefathers really got a lot of things figured out. They left a lot for us to learn from and also put to good use, but are we?



Chief Nworah is an Igbo culture aficionado. His passion is to introduce Igbo culture to young Ndigbo and non-Igbo.(uchenworah@yahoo.com)

50 comments:

  1. Psalms 16:4 Sorrows will multiply to those who chase other gods. I WILL NOT POUR OUT THEIR LIBATIONS OF BLOOD, or speak their names with my lips.


    It is a tragedy when people do not read the Scriptures and come forward to try and justify idolatry. You enter planes, cars, bikes etc. that are brought by same white man. You type on their tablets and computers/phones. But once it comes to the issue of faith in Jesus, people (deceived by Satan) work so hard to counteract and dissuade others from it.
    God's second commandment in Exodus 20 is "make no graven image to worship".
    Choose you this day whom you shall serve...the god Amadioha/Ikenga carved wood or Jesus the Savior. 🎀🎀🎀🀷🏻‍♀️🀷🏻‍♀️

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    1. Who told you that people that produced those things you mentioned believes in Jesus? Most richest people in the world that invented many things are Atheists and yet they use their talents to show love. Believing in God is showing love to your neighbour, not carrying bible up and down. So get your facts right.

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    2. Thank you, Chidinma. The brainwashing is real!

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    3. abeg this anon shut up! this is a very interesting article and you bumbed in by quoting long scripture.not everyone reads or believes in the Bible. places like China or Japan do they read your scripture? do they still practice their cultural beliefs and does it work for them? yes, yes and yes. stop this over zealousness abeg. we are so religious about Christianity yet the whole system is in an absolute mess. no be by like that abeg.

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    4. ChidimaπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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    5. Thomas Edison, the inventor of the electric bulb was a Christian.
      God gives without finding fault. Anybody can invent and inventors are not
      necessarily rich people. But we seem to be
      tarring all the white man's import into our land as evil here.
      Do not just shut people up, come with sound reasoning.
      Tell me those Atheists that you are talking about.

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    6. Michael faraday who invented electricity was also a Christian.
      Okay, list the atheist inventors. Be free to go to google for help

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    7. @Chidimma
      Christianity isn't by force. Even those early missionaries did not force anyone. If you have chosen to stay with your "traditions," stick to them and do not try to mix it with Christianity. Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty.
      Revelations 22:11 Let the unrighteous continue to be unrighteous, and the vile continue to be vile; let the righteous continue to practice righteousness, and the holy continue to be holy.”

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    8. Wow. Ignorance masquerading as knowledge!
      Do you know that almost everything you now take for granted was OPPOSED by the church and religionists like you? Like the printing press? Establishment of schools? Translation of the Bible into local languages? The locomotive/ steam engine? Air flight? Street lighting? Even women rights? (I guess you are female!) etc
      If people had not jettisoned the nonsense from the church we would still be in the Dark Ages. It is people like you, who think like you, that are keeping this country from developing with your over religiosity. Quoting the Bible at every opportunity. The most advanced countries in the world today (look around you!) are the least religious. The Asians refused to give up their traditional beliefs even in the face of White missionaries. Very few of them are bearing "Christian" names while many of us are stupidly forsaking ours for fake oyinbo ones not knowing that we are only confirming our subjugation.

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    9. Stupid Nigerians. 100% at quoting scriptures, 0% at practising what it says. Upon all the christians we have you still see accident victims or armed robbery gun attack victims left to die. All the bible quoting christians that will not let you hear word melt away. Their christianity is just for mouth. Anon please tell me when last you actually helped someone? And I dont mean helped by almost killing them with quoting the bible?

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  2. Before the coming of those "white missionaries" we were sacrificing twins to your Ikenga and Amadioha, were we not?
    Mr. Nworah, If you are a twin, you wouldn't have been alive to type this, would you?

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    1. The brainwashing is real and on another level on this one. You do realise christianity has gone through an evolution, right? You do realise christians used to burn "witches" at the stake, right? The mere knowledge of plants, as a woman, got you labeled as a "witch". Even your in your bible, "God" killed babies, because of the so-called sins of adults. I don't even know what to say. Thanks again, Chidinma (13:32)

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    2. Anon 13:14
      What about the people killed by the medieval churches during the heretic period πŸ˜•πŸ˜• Some of you talk as if Christianity doesn't have a crude history ...People were accused of being witches, sorcerers and burnt at the stake. .what ve you to say about this????

      Keep going against your own tradition and culture while foreigners re reclaiming it by tracing their DNA

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    3. @Kidjo
      Christ did not teach his disciples to kill did he?
      So if people were killing in the name of Christ, that is not Christianity
      or Christian faith. That is religion, idolatrous religion.
      Read the Acts of the Apostles and show me how many the followers of Christ
      murdered.

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    4. @Kidjo
      Hahahahahahaa
      The foreigners are tracing their dna right? While you are sleeping in embassies to leave and go to their countries. So according to your reasoning, you are abandoning your traditions. Why do you wear suit and leggings, are those your traditions. Is mobile phone your traditions?

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    5. Anon 16:06
      The technology behind the mobile phones, airplanes,computers. . etc was gotten from our own traditional method. .just imagine the traditional way those native doctors use in monitoring people( ie use of mirror or claypot where their victims appear on the screen)..That's where the idea for your spy camera and video calling originated from if you don't know.😞 these people are practising our traditions over there and modernising it into new technologies that we all use

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    6. twins were killed in efik tradition and not among the igbos. dont mix it. pls dear..

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  3. bad author!!! no point or tail. I didn't know if he was here or there.

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  4. This write up is so true. Our culture is dying because we labelled it evil and be practicing foreign culture forgetting that in the Bible, God killed even new born babies because Israelites sinned, same way Amadioha will strike someone dead because he did something wrong. Even in the Bible a certain king offered her daughter as a sacrifice to God and he turned against Israel and allowed the king to win that particular war. Every religion has a bad side of it does not mean is totally bad. Some chief priest are evil and manipulative, same way some pastors are. So is everywhere. That does not mean our own is evil, because evil is everywhere.

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    1. Chidinma, I just love you..

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    2. Abeg, get your facts right. No king offered his daughter as a sacrifice to God as human sacrifices are condemned in the law of Moses. The kings who did such thing were sacrificing to Baal and other false gods.

      If you're talking about Jephthah, he was a judge not a king and his daughter was not sacrificed. Rather, she spent the remainder of her life in the temple without getting married or having children. The women of Israel even had a habit of visiting her every year in the temple to encourage her.

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    3. 16;37 thank you for pointing out Chidinma's error and ignorance. When I read that part of her comment. I knew she was referring to Jephtah's daughter.

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  5. The coconut not falling so as to enable the fruits mature signifies something in your family. Maybe the head of the family, or someone significant. The day they cut that tree down, the person dies or bad things begin to happen. There are families where each son is represented with a tree in the father's compound. When they give birth to the child, they plant a tree, call it the child's own, and nurture it. We have to pray always concerning any attachments to our roots which is not of God. Christ has set us free, and he who the son of man sets free is free indeed. God bless!

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  6. The missionaries that brought Christianity to Africa are not the same as the colonial masters that explored and exploited the land and the people.
    Don't mix up the two.

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    1. Na same people, that's the package. Division of labour, the missionaries where distracting our people of old from governance. While the colonial masters where doing their own.

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    2. If they are not why didn't the missionaries caution there brothers the colonial masters.....yimu

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    3. Anonymous 14:32, don't be ignorant. They are the one and the same people.

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    4. Chyachebe and all Anons under this comment yet you all are here typing away with technology (phones and data/internet) invented by the same Whites that "deceived and blacklisted your African culture"?

      The white missionaries brought us the light of the glorious gospel of Christ education and medical aid especially against malaria which was on epidemic proportions then.

      Please, why are you not using 'ogene' (gong) and pouring libations to communicate across different nations?
      Why speak/communicate in English and not your native dialect to everyone?
      Why did you go to school when you could have trekked miles to the farm daily or trained to be "Eze Muo" (Chief Priest or native doctor to your Ikenga/Amadioha or your gods?
      Why wear tailored clothes and not leaves or twines?

      Why drive or board cars, take flights instead of trekking miles for many weeks and months.

      You are all quick to lump Christianity with Colonialism. And what about colonialism? Was it only African nations that were colonized?

      You all love to play the victim card on colonialism instead of being progressive and advancing your country like former colonies in other continents (Europe, Asia, Australia etc).

      With the recent Nigeria-China currency swap, China will soon colonize you economically.

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  7. Stella, please caution the God warriors on this blog. We all have freedom to pick a side or sides and no one needs brow beat those who don't choose your own way. That you are a majority does not mean different voices don't exist.

    Give it to the colonizers from Arabia and the West. They did a thorough job. The ones who were not cerebrally good for much came with the fairy tales and hollowed out any true sense of identity and so, raised unquestioning minions while the brains of the exploitative operation made useful beasts of burden of those held up in unfenced plantations. The ones who looked strong were wasted in the ocean and the few who survived were wasted sowing cotton on foreign fields. The remnants were caged with "in Jesus name" and their generations are still serving time till now.

    Quoting the Bible and quoting the Qur'an as if the writers had any love for you. Jesus loved you so much he talked about slavery all day and didn't condemn it. Allah loves you so much he told his prophet to look down on anything black, even dogs. It is easy to mention killing of twins but no one sees the erasure of female participation that is the cause of spousal unrest today. No one sees the condoning of evil authority because " everyone must submit himself to governing authority..." Or "touch not my annointed"...". No one sees their Abrahamic deity's record on slavery, racism, war, pestilence, sexism, famine, murder or rape.

    It is still that same Psalm 16 that I would quote- since you have started following other Gods in Africa, wetin you gain? More sorrows, suffering and poverty. Colonized minds. You left your own indigenous God or Gods and started queueing behind those who stuck with theirs all for audio promises.

    It is fashionable to be a Christian because the people who inherited the religion cleaned it up by cherry picking scrolls then burning the rest, killing those with descentiing voices and other scrolls that are now showing up and editing the Bible that says it should not be edited. 50 million have been wasted so far according to the Catholic records and perhaps, still counting. The Muslims have not met that body count but it is not for want of trying. For such a perfect God, the numbers are way to many, I mean, one would think it was a local God, not imported from abroad. And it is now that Nigeria is getting more religious and the West is virtually unreligious that people are most desperate for their Middle-Eastern deity exported by London during a period of environmental sanitation to relocate them to heathen lands. It is even this period of abandoning faith that equality and the proceeds of mugu-ing an entire race are getting more equally spread among native Caucasians.

    Indians, Chinese, Japanese and others know what it is to be sons of the soil. They know that though they may overlap, religion and culture are not the same. They were all invaded and colonized in some way but they did not give up their essence. They improved their religions and cultures from where their fathers stopped and will hand over a thought system that their own kids would improve on even more. Their own Gods do not pretend to be perfect and their followers are not so arrogant to think they know everything but what are Africans doing? They are applying bleaching cream on their minds and pretending to be children of Abraham. Then they would come and be turning noses up when another person's skin glows better than before.

    Stella please no delete this comment o. This blog is not Christian Single and Mingle. Not everyone here reads Rhapsody or watches Mufti Menk. Some of us dey for the person wey make us or no even subscribe to any channel. Some are sons of the soil and it gets tiring seeing the arrogance of celestial secretaries and P.A.s here, insulting other people's belief system and commiting hate crimes. Hold your heaven and leave us to find our square root. You are not the only ones that can look down on other people's faith.



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    1. Thank you for this statement. It's tiring to be honest. Every post they jump out with their personal religious beliefs. Sanctimonious bunch of rabble rousers

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    2. Nice...... I will copy and save this somewhere. Which i can add your name to it but you are anonymous...lol. Thanks for this write-up.

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    3. Glad to know there are more of us with self-love and critical-thinking skills

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    4. Who's this person?? You re so detailed,I like.

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    5. While this anonymous has written this long tale with claims, at a superficial level that sound intelligent. However, it is largely based on historical fallacies and poor record of the past. But your first paragraph is completely true.

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    6. Yeye, plenty nonsense talk! There is freedom of religion right? Is anyone forcing you to read a post. You don't want or like it..... Shift to what makes you sleep at night

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    7. What was written up there is epic!

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    8. Nothing epic up there if you are a student of history.

      Early Christians and contemporary Christians were killed by the Roman Empire, Morden day governments and today by terrorists.

      Those who are well-read would know that Roman Emperors fed early Christians to lions in their amphitheaters, beheaded some, burnt many etc because Christians would not sacrifice to Roman gods. Roman Emperors were also deified (seen as gods)
      The same Rome, when they couldn't extinguish the spirit of the early Christians practically hijacked Christianity and infused their pagan Roman religion and festivities to dilute the Christian faith. The said killings attributed to "the Church" which was the Roman Empire's government could not prevail against the true "Body of Christ."

      Go do your home work and see how the Roman Empire imposed the Roman Calendar on their government-controlled "Church" to replace the Jewish Calendar.

      CHRISTIANITY IS NOT RELIGION. THE CHURCH IS NOT A DENOMINATION OR CHURCH-GOERS - IT IS THE "BODY OF CHRIST" (THOSE WHO LIVE CHRIST-LIKE AND FOR CHRIST)

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  8. Also about the coconut tree. If I may digress a bit. Now when someone falls face down ( it’s actually impossible for someone to fall face down but backwards or sideways. If the person doesn’t get up, whoever that is helping the victim will have to climb the coconut tree and pluck it. The coconut is not meant to fall to the ground though. Break it open and pour the water on the head of the injured one and voila!!!

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  9. Anon 14:45, allow Christians air their view please, Christianity does not support pouring libation to any graven image, do you expect us to support Mr Nworah's write-up even though it goes against our belief.

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  10. Son of the soil indeed... is that why you are angry... You just an atheist. But what I got up there is religion and tradition are two different paths

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    1. P.A. of God indeed wey heaven no sure for. You are just a theist. What I got up there is that you need people to mirror your attitude so that you can calm down.

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    2. Awwww P. A. is with master/boss na. Thank you for labelling me P. A. of God. God bless you

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    3. Awwww P. A. is with master/boss na. Thank you for labelling me P. A. of God. God bless you

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  11. My position has always been and always will be that Afrika should never be allowed to become a predominantly Christian or Muslim continent. Traditional Afrikan religious practices and beliefs must be the primary religious/spirituality on the continent. Afrikan people have always known of God, missionaries did not teach Africans anything they did not already know. Africans have always had their own creation stories, why should ours be dropped for Adam and Eve. Our ancestral stories are valid.
    Our ancestral spiritual and religious beliefs are also valid.

    Afrika is large, not all spiritual and religious beliefs have anything to do with juju or sacrifices. Some are extremely benevolent and loving and we should not toss it out to accept what others are bringing, trying to convince us that it is better than what we have. Would our Gods put us on the richest continent if we were inferior? Would our Gods make us the blueprint for the entire human race if what we have is inferior? Would our Gods place the greatest diversity and awe of the animal kingdom in Afrika if we were inferior? Afrikans should not accept religious and spiritual conquer from any outside people, because we are not inferior. It is our own kindness and accepting gentle natures that caused the outsiders to trample us, it is they who taught us evil and changed our mindsets. We don't need their religions because it tore us down and brought thousands and thousands of years of pain to our shores. The occupiers continue to treat our black North Afrikan Brothers and sisters like shit after invading their ancestral lands. Now they have conquered them under their religion praying to a God who cannot rescue them from their oppressors. The Christians and Muslims robbed and enslaved Afrikans so how can their religions be good when it brought evil, Wickedness and degradation to the continent. By their fruits you shall know them.

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  12. We have to get ourselves acquainted with history. Cell phone was invented by Henry T Sampdon a black man you can google it. GPS Technology invented by a black woman Dr. Glady's west, Dr Shirley Jackson - touch telephone. I can go on. In fact Thomas Edison didn't event the light bulb, Lewis Latimer a black man Invented the filament which lights the bulb, without the filament bulb cannot give light.
    Most monumental buildings of great architecture you see abroad were designed and built by black slaves.
    The Oyibo's came to Africa and for over four hundred years, stole from the continent, its resources and the best brains. Of course altered the history of the black nation.
    As portrayed in a movie, how oyibos took credit for a black man's invention - A black nurse who's the brain behind a medical procedure that saved a blue baby but the oyibo doctor was recognized without acknowledging the black man until his death.
    The movie "Concussion" acted by Will Smith In fact was a story of Dr. Bennet Omalu who is from Enugwu Ukwu in Anambra state - In the movie they just mentioned Africa. You can verify with Wikipedia or other online sources

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  13. Who wants to continue serving their images are free to do so o,nobody stop Una,if Una useless wooden and pathetic evil images strong then make Una ask unaselves why Dem nor fit stop the white men from enslaving the black men for over 600 years,why e come be say Na whites Una dey run go their country when Una want better things,abeg you all should tell those worthless evil spirits you are serving to burn,they are no match for Christianity.nobody beg Una to serve JEHOVAH ooooo,JEHOVAH nor need Una,Na Una crawl for JEHOVAH help when the time come.

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    1. You think religion is a competition? You think the enslavement of your ppl is a joke? Don't those who worship Jehovah meet in calamities like every other person? Don't they get sick, get divorced, bury their children, die in poverty, go mad? The worship of Jehovah does not guarantee you anything in life or death. Some of you are too certain of your fate, you are sure heaven awaits until Jehovah shows you why he is a jealous God, mighty and terrible. You think you are needed, but read again how many times your Jehovah has wiped even babies off the planet. When your husband come home and tell you he want second wife you please remember to go help him pick her out, and when he wants more and more you smile and be happy with your co-wives because Jehovah is very OK with polygamy. So continue to worship Jehovah and be happy in it, just remember that it may all be in vain because Jehovah gets the final say in whether your service was enough or to his liking.

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  14. Wow!
    Thank goodness that there's a reawaking, daalu so much the author, thanks to all that made sensible and realistic comments too and thanks to you Stella for sharing.

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