I received a copy of this book as a reviewer for Desert Books

OMGosh – Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons, by Zandra Vanes and Tamu Smith

is really and truly funny!


Product Description

You’ve read the title, and now you’re scratching your head, wondering if this book is for real, right?

It is. Yes, the authors are bona fide Mormons. And hilarious, too! They call themselves Sistas in Zion.

Did we mention they’ve got enough faith to move mountains? Well, they haven’t moved any mountains just yet, but that’s not stopping them from keeping right on praying and believing and knowing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is worth it.

Their unique perspective on their own diary entries will have you laughing one minute and exclaiming “Amen!” the next. They talk about personal experiences and lessons they’ve learned about relationships, sisterhood, standing up for what you believe, embracing diversity, and dealing with adversity—what being a Christian is all about.

The Sistas’ humorous and poignant outlook on life will strengthen your faith and remind you of the joy to be found in living a Christ-centered life. You’ll soon realize that the authors aren’t mad-mad—they’re crazy-mad, funny, and inspiring!

Zandra and Tamu throw open the windows and let fresh air blow into our church culture. The beautiful basic truths of the gospel stand fast in the breeze. In fact, truth seems even more evident when separated from the expected descriptions. The sistas will make you smile, chuckle and even laugh out loud at times. They’ll make you glad they’re your sisters in the gospel–and most of all glad for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
—Virginia Pearce

WOW! Absolutely delightful! It wasn’t what I was expecting but once underway the Sistas in Zion drew me in as few things have. It has been years since any book, even those I’ve helped write, rested so easily in my hand. Take a copy home and settle in and let gentle humor speak Gospel truths in manageable bites.
—Darius Gray

“In a day full of tip-toeing and guarded talk it’s such a breath of fresh air to have two ‘Sistas in Zion’ who just tell it how it is. No sugar-coating. No beating around the bush. Just the truth as they see it, that sets us free. In their “Diary of two Mad Black Mormons” Sista Laurel and Sista Beehive will have you pounding your leg in laughter one minute, and nodding your head ‘A-men’ the next. Their perspective on the Gospel different and quite unique, which is what makes this book a must read.”
—Bryan Kehl
Product Details

Size: 5½x8
Pages: 240
Publisher: Ensign Peak 2014

About the Author

Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith are popular multimedia personalities and the authors of the online blog -SISTASinZION.com. Zandra (Sista Laurel) and Tamu (Sista Beehive) also host a weekly online radio program, Sistas in Zion Radio. Their media identities, which focus on humorous aspects of faith and Mormon culture, seek to uplift, inspire, bridge religious divides, and create healthy dialogue.

Zandra and Tamu are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter—day Saints. They enjoy the fact that their Christian values and their work coincide.

Their lives are blessed by amazing family and friends. Zandra is thankful for her boo, the love of her life. Tamu enjoys spending time with her husband of twenty years and their six wonderful kids.


I have to tell ya, I was a bit skeptical when approached about doing a review of Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons.  First, I though to myself “why are they calling themselves Mormons instead of Latter-Day Saints, or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”? Second, I wondered “are these ladies mad as in steam coming out their ears or mad, or as in stark raving wacko”?  Third ” why did they feel the need to point out that they are black – why not just call themselves women”?

  Why the heck did I get all hot and bothered?  I don’t know – maybe I was just touchy that day, or had low blood sugar or just had a bug up my bum.

Who knows?


Black, white, Mormons or LDS.  Majorly ticked off or ready for the looney bin,  these two ladies are funny.


Written in short bursts, their messages are loud and clear – they are completely aware of the fact that they are blessed beyond measure. Riding the waves of everyday life, they find the good in each moment, even when they get splashed in the face and knocked over by the strong current. Even when sucked under… they pop right back up, catch their breath, dry off and give thanks for the lessons learned. These two Sistas find joy in the most challenging of circumstances and if their panties get in a wad, they just straighten ’em out and keep on going.

I would love to have them as my next door neighbors.

Their personalities bubble up on every page.  I smiled as I read, and caught myself nodding up and down on more than one occasion. Silliness goes hand in hand with deep gratitude, and they shout it to the roof tops:


Brothers and Sisters, can I hear an AMEN?

I got it, and I understand. You will too, after getting to know Sista Laurel and Sista Beehive.

As my grandmother would have said, these two are a little touched in their heads, but mostly, I think, they’re  touched in their hearts.




 Legal Mambo Jumbo:  I received a copy of this book for the purpose of a review.  All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Diary of Two Mad Black Mormons, by Zandra Vanes and Tamu Smith – Review

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