Although Wallace Turner's observations were made more than a decade before the church granted the priesthood to blacks, such public criticism undoubtedly had a significant impact on church leaders. In the book of Acts, Philip was commanded to preach the gospel to an Ethiopian (a black) who was then baptized (Acts -39).
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The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them . The membership ranks are being filled with those whose religious commitment is to the maintenance of a racist society and who find Mormon theology a sanctimonious front for their convictions (, Sept. "Throughout the history of the original Christian church, the Negro never held the priesthood. It's a law of God" (: In all humility I must say that God has not inspired me to feel good about the Church's practices regarding Negroes.
In fact, I have come to feel very strongly that the practices are not right and that they are a powerful hindrance to the accepting of the gospel by the Negro people.
The Negro is barred from the priesthood purely on racial grounds. The Mormons consider that male membership in the priesthood is a requisite for higher place in the Celestial Paradise. Priesthood membership is a requisite for an office in management of the church's temporal affairs. As we will understand in the unraveling of the theology, the Mormon discrimination against the Negro is the ultimate that can be had on racial grounds . A gray-haired Negro Mormon who may have spent his adult life in the careful practice of all the complicated and demanding rules set down by the LDS church stands disenfranchised before the altar where a youth whose beard is just beginning to fuzz may preside. Nor can they have their children and their wives "sealed" to them for eternity . This means that the LDS church actually is one of the most influential organs of racial bigotry in the United States.
The mortal existence offers lesser opportunity for the improvement of their souls than for other races. The Negro Mormon can hold no office whatsoever in a church which offers some office to every one of its male members at some time in his life. So he never really leaves the feeling that black skin makes a man inferior.
Twentieth Century Attitudes While Elijah Abel, along with at least one other black, had been ordained to the priesthood during Joseph Smith's life, Brigham Young took a different stand. by 1908, as president of the church, [Joseph F.] Smith was now claiming that Abel's ordination (and presumably that of any other black) had been "declared null and void by the Prophet himself" . The first development was the formal canonization of the , . To hold any church office, a Mormon must be a member of the priesthood. When one hears the Tabernacle Choir, one forgets that no Negro could ever hope to achieve a place in that group.
He instituted a very strict rule that no blacks were to be ordained or given temple ordinances. There is an even deeper disability for Negro Mormons. When one listens to the gentle voice and kindly expressions of David O.They have a mission among the whites in the Union of South Africa. When their prayers broke up I was introduced to the leader of the Church in the city. This apparently is good enough for 7,000 Ibibio, Ibo and Efik tribesmen in eastern Nigeria, who have gone ahead to organize their own branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since then, the Nigerian Saints, governed by Obot and a council of 75 elders, have established branches in six cities. (2) The Mormon church, which prevails in Utah, does not accord religious equality to Negroes ("Utah Elites and Utah Racial Norms," Ph. thesis by David Leslie Brewer, University of Utah, August 1966, p. In 1965 the NAACP, noting that the church-owned had not endorsed a state civil rights bill, threatened to picket the church's administration building. Lowry Nelson, a Mormon sociologist, wrote to the church's leadership in 1947 protesting the exclusionary policy. Peterson said, "It ought to be King's day, it ought to be observed, and the Utah Legislature should come into session on Tuesday. However, on at least four different occasions his name has been submitted to the LDS Church for temple ordinances. "At Tucson we had heard all day long about protests. We were told we would be taken to a side entrance so we would not be molested.". (UPI) — Some 3,000 University of Arizona students participated Wednesday in a two-hour rally, demanding that the school sever relations with fellow Western Athletic Conference member Brigham Young University. the Arizona coach Bruce Larson, is a bishop in the Mormon Church, so, in effect, the Wildcat players and fans were protesting against their own coach . The blacks walked onto a mat just before the first event and broke eggs and poured oil, catsup and salad dressing onto the mat, officials said . — The Black Student Alliance of the University of Wyoming said Tuesday it will stage a nonviolent rally Saturday to protest the racial policies of the Mormon Church and Brigham Young University . — The most violent demonstration yet against Brigham Young University by black students protesting the Provo school's allegedly racist policies took place here Thursday night before, during and after the Cougars' 94-71 WAC basketball loss to a hot-shooting Colorado State University . The real violence, however, erupted at halftime when approximately 100-150 black students shuffled out of the stands and walked on the court.Earlier this year a plan was announced to send a mission to Nigeria, but the mission has not left Salt Lake City (, Western Edition, June 7, 1963). Church chiefs are somewhat at a loss on how to deal with their new African converts, especially since the Nigerian government will not give resident visas to any missionaries from the U. The newspaper responded by confirming the 1963 church statement, and the state legislature passed the public accommodations and fair employment acts. Ezra Taft Benson, then an apostle and later church president, claimed that the movement was "fomented almost entirely by the communists." As the Civil Rights movement made gains nationwide, Mormonism's exclusionary policy came under repeated attack. In 1952 he announced his public opposition in , pp.24-26). It wasn't until 2000 that Utah Governor Mike Leavitt signed into law a bill adopting the regular holiday name of "Martin Luther King Day" (see "Utah Designates Dr. Without King, it doesn't tell the whole story" ("Some Say Utah Lacks Recognition of Human Rights Day," by Denise Albiston, , Utah State University, January 16, 2004). We are not aware of any particular interest on the part of Dr. In both 19 someone was baptized and performed an endowment ceremony in his behalf. Evidently the LDS temple records are not well enough organized for them to know that the work had already been done. Speakers at the rally, in front of the university administration building, called for the resignation of President Richard Harvill and demanded that charges be dropped against nine persons arrested at the Arizona-Brigham Young basketball game here a week ago ( wrote an article about the protests: Ending a 10-game ordeal on the road, the Cougars last week limped home to Provo, Utah with a 4–10 record, one of the worst starts in Stan Watt's lengthy coaching career. were bedeviled by a special problem: a gathering wave of protest against a recently reaffirmed doctrine of the Mormon Church that Negroes be denied admission to priesthood. All five Arizona starters—three of them black—wore black wristbands . The violence occurred as campus police tried to remove the blacks from the floor. Fighting erupted in one corner of the court and shortly before the two teams were scheduled to come back on the floor to resume the game, an object described as a Molotov Cocktail, huge and flaming, was tossed on the court. By the early twentieth century, these new doctrinal developments were available to provide confirmation, retroactive though it might have been, for the accumulated precedents that had denied black church members access to priesthood and temple rites after 1852. Grant as church president in 1918, no Mormon leader was still living who could remember when teachings and policies toward blacks had been otherwise. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning. In the spirit of sympathy, mercy and faith, we will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren—children of God—notwithstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness (, by Joseph Fielding Smith, Genealogical Society of Utah, 1935, pp.101-102). Mc Conkie, son-in-law of President Joseph Fielding Smith, wrote: Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the Negroes. Finally, in an important 1931 book, , the scholarly young apostle Joseph Fielding Smith . A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures.Summary of LDS Teaching on Blacks Prior to 1978 the LDS teaching concerning blacks could be summarized as follows: In the "pre-existence" certain spirits "lent an influence to the devil" and displayed a "lack of integrity to righteousness." Because of their "unfaithfulness in the spirit world," they were "cursed under the cursing of Cain" and cannot "hold the Priesthood of God." Cain became "the father of an inferior race." The unfaithful spirit children were assigned to be born through "the accursed lineage of Canaan" and "through the loins of Ham." Those cursed are "marked" with a "flat nose" and a "black covering" which is "emblematical of eternal darkness." They are a "vile" and "inferior" race and "their intelligence stunted." In fact, they are a "representation" of the "devil" upon the earth. An innocent question popped out: "Why have you no mission anywhere in Africa except in South Africa? Since there were already thousands of Nigerians interested in joining the LDS Church, the ban on missionaries created a leadership vacuum. Because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a lay priesthood to which almost every adult male member belongs, the effect has been to limit Negroes to second-class membership. Brown, one of the two counselors serving President David O. We would like it to be known that there is in this Church no doctrine, belief, or practice that is intended to deny the enjoyment of full civil rights by any person regardless of race, color, or creed." Church observers generally agree that this statement was made because the NAACP had threatened to picket Temple Square. With to play in the first half, nine Negroes, some of them wearing black wristbands, walked out on the basketball floor while the game was in progress.