Note: This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal (Vol. 39 No. 01, 2015). By Bill McKeever Synopsis For much of its history, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had a fairly standard explanation as to why those of African heritage were prohibited from holding any priesthood office in the church. […]
LDS Quotes on the ban on blacks receiving the priesthood before 1978 Standard Works “And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and […]
By Marcus H. Martins, Ph.D. Reviewed by Eric Johnson Note: The month of June 2015 marks the 38th anniversary of Spencer W. Kimball and the members of the First Presidency deciding to allow those with black skin to begin receiving the priesthood. Let’s take a look at a book written with the intention of “setting […]
The LDS Church came out with a statement last year regarding the priesthood ban for black males before 1978. Was this teaching a principle or a doctrine?
During the week of January 6, 2014, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson spoke on Viewpoint on Mormonism about issues related to the ban on black males to the priesthood. Here are some quotes in response to an article on www.lds.org titled “Race and the Priesthood.” Is it really true that the ban was based on nothing more than “theory” and that second Mormon President Brigham Young is really to blame? Are other leaders who concurred with Young and continued to enforce the ban less culpable?
On December 6, 2013, the LDS Church published an article (“Race and Priesthood“) that contradicted the facts from earlier church history. Was the banning of blacks holding the priesthood originated by Brigham Young and perpetuated for more than a century? Or was this teaching truly a “doctrine” originated by Joseph Smith as claimed by a number of church leaders?
Introduction: The following are notes used by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson on several broadcasts of Viewpoint on Mormonism that aired from March19th through March 29th. The purpose of the series was to demonstrate that the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been less than honest when it comes to the history and reasons behind a ban that prevented members of African heritage from holding either the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood. This guiding principle was in effect until 1978 when it was rescinded “by revelation” under 12th LDS President Spencer W. Kimball.
In June of 1978, the LDS-owned Deseret News newspaper printed an announcement by the LDS First Presidency stating that God, by revelation, would now allow all worthy male members in the LDS Church to receive the priesthood as well as “blessings of the temple.” (Deseret News, 6/9/78, 1A). This “revelation,” known as Official Declaration 2, can be found in printed form at the end of the Doctrine and Covenants.
To understand why this announcement was of such extreme importance, it is necessary to go back in time to what Mormons refer to as the”pre-existence “. According to LDS theology, the God of Mormonism, Elohim, resides near a star called Kolob where he lives with his many heavenly wives. Together they are producing millions upon millions of spirit children.
By Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson
For much of its history, the Salt Lake City-based LDS Church edition of the Book of Mormon taught that dark-skinned Lamanites (Indians) would eventually experience a change in the color of their skin should they embrace the Book of Mormon. Except for a single edition (1840), 2 Nephi 30:6 has read:
“…their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and a delightsome people.”