by Sharon Lindbloom 21 March 2018 On March 8, 2018, Deseret News ran a story with a lengthy title that began, “How technology is changing Mormon missionary work.” This article discusses the LDS missionary force’s increased use of technology to find and teach investigators, often via online chats. Relating one such chat, the Deseret News […]
Note: This article first appeared in the Christian Research Journal (Vol. 39 No. 01, 2015). 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. The ban […]
During 2016, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter We will evaluate this book regularly, chapter by chapter, by showing interesting quotes and providing an Evangelical Christian take on this manual. The text that is in boldfaced is from the manual, with our […]
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 […]
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?
Blacks. Before 1978, LDS leaders claimed that African Americans and others with dark skin could not hold the Mormon priesthood because they were cursed.
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.”