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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.They are "not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned," and they are "not entitled to the full blessings of the gospel." They are "denied the priesthood," and they cannot be married in the temple. An article in discussed the issue: Pending a new revelation, possible at any time, Mormons are committed to a certain degree of built-in segregation: Negroes cannot be admitted to the church's priesthood. Mc Kay in the First Presidency of the Mormon Church. "The pending 'civil rights' legislation is, I am convinced, about 10 per cent civil rights and 90 per cent , December 14, 1963). it is claimed that the failure of the 35th session of the Utah Legislature to pass any Civil Rights legislation was due to hidden and behind the scenes opposition from the Mormon Church. The statement, a concession that prevented such action, continued by affirming equal opportunities in housing, education, and employment while still maintaining the right of the church to deny priesthood. lost to Arizona, 90-77, in a game marred by racial protest . As the Negroes filed onto the court, play stopped and BYU Coach Stan Watts pulled his team from the floor. Other student demonstrators broke a window and screamed, "Stop the Game" but that was the extent of the protest (, January 9, 1970). synthesized and codified the entire framework of Mormon racialist teaching that has accumulated . Writing in 1935 Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith, who later became the 10th president of the LDS Church, explained the curse on Cain: Not only was Cain called upon to suffer [for killing Abel], but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race.

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As a result of my belief, when my wife and I went to San Francisco Ward's bishop to renew our temple recommends, he told us that anyone who could not accept the Church's stand on Negroes as divine doctrine was not supporting the General Authorities and could not go to the temple.

Later, in an interview with the stake president we were told the same thing: if you express doubts about the divinity of this "doctrine" you cannot go to the temple (: The tragedy of this denial of the LDS priesthood is not that it is unfair to the handful of Negroes actually in the LDS Church. People who have been taught since childhood that Negroes are "cursed by God" and therefore cannot hold the priesthood, probably find it perfectly natural to conclude that Negroes must be inferior—why else would God curse them? "It is our article of faith that the Negro was cursed by God and this makes him unworthy to hold the office of a priest or elder in our Church." UNGODLY RACE SUPERIORITY I can't tell you here now how long we talked. In the end he lent me one of the most important books of their religion— [by John J. I did not eat or sleep until I finished reading the book. When he asked me what I thought of the book I told him it was fatuous. I do not believe in a God whose adherents preach the superiority of one race over the other. The BIG Question is: why should the Mormons leave proselytizing among the Negroes in America and decided to go to Nigeria?

True, this is all done in a cloak of Christian piety and concern for the brotherhood of man. Jesus told his disciples to go "into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark ).

Seldom is there any surface cruelty (, by Wallace Turner, Houghton Mifflin, 1966, pp.218-219, 243-245). Berrett, Vice Administrator of the Brigham Young University, explained: "..direct efforts have been made to proselyte among them" (, by John J. Jesus also said "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew ).

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.

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.

If a white person marries a black, it requires "death on the spot." But, "in spite" of all they "did in the pre-existence," they can be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. But the evening got ruined when my curiosity again started wandering away. For this reason, Mormon missionaries have never tried very hard to make converts in black Africa. Fascinated by the dramatic life of the Mormon prophet, Anie Dick Obot of Uyo decided to form a branch of the church in Nigeria, and wrote for more information to Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City. One problem now is that in the absence of supervision from Utah the Nigerian Mormons practice polygamy—forbidden in the U. church since 1890—and the converts already seem to have established their own black hierarchy, priests and all ( for June 7, 1963, Wallace Turner stated that the LDS Church leaders were seriously considering the consequences of making a change: SALT LAKE CITY, June 3—The top leadership of the Mormon church is seriously considering the abandonment of its historic policy of discrimination against Negroes. "Believing as we do in divine revelation through the President of the church, we all await his decision," Mr. Fritz, NAACP branch president, said at a civil rights meeting Friday night that his organization promised not to picket the 133rd Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church on Temple Square. Brown stated in the LDS Church Conference: We believe that all men are the children of the same God and that it is a moral evil for any person or group of persons to deny any human being the right to gainful employment, to full educational opportunity, and to every privilege of citizenship (as quoted in reported: LOGAN, UTAH—Former agriculture secretary Ezra Taft Benson charged Friday night that the civil right's movement in the South had been "fomented almost entirely by the Communists." Elder Benson, a member of the Council of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a speech at a public meeting here that the whole civil rights movement was "phony." . In a 1966 thesis for the University of Utah, David L. Oliver, a black attorney in Utah, stated: By reason of their numerical strength the Mormons elect most of the public officials, through the entire state, and here is where conflict begins. Just a few weeks after this statement was issued, Joseph Fielding Smith, the son of Joseph F. The blacks were on the court for only a few minutes, however, when police and security officers ushered them away . Coach Stan Watts was deeply disturbed by the trouble his team encountered.

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