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Elijah Abel outlived Brigham Young and the validity of his ordination was repeatedly discussed by the brethren (see All Abraham's Children, p. The rationalization for restricting blacks developed over a period of years. Mc Kay, one forgets that no Negro can ever hope to become president of the LDS church. Also, during the generation after Brigham Young, three other important internal developments occurred that seemed to point to a divinely condoned racial restriction. As we untangle the theology, we must always remember that every devout male Mormon—except the Negro—is expected to become a member of the Aaronic priesthood as a boy of twelve years and a member of the Melchizedek priesthood at eighteen or twenty years . A twelve-year-old may become a member of the Aaronic priesthood, more than this Negro man has been able to achieve through a lifetime of devotion. All the imposing list of wonderful and truly praiseworthy things about this tremendous and impressive institution helps to conceal this ugly corner of its theology.

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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.

Blacks not Proselytized While there was no restriction on blacks joining the LDS Church, there was no direct effort to evangelize them. And, though Mormon missions seek new members in most parts of the world, its voice is strangely silent in the Negro nations of Africa. Eldon Tanner, a member of the First Presidency of the LDS Church, was very emphatic that blacks could not receive the priesthood: "The church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro," N.

Apostle Bruce Mc Conkie, writing in 1958, declared: Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned . During this time LDS missionaries were instructed to avoid contacting blacks and known black areas. Glen Davidson reported in invitation to "darkies" is tolerated in the mission program. Eldon Tanner, counselor to the First Presidency told SEATTLE during his recent visit here.

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.The odious part of this doctrine is that it serves to rationalize all other forms of temporal discrimination. —and could not possibly make desirable neighbors, business associates, or sons-in-law. The statement by one of the Mormon leaders about a "cautious and guarded approach" to proselyting actively among Negroes, in Nigeria should make Nigerians "cautious and guarded" too. The Mormons could by trickery establish a church in Nigeria and use this as massive propaganda for propagating and spreading their religion of race hate and race superiority and discrimination in America. Smith started his religion with his wife and relations-in-laws barely 100 years ago. One of the highest officers of the church said today that the possibility of removing this religious disability against Negroes has been under serious consideration. Embry wrote: In 1963 the First Presidency tried with limited success to separate priesthood exclusion from the Civil Rights movement.Therefore, this denial indirectly affects all Negroes who come in contact with members of the LDS Church. The indirect cost of this doctrine in human misery and wasted potential can only be guessed at (, University of Utah, November 22, 1966). Nigeria has the largest Negro population in the world (seconded by U. Some may say that they want to change their policy. Let them first of all make themselves acceptable to the Negroes here in the States before venturing to distant Nigeria (Article by Ambrose Chukwu, , Enugu, Nigeria, March 5, 1963; see photo of entire article on pages 56 and 57 below). "We are in the midst of a survey looking toward the possibility of admitting Negroes," said Hugh B. Any church has a right to believe what it will but it has no right to impose those beliefs on others against their will, and when those beliefs are detrimental to the welfare of others to the extent of infringing on their right to earn a decent living, such a church has no right to use the machinery of the state to enforce those beliefs (, by David H. In an official statement, they said: "During recent months, both in Salt Lake City and across the nation, considerable interest has been expressed in the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the matter of civil rights.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.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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