Black people and Mormonism

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During the history of the Latter Day Saint movement, the relationship between Black people and Mormonism has included enslavement, exclusion and inclusion, official and unofficial discrimination, and friendly ties.[1]: 1–5  Black people have been involved with the Latter Day Saint movement since its inception in the 1830s.[2]: 37  Their experiences have varied widely depending on the specific denomination within Mormonism, and the time in history of their involvement.[1]: 1–5  From the mid-1800s to 1978, Mormonism's largest denomination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) barred Black women and men from participating in ordinances of its temples necessary for the highest level of salvation, prevented most men of Black African descent from being ordained to the church's lay, all-male priesthood, supported racial segregation in its communities and schools, taught that righteous Black people would be made White after death, and opposed interracial marriage. The temple and priesthood racial restrictions were lifted by top leaders in 1978. In 2013 the church disavowed its previous teachings on race for the first time.

The priesthoods of most of the other Mormon denominations, such as the Bickertonite, and Strangite churches, have always been open to members of all races. The same is true in Mormonism's second largest denomination, the Community of Christ (formerly known as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the RLDS), except for a few years in which Black people were barred from the priesthood. Other, more conservative denominations such as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB), and the True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (TLC) all continue to exclude Black people into modern times.

The LDS Church's views on Black people have alternated throughout its history. For example, on teachings about Black slavery, early church leaders went from views of neutrality, to one of anti-slavery, to one of pro-slavery. Since as early as 1844, church leaders taught that Black people's spirits were less righteous in premortality before birth. Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith and his most influential successor as church president, Brigham Young, both stated that Black people's skin color was the result of the Curse of Cain and the Curse of Ham. In the 20th century, many top leaders of the LDS Church vocally opposed the civil rights movement. In recent decades, the LDS Church has officially condemned racism, and it has also increased its proselytizing and outreach efforts in Black communities. It is still accused of perpetuating implicit racism by not apologizing for, acknowledging, or adequately counteracting the effects of its past discriminatory practices and beliefs. Church leaders have worked with the Black civil rights organization the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since the 2010s, and they have also donated millions of dollars to Black organizations.[3]

Estimates state that there are between 400,000 and 1 million Black LDS Church members worldwide, and there are at least five operating LDS Church temples in Africa. Fourteen more temples are in some stage of development or construction in the African continent, in addition to several temples among communities of the African diaspora such as the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In the Community of Christ there are congregations in twelve Africa nations, with African membership steadily increasing.[4] Most of this article focuses on the Brighamite LDS Church, but information on other Mormon denominations are found near the end.

Joseph Smith's views on Black people [edit]

Mormonism's founder Joseph Smith expressed a range of views on Black people throughout his life.

Joseph Smith's views on Black People varied during his lifetime. As founder of the Latter Day Saint movement he included Black people in many ordinances and priesthood ordinations, but held multi-faceted views on racial segregation, the curses of Cain and Ham, and shifted his views on slavery several times, eventually coming to take an anti-slavery stance later in his life.[5]: 126 [6]: 79 [7]

Smith on slavery[edit]

Initially, Smith expressed opposition to slavery, but, after the church was formally organized in 1830, Smith avoided any discussion of the controversial topic.[2]: 16 [8]: 5  During the Missouri years, Smith attempted to maintain peace with the members' pro-slavery neighbors,[2]: 16  and in 1835, the church decleared it was not "right to interfere with bond-servants, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters" nor cause "them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life."[2]: 15  In 1836, Smith published an essay sympathetic to the pro-slavery cause, arguing against a possible "race war", providing justification for slavery based on the biblical Curse of Ham, and stating that Northerners had no "more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say that the North shall."[1]: 22 [9]: 212–214 [10] During the Nauvoo settlement, Smith began preaching abolitionism and the equality of the races. In his presidential campaign, Smith called for "the break down [of] slavery", and wished to free all enslaved persons by 1850.[1]: 29 [8]: 10 

Smith on temple and priesthood access[edit]

Elijah Abel was an early Black LDS priesthood leader in the quorum of the seventy.

Smith was apparently present at the priesthood ordination of Elijah Abel, a multi-ethnic, man of partial Black heritage, to the offices of both elder and seventy, and allowed for the ordination of a couple of other Black men into the priesthood of the early church.[11]: 213 [12] Though Black priesthood holder Elijah Able received his washing and anointing temple ordinance under Smith, he did not receive the temple endowments, and his petition for them was denied over thirty years later, and there is no record of any Black individuals receiving the Nauvoo endowment.[13] After his death, Smith's successor Brigham Young barred Black people from temple endowments and marriage sealings, and from receiving the priesthood.[12] There is no contemporary evidence that would suggest the anti-Black priesthood restriction originated with Joseph Smith.[7][14] : 21  After Smith's death most other Latter-day Saint churches remained open to the ordination of Black people into the priesthood.

Smith on equality and segregation[edit]

Smith argued that Black and White people would be better off if they were "separate but legally equal", at times advocating for segregation.[6]: 79 [15][page needed] He once stated, "Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species, and put them on a national equalization."[6]: 79 [15][page needed] He also said, "They have souls, and are subjects of salvation. Go into Cincinnati or any city, and find an educated negro, who rides in his carriage, and you will see a man who has risen by the powers of his own mind to his exalted state of respectability."[16][17]: 17 [8]: 9 

Overview of LDS policies and teachings on Black people[edit]


After Smith's death in 1844 and a six-month succession crisis, his most popular successor became Brigham Young. The Brighamite branch of Mormonism became the LDS Church. By 1844 one of the justifications top LDS church leaders used for discriminatory policies was the belief that the spirits of Black individuals before earth life were "fence sitters" when choosing between God or the devil, or were simply less virtuous than White ones. Brigham Young rejected this pre-existence explanation, but the apostles Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, and John Taylor all supported the concept, and it gained widespread acceptance among LDS members.[14]: 27 [18][19] A century later in a 1949 official statement the church's highest governing body, the First Presidency, wrote that Black people were not entitled to the full blessings of the gospel, and referenced previous revelations on the preexistence as justification.[1]: 66 [7]: 221  After the temple and priesthood ban was reversed in 1978, church leaders refuted the belief that Black people were less valiant in the pre-existence. For the first time the church disavowed its previous teachings on race in 2013, and explicitly denounced any justification for the temple and priesthood restriction based on any events which occurred during premortality.[20][21][22]

Curses of Cain and Ham[edit]

This painting depicts Noah cursing Ham. Smith and Young both taught that Black people were under the curse of Ham,[23][24] and the curse of Cain.[25][26][27]

Teachings on the curse of Cain, the curse of Ham, and their relation to Black people have changed throughout the church's history. Its first two leaders Joseph Smith and Brigham Young both referred to the curse of Ham as a justification for Black enslavement at some point in their lives.[5]: 126 [28][24] Smith believed that dark skin marked people of Black African ancestry as cursed by God.[25]: 27  In his revisions of the King James Bible, and production of the Book of Abraham he traced their cursed state back to the curses placed on Cain and Ham, and linked the two curses within the Book of Abraham by positioning Ham's Canaanite cursed posterity as matrilinear descendants of the previously cursed Cain.[25]

During Smith's leadership Brigham Young seemed open to Black people holding the priesthood. Later as Smith's successor he used the biblical curses as justification of barring Black men from the priesthood, banning interracial marriages, and opposing Black civic voting rights.[7]: 70 [29][27] He stated that God's curse on Black people would one day be lifted and that they would be able to receive the priesthood sometime after death.[1]: 66 

According to the Bible, God cursed Adam's son Cain and put a mark on him after Cain killed Abel, though the text does not explicitly state what the nature of the mark was.[30]: xii [31] Smith's canonized scripture the Pearl of Great Price described the mark of Cain as dark skin,[1]: 12 [32] and church president Brigham Young stated, "What is the mark [of Cain]? You will see it on the countenance of every African you ever did see".[33][34] In another biblical account, Adam's eighth great-grandson Ham discovered his father Noah drunk and naked in his tent. Because of this, Noah cursed his grandson Canaan (Ham's son) to be "servants of servants".[5]: 125 [35] Although LDS scriptures do not mention the skin color of Ham or that of his son Canaan, some church teachings associated the Hamitic curse with Black people and used it to justify the enslavement of Black people.[5]: 125 

In 1978, when the church ended the temple and priesthood ban, apostle Bruce R. McConkie taught that the ancient curses of Cain and Ham were no longer in effect.[1]: 117  In 2013 church leaders disavowed the idea that Black skin was the sign of a curse for the first time.[20][1]: 59 [21]

Patriarchal blessings[edit]

In the LDS Church, a patriarch gives patriarchal blessings to members describing their biblical lineage in the tribe of Israel, stating their strengths and weaknesses, and advising what the future holds for them. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, members were more likely to believe they were literally descended from a certain tribe of Israel.[36]: 13–15  For Black members of the early LDS church they were sometimes given no lineage or given one from a non-Israelite lineage of Ham.[37]: 106 [38][39] After the 1978 revelation patriarchs sometimes did, and sometimes did not declare lineages for Black members. Some Black members since then asked for and received a new patriarchal blessings which included a lineage.[40]: 126 

Righteous Black people would become White[edit]

Early church leaders taught that after death and resurrection everyone in the celestial kingdom (the highest tier of heaven) would be "white in eternity."[41][42] They often equated Whiteness with righteousness, and taught that originally God made his children White in his own image.[43]: 231 [44][42] Smith reported that in his vision Jesus had a "white complexion" and "blue eyes", a description confirmed in another reported vision by follower Anson Call.[45][46] A 1959 report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights found that most Utah Mormons believed "by righteous living, the dark-skinned races may again become white and delightsome."[47] Conversely, the church also taught that White apostates would have their skins darkened when they abandoned the faith, and until at least the 1960s in the temple endowment ceremony Satan was said to have black skin.[14]: 28 [48]

Several Black Mormons were told that they would become White. Hyrum Smith told Jane Manning James that God could give her a new lineage, and in her patriarchal blessing promised her that she would become "white and delightsome".[37]: 148  In 1836 Elijah Abel was similarly promised he would "be made ... white in eternity".[2]: 38  Darius Gray, a prominent Black Mormon, was told that his skin color would become lighter.[49] In 1978, apostle LeGrand Richards stated that the curse of dark skin for wickedness and promise of White skin through righteousness only applied to Native Americans, and not to Black people.[1]: 115 

In 2013, the LDS Church published an essay refuting these ideas, describing prior church teachings justifying the restriction as racial "folk beliefs".[20] It stated that Blackness in Latter-day Saint theology is a symbol of disobedience to God and not necessarily a skin color.[21] One youth Sunday School teacher was removed from their position for teaching from this essay in 2015.[50]


Biddy Mason was one of 14 Black people who sued for their freedom after being illegally held captive by White Mormons in San Bernardino, California.

Initial Mormon converts were from the North and opposed slavery which caused contention in the slave-allowing state of Missouri. Subsequently, church leadership began distancing itself from abolitionism and sometimes justified the enslavement of Black people through Biblical teachings. During this time, several White people who enslaved Black individuals joined the church and brought their enslaved people with them when they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. The church taught against influencing enslaved persons to be "dissatisfied with their condition". Eventually, contention between the mostly-abolitionist Latter-day Saints and slave-owning Southerners led to the Mormon expulsion from Jackson County, Missouri in the Missouri Mormon War.

Joseph Smith began his presidential campaign on a platform for the government to buy enslaved people into freedom over several years. He called for "the break down of slavery" and the removal of "the shackles from the poor black man",[2]: 54  but was killed during his presidential campaign.

After Smith's death in 1844, most Latter-day Saints followed Young to Utah in 1847, which was part of the Mexican province of Alta California until 1848. Some Black enslaved people were brought to Utah, though some escaped. Brigham Young began teaching that enslaving people was ordained of God, but remained opposed to creating a slavery-based economy in Utah like that seen in the South.[51][52]

Green Flake was an enslaved man reported to have driven the first wagon of LDS pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.[53]

In 1852, the Utah Territory, under the governance of Brigham Young, legalized the purchasing of Black people and Native Americans for enslavement. Under his direction, Utah passed laws supporting this enslavement and making it illegal for Black people to vote, hold public office, join the local military, or marry White people.[54][55] The slavery laws of Utah contrasted with the existing statutes of the Southern states, in that it only allowed for an enslavement more similar to indentured servitude than to the mass plantation slavery of the South.[2]: 69 [56] Twenty-six Black people were held as slaves in the Utah Territory according to the 1850 census, and twenty-nine were reported in the one from 1860.[56] Similar to the policies of other territories, one objective of the slavery laws was to prevent Black people from settling in Utah and to control those that remained.[14]: 25 

Many prominent members of the church enslaved people, including William H. Hooper, Abraham O. Smoot, Charles C. Rich, Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.[57][58]: 52 [1]: 33  Members bought and sold people as property, gave the church enslaved people as tithing,[57][58]: 34 [59] and recaptured individuals who had escaped from slavery.[60][9]: 268  In California, slavery was illegally tolerated in the Mormon community of San Bernardino, despite California laws banning the practice. After the Civil War the US government freed enslaved people and allowed many Black adults to vote.[5] By the early 1920s there were hundreds of members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in Utah.[61] Although Church leaders were against the KKK, there were several LDS members involved in the organization.[62]

Civil rights and the NAACP[edit]

After the Civil War, little changed on church stances towards Black people and their rights until the civil rights movement in the 1960s.[36]: 2  The NAACP, criticized the church's position on civil rights, led anti-discrimination marches and filed a lawsuit against the church in response to its practice of not allowing Black children to be Boy Scout troop leaders.[63]: 234 [11]: 218  Students from other schools protested against BYU's discriminatory practices church's racial restrictions.[64][65] In response, the Church issued a statement supporting civil rights and changed its Boy Scout leader policy. The apostle Ezra Taft Benson criticized the civil rights movement and challenged accusations of police brutality.[1]: 78  Black athletes at some schools protested against BYU's discriminatory practices by refusing to play against BYU teams.[64][65] After the reversal of the temple and priesthood ban in 1978, LDS leaders stayed relatively silent on matters of civil rights for a time. Eventually, they began meeting with and formed a partnership with the NAACP.[66]

Beginning in 2017, local church leaders in Mississippi and the NAACP closely worked on projects to restore the NAACP office where Medgar Evers had worked.[67] In 2018, it was announced that the Church and the NAACP would be starting a joint program that provided for the financial education of east-coast residents in larger cities like Baltimore, Atlanta and Camden, New Jersey.[68] In 2019, church president Russell M. Nelson spoke at the national convention of the NAACP in Detroit.[69] In June 2020, a spokesperson for the NAACP stated there was "no willingness on the part of the church to do anything material. ... It's time now for more than sweet talk."[70]

In the church's October 2020 general conference, multiple leaders spoke out against racism and called on church members to take action against it. Church president Nelson asked church members to "lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice."[71][72] The same month in a speech at BYU the apostle Dallin H. Oaks broadly denounced racism, endorsed the message of "Black lives matter" (while discouraging its use to advance controversial proposals), and called on church members to root out racist attitudes, behaviors and policies.[73][74]


During the first century of its existence, the church discouraged social interaction or marriage with Black people,[75][76][77] and encouraged racial segregation in its congregations, facilities, and university, in medical blood supplies, and in public schools. Joseph Smith supported segregation, stating, "I would confine them [Black people] by strict law to their own species".[15]: 1843  Until 1963, many church leaders supported legalized racial segregation with David O. McKay, J. Reuben Clark, Henry D. Moyle, Ezra Taft Benson, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and Mark E. Petersen being leading proponents of it.[1]: 67 [41]

During the years, different Black families were either told by church leadership not to attend church or chose not to attend church after White members complained.[78][1]: 68  The church also advocated for segregation laws and enforced segregation in its facilities such as its Hotel Utah and Tabernacle performances.[79] Church leaders counseled members to buy homes so Black people would not move next to LDS chapels.[1]: 67  In 1954, apostle Mark E. Petersen taught that segregation was inspired by God.[80]: 65  Leaders also advocated for the segregation of donated blood, concerned that giving White members blood from Black people might disqualify them from the priesthood.[1]: 67 [81] Church leaders opposed desegregation in public schools, and in its church-run BYU.[80]: 67 [82]: 852 [64]: 206 

Interracial marriage[edit]

Interracial marriages like that of prominent LDS church member Mia Love (left) are currently allowed, but previously were banned or discouraged by top church leaders.

Nearly every decade for over a century—beginning with the church's formation in the 1830s until the 1970s—saw some denunciations of interracial marriage (miscegenation), with most of them focusing on Black–White marriages.[14]: 42–43  The church's stance against interracial marriage held consistent for over a century while attitudes towards Black people and the priesthood and equal rights saw considerable changes. Church leaders' views stemmed from the temple and priesthood policies and racist "biological and social" principles of the time.[7]: 89–90 [14]: 42–43 

Under Smith's leadership in Nauvoo it was against the law for Black men to marry White women, and he fined two Black men for violating his prohibition of interracial marriage.[83] On at least three occasions (1847,[84] 1852,[85] and 1865[86]) Smith's successor Young publicly taught that the punishment for Black–White interracial marriages was death, and the killing of a Black–White interracial couple and their children as part of a blood atonement would be a blessing to them.[1]: 37, 39 [87] He also stated if the Church were to approve of White intermarriage with Black people it would go on to destruction and the priesthood would be taken away.[88]

Until at least the 1960s, the church penalized White members who married Black individuals by prohibiting both spouses from entering temples.[89] In 1978 the temple and priesthood ban was lifted, but the church still officially discouraged any marriage across ethnic lines, though it no longer banned or punished it.[90]: 5 [91] Until 2013 at least one official church manual in use had continued encouraging members only to marry other members of the same race.[92][93][94]

LDS Temple and priesthood restriction[edit]

One of Smith's successors Brigham Young led a branch of followers to Utah, and as governor there legalized Black enslavement, and enforced a temple and priesthood ban for Black people that would last for over 120 years.

Though a few Black men had been ordained to the priesthood under Smith before his death in 1844, by 1849 and continuing until 1978, the Brighamite LDS Church prohibited anyone with real or suspected Black ancestry from taking part in ordinances in its temples, serving in any significant church callings, serving missions,[95][96] attending priesthood meetings,[97]: 64  being ordained to any priesthood office, speaking at firesides,[1]: 67  or receiving a lineage in their patriarchal blessing.[38] Non-Black spouses of Black people were also prohibited from entering temples.[98] Because temple ordinances are considered essential to enter the highest degree of heaven, the exclusion meant that Black people were banned from exaltation.[99][1]: 164 [14]: 261  Before 1849 a few Black men had been ordained to the priesthood under Smith. Over time, the ban was relaxed so that Black people could attend priesthood meetings and some people with a "questionable lineage" were given the priesthood, such as Fijians, Indigenous Australians, Egyptians, as well as some Brazilians and South Africans with unknown heritage who did not appear to have any Black heritage.[80]: 94  In 1978, the church's First Presidency released "Official Declaration 2" which lifted the racial restrictions; this was later adopted as scripture.[1]: 108 [100]

During the over 120-year span of the restrictions, the church stated they were instituted by God and offered several official race-based explanations for them, including the belief that Cain and his descendants are cursed,[7] that Ham's marriage to Egyptus put a curse on Canaan's descendants,[1]: 62 [7] and that Black people were less valiant in their pre-mortal life.[43]: 236  Leaders used LDS scriptures to justify their explanations, including the Book of Abraham which teaches that the descendants of Canaan were Black, and the Pharaoh could not have the priesthood because he was one of Canaan's descendants.[7]: 41–42  Since 2013 these previous explanations are no longer accepted as official church teachings and the church teaches anti-racism.[1]: 200 [101][21]


Jane Manning was an early church member and servant[2]: 223  in Smith's household in Nauvoo and later followed Young to the Utah Territory. She petitioned church leadership to allow her to receive the temple endowment, but was repeatedly denied because she was Black.[102]: 154 

During the early years of the Latter Day Saint movement, at least two Black men held the priesthood and became priests: Elijah Abel and Walker Lewis.[11]: 213  Elijah Abel received both the priesthood office of elder and the office of seventy, evidently in the presence of Joseph Smith himself.[11]: 213  Historians Armand Mauss and Lester E. Bush, Jr. found that statements on Smith's support of the ban were the result of reconciliation attempts by later church leaders after his death, made to square the differing policies of Smith and those of his successor Young.[7][14]: 21  Sources suggest there were several other Black priesthood holders in the early church, including Peter Kerr and Jamaican immigrant Joseph T. Ball.[103][104] Other prominent Black members of the early church included Jane Manning James, Green Flake, and Samuel D. Chambers.[105][106][97]: 40–41 

After Smith's death in 1844, and a six-month succession crisis, Young became leader of the majority of Smith's adherents and led the Mormon pioneers to what would become the Utah Territory. Like many American leaders at the time, Young, promoted discriminatory views about Black people as territorial governor.[107] In 1852, Young made a pronouncement to the Utah Territorial Legislature that "any man having one drop of the seed of [Cain] ... in him [could not] hold the priesthood."[7]: 70 

Direct commandment of God (Doctrine) vs. Policy[edit]

Church leaders taught for over a century that the priesthood ordination and temple ordinance ban was commanded by God. Young stated it was a "true eternal principle the Lord Almighty has ordained."[1]: 37  In 1949, the First Presidency under George Albert Smith released an official statement saying the restriction "remains as it has always stood" and was "not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord".[5]: 222–223 [100][7]: 221  A second First Presidency statement twenty years later under David O. McKay re-emphasized that the "seeming discrimination by the Church towards the Negro is not something which originated with man; but goes back into the beginning with God".[108][5]: 223 [7]: 222  As president of the church, Spencer W. Kimball stated in 1973 that the ban was "not my policy or the Church's policy. It is the policy of the Lord who has established it."[109]

On the topic of doctrine versus policy on the removal of racial restrictions, the apostle Dallin H. Oaks stated in 1988, "I don't know that its possible to distinguish between policy and doctrine in a church that believes in continuing revelation and sustains its leader as a prophet. ... I'm not sure I could justify the difference in doctrine and policy in the fact that before 1978 a person could not hold the priesthood and after 1978 they could hold the priesthood."[110] The research of historians Armand Mauss, Newell G. Bringhurst, and Lester E. Bush has weakened the idea that the ban was doctrinal.[1] Bush commented that there was, in fact, no record of any revelation received by Young concerning the ban.[14] According to Bush, justifications for Young's policies were developed much later by leaders and scholars of the church.[14] The church has since refuted earlier justifications for the temple and priesthood ban and no longer teaches them as doctrine.

End of the temple and priesthood bans[edit]

Joseph Freeman was the first Black person ordained to the priesthood after the ban was lifted in 1978.

Throughout its history the LDS church has had a history of major adaptations due to environmental pressures including going from polygamy to monogamy, from political separatism to assimilation with the United States, and from communitarian socialism to corporate capitalism.[63]: 231  On June 8, 1978, the LDS Church's First Presidency released an official declaration allowing "all worthy male members of the church [to] be ordained to the priesthood without regard to race or color",[100] and which further allowed Black women and men access to temple endowments and sealings.[111][21] This was the most significant church policy change in decades.[63]: 231  According to the accounts of several of those present, while praying in the Salt Lake Temple the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received the revelation to remove the racial restrictions. The apostle McConkie wrote that all present "received the same message" and were then able to understand "the will of the Lord".[100][1]: 116  There were many factors that led up to the change.[63]: 231–232  These included pressure from the NAACP, a growing membership and a temple in Brazil,[112] pressures from member activists, negative publicity, and the need for resolving doctrinal contradictions.[63]: 231–232 [113]: 94–95  Due to the publicity from the publication of Lester Bush's seminal article "Mormonism's Negro Doctrine" in 1973, BYU vice-president Robert Thomas feared that the church would lose its tax-exempt status.[1]: 95 [114] The article described the church's racially discriminatory practices in detail, and inspired internal discussion among church leaders as it weakened the idea that the temple and priesthood ban was doctrinal.[1]: 95  Some critics say the revelation was a business move to avoid losing church tax-exempt status.[1]: 106–107 [115]

Post-1978 teachings regarding the restrictions[edit]

The 1978 announcement of the removal of racial restrictions did not give reasons for them, nor did it renounce, apologize for, or present new teachings on them.[116]: 163  Because these ideas were not officially repudiated, the justifications, ideas, and beliefs that had sustained the restrictions for generations continue to persist as of 2020.[116]: 163, 174 [90]: 84  Even after the lifting of restrictions the apostle McConkie continued to teach until his death that Black people were descended from Cain and Ham, and that their curse came from God.[117] His influential book Mormon Doctrine, published by the church-owned Deseret Book, continued to perpetuate these racial teachings until it was discontinued in 2010 despite going through many updated editions.[117]: 71–72 [118] In 2005 a church spokesperson told reporters that despite doctrines continuing to circulate among members about why people are Black, church leaders hadn't seen a need for any statements on the topic since 1978.[119]

In 2012, Randy L. Bott, a BYU professor, suggested that God denied the priesthood to Black men in order to protect them from the lowest rung of hell, since one of few damnable sins is to abuse the exercise of the priesthood. Bott compared the priesthood ban to a parent denying young children the keys to the family car, and stated, "You couldn't fall off the top of the ladder, because you weren't on the top of the ladder. So, in reality the blacks not having the priesthood was the greatest blessing God could give them."[49] The church responded saying those views do not represent the church's doctrine or teachings, and that BYU professors do not speak on its behalf.[120] The next year the church officially disavowed teachings that Black skin was a sign of a curse for the first time.[20]

In a 2016 landmark survey,[121] almost two-thirds of 1,156 self-identified Latter-day Saints reported believing the pre-1978 temple and priesthood ban was "God's will".[122][123] Non-White members of the church were almost 10% more likely to believe that the ban was "God's will" than White members.[124]

In 2022 BYU professor and Young Men general presidency member Brad Wilcox was criticized about parts of a speech in which he downplayed and disrespected concerns about the priesthood and temple ban.[125][126] Though Wilcox issued two apologies,[127] reporter Jana Riess wrote that his scornful tone and words revealed that he "felt disdainful toward women" and that he believed "God is a racist". Riess called his apologies "not-quite-apologies" and stated they did not go far enough.[128] Videos have surfaced of at least two other instances of Wilcox making similar speeches.[129] W. Paul Reeve stated on the controversy that as of 2022 church leaders have still not clarified whether or not the original ban was divinely inspired, and have not disavowed the actual racial restrictions themselves, thus, resulting in members like Wilcox making controversial remarks.[130]

LDS members' views and actions[edit]

Between the 19th and mid-20th centuries, some Mormons held racist views, and exclusion from temple and priesthood rites was not the only discriminatory practice towards Black people. For example, while mayor of Nauvoo, Smith barred them from holding office or joining the Nauvoo Legion military.[83] Young taught that equality efforts were misguided, stating that those who fought for equality among Black people were trying to elevate them "to an equality with those whom Nature and Nature's God has indicated to be their masters, their superiors".[14]: 68 [131]

A 1959 nationwide report by the US Commission found that Black people experienced widespread inequality in Utah, and Mormon teachings were used to justify racist treatment of Black people.[47][21] During the 1960s and 1970s, Mormons in the western United States were close to averages in the United States in racial attitudes.[132][133] American racial attitudes caused difficulties when the church tried to apply the one-drop rule to other ethnically diverse areas like Brazil where many members didn't understand American classifications of race and how it applied to the temple and priesthood ban, causing a rift between missionaries and members.[39]

Anti-Black jokes commonly circulated among Mormons before the 1978 revelation.[134] By the early 1970s, apostle Spencer W. Kimball began preaching against racism calling intolerance by church members "despicable".[135] In a study covering 1972 to 1996, church members in the United States were shown to have lower rates of approval of segregation than other groups in the United States, as well as a faster decline in approval of segregation over the periods covered.[90]: 94–97 

Today, the church actively opposes racism among its membership, and is working to reach out to Black communities, and hosts several predominantly Black wards inside the United States.[136][21] In 2017, the LDS Church released a statement condeming racism in response to the white nationalist Unite the Right rally in Virginia.[137][138] One Alt-right church member and blogger argued that the statement was non-binding since it only came from the Public Relations Department rather than the First Presidency.[137][138]

White LDS opposition to race-based policies[edit]

In the second half of the 20th century some White church members protested against teachings and policies excluding Black members from temple ordinances and the priesthood. For instance, three members were all excommunicated by the LDS Church in the 1970s for publicly criticizing these teachings.[9]: 345–346  Other White members who publicly opposed some church teachings and policies around Black people were denied access to the temple over their objections.[139] Additionally, Prominent LDS politician Stewart Udall wrote a strongly worded public letter in 1967 criticizing church racial restrictions.[140][141] His publication received hundreds of critical response letters, including ones from apostles Delbert Stapley and Spencer Kimball.[142]: 279–283 

Racial discrimination after the 1978 ban repeal[edit]

LDS historian Wayne J. Embry interviewed several Black LDS Church members in 1987 and reported that all the participants reported "incidents of aloofness on the part of white members, a reluctance or a refusal to shake hands with them or sit by them, and racist comments made to them." Embry further reported that one Black woman attended church for three years, despite being completely ignored by fellow congregants. He stated that "she had to write directly to the president of the LDS Church to find out how to be baptized" because none of the other congregants would tell her.[90]: 371 

After the end of the temple and priesthood ban in 1978, and proclamations from church leadership extolling diversity, racist beliefs in the church continued. White church member Eugene England, a professor at Brigham Young University, wrote in 1998 that most Mormons still held deeply racist beliefs, including the belief that Black people were descended from Cain and Ham and subject to their curses. England's students at BYU who reported holding these beliefs stated they had learned them from their parents or from instructors at church, and did not know they contradicted current church teachings.[143] In 2003, Black LDS Church member Darron Smith noticed a similar problem, and wrote in Sunstone about the persistence of racist beliefs in the LDS church. Smith wrote that racism persisted in the church because church leadership had not addressed the ban's origins. This racism persisted in the beliefs that Black people were descendants of Cain, that they were neutral in the war in heaven, and that skin color was tied to righteousness.[144] In 2007, journalist and church member, Peggy Fletcher Stack, wrote that Black Mormons still felt separate from other church members because of how other members treat them, ranging from being called them the "n-word" in the church and temple, to small differences in treatment. The lack of Black people in LDS Church leadership also contributed to Black members' feelings of not belonging.[95][21]

In 2016 a leader of the LDS-sponsored Black organization Genesis Group, Alice Faulkner Burch, said Black members "still need support to remain in the church—not for doctrinal reasons but for cultural reasons." Burch added that "women are derided about our hair ... referred to in demeaning terms, our children mistreated, and callings withheld." When asked what Black women in the church wanted Burch recounted that one woman had told her she wished "to be able to attend church once without someone touching my hair."[145]

In 2020, a printed church Sunday school manual contained teachings about "dark skin" in the Book of Mormon being "the sign of [a] curse", which "curse was the withdrawal of the Spirit of the Lord". Public pressure led the church to change the manual's digital version which subsequently stated the nature and appearance of the mark of dark skin are not fully understood.[146] A few days later, Elder Gary E. Stevenson told a Martin Luther King Day gathering of the NAACP that he was "saddened" by the "error",[147][148] adding that the Church was "asking members to disregard the paragraph in the printed manual."[147] BYU law professor Michalyn Steele, a Native American, later expressed concern about the church's editorial practice and dismay that church educators continue to perpetuate racism.[148]

In the summer of 2020, Nelson issued a joint statement with three top leaders of the NAACP condemning racism and calling for all institutions to work to remove any lingering racism.[149] In the October 2020 general conference, Nelson, his first counselor Dallin H. Oaks, and the apostle Quentin L. Cook all denounced racism in their speeches.[71]

In response to a 2016 survey of self-identified Mormons, over 60% expressed that they either know (37%) or believe (25.5%) that the priesthood and temple ban was God's will, with another 17% expressing that it might be true, and 22% saying they know or believe it was not God's will.[124]

LDS Black membership[edit]

Singer Gladys Knight is a prominent Black member of the LDS Church.

The first statement regarding proselyting towards Black people was about enslaved Black individuals. In 1835, the Church's policy was to not proselyte to Black people held in slavery unless they had permission from their enslavers. This policy was changed in 1836, when Smith wrote that enslaved people should not be taught the gospel at all until after their owners were converted.[14]: 14  Though the church had an open membership policy for all races, they avoided opening missions in areas with large Black populations, discouraged people with Black ancestry from investigating the church,[39]: 27 [80]: 76  counseled members to avoid social interactions with Black people,[7]: 89  and instructed Black members to segregate themselves when White members complained of having to worship with them.[1]: 67–68  Relatively few Black people who joined the church retained active membership prior to 1978.[150]


Before 1978 LDS missionaries like those shown above were instructed to avoid teaching Black people, but now there are missionaries in many predominantly Black cities and countries around the world.

Bruce R. McConkie stated in his 1966 Mormon Doctrine that the "gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to [Black people], although sometimes negroes search out the truth."[151][90]: 12  Despite interest from a few hundred Nigerians, proselyting efforts were delayed in Nigeria in the 1960s. After the Nigerian government stalled the church's visa, apostles decided against proselyting there.[80]: 85–87, 94  In Africa, there were only active missionaries among White people in South Africa. Black people there who requested baptism were told that the church was not working among the them.[80]: 76  In the South Pacific, the church avoiding missionary work among native Fijians until 1955 when the church stated they were related to other Polynesian groups and not Black.[80]: 80, 94  In Brazil, LDS officials discouraged individuals with Black ancestry from investigating the church. Prior to WWII, proselytization in that country was limited to White German-speaking immigrants.[152] For a time church headquarters had a group of full-time genealogists tasked with determining priesthood and temple eligibility for difficult-to-determine cases.[153] The church instituted a genealogy program to discover Black ancestry, and people's church records were marked if any Black ancestry was discovered.[154]: 27  In the 1970s, "lineage lessons" were added to determine if interested persons were eligible for being taught by missionaries.[1]: 102 [155] After 1978, there were no restrictions against proselytizing to Black people, and missionaries began entering predominately Black areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.[156]

After 1978[edit]

Accra Ghana Temple, the second in Africa

Even though the church does not currently keep official records on the racial makeup of its membership,[5]: 269  many estimates of the total worldwide number of Black adherents have been made in the 21st century. These estimates include:

Black people have been members of Mormon congregations since the church's founding in the 1830s,[2]: 37  but even by 1964 its Black membership was small, with only an estimated 300 to 400 Black members worldwide.[164] In 1970, the church-sanctioned, Black, LDS support group Genesis Group was formed in Salt Lake City, Utah.[1]: 84  Since then, Black membership has grown, especially in West Africa, where two temples have been built.[165] In 1990, Helvécio Martins became the first Black general authority of the LDS Church.[166] A 2007 Pew Poll found 3% of LDS respondents in the US identified as Black.[167][168]

In April 2017, the LDS Church announced plans to build a temple in Nairobi, Kenya, bringing the number of temples planned or built in Africa (outside South Africa) to six.[165] In 2017, two Black South African men were called to serve as mission presidents.[169] Under President Russell M. Nelson, the pace of announcement of new temples across Africa picked up.[citation needed] During his first two years as president of the Church, five additional temples were announced for Africa, including two in Nigeria (bringing that country to a total of three temples in some stage of operation or planning), one in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which was the quickest announcement of a second temple after the dedication of the first for any country other than the United States), and the first temples in Sierra Leone and Cape Verde.[citation needed] Nelson also announced temples in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Salvador, Brazil, both places where large percentages of both church members and the overall population were of Black.[citation needed]

In 2009, professor Philip Jenkins stated that in Africa, the growth of the LDS Church has been slower than the growth of other churches due to the White face of the church (a result of the temple and priesthood ban), and the church's refusal to accommodate local customs like polygamy.[170]: 2, 12 

As of 2020, there had been six men of Black African descent who have been called general authorities and there has been one Black man of African descent appointed as a general officer of the LDS Church.[citation needed] Of these seven men, one was called while Ezra Taft Benson was president of the Church, two during Thomas S. Monson's ten-year tenure as president of the church and four during the first two years Russell M. Nelson was president of the Church.[citation needed]

Other Latter Day Saint groups' positions[edit]

Community of Christ[edit]

Joseph Smith III, depicted here, opposed slavery, but barred Black people from priesthood offices for the church's first five years, and believed Black people were inferior to the "ruling races".

Joseph Smith III, the son of Joseph Smith, founded the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1860, now known as the Community of Christ. Smith was a vocal advocate of abolishing the slave trade, and a supporter of Owen Lovejoy, an anti-slavery congressman from Illinois, and Abraham Lincoln. He joined the Republican Party and advocated its anti-slavery politics. He rejected the fugitive slave law, and openly stated that he would assist people who tried to escape enslavement.[171] He was a strong opponent of slavery, yet he viewed White people as superior to Black people, and held the view that they must not "sacrifice the dignity, honor and prestige that may be rightfully attached to the ruling races."[172] The priesthood was not available to Black people between 1860 and 1865,[171]: 155 [173] and the first Black man was not ordained to the priesthood until 1893.[174] The Community of Christ rejects the Pearl of Great Price.[175][176] As of 2020 the church has congregations in twelve Africa nations, with Black African membership steadily increasing, despite the Western decline in membership.[4]

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints[edit]

FLDS leader Warren Jeffs has made several anti-Black statements since 2002.

The president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Warren Jeffs has made several anti-Black public statements since 2002.[177] These included saying that the devil brings evil to the earth through Black people, that Cain is the father of the Black race, that people with "Negro blood" aren't worthy of the priesthood, that Black-White marriage is evil, and that even marrying someone who has "connections with a Negro" would bring a curse.[178]

Apostolic United Brethren[edit]

The Apostolic United Brethren (AUB) is a Utah-based, Latter Day Saint, polygamous, fundamentalist group that separated itself in 1929. As of 2018 they continue to deny temple and priesthood rites to people with Black heritage, and teach that Black people are "Canaanites" and under the curse of Cain. In 1978 when the LDS church removed the racial restrictions, a reported dozens to hundreds of families left the LDS church for the AUB.[179]


The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) was founded by William Bickerton (and received many Rigdonite followers from Sidney Rigdons branch of Mormonism).[180] It has advocated full racial integration throughout all aspects of the church since its organization in 1862.[181] In 1905, the church suspended an elder for opposing the full integration of all races.[182]

Historian Dale Morgan wrote in 1949: "An interesting feature of the Church's doctrine is that it discriminates in no way against ... members of other racial groups, who are fully admitted to all the privileges of the priesthood. It has taken a strong stand for human rights, and was, for example, uncompromisingly against the Ku Klux Klan during that organization's period of ascendancy after the First World War."[183]

At a time when racial segregation or discrimination was commonplace in most institutions throughout America, two of the most prominent leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ were Black. Apostle John Penn, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve from 1910 to 1955, conducted missionary work among Italian Americans, and he was often referred to as "The Italian's Doctor".[182] Matthew Miller, who was ordained an evangelist in 1937, traveled throughout Canada and established missions to Native Americans.[182] The church had a mission in Nigeria.[14]: 68 


James Strang continued Smith's tradition of ordaining Black men to the priesthood in his branch of Mormonism.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) was founded by James Strang in 1844 and welcomed Black people into their church during a time when some other factions denied them the priesthood, and certain other benefits that come with membership in it. Strang ordained at least two Black men to his church's priesthood during his lifetime.[184][185] Though his ethnicity remains unclear from the historical record, James T. Ball was identified as Black at least once, and joined the Strangites in 1849.[103]

True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days[edit]

The Manti, Utah-based True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (TLC) branched off from the LDS church in 1990 and as of 2008, it adhered to teachings and practices which were similar to the teachings and practices which were historically adhered to by the LDS church, including the Black temple and priesthood ban, the belief that the skin color of apostates would darken, and the practice of polygamy.[186] The TLC's founder James D. Harmston taught his followers that the LDS Church's leader Gordon Hinckley was Cain in a previous life.[186]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae Harris, Matthew L.; Bringhurst, Newell G. (2015). The Mormon Church and Blacks: A Documentary History. Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-08121-7. ProQuest 2131052022 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bringhurst, Newell G. (1981). Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-22752-7 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (June 14, 2021). "'Transformational partnership'—LDS Church donating nearly $10M to help Black Americans". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on February 15, 2023 – via Internet Archive.
  4. ^ a b Hoyt, Amy (August 2020). "A Brief Introduction to Mormonism in Africa". Claremont Graduate University.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Reeve, W. Paul (2015). Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness. New York City: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754076.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-975407-6 – via Google Books.
  6. ^ a b c Lund, John Lewis (1967). The Church and the Negro. Salt Lake City, Utah: Paramount Publishers – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bush, Lester E. Jr.; Mauss, Armand L., eds. (1984). Neither White Nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books. ISBN 0-941214-22-2. Archived from the original on October 1, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ a b c Andersen, Ty. "Break Off the Shackles From the Poor Black Man: Joseph Smith's Abolitionist Rhetoric in the 1844 Presidential Campaign". Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  9. ^ a b c Stevenson, Russell W. (2014). For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013. Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books. ISBN 978-1-58958-529-4 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Smith, Joseph (April 9, 1836). "Letter to Oliver Cowdery, circa 9 April 1836". The Joseph Smith Papers. LDS Church.
  11. ^ a b c d Mauss, Armand L. (2003). All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 0-252-02803-1 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ a b Turner, John G. (August 18, 2012). "Why Race Is Still a Problem for Mormons". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Reeve, W. Paul (2020). "Race, the Priesthood, and Temples" (PDF). In Esplin, Scott C. (ed.). Raising the Standard of Truth: Exploring the History and Teachings of the Early Restoration. Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University. pp. 168–169. ISBN 9781950304011. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 15, 2021 – via Internet Archive.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Bush, Lester E. (1973). "Mormonism's Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview" (PDF). Dialogue. 8 (1).
  15. ^ a b c Jackson, W. Kesler. Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder. Cedar Fort. ISBN 9781462103560 – via Google Books.
  16. ^ Lyman Bushman, Richard (December 18, 2007). Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 516. ISBN 9780307426482 – via Google Books. They have souls and are subjects of salvation. Go into Cincinati and find one educated [black man who] rid[e]s in his carriage. He has risen by the power of his mind to his exalted state of respectability.
  17. ^ Stewart, John J. (1960). Mormonism and the Negro. University of Wisconsin–Madison – via Google Books.
  18. ^ Bowman, Matthew (2012). The Mormon People. Random House. p. 176. ISBN 9780679644903 – via Internet Archive.
  19. ^ Stuart, Joseph R. (September 2018). "'A More Powerful Effect upon the Body': Early Mormonism's Theory of Racial Redemption and American Religious Theories of Race". Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture. Cambridge University Press. 87 (3): 27. doi:10.1017/S0009640718001580. S2CID 165766064. These apostles [Orson Hyde and John Taylor] viewed skin color as an inescapable punishment for black Africans because of their own volition (premortal fence sitting) or their ancestors' choices (made by Ham or Cain).
  20. ^ a b c d Green, Emma (September 18, 2017). "When Mormons Aspired to Be a 'White and Delightsome' People". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on December 7, 2022 – via Internet Archive. Conflicts over race in the Mormon Church have lasted well into the 20th and 21st centuries. ... The Mormon Church didn't repudiate its past teachings on race until 2013.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h Janan Graham-Russell (August 28, 2016). "Choosing to Stay in the Mormon Church Despite Its Racist Legacy". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on August 21, 2022 – via Internet Archive. [T]he LDS church quietly released an essay on race and the priesthood, attempting to explain the restriction's origin. It goes on to repudiate the racism and racist folklore that had been used to explain the restriction in the past. ... Additionally, church leaders have sought to clarify the meaning of the word 'blackness' in Mormon theology—it is often used not just as a reference to skin color, but also as a symbol of disobedience to God.
  22. ^ "Race and the Priesthood". LDS Church. December 10, 2013. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  23. ^ Waite, Kevin (April 1, 2021). West of Slavery: The Southern Dream of a Transcontinental Empire. University of North Carolina Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-4696-6320-3 – via Google Books.
  24. ^ a b Young, Brigham (October 6, 1863). "Necessity for Watchfulness". Journal of Discourses. Vol. 10. p. 250 – via Wikisource. [O]ne portion of the country wish to raise their negroes or black slaves and the other portion wish to free them, and, apparently, to almost worship them. Well, raise and worship them, who cares? I should never fight one moment about it, for the cause of human improvement is not in the least advanced by the dreadful war which now convulses our unhappy country. Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. ... Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham.
  25. ^ a b c Stuart Bingham, Ryan (July 2015). "Curses and Marks: Racial Dispensations and Dispensations of Race in Joseph Smith's Bible Revision and the Book of Abraham". Journal of Mormon History. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 41 (3): 22, 29, 30–31, 43, 54–57. doi:10.5406/jmormhist.41.3.22. JSTOR 10.5406/jmormhist.41.3.22. S2CID 246574026 – via JSTOR. By preserving Cain's line through Canaan, proponents of the Cain-theory version of the curse of Ham myth were able to unite the mark of Cain with the curse of slavery. ... We shall see that in his scriptural works Joseph Smith, like others, employed matrilineal ancestry to position Cain as an ancestor of the Canaanites ... Lastly, Smith's explicit identification of African peoples with the cursed descendants of Cain, Ham, or Canaan outside of his scriptural texts is highly significant. ... Smith [referred] to blacks as 'the Negroes or Sons of Cain' in his personal journal ... Beyond the question of racial slavery, Smith consistently relied on the Cain-theory version of the curse of Ham myth as an account of racial origins. ... When he referred to the sons of Ham, Canaan, or Cain, he did so with the assumption that his audience understood who these sons were.
  26. ^ Reeve, W. Paul (2015). Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. p. 256. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199754076.001.0001. ISBN 978-0-19-975407-6 – via Google Books. Joseph ... sought to 'sh[o]w that the Indians have gr[e]ater cause to complain of the treatment of the whites than the Negroes or Sons of Cain.'
  27. ^ a b Skousen, Cleon (2016). Treasures from the Book of Mormon, Volume Two: Enos 1 to Alma 29 (2016 eBook ed.). Brigham City, Utah: Brigham Distributing. p. 586. ISBN 9780934364492 – via Google Books. Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.
  28. ^ Smith, Joseph (April 1836). "For the Messenger and Advocate". Messenger and Advocate. LDS Church. 2 (7): 290 – via The Joseph Smith Papers. After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject [of slavery], I do not doubt, but those who have been forward in raising their voices against the South, will cry out against me .... It is my privilege then to name certain passages from the Bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon the matter as the fact is uncontrovertible [sic] that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the Holy Bible, pronounced by a man [Noah] who was perfect in his generation, and walked with God. And so far from that prediction being averse to the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude. 'And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.' ... (Gen. 9:25-26). Trace the history of the world from this notable event down to this day, and you will find the fulfillment of this singular prophecy. [T]he curse is not yet taken off from the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great a power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him ....
  29. ^ Collier, Fred C. (1987). The Teachings of President Brigham Young Vol. 3 1852–1854. Colliers Publishing. pp. 41–50. ISBN 0934964017 – via Google Books. The Lord said, I will not kill Cain, but I will put a mark upon him, and it is seen in the face of every Negro on Earth. And it is the decree of God that that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain (and the curse) until all the seed of Abel should be redeemed; and Cain will not receive the Priesthood or Salvation until all the seed of Abel are redeemed. Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot hold the Priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before, I will say it now—in the name of Jesus Christ, I know it is true, and others know it! ...Let me consent today to mingle my seed with the seed of Cain—it would bring the same curse upon me and it would upon any man. ... The Negro should serve the seed of Abraham—but it should be done right—don't abuse the Negro and treat him cruel. ...As an ensample—let [some] say now, "We will all go and mingle with the seed of Cain.... I will never admit of it for a moment. ... The Devil would like to rule part of the time, but I am determined he shall not rule at all, and Negros shall not rule us. I will not admit of the Devil ruling at all—I will not consent for the seed of Cain to vote for me or my brethren. ...The Canaanite cannot have wisdom to do things as the white man has.
  30. ^ Mellinkoff, Ruth (April 2003). The Mark of Cain (2003 ed.). Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock. ISBN 1592442293 – via Google Books.
  31. ^ Genesis 4:8–15
  32. ^ Moses 7:8
  33. ^ Collier, Fred C. (1987). The Teachings of President Brigham Young Vol. 3 1852–1854. Salt Lake City: Collier Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 9780934964012 – via Google Books.
  34. ^ Watt, George D. "Brigham Young, 1852 February 5" (5 Feb 1852). Historian's Office reports of speeches, 1845-1885, ID: CR 100 317, p. 2. Salt Lake City: Church History Library.
  35. ^ Genesis 9:20–27
  36. ^ a b Harris, Matthew L. (Fall 2022). "Joseph Fielding Smith's Evolving Views on Race: The Odyssey of a Mormon Apostle-President". Dialogue. University of Illinois. 55 (3): 1–41. doi:10.5406/15549399.55.3.01. S2CID 253368389.
  37. ^ a b Perry Mueller, Max (2017). Race and the Making of the Mormon People. University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 978-1-469-63376-3 – via Google Books.
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  41. ^ a b Balmer, Randall; Riess, Jana (December 8, 2015). Mormonism and American Politics. Columbia University Press. p. 168. ISBN 9780231540896 – via Google Books.
  42. ^ a b Reynolds, George (November 15, 1868). "Man and His Varieties: Food-Habits-Religion, Etc". Juvenile Instructor. 3 (22): 173 – via Internet Archive. For the day will come ... when all men will lose their extravagances of character and appearance, and become 'a white and delightsome people' physically as well as morally. When they will be as God first made Adam 'in his own image' and 'very good.'
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  45. ^ Clervaud, Fraendy (April 2022). Debunking the Curse of Ham and its Generational Impact on the Black Race (Thesis). Liberty University. p. 54. Archived from the original on December 7, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  46. ^ Andersen, Emily (July 21, 2020). "The color of Christ: How has art affected racism in the Church?". Daily Universe. Brigham Young University.
  47. ^ a b "The National Conference and the Reports of the State Advisory Committees to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights". United States Government Publishing Office. 1959. pp. 379–380 – via Google Books. The Mormon interpretation attributes birth into any race other than the white race as a result of inferior performance in a pre-earth life and teaches that by righteous living, the dark-skinned races may again become 'white and delightsome.' This doctrine is mentioned in passing by way of explaining certain attitudes evident in specific fields of investigation.
  48. ^ Buerger, David John (Spring 2001). "The Development of the Mormon Temple Endowment Ceremony" (PDF). Dialogue. 34 (1): 113. doi:10.2307/45226771. JSTOR 45226771. S2CID 254298998. [In the] endowment procedures in the temple, several phrases used in ceremony film scripts were subsequently dubbed out in the mid-1970s. ... For example the preacher's reference to Satan having black skin was omitted in recent years ... another omission from the late 1960s ....
  49. ^ a b Horowitz, Jason (February 28, 2012). "The Genesis of a church's stand on race". Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  50. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (May 10, 2015). "This Mormon Sunday school teacher was dismissed for using church's own race essay in lesson". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2023 – via Internet Archive.
  51. ^ Nichols, Jeffery D. (April 1995). "Slavery in Utah Involved Blacks, Whites, Indians, and Mexicans". The History Blazer. Utah State Historical Society. 1995 (April): 8–9. Retrieved April 17, 2023 – via University of Utah.
  52. ^ van Frank, Megan (November 5, 2010). "'Slavery of African-Americans in Early Utah,' Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive". Utah Humanities. Retrieved April 17, 2023. Brigham Young declared slaveholding to be a practice ordained by God, but was not in favor of creating a slave-based economy in Utah
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  75. ^ Brooks, Joanna (May 2020). Mormonism and White Supremacy: American Religion and The Problem of Racial Innocence. New York City: Oxford University Press. pp. 121–123. ISBN 9780190081751 – via Google Books. Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and the White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now. ... We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency ... toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.
  76. ^ Bush, Lester E. Jr.; Mauss, Armand L., eds. (1984). Neither White Nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church. Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books. p. 89. Archived from the original on October 1, 2022 – via Internet Archive. No special effort has ever been made to proselyte among the Negro race, and social intercourse between [White people] and [Black people] should certainly not be encouraged because of leading to intermarriage, which the Lord has forbidden. This move which has now received some popular approval of trying to break down social barriers between [White people] and [Black people] is one that should not be encouraged because inevitably it means the mixing of the races if carried to its logical conclusion.
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  85. ^ Collier, Fred C. (1987). The Teachings of President Brigham Young Vol. 3 1852–1854. Colliers Publishing Co. p. 44. ISBN 0934964017 – via Google Books. Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain [i.e. Black people] it would not only bring the curse of being deprived of the power of the Priesthood upon them[selves] but they entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say [']cut off my head,['] and [one then] kill[ed the] man, woman and child, it would do a great deal towards atoning for the sin. Would this be to curse them? No, it would be a blessing to them—it would do them good, that they might be saved with their brethren. A many would shudder should they hear us talk about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, although the true principles of it are not understood.
  86. ^ Young, Brigham (1865). "The Persecutions of the Saints—Their Loyalty to the Constitution—The Mormon Battalion—The Laws of God Relative to the African Race" (PDF). Journal of Discourses. Vol. 10. p. 110 – via Brigham Young University. Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.
  87. ^ Schaeffer, Frank (January 12, 2009). "Perspectives on Marriage: Score 1 For Gay America — 0 To The Mormons". HuffPost.
  88. ^ Young, Brigham (1987), Collier, Fred C. (ed.), The Teachings of President Brigham Young: Vol. 3 1852–1854, Salt Lake City, Utah: Colliers Publishing Company, p. 44, ISBN 0-934964-01-7, OCLC 18192348 – via Google Books, let my seed mingle with the seed of Cain, and that brings the curse upon me and upon my generations; we will reap the same rewards with Cain. In the priesthood I will tell you what it will do. Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse of being deprived of the power of the priesthood upon themselves but they entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of it.
  89. ^ Anderson, Devery S. (2011). The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History. Salt Lake City: Signature Books. p. xlvi. ISBN 9781560852117 – via Google Books. The next year [1966], President McKay addressed a similar issue regarding a [White] woman who had been to the temple and subsequently married a Black man. The woman was told by her local Church leader 'that no further Temple visits would be allowed her, and that[,] because of her marriage to a Negro[,] her Temple endowments are ineffective.' McKay overruled the invalidation of her endowments but did prevent her from visiting the temple again.
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  92. ^ Park, Benjamin (April 18, 2017). "Why its time for the Mormon Church to revisit its diverse past". The Conversation. Further, the faith has a long history of shunning interracial relationships. At points, some of its leaders even flirted with theories of eugenics, or the belief that they could help cultivate a pure race. Just until four years ago [2013], a youth manual informed young men that the Church 'recommend[s] that people marry those who are of the same racial background.'
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  99. ^ White, O. Kendall Jr. (March 1995). "Integrating Religious and Racial Identities: An Analysis of LDS African American Explanations of the Priesthood Ban". Review of Religious Research. 36 (3): 296–297. doi:10.2307/3511536. JSTOR 3511536 – via JSTOR. 'Celestial' or 'temple' marriage is a necessary condition for 'exaltation' ... Without the priesthood, Black men and women ... were denied complete exaltation, the ultimate goal of Mormonism.
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  106. ^ Riess, Jana (November 21, 2019). "Black Mormon Pioneer Jane Manning James Finally Gets Her Due". Religion News Service.
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  110. ^ "New policy occasions church comment". Times-News. Burlington, North Carolina. Associated Press. June 9, 1988 – via AP: Was the ban on ordaining [Black people] to the priesthood a matter of policy or doctrine? ... OAKS: I don't know that its possible to distinguish between policy and doctrine in a church that believes in continuing revelation and sustains its leader as a prophet. ... I'm not sure I could justify the difference in doctrine and policy in the fact that before 1978 a person could not hold the priesthood and after 1978 they could hold the priesthood. AP: Did you feel differently about the issue before the revelation was given? OAKS: I decided a long time ago, 1961 or 2, that there's no way to talk about it in terms of doctrine, or policy, practice, procedure. All of those words just lead you to reaffirm your prejudice, whichever it was.
  111. ^ Edmunds, Tressa (March 5, 2013). "Mormons can finally say 'we got it wrong' over black priest ban". The Guardian. It wasn't until 1978 that black men were again allowed to receive the priesthood and black women were allowed to attend the temple. Most members were unaware that there was ever a time when black people were allowed equal participation in the gospel. ... In 1978 the prophet Spencer W Kimball announced the lifting of the priesthood ban and temple restriction....
  112. ^ Grover, Mark L. (Spring 1990). "The Mormon Priesthood Revelation and the São Paulo Brazil Temple" (PDF). Dialogue. 23 (1): 39–53. doi:10.2307/45225842. JSTOR 45225842. S2CID 254321222.
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  115. ^ Gurwell, Lance (June 1, 1988). "Critics Still Question 'Revelation' on Blacks". Chicago Tribune. Despite church claims that the change came from revelation, critics say the move was pure business, that the Mormons wanted to expand further into black Third World countries and would not be able to do so as long as blacks were discriminated against, and that the Mormon church, the fastest growing mainstream church in the U.S., stood to lose its tax-exempt status for discriminating against blacks.
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  118. ^ Adams, Stirling (2012). "The End of Bruce R. McConkie's "Mormon Doctrine"". The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal. John Whitmer Historical Association. 32 (2): 59–69. ISSN 0739-7852. JSTOR 43201315 – via JSTOR.
  119. ^ Ramirez, Margaret (July 26, 2005). "Mormon past steeped in racism". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022 – via Internet Archive. Discredited doctrines about why some people are black have continued to circulate among Mormon whites in various places, despite the fact that no church leaders have taught such things for at least a whole generation,' [Armand] Mauss said. 'Old dogmas die hard.' Asked why leaders have not formally repudiated the teachings, spokeswoman Kim Farah referred to a statement made by Hinckley in 1998: 'The 1978 revelation continues to speak for itself. ... I don't see anything further that we need to do.'
  120. ^ Green-Miner, Brittany; Kennedy, Gene (February 29, 2012). "BYU prof draws criticism over comments on blacks and LDS church". KSTU. E. W. Scripps Company.
  121. ^ Cranney, Stephen (2019). "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church". BYU Studies Quarterly. Brigham Young University. 58 (2): 177. Enter the Next Mormons Survey. Riess and Knoll are to be commended for their landmark survey and study that fill the need for a large, representative Latter-day Saint sample.
  122. ^ Riess, Jana (June 11, 2018). "Commentary: Most Mormons still believe the racist priesthood/temple ban was God's will, survey shows". Salt Lake Tribune. The 2016 Next Mormons Survey asked whether respondents felt that the ban on members of African descent was 'inspired of God and was God's will for the church until 1978.' Respondents were given a five-point scale of possible responses, with the upshot being that nearly two-thirds of self-identified Latter-day Saints say they either know (37 percent) or believe (25.5 percent) that the ban was God's will.
  123. ^ Riess, Jana (2019). The Next Mormons: How Millennials are Changing the LDS Church. New York City: Oxford University Press. p. 121. ISBN 9780190938277.
  124. ^ a b Riess, Jana (June 11, 2018). "Forty years on, most Mormons still believe the racist temple ban was God's will". Religion News Service. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  125. ^ Kemsley, Tamarra (February 20, 2022). "'A product of his culture' — Why there may be more 'Brad Wilcoxes' in LDS circles". Salt Lake Tribune. ProQuest 2630768252. Archived from the original on February 22, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  126. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (February 8, 2022). "LDS leader Brad Wilcox apologizes for remarks about Black members; BYU 'deeply concerned'". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on February 23, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  127. ^ "LDS Church leader apologizes after making controversial statement in youth meeting". KTVX. February 8, 2022. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  128. ^ Riess, Jana (February 16, 2022). "Jana Riess: LDS leader Brad Wilcox's apology for racist remarks does not go far enough". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on February 19, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  129. ^ Chow, Vivian. "More videos released of a LDS Church leader making controversial race statements". KTVX. Nexstar Media Group.
  130. ^ Graves, Lincoln (February 10, 2022). "'Mormon Studies' professors weigh in on Brad Wilcox remarks". KUTV. Sinclair Broadcast Group. CBS. Archived from the original on February 11, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
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  133. ^ Mauss, Armand L. (October 1966). "Mormonism and Secular Attitudes toward Negroes". The Pacific Sociological Review. Pacific Sociological Association. 9 (2): 91–99. doi:10.2307/1388243. JSTOR 1388243. S2CID 158067784.
  134. ^ Wilson, William A.; Poulsen, Richard C. (November–December 1980). "The Curse of Cain and Other Stories: Blacks in Mormon Folklore" (PDF). Sunstone. 5 (6). Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  135. ^ The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball. Bookcraft. 1982. p. 237. ISBN 9780884944720 – via Google Books. Intolerance by church members is despicable. A special problem exists with respect to Black people because they may not now receive the priesthood. Some members of the Church would justify their own un-Christian discrimination against [Black people] because of that rule with respect to the priesthood, but while this restriction has been imposed by the Lord, it is not for us to add burdens upon the shoulders of our black brethren.
  136. ^ Wilcox, Lauren (May 13, 2007). "The Saints Go Marching In". Washington Post.
  137. ^ a b Gaffey, Connor (August 17, 2017). "How a Charlottesville Speaker Forced the Mormon Church to Condemn 'Sinful' White Supremacists". Newsweek.
  138. ^ a b Graham, Ruth (August 18, 2017). "The Mormon Church Condemned White Supremacists, and This Mormon White Supremacist Mom Is Very Mad About It". Slate. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  139. ^ Syphers, Grant (Winter 1967). "Letters to the Editor" (PDF). Dialogue. 2 (4): 6. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  140. ^ Udall, Stewart (Summer 1967). "Letters to the Editor" (PDF). Dialogue. 2 (2): 5–6. doi:10.1126/science.186.4162.393-a. PMID 17737112. [This race policy issue] must be resolved because we are wrong and it is past time that we should have seen the right. ... My fear is that the very character of Mormonism is being distorted and crippled by adherence to a belief and practice that denies the oneness of mankind. We violate the rights and dignity of our Negro brothers, and for this we bear a measure of guilt; but surely we harm ourselves even more. What a sad irony it is that a once outcast people, tempered for nearly a century in the fires of persecution, are one of the last to remove a burden from the most persecuted people ever to live on this continent. ... By comparison, the restriction now imposed on Negro fellowship is a social and institutional practice having no real sanction in essential Mormon thought. It is clearly contradictory to our most cherished spiritual and moral ideals.
  141. ^ Wallace, Turner (May 26, 1967). "Mormons Urged to Face Negro Issue". Edwardsville Intelligencer. Edwardsville, Illinois. The New York Times. p. 12. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017 – via
  142. ^ Peterson, F. Ross (Spring 1999). "'Do Not Lecture The Brethren': Stewart L. Udall's Pro-Civil Rights Stance, 1967". Journal of Mormon History. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 25 (1): 272–287. JSTOR 23287745 – via Internet Archive.
  143. ^ Musser, Donald W.; Paulsen, David L. (2007). Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press. ISBN 978-0-88146-083-4 – via Internet Archive.
  144. ^ Smith, Darron (March 2003). "The Persistence of Racialized Discourse in Mormonism" (PDF). Sunstone.
  145. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (June 20, 2016). "All is not well in Zion on the race front, Black Mormon tells historians". Salt Lake Tribune. Archived from the original on August 21, 2022. Retrieved April 17, 2023 – via Internet Archive.
  146. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (January 18, 2020). "Error in printed LDS Church manual could revive racial criticisms". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  147. ^ a b Fletcher Stack, Peggy. "LDS Church and NAACP becoming closer allies, apostle says during MLK Day speech". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved April 17, 2023.
  148. ^ a b Steele, Michalyn (January 22, 2020). "Native American law professor discusses the 'curse' and how to view troubling scripture". Salt Lake Tribune.
  149. ^ "President Nelson joins leaders of the NAACP in condemning racism and calling for increased love and understanding". The Jefferson Star. Post Register. June 24, 2020.
  150. ^ Harris, Hamil R. (February 17, 2012). "Mindful of history, Mormon Church reaches out to minorities". Washington Post. Retrieved April 17, 2023. a period of more than 120 years during which Black men were essentially barred from the priesthood and few Americans of color were active in the faith.
  151. ^ McConkie, Bruce R. (1966). "Negroes". Mormon Doctrine (1971 7th Printing ed.). Deseret Book. p. 527 – via Internet Archive. Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation from the Almighty. The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them, although sometimes negroes search out the truth, join the church, and become by righteous living heirs of the celestial kingdom.
  152. ^ Ostling, Richard N. and Joan K. (1999). Mormon America: The Power and the Promise. New York City: HarperCollins. p. 95. ISBN 978-0061432958. Retrieved April 17, 2023 – via Internet Archive.
  153. ^ Mauss, Armand L. (October 1, 1981). "The Fading of the Pharaohs' Curse: The Decline and Fall of the Priesthood Ban Against Blacks in the Mormon Church" (PDF). Dialogue. 14 (3): 25. doi:10.2307/45224996. JSTOR 45224996. S2CID 254400430.
  154. ^ Grover, Mark. "Religious Accommodation in the Land of Racial Democracy: Mormon Priesthood and Black Brazilians" (PDF). Dialogue. Retrieved April 17, 2023. If at any point during the teaching process the missionaries had questions or found evidence indicating probable black lineage, they discouraged the person from continuing his or her investigation.
  155. ^ "Lineage lesson, 1970 December" (December 1970). Brazil North Mission (1970-1974), pp. 1–8. Salt Lake City: Church History Library. Retrieved 17 April 2023. An example of these missionary "lineage lessons" (in Portuguese) can be viewed at the Church History Library website here [1] with a document translation found here [2] and here [3]
  156. ^ Fletcher Stack, Peggy (June 20, 2016). "Mormonism is growing in Africa, but is its rise 'exponential'?". Salt Lake Tribune.
  157. ^ Smith, Devyn M. (December 1, 2005). "The Diverse Sheep of Israel: Should the Shepherds Resemble Their Flocks?". Dialogue. Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press. 38 (4): 64. doi:10.2307/45227340. JSTOR 45227340. S2CID 254352025 – via Scholarly Publishing Collective.
  158. ^ Deseret News 1999-2000 Church Almanac. Salt Lake City: Deseret News. 2000. p. 119. ISBN 9781573454919 – via Google Books.
  159. ^ Perry Mueller, Max (March 2, 2012). "Is Mormonism Still Racist". Slate.
  160. ^ "African Americans and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints". 2019.
  161. ^ "Black Mormons Assess Church's Racial Progress". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 10, 2015. [S]cholars say blacks make up a small portion of the 15 million members worldwide. ... About 3 percent of Mormons in the United States are African-American, the Pew Research Center estimated in 2009. About 5 percent of all worldwide members [750,000] are of African descent, said Matt Martinich, a church member who analyzes membership numbers with the nonprofit Cumorah Foundation.
  162. ^ Reeve, W. Paul (August 23, 2019). "Century of Black Mormons A Preliminary Interpretation of the Data". Current Research in Digital History. George Mason University. 2. doi:10.31835/crdh.2019.03. S2CID 202353551. Dr. Jacob Rugh at Brigham Young University estimates that in 2018 there were one million black Latter-day Saints globally.
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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • – Independent (not church-owned or operated) site maintained by some church members.
  • Genesis Group – Church-affiliated organization for serving needs of Black Latter-day Saints.
  • Race and the Priesthood – 2013 statement by the LDS Church renouncing previous teachings and stating the Church's current stances.