AR15.Com Archives
 Blacks not in the Mormon Church
Chromekilla  [Member]
5/19/2009 11:40:51 PM
Is it true that Blacks weren't allowed into the Mormon Church until the 1970s. I've heard all blacks and just no blacks in the leadership? Anyone please clarify?
Drsalee  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 11:42:20 PM
dunno
fatboy79  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 11:43:07 PM
No, they could be members they just could not hold the priesthood.
arty6pd  [Team Member]
5/19/2009 11:53:47 PM
Originally Posted By Chromekilla:
Is it true that Blacks weren't allowed into the Mormon Church until the 1970s. I've heard all blacks and just no blacks in the leadership? Anyone please clarify?


Well, I personally knew a black guy who was a Mormon in 1962............

He made dam sure everyone knew it too. A helluva nice guy.
Chromekilla  [Member]
5/20/2009 12:58:20 AM
Yeah, all the Mormons I know are really nice. Why is that exactly? Always happy, or atleast appear so from the ones I've met.
puskrat  [Life Member]
5/20/2009 12:59:52 AM
One of the problems the LDS have is their doctrine cements Africans as a less than desirable race. Like polygamy, the issue, it's origins, and whether or not the original Jos Smith, and Brigham Young type generation believed it, or what they believed, has been revised a vew times. I honestly don't know the root position or the reason for it, but it's a "moving target" for them to address.
FortyFiveAutomatic  [Team Member]
5/20/2009 1:02:20 AM
No trolling intended, but aren't black people considered by LDSs to be descendants of Lamanites who were sinners and miscreants?

Just going by what someone told me many, many years ago.
ziarifleman  [Team Member]
5/20/2009 1:05:03 AM
Originally Posted By puskrat:
One of the problems the LDS have is their doctrine cements Africans as a less than desirable race. Like polygamy, the issue, it's origins, and whether or not the original Jos Smith, and Brigham Young type generation believed it, or what they believed, has been revised a vew times. I honestly don't know the root position or the reason for it, but it's a "moving target" for them to address.


The folks in heaven who didn't take Jesus' side in his fight against his brother Satan were turned black as a punishment.
puskrat  [Life Member]
5/20/2009 3:29:26 AM
Now that you mention it, I defnitely remember the curse being mentioned, one of the "cursed be so and so" from the OT, as the basis. This is the first I heard it tying into the Satanic rebellion.
Road-kill  [Member]
5/29/2009 4:06:47 PM
Sons of Cain, rings a bell.
Was strange Pacfic Islanders were welcome, LOL, guess they were a different shade of black.
Fireguy3  [Team Member]
5/31/2009 10:46:13 PM
No, the ones who did not take God and Jesus side against Satan were cast out of heaven with Satan they did not ever get physical bodies let alone dark skin!!

The dark skin is from other wickedness!

Also, The Blacks are not descended from lamanites, SOME but not all,Native Americans are.

Up until 1977 there were alot of people who could not hold the priesthood of all races not just black.

In our church history you will find there several Free Black men who were members of our church, Slaves could not join because one of tenants of our faith is Self determination and free agency, which anybody in involuntary servitude did not have either and so could not practice the faith anyway, in fact they could not even be free to choose to join the church.

As for no black leadership allowed in our church, our church is very active in Africa and even has built temples there, in fact one of 70's(the pool which our Prophets and Apostles are chosen from) Has a Black South African member now.

Blacks are NOT denied any of the rights or privledges of mebership in our church that are available to other members.
ziarifleman  [Team Member]
5/31/2009 11:46:57 PM
What happened in 1977?
RangerStew  [Member]
6/4/2009 4:04:15 PM
Edited ~ medicmandan

Mocking another's religion is not tolerated in any forum on this site.
PennsylvaniaExpat  [Member]
6/10/2009 9:01:15 AM
Originally Posted By Road-kill:
Sons of Cain, rings a bell.

^This is what my LDS friends told me in high school.

Genesis 4:14-15, NIV:
13 Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."

15 But the LORD said to him, "Not so; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the LORD's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.

The LDS believed that God 'marked' Cain by turning his skin black. Therefore anyone of dark skin was a son of Cain. In 1977, the church reversed its racial policies, deciding that enough generations had passed to cleanse Cain's sin (though the mark apparently remains).

Disclaimer: like I said above, my source is a Mormon high school kid; I'm not exactly an authority on world religions.

Shane333  [Team Member]
6/10/2009 12:41:00 PM
A fascinating topic.

Blacks have always been able to become members of the LDS church. They haven't always been able to hold the priesthood.

Elijah Able was a black man baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back in 1832 (two years after the official organization of the Church). In 1836 he was ordained an Elder (an office in the priesthood) and soon after (the same year) was ordained a Seventy, serving proselyting missions in Ohio, New York, and Canada. His son, Enoch Able, was ordained to the priesthood office of elder in 1900, and Enoch Able's son, Elijah, was ordained a priest in 1934 and an elder in 1935. These were all black priesthood holders.

In the 1840's Walker Lewis and William McCary, both black men, were given the priesthood and ordained to the office of elder.

Yet there is no question that at an early time after the organization of the LDS Church a general ban was implemented regarding blacks and the priesthood. No contemporary first person accounts regarding the implementation of the ban or the reasons "why" has been found. Some have argued that the early church leaders did this because they were racist, but that would obviously be an over simplification considering examples like Elijah Able's, the fact that Joseph Smith ran for president of the USA on a decidedly anti-slavery platform in 1844, and the fact that a great deal of early LDS persecution was due to their abolitionist leanings and the fact that other local populations feared the political influence of the church members who tended to vote as a block.

On the other hand various early church leaders did express an opinion that African blacks may have been descendents of Canaanites as a possible explanation.

At the end of the day, though, the answer as to the "why" is essentially "we don't know."

When President Spencer W. Kimball became the President and Prophet of the Church he held a press conference and was asked about the matter of blacks and the priesthood. He responded, "[I have given it] a great deal of thought, a great deal of prayer. The day might come when they would be given the priesthood, but that day has not come yet. Should the day come it will be a matter of revelation. Before changing any important policy, it has to be through a revelation from the Lord."

In a letter to his son, Kimball remarked, "...I have wished the Lord had given us a little more clarity in the matter. But for me, it is enough...I know the Lord could change His policy and release the ban and forgive the possible error (?) which brought about the deprivation. If the time comes, that He will do, I am sure."

Then in 1978 the answer was given:
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/od/2
sterling18  [Team Member]
6/13/2009 2:24:16 PM

Originally Posted By Shane333:
A fascinating topic.

Blacks have always been able to become members of the LDS church. They haven't always been able to hold the priesthood.

Elijah Able was a black man baptised into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints back in 1832 (two years after the official organization of the Church). In 1836 he was ordained an Elder (an office in the priesthood) and soon after (the same year) was ordained a Seventy, serving proselyting missions in Ohio, New York, and Canada. His son, Enoch Able, was ordained to the priesthood office of elder in 1900, and Enoch Able's son, Elijah, was ordained a priest in 1934 and an elder in 1935. These were all black priesthood holders.

In the 1840's Walker Lewis and William McCary, both black men, were given the priesthood and ordained to the office of elder.

Yet there is no question that at an early time after the organization of the LDS Church a general ban was implemented regarding blacks and the priesthood. No contemporary first person accounts regarding the implementation of the ban or the reasons "why" has been found. Some have argued that the early church leaders did this because they were racist, but that would obviously be an over simplification considering examples like Elijah Able's, the fact that Joseph Smith ran for president of the USA on a decidedly anti-slavery platform in 1844, and the fact that a great deal of early LDS persecution was due to their abolitionist leanings and the fact that other local populations feared the political influence of the church members who tended to vote as a block.

On the other hand various early church leaders did express an opinion that African blacks may have been descendents of Canaanites as a possible explanation.

At the end of the day, though, the answer as to the "why" is essentially "we don't know."

When President Spencer W. Kimball became the President and Prophet of the Church he held a press conference and was asked about the matter of blacks and the priesthood. He responded, "[I have given it] a great deal of thought, a great deal of prayer. The day might come when they would be given the priesthood, but that day has not come yet. Should the day come it will be a matter of revelation. Before changing any important policy, it has to be through a revelation from the Lord."

In a letter to his son, Kimball remarked, "...I have wished the Lord had given us a little more clarity in the matter. But for me, it is enough...I know the Lord could change His policy and release the ban and forgive the possible error (?) which brought about the deprivation. If the time comes, that He will do, I am sure."

Then in 1978 the answer was given:
http://scriptures.lds.org/en/od/2

since when did you start trolling the history forum?
Shane333  [Team Member]
6/13/2009 7:32:24 PM
Originally Posted By sterling18:


since when did you start trolling the history forum?


When it got so darn interesting.
ZombieHuntClub  [Member]
8/28/2009 2:06:25 AM
This this kinda goes back to the stuff that has had to be pushed into the dark corners. Want to read a good book on Mormons - read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. Seems uncle Joseph thought the blacks were cursed (see Old Testament, Noah's son cursed). So no blacks until they figured out that they couldnt grow and couldnt be missionaries on a whole continent unless they got around that bit of a sticky wicket.
Shane333  [Team Member]
8/28/2009 12:02:27 PM
Originally Posted By ZombieHuntClub:
This this kinda goes back to the stuff that has had to be pushed into the dark corners. Want to read a good book on Mormons - read Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. Seems uncle Joseph thought the blacks were cursed (see Old Testament, Noah's son cursed). So no blacks until they figured out that they couldnt grow and couldnt be missionaries on a whole continent unless they got around that bit of a sticky wicket.


Only problem is that Under the Banner of Heaven is a work of fiction. It becomes evident very quickly that Krakauer isn't a historian.

Some examples of his fiction in Under the Banner of Heaven:

1. In the 1826 trail of Joseph Smith, Krakauer incorrectly portrays the trial as coming about because of a disgruntled employer of Joseph Smith. The irony of Krakauer's mistaken claims is that in real life the employer, Josiah Stowell, not only didn't file any claim against Joseph Smith, but actually testified in favor of Joseph Smith's character. Joseph Smith was found innocent.

2. Krakauer suggests duplicity on the part of Brigham Young in the case of the massacre at Mountain Meadows. Young had sent a letter to the church members at Cedar City telling them to leave the people in the wagon train alone, but the letter arrived too late. Krakauer suggested that the contents of the letter were in doubt and that all documentation of the matter had disappeared (suggesting that the letter didnt' exist or if it did that it contained a message different than the Church has maintained all along). To make this claim Krakauer ignored the fact that a letterpress copy of the original letter was made immediately when it was written and the letterpress copy has always showed exactly what Young had written.

3. Krakauer was inclined to take names of people and assign them positions they didn't have. For example, Krakauer refers to the LDS apostle Mark E Petersen as the "LDS President" when Petersen wasn't the president of the church.

4. Krakauer indicates that Porter Rockwell attempted to assassinate former governor Boggs of Missouri, and goes on to say that none of the LDS were brought to justice for the attempt. What Krakauer deliberately ignores was the fact that Rockwell was arested, chained, and then imprisoned for several months until he was almost wasted away, but found innocent in regards to the charges pertaining to the attempted assassination. In fact, he was held like that despite the fact that the grand jury refused to even bring an indictment against Rockwell. In short, despite being innocent, Rockwell was made to suffer considerably for a crime he never commited. History was almost the exact opposite of what Krakauer suggested in his book. It is an example of historic persecution of the LDS, not of any guilt on the part of the LDS.

5. Krakauer says that in 1831 Eli Johnson got a mob together to attack Joseph Smith for an inappropriate relationship with Eli's sister, Miranda. The problem with this claim of Krakauer's is that Miranda had no brother named Eli. So here Krakauer is making up fictitious persons to portray what he claims to be historical events.

So citing Under the Banner of Heaven as a source of any historical accuracy is not a good idea. It is historical fiction, and should be understood as such.