Blacks and the LDS Priesthood

the other thread went off topic regarding THIS topic, so I put it on its own thread. One LDS Member wanted people to ask him privately about so as not to have us correct the whitewashed version.

Here are some facts in the following posts…

essentially, Joseph claimed (and so did the Book of Mormon till it was clear it would never happen) that blacks would become white.if they accepted the Book of Mormon. It never happened.

And how did LDs leaders feel about blacks?

Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805 – 1844):

“I do not believe that the people of the North have any more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say the North shall… the first mention we have of slavery is found in the Holy Bible… And so far from that prediction being averse to the mind of God, it [slavery] 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.”

  • Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v. 2, p. 438;

“Thirteenth – ‘Are the Mormons abolitionists?’ No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free.”

  • Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., History of the Church, v.3, p. 29;

Prophet Brigham Young (1801-1877):

“When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the priesthood and of coming into the Kingdom of God and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 2, pp. 142-143;

“You must not think, from what I say, that I am opposed to slavery. No! The negro is damned, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, New York Herald, May 4, 1855, as cited in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1973, p. 56

“The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction, - we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Brigham Young Addresses, Feb. 5, 1852, LDS historical department;

“Cain slew his brother… and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and tehn another curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they should be the ‘servant of servants,’ and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 7, pp. 290-291;
    “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a sin 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. The volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence, and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they receive the blessings of life; if they chose death, they must abide the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 272;

“I am as much opposed to the principle of slavery as any man in the present acceptation or usage of the term, it is abused. I am opposed to abuseing [sic] that which God has decreed, to take a blessing, and make a curse of it. It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain for servants… Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on the earth; we will sommons [sic] the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick [sic], and all the elders of Isreal [sic], suppose we summons them to apear [sic] here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be pertakers [sic] with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and the Kingdom of God leaves us to our fate.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Brigham Young Addresses, Feb. 5, 1852, LDS archives;


Prophet John Taylor (1808 - 1887):

“For instance, the descendants of Cain cannot cast off their skin of blackness, at once, and immediately, although every should of them should repent… Cain and his posterity must wear the mark which God put upon them; and his white friends may wash the race of Cain with fuller’s soap every day, they cannot wash away God’s mark.”

  • Prophet John Taylor, Millennial Star, v. 14, p. 418;

“And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God; and that man should be a free agent to act for himself, and that all men might have the opportunity of receiving or rejecting the truth, and be governed by it or not according to their wishes and abide the result; and that those who would be able to associate with the Gods in the eternal worlds. It is the same eternal programme. God knew it and Adam knew it.”

  • Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, v. 22, p. 304;

Apostle Orson Hyde (1805-1878):

“We feel it to be our duty to define our position in relation to the subject of slavery. There are several men in the valley of the Salt Lake from the Southern States, who have their slaves with them.”

  • Apostle Orson Hyde, Millennial Star, 1851, p. 63

Apostle George F. Richards ( 1861 - 1950 ):

“The Negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a black skin. But that is as nothing compared with that greater handicap that he is not permitted to receive the Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple, necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fullness of glory in the celestial kingdom *.”

  • Apostle George F. Richards, Conference Report, April 1939, p. 58;

Prophet David O. McKay (1873 - 1970):

“I know of no scriptural basis for denying the Priesthood to Negroes other than one verse in the Book of Abraham (1:26); however, I believe, as you suggest that the real reason dates back to our pre-existent life.”

  • Prophet David O. McKay, as quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, Part 2, p. 19;

Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith (1876 - 1972):

“Not only was Cain called to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures… they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.”

  • Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p. 101, 1935;

“It is true that the negro race is barred from holding the Priesthood, and this has always been the case. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught this doctrine, and it was made known to him, although we know of no such statement in any revelation in the Doctrine and Covenants, Book of Mormon, or the Bible.”

  • Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, The Improvement Era, v. 27, p. 565;

“It is very clear that the mark which was set upon the descendants of Cain was a skin of blackness… It has been noticed in our day that men who have lost the spirit of the Lord, and from whom His blessings have been withdrawn, have turned dark to such an extent as to excite the comments of all who have known them.”

  • Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Juvenile Instructor, v. 26, p. 635;

“There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits.”

  • Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, pp. 65-66;

“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we come here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.”

  • Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61;

“It is not the authorities of the Church who have placed a restriction on him [the black man] regarding the holding of the Priesthood. It was not the Prophet Joseph Smith… It was the Lord!”

  • Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, quoted in John J. Stewart, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 154*

Because of LDS policy toward nonwhites,
“the late sixties found the Brigham Young University the focal point of militant protests. Sports events provided the context for protests, boycotts, disrupted games, mass demonstrations, and ‘riots.’ At one point the conflict among schools within the Western Athletic Conference became so intense that the conference almost disbanded. Administrators, already embroiled in student demonstrations over Vietnam, began to separate themselves from the Mormon school. Stanford University, for instance, severed all relations with Brigham Young University.”

  • O. Kendall White, Jr., and Daryl White, “Abandoning an Unpopular Policy: An Analysis of the Decision Granting the Mormon Priesthood to Blacks,” Sociological Analysis, v. 41, p. 233, Fall 1980

it was not until no one would schedule BYU in sports because the LDS position on blacks and suddenly God had a change of heart.

The rules changed.

But to REALLY understand the true LDS position, one has to look no further than what their prophets and apostles said.

Do NOT be misled.

We need to pray for our LDS brothers and sisters

Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them… Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned …

(Mormon Doctrine, 1958, p. 477).

And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

(Mark 16:15)

See the difference?

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

P.S.: When I was LDS, Mormon Doctrine was the equivalent of The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

When I was at BYU, living in an apartment with four returned missionaries, whenever a doctrinal dispute arose, someone would take Mormon Doctrine off the shelf and look up the appropriate passage, and that would end the debate. It was only long after I left the LDS (and the LDS Church had morphed its doctrine into something Joseph Smith would not have recognized) that they distanced themselves from Mormon Doctrine and Bruce R. McConkie.

There is another wrinkle to this story.

In the 1970’s the LDS Church was having good success in gaining converts in Brazil (the largest and most populous country in South America). But they found that nearly everyone in Brazil has at least a little bit of Black African ancestry. Since the LDS church’s doctrine on blacks said that even “one drop of negro blood” disqualified one from holding the priesthood, they found to their dismay that they could not organize branches and wards with local priesthood leaders, since none of the locals could hold the priesthood.

Since the LDS development model depends upon eventually replacing missionaries as leaders with local leaders, the progress of the LDS Church in Brazil and elsewhere in South America was threatened with complete frustration. This was also a major factor in the neccessity for a “revelation” to allow the LDS organization to keep adding new tithe-payers in mixed-race countries.

Since the 1978 “revelation” ending the ban on black priesthood, the LDS have also enjoyed some success in Africa. I can only believe that blacks who join the LDS are unaware of its racist roots.

To me it is like a Jew joining the Nazi party or an African- American joining the KKK.

Paul (formerly LDS, now happily Catholic)

Thank ya’'ll for the info. I will be tucking it away for future reference as needed.


Okay, reading that actually made me feel ill.

I felt the same way :stretcher: They are a weird cult thats for sure :bigyikes:

Having run into misconceptions and even slander of other faiths before, meaning no disrespect to TexanKnight, I thought it worth having a look for myself, and ran straight into this Mormon website, which corroborates what has been presented here.

no disrespect taken. I try very hard not to misrepresent the LDS faith. I have long maintained that some of my happiest years was as a Mormon. That was back when I was blissfully unaware of the true and older doctrines. It is my goal here to correct and onform when Mormons try to whitewash history. I want no one to be as misled as I was.

Thank you for that. It was something I do not think I had ever heard.

TexasKnight, my only question…you quote from the Book of Mormon in regrard to blacks…isn’t that passage in the BoM refering to the darkskin of Native Americans…“Lamanites” instead of people of African decent? I think to be fair, the Book of Mormon isn’t addressing the skin color of African decent, but that due to the evil of the Lamanites, God cursed them with darkened skin. Is that not true?

Not if you take it into context with quotes from leaders.

Just my take on it. But the Lamanites received the same “Mark of Cain” as those of African Decent

That’s a very useful website, thanks.

I do not believe that there was any connection between BYU sports and the 1978 lifting of the ban on blacks holding the priesthood. It does bother me though, if there is a backtracking on the part of the Mormon church regarding the reason for the ban in the first place. I was studying with stake missionaries prior to the revelation given to Spencer Kimball, though I was not baptized into the LDS church til a bit later. However, the reasons then given for the ban seemed rational and in keeping with Mormon teaching on the pre-mortal existence. What I was taught is basically what the excerpt below states, and I was also told that at some point in time the ban would be lifted.

1958: Bruce R. McConkie writes in Mormon Doctrine, 10th printing, pages 527-528:
“Those who were less valiant in the pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel being a black skin… Noah’s son Ham married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the negro lineage through the flood…The negroes are not equal with other races when the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man’s origin. It is the Lord’s doing, based on His eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.”

Another thing that struck me at the time was that, though detractors told me Mormons were racially biased, in the heart of downtown, with a fairly large percentage of black residents, the city’s larger Protestant churches seemed to have no black members. When I asked about it, I was told that it was because blacks were more comfortable worshipping in their own churches in a style with more noise and movement, yet the small Mormon ward I visited in the suburbs had several black families as members, and this was before blacks could hold the priesthood. Not that I’m casting aspersions against some of the Protestant churches I visited during that time, but it did make me wonder which churches were truly prejudiced.

I understand, but to be fair, the leaders took that passage out of context themselves…a “proof text”…the Book of Mormon makes no reference to those of African decent…the “dark skin” it speaks of in context with the Book of Mormon story is in regards to the Lamanites…not Africans…correct?

I can see that is certainly your take.

I have to stick what LDS Prophets said.

You’ll stick with the out of context quote from from the Book of Mormon by the LDS Prophets instead of admit that the in context verse from the Book of Mormon has nothing to do with African decent? Interesting.

If that is how you wish to take it. I find THAT interesting. I am simply saying that I beliedve the LDS prophets, including Joseph, know more about what it all stood for than, say, YOU.

I guess it is silly for me to think that the guy who wrote the book plus those who succeeded him would know moe than a quaker about the meanings. Sorry.

Especially when the Book of Mormon itself makes the claim it was the Lamanites who were cursed with dark skin…not people of African decent.:slight_smile: LDS apologetic writings often take biblical verses out of context to prove a doctrinal point…and are “called” on it…but when a verse is taken out of context from the Book of Mormon by an LDS leader, it’s “ok” because it just happens to support a very negative and sad part of LDS belief and history…

Alma 3:6 “And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion.”

Alma 3:9 “whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed.”

Alma 3:14 (Lamanites cursed) “set a mark on them that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed. . . .”

Alma 23:18 “[Lamanites] did open a correspondence with them [Nephites] and the curse of God did no more follow them.”

1 Nephi 12:23 (prophecy of the Lamanites) " became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations."

Seems to me Lamanites were cursed in the BoM…but hey…far be it from me to question texts removed from context to prove a point…whether by LDS leadership or an ex-Mormon:shrug:

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