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Thu, 06.08.1978

The Mormon Church Allows Blacks Priesthood

On this date in 1978, the Mormon Church announced that Blacks would be allowed to hold the priesthood.

The First Presidency of the Church of Latter-Day Saints said that a new revelation had been given: "We have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the upper room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance. He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color."

The Church of Latter-Day Saints has a history of racism against African Americans.  In 1966, Bruce R. McConkie then an Apostle in the Mormon Church, made these remarks concerning Blacks in his book Mormon Doctrine: "Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abra. 1:20-27.) 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, 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 and is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate."

For 12 more years, the Mormon Church continued to cling to a policy of discrimination. Church leaders claimed that the doctrine could only be changed by revelation from God.

Reference: Los Angeles Times for August 27, 1967



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