Mormonism and racial issues/Blacks and the priesthood/Lifting the ban
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Blacks and the priesthood:
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Critics claim that the Church has never produced a copy of the revelation granting Blacks the ability to receive the priesthood.
Lifting the ban
Notes on the revelatory process
Revelation is a process which generally follows a model in which "man inquires and then God inspires." In other words, mortals must generally seek guidance before they receive inspiration. God will generally not provide answers to questions which have yet to be asked.
Furthermore, if we are unable to receive and implement an answer regarding a given issue, due to personal limitations or circumstances which would prevent obedience, God will generally refrain from communicating with us about it. This is not due to any limitation or lack of desire on his part, but due to mortal limitations.
God rarely—if ever—uses his prophets as "teletype machines" who mindlessly transmit God's will word for word—he requires his prophets to inquire with some thought as to potential answers (DC 9:7-9). After they seek confirmation, the Lord can gently correct or confirm. A striking Biblical example of this principle comes from King David: He announced to Nathan, the prophet, that he wished to build a temple. Nathan thought this a grand idea, and replied "Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee." However, despite Nathan's sincere belief that God concurred with David's plan, he later received a revelation which contravened his initial enthusiasm. (See 2 Samuel 7:2-17.) God corrected his prophet and enhanced his imperfect understanding of the divine will.
Viewing revelation as a process often requiring patient preparation helps us understand why the priesthood ban wasn't lifted sooner. Lester Bush points out "three principle factors," while allowing for others, that created obstacles: "...the authority of decades of vigorous and unwavering First Presidency endorsement of the policy; a preconceived and highly literalistic reading of several verses in the Pearl of Great Price; and an ambient culture which was indifferent to, if not supportive of, Mormon attitudes toward blacks."
Social and cultural obstacles
Sometimes critics from other Christian faiths excuse beliefs and behaviors in their denominations' pasts, while suggesting a much higher standard should have been met by a community led by revelation. This criticism seems to ignore dynamics manifest in Biblical times in which inspired leaders such as Moses and Paul accepted slavery as part of the cultural norm and even promoted regulations for it (Exodus 21:20-27; Leviticus 25:44-46; Deuteronomy 23:15-16; Ephesians 6:5-9; Philemon 1:8-12; 1 Timothy 6:1; Titus 2:9). While what these leaders faced is not perfectly parallel to those in modern times, these prophets did not receive more socially progressive revelation than modern readers would have expected. It is clear that sometimes less than ideal practices were permitted and upheld because of the "hardness of [Moses's followers'] hearts [Mark 10:5]."
Biblical history is replete with examples of the difficulty of gaining widespread conformity even after a paradigm-shifting revelation has been received. The New Testament apostles debated over how best to transition from preaching the Gospel only to the Jews to accommodating Gentile converts (Acts 15). Despite numerous miraculous manifestations to motivate them, the Israelites had to wander 40 years (Deuteronomy 8:2) to weed out idolatrous beliefs keeping them from inheriting a promised land. Mormon history also has its examples of this type, including the length of time it took the general membership to come into full compliance with the Word of Wisdom and the Manifesto. If a revelation ending the priesthood ban had been received earlier, the Saints might not have accepted it. (Elder Marion D. Hanks is reported to have said "For me it was never that blacks [were unqualified but that] the rest of us had to be brought to a condition of spiritual maturity...to meet the moment of change with grace and goodness.")
Circumstances which preceded the 1978 revelation
In 1954, after visiting the struggling South African mission, David O. McKay began to consider lifting the ban. In a conversation with Sterling McMurrin, he said, "It is a practice, not a doctrine, and the practice will some day be changed." This was a departure from a 1949 First Presidency statement defending the ban as doctrinal, indicating a shift in his opinion. Leonard Arrington reported that President McKay formed a special committee of the Twelve that "concluded there was no sound scriptural basis for the policy but that church membership was not prepared for its reversal." However, David O. McKay felt that only a revelation could end the ban. Sometime between 1968 and his death in 1970 he confided his prayerful attempts to church architect, Richard Jackson, "I’ve inquired of the Lord repeatedly. The last time I did it was late last night. I was told, with no discussion, not to bring the subject up with the Lord again; that the time will come, but it will not be my time, and to leave the subject alone.".
As McKay's health declined, his counselor, Hugh B. Brown, attempted to lift the ban as an administrative decision. However, it became even clearer that a century of precedent was difficult to reverse without a revelation, especially when some members and leaders—echoing George Q. Cannon—felt there might be a revelatory basis for the policy.
President McKay reportedly told Elder Marion D. Hanks that "he had pleaded and pleaded with the Lord, but had not had the answer he sought."
Harold B. Lee was inclined to reconfirm the ban, though Church Historian Leonard Arrington
- ...asserts that President Lee, shortly before his death, sought the Lord's will on the question of blacks and the priesthood during'three days and nights [of] fasting in the upper room of the temple,...but the only answer he received was "not yet." Arrington relied on an unidentified person close to President Lee, but President Lee's son-in-law and biographer found no record of such an incident and thought it doubtful.
Following Joseph Fielding Smith's death, President Lee did say, "For those who don't believe in modern revelation there is no adequate explanation. Those who do understand revelation stand by and wait until the Lord speaks....It's only a matter of time before the black achieves full status in the Church. We must believe in the justice of God. The black will achieve full status, we're just waiting for that time."
As the church expanded its missionary outreach and temple building programs, leaders continued to run into problems of black ancestry preventing the building of local leadership in certain areas, most notably Brazil. The prayerful attempts to obtain the will of God intensified. Finally in June 1978, a revelation that "every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood" was received and later canonized as Official Declaration 2.
Many witnesses described the 1978 revelation on the priesthood. Wrote the past LDS Church Historian:
- As a historian I sought to learn the particulars and record them in my private diary. The following account is based on dozens of interviews with persons who talked with church officials after the revelation was announced. Although members of the Twelve and the First Presidency with whom I sought interviews felt they should not elaborate on what happened, I learned details from family members and friends to whom they had made comments. . . .
- Those in attendance said that as [President Kimball] began his earnest prayer, they suddenly realized that it was not Kimball's prayer, but the Lord speaking through him. A revelation was being declared. Kimball himself realized that the words were not his but the Lord's. During that prayer some of the Twelve -- at least two who have said so publicly -- were transported into a celestial atmosphere, saw a divine presence and the figures of former presidents of the church (portraits of whom were hanging on the walls around them) smiling to indicate their approval and sanction. . . .
- At the end of the heavenly manifestation Kimball, weeping for joy, confronted the church members, many of them also sobbing, and asked if they sustained this heavenly instruction. Embracing, all nodded vigorously and jubilantly their sanction. There had been a startling and commanding revelation from God -- an ineffable experience.
- Two of the apostles present described the experience as a "day of Pentecost" similar to the one in the Kirtland Temple on April 6, 1836, the day of its dedication. They saw a heavenly personage and heard heavenly music. To the temple-clothed members, the gathering, incredible and without compare, was the greatest single event of their lives. Those I talked with wept as they spoke of it. All were certain they had witnessed a revelation from God.
Elder David B. Haight said of the same experience:
- I would hope someday that our great-grandson Mark and others of our posterity would have similar spiritual experiences and that they would feel the spiritual power and influence of this gospel. I hope that Mark and others will have opportunities such as I had when I was in the temple when President Spencer W. Kimball received the revelation regarding the priesthood. I was the junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve. I was there. I was there with the outpouring of the Spirit in that room so strong that none of us could speak afterwards. We just left quietly to go back to the office. No one could say anything because of the powerful outpouring of the heavenly spiritual experience.
- But just a few hours after the announcement was made to the press, I was assigned to attend a stake conference in Detroit, Michigan. When my plane landed in Chicago, I noticed an edition of the Chicago Tribune on the newsstand. The headline in the paper said, "Mormons Give Blacks Priesthood." And the subheading said, "President Kimball Claims to Have Received a Revelation." I bought a copy of the newspaper. I stared at one word in that subheading: claims. It stood out to me just like it was in red neon. As I walked along the hallway to make my plane connection, I thought, Here I am now in Chicago walking through this busy airport, yet I was a witness to this revelation. I was there. I witnessed it. I felt that heavenly influence. I was part of it. Little did the editor of that newspaper realize the truth of that revelation when he wrote, "Claims to Have Received a Revelation." Little did he know, or the printer, or the man who put the ink on the press, or the one who delivered the newspaper -- little did any of them know that it was truly a revelation from God. Little did they know what I knew because I was a witness to it.
Testimonies regarding the revelation
We were all fasting and had just concluded a meeting of some three hours duration that was attended by nearly all the General Authorities. That meeting also was held in the room of the First Presidency and the Twelve in the holy temple.... After this meeting, which was one of great spiritual uplift and enlightenment, all of the brethren except those in the First Presidency and the Twelve were excused. When we were alone by ourselves in that sacred place where we meet weekly to wait upon the Lord, to seek guidance from his Spirit, and to transact the affairs of his earthly kingdom, President Kimball brought up the matter of the possible conferral of the priesthood upon those of all races. This was a subject that the group of us had discussed at length on numerous occasions in the preceding weeks and months. The President restated the problem involved, reminded us of our discussions, and said he had spent many days in this upper room pleading with the Lord for an answer to our prayers. He said that if the answer was to continue our present course of denying the priesthood to the seed of Cain, as the Lord had therefore directed, he was prepared to defend that decision to the death. But, he said, if the long sought day had come in which the curse of the past was to be removed, he thought we might prevail upon the Lord so to indicate. He expressed the hope that we might receive a clear answer one way or the other so the matter might be laid to rest. At this point President Kimball asked the brethren if any of them desired to express their feelings and views as to the matter in hand. We all did so, freely and fluently and at considerable length, each person stating his views and manifesting the feelings of his heart.... This session continued for somewhat more than two hours. Then President Kimball suggested that we united in formal prayer.... It was during this prayer that the revelation came. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon us all; we felt something akin to what happened on the day of Pentecost and at the Kirtland Temple. From the midst of eternity, the voice of God, conveyed by the power of the Spirit, speak to his prophet. The message was that the time had now come to offer the fulness of the everlasting gospel, including celestial marriage, and the priesthood, and the blessings of the temple, to all men, without reference to race or color, solely on the basis of personal worthiness. And we all heard the same voice, received the same message, and became personal witnesses that word received was the mind and will and voice of the Lord. President Kimball’s prayer was answered and our prayers were answered. He heard the voice and we heard the same voice. All doubt and uncertainty fled. He knew the answer and we knew the answer.... In the days that followed the receipt of the new revelation, President Kimball and President Ezra Taft Benson–the senior and most spiritually experienced ones among us both said, expressing the feelings of us all, that neither of them had ever experienced anything of such spiritual magnitude and power as was poured out upon the Presidency and the Twelve that day in the upper room in the house of the Lord. And of it I say: It is true; I was there; I heard the voice; and the Lord be praised that it has come to pass in our day (Bruce R. McConkie, “The New Revelation on Priesthood.” In Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981), 127-28.
The Lord in his providences poured out the Holy Ghost upon the First Presidency and the Twelve in a miraculous and marvelous manner, beyond anything that any then present had ever experienced. The revelation came to the President of the Church; it also came to each individual present.... The result was that President Kimball knew, and each one of us knew, independent of any other person, by direct and personal revelation to us, that the time had now come to extend the Gospel and all its blessings and all its obligations, including the priesthood and the blessings of the house of the Lord, to those of every nation, culture, and race. There was no question whatsoever as to what happened or as to the word and message that came (Bruce R. McConkie, “All Are Alike Unto God,” 4).
All of us then present in the Holy Temple on that blessed occasion became living witnesses of the reality of the revealed word that then came to the one appointed to receive revelation for the Church and for the world. Each of us received a confirming witness in our souls–The Holy Spirit of God speaking to the spirits within us–so that we can and do testify to the world that the revelation came and that it is the mind and will and voice of the Lord (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 243).
There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his Brethren. The Spirit of God was there. And by the power of the Holy Ghost there came to that prophet an assurance that the thing for which he prayed was right, that the time had come, and that now the wondrous blessings of the priesthood should be extended to worthy men everywhere regardless of lineage. Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the same thing. It was a quiet sublime occasion. There was not the sound `as of a rushing mighty wind,’ there were not `cloven tongues like as of fire’ (Acts 2:2-3) as there had been on the Day of Pentecost. But there was a Pentecostal spirit, for the Holy Ghost was there. No voice audible to our physical ears was heard. But The voice of the Spirit whispered with a certainty into our minds and our very soul. It was for us, at least for me personally, as I imagine it was with Enos, who said concerning his remarkable experience, `And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind’ (Enos 1:10). So it was on that memorable June 1, 1978. We left that meeting subdued and reverent and joyful. Not one of us who was present on that occasion was ever quite the same after that. Nor has the Church been quite the same. All of us knew that the time had come for a change and that the decision had come from the heavens. The answer was clear. There was perfect unity among us in our experience and in our understanding (Gordon B. Hinkley, “Priesthood Restoration” Ensign (October 1988): 70).
I was in that circle in that sacred room when President Spencer W. Kimball on a June day in 1978 pleaded with the Lord for direction on a matter fraught with tremendous consequences. It concerned the eligibility of all worthy men to receive the priesthood. I can testify now, as I have testified before, that the spirit of revelation was felt on that occasion, and that the fruits which have flowed from that revelation have been sweet and wonderful for great numbers of people across the world (Gordon B. Hinkley, “The Salt Lake Temple” Ensign 23/3 [March 1993]: 6).
Each Thursday, when we are at home, the First Presidency and the twelve meet in the temple, in those sacred hallowed precincts, and we pray together and discuss certain matters together, and the spirit of revelation comes upon those present. I know. I have seen it. I was there that June day in 1978 when President Kimball received revelation, surrounded by members of the Twelve of whom I was one at the time. This is the work of God. This is his almighty work. No man can stop or hinder it. It will go on and continue to grow and bless the lives of people across the earth (Gordon B. Hinkley, Ketchikan Alaska Fireside, June 22, 1995, in Teachings of Gordon B. Hinkley, 555).
I was in the temple when President Spencer W. Kimball received the revelation regarding the priesthood. I was the junior member of the Quorum of the Twelve. I was there. I was there with the outpouring of the Spirit in that room so strong that none of us could speak afterward. We just left quietly to go back to office. No one could say anything because of the powerful outpouring of the heavenly spiritual experience. Just a few hours after the announcement was made to the press, I was assigned to attend a stake conference in Detroit, Michigan. When my plane landed in Chicago, I noticed an edition of the Chicago Tribune on the newsstand. The headline in the paper said, `Mormons Give Blacks Priesthood.’ And the subheading said, “President Kimball Claims to Have Received a Revelation.” I bought a copy of the newspaper. I stared at one word in that subheading–claims. It stood out to me just like it was in red neon. As I walked along the hallway to make my pane connection, I thought, Here I am now in Chicago walking through this busy airport, yet I was a witness to this revelation. I was there. I witnessed it. I felt that heavenly influence. I was part of it. Little did the editor of that newspaper realize the truth of that revelation when he wrote`... Claims to have Received a Revelation.’ Little did he know, or the printer, or the man who put ink on the press, or the one who delivered the newspaper–little did any of them know that it was truly a revelation from God. Little did they know what I knew because I was a witness to it (David B. Haight, Conference Report, April 1996, 30-31).
This revelation and assurance came to me so clearly that there was no question about it (Gerry Avant, “Pres. Kimball says Revelation was Clear Church News January 6, 1979, 15).
We experienced the sweetest spirit of unity and conviction that I have ever experienced.... We took each other in our arms, we were so impressed with the sweet spirit that was in evidence. Our bosoms burned with the righteousness of the decision we had made. Thank God for the inspired leadership and the great and enduring principle of revelation (Sheri L. Dew, Ezra Taft Benson: A Biography. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987, 457).
Seldom, if ever, had there been greater unanimity in the council [He also referred to] the powerful witness of the Spirit last Thursday, and how this confirmed the divine origin of the revelation” (Cited in Eleanor Knowles, Howard W. Hunter. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1994, 235-36).
The Spirit of God was there.... Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the same thing.... The voice of the Spirit whispered with a certainty into our minds and our very souls.... We left that meeting subdued reverent and joyful. Not one of us who was present on that occasion was ever quite the same after that (Gordon B. Hinkley, “Priesthood Restoration” 70).
I can testify now, as I have testified before, that the spirit of revelation was felt on that occasion (Gordon B. Hinkley, “The Salt Lake Temple” 6).
The outpouring of the Spirit in that room [was] so strong that none of us could speak afterward.... No one could say anything because of the powerful outpouring of the heavenly spiritual experience.... I was there. I witnessed it. I felt that heavenly influence. I was part of it.... It was truly a revelation from God.... I was a witness to it (David B. Haight, Conference Report, April 1996, 31).
- [note] Lester E. Bush, Jr. and Armand L. Mauss, eds., Neither White Nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church, (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1984), 209–210. ISBN 0941214222. off-site
- [note] For a pre-Civil-Rights-movement Catholic perspective on this issue see the entry on "Philemon" in The Catholic Encyclopedia (1913). off-site and "Moral Aspect of Divine Law" off-site
- [note] Edward L. Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), 203. ISBN 1590384571 (CD version)
- [note] Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005),79–80. ISBN 0874808227.
- [note] Leonard J. Arrington, Adventures of a Church Historian (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press 1998), 183.
- [note] David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, 104.
- [note] Edward L. Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), chapter 20 working draft, 13. ISBN 1590384571 (CD version).
- [note] Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride, 204–205.
- [note] Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride, working draft chapter 20, page 22, footnote 105; citing for the affirmative Arrington, Adventures of a Church Historian and Arrington to author, February 10 and June 15, 1998; for the negative, L. Brent Goates, interview by author, February 9, 1998.
- [note] Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride, working draft chapter 20, page 22; citing Goates, Harold B. Lee, 506, quoting UPI interview published November 16, 1972.
- [note] Leonard J. Arrington, Adventures of a Church Historian (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1998), 176-177
- [note] David B. Haight, "This Work Is True," Ensign (May 1996), 22. off-site
FAIR wiki articles
Blacks and the priesthood
- Origin of the priesthood ban?—
The origin of the priesthood ban is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Its origins are not clear, and this affected both how members and leaders have seen the ban, and the steps necessary to rescind it. The Church has never provided an official reason for the ban. (Link)
- Understanding pre-1978 statements by members and leaders of the Church—
Critics frequently parade justifications for the ban by past General Authorities that are considered quite racist by today's standards. While these have not been officially renounced, there is no obligation for current members to accept such sentiments as the "word of the Lord," and they most certainly do not reflect the Church's current position and teachings. (Link)
- LDS scriptures cited in support of the ban?—
Critics claim that the LDS scriptures link a person's skin color to their behavior in the pre-existence, and that the Book of Mormon is racist and promotes the idea that the "white" race is superior. Some contend that even though the doctrinal impact of pre-1978 statements have been greatly diminished, the LDS scriptures still retain the passages which were used for proof-texts for the ban and hence cannot be easily dismissed. A parallel can be drawn between Protestant denominations that have historically reversed their scriptural interpretations supporting slavery and a modified LDS understanding of their own scriptures that relate to the priesthood ban. Through more careful scripture reading and attention to scientific studies, many Protestants have come to differ with previous interpretations of Bible passages. A similar rethinking of passages unique to the LDS scriptures, such as Abraham 1:26-27, can be made if one starts by discarding erroneous preconceptions. (Link)
- Lifting the Priesthood ban—
Critics claim that the Church has never produced a copy of the revelation granting Blacks the ability to receive the priesthood. (Link)
- Did social pressure play a role in lifting the ban?—
Critics try to raise doubts about the authenticity of the 1978 revelation by claiming that it was dictated by social or governmental pressure. (Link)
- Repudiated ideas—
There exist previously taught ideas which have been repudiated by Church leaders since the ban. Among these are the notion that Blacks were somehow not as "valiant" in the pre-existence, and that interracial marriage is forbidden. (Link)
- Less valiant or neutral in the pre-existence during the "war in heaven"—Critics claim that LDS scripture states that those with lighter skin color "are favored because of what they did as spirits in a pre-earth life." Critics note that some Church leaders taught that people who were born with dark skin were "neutral" in the pre-existence. (Link)
- Inter-racial marriage—Even prior to rescinding the priesthood ban, the Church advised against inter-racial marriages only because such marriages might have more difficulties in being successful. Leaders lumped such advice together with advising married partners to seek those of the same culture and socio-economic level. The counsel was specifically stated not to be absolute, but merely general advice for maximizing marital success. (Link)
- Joseph Fielding Smith's racial reference in LOOK Magazine in 1963—
Critics point to a 1963 statement by Joseph Fielding Smith LOOK Magazine in which he used the word "Darkies" as representative of the Church's racism. These critics, however, are applying a double standard to the Church in 1963. Not one article, photo, or ad in a full 154 pages of this colorful oversized magazine interrupts its perky Caucasian landscape by featuring an African-American. They are not to be seen in ads, Catholic schoolrooms, or even on a featured college football team. Looking at this slice of life from the sixties, the only reason one would have to think blacks even lived in the United States is one photo on page 118 where a few blacks are pictured as the recipients of charity. The patronizing hypocrisy of examining one small church's "attitude toward Negroes" in this sort of environment has, of course, not yet settled into the mainstream of American consciousness. (Link)
- The "curse of Cain" and "curse of Ham"—
We often hear that Latter-day Saints believe and teach that blacks are descendents of Cain, and that they are cursed. In fact, on some occasions prior to 1978, blacks were denied access to temple open houses because they carried the “mark of Cain.” What critics never point out, however, is that the "curse of Cain" is a Protestant invention that was created in order to justify slavery in the 1800's. One would get the impression listening to critics that the Latter-day Saints originated the idea of the curse, and they point to the priesthood ban as evidence of such, while ignoring that fact of segregated congregations in Protestant churches of that era. (Link)
- Policy or doctrine (Link)
A compilation of statements made by Church leaders both before and after the rescinding of the priesthood ban in 1978. (Link)
- Banned from temple open houses—
Were blacks banned from visiting temples prior to dedication, while other non-members were welcomed? (Link)
FAIR web site
|1978 Priesthood revelation FAIR articles on-line|
- FAIR Topical Guide: Blacks and the priesthood FAIR link
- FAIR Topical Guide: Infallibility of prophets FAIR link
- FAIR Topical Guide: Personal beliefs of prophets FAIR link
- FAIR Topical Guide: Race and cultural issues FAIR link
- FAIR BlackLDS site: FAIR link (Key source)
- Marcus H. Martins, "A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel" (2006 FAIR Conference presentation). FAIR link PDF link
- Armand L. Mauss, The LDS Church and the Race Issue: A Study in Misplaced Apologetics
- Mike Parker, "Dispelling the Myth of the 'Curse of Cain'" (one-page handout that argues against Cain's curse being black skin and a priesthood ban). PDF link
|LDS Church and the Race Issue: Study in Misplaced Apologetics, Armand Mauss, 2003 FAIR Conference|
- Part 1: LDS Church and the Race Issue: Study in Misplaced Apologetics
- Part 2: LDS Church and the Race Issue: Study in Misplaced Apologetics
- Part 3: LDS Church and the Race Issue: Study in Misplaced Apologetics
|Blacks in the Bible, Darius Gray, 2005 FAIR Conference|
|Reaching Black Saints, Marvin Perkins, 2005 FAIR Conference|
- Part 1: Reaching Black Saints
- Part 2: Reaching Black Saints
- Part 3: Reaching Black Saints
- Part 4: Reaching Black Saints
- Part 5: Reaching Black Saints
|Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises' , Darius Gray, Margaret Young, 2004 FAIR Conference|
- Part 1:Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises'
- Part 2:Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises'
- Part 3:Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises'
- Part 4:Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises'
- Part 5:Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises'
- Part 6:Empathetic Imagination: Reading Between the Lines in 'Standing On the Promises'
|A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel, Marcus Martins, 2006 FAIR Conference (YouTube Video)|
- Part 1:A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
- Part 2:A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
- Part 3:A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
- Part 4:A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
|1978 Priesthood revelation on-line articles|
- Stirling Adams, "review of The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, by David M. Goldberg, review of Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery, by Stephen R. Haynes," Brigham Young University Studies 44 no. 1, ??. off-site
- Lester E. Bush, Jr., "Mormonism's Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 8 no. 1 (Spring 1973), 11–68. (Bush argues for Brigham Young as author of the priesthood ban.) off-site
- Lester E. Bush, Jr. and Armand L. Mauss, eds., Neither White Nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church, (Salt Lake City, Signature Books, 1984). ISBN 0941214222. off-site
- Ronald K. Esplin, "Brigham Young and Priesthood Denial to the Blacks: An Alternate View," Brigham Young University Studies 19 no. 3 (Spring 1979), 394–402.. (Esplin argues for Joseph Smith as the author of the priesthood ban.) PDF link
- Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Need for Greater Kindness," Ensign (May 2006), 58–61. off-site
- Marcus H. Martins, "All Are (Really) Alike Unto God: Personal Reflections on the 1978 Revelation." off-site
- Marcus H. Martins, "'Thinking Way Back': Considerations on Race, Pre-Existence, and Mortality," expanded version of a talk presented at a meeting of The Genesis Group, a branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 1 August 1999. off-site
- Seth R. Payne, "A Work in Progress: The Latter-day Saint Struggle with Blacks and the Priesthood," paper submitted at Yale Divinity School, 5 May 2006. PDF link
- John A. Tvedtnes, "The Charge of 'Racism' in the Book of Mormon," FARMS Review 15/2 (2003): 183–198. off-site PDF link
|1978 Priesthood revelation printed materials|
- David M. Goldberg, The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity and Islam (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003). ISBN 0691123705 (2005 paperback edition).
- Stephen R. Hayes, Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002). ISBN 0195313070 (2007 paperback edition).
- Edward L. Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005), Chapters 20–24. ISBN 1590384571 (CD version)
- Armand L. Mauss, All Abraham's Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage (Chicago and Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2003). ISBN 0252028031.
- Alexander B. Morrison, Dawning of a Brighter Day (Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Co., 1990). ISBN 978-0875793382. ISBN 087579338X.