Mormonism and racial issues

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    Mormonism and racial issues

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.


  • Blacks and the priesthood
    Brief Summary: Members of African descent were restricted from holding the LDS Church's lay priesthood until 1978. Understanding the priesthood ban is difficult, because the historical record is not entirely clear about the ban's institution. There is no contemporary, first-person account of the ban's implementation. Critics with an agenda, as well as sincere seekers with a laudable abhorrence of racism have used this fact to portray the former (or present) Church and its members as racist. Critics argue that God would not allow His church to ever deny blessings or privileges based on race. (Click here for full article)
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  • Do critics apply a double standard?
    Brief Summary: Some point to a statement by Joseph Fielding Smith the October 1979 LOOK Magazine as representative of the Church's racism. (Click here for full article)
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  • Brigham Young
    Brief Summary: Brigham Young made a number of statements related to race which are quite offensive by 21st Century standards. These articles examine some of these statements. (Click here for full article)
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  • Mark E. Peterson claims that Blacks become servants in heaven
    Brief Summary: Elder Mark E. Peterson said, " If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get a celestial resurrection. He will get a place in the celestial glory." (Click here for full article)
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  • Maher claims that blacks go to heaven as slaves
    Brief Summary: Bill Maher said, "...[I]n the [19]50s, the Mormons preached that the only way a black man could get into heaven was as a slave." It is unknown exactly what Maher was using as the source of such a comment, as it has never been a doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ that blacks would enter heaven only as slaves. It is possible, however, that Maher misread and was referring to an address given by Elder Mark E. Petersen at Brigham Young University on 27 August 1954. (Click here for full article)
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  • Racial statements by Church leaders
    Brief Summary: Why did past prophets make racist statements? God had already revealed to Peter that he should not call anything "common" that God had cleansed (Acts 10:9-16), yet some modern-day prophets thought that blacks were inferior to whites; why is that? (Click here for full article)
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