|"Despite the cultural miscommunications that remain,
black Latter-day Saints enjoy opportunities in all phases of Church activity, including
missionary work, quorum leadership, bishoprics, and stake presidencies, along with other
members. The first entirely black African stake was organized in 1988. Indeed, black
Latter-day Saints may be an LDS historical enigma that has emerged as a prime example of
success in LDS brotherhood and sisterhood.
History of Black Mormons | FAQs about Blacks in the Church
Elder Bruce R. McConkie gives his personal testimony of the
revelation allowing African Blacks to hold the holy priesthood, describes how the
revelation was received, and discusses its historical significance.
Converts Without Baptism
E. Dale LeBaron, BYU professor of Church history, gives a unique and
inspiring chapter in Church history
.Blacks and the Priesthood
"For several years, the author has been using the following
information to help members, as well as missionaries, to come to a better understanding of
this sensitive and difficult issue, and to demonstrate (contrary to what the critics might
say) the consistency of the Church in its former policy of restricting the privilege of
ordination to the Holy
Priesthood, from members of Black African descent, and its subsequent rescinding of
W. John Walsh shows that the Church teaches against racial prejudice.
Official Declaration 2
"Declaration 2 revealed that the "long-promised day has come
when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood."
Helvecio Martins, from Brazil, sustained as a General
Authority on March 31, 1990.
The following article was written by The Elijah Abel Society
of Black Latter-day Saints; an independent organization of Black Mormons
who wish to educate other Mormons, and the general public, about Black
Mormon history and heritage.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
commonly known as 'The Mormon Church', or The LDS Church, has never taught that black people are 'inferior' in any way, shape, or form to people
of other races. In fact, a book of Mormon scripture called The Book
of Abraham, says that the Hamites (black Africans) were "blessed with
wisdom" from God along with being "cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood".(Abraham
1:26). The Prophet Joseph Smith, the prophet-founder of the Church, was
a great advocate for the rights of blacks, and that at a time when
it was very unpopular to have his views. He rejected the notion of the
then widely accepted belief that Negroes were 'naturally inferior' to whites.
He said that blacks in his day seemed ignorant only because they were kept
so by the white man, and change the situation (educate blacks) and blacks
would be the equal to the white man.
The Prophet Joseph Smith's attitude toward blacks can be summed up in an incident that occurred while he was Mayor
of Nauvoo; a Mormon city in Illinois on the banks of the Mississippi River,
in 1842; many years before slavery had ended in America. A woman named
Mary Frost Adams tells us what happened:
"While he was acting as mayor of the city, a
colored man named Anthony was arrested for selling liquor on Sunday, contrary
to law. He pleaded that the reason he had done so was that he might raise
the money to purchase the freedom of a dear child held as a slave in a
Southern State. He had been able to purchase the liberty of himself and
his wife and now wished to bring his little child to their new home. Joseph
said, 'I am sorry, Anthony, but the law must be observed, and we will have
to impose a fine.'
The horse was Joseph's prized white stallion, and was worth
about $500; a huge sum at the time. With the money from the sale, Anthony
was able to purchase his child out of slavery.
The next day Brother Joseph presented Anthony with a
fine horse, directing him to sell it, and use the money obtained for the
purchase of the child." (Young Women's Journal, p.538)
The Prophet Joseph Smith tirelessly advocated the
rights of black people; in a time where it wasn't popular to do so; not
even in the Northern States of the U.S. where slavery was illegal. As Mayor
of Nauvoo, Illinois, a white man (a non-Mormon) had whipped a black man
terribly for stealing some of his goods. The black man's name was Chism.
Joseph asked Chism if he had stolen the good, and Chism replied he had.
He charged Chism a small fine, and had the white man arrested for whipping
Chism! This OUTRAGED white men all over the state, and in the neighboring
state of Missouri, which was pro-slavery. Not long afterwards, Joseph Smith
was again arrested on trumpted-up charges, and soon assassinated, along
with his brother Hyrum, in a jail in Carthage, Illinois.
The Prophet Joseph Smith was a great advocate for
the black people! He died because he not only wanted to end slavery, but
he wanted blacks educated and given equal rights. For this cause, and others,
he was hated.