Blacks and the Priesthood

Posted on June 30, 2011 at 12:01 am

Church History

Follow Gramps:

Print Friendly

I was asked the question of why didn’t all blacks get the priesthood. They said some did and referenced blacklds.org as their source. I reseached their site and yours as to verifiable sources. I found a talk by Marvin Perkins which references ordination dates and a ordination timeline for Elijah Able’s grandson in 1935. I saw where Pres. Lee references removal by Joseph Smith but has no reference sources. I have found nothing in the 1st 2 books of Joseph Smith translations to show where he made the ordinations null & void. Are there records, minutes of meetings, official procedings which can be produced? Mostly all I have found is opinions. Fairlds.org seems to comfirm the ordination of Blacks with no record of revoking the ordinance. I have found no teaching of the Prophet Joseph Smith stating that the black should not recieve the priesthood. Any source material would be appreciated.

Thanks

John

John,

You’re asking a very good question that many people have asked throughout the decades of the practice of withholding the priesthood and temple blessings from those who are Black.

mormon-priesthood2Let us start by acknowledging what we do know.

  • We know that there was never a revelation or justification for a restriction on Blacks from receiving the blessings of the priesthood or the temple. If there was, Joseph Smith would’ve restricted those blessings himself and there would have been a revelation printed within the Doctrine & Covenants. (If plural marriage was printed, surely this would have as well.)
  • We know that Joseph Smith did not restrict the blessings of the priesthood from those who were Black.
  • We know that the Lord called Joseph Smith at a very early age to become the Prophet of this dispensation. This allowed the Prophet to grow under the Lord’s teaching and guidance.
  • We know that the Lord is no respector of persons.
  • We know that the Lord called other men through the Prophet Joseph Smith to assist in helping to establish and grow the church.
  • We know that Prophets are men who are prone to make mistakes. No one but Jesus Christ was perfect. Prophets have made mistakes and errors. We can read all about them in the scriptures and the History of the Church.
  • The Lord does the best He can with what He’s got. “Think of the risk the Lord took when He called you.” - Gordon B. Hinckley Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep – Ensign May 1999

However, today, you’re asking about records and sources to prove that these Black LDS pioneer men held the priesthood.

I’m going to answer your question with a question:

  • What would the existance of such records tell you?
  • What could be gained by having these records?
  • If these records existed, wouldn’t it “prove” that the priesthood ban wasn’t in line with what the Lord wanted?
  • Could your testimony withstand such knowledge?
  • Could the testimonies of the membership of the church withstand such knowledge?

I’m going to tell you that such records don’t matter. The past is in the past and these men can be revered and respected for the Black LDS pioneers that they were.

Seeing such records would do as much good for a Latter Day Saint as seeing the Golden Plates would do for a non-member of the church. Faith comes first.

Also, it would do nothing positive for the active members of the church. This isn’t information that is required for salvation. This would be background information into a practice that was established, for whatever reason.

It doesn’t change our history. It doesn’t change the Gospel. It doesn’t change the truthfulness and the joy that can be experienced by becoming a part of the Church.

“Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.

We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more.” – Bruce R. McConkie “All Are Alike unto God” – Bruce R. McConkie

Here’s what’s interesting: The Official Declaration 2 was given June 1st, 1978. What edition of the scriptures are you using? If you look at the copywrite notice, it says 1981. Do you think there might be a reason why we received a new edition of the scriptures in 1981? Even recently, there were some changes to chapter headings and footnotes made on the LDS.org site for The Book of Mormon.

For additional information on this topic, I would encourage you to visit http://blacksinthescriptures.com/

-Gramps

Summary
Article Name
Blacks and the Priesthood - Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine
Author
Description
I was asked the question of why didn't all blacks get the priesthood. They said some did and referenced blacklds.org as their source. I reseached their site and yours as to verifiable sources.

Follow Gramps:

Did Brigham Young really make a comment about unmarried men?

April 15, 2014 8:53 am

Question Gramps, “Men above the age of 25 and aren’t married are a menace to society” is a quote I hear a lot of members of the Church (more)

What will happen to my own salvation?

April 14, 2014 9:30 am

Question Gramps, My husband and I were sealed in the temple 20 years ago and have 5 children. We have been active in the church this whole time. (more)

How can I get over my anxiousness about being the only unwed mother in my ward?

April 13, 2014 8:28 am

Question Dear Gramps, I am a single unwed mother who is newly baptized into the LDS church. As well as looking for a church that practiced what it (more)

Why were the printing presses of the Nauvoo Expositor destroyed?

April 12, 2014 7:51 am

Question Gramps, Why did Joseph Smith have the offices of the Nauvoo Exposiorr ransacked and the printing press destroyed and thrown into the middle of the street? Steve (more)

How do you become a forgiving person even when there is pain?

April 11, 2014 5:31 am

Question Gramps, I have a friend who is a forgiving person, however, my friend keeps forgiving others while they take advantage of hurting my friend. I tried telling (more)

Am I condemned for living off of Social Security?

April 10, 2014 8:53 am

Question Gramps, I just read your answer to Robert’s question about retiring and living off of Social Security. He quoted President Kimball’s October 1977 General Conference address that (more)

Why did 1/3 part of God’s children not accept Christ’s plan?

April 9, 2014 8:58 am

Question Gramps, Why didn’t 1/3 part of God’s children accept God’s plan of salvation?  What was the main reason they followed Satan? Raja   Answer Raja, This is (more)

Were civil marriages ever performed in temples?

April 8, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, Were civil marriages ever performed in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint temples? If so, what was the time frame? Thanks. Sarah   Answer (more)

Why does there have to be 3 in the Godhead?

April 7, 2014 7:56 am

Question Gramps, Why does there have to be three in the Godhead or why is there three in the Godhead? Thanks, Jesus   Answer Dear Jesus, By having (more)

Does unrighteous dominion apply even in the work place?

April 6, 2014 6:20 am

Question Gramps, I would like to prove to my boss that unrighteous dominion applies to the work place as well as in the home. He is a Bishop (more)

What is the Mormon belief regarding the Spear of Destiny?

April 5, 2014 9:48 am

Question Gramps, What is the church’s understanding or belief in regards to the spear of destiny. Do we believe in its existence? I’m pretty sure we don’t believe (more)

Why do some have more trials than others?

April 4, 2014 9:31 am

Question Gramps, Why do some get so many trials while others are happy and prosperous? Why don’t people understand me and force me to do things I don’t (more)