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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

A couple of months ago in our Mormon Sunday School, the teacher stated that Australian Aborigines were excluded from holding the Priesthood until the 30th of September 1978 when the then Mormon Prophet, Spencer W. Kimball, declared that all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood. ( I hope you can answer this as the Book of Mormon answer man couldn’t.)  Thanks.

Jay

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Answer

 

Dear Jay,

When the Australian Aborigines were first taught the gospel in 1938 there was some question as to their racial origin. The Aborigines were not actively proselyted, and so few joined the Church. However, as more were baptized, the Australian Mission President wrote to the First Presidency asking for a ruling on the matter.

In a letter from the First Presidency, signed by President David O. McKay and his two counselors, Hugh B. Brown and N. Eldon Tanner dated March 11, 1964, permission was granted to ordain worthy Australian Aborigine members to hold the priesthood. This of course was fourteen years before the official declaration on priesthood by President Kimball in June of 1978.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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