Ask Angela: Teaching about the priesthood revelation on MLK Jr.'s birthday


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  • Open and honest Manchester, 00
    Feb. 25, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Tell them the truth, read them 'Race and the Priesthood' from lds.org

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    If their friends obtain a testimony of the Gospel itself, when blacks were finally allowed to be ordained to the Priesthood and go to the temple to receive their endowments and be sealed won't matter to them at all. If they don't gain a testimony, then they will get hung up on it. It's really that simple.

    Also, considering that MLK was a Baptist, and that the priesthood revelation didn't really have anything to do with the civil rights movement, MLK's birthday may not have been as appropriate a day to discuss this issue as it seemed.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    The "despite not holding callings" line is slightly misleading. There may have been African-American church members who did not hold callings. However, they could still and in some cases did hold callings. There were cases of African-Americans serving as Sunday School presidents.

    On the other hand, it has been a long road since 1978, and we still have a lot further to travel. a quarter of my stakes high council is African-American, but I fear we will go down before we ever go above that level. At the same time, over 40% of the people who live in the boundaries of my stake are African-American.

    Marvin Perkins and Darius Gray as well as others have done a great work in expanding thinking on this matter. However I fear too many white Latter-day Saints have not put forth the effort to really understand and be able to love African-Americans. Even less are they able to relate to them.

    As a missionary in Las Vegas from 2000-2002 I saw that many Church members still held very racist attitudes. However I think the bigger problem was an unwillingness to understand the cultural background many African-Americans were coming from.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Jan. 25, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    I would recommend reading Marvin Perkins statements and teachings about the issue.

    If this family are African-Americans with long background in the US, avoiding the topic is not wise. I would say focus on Jesus and the Book of Mormon, but bring up the priesthood issue, best using actual statements of African-Americans like Perkins. The race and the priesthood section on the church website has some video connected to it that might also be helpful.

    If they or there parents immigrated to the US from Ghana, Nigeria, Jamaica or Haiti, I would put off bringing up the issue. It is much less likely to be part of their preconceived notions on the Church.

    Lastly I would emphasize that we only know that the Lord allowed the ban, not that he ever actively permitted it. We do not understand the Lord as much as we sometimes claim. His ways are not our ways.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 24, 2014 12:58 a.m.

    To OnlytheCross,

    I admire your devotion for the Bible text and God's word.
    However being among Mormons on side you should have studied more carefully how they came up with such as Priesthood and Sacrament and Saving Ordinances.

    You will be surprised how many scriptures Israel had in times of Abraham and Joseph.
    We lack these scriptures and because God said : (If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book)

    That is a clear indication that many have tried to do so, and many have succeeded in taking scriptures away. That is where the LDS church is founded on, on the teachings of Christ, which were lost and have been taken by evil men. Would you want to belong to the group of those that have done so ? Save yourself, save the truth.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 23, 2014 4:23 p.m.

    I guess you all missed the "inference", so I'll help you. Or read the book of Hebrews as it is clearly written.

    No aspect of the LDS priesthood is Biblical, except for the meaning of the elements.
    Biblical priests and the High Priest did temple sacrifices, period. No marriages or celestial endowments were ever practiced.
    New Testament church leaders are all called as adult men. The only prohibitions are boys, women or polygamists.
    Skin color or ethnicity has never been an issue of salvation, justification, exaltation or blessings in any way.

    Hence all problems associated with Mormon priesthood are due to its unbiblical structure, from the purely evangelical/literal position. The Black prohibition is only one of many unbiblical additions. Christ didn't even say how often to partake of the Passover symbols.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:02 a.m.


    So the apostles did not understand Christ but you do? Sorry, but I simply cannot believe that. To believe that they failed (in the end) to understand Christ would call into question everything they taught and wrote which means the entire NT becomes an unreliable record and we can call off any attempt at following Christ or being Christians.

    Yes, the apostles were often (perhaps almost always) in agreement. My point was that they were imperfect and the record shows that.

    Edward Kimball relates many stories of how there were precursors to the 1978 revelation – things that indicated change was coming but NOT due to political pressure but signs from the Holy Ghost.

    BTW, Dr. Quinn has an axe to grind so I will be unmoved by most things he produces.

  • Christmas Carole LAS CRUCES, NM
    Jan. 23, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    @Christopher B
    I don't think your ? was answered(haven't had time to read all)...

    Leaders of the church are everyday people...they express their personal thoughts like anyone else....ONLY when they are SPEAKING for God is it meant to be guidance for the church as a whole. Bruce R. and others were speaking for themselves(his Mormon Doctrine, for instance, was specifically stated to be PERSONAL opinion)...IF there is a statement made(specifying it is revelation for Church) in opposition to the 1978 revelation then I'm not aware of it...IF there is then my thoughts are that AGAIN...our leaders are but human striving like the rest of us...HOWEVER to date(since 1972)I have yet to see a leader express ANYTHING in opposition to Gospel Principles...

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    RE: Semi-Strong, ‘His disciples continue to go to the temple? Jesus' own disciples, both before and after Pentecost, frequently didn't understand what the Master was doing. Although they had a perfect Teacher, they often failed to understand him correctly. Nevertheless, Jesus used them. This demonstrated that the disciples' success was a result of God's work, not human achievement.

    Peter confirms Paul as an Apostle.(2Peter 3:16) The Apostles in agreement:

    (1 Tim 6:16 NLT)… he(God) lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No human eye has ever seen him, nor ever will.

    (Heb 11:27)… he (Moses)endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

    “(1 John 4:1).. test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world…..verse 12 No man hath seen God at any time.

    RE: Twin lights: D. Michael Quinn, at "the cornerstone-laying ceremony for the Brazilian temple on 9 March 1977." states that "Kimball privately told Helvecio Martins, a faithful black member, to prepare himself to receive the priesthood" in the not too distant future (The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, p. 16).

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Jan. 23, 2014 5:47 a.m.

    Christopher B

    You said, "Ok, and when 2 people get opposite answers as to the answer to a doctrinal question, which is the correct one?".

    Humans believe and follow what aligns best with perceptions of "possiblility" or "truth". Experiences and exposure in life create according to what they might accept, integral with existing beliefs.

    If humans believe what is most congruent with what they know, then wouldn't God who understands all things, give His truths and knowledge in a manner they are most willing to believe and accept?

    Does this in any way negate God or that one person becomes more prepared by life experiences to receive a greater purity of truth then another person?

    Would that make God a respecter of persons?

    Could it be that your will was to uphold current beliefs, versus seek and follow the will of God, even if His purer answers stand contrary to personal conclusions and what you were willing to prove / accept?

    God's truth is not frustrated by humanity, but we determine the portion He can share with us according to humility, teachability, and willingness to change for His word's sake. Hense, diverse interpretations of God exist.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    Lost, lost, lost. So sad to have to revisit this issue. Thoroughly unbiblical theology...

    Alan Cherry (look up Black LDS Author) was my Sunday School teacher at Ricks, 1969-70. He was a beautiful, humble, articulate soul. But even then we all knew it was wrong, a travesty and an injustice.

    Thank God many of us found the Truth in God's Word:
    "For the word of God is living and powerful... Piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature that is hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give an account." Hebrews 4:12,13. And the rest of the book gives the Biblical priesthood for followers of the Biblical Christ.

  • cowshed Provo, Utah
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:37 p.m.

    As LDS (senior) missionaries, my wife and I have had many opportunities to discuss many gospel topics with native Africans and people of African descent in the US and elsewhere.

    My experience is that Angela's answer is right on target. What people really care about is what the gospel of Jesus Christ, and especially the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer them and their families. Yes, the issue of priesthood will likely come up sooner or later, but it becomes of minor concern once a close relationship is established and they understand what the Savior really offers them. Evidence of this is the rate at which Africans are joining the Church, and the many who joined the Church years ago, knowing that they could not, at that time, receive the priesthood. They knew through the Spirit that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ was for them.

    Hope this helps.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 22, 2014 2:13 p.m.

    Christopher B

    To answer your quesion about the book:

    Yes, it is called: MEANS OF PRESERVING HEALTH, AND PREVENTING DISEASES, Dr. Shadrach Ricketson. Printed by Collins, Perkins, and Co, New York, 1806.

    I ordered a copy on amazon.com so I could see it for myself. It is the real deal. It is very interesting, especially since it was published in New York!

  • Kazbert VAIL, AZ
    Jan. 22, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    As I and my family (we're all caucasian) moved from place to place around the country, I have asked several African-American members of the church why they joined the church. Everyone of them said the same thing: The Holy Spirit witnessed to them that it is true. That's the same reason that I joined the church when I was 23 back in 1983. There are many reasons why people investigate the church, but ultimately there is only one "good" reason to join: A witness by the Spirit.

    As for the 1978 revelation, I understand the desire on the part of the Saints to find explanations. Yet I was pleased when the church offcially declared that it was never God's intent to withhold the priesthood from those with African blood. There is no authoritative declaration initiating the practice. It was wrong all along and it's been humbly and apologetically corrected. For any hurts that remains, the only way to obtain full healing is through Christ.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:23 a.m.


    You are changing topics (again). The simple point is that Edward Kimball’s piece repudiates the political expediency argument, right?

    As to prophets being fallible. Kimball is right. Yes, they are fallible but what we see as failure is not always so.

    Think of Jonah (interestingly one of the few prophets cited by Christ). After preaching in Nineveh, he felt that he had been shown to be wrong. God then teaches him otherwise.

    Paul talked to Peter when the latter would not eat with Gentiles. Paul himself was in a rather sharp contention with Barnabas.

    From this I take it that even great men of God are fallible yet remain men of God.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    RE: Semi-Strong, ‘Edward Kimball’, son of late LDS President Spencer W. Kimball., “We pay lip service to the prophet’s fallibility, But when you come down to specifics, we can’t think of any incidents where a prophet was wrong.”?

    Jesus gave the commandment. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations(ethnos=ethnicity), baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit/Ghost”(Mt 28:19);

    “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”(Mark 16:15).

    @1.96 Standard Deviations, “Jew and Gentile(Hellēn=a Greek) are the Same in this respect. …, For “Everyone’ who calls on the name of the LORD(YHWH) be saved.”(Romans 10:12-13 NLT)

    Richard Ostling "What happened in 1978 was that this burden was lifted from Black Mormons. More importantly, a huge burden was lifted from Mormonism because it was rid of Theological Racism." i.e..,
    (Genesis 7:22 JST) “all the seed of Adam save it were the seed of Cain; for the seed of Cain were black and had not a place among them.”

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    Angela's advice is dead on. If the basic principles of the restored gospel are not intriguing in the first place, no other gospel topic is really worth discussing at length. The first goals should to strengthen friendship, which can endure whether or not the family is interested in the gospel, and let them know what you believe and drives the way you live your life.

    As for references to the topic of Blacks and the Priesthood, the Edward Kimball article mentioned by others is excellent.

    I'd also recommend Elder Joseph Sitati's October 2009 General Conference talk entitled "Blessings of the Gospel Available to All". I've heard him address the topic in person and in more detail, but he repeated several times that the central points are in this conference talk.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Jan. 22, 2014 6:24 a.m.

    "Lifting the ban was not based on political expediency or social pressure."
    This is exactly why the ban was lifted. Can you imagine back in the 70's if the Church had lost it's tax exempt status with the federal government the tremendous economical loss it would have meant to the Church. It's staggering. This was a business decision by SWK and the Q12 and it was not unanimous. But it had to happen or "City Creek" many of the new temples and so on and so on would never have happened.

    Jan. 21, 2014 7:40 p.m.

    Many of these comments remind me of the old axiom "Don't confuse me with the facts. My mind's made up." For example:
    "They [the prophets] were just speaking as a man." Only somebody's opinion, and IMHO, has never been officially stated by the LDS Church;also lacks an understanding on the part of critics about how prophecy functions from time to time.
    "Not logical" or "contradictory" or "a whimsical God"--reflects a lack of knowledge about how God reveals his current will.
    "Politically expedient" Ditto--and shows an unawareness of how God expects His Church and His children to grow and progress, largely on their own while exercising faith in Him. And so forth.

    But to get back to the subject: If and only if the subject comes up, you may wish to be prepared with testimonies of other black LDS. Thurl Bailey's conversion story is excellent!

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 21, 2014 4:08 p.m.


    Again, those quotes you gave were only Joseph Smith's opinion, they were not doctrine.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 21, 2014 3:12 p.m.

    Some additional items which may be helpful here are as follows: Revelation 14: 6 relates John's vision of another angel flying "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." Mormons, of course, believe that this vision began to be fulfilled with the visitations of Moroni. Moroni told Joseph (P of GP, History, V. 33) that Joseph's name would be had for both good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues.

    Joseph told some of the brethren in Kirtland that they "knew no more than a babe on its mother's lap" concerning the destiny of the church - that it would be established in the Americas and throughout the world. Later in the Wentworth Letter (1842) Joseph stated that the truth would go forth "boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear." Again, there is no hint of exceptions pertaining to any particular area of the world, or continent, race, or nation of people.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    Jan. 21, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    Additional informative reading may be found in "Last Laborer- Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon," (Keith Hamilton, c2011, Ammon Works), as well as the Edward kimball Article mentioned earlier (BYU Studies 47, no. 2, 2008).

    We learn from Gen. 12: 1-3 that through Abraham, all of the families and kindreds of the earth will be blessed. This same promise is repeated more than once in the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 13: 30, & 3 Nephi 20: 25-27). No exception is made pertaining to any one race or area of the world. Other verses of interest are: 1 Nephi 17: 35 (all flesh is esteemed as one),1 Nephi 22: 3-5, and 2 Ne 25:15 regarding the Jews being scattered among all nations. Altogether, at least 20 specific verses in the Book of Mormon speak of all nations hearing the gospel, all needing repentance, all being judged by their works,and all being welcomed whomever will come.

    The Doctrine and Covenants contains some 78 references to the gospel going forth among all nations and people. A half-dozen such references are in Section One alone. Again, no exception is made for any one race, continent, or nation.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Jan. 21, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    Since the beginning of time, ecclesiastical policies change with the times but doctrines are eternal and never change. For example, Peter received a vision after Christ's crucifixion changing the policy of proselyting gentiles. The priesthood is doctrine, who holds it is policy as it was in Jesus' day when only descendants of Israel held the priesthood. I wept for joy when the revelation changing the policy was received!

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    Before you say anything about blacks and the priesthood, please read Ed Kimball's article in BYU Studies about his father's 1978 revelation. It will likely prevent you from giving any faulty explanations (which still tend to get too much play in Mormondom). The title is "Spencer W. Kimball and the Revelation on Priesthood," by Edward L. Kimball. Search for it on the BYU Studies website under either the title or the author. It's free for download.

  • LittleDrummerMan ,
    Jan. 21, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    Deuteronomy 18:22

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 21, 2014 9:22 a.m.

    "Lifting the ban was not based on political expediency or social pressure."

    Logic and timing would indicate differently.

    Same with polygamy.

    It is just the most logical answer. Now if polygamy or the priesthood issue had been changed with no outside pressure and come completely out of the blue, they would have looked to be much more "prophetic"

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 21, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    To those who say "disregard the things in the past. Just pray and you will find the true answer".

    Would not Warren Jeffs say the same thing and some would perceive their "answer" to follow him?

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    joe, Again I appreciate the response but you're not at all addressing the questions I ask, so I'm not sure why you refer to me in your comment.

    If Mormons believe that prophets/apostles speak for God, then there would never be a need to distance the LDS church from past comments made by apostles/prophets, as they were speaking for God. And if God said it, why try to pretend it wasn't said or that it was incorrect?

    And if the all too convenient "he was speaking as a man" excuse can always be made whenever its needed, how is one in the LDS church to know when a prophet/apostle is speaking for God?

    Pray about it? Ok, and when 2 people get opposite answers as to the answer to a doctrinal question, which is the correct one? isn't that the whole point of claiming prophets/apostles speak for God in the first place?

    The LDS church is now trying to claim that the ban was not doctrinal, but that is NOT supported by what many past lds prophets/apostles(speaking for God presumably) have said.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:26 a.m.


    Lifting the ban was not based on political expediency or social pressure. As evidence, how do you explain why thousands of Nigerians, demanding to be baptized, were declined by the church for many years (at least since 1961)? It makes no sense for a missionary-minded church to refuse to baptize thousands of converts if the church was bowing to social pressure.

    From the report Semi-Strong mentioned:

    "LaMar Williams, who as secretary to the Church Missionary Committee answered letters that came from Africa, was sent to Nigeria in 1961. He was met at the airport by ten pastors he had been corresponding with and discovered that they were unaware of one another. Williams returned with the names of fifteen thousand unbaptized converts who were waiting for the Church to come to them."

    "[In] 1962, when newly ordained Apostle N. Eldon Tanner spent two weeks in the Lagos area, visiting three groups using the Church's name, one of which claimed four thousand baptized adherents. When he reminded them that they did not have authority to baptize, their leader said he understood that, but he wanted the people to feel they belonged to the Church while they waited for the proper authority."

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Jan. 21, 2014 8:21 a.m.


    Please read the article by Edward Kimball. It talks about Brazil throughout.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    RE: Semi-Strong,.. this was simply a politically expedient change.

    In 1978 Brazil, was one of the strongest reasons why the ban was lifted. The opening of its new temple in Sao Paulo, the LDS Church was ordaining hundreds of Brazilians to its priesthood. Did the LDS Church ignore Brazilian history? Between 1538 and Brazil's abolition of slavery in 1888, about five million African slaves were brought to that country. Through mixed marriages, Mulattos make up a substantial portion of the Brazilian population. How would the LDS Church possibly know whether or not those being ordained were qualified? With the dedication of this temple only a few months away, it would seem imperative that the church either lift the ban or face the possibility of a public relations nightmare.

    RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations , Christ directed the preaching of the gospel to Jews only.
    Other sheep,(John 10:16) Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!"(Acts 28:28).

    Isaiah... "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."(Romans 10;20) Neither the Lamanites nor the Nephites meet this qualification

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Jan. 21, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    For all who think this was simply a politically expedient change. Search for "Spencer W. Kimball and
    the Revelation on Priesthood" by Edward Kimball (his son and a historian). It is available at BYU Studies.

    This gives very personal insight into the issue and puts to rest the issue of whether President Kimball was simply bowing to societal pressure.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:27 a.m.

    Still too much heavy stuff circulating here.
    Remember giving the gospel to others his high responsibility, a failure on your part may cause generations to lack the saving ordinances of the gospel.

    The fact that this family will come and listen some is prove enough that they are ready.
    Let it go (no complicated stuff) be happy and enjoy them. By the time you have said all of your prayers and discussed all of the deep issues on DN, they will be ready to meet the missionaries.

    We must remember our responsibilty not to put a stumbling block into their way.
    Most of the conversion is an ongoing bussiness between them and God.
    They will celebrate you as their best friends some day.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:20 a.m.

    ChrisB: The concept of a living church and living God is strange to most non-members. Mormons believe God provides revelation appropriate for the time and circumstances.

    Jehovah commanded ancient Israel to not eat pork. Why? I don't know (see Isaiah 55:8). Perhaps no safe method of curing pork existed. Perhaps it was just to test their faith.

    Today's word of wisdom offers health benefits but, even more, I believe it discriminates faithful members from others. One of their first questions any member faces is about coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco.

    Who knows why the priesthood was withheld for 150 years? Maybe social circumstances were not right. Even today in the south, black preachers preach primarily to black congregations. Maybe it was a test of faith. I heard Spencer W Kimball say, 9 days after the 1978 announcement, that he had never seen such faith as those black members of the church who kept faithful and worthy to enter the temple despite not holding callings or having the priesthood in their homes. I don't know His reasons.

    The past is a foreign country. Please don't judge them based on today's morality.

  • EternalPerspective Eldersburg, MD
    Jan. 21, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    Chris B

    I respectfully submit that your comments below perpetuates the same rumors and propaganda that have been around since the days of Jesus Smith (minus technology) as stated in the below quote:

    "My suggestion: Tell them to go google it...just do a google search and read it all. That's what I have done and I learned a lot."

    To all those who choose to put down something they cannot understand except by the means of sufficient firsthand investigation, immersion, and time to possess enough understanding, such knowledge believed is merely academic and likely to be a rehash of information already said by someone else.

    If truth is to be known of anything, be it religion or science or whatever, one cannot merely delve in leading theories exposed by vicarious reading for what can only be known for certain with sustained firsthand experience. Truth is not found by condemning something before such a personal experiment is conducted.

    Such is not only contrary to science, but it is subjective and has no basis in truth or fact beyond the strength of purity in the material of copied rhetoric. All it does is spread contention.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 21, 2014 5:34 a.m.

    I think it's about sharing your space. They will be in your home, make it friendly. You not selling Amway. Your making friends.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    Cali Family:

    I don't think your plan is a good idea -- addressing this first won't help plant a seed of faith regarding what the church is really about. A more meaningful lesson is that the priesthood is on the Earth (again) and it is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    You should consider giving the first lesson taught by missionaries, which is about the restoration of Christ's gospel and church. This lesson includes an explanation about the priesthood, why it is necessary and why it is only found in the LDS church. You can review the principles of the first lesson in the Preach My Gospel manual (pages 31-46).

    If the topic of the past priesthood restriction comes up, just keep it simple. We don't know all the reasons because of the lack of historical records. But, God directed the prophet in 1978 to extend the priesthood to every worth male. It may also be helpful to indicate there were priesthood restrictions in the Old Testament, and even a time when Christ directed the preaching of the gospel to Jews only.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 8:12 p.m.

    joe5, I appreciate the response, but I'm not sure your comment answers anything. I believe that some friends of the church weren't members, but I'm not sure how that has to do with my question.

    I still haven't heard how LDS members know when a prophet is for God and when he isn't?

    If prophets/apostles always speak for God, then the LDS church would never need to disagree with something a past prophet/apostle said, unless God changed his mind back and forth.

    And if the church doesn't claim that everything said by a prophet/apostle is from God, then how can anyone ever know when it comes from God and when it doesn't?

    pray? Ok, and when two people pray and get two different answers? Again, we're back to thats what a prophet is for right?

    It just seems all to convenient for Mormons to say that their prophets speak for God, but then retain the right to go back and say "he was speaking as a man" whenever something doesn't turn out well.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 5:38 p.m.

    Chris B. I absolutely believe that can and does happen.

    Sometimes there may be a valid reason for it. For example, some of the Church's best friends were not members but held key political or social positions. As Mormons, they would not have had the credibility among non-Mormons to accomplish what they did for the church.

    Often people misunderstand how the process works. "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart." It takes work and humility to hear God's answer over our own.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    Michael Jensen,

    What if two people "act on it" and come to two different conclusions?

    Isn't that the point of prophets and apostles?

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    Sharing Mormonism is never about convincing someone to believe something. If you can argue them into the church, somebody can argue them out. Being exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ should be equivalent to being exposed to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. Without that, they will not stick.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 4:23 p.m.


    The Lord does not work against himself. Read the answer I gave in my previous post. This is the last post I can make on this article, so I'll try to make it a good one! How do you know it was his opinion? How do you know that he wasn't speaking by inspiration at that time? Because he was wrong before? Simple answer. Petition the Lord for an answer. Exercise faith. Read the scriptures. Keep the commandments. Find out for yourself. If you never exercise any faith, you will never arrive at any heaven-given answer. If we sow the seeds of our own logic and wisdom, with doubt, and dead-end reasoning, then we will reap the dulling, and unsatisfying fruit of it. If we sow the seeds of belief, and of trust in God, with faith and a realization that we do not know the whole situation, then what will we reap? The fruit, our answer, in God's timing. If we never exercise any faith in God, then we will never understand how He works. Go study the words of Paul in the New Testament.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 4:05 p.m.

    @ michael.jensen369

    On the one hand we live in an open society with access to all kind of informations,
    on the other hand if they have not yet read our comments, we should keep in mind that they need spiritual milk first before they can eat spiritual meat.

    They are invited to have a spiritual supper, and we cannot explain to them obidience versus Holy Ghost, that would be spiritual meat, and very very hard to chew.

    The most important thing of the first gospel is simple and easy for everyone, enjoy the spirit testifying of them being factual children of our Father in Heaven.
    They need to learn to rule themselves, not by us !

    Teachings is not our bussiness, only to show a way to find happiness.
    They need to find. We need to watch and enjoy the process.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 20, 2014 4:00 p.m.


    You can't use that quote... Who is to say that later on there will be another apostle discrediting what McConkie said in that quote. Plus, it was only his opinion. If he was wrong before, maybe he was wrong again.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Christ himself is the one who directs it. His prophets are not perfect, but when they speak under the inspiration of the Almighty, the word of the Lord is unrestrained and untainted by the imperfections of the instrument. The question is often asked, how do you know when they are speaking for the Lord? Simple. Act on it. Find out for yourself. The witness comes by the power of the Holy Ghost, as we act in accordance with God's will. I have mentioned this before several times on this site, yet still the same people ask the same questions. This is the answer. It's simple, and clear, and because it is simple it is easily overlooked.

    "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things;...wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

    Act on it, pray about it, and find out for yourself. Otherwise we remain in the dark and never learn anything.

  • Christopher B Ogden, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    "It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978. "

    What a convenient response every time something that was said by a past apostle or prophet(presumable speaking for God) is called into question.

    my response is this: If God said it(through apostles and prophets) why the need to hide it pretend it wasn't said? And if God wasn't speaking through those apostles or prophets who said things the church now doesn't claim to support, how is anyone to know when a prophet or apostle is speaking for God or not?

    Are people to always assume a prophet/apostle is speaking for God, only to retain the right and backtrack and scratch whatever we want at any point with the all too helpful "He was speaking as a man"?

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:46 p.m.

    You could direct them to the new Race and the Priesthood page on lds.org as well. The fact of the matter is, a ban like this is not unique to this dispensation. In the Old Testament, only Levites could hold the priesthood. That was the only group who were allowed. People from other tribes could have been just as worthy, just as ready, but for whatever reason, the Lord said that only Levites could hold it. Same thing with the New Testament and preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. At the beginning of the apostles ministry, the gospel was not taken to the gentiles. As time went on, a revelatory experience came to Peter, the chief apostle, that that restriction had now lifted, and that now was the time to take the gospel to them as well. The fact of the matter is, that this topic has scriptural precedent. On that race and the priesthood page, it mentions that President McKay prayed sincerely about this subject, and that the impression that came to him was to wait. To wait! President McKay's heart was just a pure and worthy as was President Kimball's.

  • michael.jensen369 Lethbridge, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:39 p.m.

    "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.

    It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject." -Bruce R. McConkie

    There is only one principle, and that is to be obedient to the promptings and direction of the Holy Ghost. That's it. I'd say any other advice falls secondary to that.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    Jan. 20, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    Super advise Angela.
    Giving them the opportunity to feel the Spirit is the first and most important thing you can do...

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    The first basic approach should be always toward their feelings for God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. That is what most black people like very much, they love this since most of them are raised with some christian background.

    For the other stuff like priesthood and 1978 etc. I would make the following suggestion :

    Mark some topics from which they can choose, and then make it a fun game to answer any questions. That way there will be a lot to talk about and next time they want to meet.

    Remember if the 1978 would come up, to replace the issue with Heavenly Father's issue that He loves each one of them so much, that it will be a great loss for them not knowing more about it. But never assume any racial differences of any kind. In Fact there are none, we just perceive them as such. Heavenly Father cannot see colors as we do.

    Most important to let them ask anything they want, and feel free to find the good intentions of this church at any angle of approach. They are in good hands with you.
    You might want to introduce them to geneology.

  • donn layton, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    RE: Chris B. After all, Mormons believe that Mormon apostles and prophets speak for God, so what better way to teach them than to send them directly to what the LDS prophets and apostles have said. just do a google search and read it all.

    @History of the Church, Volume 5, pages 218-219.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:18 p.m.

    I am not sure they would want to read what previous apostles and prophets have said about them... I don't think that would help.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    My suggestion: Tell them to go google it.

    Read what all the LDS prophets and apostles have said on the subject over the years.

    After all, Mormons believe that Mormon apostles and prophets speak for God, so what better way to teach them than to send them directly to what the LDS prophets and apostles have said.

    just do a google search and read it all.

    That's what I have done and I learned a lot.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 20, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    You could begin the discussion by asking them what they already know or have heard about the Church. If they talk about misconceptions, gently correct them. If they talk about good things, focus on them. If they bring up the priesthood thing, talk about it. If they don't, let it wait for another day. The key is focus on them and their interests at first, and to use your own personal experiences as a way of teaching. The goal for the 1st meeting is to make them want to come back for a 2nd.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 1:05 p.m.

    Just say 'when it became politically necessary, a revelation was forthcoming'. As for the past, well, uh......

  • John Marx Layton, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 1:04 p.m.

    This advice could easily backfire. If they are already aware of the priesthood ban and the history of blacks then the topic could become an elephant in the room. Additionally they might not be willing to bring it up themselves because of how awkward it can be to discuss. On top of that, if you wait and then they find out themselves via Google (in this era I'd be surprised if they weren't researching online) or some other means, they may feel like you were not completely upfront and honest with them.
    I say be upfront and honest with them and let them decide for themselves.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 20, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    Make the night about you, your spouse, kids, and how family home evening brings happiness to your family. Let them watch how you interact with each other- this is more powerful than any lesson you can prepare. Angela is right, discussing controversial subject at the first meeting is not a good idea, unless they bring it up.

  • Uncle Rico Sandy, UT
    Jan. 20, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    I agree with Angela, let them bring it up when they are ready.