Black LDS leader Darius Gray makes, contributes to Mormon history


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  • BYU fan of the North usa, UT
    June 20, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    Just to correct and support your point, there are over 688,000 LDS members in the Philippines. When I served my mission there from 98-2000, there were around 450,000 members. In just 14 years, there have been nearly 200,000 members baptized; a rate that has earned them 2 temples added to the one in Manilla. For those that look at our faith as a white only faith, they are truly not looking at the church as a whole. If you were to look at the Utah membership, you would see more white members due to the population of Utah as a whole. That being said, there are several branches and wards, that are spanish, tongan, samoan, filipino, and that speak other languages other than english. These wards and branches are growing at an enormous rate, due in to the fact that the seeds that were planted many decades ago, are finally starting to show that all are welcome under the LDS canopy.The many rumors, lies, and even mistakes by former members, are being corrected, cleared up, and shown that the doctrine shows love of all.

  • nanacarol7 Butler, AL
    June 19, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    I have enjoyed all programs that have Darius Gray involved in them. He is a great missionary for Heavenly Father. I am so proud to see him receiving this recognition.

  • thebigsamoan Richmond, VA
    June 19, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    UT Brit,

    Could there be a slight possibility that D&C 1:38 may shed some light on this? The Lord himself declares in here that "...though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." If the Lord did not intervene all these years to correct this issue, doesn't that mean that perhaps it was really his will for that to happen and allowed his prophets to declare it? Not that he doesn't love his black children but maybe perhaps because he knows what's best for them and that then was not the time, thus he inspired his prophets to teach that though they couldn't hold the priesthood then, they were nevertheless promised a day and time in the future where they will all receive the blessings of the priesthood and none will be denied access to it. Remember there were 12 tribes of Israel and he commanded that only the house of Levi should hold the priesthood. Were the other 11 tribes unworthy of his love? I doubt it.

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 18, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    To declare publically that the prophet is wrong is to take upon ourselves that mantle

    I don't need to do that, they clearly stated that themselves in the essay, seriously has everyone actually seen it yet, I have read so many comments that the ban was inspired somehow. It wasn't, 100% man made, due to prejudice.

    Please allow this comment through DN censors.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    June 18, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    It should also be recognized that America's history of racial discrimination has included animus toward American Indians, Mexicans, Asians and Polynesians, yet the Mormons have from the earliest times of the LDS Church made serious efforts to recruit people in all those groups into the Church. The first missionaries to Tahiti were there in 1846, and the large number of converts among native Hawaiians led to BYU-Hawaii and the Temple in Laie. Missionaries started work in Japan in 1901 under apostle Heber J. Grant, and were restarted in earnest after World War II, despite the wartime propaganda that stirred hatred among other Americans. Today there are close to a million Mormons in Asia and Polynesia, including over a third of all Tongans, and 100,000 Japanese, and many thousands in the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Membership in Mongolia has mushroomed since the end of the Cold War, with almost 10% of the capital city now LDS. In Latin America, there are a million Mormons in Mexico, a million in Brazil (including many with African ancestry), and 100,000 in the Dominican Republic (again, many with black ancestry).

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 18, 2014 1:36 p.m.


    The point here is not about Moses seeing God (which is a great topic for another day). Rather that the Lord told Miriam and Aaron quite forcefully that it was not their place to criticize the prophet. If you are going to respond, please respond just to that one issue which you raised previously.

    UT Brit,

    I make no claim that church leaders are never wrong. The local church leaders I know certainly make no such claims. But there is a method for disagreement outlined in the scriptures of counseling with folks privately. To declare publically that the prophet is wrong is to take upon ourselves that mantle – we essentially declare that WE speak for the Lord. I would have great care making such a declaration.

  • Don Ira St George, UT
    June 18, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    Years ago Darius was at a fireside in St George, Utah I attended. I have remembered a statement he made about being in a minority. His remarks went something like; Be the only Black Mormon in a White Catholic School!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 18, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    To "UT Brit" prove it. Give us a verifiable source that states that the Blacks would never have the Priesthood. I can only find quotes that state that it was not yet time for them.

    You do realize taht there is a fine line between criticizing a church leader and apostacy right?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 18, 2014 12:25 p.m.

    RE: RedWings, The Priesthood of the believer. Martin Luther, “…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.(1Peter 2:9 NIV).

    Twin Lights, ”the Lord's anointed”?
    For no one can see me and live. (Ex 33: 18-20)… The LORD often appeared, but not in His full shekinah glory. Gen. 17:1.

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

    the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11. i.e…

    J S, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.). What is the son? First, he is a personage of tabernacle.

    “(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..

  • UT Brit London, England
    June 18, 2014 10:38 a.m.


    The priesthood ban was stated as doctrine, saying it was not a big issue implies you were banned from the priesthood and didnt mind it.


    On points of doctrine the church has indeed erected ex cathedra regarding what the prophets say. The prophets have stated the priesthood ban was doctrine, they now say it wasnt doctrine.

    @Twin Lights

    Right we should not criticise church leaders even when they are wrong? I know Elder Oaks said that but I will refuse that thank you very much.

    June 18, 2014 10:14 a.m.


    Not sure what your point was with the scripture you posted to me? Blacks were baptized members of the Church for a long time before the Priesthood ban was lifted. Many received the gospel and were baptized even though they could not hold the Priesthood.

    We shoudl be careful when taking scripture out of context, or using the Lord's words in petty arguments. His Words are far more valuable than that...

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    June 18, 2014 8:47 a.m.

    It is possible, that in my opinion, some things are left in place to create men like Brother Grey. Sometimes Kings wear thorny crowns. What will my test be? Will I remain faithful to what I know to be true, even though there appears to be contradictions? There are things that I absolutely know that form the foundation of my life. There are a lot more things I don't. But, in the words of Elder Holland, I have doubted my doubts, but not my faith. So into the dark we step holding fast to what we know, in pursuit of what we don't. Truth known is "as a lamp unto our feet." If we are faithful to what we have received, we will receive more. If we harden our hearts to what we know, we will receive less until we know nothing. Humility in the pursuit of truth is of absolute importance. God bless us all in answering the questions..."What is truth?"...and how will I know it when I find it? Maybe an additional question is "What will I do with it when I find it? I hope to do just what Bro. Grey did.

  • happy2BGrandma Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 17, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    Brother Gray researched, studied, but smartly, in the long-run, hoped the answer would come. It did through the channel that has proven most reliable--through a living prophet. He is a proper example to all of us. Most especially to those that feel they can "force" revelation through their public protests. Brother Gray wondered and questioned, but did not overstep his stewartship by believing he had a more direct channel to revelation. Thank you.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 17, 2014 8:58 p.m.


    Criticism of the Lord's anointed is something we should be quite careful of. From the NIV:

    Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

    “When there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions, I speak to them in dreams. But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

  • Kaladin Northern, CO
    June 17, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    The LDS Church has never had a doctrine of infallibility related to its leaders. The Church has had to learn and grow the same way a person does. Have mistakes been made? Yes. What does that mean going forward? Love God and thy neighbor. We all have prejudices but can overcome them by following these two great commandments. Am I going to follow the prophet? Yes. Am I going to stir up contention to fight against their teachings? No. We need to be kind to each other. Even those that disagree with us should be loved. That doesn't mean we have to accept any kind of wickedness, and can teach against it in all its forms. However, we need to remember that there is a mote in each one of our eyes and show love to those that may be living contrary to God's command in their own way. Racism has no place in the Church, nor does any other form of hatred. I am trying to change, may we all do so.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    June 17, 2014 4:18 p.m.

    @ WesternPoint

    That was well said.

  • GoingTo100 Gilbert, AZ
    June 17, 2014 2:33 p.m.

    What a great article.
    I was especially touched by the last story when he gave a priesthood blessing to his sister.
    Thanks brother Gray for your faithfulness, your tenderness, your humility, and your great spirit. I have no doubt that you were one of the great and noble ones that Abraham saw before the world was.

  • BYU fan of the North usa, UT
    June 17, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    March 3, 1836, Joseph Smith gave escaped slave and dear friend, Elijah Abel; the priesthood.He risked even more persecution, from the already violent mobs.He proudly called Bro. Abel as called member Quorum of the 70; at a time when racial divide was leading to a civil war.Brother Able was one of 7 who attempted to rescue Joseph Smith.He continued on faithfully, and died an active member in the SLC. My friend, and non-member historian, was the one that found the forgotten grave. I will never forget the spirit in our home, the day he found it and called Pres. Hinckley from our phone.He knew it was too important, not be known by the members; President Hinckley agreed.
    This find, lead to a monument and what I believe is the recent release by the church the Priesthood.I believe that Bro Abel's ordination and calling as a 70, was fore-ordained for not only during his life, but to help spark important conversations today.Finding his grave was no coincidence.The finder, traveled from Missouri because of a feeling that wouldn't leave.Because of Darius Grey and Elijah Abel; millions of future generations will become members.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 17, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    RE: Twin Lights, “He has resolved himself to the history. I suppose it remains for the rest of us to do so as well.” Because,
    Criticizing our(Mormon) leaders endangers our own salvation.”--The Latter-day Saint Woman: Basic Manual for Women, Part B, p. 106.

    RE: RedWings. “Therefore go and make disciples of All nations=(*ethnos/ethnicity), baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”,(Mt 28:19).*The human family, black or white. Also,
    “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to Every creature.”(Mark 16:15)

  • WesternPoint Tooele, UT
    June 17, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    I would like to reply to "Left Field": I think you raise an important question. Why would a ‘revelation’ be necessary to change the doctrine if that was not a true doctrine? Non-Israelites were denied access to the Lords Church (not just the priesthood but membership) during the early Christian church. Was that doctrine or policy? Did the Lord say Gentiles could not be members? If yes, when and where did he teach that doctrine? Or where the early brethren in that time influenced by their culture and old religious traditions in such a way that they adopted a policy that become doctrine in their minds? If that was the case then why did it take a revelation to the prophet (Peter) to change the doctrine? Perhaps God allows us to progress on our own, and just like with or own children some things we correct right away and some we wait until the child is old enough to accept the answer. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

  • BYU fan of the North usa, UT
    June 17, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    I have no problem with your quote by Joseph Smith, as long as it is taken in context and as it was meant. The same statement that he made, could be held true for any member of the priesthood or relief society that has been called to a position of responsibility. A title is nothing, if it is void of a life worthy enough to be matched with it.Prophets are human, and they too can make mistakes and fail to act even when the spirit prompts. That being said, all of our prophets have been amazing individuals that have helped guide the LDS church to where it is today. Without their dedication, love, ability to listen to Heavenly Father, and devotion to doing what was asked of them; the LDS church would be nowhere near the size it is today nor have the respect and acceptance that others around world have given it. Every single prophet has added something to the church during their time as acting president, and it is very evident that those contributions would never have been capable, had it not be with the assistance of divine intervention.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 17, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    I make no claim of knowing Bro. Gray well. But I attended one of his firesides. There he seemed quite intellectually capable and in command of a range of facts. He has resolved himself to the history. I suppose it remains for the rest of us to do so as well.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 17, 2014 12:23 p.m.

    I once found a quote from Brigham Young where he simply declared that the Blacks would be the last to receive the Priesthood. I don't know if that was inspired or not, but it sure seems like it came true.

    June 17, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    Red Corvette:

    The amount of rationalization given by those who hate the LDS Church never ceases to astound me.

    Here is an example of the "acting as a prophet" concept: I worked with a grandson of one of the Apostles. The work environment was terrible. the grandson told a few of us that he spoke with his grandfather and the counsel was to find another job. One of the others we worked with (LDS member) took that to mean that all of us members should leave the company.

    The apostle was acting as "grandfather" in that case, not as an apostle.

    We have to always be careful when taking comments by prior leaders out of the context they were made in. Blacks holding the priesthood was not a major issue until the 1970s. When it became one, the prophet asked the Lord and received an answer...

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    June 17, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    I have had the pleasure of meeting Darius Gray at a fireside a number of years ago. I have read his books (with Margaret Blair Young) about the early black saints. A friend of mine was once a college roommate with Bro. Gray. I have read many articles by him and about him, including his own story about joining the church. I have tremendous respect for Bro. Gray.

  • hadtosayit Sandy, UT
    June 17, 2014 4:30 a.m.

    Who is Darius Gray that he is penning official statements for the Church? It seems to me that the flurry of recent press releases is causing more harm than good. One need only read the comments to see that people are more confused than ever!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    June 16, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations. The Gospel in Africa had, great early scholars like Augustine. His mother, St Monica was a Berber, someone who is from North Africa. So St. Monica would certainly not have white skin.

    Augustine was a major influence, on the Reformation theologians, they have the African church to thank for a great deal of their theology." Tertullian( A.D. 170-215) brown North African not Black sub-Saharan Africans. If these men had been Americans they would have been classified as Black."

    Athanasius,(A.D. 296-373)This black African was one of the most important people in the history of Christianity.

    (Act 13:1 KJV)”.. at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called …(black G3526) and Lucius of Cyrene… and Saul.”

    Versus (3Nephi 19:25,30)". . . they were as white as the countenance … and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness . . . nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof . . . they were white, even as Jesus."

  • Cougar Claws Lindon, UT
    June 16, 2014 9:25 p.m.

    Re: Esquire

    "Racism still exists in the church today."

    Newsflash: racism still exists in the rest of the world. I don't know why people constantly berate the LDS Church for its transgressions and imperfections. The Catholic Church, Islam, any major world religion has plenty of past transgressions. In the end we're all imperfect people who need God. Same goes for national governments. American government has skeletons in their closet's past history, but the same goes for any organized government of any European nation; namely England, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, I could go on. Think about how grievously people are oppressed in many third world nations by government. The possibility for unfairness and oppression exists in any organized or governing body, and you're joking yourself if you think otherwise.

    I think in the end what LDS people share is that a perfect God shares the gospel through prophets whose mission is to do their best to share a message that we can be saved through Jesus Christ and that everything can be made right in this imperfect world someday. Most importantly, we can learn the truth of this for ourselves through sincere study and prayer.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 16, 2014 9:16 p.m.

    Darius Gray is a great man, Utah is a better place because of him. He is close friends with Pastor France A. Davis of SLC's Calvary Baptist Church, who is also a great man.

    Another great man, though of more modest social stature, was Nelson Styles, who attended Calvary Baptist in SLC for a very long time, and was an employee of the Hotel Utah, though he was not allowed to stay there as a guest.

    These three individuals, and many more, have been genuine pioneers within this society, founded by pioneers. I'm very glad this entire topic is seen so differently than it was in the past.

  • kitsutsuki South Jordan, Utah
    June 16, 2014 8:26 p.m.

    Sounds like a wonderful man.

    I have a tremendous amount of respect for individuals such as Bro. Gray who, despite the mistreatment and unfair judgements of others remain true to their beliefs. He is much more valiant than I could ever dream of being.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 16, 2014 7:54 p.m.

    @ Brio, to answer your question:

    John A. Widtsoe, _Evidences and Reconciliations_, p.236–39

    "This is an old question. It was asked of the Prophet Joseph Smith and answered by him. He writes in his journal, "This morning . . . I visited with a brother and sister from Michigan, who thought that ‘a prophet is always a prophet'; but I told them that a prophet is a prophet only when he was acting as such" (Joseph Smith, _History of the Church_, 5:265).

    As for racism, if you don't think it exists, then you will never acknowledge it regardless of the evidence presented to you. It may usually be subtle, but it's there.

  • Left Field Longmont, Colorado
    June 16, 2014 7:41 p.m.

    To those who have kindly disagreed with my initial comment, thank you for your polite discourse. To those who were less cordial in your disagreement, congratulations on getting that past the comments review committee. And to those who question why I stated that the ban, and not just the rationale for it, is no longer considered doctrinal, please note that Brother Gray, who contributed to the writing of the essay on LDS.org, is quoted in this article as saying that "I gathered enough information to suspect the priesthood restriction was likely of man and not of God..." Additionally, commenting on the Church essay, LDS historian Richard Bushman remarked that the church statement "drains the ban of revelatory significance, makes it something that just grew up and, in time, had to be eliminated." In other words, the statement repudiates not just the rationales, but the ban itself.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    June 16, 2014 5:05 p.m.

    Be of good cheer Br. Gray - cancer is a tough go, but you're up to it.

    Thanks for your many years of assistance in the church and for your own faithfulness, it wasn't as easy a path for you as most. God Bless.

  • Copacetic Logan, UT
    June 16, 2014 3:48 p.m.

    I would imagine that those today who have an issue with the Church not allowing women to hold the Priesthood would also find fault with Christ himself for not choosing any women to be a part of his 12 apostles whom He personally called one by one in the New Testament.

    In spite of that fact, most people still ascertain that Christ wasn't (and isn't) racist or chauvinistic. To even insinuate such a thing would be ludicrous and irresponsible.

    The members of the Godhead, who act in one accord, decide whom and when which people will hold the Priesthood of God. His timetable is not ours to question. Nor will I. Nor should anyone who has made a personal covenant with God to follow His prophets upon the earth.

    Those prophets simply acts as God's mouthpiece on earth. If a person doesn't believe that, then perhaps membership in His church is not for that person... until further personal theological progress can be made.

  • panamadesnews Lindon, UT
    June 16, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    To Left Field about revelation and the Priesthood:

    Christ taught the 12 that he was only called to teach the House of Israel. Before his ascension, he commanded them to teach and baptize all men. Fast forward to Joppa.

    Peter receives a revelation he does not understand. Cornelius, who lives 2 days journey away from Joppa also receives a revelation. Cornelius send his servants to Joppa to bring Peter to his home. Peter hears Cornelius' testimony and baptizes and confirms him and all of his household. Peter returns to Jerusalem, where some of the 12 think he has apostatized because of his actions. He repeats the whole story and the 12 can see this was the will of God.

    Later, Paul receives a revelation which converts him and he becomes the great Apostle called to teach and baptize non-Jewish people.

    Does this sound familiar? How else can God let his will be known to his children on the Earth, but by revelation. Thus President Kimball received a revelation so that there would be no question as to what was the will of the Lord.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    June 16, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    @ Esquire:

    It appears you are spreading some personal opinion as fact. Would you please provide some proof or evidence of these 2 statements of yours:

    - That racism still exists in the Church today.

    - That Joseph Smith said or even insinuated that a prophet isn't always a prophet. That statement of yours facilitates people with questionable testimonies to have an excuse in picking and choosing which commandments and which doctrine they will accept.

    Rationalizations to not follow God's prophets have existed for as long as prophets have.

    For those who would like actual facts rather than just opinions (which are being tossed about quite freely in this comment section) regarding the history of Blacks in the Church, they should go to lds.org and find the link to a very good article that articulates the issue in a cogent manner.

    @ Left Field:

    Per your suggestion, I thought about your comment for a minute. I came to the conclusion that your opinions on this matter are incorrect. As your moniker insinuates, perhaps you are indeed somewhere out in left field.

    If people have a testimony, they will follow the prophets. If not, they won't.

    June 16, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    Having faith sometimes means that we have to take a step or two in the dark. I don't know why the ban was not lifted until 1978, or why the earlier church leaders spoke so forcefully against blacks having the priesthood. One day this will be revealed to us.

    I do have faith that these men are the leaders God has chosen. They are men with weaknesses, like all of us, but they have also been prepared by teir experiences to lead us today.

    To me, there is no correlation between this and women holding the priesthood. That men carry the priesthood is clearly doctinal. It is in scripture. Also, I hold the priesthood so I can bless the lives of others. It is not a status thing. Those who demand the priesthood under the fallacy of "equal rights" do not understand it or its power.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    June 16, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    John K. Penn, the first of two African-American members of the quorum of the 12 apostles in The Church of Jesus Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, Pennsylvania) was born the son of freed slaves in Virginia in 1867. He was a member of that quorum from 1910 until his death in 1955.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    June 16, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    I know Darius and have always found him to be a strong loving person. He's been losing his hearing in recent years, but his handshake is still firm and people are drawn to him. I'm glad to see him receiving this wonderful recognition from his church.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    June 16, 2014 1:53 p.m.

    Left Field:

    A slight correction is in order: The church's essay indicated that the past justifications regarding the priesthood ban do not constitute church doctrine today. It did not say the ban itself was not doctrinal. This is a big difference.

    Please also keep in mind President McKay, as president of the church, prayed to the Lord about lifting the ban on various occasions. On one occasion, President Mckay felt nothing. On another occasion, President McKay felt impressed NOT to lift the ban at that time. At another occasion, God impressed upon President McKay to quit asking about Him about it.

    In other words, God permitted the ban to remain for a time but we don't know the reasons (yet). The church also indicated in its essay we don't have all the reasons why the ban was implemented per lack of historical records.

    Don't lose your faith in the Brethren. They are authorized servants of Jesus Christ and hold all the priesthood keys for this dispensation. You can trust the Brethren and what they teach -- they are inspired by the Lord.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 16, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    Joseph Smith said something to the effect that a prophet is only a prophet when he is acting as such? This implies there are times a prophet is not always a prophet. So where is the dividing line? Where does personal revelation of the hearer of the word come in? There are some interesting issues here. It is not always so black and white.

    @ kiddsport, I fear you are trying to rationalize the exclusion of blacks from the Priesthood. There was no valid basis for it. None. It was clearly in conflict with the 2nd Article of Faith, which I take as a fundamental principle of the Gospel. (The Articles of Faith are utterly brilliant).

    @shadow01, when you say "our leader's eyes are less clouded than mine", I don't know you, but as a general rule, I cannot agree. They have many of the same weaknesses, biases, etc. as the rest of us. Sometimes it clouds judgment. Back to my earlier point, it is not always so clear cut. As gods in training, we have to tread on difficult ground for ourselves and not be led around by our noses.

  • ThornBirds St.George, Utah
    June 16, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Those commenting on this article are brave souls.
    I have recently wondered if those making questioning statements fear.....

  • shadow01 Edwardsville, IL
    June 16, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    @ Left Field
    Your premis that a priesthood ban without doctrinal basis would not require a revelation to correct is incorrect. Actually a revelation is exactly what would be needed. Take a look at the Doctrine and Covenants. How many times are revelations given to correct misunderstandings of the gospel. How many times in church history would the phrase "Behold you have not understood", be appropriate when dealing with the members of the church. Perhaps if they understood, there would have been no problems with milk and butter.
    The problem is, we are mortals living in an imperfect world, trying to see eternity through clouded eyes. But I know our leader's eyes are less clouded than mine and I trust them. I truely believe that if they make a mistake in guiding us it will be corrected. Their job is to lead us, my job is to search, ponder, and pray and strive to be more Christ like in my dealings with others.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    June 16, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    While I was in high school in Utah back in the 70s, I only recall one black student attending my school. He was immediately popular possibly because he played football but I think mostly because of his cheerful nature. Even in those years, it was becoming a matter of the content of one's character rather than the color of one's skin. We had a few Hispanic students and I considered most of them my friends. There were few instances of discrimination I witnessed but most of them were from earlier generations.
    Pertaining to the priesthood, don't overlook the history of the Aaronic Priesthood which in Old Testament times was held only by direct descendants of the tribe of Levi, which is why it is also referred to as the Levitical Priesthood. Exclusion of groups of people didn't start with the blacks in modern days. Even the Savior himself sent his apostles out first to the Jews only later were they to go to the Gentiles. If you have faith in God, you must trust in His timetable and His revelation of those times through His prophets.

  • aceroinox Farmington, UT
    June 16, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    I think if you read Elder Oaks' talk from April Conference, you will find he referred to the pattern that only men are ordained to offices in the priesthood as "divinely decreed."

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    June 16, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    Regarding blacks and the priesthood--either the brethren made a mistake or God didn't want blacks to have the priesthood. Either one is quite problematic. This article is supporting evidence that denying blacks the priesthood was a mistake and not what God wanted. It really does raise the question of how much we can trust the brethren to be doing what God wants. I believe that the apostles and prophets are called of God and I also believe that they are human and make mistakes. These facts make it difficult sometimes to distinguish doctrine from policy and from practice.

    It definitely pertains to the Ordain Women discussion. While I think it is possible that God doesn't want women to have priesthood, the church statements haven't stated that clearly. I would feel better if the official church responses would say "We asked God as a group of brethren and we all got this answer from God."

    What an admirable man, though.

  • Left Field Longmont, Colorado
    June 16, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    The concern raised by this topic regarding the history of blacks in the church, however, has less to do with blacks than it does with how something that was once taught as doctrine (not misunderstood by the masses, but TAUGHT as doctrine) by early prophets and leaders of the church can be brushed aside as folklore by more recent prophets and leaders. Think about it for a minute: If the priesthood ban had no doctrinal basis from the beginning (as we're now being told), a revelation would not be needed to overturn it, instead, church leadership would only need to own up to their prejudices and start giving worthy men the priesthood. But for years leading up to and even beyond time of the revelation received by Spencer W. Kimball, the priesthood ban itself (not the theories that have circulated regarding the reasons for the ban) was taught as a doctrinal fact. Now even the ban itself is tossed aside as non-doctrinal, along with the absurd theories behind the ban. So what of today's doctrines will be brushed aside in future years when they fall out of favor?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 16, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    So sorry to hear he has bone cancer. A good man.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 16, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    It'll be neat when people aren't set apart, even in a positive way, for their skin colour.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 16, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    An interesting piece.

    Racism has existed in the Church, and still does. The Priesthood ban is one of the most lamentable policies we ever had. All I can say is we owe a deep apology to many. I know black people who were interested in joining the Church until they found out they were in an inferior position because of the ban. It also shows how an opinion, statement, or other non-doctrinal matter can take root and evolve into "doctrine", when in fact it is not really doctrinally based. We've ween this many, many times before.

    The incident of the sacrament being withdrawn reminded me of a time when my non-priesthood father-in-law came to church on the day my oldest daughter was blessed. On that day, he joined the circle during the blessing of the baby, and he took the sacrament. And you know what? It didn't matter. It didn't change a thing. Being inclusive is far, far more important than being exclusive. This goes for a lot of things in the Church. Sadly, exclusion is far too pervasive.