A family is having an African American family, who aren't members of the LDS Church over for a gospel lesson on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday and they wonder how to approach the history of black members of the church and the priesthood.

Dear Angela,

Our friends, an African-American family, are coming to our home Monday evening to learn more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re excited that they have decided to investigate the church and we are hoping the meeting goes well. We’ve decided to begin by addressing the issue of blacks and the priesthood revelation. We can imagine that may be a subject they have on their minds and we want to address it clearly, right away, and straight on. As an African-American member of the church, what suggestions would you give when beginning this conversation? We want them to feel comfortable and we want them to feel like they can ask us questions about it. Any suggestions?


Cali Family

Dear Cali Family,

It’s always a great blessing to have investigators in your home. I hope the meeting goes well, too!

I’m sure the topic of blacks and the priesthood revelation will come up at some point while this family is investigating the church. For your special night, however, you might want to consider talking about some of the basic principles of the gospel.

The most unique, powerful and really life-altering message you can share is that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and that the Book of Mormon is evidence of that — evidence that they can read and pray about (individually and as a family). I’m not suggesting this to put a damper on your discussion plans, but you just never know if they’ll want to hear more. So, imagine this is the one time you’ll be able to share your faith with them. What’s the most important thing you could say? What message do you think will help them be better parents? Happier siblings? Kinder friends?

If I were investigating a new religion with my family, I think I would want to know about those things. Plus, when you share a simple testimony of gospel truths, it’s a sure way to invite the Spirit into your home and bring peace and comfort to all who are present.

Discussions of race are bound to come up, but whatever the outcome of those conversations, this family will always have the sweet and all-important message that you lovingly shared with them in your home.



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Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the young single adult Latter-day Saint experience. Twitter: askange_column