question about the LDS church

I hesitate to even ask this question, because I know it can seem provoking. I did a search on the Internet but couldn’t find an answer.

I hate to seem like I am trying to stifle people’s freedom of expression, but if someone could give me a factual answer to this question I would appreciate it.

In what year did the LDS church allow people “of colour” (insert correct term here) to become “priests”? (insert correct term here)
How were people “of colour” defined?

My understanding is that this happened sometime after 1970. Would anyone know of any relevant documents on the internet I could consult?

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

It was in a revelation to President Spencer W. Kimball on June 8, 1978, that this happened. The revelation in full can be found in the “Doctrine and Covenants” and is called “Declaration 2.” After much prayer, “plead[ing] long and earnestly” on behalf of those from whom the LDS priesthood had been withheld, Spencer W. Kimball received a revelation from God. Here’s a brief quote from it:

The vote was unanimous among the “constituent assembly” of the church in the affirmative to “accept this revelation as the word and will of the Lord.”

If you want to learn more about blacks and the LDS church’s stance, both before this revelation and after, go here:

and do a search on “blacks.”

Better yet, just click here:

Are Mormons Prejudiced?

If I understand it correctly, then people excluded from the priesthood were blacks “of African descent”, whereas blacks “of non-African descent” (whoever that might be) were not excluded.

The caused of that exclusion was that those excluded were descendents of Canaan, son of Ham, son of Noah, and Noah cursed Canaan because Canaan’s father Ham had revealed to his brothers that his father was drunk and naked.

The exclusion was rescinded in 1978 after divine revelation.

Thank you for the information and the links.

Jacques Kilchoer
Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains.

Actually, I believe the cause of the exclusion was and is pretty much unknown, except that God chose to curse Cain and his descendents by withholding the priesthood from them. Now, cursin Cain I can understand–he was a murderer. Why his descendents? Heck if I know. Maybe someone who knows more than me about this subject can chime in, but my understanding is, God hasn’t revealed why he excluded blacks of African descent from holding the priesthood until 1978.

cursin = cursing, of course. That’ll teach me not to send posts before proofreading them.

West Indians, Aborigines, Haitians, etc…

Mojo, the people of Haiti ARE of African desent. They are decended from slaves imported from Africa after the native population was wiped out.

P.S. Not just Haiti, this goes for the other islands of the West Indies. On some islands, the population is more “mixed” then on others, but African ancesters are part of the mix.

Excuse me, Gentlemen, but it is my humble opinion that the LDS church was being simply racist from its very begginings, and then they realized how many potential “clients” they were missing by not allowing “dark-skinned” people in their files and ranks.

According to the book of Mormon, the Lamanites, who were beautiful white people, were cursed, receiving “…a skin of blackness, and becom(ing) a scourge unto the Nephites”.

From 2 Nephi 5:21-24 we can read:

All this was happening, according to the Book of Mormon, around 600BC.
I leave this to you, so you can form your own opinion. And since this is NOT the GD forum, I won’t say anymore. Have a good day.

Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

E1Skeptic: yet, the LDS church had always accepted Blacks into the faith. What was at issue, and corrected (if you will) by the Official Declaration #2, was admitting Blacks into the priesthood.

You may note that the LDS church headquartered in Salt Lake City does not permit women into the priesthood but the Reorganized Church headquartered in Independence does.

I guess some folks (well, many) will say that makes the Salt Lake City group sexist along with other churches which do not open their priesthood to women.

E1Skeptic: Here is a passage from a favorite web site of mine about the subject of skin color/state of righteousness. Following it will be the link to the web site where I copied it from, and you can read the entire article if you so desire.

"One of the favorite techniques of anti-Mormons is to falsely say that the Lamanites were cursed with dark skin. They falsely say that Latter-day Saints believe that there is something inherently wrong with someone because he has dark skin. By the dictionary definition of racism, this idea is certainly racist. However, it is not a Latter-day Saint teaching and stands in direct opposition to the Book of Mormon (the keystone of our religion): "… [Jesus Christ] denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God …(2 Nephi 26:33)

According to President Joseph Fielding Smith,

"The dark skin was the sign of the curse. The curse was the withdrawal of the Spirit of the Lord and the Lamanites becoming a “loathsome and filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.’’ The Lord commanded the Nephites not to intermarry with them, for if they did they would partake of the curse.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 3, p.122)

The dark skin given to the Lamanites was simply a physical characteristic to distinguish the Lamanites and Nephites and to keep them from intermarrying. Skin color has no moral significance one way or the other. Why were the Nephites commanded not to intermarry with the Lamanites? For the same reason that Latter-day Saints today are counseled not to date or marry nonmembers of the Church. Latter-day Saints who are married to nonmembers do not enjoy full Church participation, especially temple marriage. Furthermore, their children are far less likely to be faithful members of the Church. (See Dating Nonmembers)

Now let’s discuss the concept of racism as it applies to the Lamanites and Nephites through generations of time. Were the descendants of Nephi always good, righteous, and blessed of God? Were the descendants of Laman always evil, wicked, and cursed by God?

No, actually there were times when specific Lamanite individuals and entire groups of Lamanite people were pronounced just as righteous and favored of God as most Nephites. In addition, at the end of the Book of Mormon, the entire Lamanite people were more righteous than the Nephites. Let’s give a few examples.

The Nephite prophet Ammon gave this praise to a Lamanite queen:

“And Ammon said unto her: Blessed art thou because of thy exceeding faith; I say unto thee, woman, there has not been such great faith among all the people of the Nephites.” (Alma 19:10)

One of the greatest prophets in the Book of Mormon was a Lamanite who was sent by God to preach to the Nephites who had fallen away from the paths of righteousness:

“And it came to pass that in this year there was one Samuel, a Lamanite, came into the land of Zarahemla [a Nephite land], and began to preach unto the people. And it came to pass that he did preach, many days, repentance unto the people…” (Helaman 13:2)

One of the most righteous people in the Book of Mormon were a group of Lamanites called the People of Ammon:

“And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace.” (Alma 24:19)

“And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards God, and also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in the faith of Christ, even unto the end.” (Alma 27:27)

“And thus they were a zealous and beloved people, a highly favored people of the Lord.” (Alma 27:30)

On the other hand, the most wicked people in the Book of Mormon were always Nephites who had entered into apostasy. After reciting some terrible deeds committed by apostate Nephites, the commentator states:

“And thus we can plainly discern, that after a people have been once enlightened by the Spirit of God, and have had great knowledge of things pertaining to righteousness, and then have fallen away into sin and transgression, they become more hardened, and thus their state becomes worse than though they had never known these things.” (Alma 24:30)

In the final battles between the Nephites and Lamanites, the prophet Mormon makes this comparison between the Nephites and Lamanites:

“And notwithstanding this great abomination of the Lamanites, it doth not exceed that of [the Nephites] in Moriantum.” (Moroni 9:9)

Also, at one point the following comparison is made between the Nephites and Lamites:

"AND it came to pass that when the sixty and second year of the reign of the judges had ended, all these things had happened and the Lamanites had become, the more part of them, a righteous people, insomuch that their righteousness did exceed that of the Nephites, because of their firmness and their steadiness in the faith.

For behold, there were many of the Nephites who had become hardened and impenitent and grossly wicked, insomuch that they did reject the word of God and all the preaching and prophesying which did come among them." (Helaman 6:1-2)

In summary, the Book of Mormon flatly condemns racism by stating that all are alike unto God and are invited to partake of salvation, specifically including blacks. Nephi and Laman, the leaders of the Nephites and Lamanites respectively, were brothers in the same Jewish family. Therefore the verses in question have nothing to do with inherent differences between races. The “skin of blackness” was simply a distinguishing characteristic to keep the Church-going Nephites from marrying the worldly Lamanites. It has no moral significance.

The actual curse was withdrawal of the Spirit of the Lord due to their own iniquity. This curse applied to both the Nephites and the Lamanites equally, depending upon their behavior at the time. When the Lamanites repented of their sins, they were loved and blessed by God. On the other hand, when the Nephites apostatized from the truth they were cursed and rejected by God. In fact, at the end of the Book of Mormon, the Lord allowed the Lamanites to utterly destroy the Nephite civilization because the Nephites were so wicked and perverse. Therefore, one of the great messages of the Book of Mormon is that your skin color has nothing to do with your status with God. “Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one; he that is righteous is favored of God.” (1 Nephi 17:35)

The url for this article in its full form is . Once you get there, go to “Accusatory Questions” and find the appropriate question listed therein.

Let me clarify something first: I am not anti-mormon (and I’m not saying anyone here called me that, ok?). I am anti-racism, anti-prejudice, anti-hatred.

I have been closely related to LDS church members, and they are as good and gentle people as most people I know. But I just can’t buy their teachings. I do NOT believe there is one single word of truth in the Book of Mormon, as well as in other religious books. I do believe, however, that a lot of people take the words from these books as a kind of moral and philosophical guidance, and I find this erroneous and even (sometimes) downright dangerous.

I still believe that “Mormons” were racist in their beginings, as I’ve been told and confirmed by others who have been closer to that church (even inside of it).

Monty says that “…the LDS church had always accepted Blacks into the faith”. I don’t know about that, I’d like to see some evidence. But I do know mexicans who were politely denied access. Although I must say that Monty is right when he points out that the issue at hand was the “priesthood” of black people.

And regarding Snarkberry’s last post, well…, sorry, but I find the info contained in it so full of contradictions and excuses that it only makes me strenghten my skepticism. Quotations out of context, like the one about Ammon telling the Lamanite princess how good she is. C’mon. If you read Alma 19 (the whole chapter) you’ll see that Ammon was just fooling her into believing she was soooo faithful.

And so on. Check this:

Hey, isn’t it written in 2 Nephi 26:32 that “…the Lord God hath commanded that men should not murder; …and that they should do none of this things; for whoso doeth them shall perish.”? I just don’t get it.

Anyways, I said before that this is not the GD forum, so I guess I should not get too deep into this. I appreciate you guys explaining the why’s and how’s. Never meant to get into a debate. Peace.


Men will cease to commit atrocities only when they cease to believe absurdities.

Shoot, I thought this thread was about LSD! Damn dsylexai! :slight_smile:

E1skeptic: Hey, believe what you want. I’m not looking for an argument. As Jesus said in 3 Nephi, “Contention is of the devil.” We’ll just have to respectfully disagree with each other.

E1: there’s a pretty cool book entitled “The Religions of America.” It’s a bit out of date but still has the valid info you request. IIRC, the author was Leo Rosten. Look at the entry “What is a Mormon?” Unless, of course, you’re interested in another denomination, then look under the entry “What is a (insert denomination)?”

Okay, I’ll try and tackle this one after all. What the heck, I’m bored.

E1skeptic wrote:

Please, could you cite exactly which “contradictions” you’re talking about, other than the “contradiction” you mentioned about the Lamanite queen?

I’ve read the whole chapter. Have you? According to the preceding verses, Ammon’s “only desire” was to do what the queen asked of him (go see her husband, the king, who was having a soul-transforming experience, apparently unconscious). Ammon went to the king’s prostrate body and told the queen that he was not dead, but that he “sleepeth in God, and on the morrow he shall rise again;”. Then he asked the queen if she believed this, and she answered that even though she had no witness but his word and the king’s servants’ word, she believed it. It was then that Ammon told her she had “exceeding faith.”

From the above paragraph, we can conclude that:

1)Ammon was lying to her in order to gain her favor, in which case the king would not rise again;
2)Ammon was complimenting her on her faith and telling her the truth, in which case the king would rise again.

If he was telling her the truth, then he wasn’t “fooling her into believing she was soooo faithful.” And it turns out he was telling her the truth, because the king did rise again. So how am I “quoting out of context”? It would seem that you are the one misquoting (or at least, misinterpreting) here.


Yes, it’s a sin to murder. But God doesn’t prevent all murders from happening, now, does he? When he “allowed” the Lamanites to destroy the Nephites, he didn’t command them to do so; he just withdrew his protection against this happening. In no way does this exonerate the Lamanites from their sins of murder. They perished for their murders, as your quote says.

I hope this explanation helps you understand the BOM better, E1.

Why did I know this would happen?
Great Debates? Incoming!