“Mormons Open Lay Priesthood To Blacks”

By Johnie Edwards

`Mormons open lay priesthood to blacks” was the title of an article which appeared in The Indianapolis Star on Saturday, June 10, 1978. According to the article, Mormon Church President Spencer W. Kimball, received a new revelation, from God. Mr. Spencer is quoted as saying, “He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to priesthood without regard for race or color.”

Which Is Correct?

The Mormon Church has taught in the past that Blacks could not be a part of the Priesthood. Notice some of the statements Mormon leaders have made concerning this subject.

“Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of priesthood and the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p. 101).

“This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith …. we all know it is due to his teachings that the Negro today is barred from the Priesthood” (Ibid.).

“As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin: he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born through his lineage” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 102).

“Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot receive the priesthood” (Brigham Young in Wilford Woodruff by Mathias F. Cowley, p. 351).

“The church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro . . . It’s a Law of God” (N. Eldon Tanner, 2nd Counselor to Joseph Fielding Smith, in Seattle Magazine, December 1967, p. 60).

“Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty” (Bruce R. McConkie in Mormon Doctrine, 1958, p. 477).

I am asking, which of these teachings is correct? They both cannot be. Rather interesting isn’t it?

No New Revelation

When the last book of the New Testament was written the pen of inspiration was forever laid down. Jude said, “Beloved, when I have all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The word `once’ means once for all time. All of God’s truth has been made known. “How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery: Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Eph. 3:3,5).

No Distinction As To Color

‘The New Testament makes no distinction as to color in regards to man’s relationship to God. The newspaper article quoted Mr. Kimball as saying, “he had received a direct revelation from God to extend to every worthy member of the church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.” I read where God has already extended all of the privileges and blessings of the gospel to all men. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:26-29).

All Christians Are Priests

Long before Mr. Kimball learned that Blacks could be priests, God had already made known that every Christian is a priest unto God. “And bath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father: to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” (Rev. 1:6). There is no such thing taught in the Bible, as the Mormons teach, concerning priesthood. for man today.

Truth Magazine XXII: 32, p. 524
August 17, 1978