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Persons of color — Section 52

Persons of color in the eyes of the LDS Church

This section was written well before 1978, when persons of color were given full access to all blessings, ordinances, and covenants in the LDS Church.

Representative of a Christian church:
One of the most controversial doctrines in the LDS Church is the stand they take on dealing with persons of color.  The scriptures say that “God is no respecter of persons” and yet persons of color in the LDS church occupy a ‘second-rate’ membership level.  They can be baptized and partake of the sacrament, but they cannot enter into LDS temples, pass the sacrament, or perform in positions of responsibility among the leadership of the church.  This doctrine, clearly prejudicial, was taught by the founder of the LDS Church, Joseph Smith, and is completely contrary to the doctrines of Christ.  We read where Philip did not hesitate to baptize the Ethiopian.  Paul said, “For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jew or Gentile, whether we be bond or free, and have all been made to drink one spirit.”  (1 Corinthians 12:12).   And I believe that you also teach that Cain received a ‘mark’ because he killed Abel, and this mark was passed on to his posterity.  Thank doesn’t sound like a just God to me.  I challenge you to support these teachings from the scriptures.

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
We do not claim that dark skins came because of Cain’s punishment.  Ezekiel 18:2-3 and Ezekiel 18:20 point out that “the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.”  It was through his seed, however, that the Lord chose to send these spirits into the world.  Paul said that God “hath made of one blood all nations of men for two swell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the time before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation”.  See Acts 17:26.  This shows that the Lord chose the time and place in which we would be born and this He did through his judgment and mercy.  That is why future events could be spoken of by the holy prophets and even individual’s experiences could be revealed.  The only thing that persons of color are restricted from in the church today is the priesthood.  The situation with our friends of color is identical with that of the Gentiles in the time of Christ.  We read that “Christ was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”.  Yet Christ was just, but it was his purpose and will not to go to the Gentiles.  His apostles were sent out with the same restriction.  See Mark 10:5-6.  It was with some difficulty that Jesus later persuaded the apostles to go to all men when the period of Israel’s prior rights were expired.  Refer to Mark 16:15 and Acts 10.  Such is the case with today’s persons of color.  They are not restricted from church membership, but just to the holding of the priesthood offices.  The Lord has promised that the day will come, just as it came to the Gentiles, that these souls will receive God’s priesthood and the blessings from it.  [Note: This occurred in 1978]  We believe that all of God’s children will have the opportunity to go to the highest kingdom, for as Paul taught, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, so shall he reap.”  (Galatians 6:7)  The same holds true in Christ’s parable of the talents.  Where much is given, much is expected.  I have pointed out to you then, why there are some restrictions presently but that the day will come when that will no longer be the case.  You do not question Christ’s approach to the Gentiles during his ministry.  Please grant us the same consideration.

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