There is nothing in the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about which any member need feel any shame, apology or embarrassment. Perhaps in the individual failings and weaknesses of some who profess to be members, there may be cause, but not in the Gospel itself.
As the Apostle Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ-, for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..."
Yet, because of the popular beliefs and traditions of the world, there are at least two points of doctrine and history of this Church about which many LDS themselves—to say nothing of many non-members—feel ill at ease or critical. One of these is its doctrine regarding the Negro.
If we properly understood this doctrine, and the reasons for it, we would not feel critical of it. "And ye shall know the truth" taught Jesus, "and the truth shall make you free." We would become free of any misgivings about these teachings, and readily proclaim to the world what they are, and why.
As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me.... His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight....(Lycurgus A. Wilson, Life of David W. Patten [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1900], p. 50., as quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, Inc.]18th printing 1991 p.p. 127-128.)
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Of course scientific research shows that skin color is a product of living in various climates, and that the first humans, who emerged in deep dark Africa, were Negroid, and that as humans moved northward into Europe, their skins turned lighter over hundreds of thousands of years. If you accept scientific reasoning then all of Mormonism's teachings about race and skin are complete nonsense.
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I wish we could take him on our faculty, but the danger in doing so is that students and others take license from this, and assume that there is nothing improper about mingling with the other races. Since the Lord, himself, created the different races and urged in the Old Testament and other places that they [i.e., blacks] be kept distinct and to themselves, we have to follow that admonition. (Source: Prince, David O. McKay, p. 65).
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I cannot, in my own feelings, accept the idea of public accommodations; the taking from the Whites their wishes to satisfy the Negroes. I do not have any objection to recognizing the Negro in his place and giving him every opportunity for education, for employment, for whatever contribution he can make to the society of men and the protection and blessings of Government. Yet, all these things, in my judgment, should accord with the expressions of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
It is not right to force any class or race of people upon those of a different social order or race classification. People are happier when placed in the environment and association of like interests, racial instincts, habits, and natural groupings.
I fully agree the Negro is entitled to considerations, also stated above, but not full social benefits nor inter-marriage privileges with the Whites, nor should the Whites be forced to accept them into restricted White areas.
Now, don't think I am against the Negro people, because I have several in my employ. We must understand and recognize their status and then, accordingly, provide for them. I just don't think we can get around the Lord's position in relation to the Negro without punishment for our acts; going contrary to that which He has revealed. The Lord will not permit His purposes to be frustrated by man.
(Source: Letter dated 23 January 1964 on "Council of the Twelve" letterhead from Delbert L. Stapley to Governor George Romney).
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The issue of the blacks and the priesthood has become a pivotal issue about the integrity of past and current leaders. In 2006, then Church president that "no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church. Let us all recognize that each of us is a son or daughter of our Father in Heaven, who loves all of His children."