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Race and the Mormon Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In June of 1978, leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced what they called a revelation on the priesthood of their faith. Up until that time, black members were not allowed to fully participate in the rites and rituals of Mormonism. Race has been a complicated issue in the LDS Church. Here's a collection of stories and conversations that aim at making sense of it through the lens of theology, history, and the experience of today's Latter-day Saints.


The Road to the Revelation, June 7, 2018 RadioWest Guests: Greg Prince, Eugene Orr
Race and the Making of the Mormon People, June 5, 2018 RadioWest Guest: Max Perry Mueller
Black and Mormon Today, June 1, 2018 RadioWest Guests: Lee Hale, LaShawn Williams, James Jones
As The LDS Church Celebrates Its Black Mormon History Many Still Grapple With A Painful Past, June 1, 2018 Lee Hale for KUER News
Mormon Church Celebration of 40 Years of Black Priesthood Brings Up Painful Past, May 31, 2018 KUER's Lee Hale for NPR
The Mormon Struggle for Whiteness, June 8, 2015 RadioWest Guest: Paul Reeve
Revisiting Blacks and the Priesthood, December 20, 2013 RadioWest Guests: Marvin Perkins, Margaret Blair Young, Russell Stevenson, John Dehlin

Elijah Ables was ordained to the Mormon priesthood in 1836 during the life of Church founder Joseph Smith.
Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables, August 21, 2013 RadioWest Guest: Russell Stevenson
Nobody Knows: Blacks and the Mormon Priesthood, June 11, 2008 RadioWest Guests: Darius Gray, Margaret Blair Young, Michael Quinn
Black and Mormon, October 25, 2004 RadioWest Guests: Darron Smith, Newell G. Bringhurst, Cardell Jacobsen


Mormons, Native Americans, and the Indian Placement Program, October 18, 2017 RadioWest Guests: Matthew Garrett, Elise Boxer