Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

Mormons to mark 30 years of blacks in priesthood


Latter-day Saints will mark the 30th anniversary Sunday with an evening celebration of words and music in the Salt Lake City Tabernacle.

Heralded as a revelation from God to church President Spencer W. Kimball, the four-paragraph statement gave blacks full membership in the church for the first time after nearly 130 years.

Some say it was the most significant change in church policy since Mormons abandoned polygamy in 1890 to gain statehood for Utah.

Unlike other religions, the Mormon priesthood is not a set of trained clerics. It is a lay status granted to virtually every Mormon male at age 12, allowing them to bestow blessings and hold certain church callings.

Until 1978, black men could attend priesthood meetings but could not pass sacraments or give blessings, even on their own families. They could not enter Mormon temples for sacred ceremonies, including marriage.

“It left you on the outside,” said Darius A. Gray, who is black and joined the church as a young man in 1964. … Mormons to mark 30 years of blacks in priesthood – 06/07/2008 –

Author: Bill

Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

2 thoughts on “Mormons to mark 30 years of blacks in priesthood

  1. There is now a video online that discusses the event and black members of the Church tell their experiences:

  2. I was born and raised Mormon and always found that convenient “revelation” occurring in the civil rights era as interesting to say the least.

    Then being good young Mormon male I went on an mission at the wise age of 18–to Africa. Having to explain that “revelation” every day led me to leave the church a few years after returning from Mother Africa. I’m glad I went though for many reasons and not the least of which being that I fell in love with the culture and people.

    That’s not the first convenient “revelation” though in Mormon history. The “revelation” to end polygamy only occurred when the Mormons wanted the benefits of being a state out in the Utah territory. The U.S. government at the time said that they couldn’t gain statehood since they practiced polygamy. So not too long after that the Mormon prophet received that “revelation.”

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