Early Mormon Prophet Led the Church Astray

Brigham YoungThe Mormon Church very recently posted a new statement on “Race and the Priesthood” at LDS.org in which the blame for the Church’s historic racism is laid squarely at the feet of Brigham Young. According to the statement, the idea to deny Blacks the priesthood and Mormon temple blessings didn’t come from God. Rather, the whole doctrine (called a “policy” in the statement) was but a product of the racial discrimination that abounded all across America during the time of Brigham Young’s tenure as Mormonism’s second prophet and president. According to the Church’s statement,

“In 1850, the U.S. Congress created Utah Territory, and the U.S. president appointed Brigham Young to the position of territorial governor. Southerners who had converted to the Church and migrated to Utah with their slaves raised the question of slavery’s legal status in the territory. In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and February 1852, Brigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination. At the same time, President Young said that at some future day, black Church members would “have [all] the privilege and more” enjoyed by other members.

“The justifications for this restriction echoed the widespread ideas about racial inferiority that had been used to argue for the legalization of black ‘servitude’ in the Territory of Utah.According to one view, which had been promulgated in the United States from at least the 1730s, blacks descended from the same lineage as the biblical Cain, who slew his brother Abel. Those who accepted this view believed that God’s ‘curse’ on Cain was the mark of a dark skin. Black servitude was sometimes viewed as a second curse placed upon Noah’s grandson Canaan as a result of Ham’s indiscretion toward his father. Although slavery was not a significant factor in Utah’s economy and was soon abolished, the restriction on priesthood ordinations remained…

“The curse of Cain was often put forward as justification for the priesthood and temple restrictions. Around the turn of the century, another explanation gained currency: blacks were said to have been less than fully valiant in the premortal battle against Lucifer and, as a consequence, were restricted from priesthood and temple blessings.”

The Church’s statement points out that even after the death of Brigham Young

“subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church.”

And just so there will be no misunderstanding, the Church’s statement proclaims:

“…the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.”

This is all so very interesting. The Church unequivocally condemns all racism, including past racism. This is good and commendable, even though the Church statement does not overtly admit that the Church’s attitude toward and treatment of Blacks was racist.

The Church “disavows” the various theories embraced by Mormons over the years to explain the restrictions on Black members. This is at least partially good and commendable; however, disavowing merely means that the Church denies any responsibility or support for these various theories. It is a distancing of the Church from what the institution believed and taught in the past.

But here’s the thing. Mormonism’s leaders have long insisted that the prophets, seers and revelators of the Church cannot and will not lead the Church astray. Yet the Church lived by Brigham Young’s false teachings for over 125 years. Ten Mormon prophets perpetuated Brigham Young’s errors on race, believing his restrictions on Blacks represented the will of God. And now the Church says it was all due to “a highly contentious racial culture” that Brigham Young mistook for God’s leading.

“I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, 199)

“Keep your eye on the Prophet, for the Lord will never permit his Prophet to lead this Church astray” (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Reports, October 1966, 123).

“As we look to the prophets for guidance, we can be confident that they will not lead us astray” (L. Aldin Porter, “Search the Prophets,” Ensign, April 2002, 31).

“Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help avoid misery and sorrow” (Preach My Gospel, 2004, 75).

“You can always trust the living prophets” (True to the Faith, 2004, 129).

“What time, since the organization of the Church, have any of the brethren exercising the Spirit of the Lord, ever taught this people that which was false? When have they ever said unto you that you should do that which was not right; that which would not make you better citizens and better members of the kingdom of God? You cannot, nor can any man, in righteousness, point to the time when any of them have wilfully stated anything that was contrary to the principles of righteousness, or that did not tend to make the people better in every way, that did not build them up in their salvation, temporally as well as spiritually….” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 3:297).

“Having in mind that this Church of ours is a practical Church, that it deals with temporal as well as with spiritual affairs, I submit that whatever comes from the voices of those who hold that authority is scripture, no matter of what they may speak. That conclusion to me is inevitable” (J. Reuben Clark, Jr., Conference Reports, April 1944, 112).

“Third, continuing revelation and leadership for the Church come through the President of the Church, and he will never mislead the Saints” (James Faust, “The Prophetic Voice,” Ensign (Conference Edition), May 1996, 7).

“Follow your leaders who have been duly ordained and have been publicly sustained, and you will not be led astray” (Boyd K. Packer, “To Be Learned Is Good If …”, Ensign (Conference Edition), November 1992, 73).

What does all this mean? The united voices of Mormon prophets, seers and revelators throughout the history of the Church say the prophet cannot lead the Church astray. Did Brigham Young (and subsequent prophets) lead the Church astray? Or was the LDS restriction on Blacks God’s desire for the Church after all?

This statement from the Church raises even more questions for me, such as:

• If the Church “disavows” all of the so-called theories “of the past” that black skin is a sign of God’s disfavor or a divine curse, what does it do with the Book of Mormon where these “theories” are taught? (See 2 Nephi 5:21 and Alma 3:6-9.)

• If the Church “condemns all racism” in any form, what does it do with the authoritative teachings of so many past Church leaders that advanced these racist theories?

• If placing a restriction on Black members as pertaining to the priesthood was culturally driven and not done by God’s direction, why is the doctrine found in Mormon scripture? (See Abraham 1:26.)

• If Mormon Prophet David O. McKay misunderstood Abraham 1:26 when he indicated that it represented a “scriptural basis for denying the Priesthood to Negros,” what other Mormon scriptures might LDS prophets have misinterpreted over the years?

• If President McKay’s interpretation of Abraham 1:26 was wrong, why did the Pearl of Great Price Student Manual (Religion 327) tie that passage to the Church’s 1978 lifting of the priesthood ban against Blacks?

• If the restrictions against Blacks began with Brigham Young, why did LDS Apostle and member of the First Presidency George Q. Cannon say at an 1895 meeting of General Authorities that the doctrine did not originate with Brigham Young but instead was taught by Joseph Smith?

Friends, this doesn’t add up. If Brigham Young taught false doctrine that was embraced by the Church for 125 years of its 183-year history, he led the Church astray. If the Mormon prophet led the Church astray, all of the subsequent leaders who claimed that that couldn’t happen were wrong – including members of today’s highest Church leadership. If Mormon prophets can indeed lead the Church astray, if they can misinterpret Mormon scripture, if they can misunderstand the voice of God, the so-called “continuing revelation” in the Mormon Church is worse than worthless – it is dangerous. Which is the very thing Christians have been warning Mormons about for the past 183 years.

Mormons, this is your Church. This is the organization you are trusting to get you safely to the celestial kingdom and into the eternal presence of God.


Run to Jesus.

More information on Racism in the Mormon Church:
A doctrine that was to always be (MRM.org)
Mormons to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the “Priesthood Revelation” (MRM.org)
Curse of Cain? Racism in the Mormon Church (UTLM.org)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Authority and Doctrine, Book of Abraham, Brigham Young, Early Mormonism, LDS Church, Mormon History, Mormon Leaders, Mormon Scripture, Mormon Temple, Pearl of Great Price, Prophets and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Early Mormon Prophet Led the Church Astray

  1. Mike R says:

    This statement released by Mormon leadership is the latest in an attempt to placate rank and
    file members concerning this issue . It comes as no surprise that leadership chooses the wording
    carefully in order to not say in a straight forward manner that it taught and condoned FALSE
    doctrine . Until they do this many Mormons will still be troubled by this issue in their history.
    The good news about this latest statement is that it shows there still is a sizable number of
    church members who have been not satisfied with what they received from their leadership up
    to now , and it proves that all the excuses by Mormon apologists to defend their leaders
    teachings have also failed to convince conscientious Mormons ( and non Mormons ) .

    This statement released by Church leadership does’nt far enough to admit that the Mormon
    people , especially Blacks , are the victims of a broken trust . They deserve better .
    The answer is in exchanging their apostles for the ones who Jesus’ actually did send out to
    teach His gospel to all peoples , these men can be found in the New Testament .

  2. jardim says:

    Beautifully done, Sharon. Thank you.

    I wish every LDS person would read this. Like Mike R said, they deserve better (than lies).

  3. Inquisitor says:

    Everything about Mormonism is all backwards. It claims to be the one true church but in reality it is the one true lie. Joseph said that all other churches have a “form of godliness but denies the power thereof.” In reality the Mormon church has a form of Godliness but denies the power of salvation to its believers. Instead of the “Restored Gospel” it is the “Destroyed Gospel” Now I hear from the LDS blogging posts that the “Skin of Blackness” referred to in the Book of Mormon is a “Spiritual” skin. not a literal skin of blackness. Oh please! The whole reason Joseph Smith wanted the early saints to intermarry the Indians was so the they can become “White and delightsome” I get so sick and tired of the mental gymnastics the LDS use to justify their evolving theology. I thank God that I have finally found rest in Jesus and not in Joseph.

  4. spartacus says:

    LDS defenders on MC, in the past, have argued that other (Christian) “religions” were racist during too. This article on LDS.org also tries to say that it was just the human error of the times. But LDS leaders are different than blind Christian preachers, right?

    The way that LDS leaders won’t lead you astray is that they are led by God. Oh, but not in this case? Then in what other cases? What is it that priests with no authority do? They “teach the commandments of men”, Brigham Young and every prophet and apostle has implicitly or explicitly taught these “policies”, these commandments from their own prejudices, they are the policies of men, the commandments of men.

    In this article, the LDS church basically admits that these policies and theories were racist. So either God gave racist commands or the leadership did. The LDS article is trying to avoid a racist god but in placing it on the men, all you can conclude is the commandments if men led and taught the la church for well over a century.

  5. Kenneth says:

    Ditto to jardim’s comment, Sharon. 🙂

  6. falcon says:

    Let’s face it, for a true believing Mormon, any explanation will do.
    If they were told that the reason for this doctrine was because the moon was thought to be made of blue/bleu cheese at that time, they’d believe it.
    They are so into it that they want/desire it to be true. How in the world do you get that far into people’s heads that they suspend all credulity?
    I’ve been here on this blog for, I don’t know, I’ve lost count of the years. Time flies when you’re having fun. And like many of you, I’ve marveled at the contortions that the Mormon posters will go through to make this nonsense work for them.
    But the good news is that the LDS church has sprung a gigantic leak and no amount of patch work will stop the flow of members out of the (church).

    I would just hope that these folks don’t get so disgusted that they disregard God.

  7. MJP says:

    I’ve been struck recently by the concept of having two masters, how you can’t do it effectively. Its something I’ve known for ages, but its becoming more and more real to me. In this maturation (I hope that’s what it is), I have seen how hard it really is to have your heart in multiple places at once. You can’t do it and do it well. You just can’t.

    Why do I bring this up here? Because it appears Mormons have multiple masters. We can say Jesus is one, but so is the Father, and so is Smith, and Young, and Monson, and on down the line, including perhaps Adam. I’d be remiss to state that the eternal principles by which people are to live could also be masters in and of themselves.

    Now, how does this relate to the switch in verbiage demonstrated in the lead article? It relates by demonstrating that reliance upon one master will distort one’s relationship with another. When the LDS church fully bought into the concept of the curse of Cain, there was no problem. The leaders who espoused it were still considered great and the concept was accepted as of God. Now, however, since the concept has fallen out of favor, they can dismiss these otherwise loved leaders as being mistaken. Even though the leaders supposedly can never lead the church astray, they cannot hold onto this problematic concept because of the negative feedback they receive for it.

    By serving more than one master, the Mormon church has set itself up for contradictions amongst its leaders and also between the leaders and Jesus/ God. They cannot fully hold up the leaders and Jesus/God and be consistent with their doctrine.

    In other words, by holding these people up the way they do, they are ultimately forced to throw either God under the bus, or their leaders. They have come to love one, and they have come to hate the other. Even if a Mormon comes back and says there is no hate of one, they can no longer hold one of those entities in the same regard. Someone, whether leaders, principles, or gods, will be stained through this process.

    They cannot love two masters. Its impossible, and it is showing itself here.

  8. Ironman1995 says:

    Again Sharon, thank you
    This is what lead to my heart piercing moment back in Sep 2011.
    Discovering Elder Delbert Stapley letter wrote in 1964 to Gov George Romney warning him not to support the civil rights movement and that 3 U.S. Presidents meant there end supporting the negro cause.

    That even Joseph Smith said ” we should sell the there land and send them back from whence they came “Which is against what Joseph did in 1836 in Kirtland by ordaining the 1st black to the priesthood in Elijah Abel , yet in the LDS.org site they don’t mention Abel serving a two missions and being a Seventy .

    Nor do James B. Allen Assistant Church Historian or his co-author Glen M. Leonard Ph.d in History .
    In there book wrote in 1977 The Story of the Latter day Saints on page 620 this is how it reads
    ‘It had been the policy since the early day’s of the church not to ordain blacks to the priesthood ”
    So how could these two church called men , highly educated leave out Elijah Abel and Walker Lewis ?

    I had not found that letter back in Sep 2011 i would still be in the dark.
    So the Mormon church hides it’s history, never fully explains all of it in a open honest humble way.

    On Elijah’s Abel gravestone it reads ” first African american to be ordained as to the priesthood in 1836 in Kirtland Ohio by Joseph Smith” he is buried in SLC , his gravestone got redone by the church, Elder Ballard did the dedication of the grave back in 2002 .

    I am started running back in Sep 2011, always trying to help others to run or at least jog, or walk or crawl away, its not easy, they can’t understand why we don’t understand what they share, we have been where they are and know now, you don’t know what you don’t know .

    Thank God , I know now

  9. MistakenTestimony says:

    Falcon said,

    “Let’s face it, for a true believing Mormon, any explanation will do.” This times a billion. You can’t rationalize someone out of something they didn’t rationalize themself into.

  10. MaM says:

    Wow… all of my racist inlaws who loved to talk about the “mark of Cain” and all that will be so thrilled to hear this. lol. I think the younger generation of Mormons will love this announcement and accept it without hesitation. The older generation, I imagine, will be scratching their heads trying to figure this one out. Because no doubt, they’re very aware of the LDS scriptures Sharon listed. It will be interesting to hear their opinions on this.

  11. Kate says:

    OK, let’s look at the leaders of the LDS church. They are all oldsters and they KNOW that the mark of Cain was doctrinal. They grew up with it. They KNOW that the Blacks weren’t as valiant in the preexistence. They grew up with it and I would dare say they taught it at church in lessons. What is all this “disavowing????” The definition of disavow is “to deny any responsibility or support for.” I would have more respect for LDS leaders if they would just come out and admit it was doctrine and it was wrong doctrine. They need to ask forgiveness of the Black community and move forward from there. To deny they know it was doctrine and to disavow and not take responsibility for it is very dishonest. Where is the integrity? So much for trusting in a prophet, they got it wrong for 125 years! Hopefully Mormons who grew up with these doctrines can see through this and hopefully it starts them on the path out the door. Why would anyone with dark skin want to belong to this racist religion?

  12. falcon says:

    That’s just not the LDS way. The entire program is built on obfuscation, shading, nuancing, omitting critical information, lying and when needed, the spiritual authority trump card is slapped on the table. Joseph Smith founded the religion on a lie and if people will believe the foundational lie, they’ll accept everything that follows.
    The desire of LDS member to believe it and the fear of loss, keeps them in line. That is until, as you well know, something comes along that they just can’t ignore. At that point the member either becomes a social Mormon or leaves.

  13. spartacus says:

    I think the older generation that accepted/accepts the mark of Cain/less valiant teachings are also fine with what the church is REALLY doing with this article. They are old hats at “lying for the lord”. They probably see the younger generation as not ready for “higher truths” and “deeper doctrine”.

    How many LDS are ok with this disavowing because it’s how the LDS church has survived. How many excuse it under the principle of not “throwing pearls before swine”?

  14. Kate says:


    You may be right on the money with your observation about lying for the lord and not throwing pearls before swine. I didn’t think of that. I think some may go that route.

    Well so much for thinking the leaders of the LDS church would actually be forthcoming and honest about something hahahaha! Way to burst my bubble. So far this hasn’t come up in conversation with any of my LDS family or friends. I would love to ask what they think about it. Maybe today I will.

  15. MaM says:

    Spartacus, that’s a great point! Still, it will be interesting to see how the old guys handle this new “revelation”. Actually I’ve heard of so many racist great-grandmas in the Mormon church who based their views on this exact doctrine. And “disavow” is such a sneaky word to use. They can’t risk calling it for what it is… a false prophecy. So are they calling this announcement a revelation or just sweeping it under the rug along with polygamy? I’m starting to think the LDS Church has a better PR campaign than most political leaders. haha

  16. Mike R says:

    Why did’nt Mormon leadership do the right thing and just state that their predecessors
    taught false doctrine about Blacks ? While this document does go a tad closer to admitting
    that fact it unfortunately resorts to word games with it’s audience and thus it is anemic and
    a waste of time reading it . There’s going to be a lot of Mormons finally see that the claims
    which their leaders advertised , namely that the Mormon church is the one true church of Jesus
    restored to the earth in exactly the same form as it existed when Jesus established it 2000 yrs
    ago and the very same gospel of salvation that Paul taught was also restored and that Jesus
    has been personally supervising the preaching of Mormon leaders since 1830 —but these
    claims ring hollow when the teaching track record of Mormon leaders is examined , and this
    document is going to be the tipping point for many LDS who are aware of their history
    concerning this issue with Black people . Excuse after excuse by Mormon apologists have tried
    have failed and these conscientious LDS finally understand how they’ve been detoured by
    the apostles who direct the affairs of their church into embracing a imitation gospel .
    Mormon apostles have ” taught for doctrine the commandments of men ” —- the very thing
    that characterizes the apostasy of all other churches according to Mormonism . This is a fact
    that many LDS are finally recognizing .
    The Mormon people don’t need their apostles . A complete salvation is available by embracing
    what multitudes of people heard when they listened to the true apostles of Jesus preach 2000
    years ago , that gospel is still available today and is mighty to save all who humbly bow before
    it’s author —Heb 7:25 .

  17. falcon says:

    It happened a long time ago.
    The “church” does a lot of good.
    It’s all @nti-Mormon material……………….oops! It comes from the LDS church?
    Never mind.
    Anyway, I knew it all a long time ago and it doesn’t effect my testimony one bit!!

  18. burrito34 says:

    Kate said:
    “I would have more respect for LDS leaders if they would just come out and admit it was doctrine and it was wrong doctrine. They need to ask forgiveness of the Black community and move forward from there. To deny they know it was doctrine and to disavow and not take responsibility for it is very dishonest.”

    Hi, first time commenter here. You know if they did that they would cause themselves even more damage. They find themselves on the horns of a historical and doctrinal dilemma and there really is no easy way out but to whitewash the issue as best they can, hope to sweep it under the rug and thereby minimize the number of defections it may cause. In fact, it would probably have been better for them not to raise the issue at all; and that makes me wonder what event or condition prompted the issuance of the “Race and the Priesthood” article. Could someone enlighten me on this?

  19. falcon says:

    Added to my above list should, of course, been the LDS mantra, “The ‘church’ is true!”

    Why would a group of people follow such blatant dishonest fools? Well because the thought that “The church is not true” is just too awful to hold in a true believers mind for any more than a microsecond.
    It’s the same dynamic that happens in families when the husband/father is found to have been committing incest with one of his daughters. The reaction of the rest of the family isn’t often one of disgust and revulsion but paradoxically, to protect the perp and blame the one having been violated.
    It’s the way with cults, religious and otherwise. The “unit” must be protected. The leaders must be rallied behind. The status quo needs to be maintained. It’s a way of trying to maintain emotional equilibrium.
    So it is with the above statement from the LDS church about a “policy”. So what did this “policy” lead to? It led to a practice. The practice led to certain attitudes about people with dark skin. In the LDS world it’s all about worthiness and earning your way to the top rung of the ladder. Those with dark colored skin were prohibited from climbing the ladder; earning their way to the top.
    In the LDS system, they were house slaves. Better than the field slaves, but their tasks mainly held them to serving those at the table. This was their eternal destiny in the LDS system.

    There are two distinct issues here. One is the blatant racism of the LDS stystem. The other is about the flaws within the leadership of the LDS church. It ought to be abundantly clear to any clear thinking LDS member that you don’t need these guys, especially the one proclaimed to be the “prophet”.
    What these folks need to understand is that all they need is the Lord Jesus Christ. Not some man who claims to have a direct line to deity and that he is needed to provide those who follow him with direction. We’ve seen how well that works!

  20. falcon says:

    The LDS leaders are always right, true, prophetic, on-target, unable to err, because these dudes are hearing from God……………………………………that is except when they aren’t.
    This is a case of them not accurately reflecting, supposedly, what God told them. But, I get it, they weren’t really hearing from God, in this case. Kind of makes you wonder what else they are/have been wrong about?
    How about polygamy and the need for it for a man to become a god? Well I was told by a Mormon on this site some months ago that it isn’t necessary to “practice” it, you just have to “believe” it. Makes me wonder what the women believe about this?
    How about Adam-God? That was one of BY’s fabulous doctrines. Must have been a doctrine since it’s called the “Adam-God” doctrine. Wrong again.
    What about the changes in the temple ceremonies that were supposedly practiced by the apostles in the first and second centuries in Christian temples? If they came down from God and were sacred, why were they changed? And BTW, is there any evidence that there was such a thing and place in the early Christian Church? No, just one more thing these fellas hearing from God were wrong about.
    From what I can ascertain, these Mormon prophets basically expound on what comes to their minds and slap the “heard from God” label on it. Subsequent generations of Mormon leaders then either use the Mormon escape clause of “continuous revelation” or declare the offending doctrine as folk doctrine or someone’s opinion.
    Sorry Mormons. Your prophets aren’t all that hot. You need to think about trying a different approach. That is, I guess, unless the LDS church is meeting your needs by skimming off 10% of your earnings and keeping you enslaved to a system of works that won’t result in any sort of eternal reward.
    It all just keeps you busy, and for many, happy. Ignorance is bliss but it’s way too big a price to pay in this world and the next. Eternity is too long to chance on some guys who just can’t seem to get it right.

  21. Kate says:


    Hi and welcome to the board! I will take a stab at your question. It’s only my opinion of course.

    You asked “what event or condition prompted the issuance of the “Race and the Priesthood” article.”

    Well I believe it’s for potential converts. Those of us born into Mormonism or have been LDS for years already know that denying the Blacks the priesthood is a revelation from god and that in 1978 there was a “declaration” to allow Black men to hold the priesthood. Now, a declaration isn’ t the same as a revelation in my book.
    We already know that they are cursed with the mark of Cain (Black skin) because it is cannonized in Mormon scripture and we already know that they were less valiant in the preexistence because we have been taught that in church ( I am not longer LDS). LDS members are going to have to use the ” When the prophet speaks the thinking has been done” to get past this one.
    Potential converts on the other hand, will have a lovely 2000 word official statement on the church’s website to look at when questioning Mormonism. A very dishonest official statement. Elder Marlin Jensen has admitted that Mormons are leaving the church in droves, that is a lot of lost tithing money. The life blood of the LDS corporation. They need new converts desperately. Sites like this one that expose these doctrines and practices, that are easily googled by a potential convert, are very damaging to the LDS church and I believe the official statement and news coverage is damage control.
    It doesn’t hurt to release this 2000 word official statement on the heels of Nelson Mandela’s death either. It’s a PR stunt to gain converts in my opinion.

  22. MistakenTestimony says:

    Kate, I agree with what you said but I have a different perspective on, “that is a lot of lost tithing money. The life blood of the LDS corporation. They need new converts desperately.” As far as the corporation side of the church is concerned it’s lifeblood is rather it’s tax exempt status by being simultaneously a religion and a corporation. The corporation side would not be able conceal their financial records from the government and members, spends billions on a mall, and 500 million on farm land in Florida in the manner they do now without it. Even if the religion side dwindles down to a couple thousand tithing active members in the Rockys the corporation side will still be able to maintain their tax exempt status. The tithing dollars is significant income but that amount is only a portion of what the corporation side brings in annually. Tithing dollars and new convert members is not the lifeblood IMHO, that is only cherry on the cake. But I do not have a testimony of this yet it is only unofficial folklore at this point.

  23. fifth monarchy man says:

    Kate said,

    Those of us born into Mormonism or have been LDS for years already know that denying the Blacks the priesthood is a revelation from god and that in 1978 there was a “declaration” to allow Black men to hold the priesthood. Now, a declaration isn’ t the same as a revelation in my book.

    I say,

    Was there ever some official statement saying that Blacks were denied the priesthood based on “revelation” ? I thought that was the case but as an outsider my knowledge is incomplete

    At the official website under D&C “Official declarations” I find this


    Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.

    end Quote:
    from here http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od?lang=eng

    Is this statement inaccurate?


  24. MaM says:

    fifth monarchy man,
    The racism actually originated with Joseph Smith, even though the church is trying to throw BY under the bus.

    “This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith. At a meeting of the general authorities of the Church, held August 22, 1895, the question of the status of the negro in relation to the Priesthood was asked and the minutes of that meeting say: ‘President George Q. Cannon remarked that the Prophet taught this doctrine: That the seed of Cain could not receive the Priesthood nor act in any of the offices of the Priesthood until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain’s offspring” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, p.110. See also Milton R. Hunter’s Pearl of Great Price Commentary, 1948, pp.141-142).

    More can be found here: http://www.mrm.org/why-priesthood-ban

  25. falcon says:

    OK, here we go.
    First it was blacks and the priesthood now it’s polygamy. News report of a Federal judge’s ruling that will now allow the polygamists in Utah to live in peace. Is it time now for the LDS sect out of SLC to admit that the banning of polygamy in 1890 for its members was wrong? In-other-words, polygamy was commanded by the Mormon god, then the Mormon god changed his mind and said “No!, You can’t practice polygamy.”; but now that the court has given it a big OK, will the Mormon god change his mind again?


  26. Rick B says:

    I gotta say,
    this is typical, we see these major issues arise and where are the LDS to set us straight? Wheres Ralph?
    Where FoF? Where Alex? or Clyde? Or all the Other LDS that seem to reply on the topics that are not doctrinal? Typical LDS, dont reply to these issues, but then when a topic comes along that does not effect salvation or Mormon doctrine, Then the LDS troops and drive by’s come running to the rescue to set us all straight.

  27. Inquisitor says:

    Rick, I am glad for the ruling. I always thought that the law was unconstitutional. People should be able to live their religion as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.

  28. falcon says:

    Yea you’re probably right. After all, morality is situational, isn’t it? The only real test, as you have said, is if it infringes on the rights of others and if it’s tied to a form of religion or not for that matter. For example, we could have individuals, regardless of their gender, have group marriage. Maybe a couple of guys, three or four gals, all pledging their commitment as a loving and caring community. They could partake in some sort of orgy as an expression of their group love to a fertility deity. They could even drop a little acid, smoke some weed or gulp down some benies to keep them going. The women not being connected to the men in formal marriage, could go on AFDC welfare after popping out some kids. It would be a great revenue stream for the community.
    We could even have a group of the same gender married to one another. One could be the Alpha of the group, whatever.
    This opens up all sorts of possibilities. Joseph Smith had it going on and he shouldn’t be judged harshly as long as he wasn’t hurting anyone. He didn’t, did he?

  29. fifth monarchy man says:


    Thanks for the link. I found it very interesting.

    It seems to me that if the LDS organization wants to now claim that this practice of the Church was wrong and the exclusion of blacks for 100 plus years was not the result of a revelation then it is an admission that the “Church” does not have modern revelation on the most controversial issues od the day and that any ordnance it holds today might be disregarded tomorrow if it becomes sufficiently unpopular. Next year they might decide that women can hold the priesthood or that homosexuals can be sealed to their partners for eternity in the temple.

    What is the benefit of having a modern prophet again???


  30. MaM says:

    Exactly, FMM!!

    Falcon, thanks for the heads up on the polygamy ruling. Something tells me BY and JS would be ALL over this new information! They would suddenly get a revelation that polygamy should be practiced again… although they probably never would’ve stopped regardless of any laws.

  31. renae says:

    Hi. Sorry to jump in here while everyone’s already on a roll talking with each other over comments. I grew up in Mormonism, was married in the temple, had 3 little babies then divorced and left Mormonism after my blinders were taken off and I found out it was a pack of lies via Joseph Smith.

    The shock I experienced was and is not fixable. I became suicidal and mourned the church like one would mourn the death of a loved one.

    After leaving, everyone in my life shunned me. All family, all friends, everyone I knew, gone.

    I used to get oodles of Christmas cards and this year I haven’t received one. I have my 3 girls with me, but this is the first year that I have to face the holiday season completely alone.

    I’m not trying to sound like a proud person who stood for something so “please praise me.” I just found it to be false and couldn’t bring my girls up in it. But I sure could use some friends right about now. I guess that’s why I’m here.

  32. Mike R says:

    God loves the Mormon people , and we love the Mormon people . It hurts to see decent sincere
    people fall victim to the clever tactics of those men Jesus warned would arise in the latter
    days , namely counterfeit prophets/apostles —Matt 24: 11 . The Mormon people have been
    detoured by well dressed , polite individuals who have persuaded them that Jesus appointed
    them to to lead His church and teach His gospel of salvation . One of the gospel truths these
    “modern day” apostles have taught was Black persons could not receive the fullest blessings
    of the gospel of Jesus Christ . This doctrine was enough to warn those considering joining
    the Mormon church that they were about to be detoured into joining a false prophet led
    organization , but unfortunately many succumbed to the slick salesmanship of Mormon
    missionaries , or clever advertising of the Mormon church P.R. Dept . , and have ended up
    being fooled .

    God has been trying to get the attention of the Mormon people for a long time . Those who
    followed Brigham Young had many instances where they could have heard God’s voice and
    left him , and in recent years the Mormon people had a chance to see their bondage in a man
    made organization by noticing how their leaders failed miserably to detect the fake historical
    documents offered for sale to them by a con man named Mark Hoffman , in the 1980’s .
    These are just some of the examples of how the Mormon people were given opportunity to
    discover the actual truth about their apostles thus aiding them to walk safely away from
    latter days counterfeits .

    This issue of why Mormon leaders denied Blacks the priesthood is a significant one . So
    those Mormons who are concerned about the reality of imitation prophets and their
    ” gospels” , as per Jesus ( Matt 24:11 ) , can do the right thing and take time to test their
    prophets because that is inspired counsel from a true apostle of Jesus — 1 Jn 4:1 —- for our
    day as well . It is prudent not to be so busy with church and home activities to not take
    the time to ponder the apostle John’s or Paul’s ( Gal 1:8) counsel and proceed to administer
    this test of comparing their teachings with those men who claim to be their modern day
    counterparts . Because even decent sincere people can be detoured by imitation prophets
    to embrace what Paul warned was , ” another ” gospel .
    Truth matters .

  33. Old man says:

    As the LDS claims that its racist attitude was a ‘policy’ rather than official church doctrine it might be instructive to read what the first presidency had to say to a certain Lowry Nelson, Mormon professor at Utah State Agricultural College in August 1949

    “Dear Brother Nelson:
    The basic element of your ideas and concepts seems to be that all God’s children stand in equal positions before Him in all things. Your knowledge of the Gospel will indicate to you that this is contrary to the very fundamentals of God’s dealings with Israel dating from the time of His promise to Abraham regarding Abraham’s seed and their position vis-a-vis God Himself. Indeed, some of God’s children were assigned to superior positions before the world was formed.
    We are aware that some Higher Critics do not accept this, but the Church does. Your position seems to lose sight of the revelations of the Lord touching the pre-existence of our spirits, the rebellion in heaven, and the DOCTRINES s that our birth into this life and the advantages under which we may be born, have a relationship in the life heretofore. FROM THE DAYS OF THE PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH EVEN UNTIL NOW, IT HAS BEEN THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH, NEVER QUESTIONED BY ANY OF THE CHURCH LEADERS, THAT THE NEGROES ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THE FULL BLESSINGS OF THE GOSPEL.
    Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now. God’s rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogamous [meaning ‘marriage within a specific tribe or similar social unit’]. Modern Israel has been similarly directed. We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this are, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between Whites and Blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church DOCTRINE.

    Faithfully yours,

    George Albert Smith
    J. Reuben Clark, Jr.
    David O. McKay

    They can ‘disavow’ all they like, they can blame Brigham Young & they can obfuscate to their hearts content but one thing they cannot do is change the fact that from its beginning until 1978, the LDS was a racist organization pursuing an official racist DOCTRINE. It doesn’t get much more official than the above letter.

  34. Old man says:

    Hi Renae & welcome.

    “Hi. Sorry to jump in here while everyone’s already on a roll talking with each other over comments.”
    There’s nothing to apologise for, I’m quite sure that everyone here is happy to listen.

    You say that the shock you experienced ‘was & is not, fixable’ well, I’m sure that’s how you feel right now but time is a great healer& we eventually come through it all, hopefully a little wiser & stronger.
    While I’ve never been a member of the LDS, I know how it feels to be shunned by family. Try to look at it in a different light, they’ve been taught to be that way by a money-grubbing corporation & one day they will realise it. As regards friends, well, the people who stick with you through thick & thin are your real friends & the only ones worth having. At the present time my ex-wife is going through a transition from deception (LDS) to truth & she is very afraid of losing all of her friends, there will be an update on that in a couple of weeks.

    It must be especially hard on you at this time of year & there’s very little I can say that will make things any easier but try to remember that you have already taken the most difficult step, that took real strength & now you must look forward. You have the rest of your life ahead of you & within your newfound freedom you are now able to determine your own destiny.

    “I’m not trying to sound like a proud person who stood for something so “please praise me.” I just found it to be false and couldn’t bring my girls up in it”

    You did what was right for yourself & your children & that took real courage so even if you’re not looking for praise allow me to say ‘well done, you did something to be proud of’

    “But I sure could use some friends right about now. I guess that’s why I’m here.”

    Once again, welcome Renae, meet a host of new friends & for what it’s worth, have a Christmas hug from an old man on the other side of the pond 🙂

  35. Kate says:

    fifth monarchy man,

    “Was there ever some official statement saying that Blacks were denied the priesthood based on “revelation” ? I thought that was the case but as an outsider my knowledge is incomplete.”

    August 17, 1949: The LDS First Presidency issues the following statement regarding the church and the negroes:

    “The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of DIRECT COMMANDMENT from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: “Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.”

    President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: “The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.”

    The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre-mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.”

    The First Presidency

    Notice how it states that it is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord? How does a prophet receive commandments from god? By revelation. I don’t know if there is any formal document stating the exact word ” revelation” and I’m really not interested in finding one. I know what I was taught for 40 years and I was taught it was revelation from god and none of us knows the mind of god. The LDS church doesn’t care about words. They don’t accept the Adam/God doctrine even though Brigham Young stated plainly that it was revealed to him.

    “How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which is revealed to them, and which God revealed to me — namely that Adam is our father and God…Our Father Adam is the man who stands at the gate and holds the keys of everlasting life and salvation to all his children who have or ever will come upon the earth” (Sermon delivered on June 8, 1873. Printed in the Deseret Weekly News, June 18, 1873.)

    I’m not really interested in the LDS church’s word games. They can call their racism past and present a “policy”, theory, opinion, etc. I was taught it was a revelation.

  36. JanB says:

    Hi Renee, I am glad you found the courage to leave the Mormon religion, but my hope and prayer is that you will come to know Jesus who said, “Come to Me, all [a]who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28,29). He also promised those who followed Him a new family. I encourage you to start reading the Bible. If you don’t know where to start, the Gospel of John is a good place.

    Praying for you and your little family.

  37. Kate says:

    fifth monarchy man,

    “from here http://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/od?lang=eng
    Is this statement inaccurate?”

    The revelation part in this is inaccurate in my opinion. Look at every section of the D&C. They give an overview of the section and it starts out as “Revelation given to so and so” Now look at the 2 Declarations in the back. They are different, why? Because a declaration is different than a revelation. Research how Pres. Kimball received the “revelation” to allow the Blacks the priesthood. God didn’t address him, he and a group of men went to the temple and they prayed and approached the Mormon god. They then got a “feeling” that it was time to allow the Blacks the priesthood. Doesn’t sound much like revelation to me. Why is this called a “declaration” and not a revelation in the D&C? Why does it say declaration at all if it were truly a revelation. Just more confusion from the LDS church. They haven’t removed the racism from their scriptures just as they haven’t removed section 132 (polygamy) from their scriptures. Why? I can only comment on the polygamy and the reason is, Mormons will practice polygamy again. I was taught to prepare for it because it may happen in my lifetime. Polygamy is still very much alive in the LDS church, they practice it daily in their temples. This is why I believe the ban on polygamy is a declaration and not an all out revelation.

  38. Mike R says:

    Hi Renae. Welcome .
    I hope you’ll come to understand the vast difference between the religion of Joseph Smith
    and a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ . Religious organizations , church
    hierarchy , or secret temple rituals , are not the answer .
    There are those here who know what it’s like to have been in your present position . So please
    give that some thought .
    God bless you and your daughters .

  39. Kate says:

    “The Church “disavows” the various theories embraced by Mormons over the years to explain the restrictions on Black members. This is at least partially good and commendable; however, disavowing merely means that the Church denies any responsibility or support for these various theories. It is a distancing of the Church from what the institution believed and taught in the past.”

    These various theories have come directly from Mormon prophets, passed down to the lay members. Didn’t Thomas Monson and all the other oldsters raise their right hand and sustain these past prophets who taught and believed these theories themselves? So how can they disavow any of it? They sustained every prophet during their lifetime. They participated in it personally until 1978. They are responsible.

  40. Old man says:

    Kate said
    “So how can they disavow any of it? They sustained every prophet during their lifetime. They participated in it personally until 1978. They are responsible.”

    Exactly right Kate, in short their disavowal is merely a smokescreen.

    I’m not even sure that ‘disavowing’ past doctrine is a good thing. There is only one reason for an essay entitled ‘Race & the priesthood’ & that is to fool their members along with the general public. If they had apologised & told the truth about the past rather than attempting to make it appear that racism was never official doctrine it might be possible to believe what they say but as it is, this latest attempt to appear more mainstream is merely a smokescreen. Can you trust an organization that, in order to appear more Christian produces a document abounding in lies & distortion?

    In my opinion there can be NO credit whatsoever attached to the LDS for producing such an essay because the reason for its production was not & is not to say ‘we were wrong’ rather its sole purpose is to blind people to the truth of past racist doctrine.

    Make no mistake; the LDS are doing this (there’s more to come) for no other reason than the loss of members & hence tithing revenue. It has nothing whatsoever to do with truth I doubt if they even know what that word means. There can be no getting away from it, the entire history of the church has been about deception & that practice continues to this present moment.

  41. MaM says:

    Oh Renae, my heart really goes out to you. I know this is such a tough place to be, and based on the amount of shunning going on, I’m assuming you must live in a predominately LDS area. Like the others said, the Mormon church may be full of lies, but Jesus is THE truth and promises a new life. It won’t be all sunshine and roses, but he will definitely give you a new family. I would encourage you to find a solid, Bible-based church to get plugged into (if you haven’t already, of course). Trust that God will lead you into a new and better life found only in Him. Lots of love and prayers for you!

  42. falcon says:

    A great big OUCH!
    Please stick around here and participate. It’s my hope and prayer that we can minister to you as you go through this very difficult period in your life. I must be honest. I haven’t been where you’ve been and experienced what you’re experiencing now but many here have.
    I can, however, pray that God provides you healing through Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  43. Enki says:

    I don’t understand this statement at all. Its like Mormons are trying to erase history or at least place it in a different perspective, and hope that nobody notices. If this teaching and policy was not given by revelation, why was it reversed by OD2 which is considered a revelation? Doesn’t make any sense. There is also really very little discussion about WHAT was actually said by BY and other LDS GAs. Some think they are owning up to error, but I don’t see anything about the statement which said someone was really wrong. In any case the statement should raise questions about the inspiration of LDS leadership.

  44. Brian says:

    Dear Renae,

    It is good to have you here. I hope you don’t feel pressured to post comments. I hope you just know that you are among friends and that many here are praying for you.

    Sharon’s subject reminded me of a friend of mine whose life’s course was altered by this very subject. I thought I would share it with you, Renae, and the others here.

    I met Tom years ago. Early in our conversations, he recounted the story of his spiritual journey. He had once been LDS. During his years as a member, he had become increasingly puzzled by his religion’s teaching about blacks. As a schoolteacher in a district with a fair number of black students, he wondered why it was acceptable to occasionally speak with his white students about his religion after class, but not his black students. This created a tension in his mind, which eventually prompted him to write to an LDS leader in Salt Lake City. As he casually read the Bible, he found passages that spoke of how the gospel was to be shared with every nation. There was no support for excluding it from certain races. Tom shared his concerns with leaders in his stake, and found they had questions about this, too. He told them he felt embarrassed to be associated with an organization that had taken such a position on blacks. Eventually he wrote to resign his membership. He was called before a high council, which was to sit in judgment of him. (He later wrote he felt as if it were the reverse, that he was sitting in judgment of them.) They explained to him the basis for excluding blacks as taught by early LDS leaders. Tom was having none of it. He was excommunicated. His bishop counseled Tom’s wife to divorce him. And Tom would soon lose his family, his home, and his friends. And Tom began to seriously immerse himself in the Bible.

    All this happened years before I met Tom. Tom remains to this day among the most loving, passionate Christians I have met. He deeply cares about sharing with others, especially LDS people, the reason for the hope that is in him. Of the One who was once judged in Tom’s place, on a cross. Of One whose blood forever took away Tom’s sins. And of One perfect life, a righteousness imputed to Tom’s account, making him righteous before an all-holy God.

    God declares sinners righteous when they believe in Jesus Christ (Romans chapters 3, 4, 5). Tom left religion for a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ. And his life was never the same.

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