Introduction Racism has been a hitherto struggle in American society.
Latter-day Saint scripture and teachings affirm that God loves all of His children and makes salvation available to all. God created the many diverse races and ethnicities and esteems them all equally. By definition, this means that the racial, economic, and demographic composition of Mormon congregations generally mirrors that of the wider local community.
Despite this modern reality, for much of its history—from the mids until —the Church did not ordain men of black African descent to its priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple endowment or sealing ordinances. Read More… The Church was established induring an era of great racial division in the United States.
At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans.
Many Christian churches of that era, for instance, were segregated along racial lines. From the beginnings of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity could be baptized and received as members. Toward the end of his life, Church founder Joseph Smith openly opposed slavery.
There has never been a Churchwide policy of segregated congregations. One of these men, Elijah Abel, also participated in temple ceremonies in Kirtland, Ohio, and was later baptized as proxy for deceased relatives in Nauvoo, Illinois.
Following 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.
The Church in an American Racial Culture The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored amidst a highly contentious racial culture in which whites were afforded great privilege. Inthe U. Even so, racial discrimination was widespread in the North as well as the South, and many states implemented laws banning interracial marriage.
Congress created Utah Territoryand the U. In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and FebruaryBrigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination. Removing the Restriction Even afterat least two black Mormons continued to hold the priesthood.
When one of these men, Elijah Abel, petitioned to receive his temple endowment inhis request was denied. Jane Manning James, a faithful black member who crossed the plains and lived in Salt Lake City until her death insimilarly asked to enter the temple; she was allowed to perform baptisms for the dead for her ancestors but was not allowed to participate in other ordinances.
Around the turn of the century, another explanation gained currency: Church President David O. McKay emphasized that the restriction extended only to men of black African descent. The Church had always allowed Pacific Islanders to hold the priesthood, and President McKay clarified that black Fijians and Australian Aborigines could also be ordained to the priesthood and instituted missionary work among them.Tennessee Law Review; A Critical Guide to the Second Amendment, by Glenn Harlan Reynolds.
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Ferguson is one of the most important and controversial cases in United States history. In the case was brought to the Supreme Court after defendant Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting on the white side of a train/5().
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