The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints (TCOJCOLDS) Is Not Racist.

Josh Tenes
10 min readJun 9, 2020
All white on the night

In the wake of the global conversation about racial inequality, I am proud to belong to a church that is not, and never has been racist. A religion with equality and love at the heart of its teachings and doctrine.

Let’s look at the evidence.

In 1852, Brigham Young (inspired Prophet of God) prohibited the priesthood ordination of males of “African bloodline”. This came from heaven and not from his own bias and if anything, protected black people from a responsibility they were not ready for. Not racist. (The fact he did this without discussion among the First Presidency or a vote of common consent is not important).

In the same year, Brigham Young (inspired Prophet who talks directly to God) also shared the following:

“Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a sin 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 later:

“You can see men and women who are sixty or seventy years of age looking young and handsome; but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled and black, just like the Devil.”

Comparing black people to the devil might seem racist but not when you consider that the devil is the brother of Jesus. A compliment if anything. Not racist.

In 1865, Brigham taught: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.”

Revelation not racism.

In 1894, Jane Manning’s (black member) request to be sealed to Joseph Smith (inspired Prophet of God, founder of one true religion) was finally granted, under the condition that she be “adopted to the prophet not as his child, but as his eternal servant in exaltation.” Joseph could have chosen a white person to be his eternal servant. Jane was privileged if anything! Not racist.

Inspired Prophet John Taylor made some of the following remarks to further prove my point:

“…the descendants of Cain cannot cast off their skin of blackness, at once, and immediately, although every one of them should repent…. Cain and his posterity must wear the mark which God put upon them; and his white friends may wash the race of Cain with fuller’s soap every day, they cannot wash away God’s mark.”

“And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife… Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God.”

So you see… this is God’s doing. If anything, this ‘mark’ or ‘curse’ that represents Satan is an honour. Not racist.

The Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith (Inspired Prophet, will never lead anyone astray) had the following to say:

“Not only was Cain called to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race”

“There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan…The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits.”

“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we come here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.”

Can we really call The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (TCOJCOLDS) racist, when black people brought this on themselves? No.

The First Presidency (Inspired Prophets of God) issued the following statement in the early to mid 1900s:

“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 premortal 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.”

You heard it. No injustice. No racism.

In 1918 when Joseph F Smith (Inspired Prophet of God) preached at the funeral of a black woman he said, “… that she would in the resurrection attain the longings of her soul and become a white and beautiful person.”

Clearly this woman just wanted to be white. Who are we to judge the ‘longing of her soul’? #AllLivesMatter

In 1930, a church manual instructed how LDS Gospel makes ‘Lamanites’ whiter. This is the opposite of racism, it means we are accepting of Native Americans and they too can be white. Not racist.

In 1947, Dr Lowry Nelson, a black professor and academic wrote to the First Presidency (Inspired Prophets of God) taking issue with the church’s anti-black doctrine and policy. Their reply was enlightening and certainly not racist: ”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…Indeed, some of God’s children were assigned to superior positions before the world was formed.”

In 1949, David O Mckay (Inspired Prophet of Godthen counselor in the First Presidency) praised the South’s Jim Crow laws, writing in his diary: “I said further that the South knows how to handle them [i.e., blacks] and they do not have any trouble, and the colored people are better off down there — in California they [i.e., blacks] are becoming very progressive and insolent in many cases.”

This man cared about blacks being better off! So clearly not racist.

In 1953 the Salt Lake blood bank separated black blood donations from white, to ‘protect the purity of the blood streams of the people of this Church.’
Protecting white people does not mean you think any less of black people. #AllLivesMatter. Not racist.

In 1954, McKay (inspired Prophet of God) studied the ban and understood it to be nothing more than policy. It only took another 24 years before it changed! So again, clearly not racist.

He reflected upon the matter further:

“I know of no scriptural basis for denying the Priesthood to Negroes other than one verse in the Book of Abraham (1:26); however, I believe, as you suggest that the real reason dates back to our pre-existent life.”

(Brought it on themselves. Not a racist view).

Also in 1954, Charles Nabors, an NAACP official (National Association for The Advancement of Coloured People) said that the state of Utah had “potentially the worst race problem in the United States.” – Notice the word ‘potentially’. Not definitely.

Not racist.

In 1960, Spencer W Kimball (inspired Prophet of God) said in General Conference: “The Book of Mormon tells us that; and he (The Indian) has a dark skin, but he has promised there that through faithfulness, that they all again become a white and delightsome people.”

And went on to write:

“The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.”

He literally says the day of Lamanites is NIGH! Not racist.

He also prophesied:

“When the Lamanites fully repent and sincerely receive the gospel, the Lord has promised to remove the dark skin”

Not racist. If anything, full of hope.

In 1967, Ezra Taft Benson (inspired Prophet of God) wrote the foreward to ‘Black Hammer’ a work which argued that the civil rights movement was related to communism, and a great threat to the nation. The divisive book is currently censured in the Amazon bookstore. And widely known as being racist. But does that make it racist? No.

In 1969, 14 University of Wyoming football players requested to wear armbands when playing BYU (Brigham Young University) as a protest for racist policies at BYU. I’m not even going to waste my time on this one. We don’t need young football players talking about things they don’t understand. Shut up and tackle.

Bruce R McConkie, (Inspired Apostle of one true church) shared his thoughts on the subject:

“…Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned…”

And Mark E Peterson, (Divinely appointed Apostle) also chimed in:

“If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn’t any argument, therefore, as to inter-marriage with the Negro, is there?”

“We cannot escape the conclusion that because of performance in our pre-existence some of us are born as Chinese, some as Japanese, some as Indians, some as Negroes, some Americans, some as Latter-day Saints. These are rewards and punishments . . . Is it not reasonable to believe that less worthy spirits would come through less favored lineage?”

Does this sound racist to you? No it doesn’t.

In the 1970s, Stanford and San Jose State University refused to play BYU (Brigham Young University) at sports because of the racism within the organisation. Again, shut up and tackle.

In 1977 Byron Marchant, a church janitor, was excommunicated and lost his job for casting the first non-sustaining conference vote in modern times, opposing the Church’s race policy – thus allowing a black man the privilege of being re-baptised. Not racist. Kind, if anything.

Under President Jimmy Carter, Brigham Young University and possibly the LDS Church itself was in danger of losing their tax exempt status if they continued to discriminate against blacks. In 1978, the Federal Government was threatening to withhold Federal Student Loans to BYU students as long as BYU practiced “discrimination”. And so later that year we gave the priesthood authority to black people. So once again, not racist.

Also in 1978 the church temple opened in Sao Paulo Brazil. The Church publicly stated that people could not enter the temple if they “had even a drop of negro blood.” When they realised that the people who had built the temple (Brazilians) couldn’t actually go in the temple, out of the kindness of their heart they changed the policy and gave black people the priesthood authority. Progessive, not racist.

In 1978 (only 2–3 decades after Civil Rights protests began), the Prophet — god’s mouthpiece on the earth, announced that black men could now hold the same priesthood authority as white men. And black families could be sealed together for eternity, as their white peers had been doing for 150yrs. Clearly not racist.

In 1981, the church changed the wording in a Book of Mormon passage (The most correct book on earth, translated by the power of God in the 1800s). Instead of Native Americans becoming a “white and delightsome people” the scripture now explained that they would become a “pure and delightsome people”. See? Not racist.

In 1996, Gordon B Hinckley (inspired Prophet of God) was asked about the church’s racial history on national television. His reply? “It’s behind us. Look, that’s behind us. Don’t worry about those little flicks of history.”
Not worried about these little flicks. Not racist.

In The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:21 (Most correct book on earth) it reads: “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.”

A curse is not racist.

So there you have it.

In my opinion, ‘the very fact that God would allow those spirits who were less worthy in the spirit world to partake of a mortal body at all is further evidence of His mercy.’ And a clear indication that the church is anything but racist. And I didn’t even write that myself, I stole it from a church manual.

I am so proud to be a member of this organisation. A church that clearly aligns with my beliefs and morals, led by a living Prophet who speaks directly to deity on the world’s behalf. A religion that believes, and has always believed, that everyone is equal. That hatred, division and criticism of people based on nothing but skin colour is abhorrent, ungodly and has been since the world began.

Diversity is just a buzz word

On a personal note, I have black friends (on Facebook) and listen to rap and hip hop (radio edits). So you know I’m also… not racist.

Peace out brothers. (Black or white).

Actually just peace out brothers. I don’t even see skin colour.

And sisters.