Upcoming Celebration Of Black Inclusion Completely Misses The Point
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints just announced they would be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the inclusion of black clergy into the faith.
Yes, that is right. Until 1978 if you were black you could not be a Mormon priest. In fact, there is a long history of black people being entirely ignored by Mormons, or asked to leave if they tried to join the religion.
The highly centralized structure of Mormon hierarchy meant that offshoots or independent churches or clergy did not exist. Unlike other Christian denominations, which have hundreds of years of allowing black pastors, preachers, and priests Mormons were able to dictate the exclusion of black people.
This is probably why of the 14.8 million Mormons only 700,000 are black, mostly concentrated in Brazil and Africa. Top leaders lifted the ban after they “received a revelation from God.” There has been no explanation what changed God’s mind about exclusion.
Even though the Mormon church made a public statement denouncing the ban in 2013, a celebration of it misses the point. The Mormon church should be acknowledging what created the racial hostility and creating mechanisms and public awareness to ensure it does not continue in the present era.