Filed Under ‘Um, Yay?’: Mormon Church to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of lifting ban against Black people

That is not that long ago. Just sayin'.

On June 1, the Church of Mormons will celebrate the 40th anniversary of lifting the ban on Black people who wanted to go into priesthood.

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On June 1, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of lifting the ban on Black people who wanted to go into priesthood, reports Raw Story

In 1978, the church moved toward racial diversity and lifted restrictions that long banned Black men and women from holding priesthood positions. Then-president of the Church Spencer W. Kimball reversed restrictions with the “Official Declaration 2.”

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Black Mormons

People of Black African descent in the church were once allowed to be ordained in the church’s early years around 1830s and 1840s, while under the reign of its founder Joseph Smith.

But then Smith’s successor Brigham Young barred Black men and women from the priesthood because he believed Blacks were descendants of Cain and cursed because the Biblical figure murdered his brother.

Other historical reports say that Young enacted the ban to stop Black men from marrying white women and prevent racial intermarriage in the church. They also were said to believe that Black people had “less righteous souls” than white people.

According to the Conversation,  one in 10 converts to Mormonism are Black, but surveys report that only about 1 to 3 percent of Mormons in the United States are African-American.

After the restrictions, Mormons avoided converting people of African descent into the faith.

Black people  today still feel the sting of racism even though the church has reversed its earlier restrictions. (Fun fact, Rep. Mia Love is a Black, Republican member of Congress who is of the Mormon faith.)

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According to reports, a professor at Brigham Young University suggested that God had put the earlier ban in place because Black people lacked “spiritual maturity.”

Mormon church leaders are calling for togetherness and announced a celebration under the theme “Be One.”