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Black History Timeline
Blacklds.org ^ | June 2008

Posted on 06/02/2008 2:00:19 PM PDT by restornu

Black History Timeline

Black LDS History Black U.S. History
1619: First African slaves arrive in what would become the United States.
1816: American Colonization Society formed.
At the urging of Charles Fenton Mercer, a Federalist member of the Virginia state assembly, Presbyterian minister Robert Finley helps found the organization which is devoted to bring free blacks from what would later be Liberia to the United States. Despite being overtly anti-slavery, ACS members were openly racist and frequently argued that free blacks would be unable to assimilate into white society. Source: Wikipedia
1815: A.M.E. Church Founded
The African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) is organized in Philadelphia with Richard Allen as the founding bishop. It is formed because blacks who were praying in the Methodist Episcopal church were pulled up off their knees. (Source: Official AME Church history)
1820: First Vision
In the spring of 1820, God and Jesus appear to the 14-year-old Joseph Smith as he prayed near his home in Palmyra, New York.
1821: Black Emigration to Liberia
Over the objections of the A.M.E. Church, The American Colonization Society, which is founded by a white Presbyterian clergyman named Robert Finley establishes the black Republic of Liberia in West Africa and begins encouraging emigration of blacks to this new African country.
1821: First Black Patent Granted
Thomas Jennings invents a dry cleaning process. He is the first recorded black patent holder.
1829: First Black Catholic Nun Community Established
Four free black women establish the community of black Catholic nuns in Baltimore. It receives Papal recognition in 1831.
1830: LDS Church Organized
On 6 April, 1830, the Church is organized in Fayette, New York.
1831: Nat Turner’s Rebellion
Claiming he is called upon to deliver his people, Nat Turner leads 60 men in a two-day rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner claims the spirit of the Old Testament called on him to deliver his people. Joined by over 60 men, Turner kills around 60 whites and destroys 15 homesteads. Over 3000 armed whites set out to end the rebellion, killing many innocent blacks along the way. Turner remains at large for two months, until he is captured, tried, and hanged. As a result of the insurgency, many southern states forbid blacks to preach.
1832: Elijah Abel Baptized by Ezekiel Roberts
Elijah goes on to become the first black man to be given the priesthood in the LDS Church.
1833: Free People of Color Editorial Published
W.W. Phelps publishes a controversial editorial in the Evening and Morning Star titled “Free People of Color.” It outlines procedures for the migration of free blacks to Missouri.Missouri is a slave state that beat any free black crossing into or out of Missouri with 10 lashes on his or her bare back. Needless to say the Missourians react very negatively to the editorial and reprint part of it in the St. Louis newspapers. This is a spark that leads to much violence against the Mormons and is one of the factors leading to the Mormons eventual expulsion from the state.
1833: Missourians Write Mob Manifesto
The local Missourians don’t like the Phelps editorial and respond with The Manifesto of the Mob. This manifesto calls for the “removal” of the Mormons. Among other things it says:”In a late number of the Star, published in Independence by the leaders of the sect, there is an article inviting free Negroes and mulattoes from other states to become “Mormons,” and remove and settle among us. This exhibits them in still more odious colors. It manifests a desire on the part of their society, to inflict on our society an injury that they know would be to us entirely insupportable, and one of the surest means of driving us from the country; for it would require none of the supernatural gifts that they pretend to, to see that the introduction of such a caste among us would corrupt our blacks, and instigate them to bloodshed.”"…we believe it a duty we owe to ourselves, our wives, and children, to the cause of public morals, to remove them from among us, as we are not prepared to give up our pleasant places and goodly possessions to them or to receive into the bosom of our families, as fit companions for wives and daughters, the degraded and corrupted free Negroes and mulattos that are now invited to settle among us.”"…we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them, and to that and we each pledge to each other are bodily powers, our lives, fortunes and sacred honors.”
1833: D&C 101:77 is Revealed
79: Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.
1835: D&C 134 is Adopted.
Most interesting is verse 12 which says not to interfere with masters and “bond servants.”
1836: Elijah Abel Ordained an Elder
In March of 1836, Elijah Abel is given the priesthood and ordained to the office of Elder. This is reportedly done by Joseph Smith himself.
1836: Theodore S. Wright Receives Diploma from Princeton
He becomes the first African-American to receive a degree from the theological seminary in the United States.
1836: Joseph Smith Slavery Editorial
In the April issue of the Messenger and Advocate, Joseph Smith writes that the methods of the abolitionists are not helping the cause of the slaves.
1836: Elijah Abel Listed in the Messenger and Advocate
In the June issue of the Messenger and Advocate, the elders in Kirtland Ohio are listed. Elijah Abel is listed as an Elder.
1836: Elijah Abel Ordained a Seventy
In December of 1836 Elijah is ordained a Seventy by Zebedee Coltrin. He also becomes a “duly licensed minister of the Gospel” for missionary work in Ohio. (Minutes of the Seventies Journal, December 20, 1836)
1836: Nondiscriminatory Rules Published for Governing the Temple in Kirtland
The rules provided for “old or young, rich or poor, male or female, bond or free, black or white, believer or unbeliever…” (History of the Church 2: 368-69)
1837: Elijah Parish Lovejoy Killed
On November 7, 1837, Elijah Parish Lovejoy is killed by a proslavery mob while defending the site of his anti-slavery newspaper The Saint Louis Observer. His press had been destroyed many times before.
1838: Sister Eunice Kinney Taught and Baptized by Elijah Abel
A letter, dated 1891, describes her conversion experience in 1838.
1838: Frederick Douglass Escapes from Slavery
He becomes an abolitionist, publishes a newspaper, raises troops for the civil war, becomes an advisor to President Lincoln, and does many other great things.
1839: Mutiny on the Slave Ship Amistead
Cinque and his men are captured and brought back to the United States. John Quincy Adams, at the age of 73, argues their case successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court: they are freed and returned to Africa.
1839: Catholic Church Opposes Slavery
Pope Gregory XVI issues a statement condemning slavery. He says, “in the Lord all believers in Christ, of whatsoever condition, that no one hereafter may dare unjustly to molest Indians, Negroes, or other men of this sort; …or to reduce them to slavery…” The key word here is “unjustly” as opposed to those who have been captured “justly.” Some American clergy argued that the pope had not intended it to apply to the United States where the slavery is of the “domestic type” and quite different from what the pope is condemning. Read more about the Catholic history here.
1840: People of Every Color Anticipated to Worship in the Nauvoo Temple
“If the work roll forth with the same rapidity it has heretofore done, we may soon expect to see flocking to this place, people from every land and from every nation, the polished European, the degraded Hottentot, and the shivering Laplander. Persons of all languages, and of every tongue, and of every color; who shall with us worship the Lord of Hosts in his holy temple, and offer up their orisons in his sanctuary.” (Times and Seasons, Vol. 1 No. 12 October, 1840. See also Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star, Vol. 1, No. 9, January 1841 and in History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. 4)
1841: Joseph Smith says Elijah Able [sic] is Part of a Group Sent to Rescue Him.
Joseph Smith is arrested and “Hosea Stout, Tarleton Lewis, William A. Hickman, John S. Higbee, Elijah Able [sic], Uriel C. Nickerson, and George W. Clyde started from the Nauvoo landing, in a skiff in order to overtake me and rescue me, if necessary.” When the group arrives at Quincy, they find that Joseph has been taken back to Nauvoo. (History of the Church, 4:365) Note that Elijah’s last name is sometimes spelled Able and sometimes spelled Abel.
1841: Baptists Argue that Slavery is Biblical
Southern delegates to the Triennial Convention of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Board “protested the abolitionist agitation and argued that, while slavery was a calamity and a great evil, it was not a sin according to the Bible.” [J.G. Melton, The Encyclopedia of American Religions, Volume I, Triumph Books, (1991), Volume II, Page 5.]
1842: Joseph Smith Writes in His Personal Journal that Slaves Should be Set Free
He writes that the slaves owned by Mormons should be brought “into a free country and set …free– Educate them and give them equal rights.” [30 Dec. 1842 Joseph Smith Journal as quoted in Neither White Nor Black, Bush and Mauss (Signature Books, 1984), p. 62]
1842: Smith Writes His Famous Letter about Slavery
It makes my blood boil.” In speaking of slavery, Smith writes this emotional letter expressing how he feels about slavery.
1843: Joseph Smith Makes Statements about Blacks
Blacks have souls (an item that others didn’t necessarily believe) and that they are a product of their environment. Given an equal environment they would be on the same level as whites.
1843: Methodist Ministers are Slaveholders
“In 1843, 1,200 Methodist ministers owned 1,500 slaves, and 25,000 members owned 208,000 slaves…the Methodist Church as a whole remained silent and neutral on the issue of slavery.” (Slavery and Religion in America: A time line 1440 - 1866, at: http://www.ipl.org/ref/timeline/)
1843: New Methodist Splinter Group Forms Over Slavery
Members of the Methodist Episcopal Church leave to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church in America. The split is caused primarily by the slavery issue. The church had reneged on an earlier decision to forbid members to own slaves.
1844: Green Flake Baptized
Green is the slave of James Madison Flake, a convert to the LDS Church. At the age of 15 Green is baptized, but remains a slave. Green remains a faithful member of the Church throughout his life.
1844: Methodist Church Splits Over Slavery Issue
In 1844 the issue of slavery divides the General conference of the Methodist Church into a northern and a southern branch. You can read about it in this off site article: Methodists and Slavery.
1844: Samuel Chambers Baptized by Preston Thomas
Samuel Chambers is baptized at the age of 13. The baptism is done in secret because Samuel is a slave.
1844: Walker Lewis Ordained an Elder
There are two conflicting accounts of the ordination of Lewis, a black man in Lowell, MA. According to a letter from William Appleby to Brigham Young dated June 2, 1847, William Smith, brother to Joseph Smith, ordains him, but according to Jane Elizabeth James written Feb. 7, 1890, Parley P. Pratt ordains him.
1844: Joseph Smith Runs for President On an anti-slavery platform.
“[We] hold[s] these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal;…but at the same time some two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours.”
Joseph proposes the sale of public lands to pay for the release of every slave and to abolish slavery by 1850.
1846: William McCary Baptized and Ordained by Apostle Orson Hyde
This baptism and ordination of William, a black man, is reported in the Voree Herald, October 1846.
1846: Frederick Douglass’s Narrative is Published.
Frederick Douglass, a leading black abolitionist, publishes the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave. Douglass had been born into slavery in 1818 in Maryland.
1847: Several Blacks Arrive in Utah
It is reported that Green Flake comes in with Brigham Young in the first company of Saints to arrive.
1848: Baptists Split over Slavery
The American Baptist Missionary Union, (now the American Baptist Convention) split over slavery and the Southern Baptist Convention is formed. It remains a separate convention to this day. (One must question if they still disagree on the black segregation or slavery issue since that is why they originally split.)
1850: Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 enacted
The provisions of this act helped to precipitate the political and social conditions that led to the Civil War. Source: Wikipedia
1851: Orson Hyde Makes Statement about Slavery.
Millennial Star, February 15, 1851, “The laws of the land recognize slavery, we do not wish to oppose the laws of the country.”…”Our counsel to all our ministers in the North and South is; to avoid contention upon the subject, and to oppose no institution which the laws of the country authorize; but to labor to bring men into the Church and Kingdom of God, and teach them to do right, and honor their God in His creatures.”
1851: J.F. Brennan Publishes Book by Josiah Priest titled Bible Defence of Slavery
Brennan claims that Cain’s parents were Eve and the serpent. Unfortunately, this book becomes very influential in “explaining” the black race.
1851-1852: Elijah Abel Arrives in Utah, a Free Man.
A carpenter by trade, Abel works on building the Salt Lake Temple. He and his wife Mary Ann manage the Farnham Hotel.
1852: Slavery Made Legal in Utah
Several unique provisions are included which terminate the owners contract in the event that the master had sexual intercourse with a servant “of the African race,” neglected to feed, clothe, shelter, or otherwise abuse a servant, or attempt to take him from the territory against his will. Some schooling is also required for slaves between the ages of six and twenty. (Neither White nor Black, Bush and Mauss, Signature Books, 1984, pg. 68-69)
1853: Elijah Abel Requests Permission to Receive Endowments
Brigham Young denies the reqeust. Abel had already been through the Kirtland Temple for washings and anointings and he was already baptized for the dead in Nauvoo.
1854: Brigham Young has Green Flake Freed from Slavery
Green Flake is a slave of a Southerner who converted to the Church. Flake eventually dies a faithful Mormon in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In Idaho, Green is known as “the best damn missionary we have” (words of Oz Call).
1857: Dred Scott Decision of the U.S. Supreme Court
Dred Scott is considered property, not a citizen, and therefore can not sue in Court. The decision also indicates that Congress can not keep slavery out of the territories.
1860: Utah Census
The census lists 59 blacks, 29 of them are listed as slaves.
1861: Civil War Begins
Black enlistment is initially rebuffed by the Union Army, because of concerns that their participation will weaken Northern support for the war.
1861: Presbyterian Church Splits Over Slavery Issue
The Presbyterian Church in the United States of America splits and the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States is formed in the south. They later rename themselves the Presbyterian Church in the United States.
1863: Emancipation Proclamation Frees Slaves in Some States
On January 1, 1863, with the Emancipation Proclamation, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declares free all slaves residing in territories that are in rebellion against the federal government. This really frees very few slaves. It does not apply to slaves in border states fighting on the Union side, nor does it affect slaves in Southern areas under Union control.
Those states that are affected are in rebellion, so they do not act on Lincoln’s order. Four months later, black soldiers are allowed to join the Union Army. More than 180,000 African-Americans serve.
1865: Abraham Lincoln Delivers His Second Inaugural Address
In the address, Lincoln blames the Civil War on the keeping of slaves. “He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came…” “Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bonds men’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn up with a lash shall be paid by another drawn with a sword, as was said 3000 years ago, so still it must be said ‘the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’”
1865: The Civil War Ends
1865: Thirteenth Amendment Passes
December 18, 1865, this amendment passes which ends slavery in the U.S.
1866: First Ku Klux Klan formed
Organization forms in the South in wake of the Confederation’s defeat in the Civil War in an attempt to promote white supremacy.
1866: Catholic Church Responds to Thirteenth Amendment
Response says slavery is not contrary to the natural and divine law. “Slavery itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons. It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given. The purchaser should carefully examine whether the slave who is put up for sale has been justly or unjustly deprived of his liberty, and that the vendor should do nothing which might endanger the life, virtue or Catholic faith of the slave.” (Instruction 20, June 1866)
1867: Deseret Constitution Amended to Extend Rights To All
Brigham Young wrote Thomas Kane in 1869 the Constitution of the State of Deseret had been amended February 4, 1867, to eliminate the words “free, white, male” from voting requirements by a vote of “14,000 for and 30 against.” (October 26, 1869, in Brigham Young papers, LDS Church Archives.)
1868: Scott Joplin Born
On November 24, 1868, Scott Joplin was born in Liden, TX. He was later known as the King of Ragtime.
1869: the “Neutral in the Preexistence” Explanation Denied by Brigham Young
When asked “if the spirits of Negroes were neutral in heaven,” Brigham Young answers, “no, they were not, there were no neutral [spirits] in heaven at the time of the rebellion, all took sides…. All spirits are pure that came from the presence of God. (Journal History, 25 December 1869, citing Wilford Woodruff’s journal.)
1870: C.M.E. Founded
The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church (C.M.E.) is founded by free blacks.
1871: Elijah McCoy Invents Automatic Lubrication Device
Prior to this invention, equipment and engines would have to be stopped for periodic lubrication. He is known as the “real McCoy.”
1873: Pope Pius IX Prays that God Remove the Curse of Ham.
Pope Pius IX is concerned about the “wretched Ethiopians in Central Africa.” He prays that “Almighty God may at length remove the curse of Cham [Ham] from their hearts.” God’s curse on Ham is that the Canaanite people would be forever enslaved. Some theologians had long used this Biblical passage to justify enslavement of Africans. (Awake!, October 8, 1977, p. 29)
1875: First Black Catholic Bishop
James Augustine Healey becomes the first African-American bishop in the Roman Catholic Church. (First Black Catholic Bishop)
1879: Abraham Smoot and Zebedee Coltrin Claim Joseph Smith Instituted the Priesthood Ban
Smoot, who owned two slaves, and Coltrin claim that Joseph Smith instituted the ban in the 1830s and dropped Abel from the priesthood. (L. John Nuttal diary, May 31, 1879, p. 170, Special Collections, BYU). Coltrin is working from an old memory and makes several factual errors. Joseph F. Smith provides the two certificates indicating Abel’s status as a Seventy, which contradict Coltrin’s claims, as does Abel’s patriarchal blessing, which is read aloud at the meeting. Joseph F. Smith says he thinks Brother Coltrin’s memory is incorrect.
One interesting note that may be relevant if accurate: Both Coltrin and Smoot claim to have asked Joseph Smith what to do with the “Negroes in the Southern States.” “[The Prophet] said I could baptize them by the consent of their masters, but not to confer the priesthood upon them.” (Above sources as quoted in Neither White nor Black, Bush and Mauss, Signature Books, pg. 60.)
1880: Elijah Abel Again Denied Temple Endowment
This time he is turned down by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Earlier in his life he participated in washing and anointing ceremonies in the Kirtland Temple and baptisms for the dead in Nauvoo.
1880 Census
For the second time, blacks are listed as people and not as property.
1881: Booker T. Washington Begins Work at the Tuskegee Institute
Born a slave in 1856, he becomes a very influential educator. His idea is that blacks could secure their constitutional rights through their own economic and moral advancement rather than through legal and political changes.
1883: Elijah Abel Still Has the Priesthood.
He is still on record as a Seventy in the Seventies Minutes dated December 10, 1883.
1883: Elijah Abel Sent On a Mission
In his seventies, Abel returns home in early December 1884 and dies two weeks later.
1885: B.H. Roberts Speculates on the Origin of the Priesthood Ban
Roberts draws heavily on the newly canonized Pearl of Great Price and asks if Ham’s wife Egyptus is a daughter of Cain and because of her line perpetuates the curse of a priesthood ban through Ham’s children. (The Contributor 6:296-297)
1886: First Black Catholic Priest in America
Augustus Tolton is the priest in Quincy Illinois for two years. (First Black Priest)
1886: R.F. Fleming Patents the Guitar
He becomes another in a growing list of black inventers.
1887: Alexander Miles Patents Important Elevator Improvements
Alexander Miles patents the electric elevator and doors that automatically close.
1887: Ohio Repeals Antimiscegenation Laws
These laws made it unlawful for people of different color or races to marry each other. While Ohio repealed its law, no other state did until 1951.
1891: Ku Klux Klan Causes Problems for Mormons
J. Golden Kimball receives a telegram saying the Ku Klux Klan is going to tar and feather all of the Mormon elders in the county if they don’t immediately leave.
1892: Lynching in the United States Reaches Its Peak
230 African-Americans are killed in a single year.
1895: Joseph F. Smith Claims Abel was Ordained Under Direction of Joseph Smith
The Quorum of the Twelve discuss the black issue again. Joseph F. Smith is a strong advocate that Joseph meant for blacks to received the priesthood. In contrast, George Q. Cannon asserts that Joseph Smith instituted the ban, but says it is second-hand information he heard from John Taylor.
1896: Supreme Court Upholds Segregation
The Supreme Court holds that “separate but equal” is legal. It involves a dispute over sleeping cars on the railroad. At this time 90% of blacks live in the South.
1900: President Lorenzo Snow Expresses Doubts On the Issue.
On August 18, 1900, President Lorenzo Snow states that he isn’t sure whether the existing explanations for the ban had been personal opinions or actual revelations. This is recorded in the minutes of the Council of the Twelve.
1900: Elijah Abel’s Son Ordained an Elder
On November 27, 1900, Enoch Abel, son of Elijah Abel, is ordained an Elder.
1902: Jane Manning James Receives a Special Temple Sealing
Jane has been a faithful black member of the Church since the days of Joseph Smith, Jr. She lived with the Smiths and was promised by Joseph and Emma that she could be adopted into their family. After several letter exchanges with Church leadership, she is given a special temple sealing as a “servant” to Joseph Smith Jr. She continues to pursue her endowment.
1908: Joseph F. Smith Changes His Position Relative to Blacks
Joseph F. Smith abandons his former position on Elijah Abel’s status and now claims that Joseph Smith declared Abel’s ordination “null and void.” (Council Minutes, 26 August, as quoted in Neither White nor Black, Signature Books, pg. 140) Historians today don’t understand this reversal, as Smith had Abel’s ordination certificates which supported his earlier (strongly held) position and don’t support his new views.
1908: Black Heavyweight Boxer Jack Johnson Defeats White Canadian Tommy Burns
Johnson wins the World Heavyweight title.
1909: NAACP Formed
1910: Jack Johnson Defends His Title
Black heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson defends his title against white James J. Jeffries. Jeffries was a champion who had earlier refused to fight Johnson. After winning by knocking out Jeffries in the fifteenth round, race riots erupted throughout the United States. Some states banned the filming of Johnson’s victories over white fighters.
1912: LDS First Presidency Again Denies the “Neutral in Heaven” Idea
Just as Brigham Young denied it, Joseph F. Smith and Charles Penrose deny this theory in a First Presidency letter written to M. Knudson on January 13, 1912. “There is no revelation, ancient or modern, neither is there any authoritative statement by any of the authorities of the Church… [in support of the idea] that the Negroes are those who were neutral in heaven at the time of the great conflict or war, which resulted in the casting out of Lucifer and those who were led by him.” (As quoted in Neither White Nor Black, Bush and Mauss, Signature Books, pg. 86)
1915: Second Ku Klux Klan formed
Reorganization of the Klan in the South and throughout the nation. Members were largely Christians: “Klansmen were Protestants, of course, but they cannot be described exclusively or even predominantly as fundamentalists. In reality, their religious affiliations mirrored the whole of white Protestant society, including those who did not belong to any church.” [Source: Leonard J. Moore, Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991).]
1917: Black Soldiers Fight in World War I
But they fight in completely segregated units.
1919: Lynchings Continue
There were 83 recorded lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan held more than 200 public meetings.
1924: Membership in Ku Klux Klan reaches high of 6,000,000
1934: Elijah Abel’s Grandson Ordained a Priest
On July 5, 1934, Elijah Abel, grandson of the first Elijah Abel, is ordained a priest in the Aaronic priesthood.
1935: Elijah Abel Ordained an Elder
On September 29, 1935, Elijah Abel, grandson of the first Elijah Abel, is ordained an Elder.
1936: Jesse Owens wins four Gold medals at the Berlin Olympics
1940: Committee Studies Black Issue
J. Ruben Clark, Jr., recommends a committee be appointed to “make some ruling or re-affirm whatever ruling that has been made on this question in the past as to whether or not one drop of negro blood deprives a man of the right to receive the priesthood” (Council Meeting January 25, 1940, George Albert Smith Papers, LDS Church Archives).
1940: Thirty-One of the Forty-Eight States Still Ban Interracial Marriage
Breaking this law means jail time.
1941: Black Soldiers Fight in World War II
But they fight in segregated units.
1945: 100 Servicemen Arrested for Not Signing Segregation Agreement
Coleman Young and 99 other black servicemen are arrested after they refuse to sign an agreement to abide by base segregation rules. They are imprisoned.
1947: Brazil is Studied for Priesthood Issue
The committee finds that the races are very mixed in Brazil. Patriarchal blessing are used to determine linage.
1949: First Presidency Statement on Blacks and Priesthood
“The attitude of the Church with reference to the 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.”
1952: The Tuskegee Institute Reports there are No Lynchings
It is the first year in 71 years that no lynchings are reported.
1954: Brown v. Board of Education
The Supreme Court declares that “separate but equal” public education is unconstitutional.
1955: Melanesian “Blacks” are Given Priesthood
Under the direction of David O. McKay, Melanesian blacks are defined as from a different linage and not under the priesthood ban. The first Figians receive the priesthood in 1958 while the Negritos of the Philippines were given it earlier. (Armand Mauss, Neither White nor Black, Signature Books, pg. 152)
1955: Montgomery Bus Boycott
On December 1, Rosa Parks, a 43-year-old black woman, refuses to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus to a white man. Her arrest sparks a black boycott of the city buses. Martin Luther King, Jr., a relatively unknown 26-year-old Baptist minister, becomes the spokesperson and organizer of the boycott and is catapulted into national prominence. In 1956, the Supreme Court declares that segregation on buses is unconstitutional, and buses throughout the U.S. are forced to desegregate. (from the PBS website timeline)

1957: Little Rock NineNine black children were allowed to attend the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. At first the Governor used the National Guard to keep the children out, but the Federal Government sent the 101st Airborne division from the US army. On September 27, 1957, under army escort, the nine children were able to attend school.One student was stabbed and had acid sprayed in her eyes. More information here and More information here
1958: Joseph Fielding Smith clarifies the Church’s Position on Equality for Blacks
“No church or other organization is more insistent than The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that the Negroes should receive all the rights and privileges that can possibly be given to any other in the true sense of equality as declared in the Declaration of Independence. They should be equal to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ They should be equal in the matter of education. They should not be barred from obtaining knowledge and becoming proficient in any field of science, art or mechanical occupation. They should be free to choose any kind of employment, to go into business in any field they may choose and to make their lives as happy as it is possible without interference from white men, labor unions or from any other source. In their defense of these privileges the members of the Church will stand.” (Answers to Gospel Questions 2:185)
Smith goes on to say “if a Negro is baptized and remains true and loyal, he will enter the celestial kingdom.” But he also says, “but we cannot promise him that he will receive the priesthood.”
1958: Little Rock Arkansas High Schools close
In August 1958, rather than allowing the public high schools to become integrated, the Little Rock school board canceled the 1958-59 school year for its four high schools.
1962: President McKay Calls Missionaries to Nigeria
Four missionaries are called to serve but the Nigerian government denies them visas.
1962: James Meredith is accepted as the first black student at the University of Mississippi
Twenty Nine-year-old military veteran James Meredith was accepted, on paper, as a student at the University of Mississippi. When the state realized Mr. Meredith was black, his entrance to the all-white university was denied. The governor and lieutenant governor each physically blocked his entrance to the school. Mr. Meredith sued the state, and the 5th Judicial Circuit Court upheld his right to attend the school. Rioting on September 30, 1962, led to the death of two bystanders and injuries to 160 federal marshals. The following day, October 1, 1962, escorted by Justice Department attorney John Doar and federal marshals, James Meredith registered as the first black student at the University. Main Source
1962: Dr. A.F. Mensah of Ghana becomes a Believer
Sometime in 1962 a missionary tract, the Joseph Smith Story, found its way into the hands of a black religious leader in Ghana, Dr. A.F. Mensah. He converts several others, sets up a church congregation and corresponds with the Church missionary department.
1963: Look Magazine Publishes “Memo from a Mormon
This October article, while not especially favorable to the LDS church, is widely misquoted by anti-Mormons to make it appear that the Church is racist.
1963: Medgar Evers assassinated
NAACP organizer Medgar Evers killed in Mississippi. by Ku Klux Klansman Byron De La Beckwith.
1963: Hugh B. Brown Mentions Study
Brown says “we are in the midst of a survey looking toward the possibility of admitting Negroes.” to the Priesthood. He says this in a New York Times article dated June 7, 1963.
1963: Birmingham Church Bombing
The black Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama is bombed while Sunday school is in session, and four young girls are killed. Four suspects are identified but FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover blocks their prosecution. Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley reopens the case in 1971, and Robert Edward Chambliss is convicted of one count of murder. The case is opened again in 1997, and two aging former Klansmen, Thomas Blanton Jr. and Bobby Frank Cherry, are sentenced to life in prison.
1963: Apostle Hugh B. Brown Makes Statement on Civil Rights at October General Conference
“During recent months, both in Salt Lake City and across the nation, considerable interest has been expressed in the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the matter of civil rights. We would like it to be known that there is in this Church no doctrine, belief, or practice that is intended to deny the enjoyment of full civil rights by any person regardless of race, color, or creed.
“We say again, as we have said many times before, that we believe that all men are the children of the same God and that it is a moral evil for any person or group of persons to deny any human being the rights to gainful employment, to full educational opportunity, and to every privilege of citizenship, just as it is a moral evil to deny him the right to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience.
“We have consistently and persistently upheld the Constitution of the United States, and as far as we are concerned this means upholding the constitutional rights of every citizen of the United States.
“We call upon all men everywhere, both within and outside the Church, to commit themselves to the establishment of full civil equality for all of God’s children. Anything less than this defeats our high ideal of the brotherhood of man.”
1963: Martin Luther King Delivers “I Have a Dream” Speech
Over 250,000 are at the Lincoln Memorial where the speech is given, making it the largest protest in U.S. history.
1964: Dr. A.F. Mensah of Ghana Gives a Book of Mormon to J.W.B. Johnson
J.W.B. Johnson, after reading it and receiving a series of dramatic personal revelations, becomes converted and spends time spreading the gospel among fellow Ghanaians. He forms several “Latter-day Saint” congregations.
1964: Civil Rights Act Passed
The Act effectively desegregates public facilities, stating: “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation…without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”
1964: California Voters Pass Proposition Fourteen
Passed by a two-to-one margin, this has the effect of wiping off the books all of the “fair housing” legislation ever passed in California. It stays in effect for two years until the Supreme Court strikes it down.
1965: Congress Passes Voting Rights Act
The Voting Rights Act bans the literary tests and poll taxes used since Reconstruction to prevent blacks from voting.
1966: Vernon Dahmer killed
NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer, Sr., firebombed in Mississippi by Ku Klux Klan members including Sam Bowers.
1967: Sociologist Armand Mauss Surveys LDS Attitudes about Race
Survey shows that “the Mormons, in spite of their peculiar doctrine on the Negroes, were no more likely to give anti-Negro responses than were the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Lutherans (whether American or Missouri Synod) or Baptists (whether American or Southern), and furthermore the Mormon respondents were very nearly the same as the Protestant averages.”
The survey also shows, “among those of urban origin, the ‘Orthodox’ or ‘believers’ were consistently less likely to express anti-Negro attitudes than were the ‘doubters’ of key Church doctrines.” (Neither White nor Black, Bush and Mauss, Signature Books, 1984, pg. 20-23)
1967: Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Interracial Marriage
The case, known as Loving v. Virginia, is based on the marriage of Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings plead guilty to violating the law against interracial marriage and are sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspends their sentence on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return for 25 years. After the Supreme Court decision, the last sixteen states with similar laws finally give it up.
1968: Martin Luther King, Jr., Assassinated
April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is shot while standing on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. He later dies at a hospital. His death provokes riots in fourteen cities and national mourning.
1970: Salt Lake Tribune Reports that David O. Mckay Says there is No Doctrine on Blacks
“President David O. Mckay of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was quoted Wednesday as saying as early as 1954 that ‘There is no doctrine in this church and there never was a doctrine in this church to the effect that the Negroes are under any kind of a divine curse.’ (Read the full article here.)
1971: Genesis Group Formed
On October 19, 1971, the Genesis Group is formed under the direction of Joseph Fielding Smith. Apostles Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and Boyd K. Packer are assigned to meet with Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr., Darius Gray, and Eugene Orr to form the beginnings of the Genesis Group. The organization is to provide a fellowship group for black members in Salt Lake City as well as to try to activate other black Mormons who have gone inactive.
1973: Spencer W. Kimball becomes Church President
He says the following about the issue: “I am not sure that there will be a change, although there could be. We are under the dictates of our Heavenly Father, and this is not my policy or the Church’s policy. It is the policy of the Lord who has established it, and I know of no change, although we are subject to revelations of the Lord in case he should ever wish to make a change.”
1977: Missionary Thayne Tagge Teaches Ghanaians in Switzerland
They are no-shows for their baptism because they are deported by immigration. They later start corresponding, asking for missionaries to come to Ghana and baptize the group of fifty or more believers they organized using the Book of Mormon and brochures Elder Tagge had given to them. (The author of this timeline served in Switzerland with Elder Tagge)
1977: Alex Haley’s Roots Airs
Alex Haley’s Roots, an epic that follows seven generations of a family from Africa to Arkansas, breaks the TV ratings record established by Gone With the Wind. It sparks interest in family history research.
1978: Priesthood Ban Lifted
On June 8, 1978 the revelation which gives the priesthood to everyone regardless of race or linage is announced. The events leading up to it and the revelation itself are judged to be a true miracle.
1978: Congress of National Black Churches Formed
The seven largest black Christian denominations organize the Congress of National Black Churches.
1978: Bruce R. McConkie Comments on Black Issue
Elder McConkie states that “we should forget everything that has been said in the past on this topic.
1983: Presbyterian Church Factions Reunite
The two bodies which split over the issue of slavery in 1861 reunite with each other and form the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
1990: Helvecio Martins Set Apart as a General Authority
Helvecio Martins is a member of the church before 1978. He is the first black General authority in the LDS church. He is a member of the Quorum of the Seventy–the first black Seventy since Elijah Abel. (In Brother Abel’s time the Seventy were ordained to do missionary work and were not considered general authorities of the Church.)
1998: James Landrith denied admission to Bob Jones University
Landrith was denied admission because he was married to an African American woman. A letter from the university explained that “God has separated people for His own purpose” and that the university “is opposed to intermarriage of the races because it breaks down the barriers God has established.” [Stephen R. Haynes, Noah's Curse (Oxford University Press, 2002), 3-4.]
2002: Robert Foster Elected BYU Student Body President
Robert Foster becomes the first black student body president of Brigham Young University.

1995 Southern Baptists Apologize for their Racist Past.On June 20, 1995, the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution apologizing for their racist roots and their past defenses of slavery. The SBC was founded in 1845 because the main body of Baptists wouldn’t appoint missionaries who were slaveholders. More information can be found here.
2005 Jackson T. Mkhabela Called as Stake President of the Soweto South African Stake
All previous Stake Presidents in South Africa had been white though there have been black counselors. While there have been black stake presidents in other countries, this is a first for South Africa.


TOPICS: History; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: blackhistory; history; lds; ldsblack; ldschurch; mormon; timeline

1 posted on 06/02/2008 2:00:20 PM PDT by restornu
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To: Adam-ondi-Ahman; America always; Antonello; asparagus; BlueMoose; Choose Ye This Day; ...

If links don’t work try the site link
http://www.blacklds.org/history


2 posted on 06/02/2008 2:01:38 PM PDT by restornu ( Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 11)
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To: restornu
Should read: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade under Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal starts in 1440. Has monopoly until 1660. the United States did not start it. In fact it was in the United States from 1789-1863. Remarkably it continued in Portugal until 1880.
3 posted on 06/02/2008 2:03:33 PM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: restornu

>>free blacks would be unable to assimilate into white society.>>

Not would be unable... choose not to...


4 posted on 06/02/2008 2:06:01 PM PDT by Righter-than-Rush
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To: restornu
Did you mean to post this on either one of the two threads currently running concerning blacks and the LDS Church?

Priesthood Commemoration Celebration Scheduled June 8 posted by you.

or LDS Church to host first-ever celebration of 1978 revelation (Blacks and Pristhood) posted by me?

5 posted on 06/02/2008 2:16:24 PM PDT by colorcountry (To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: All

1971: Genesis Group Formed
On October 19, 1971, the Genesis Group is formed under the direction of Joseph Fielding Smith.

Apostles Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and Boyd K. Packer are assigned to meet with Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr., Darius Gray, and Eugene Orr to form the beginnings of the Genesis Group.

The organization is to provide a fellowship group for black members in Salt Lake City as well as to try to activate other black Mormons who have gone inactive.


6 posted on 06/02/2008 2:24:42 PM PDT by restornu ( Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 11)
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To: massgopguy
Should read: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade under Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal starts in 1440. Has monopoly until 1660. the United States did not start it. In fact it was in the United States from 1789-1863. Remarkably it continued in Portugal until 1880.

Actually, you mean "Atlantic"...not "Trans-Atlantic."

Trans-Atlantic to Cuba and Hispaniola was begun by the Spanish, around the turn of the century (i.e., early 1500s). The Dutch were the first to bring slaves to what is now the US.

7 posted on 06/02/2008 2:25:39 PM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: restornu

Fascinating. Thanks for posting this. I have to put any historical questions in a time line form to make sense of them.


8 posted on 06/02/2008 2:37:51 PM PDT by AuntB (Vote Obama! ..........Because ya can't blame 'the man' when you are the 'man'.... Wanda Sikes)
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To: restornu
Turner kills around 60 whites and destroys 15 homesteads. Over 3000 armed whites set out to end the rebellion, killing many innocent blacks along the way.

nice slant...no whites were innocent ? Who writes this stuff ?
9 posted on 06/02/2008 2:40:13 PM PDT by stylin19a
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To: restornu

I would have included the 14th amendment in the timeline.

The Fourteenth Amendment (Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. It includes the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses among others. It was proposed on June 13, 1866, and ratified on July 9, 1868.


10 posted on 06/02/2008 2:43:10 PM PDT by AuntB (Vote Obama! ..........Because ya can't blame 'the man' when you are the 'man'.... Wanda Sikes)
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To: AuntB

This time line was assembled by the Black LDS there are some things I would have included too.

But there are many things here I was not aware of!


11 posted on 06/02/2008 2:56:00 PM PDT by restornu ( Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 11)
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To: restornu

Thanks for posting this Resty


12 posted on 06/02/2008 3:05:16 PM PDT by Tennessee Nana
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To: restornu
Southern delegates to the Triennial Convention of the American Baptist Foreign Mission Board “protested the abolitionist agitation and argued that, while slavery was a calamity and a great evil, it was not a sin according to the Bible.

Actually pretty difficult to argue against. The big difference being that biblical slavery was not in the least racial.

13 posted on 06/02/2008 3:44:05 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: restornu
1892: Lynching in the United States Reaches Its Peak 230 African-Americans are killed in a single year.

Interestingly, some individual cities have since significantly exceeded this annual murder total for the entire USA. Except that it's mostly black people killing each other, so nobody cares.

14 posted on 06/02/2008 3:50:46 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: restornu
1816L At the urging of Charles Fenton Mercer, a Federalist member of the Virginia state assembly, Presbyterian minister Robert Finley helps found the organization which is devoted to bring free blacks from what would later be Liberia to the United States.

I have no clue what this is trying to say. Bringing blacks from Africa to USA was outlawed in 1806.

Despite being overtly anti-slavery, ACS members were openly racist and frequently argued that free blacks would be unable to assimilate into white society.

Dare I point out that nearly 200 years later it looks like they may have had at least an arguable point?

15 posted on 06/02/2008 3:54:07 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: Sherman Logan
Interestingly, some individual cities have since significantly exceeded this annual murder total for the entire USA. Except that it's mostly black people killing each other, so nobody cares.

*****************

That's a scurrilous charge. It may well be that criminal on criminal crime is not met with the gnashing of teeth and the wringing of hands, but race has nothing to do with that.

16 posted on 06/02/2008 3:57:21 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham

Really? About 8,000 black men were killed by other black men in 2005 nationwide.

You are trying to tell me that liberals and blacks get anything like as excited about this fact as they do about the fact that <300 black men were killed by whites in lynchings over 100 years ago.

If you truly believe this you are, with respect, seriously full of cr*p.


17 posted on 06/02/2008 4:07:59 PM PDT by Sherman Logan (Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves. - A. Lincoln)
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To: trisham
That's a scurrilous charge. It may well be that criminal on criminal crime is not met with the gnashing of teeth and the wringing of hands, but race has nothing to do with that.

Perhaps, but preconcieved notions and expectations most certainly do, and these, in turn, are driven by history and experience. Doesn't the Good Book say something about "By their works ye shall know them"?

18 posted on 06/02/2008 4:10:00 PM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: massgopguy

I can’t count how many times I see some moron on TV acting as if America created slavery. They blame America for every bad thing connected to slavery but can never seem to give it credit for ending it. They seem to forget it was the blood of white American men that paid the high price of ending slavery.


19 posted on 06/02/2008 4:15:52 PM PDT by peeps36 (Politician = Corrupt Degenerate Loser = Ted, Nancy, Barry, Jack and Many More)
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To: yankeedame
Perhaps, but preconcieved notions and expectations most certainly do, and these, in turn, are driven by history and experience. Doesn't the Good Book say something about "By their works ye shall know them"?

*****************

I'm afraid I don't understand your point. Would you mind explaining further?

20 posted on 06/02/2008 4:21:27 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: restornu
Presbyterian minister Robert Finley helps found the organization which is devoted to bring free blacks from what would later be Liberia to the United States.

Someone doesn't know much about Black history. They got this part exactly backwards. The plan was to send freed Blacks FROM the US to Liberia, not bring them from Liberia to the US. Robert Finley went on to serve as head of the University of Georgia.

21 posted on 06/02/2008 10:30:13 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: PAR35
Presbyterian minister Robert Finley helps found the organization which is devoted to bring free blacks from what would later be Liberia to the United States.

Someone doesn't know much about Black history. They got this part exactly backwards. The plan was to send freed Blacks FROM the US to Liberia, not bring them from Liberia to the US. Robert Finley went on to serve as head of the University of Georgia.

1821: Black Emigration to Liberia
Over the objections of the A.M.E. Church,

The American Colonization Society, which is founded by a white Presbyterian clergyman named Robert Finley establishes the black Republic of Liberia in West Africa

and begins encouraging emigration of blacks to this new African country.

22 posted on 06/03/2008 1:11:53 AM PDT by restornu ( Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 11)
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To: Sherman Logan

Most of those involved are criminals.


23 posted on 06/03/2008 4:36:05 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: peeps36

well, actually, Slavery was first ended by the British in the early 1800s, then they put a ban on all trade related to slavery in the British Empire and realms, so this gave impetus to the American and other European and Russian and Japanese/Chinese abolition of slavery. Saudi Arabia didn’t stop slavery until 1970.


24 posted on 06/03/2008 6:01:27 AM PDT by Cronos ("Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant" - Omar Ahmed, CAIR)
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To: restornu

“But there are many things here I was not aware of!”

Yes, me too, thanks again.


25 posted on 06/03/2008 8:01:13 AM PDT by AuntB (Vote Obama! ..........Because ya can't blame 'the man' when you are the 'man'.... Wanda Sikes)
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To: restornu
1943: The Tuskegee Airmen
26 posted on 06/03/2008 10:07:28 AM PDT by onedoug
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To: restornu

Joepsh Smith’s political party was the first Anational anti slave party. His idea to free the slaves was a decent compromise that may have worked. The US govt. would basically buy the slaves at a high price (above market price). It would cost a lot but the South would not feel economically ruined and the North could get abolition. No matter hwat price theyeventually finagled with each other it would have been much cheaper in gold an lives than the Civil War. (which was prophesied as well in early pre civil war D & C editions.)


27 posted on 06/03/2008 3:38:28 PM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X= they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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To: restornu
The first Black Police Investigator in the United States was in Salt Lake City.

This link throughouly discusses Black and the Priesthood in the LD church. The Mormon Faith & Black Folks

Basically it argues that it was a lineal (blood) doctrine (not based on skin color). Much like the Bible bans the Moabites and their descendants from the priesthood.

28 posted on 06/03/2008 3:41:53 PM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X= they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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To: Rameumptom

Sorry didn’t use spell check


29 posted on 06/03/2008 3:55:43 PM PDT by Rameumptom (Gen X= they killed 1 in 4 of us)
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To: restornu

You need to tell the folks at the source web site, not me. They are the ones that need a history lesson. As they say, “For those who are curious, Scott and Juliann are white, while Renee is black.” Looks like none of them is particularly strong in the area of history.


30 posted on 06/03/2008 5:24:20 PM PDT by PAR35
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