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Are there restrictions based on race or color concerning who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and have the priesthood?

Official Answer

There are no race or color restrictions as to who can join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There are also no race or color restrictions as to who can have the priesthood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

An official declaration of the Church states, “every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.”
(Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration – 2, 294).

Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, reaffirmed this principle when speaking to the National Press Club in Washington D.C.: “We believe in the old adage that many hands make light work. We have a lay priesthood, and every worthy man is eligible to receive this priesthood.”

  • Of course not! It really doesn't matter where you are from or what color your skin is. The only things that matter are the content of your character. If you are worth to be baptized and live the gospel according to it's principles, then you are worthy to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Official Declaration 2, found in the Doctrine and Covenants, states "Every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.” As long as you are worthy, you can be any nationality. Show more

  • There is no discrimination or exclusions of race. The Lord says in the bible, "...man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the Heart." 1Sam 16:7. The Lord does not care what race or color you are. All he cares about is you. He loves you. Show more

  • I'm white, but I'm not of Levite descent. And, my wife happens to be black. Nevertheless, we both serve in the temple and claim all the blessings of the gospel, including marriage for eternity. Anciently, only sons of Levi served in the temple, and only Israel had its blessings. Now everyone can have the gospel, and all worthy males can hold the priesthood. I use the priesthood to bless my family and to serve in my calling as a member of the Bishopric. Our younger son, who happens to be black, uses the priesthood as he prepares the Sacrament on Sundays and leads young men. When he's a couple of years older, he will place the entire congregation under covenant on Sundays as he blesses the Sacrament. A few years after that, he'll serve a mission to preach the gospel wherever he is sent. The gospel is a gospel of service. Men and women serve without pay to bless the lives of those around them. The priesthood of God provides the authority and power to bless the entire world and to make covenants that are binding in heaven as well as on earth. Yet, "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned." We are not forced to serve; we choose to serve. And as we serve, others are blessed, we become more like God, and God blesses our lives. Show more

  • There are no restrictions. Any such practices have been done away with and all the blessings of the gospel are available to any individual who chooses to follow Christ. This is something I have studied and prayed as I have wanted to know for certain that equality is taught in this church. I have come to know for myself that it is. There is a rich history in the church of black and African membership and there are efforts to celebrate this and other cultural diversity.  Show more

  • There are no restrictions based on race or color for anybody who can join the church. If you have a desire to come unto Christ and be baptized with the proper authority, no matter who you are and your racial background, you will be able to. Show more

  • I've never encountered any race issues when it comes to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. First and foremost I don't personally believe a person can nor should be labeled into races. I know Heavenly Father has created us all different, but it is more important what's inside of a person than what one looks like. In Finland we don't label people into races, so for me personally it is weird to learn that something like different skin colour would restrict my life in any way. I have come to know that in church we are all equal in the sight of God. God loves all of His children and is willing to grant all faithfull His many blessings. I've personally been given the same rights as any other faithful member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was baptised and I've received temple blessings. These are all in the reach for every person who chooses to follow Christ worthily. Show more

  • No, the church of Jesus Christ is for anyone who is willing to come to the gospel or those who simply want to investigate. You all are welcome in the church no mater who you are or where you come from. If you ever feel that you can't go because of your color, you are mistaken and if anyone ever makes you feel like that intentionally then they aren't following the spirit. So don't be afraid to come join us. Show more

  • No. We are fortunate enough in these days to have the blessings of the gospel and the Priesthood available to all. Unlike other times throughout the world's history, God has offered the Priesthood to every worthy male. Women are able to enjoy the blessings of the Priesthood through these men, and are invaluable in blessing the world through their attributes. Show more

  • NO. I am a Black man and I hold the Priesthood. Since becoming a member of the Church, I've received all the blessings and privileges available to any worthy member. The Church is a big family and you feel accepted and appreciated from the moment you enter the doors. Church members just love each other, no matter what their race or gender. Show more

  • As is recorded in Matthew 10:5, the Lord said to His Apostles "Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not..." Later the resurrected Lord told the same Apostles "...Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." (Acts 1:8) This is not an example of any variableness or a shadow of turning (See James 1:17) but is ever more evidence of His wisdom and foreknowledge in executing His designs. Some who wish to attack the Church think they find hypocrisy or guile in the fact that the Church did not allow men of African descent to hold the Priesthood until 1978. There is nothing contrary to the pattern of God in this. For decades and decades before the 2nd Official Declaration righteous men and women of African heritage were baptized into the Church and fold of God with the full promise and testimony that they would be denied no blessings in the worlds to come. Then, when the time was fully come, and as had been predicted by prophets previously, the Lord inspired His prophet to extend the full blessings of the Church in this life to all worthy members. This could well be one of the happiest days of this era. Whether in this dispensation or any other anyone who is uncharitable to another due to their race is in direct defiance of the Gospel of Christ, who is Savior to "black and white, bond and free, male and female" (See the Book of Mormon, 2nd Nephi 26:33.) Show more

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