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?
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.”
The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood. 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. Show more
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 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 absolutely no race or color restrictions in the church. When Jesus was here in the earth, he said that he came here to save the sinners. The last time I checked, all the people in the world, it doesn't matter color or race, are sinners. The church is a place where people can come closer to Christ. There are no restrictions to who can come in. Anybody that has a desire to come closer to Christ, has the right to come closer to Him. Show more
Christopher johnson answered...
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
Peter Blomfield answered...
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