Mormon Quotes

Priesthood

Brigham Young
I am as much opposed to the principle of slavery as any man in the present acceptation or usage of the term, it is abused. I am opposed to abuseing [sic] that which God has decreed, to take a blessing, and make a curse of it. It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain for servants.... Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on the earth; we will sommons [sic] the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick [sic], and all the elders of Isreal [sic], suppose we summons them to apear [sic] here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be pertakers [sic] with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and the Kingdom of God leaves us to our fate.
Brigham Young, Brigham Young Addresses, Feb. 5, 1852
Brigham Young
How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290
Brigham Young
Now, brethren, the man that honors his Priesthood, the woman that honors her Priesthood, will receive an everlasting inheritance in the kingdom of God.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 17:119
Brigham Young
Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to. The volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence, and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they receive the blessings of life; if they chose death, they must abide the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:272
Brigham Young
Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain [blacks] cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290
Brigham Young
Joseph Smith holds the keys of this last dispensation, and is now engaged behind the veil in the great work of the last days. I can tell our beloved brother Christians who have slain the Prophets and butchered and otherwise caused the death of thousands of Latter‑day Saints, the priests who have thanked God in their prayers and thanksgiving from the pulpit that we have been plundered, driven, and slain, and the deacons under the pulpit, and their brethren and sisters in their closets, who have thanked God, thinking that the Latter‑day Saints were wasted away, something that no doubt will mortify them ‑ something that, to say the least, is a matter of deep regret to them ‑ namely, that no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding‑up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are ‑ I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. He holds the keys of that kingdom for the last dispensation ‑ the keys to rule in the spirit‑world; and he rules there triumphantly, for he gained full power and a glorious victory over the power of Satan while he was yet in the flesh, and was a martyr to his religion and to the name of Christ, which gives him a most perfect victory in the spirit‑world. He reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. Many will exclaim ‑ 'Oh, that is very disagreeable! It is preposterous! We cannot bear the thought!' But it is true.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:289
Brigham Young
When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the priesthood and of coming into the Kingdom of God and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:142
Joseph Smith
The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles in all the world — thus differing from other offices of the church in the duties of their calling. And they form a quorum equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles just named.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 107:25‑26
Joseph Smith
He [Adam] is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in this grand council. This may take place before some of us leave this stage of action. The Son of Man stands before him, and there is given him glory and dominion. Adam delivers up his stewardship to Christ, that which was delivered to him as holding the keys of the universe, but retains his standing as head of the human family.
Joseph Smith, Messages of the First Presidency, v. 1, p. 113, July 1839; History of the Church, v. 3, pp. 386‑387
George Albert Smith
From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
George Albert Smith, Statement of The First Presidency on the Negro Question, July 17 1947, quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, pp.46‑7
George Albert Smith
The attitude of the Church with reference to 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.
George Albert Smith, The First Presidency on the Negro Question, 17 Aug. 1949
David O. McKay
I know of no scriptural basis for denying the Priesthood to Negroes other than one verse in the Book of Abraham (1:26); however, I believe, as you suggest that the real reason dates back to our pre‑existent life.
David O. McKay, Mormonism and the Negro, Part 2, p. 19
Joseph Fielding Smith
It is not the authorities of the Church who have placed a restriction on him [the black man] regarding the holding of the Priesthood. It was not the Prophet Joseph Smith.... It was the Lord!
Joseph Fielding Smith, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 154
Joseph Fielding Smith
That negro race, for instance, have been placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits, few will doubt. It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born.
Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, page 43
Spencer W. Kimball
It went on for some time as I was searching for this, because I wanted to be sure. We held a meeting of the Council of the Twelve [Apostles] in the temple on the regular day. We considered this very seriously and thoughtfully and prayerfully. I asked the Twelve not to go home when the time came. I said, 'Now would you be willing to remain in the temple with us?' And they were. I offered the final prayer and told the Lord if it wasn't right, if He didn't want this change to come in the Church that I would be true to it the rest of my life, and I'd fight the world against it if that's what He wanted. We had this special prayer circle, then I knew the time had come. I had a great deal to fight, of course, myself largely, because I had grown up with this thought that Negroes should not have the priesthood and I was prepared to go all the rest of my life till my death and fight for it and defend it as it was. But this revelation and assurance came to me so clearly that there was no question about it.
Spencer W. Kimball, Deseret News, Jan. 6, 1979
Spencer W. Kimball
Men and women are complementary. I have mentioned only a few of the special blessings God gives his daughters in helping them to become like him. His sons have their own special opportunities. And in his wisdom and mercy, our Father made men and women dependent on each other for the full flowering of their potential. Because their natures are somewhat different, they can complement each other; because they are in many ways alike, they can understand each other. Let neither envy the other for their differences; let both discern what is superficial and what is beautifully basic in those differences, and act accordingly. And may the brotherhood of the priesthood and the sisterhood of the Relief Society be a blessing in the lives of all the members of this great Church, as we help each other along the path to perfection.
Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.315
Bruce R. McConkie
Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abra. 1:20‑27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord's doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527‑528
Bruce R. McConkie
The Lord could have sent messengers from the other side to deliver it, but he did not. He gave the revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost.... I cannot describe in words what happened; I can only say that it happened and that it can be known and understood only by the feeling that can come into the heart of man. You cannot describe a testimony to someone.
Bruce R. McConkie, "All Are Alike Unto God," speech, p. 2‑3
Bruce R. McConkie
As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born through this lineage...
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.102,477
Mark E. Petersen
We mustn't intermarry with the Negro. Why? If I were to marry a Negro woman and have children by her, my children would all be cursed as to the priesthood. Do I want my children cursed as to the priesthood? If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn't any argument, therefore, as to inter‑marriage with the Negro, is there?
Mark E. Petersen, "Race problems as they affect the church"
Mark E. Petersen
Let us consider the great mercy of God for a moment. A Chinese, born in China with a dark skin, and with all the handicaps of that race, seems to have little opportunity. But think of the mercy of God to Chinese people who are willing to accept the gospel. In spite of whatever they might have done in the pre‑existence to justify being born over there as Chinamen, if they now, in this life, accept the gospel and live it the rest of their lives they can have the Priesthood, go to the temple and receive endowments and sealings, and that means they can have exaltation. Isn't the mercy of God marvelous?
Mark E. Petersen, "Race problems as they affect the church"
Orson Pratt
But who in this generation have authority to baptize? None but those who have received authority in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints: all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord's supper from their hands will highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people. Both Catholics and Protestants are nothing less than the "whore of Babylon" whom the Lord denounces by the mouth of John the Revelator as having corrupted all the earth by their fornications and wickedness. And any person who shall be so wicked as to receive a holy ordinance of the gospel from the ministers of any of these apostate churches will be sent down to hell with them, unless they repent of the unholy and impious act.
Orson Pratt, Apostle Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 255
Melvin J. Ballard
The greatest mission of woman is to give life, earth‑life, through honorable marriage, to the waiting spirits, our Father's spirit children who anxiously desire to come to dwell here in this mortal state. All the honor and glory that can come to men and women ... is but a dim thing whose luster shall fade in comparison to the high honor, the eternal glory, the ever‑enduring happiness that shall come to the woman who fulfils the first great duty and mission that devolves upon her to become the mother of the sons and daughters of God
Melvin J. Ballard, Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, comp. Bryant S. Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1949], pp. 203‑4
Heber C. Kimball
Last nite I clothed my self and offered up the Sines [signs] of the Holy Preasthood and called one [on] the name of the Lord. He hurd me fore my heart was mad[e] comfortable. I inquired by the rod. It was said my family was well, that my wife would come to me in the East, and that Congress would not do anything fore us.
Heber C. Kimball, Heber C. Kimball diary, June 6, 1844, in Kimball, On the Potter's Wheel, p. 65
Dallin H. Oaks
Satan will also attempt to cause our spiritual downfall through tempting us to misapply our spiritual gifts. The revelations tell us that "there are many gifts, and to every man is given a gift by the Spirit of God" (D&C 46:11). All of these gifts "come from God, for the benefit of the children of God" (D&C 46:26). Most of us have seen persons whom the adversary has led astray through a corruption of their spiritual gifts. My mother shared one such example, something she had observed while she was a student at BYU many years ago. A man who lived in a community in Utah had a mighty gift of healing. People sought him out for blessings, many coming from outside his ward and stake. In time, he made almost a profession of giving blessings. As part of his travels to various communities, he came to the apartments of BYU students, asking if they wanted blessings. This man had lost sight of the revealed direction on spiritual gifts: "always remembering for what they are given" (D&C 46:8). A spiritual gift is given to benefit the children of God, not to magnify the prominence or gratify the ego of the person who receives it. The professional healer who forgot that lesson gradually lost the companionship of the Spirit and was eventually excommunicated from the Church.
Dallin H. Oaks, BYU Fireside, "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall", June 07, 1992
Armand Mauss
My plea, then to the civil rights organizations and to all critics of the Mormon Church is: get off our backs! ... agitation over the 'Negro issue' by non‑Mormon groups, or even by Mormon liberals, is likely simply to increase the resistance to change.
Armand Mauss, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1967, pp. 38‑39
Hyrum Smith
You shall be blesst with your portion of the Priesthood which belongeth to you, that you may be set apart for you Anointing and your induement [endowment].
Hyrum Smith, Hyrum Smith patriarchal blessing to Leonora Taylor, July 28, 1843, LDS archives; see Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p. 36
LeGrand Richards
Down in Brazil, there is so much Negro blood in the population there that it's hard to get leaders that don't have Negro blood in them. We just built a temple down there. It's going to be dedicated in October. All those people with Negro blood in them have been raising money to build that temple. If we don't change, then they can't even use it. Well, Brother Kimball worried about it, and he prayed a lot about it.
LeGrand Richards, Interview with Wesley P. Walters and Chris Vlachos, August 16, 1978
Joseph Smith III
It is expedient in me that you ordain priests unto me, of every race who receive the teachings of my law, and become heirs accourding to the promise.... Be not hasty in ordaining men of the Negro race...
Joseph Smith III, Revelation to the RLDS Church, May 4, 1865
Joseph Young
These blessings are yours, the blessings and power according to the holy Melchisedek Priesthood you received in your Endowments, and you shall have them.
Joseph Young, Joseph Young to Zina Young Card, May 28, 1878, Special Collections and Manuscripts Department, Lee Library; Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, p. 36
Neal A. Maxwell
We know so little about the reasons for the division of duties between womanhood and manhood as well as between motherhood and priesthood. These were divinely determined in another time and another place. We are accustomed to focusing on the men of God because theirs is the priesthood and leadership line. But paralleling that authority line is a stream of righteous influence reflecting the remarkable women of God who have existed in all ages and dispensations, including our own.
Neal A. Maxwell, "Women of God," Women, 1979, p. 94
N. Eldon Tanner
The Church has no intention of changing its doctrine on the Negro. Throughout the history of the original Christian church, the Negro never held the priesthood. There's really nothing we can do to change this. It's a law of God.
N. Eldon Tanner, Seattle Magazine, December 1967, page 60
John L. Lund
Those who would try to pressure the Prophet to give the Negroes the Priesthood do not understand the plan of God nor the order of heaven. Revelation is the expressed will of God to man. Revelation is not man's will expressed to God. All the social, political, and governmental pressure in the world is not going to change what God has decreed to be.
John L. Lund, The Church and the Negro, p. 109
John L. Lund
First, [before the seed of Cain get the priesthood] all of Adam's children will have to resurrect and secondly, the seed of Abel must have an opportunity to possess the Priesthood. These events will not occur until sometime after the end of the millennium.
John L. Lund, The Church and the Negro, pp. 109‑110
John L. Lund
Brigham Young made a very strong statement on this matter when he said, '... shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.' God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be to sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death.... It does not matter if they are one‑sixth Negro or one‑one hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is still the same.... To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a 'Nation of Priesthood holders.'"
John L. Lund, The Church and the Negro, pp. 54‑55, 1967
John L. Lund
Those who believe that the Church 'gave in' on the polygamy issue and subsequently should give in on the Negro question are not only misinformed about Church History, but are apparently unaware of Church doctrine.... Therefore, those who hope that pressure will bring about a revelation need to take a closer look at Mormon history and the order of heaven.
John L. Lund, The Church and the Negro, pp. 104‑105, 1967
Arthur M. Richardson
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints has no call to carry the Gospel to the Negro, and it does not do so.
Arthur M. Richardson, That Ye May Not Be Desired, p. 13
Arthur M. Richardson
Also, the gospel was not carried to this segregated black group... the Negroes tread the earth with black dishonorable bodies as a judgment of God because at the time of decision in the pre‑existence they were faint‑hearted and exhibited an infirmity of purpose — they were not valiant in the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, they were entitled to no better earthly lineage than that of the first early murderer, Cain. They were to be the 'servant of servants.' They were to be segregated. No effort was made to carry the gospel to them as a people.
Arthur M. Richardson, That Ye May Not Be Deceived, pp. 9‑10
Wallace Turner
A different thing is going on in South America where Mormon missionaries are pushing ahead full throttle. There the former careful selection to keep out "white Negroes" has been allowed to slide a little.... "There is no question but that in Brazil they have been ordaining priests who are part Negro," said one careful observer.
Wallace Turner, The Mormon Establishment, p. 261, 1966
Wallace Turner
The Negro Mormon can hold no office whatsoever in a church which offers some office to every one of its male members at some time in his life. A gray‑haired Negro Mormon who may have spent his adult life in careful practice of all the complicated and demanding rules set down by the LDS church stands disenfranchised before the altar where a youth whose beard is just beginning to fuzz may preside.
Wallace Turner, The Mormon Establishment, pp. 243‑244
Grant Syphers
In all humility I must say that God has not inspired me to feel good about the Church's practices regarding Negroes.... when my wife and I went to San Francisco Ward's bishop to renew our temple recommends, he told us that anyone who could not accept the Church's stand on Negroes as a divine doctrine was not supporting the General Authorities and could not go to the temple. Later, in an interview with the stake president we were told the same thing: if you express doubts about the divinity of this 'doctrine' you cannot go to the temple.
Grant Syphers, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1967, p. 6
Donald Ira French
The revelation that the church is talking about with respect to the Negro and the priesthood should have been sought 50 years ago — not now when we are forced into looking for one. Even if a revelation should come now, we have compromised our position because it looks as if we have been forced into seeking it, which will be true.
Donald Ira French, Time Magazine, Nov. 1, 1963
John J. Stewart
When God allows a spirit to take on a Negroid body, do you suppose He is unaware of the fact that he will suffer a social stigma? Therefore, if you say this Church is unjust in not allowing the Negro to bear the Priesthood, you must, to be consistent, likewise say that God is even more unjust in giving him a black skin.
John J. Stewart, John J. Stewart, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 154
David Olson
Spencer W. Kimball for his incorrect press release concerning the police involvement combined with the LDS church's efforts to restrict Douglas A. Wallace from the temple grounds, specifically the Tabernacle, on April 3, 1977. His denial of these actions is wrong. Any man who can take such actions and still call himself a prophet deserves more than I to be confined to this wheelchair.
David Olson, Salt Lake Tribune, Jan. 18, 1978
Eugene Wagner
Was this change of doctrine really a revelation from the Lord, or did the church leaders act on their own? Why don't they publish that revelation and let the Lord speak in his own words? All we saw was a statement of the First Presidency, and that is not how a revelation looks. "When God speaks the revelation starts with the words: 'Thus sayeth the Lord....' It seems when the Lord decides to change a doctrine of such great importance he will talk himself to the people of his church. If such a revelation cannot be presented to the members it is obvious that the First Presidency acted on its own, most likely under fear of public pressure to avoid problems of serious consequences and to maintain peace and popularity with the world.
Eugene Wagner, Salt Lake Tribune, June 24, 1978, Letter to Editor
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