Do Mormons Believe That Black People Can’t Go To Heaven? (Is There Still Racism in the Mormon Church?)

As a theology student, I enjoy expounding on truths regarding past and present religious groups. During our last session, our instructor opened a discussion on the Mormon Church. I am especially knowledgeable about the Mormon Church since I grew up attending this church. He asked if we had heard of the Mormons, and gave us room to share what we knew about this church. My classmates were intrigued to learn I grew up in this church. Most of them had heard stories about the church and how they discriminated against the black people and asked me many questions. Based on my experience as a church member who has received all the teachings and participated in all the doctrines, I was in a position to answer most of these questions. The question I encountered most was, do Mormons believe that black people can’t go to heaven?

No, the present-day Mormons believe that all worthy church members, black or white have an equal chance at heaven. However, this has not always been the case. For over one hundred years, the Mormon Church taught that black people were not worthy of priesthood. According to the Mormon Church, only priesthood members could participate in sacred ordinances like the endowment ceremony, which prepared members for life after death in heaven. This implied that black people who were not accepted into the priesthood were unworthy and couldn’t go to heaven.

In this article, I welcome you to join me as we unravel answers to questions like what the Mormons believe about black people if they still discriminate against black people, and why they believe they cannot go to heaven. Read on to learn this and much more.

What Do Mormons Believe About Black People?

Today, Mormons believe that black people have an equal chance as everyone else to participate in sacred church practices. Black people can receive the holy priesthood and exercise its authority without restriction. We owe this to an announcement by the leadership of the Latter Day Saints church in 1978 that lifted the ban imposed on black people against attaining priesthood. As per the announcement, all worthy male church members, regardless of race or color, could now be ordained into the priesthood and pass the benefits to their loved ones.

However, the Mormon Church held a policy that banned black people from participating in the priesthood for over a hundred years. According to Brigham Young, a predecessor to the Church’s Founder, Joseph Smith, black people are descendants of Cain, who God cursed. He taught that God put a mark on Cain and his descendants, which is the black skin. He taught that this generation was not worthy of priesthood or salvation. His teaching forbade the Mormons from intermarrying with the black as this would transfer the curse on them.

Are Mormons Still Discriminating Of the Black People?

Are Mormons Still Discriminating Of the Black People? Image source: Pixabay

No, the Mormons no longer discriminate against the black people. In 1978, the Mormon Church leadership made a public announcement stating that all church members could be ordained into the priesthood, regardless of race or color. However, members of the Latter Day Saints still experience issues resulting from their racial discrimination-associated history.

Although the ban imposed on black people against priesthood was lifted, many people argue that the Mormon leadership should also have issued a public apology to the black community. Although most members of the Mormon Church support the inclusion of the black community, maintaining the faith is sometimes a challenge. Some members find it hard to accept the discovery that the church once caused black people pain and suffering.

Why Do Mormons Believe That Black People Can’t Go To Heaven?

The Mormons no longer believe that black people cannot go to heaven. However, in the past, they did believe that being black was a curse from God. One of the Mormon Church leaders, Brigham Young, taught that black people were descendants of Cain, whose generation was cursed by God to be black. As a result, they believed that black people were cursed and unworthy of God’s salvation until later when everyone else was saved.

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