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The Next MormonsHow Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church$
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Jana Riess

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190885205

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190885205.001.0001

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Minority Mormons and Racial Attitudes

Minority Mormons and Racial Attitudes

(p.109) Chapter 6 Minority Mormons and Racial Attitudes
The Next Mormons

Jana Riess

Oxford University Press

This chapter assesses the long and complex story about Mormonism and race, particularly with respect to African Americans. Until 1978, the LDS Church forbade priesthood ordination to men of African descent and temple entrance to black men and women, prohibiting them from participating in sacred rituals such as endowments and eternal marriage. Even though that policy was rescinded more than forty years ago, the legacy of the priesthood/temple ban is unsettling for some Mormons who wonder what to do with it theologically. Mormons' views on race are complex and the experiences and views of Mormons of color defy easy characterization. Indeed, while the Church as an institution has made serious efforts to counter racism, the ghosts of past attitudes have not been fully exorcised among members, and the racial composition of the membership is not staying in step with the racial diversity occurring around it.

Keywords:   Mormonism, race, African Americans, LDS Church, priesthood ban, temple ban, Mormons of color, racism, racial diversity

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