SOURCE: The New Yorker
by Casey Cep
In Nauvoo, Illinois, Smith established a theocracy, ran for President, and tested the limits of religious freedom.
SOURCE: LA Times
by Sarah Barringer Gordon and Kevin Waite
San Bernardino’s early success rested on a pair of seemingly incongruous forces: Mormonism and slavery.
by Quincy D. Newell
Jane Elizabeth Manning James, a free black woman who converted to Mormonism in the early 1840s, provides a little-known vantage point from which to tell a story of Mormonism that takes the church’s racial history into account.
SOURCE: ABC News
The clarification comes as the LDS Church is addressing sensitive topics in its history.
SOURCE: The Washington Post
Mormons believe that 185 years ago, Smith found gold plates engraved with writing in ancient Egyptian in upstate New York. They say God helped him translate the text using the stone and other tools, and it became known as the Book of Mormon.
by W. Paul Reeve
Black Saints were among the first to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847 and have been a part of the Mormon experience from its beginnings.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a document about plural marriage on its website Monday.
SOURCE: Associated Press
The statement, posted Friday, says the ban was put into place during an era of great racial divide that influenced early teachings of the church.
SOURCE: Religious Dispatches
Both Elijah Abel and Walker Lewis were black, which meant that they bore the “Mark of Cain” in Mormon theology. Both, however, also held the priesthood and all of its blessings that their descendants were later denied—Abel in 1836 and Lewis in 1843. A statement released last Friday, which includes what RD’s Joanna Brookscalls “the most significant changes made to Mormon scripture since 1981,” acknowledges the existence of these men and their place with respect to Church liturgical rites. The statement also furthered the idea that nobody knows why the ban on blacks existed in the first place, concluding that “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.”
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