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date: 14 December 2018

Abstract and Keywords

Changing Latter-day Saint Church policies pertaining to those of African lineage and their access to the Mormon priesthood and temple privileges require contextualization to fully understand. The restrictive priesthood policy begun during Brigham Young’s presidency, undergirded and supported by folklore, caused confusion after Brigham Young’s death. They were not by any means determined by Joseph Smith’s own views on race, which had evolved by his death toward abolitionism and the emancipation of slaves. Certain events prepared for and pointed to the end of the priesthood ban in 1978. Events on the African continent coincided with the American civil rights movement and further urged the church’s evolution towards ending the priesthood restriction.

Keywords: race, African lineage, blacks, priesthood restriction, folklore, Mormon Church in Africa

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