Race and the Mormon Church – What do we know, and how do we teach it? Interview with Russell Stevenson

May 24, 2018
Russell Stevenson Mormon Scholar

Russell Stevenson – Author of “For The Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830-2013

Welcome to the LDS MissionCast a podcast to educate and inspire in the great cause of Missionary Work. This episode is all about Race and the Mormon Church. Some of the episodes of the LDS MissionCast feature content for those preparing to serve a full-time mission, some episodes are directed towards those that have returned home, or are wanting to be more inspired in member-missionary work. Episodes like this one are unique in that we occasionally need to take the time to learn the gospel, to learn our history better, so that we can better members of the church, better ministers to those around us.

On June 1st, 2018 there will be a celebration in the conference center in Salt Lake City, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1978 revelation on the Priesthood, or Official Declaration #2. This could rightly be called the restoration of the opportunity for priesthood ordination to all worthy males, and the opportunity for all people to receive all temple blessings regardless of race or color. It is common for people to feel marginalized or to hold issue with a past policy of the church that was in place, and this is certainly an issue that missionaries in the field face on a semi-regular basis. In an effort to explain or even justify this policy, it is also common for members of the church to say things about this issue that are either wrong, possibly hurtful, incorrect, you name it. So we will spend some time in this episode learning the history, and coming to some understanding of this often controversial topic. I know in the south on my mission this issue of race and the LDS Church came up on a regular basis and was something I had to face almost every week. The information that will be shared by our guest today is vitally important in our society, if we are going to be successful in building bridges and bringing souls unto Christ and His church.

Our guest, Russell Stevenson, has dedicated years of his life to the study and understanding of the issues surrounding Race and the Mormon Church. He talks about how his mission experience inspired this work, and informs much of what he does in his academic studies.

Other sources for this episode:

Race and the Priesthood Essay @ LDS.org

Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables by Russell Stevenson

Latter-day Lives Segment features Shawn Rapier who interviews¬†Brittany Whiscombe, the director and producer of the upcoming “In Emma’s Footsteps” movie. She tells are great story of how not all missionary stories go the storybook way.

Shawn Rapier and Brittany Whiscombe in Emmas Footsteps

Shawn Rapier and Brittany Whiscombe in Emmas Footsteps

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