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Meet Black Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Updated on May 7, 2019
Rodric29 profile image

Black Latter-day Saints have not always been recognized as a large factor in the Church. Read about them here.

It is geared to help you if you are a Saint, with an appreciation for the Black perspective. If you do not see a need for it, then that is okay.

There are many who would think otherwise, including me.



Used to be that if you were a Latter-day Saint, you were a Caucasian living in the Rocky Mountains in the Salt Lake Basin, the great state of Utah. That has changed. Latter-day Saints can be found any and everywhere in the world, though in small numbers.

In the United States, the population of Saints is about 1.7% of the total US population. Saints are in public life and businesses of just about every field. Gladys Knight is a famous Latter-day Saints. Mitt Romney is a famous politician, who also is a Latter-day Saint. Your dentist may be a Latter-day Saint or your school teacher. Saints are living normal lives everywhere these days, even on Facebook and within the Black community.

Yes, even Black people from America join the Saints. I would like to introduce you to the Black Latter-day Saints who identify on Facebook. It is not what you think it is though.

In fact, two of the members of Black Latter-day Saints areis in the movie Meet the Mormons!

Black Latter-day Saints from around the world and their friends are members of this group of dynamic people on the Facebook page waiting to welcome with open arms anyone who wants to join. Ellie Mae, a foundational moderator of BLDS, lists its purpose:

"This site is for Black Latter Day Saints and their families.

The purpose of this group is to be uplifting! Our focus is to be a refuge from the storm for individuals, Black and mixed families, strengthen marriage and family relationships and provide positive examples within our communities.

We can accomplish this within the group by Loving One Another, Sharing Testimonies, Uplifting Messages, Scriptural Quotes, Questions and Answers, Upcoming Events, Gospel Music, GOOD CLEAN COMEDY!!, Family Home Evening Ideas, and Soul food recipes!"

People may ask, especially other members of the church in the US, why have a page just for Black members of the church.

The answer to the question is simple. There was not one before! It is not a place to divide the Saints, but rather a place for the Saints to come together, specifically Black Saints because there are so few of them in the United States. Culturally, being a member of the church of Jesus Christ for Black Americans is isolating in some places--though that is changing. According to Dale Wight's research, a retired BLDS administrator, 7 % of the members of the Church identify as Black.

Unlike other nations with a large Black population such as South Africa and Nigeria, Black Americans have a more difficult time adjusting culturally to the predominantly Caucasian Church in the United States. In the US, it is rare for there to exist Large Congregations of Black Saints, though they exist.

It is psychologically soothing to see others in a congregation who look similar to you or share the same physical characteristics. This is hard for people to understand if they are of the predominant culture or race. Only people in such a circumstance really know the feeling.

Black Latter Day Saints page is about bringing together Saints from all over within a cultural context conducive to Black Americans specifically. Many of the members of the group are friends with Black Latter-day Saints or married to Black Latter-day Saints but are not Black themselves.

Margaret Young

Not only is Sister Young on BLDS on Facebook, but she is an accomplished writer and speaker. I have never met her, but I came across her work years ago when I lived in Atlanta. Our Stake wanted to perform a program for Black History month and she had produced a play about African American Pioneers, who are also Latter-day Saints, that I requested her permission to adapt her play for our program. She gave her approval and then began my fanatics for Margaret days!

She has collaborated with Brother Darius Gray on a trilogy Standing on the Promises

Sister Young has helped to bring awareness to Black Latter-day Saints History. She is a proud contributor to BLDS on Facebook!

Karyn Dudley- Genesis Group Info/Updates provides information about the Genesis Group which is an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for African Americans and friends.

Each of these BLDS members contribute on the page site you will find; so, before you join, you already have many people you at least know by name!

PLEASE Be Advised of the RULES!

With any group of good people is a list of decency rules that will help keep you in the club. BLDS is no exception to guidelines for behavior. Come and join, but what the rules which are:

  1. All posts are subject to review
  2. Content must keep within LDS Standards
  3. The purpose of this group is to affirm faith in the LDS Church and discussions here should be uplifting. This is not the place to discuss current events, politics, advertising, fundraisers, etc. posts that are not in line with these guidelines will be deleted without warning.
  4. This group allows discussion and questions about issues regarding the LDS Church, but this is not the place to argue that it is not true.
  5. Disagreements are allowed but limited to only talking about the idea or wording that's questioned; unfavorable references to the person who wrote them are not allowed. This is similar in concept to "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."
  6. If a post is found to be misleading, disrespectful, degrading or dismissive to any person or any group of people, it will be removed.
  7. If any member is found to continuously be misleading, disrespectful, degrading or dismissive to any other person or group of people they will be removed.
  8. If you have a concern about a post or comment that is not in line with the group rules, please contact a member of the admin team!

Not only a writer, but a member of BLDS myself!

All political perspectives are welcome as long as you are respectful. All races are welcomed as long as you know that this is about Black Mormon perspective.

BLDS covers topics on such things as the priesthood ban to what trick works best in primary to keep the little ones quiet!

It is all-encompassing, yet from the Black Latter-day Saint perspective.

It is a great place where people understand if you need a lift or a good cheer.

It is geared to help you if you are a Saint, with an appreciation for the Black perspective. If you do not see a need for it, then that is okay.

There are many who would think otherwise, including me.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Rodric Anthony


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    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      6 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Alexander, I am sure that I have addressed it at one time or another in other articles or comments here. I am not sure I was specific about that priesthood ban and racist behavior of LDS Christians towards Blacks over the years other than what I have experience particularly.

      I try to focus on the good that has occurred, but I have had problems myself in the church regarding some of the teachings. One of the reason I joined BLDS was to speak with others who may have experienced what I have.

      I know that the things that I believe in my heart are true, but the behavior of some of the people who share my faith was inappropriate.

      Our church has provided information to combat the false belief that Blacks are cured with the pigmentation of our skin. The following link my prove helpful:

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 

      6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I was hoping that this article would address the issue of blacks having had a lower status in the LDS church until that changed in the 70's I believe.

      On the Christian side, I have been to many different churches and seen predominantly white congregations and also very mixed. But it seems to never come up as an issue in any church I've been too, and my feeling is that it shouldn't be an issue at all, we are all brothers in Christ.

      Still, nicely written hub Rodric29, interesting to see how well the Mormon church deals with those that might feel alienated. As an outsider, I cannot fully appreciate the way the Mormon churches are run so it is good to see this perspective.

    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      7 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      As a current member of the church and a student of Church history I thank you for your concern about what the church did and does teach.

      I grow weary of these discussions about Blacks and the priesthood and the polygamy and ilk, but I will only say that your information may be spot on and correct.

      The Leaders may have been racist, some of them extremely racist. There are still some today who are backwards in their thinking!

      HOWEVER, Mr. Lee Baker, how does knowing all these things change the fact that I spoke to God and He told me that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is His church?

      Am I supposed to deny what God told me because I am offended by what one or all of His imperfect servants said at one time?

      It is hurtful that members of the church taught at one time my skin was cursed and my heritage is from the devil or a representation of the devil. They were wrong. It still hurts. That does not stop me or anyone else for that matter from getting revelation from God.

      Korihor, who I am sure you are familiar with, tried to do the same thing your are doing with you ministry now. He succeeded with many people, convincing them not to rejoice in the knowledge of the coming of Jesus Christ. You are trying to distract away from the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ by pointing out the flaws of the leaders and the mistakes that they made instead of the glory of God.

      We have revelation so that we can discern between a leader's mistakes and the Word of God. That is why we have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. That is why we are commanded to forgive always because God knows that we are weak and are going to offend one another and teach false things unaware--even as a church.

      Can the prophet teach false doctrine? Hell yes! That is why we have to speak to God personally for each and every thing and receive a witness of each and every principle of the Gospel.

      Is it hard? Oh yes! It was never meant to be easy. We can trust the brethren to teach us the truth, but we should never trust them so much that we depend on them and not the Holy Spirit for confirmation.

    • profile image

      Lee Baker 

      7 years ago

      Blacks Ridiculed again by the Mormon Church

      By Lee B. Baker, Former Mormon Bishop

      For several years now, every Tuesday evening I have had the great privilege of addressing the Christian and Mormon listeners of Worship FM 101.7 in Monrovia, the capital City of Liberia, West Africa.

      I have come to know several of the station managers and a number of the more frequent callers to the weekly program. Through their comments, questions and photographs, I have been genuinely moved to see the application of their unyielding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

      Over the past few months the question of racist teachings in the Book of Mormon and from the past Leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been on the minds of the Liberian converts to Mormonism and the many true Christians who struggle to understand how such a Church can be growing in Africa.

      I believe the answer is relatively simple; it has been the perfect merging of a sincere lack of knowledge on the part of the Mormon converts and a disturbing lack of accountability on the part of the Mormon leaders. A near total lack of knowledge across Africa specific to some of the more explicit teachings found within the Mormon Scriptures, principally that Black Skin is a representation of wickedness and even less information concerning the racism and bigotry openly and officially taught by the early Leadership of the Mormon Church. This combined with the current Church Leadership’s inability to clearly and specifically reject its own racist teachings both in print and from its past Senior Leadership, has left the Black Race with only a short irresponsible and offensively juvenile Official Statement that claims the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints knows very little about its own race-based policy that had lasted for well over 100 years:

      “It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended.”

      Maintaining a detailed and comprehensive history of every aspect and teaching of the Church has been both one of the hallmarks and one of the downfalls of Mormon Church. Within the relatively young Church, authoritative documentation, however corrupt it may have been, has never been in short supply. Each of the Senior Leaders of the Mormon Church has had several official biographers as well as an army of Church authorized historians to record for the faithful Mormon all facets of the History of the Church. In fact, one of my first of many “Callings” in the Mormon Church was that of a Ward (Congregational) Historian, long before I became a Bishop.

      The peculiar assertion that the Mormon Church itself does not know the details of its very own race-based policy of restricting the Blacks from holding the Priesthood is tremendously embarrassing for all Mormons and exceptionally degrading for anyone who actually believes it.

      As a former local leader of the Mormon Church, I have repeatedly assured the African members of the Mormon Church that the documents and “Scriptures” I have read to them over the air are both Authorized and Official for the time period they are relevant to. I clearly state the current position of total acceptance of all Races by the Church, but I must highlight the fact that the Book of Mormon still carries it’s obviously racist message that dark skin was a curse and Jesus was white. I have said many times on-air that like the Mormon Missionaries, I too believe that every African should have a copy of the Book of Mormon, if only to learn the truly racist teaching of the Mormons.

      I have and will continue to teach the African Nations from the authentic Mormon Scriptures and the Church History documents, which I had purchased from the Mormon Church to know my past responsibilities as a Mormon Bishop. The official records of the Mormon Church include many jokes and sermons given within the Official Semi-Annual General Conference of the faithful Mormons, using the “N-word”, Darky and Sambo. Additionally, these Church published books record nearly 100 graphic sermons and lessons that clearly teach the principle, practice and policy that Black Skin was, is and will remain forever the Curse of Cain.

      Only in the recent past has the “Complete History” of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints come to the attention of its own membership, much less to the underdeveloped regions of the world. As this information is discovered, an ever increasing number of members of the Mormon Church have come into a personal crisis of faith, most notably Elder Hans Mattsson of Sweden, a General Authority of the Mormon Church who has gone public with his doubts and questions.

      Not unique to Africa, has been the Mormon Church’s training of young Missionaries to strictly avoid any discussion of several of the more embarrassing, yet true, teachings of the 183 year old Church. Chief among these subjects has been Polygamy and Blacks and the Priesthood.

      With the smooth talent of a skilled politician, the Mormon Church has ended its Official Statement with the following hypocritical and deceitful, but technically accurate quote:

      “The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

      As a former Mormon Bishop and member of the Mormon Church for over 32 years, let me be of some help with the translation of this very carefully crafted message. The two key noteworthy phrases are: “in the absence of direct revelation” and “These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.”

      I will address the most obvious first, clearly the “previous statements” from the Church and its Leadership “do not” represent the Church doctrine today. The policy was reversed in 1978 and there is no question as to the policy today. The hypocritical deception is that between 1845 and 1978 those “statements” did, very much “DID” not “DO” represent past Church doctrine. Yet, I do give full credit to the clever Mormon authors and editors for their most skillful use of the English language.

      And finally, the most revealing and enlightening statement from the Mormon Church is: “in the absence of direct revelation”. So then, it is incredibly true and accurate that without any mockery or sarcasm; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had for nearly 100 years, restricted a significant portion of the human race, millions and millions from God’s intended blessings of Eternal Marriage, Salvation and even Godhood, without knowing why they did it, all without “direct revelation”?

      This Official Statement of religious shame and embarrassment comes from the Headquarters of a Church that claims to be guided in all things by “direct revelation”. How then, did such an exclusive doctrine based on prejudice, bigotry and racism become so accepted, so authoritative, so convincing and so commanding for so long, without “direct revelation”?

      As a former Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I give testimony that what they have stated is true, in that, they are racist and do not hide the History of the Church from its members or the public, this, their Official Statement on Race and the Church demonstrates that fact.

      I believe that the truly wicked teachings as well as the repulsive history of the Mormon Church concerning Polygamy, Polyandry, Blood Atonement, and Blacks and the Priesthood is available for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear.

      It is my prayer that all Mormons and non-Mormons will come to know the true history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That every man, woman and young adult on the earth today will find the time to read the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price from cover to cover to see the deception they hold, and then… read the Word of God with the eyes of a child, and follow the true Jesus, the true Christ found only in the Bible.


      Lee B. Baker

      Former Mormon Bishop


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