On June 1, 1978, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints lifted its 126-year-long ban preventing male Church members of African descent from receiving the priesthood, declaring that “all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard to race or color” (109). In The Mormon Church and Blacks: A Documentary History, Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst present thirty documents illustrating the Church’s stance on blacks and the priesthood before, during, and after the ban.
Matthew L. Harris is a professor of history at Colorado State University–Pueblo and coauthored The Founding Fathers and the Debate over Religion in Revolutionary America. Newell G. Bringhurst is a professor emeritus of history and political science at College of the Sequoias and wrote Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Blacks within Mormonism. Harris and Bringhurst have coauthored several books, including Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism and The Persistence of Polygamy series.