Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder | BYU Studies

Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder

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Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder
Author W. Kesler Jackson,
Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2013

Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder

Reviewer Matthew L. Harris,

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its relationship to black people continues to be a relevant topic in the Church today. Indeed, the Church recently released a document disavowing as official doctrine previous rationales for the priesthood ban while reaffirming that "all are alike unto God." Along with the Church's voice are a spate of recent scholarly books that recently appeared evaluating the origins of the priesthood ban, the lifting of the ban, and the legacy of the ban. These include Russell W. Stevenson's For the Cause of Righteousness, W. Paul Reeve's Religion of a Different Color, and Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst's Blacks and Mormons: A Documentary History.

Now added to the list is W. Kesler Jackson's Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder, which is a solid account of this early pioneer's experience in the Church. In this effort, Jackson stands on the shoulders of two pioneers in LDS race relations—Lester E. Bush Jr. and Newell G. Bringhurst—whose pathbreaking studies elucidated Abel's priesthood status within the Church.

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