I'm not going to attempt to rehash all of the hateful statements made by Mormon leaders in their well documented history of overt racism. I point people to http://www.mormonthink.com/blackweb.htm to get a full treatment of Mormonism's overt racist past. You'll find what I consider a pattern of dehumanizing the black race executed by "inspired" men.
I'm going to instead talk about the racism that continues to plague the Mormon church and incidents that show a clear pattern of racism.
The PR wing of the LDS church tends to highlight "the work" that's being performed in Africa. The Mormon church has built a membership totally more than 400,000 members in Africa. They also feature blacks in their most recent ad campaign.
|Screen captures from Mormon.org (No affiliation with this blog)|
The claim has been made on many sites that almost 10% of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are black. It is possible that this statistic holds water if we consider that the church has over 400,000 members in Africa. After adding the claimed membership in Latin America, this statistic is believable.
What the PR wing of the LDS church may not realize is that the statistic they so desperately want people to know regarding black membership and the unambiguous highlighting of black members on their ad campaign is for naught when a casual observer takes a look at the "elite" leadership of the Mormon church.
The Mormon church is lead by a group of men that are known by the LDS membership as "General Authorities". According to lds.org:
"The General Authorities consist of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Presidency of the Seventy, the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy, and the Presiding Bishopric. (View General Authorities for more information on the roles of these leaders.)"Additional information from lds.org informs us:
An Area President is typically a General Authority selected from the First or Second Quorum of the Seventy, while the counselors can be either General Authorities or Area Seventies selected from any Quorum of the Seventy.These men are chosen from a global pool of members. You'll find men from all over the world in the First and Second Quorums of the Seventy.
What is glaringly obvious to me is the difference between what the church is saying verses what the church is actually doing. The mormon.org site appears to be telling the world with their desperate attempt to highlight black membership that racism is a thing of the past. Yet a view of the current leadership, in my opinion, displays a clear pattern of institutional racism when the statistics on black membership are taken into account.
Finding a black man among the "elite" General Authorities reminds me of the "Where's Waldo" books that my children enjoy. The question that stands out to me is "Why?"
Recent events have forced the church to issue a press press release that states:
"The Church’s position is clear—we believe all people are God’s children and are equal in His eyes and in the Church. We do not tolerate racism in any form. "If racism doesn't play a part in the selection of the current leadership, why is there such a disparity in the number of backs represented in today's leadership?
Are we to assume that there is only one qualified black man out of the 1,000,000+ black members?
As a Mormon, I was taught that General Authorities were called by God by inspiration.Are we to assume that God has deemed that only one black man should be called to lead the only true church on earth?
In my recollection , no black man or any person of color has never occupied the quorum of the 12 apostles or the first presidency.
The church continues to claim that more than half of the Mormon membership resides outside of the United States. An online database of membership reports that there are more than 1,000,000 members in Brazil. The same online source estimates the membership in Mexico to also exceed 1,000,000 members. To my knowledge, not one man from either of these countries has been "called by God" to be in the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, First Presidency, or the Presiding Bishopric.
The only apologetic response that I've been given on the subject is that black members do not have the experience required to serve as "elite" leaders in the Mormon church. This apologetic claim is made by those that want you to believe that God called an uneducated fourteen year old to be His prophet.
Michael D Quinn wrote:
"Much as a corporate board of directors represents significant minority blocks of stockholders, the appointment of General Authorities to represent significant ethnic populations of the LDS Church has continued from the 1830s to the present. As the American-born Mormons were supplemented by tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints from Canada and Great Britain, twelve Canadian and British General Authorities served from 1837 to 1938, and five from 1960 to the present. . . .
As the population of the international church has accelerated since the 1960s, the newly expanded Quorum of Seventy has become the vehicle for representing diverse ethnic and foreign populations of Mormons, rather than the tight-knit Quorum of the Twelve Apostles which had non-American members from 1838 to 1975. Since that latter year, the following ethnic and non- American populations have become represented by appointments to the Quorum of Seventy: the Hawaiians with Adney Y. Komatsu, the French and Belgians with Charles A. Didier, the Navajos with George P. Lee, the Dutch with Jacob deJager, the Germans with F. Enzio Busche, the Japanese with Yoshihiko Kikuchi, the English with Derek A. Cuthbert, the Canadians with Ted E. Brewerton, and the Latin Americans with Angel Abrea ("From Sacred Grove to Sacred Power Structure," Dialogue, vol. 17, no. 2, Summer 1984, p. 23)."
Elite Leadership positions(Quorum of the 12/ Presiding Bishopric) appear to be reserved for those with family ties to the Mormon theocracy with very few exceptions. A popular Internet Podcast Mormon Matters produced an article highlighting the nepotism in the Mormon leadership structure.
|Paul Bowen Pieper||Miss Pres 2004||Son in Law||A Theodore Tuttle||1st Quorum 70|
|Gordon B. Hinckley||President||Nephew||Alonzo A Hinckley||Quorum of 12|
|Francis M Lyman||Quorum of 12||Son||Amasa Lyman||Quorum of 12|
|Antoine R Ivins||1st Council 70||Son||Anthony W Ivins||FP 1st Counselor|
|Susan W Tanner||YW Gen Pres||Daughter GG-Granddaughter||Barbara W Winder John R Winder||RS Gen Pres FP 1st Counselor|
|Benjamin Edwin Banks||Miss Pres 2003||Son||Ben B Banks||Pres of 70|
|Brad B. Banks||Miss Pres 2002||Son||Ben B Banks||Pres of 70|
|Allan Forrest Packer||1st Quorum of 70||Son||Boyd K Packer||Quorum of 12|
|Brigham Young Jr||Quorum of 12||Son||Brigham Young||President|
|John Willard Young||FP 1st Counselor||Son||Brigham Young||President|
|Joseph A Young||Apostle||Son||Brigham Young||President|
|Joseph Young||1st Council 70||Brother||Brigham Young||President|
|Zina D. H. Young||RS Gen Pres||Wife||Brigham Young||President|
|Lorenzo Snow||President||Brother in Law Brother in Law||Brigham Young Joseph Smith||President President|
|Stephen Lowell McConkie||Miss Pres 2008||Son||Bruce R McConkie||Quorum of 12|
|Anthony W Middleton Jr||Miss Pres 2005||Brother in Law||Cecil O Samuelson||1st Quorum 70|
|Merrill C Oaks||2nd Quorum 70||Brother||Dallin H Oaks||Quorum of 12|
|Emmeline B Wells||RS Gen Pres||Wife||Daniel H Wells||FP 2nd Counselor|
|Rulon S Wells||1st Council 70||Son||Daniel H Wells||FP 2nd Counselor|
|John Huntsman, Sr.||Area Auth 70||Son in Law||David B Haight||Quorum of 12|
|Alan Conway Ashton||Miss Pres 2004||Grandson||David O McKay||President|
|David Lawrence McKay||Gen Super SS||Son||David O McKay||President|
|George Richard Hill III||1st Quorum 70||Nephew||David O McKay||President|
|Ezra Taft Benson||President||G-Grandson||Ezra T. Benson||Quorum of 12|
|Richard R Lyman||Quorum of 12||Son||Francis M Lyman||Quorum of 12|
|Franklin D Richards||1st Quorum 70||Grandson||Franklin D Richards||Quorum of 12|
|George F Richards||Quorum of 12||Son||Franklin D Richards||Quorum of 12|
|Bathsheba W Smith||RS Gen Pres||Wife||George A. Smith||FP 1st Counselor|
|John Henry Smith||FP 2nd Counselor||Son||George A. Smith||FP 1st Counselor|
|LeGrand Richards||Quorum of 12||Son||George F Richards||Quorum of 12|
|Abraham H Cannon||Quorum of 12||Son||George Q Cannon||FP 1st Counselor|
|John Q Cannon||2nd Counselor PB||Son||George Q Cannon||FP 1st Counselor|
|Sylvester Q Cannon||Quorum of 12||Son||George Q Cannon||FP 1st Counselor|
|May Green Hinckley||Pri GP||Step-Mother||Gordon B Hinckley||President|
|Richard G Hinckley||1st Quorum 70||Son||Gordon B Hinckley||President|
|Virginia H. Pearce||YW GP 1st C||Daughter||Gordon B Hinckley||President|
|Dale Edwin Andersen||Miss Pres 2005||Son||H Verlan Andersen||1st Quorum 70|
|J Golden Kimball||1st Council 70||Son||Heber C Kimball||FP 1st Counselor|
|Quentin L Cook||Quorum of 12||GG-Grandson||Heber C Kimball||FP 1st Counselor|
|Spencer W Kimball||President||Grandson||Heber C Kimball||FP 1st Counselor|
|Anthony W Ivins||Quorum of 12||Cousin||Heber J Grant||President|
|George I Cannon||1st Quorum 70||Grandson||Heber J Grant||President|
|Lucy Grant Cannon||YW Gen Pres||Daughter||Heber J Grant||President|
|Henry Johnson Eyring||Miss Pres 2003||Son||Henry B Eyring||FP 1st Counselor|
|Eldred G Smith||Patriarch||Son||Hyrum G Smith||Patriarch|
|Joseph Fielding Smith||Patriarch||Son||Hyrum Mack Smith||Quorum of 12|
|John Smith||Patriarch||Son||Hyrum Smith||Asst President|
|Joseph F. Smith||President||Son||Hyrum Smith||Asst President|
|Heber J Grant||President||Son||Jedidiah M. Grant||FP 2nd Counselor|
|Peter F. Evans||Miss Pres 2002||Son in Law||Joe J Christensen||Pres of 70|
|Spencer Kohler Christensen||Miss P res 2000||Son||Joe J Christensen||Pres of 70|
|Joseph Holbrook Groberg||MTC Pres||Brother||John H. Groberg||1st Quorum 70|
|George Albert Smith||President||Son||John Henry Smith||FP 2nd Counselor|
|Nicholas G Smith||Asst to 12||Son||John Henry Smith||FP 2nd Counselor|
|Hyrum G Smith||Patriarch||Grandson||John Smith||Patriarch|
|John Whitaker Taylor||Quorum of 12||Son||John Taylor||President|
|William W Taylor||1st Council 70||Son||John Taylor||President|
|Keith A. Anderson||Miss Pres 2002||Son||Joseph A Anderson||1st Quorum 70|
|David B. Wirthlin||MTC Pres 2000||Brother||Joseph B Wirthlin||Quorum of 12|
|Kent Walker Farnsworth||Miss Pres 2004||Son in Law||Joseph B Wirthlin||Quorum of 12|
|David A Smith||1st Counselor PB||Son||Joseph F Smith||President|
|Florence Smith Jacobsen||YW Gen Pres||Granddaughter Granddaughter||Joseph F Smith Heber J Grant||President President|
|Hyrum Mack Smith||Quorum of 12||Son||Joseph F. Smith||President|
|Joseph Fielding Smith||President||Son||Joseph F. Smith||President|
|Bruce R McConkie||Quorum of 12||Son in Law||Joseph Fielding Smith||President|
|Joseph B Wirthlin||Quorum of 12||Son||Joseph L Wirthlin||Presiding Bishop|
|Richard B Wirthlin||2nd Quorum 70||Son||Joseph L Wirthlin||Presiding Bishop|
|Emma Smith||RS Gen Pres||Wife||Joseph Smith||President|
|George A Smith||FP 1st Counselor||1st Cousin||Joseph Smith||President|
|Hyrum Smith||Asst President||Brother||Joseph Smith||President|
|John Smith||FP Asst Counselor||Uncle||Joseph Smith||President|
|Joseph Smith Sr||Patriarch||Father||Joseph Smith||President|
|William B Smith||Quorum of 12||Brother||Joseph Smith||President|
|Lee Tom Perry||Miss Pres 2005||Son||L. Tom Perry||Quorum of 12|
|LeGrand R. Curtis Jr||Area Auth 70||Son||LeGrand Curtis||2nd Quorum 70|
|Robert Karl Merrell||Miss Pres 2003||Son in Law||LeGrand Curtis||2nd Quorum 70|
|Eliza Roxcy Snow||RS Gen Pres||Sister||Lorenzo Snow||President|
|Peter Huntsman||Area Auth 70||Son in Law||M Russell Ballard||Quorum of 12|
|John Knapp Baird||Miss Pres 2001||Son in Law||Marion D Hanks||Pres of 70|
|Joseph F Merrill||Quorum of 12||Son||Marriner W Merrill||Quorum of 12|
|Stephen Kent Ashton||Miss Pres 2004||Son||Marvin J Ashton||Quorum of 12|
|Marvin J Ashton||Quorum of 12||Son||Marvin O Ashton||1st Counselor PB|
|Matthew Cowley||Quorum of 12||Son||Matthias Cowley||Quorum of 12|
|M Russell Ballard||Quorum of 12||Grandson||Melvin J Ballard||Quorum of 12|
|Elizabeth Ann Whitney||RS Gen Pres||Wife||Newell K Whitney||Presiding Bishop|
|Orson F Whitney||Quorum of 12||Grandson Grandson||Newell K Whitney Heber C Kimball||Presiding Bishop FP 1st Counselor|
|Kevin Rex Pinegar||Miss Pres 2004||Son||Rex D Pinegar||Pres of 70|
|Amy Brown Lyman||RS Gen Pres||Wife||Richard R Lyman||Quorum of 12|
|Ralph Joseph Marsh||Miss Pres 2004||Son in Law||Robert L Backman||Pres of 70|
|H. David Burton||Presiding Bishop||Grandson||Robert T. Burton||1st C PB|
|David Reed Webster Sr||Miss Pres 2004||Son in Law||Russell M Nelson||Quorum of 12|
|Michael Tally Ringwood||Miss Pres 2004||Son in law||Russell M Nelson||Quorum of 12|
|Clifford E Young||Asst to 12||Son||Seymour B Young||1st Council 70|
|Levi E Young||1st Council 70||Son||Seymour B Young||1st Council 70|
|S Dilworth Young||1st Quorum 70||Grandson G-Grandson||Seymour B Young Brigham Young||1st Council 70 President|
|Margaret D. Nadauld||YW Gen Pres||Wife||Stephen D Nadauld||2nd Quorum 70|
|Stayner Richards||Asst to 12||Brother Grandson||Stephen L Richards Willard Richards||Quorum of 12|
|Elaine A. Cannon||YW Gen Pres||Daughter in Law||Sylvester Q Cannon||Quorum of 12|
|Ann Dibb||YW GP 1st C||Daughter||Thomas S Monson||President|
|Abraham O Woodruff||Quorum of 12||Son||Wilford Woodruff||President|
|Julie B Beck||RS Gen Pres||Daughter||Wm Grant Bangerter||Pres of 70|
It seems obvious that the current Mormon leadership is formed through nepotism and does not represent the worldwide membership. To suggest that God only calls those with family ties to Mormon leadership and generations of membership in the Mormon church denies the legitimacy of Joseph Smith.
If I am to believe that these callings are divinely inspired, my only assumption can be that God, to some degree, supports the the sentiments of Brigham Young and the curse talked about in the Book of Mormon.
Going by the numbers, I feel I should see at least:
- 1 black apostle
- 3-5 Latin apostles
- 1 Asian apostle