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The Book of Mormon states, 'black and white, bond and free, male and female; … We do not tolerate racism in any form." In 2006, then Church president Gordon B.
Hinckley declared that, "no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ.
The Church has not admitted that the original ban was a mistake nor has it offered any form of apology.
If Utah was admitted into the Union as a sovereign State, and we chose to introduce slavery here, it is not their business to meddle with it; and even if we treated our slaves in an oppressive manner, it is still none of their business and they ought not to meddle with it.
In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. He needed the devil and a great many of those who do his bidding to keep men straight, that we may learn to place our dependence on God, and trust in Him, and to observe his laws and keep his commandments.
Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church." Concerning Church history, an official LDS statement explains that reasons for the Church's previous position denying black men the priesthood remain unclear: "It is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began in the Church but what is clear is that it ended decades ago." Critics maintain that today's church leaders hedge and equivocate on the issue, at times making contradictory and misleading statements that belie Church history.
For example, historians have identified hundreds of blatantly racist statements made by past Church prophets and leaders, including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, and John Taylor.Since 1978, the Church has avoided publicly commenting on the reasons for the ban in the first place.