Since its beginning, many Church leaders have spoken out against racism.

In a time when many believed black people did not even have souls, “They [Negroes] came into the world slaves, mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls and are subject to salvation. Go to Cincinnati or any city, and find an educated Negro, who rides in his carriage, and you will see a man who has risen by his own mind to his exalted state of respectability.”–President Joseph Smith, in 1844

(See History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, vol. 5, 1980, pg. 217)

“For their abuse of [the Black African] race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent.”–President Brigham Young, in 1863

(See Journal of Discourses, 1956, pg. 110)

“America has the great opportunity to lead the world from…unrighteous usurpation of power…She must prove to the people of the world that she has no selfish ends to serve, no desire for conquest, nor of national or race superiority. When these ideals are established, America can blaze the trail and lead the world to peace.”–President David O. McKay, in 1944

(See Teachings of David O. McKay, pp.281-2)

“The ‘master race’ claims are sheer poppycock, used by characterless men to further their own interests. There has never been a monopoly of mastery in human achievement by any one nation. To claim so is simply to allow the lawless nationalism to run wild. The ‘master race’ doctrine of the late war was an ugly delusion, conceived by the powers of evil, whose prince is Satan, the devil.”–Elder John A. Widstoe, in 1946

(See Evidences and Reconciliations, pp.3-4)

“The Latter-day Saints, commonly called ‘Mormons’, have no animosity toward the Negro. Neither have they described him as belonging to an ‘INFERIOR’ race.”–President Joseph Fielding Smith, in 1962

(See Deseret News June 14, 1962, p.3)

“The Mormon Church does not believe, nor does it teach, that the Negro is an inferior being. Mentally, and physically, the Negro is capable of great achievement, as great or in some cases greater than the potentiality of the white race. He can become a lawyer, a doctor, a scientist, and he can achieve great heights.”–President Joseph Fielding Smith, in 1963

(See LOOK magazine, Oct. 22, 1963, p.79)

“We do wish that there would be no racial prejudice…. Racial prejudice is of the devil…. There is no place for it in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”–President Spencer W. Kimball, in 1972

(See The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, 1982, pg. 236)

“We repudiate efforts to deny to any person his or her inalienable dignity and rights on the abhorrent and tragic theory of the superiority of one race or color over another.”–The First Presidency, in 1986 (or 1987?)

(See Church Global Media Guide)

“There is no place for racism in the Church. We abhor it.”–Elder Alexander Morrison , in 1993

(See Salt Lake Tribune, June 6, 1998)

“We do not believe that any nations, race, or culture is a lesser breed or inferior in God’s eyes. Those who believe in or teach such doctrine have no authority from either the Lord or his authorized servants.”–Elder? John K. Carmack, in 1993

(See Black Mormon)

“…God’s second commandment, love thy neighbor, clearly leaves no room for racism.”–Elder Neal A. Maxwell, in 1995

(See Deny Yourselves of All Ungodliness, 1995, pg. 66)

“We must not be partisans of any doctrine of ethnic superiority. We live in a world of diversity. We can and must be respectful toward those with whose teachings we may not agree. We must be willing to defend the rights of others who may become the victims of bigotry.”–President Gordon B. Hinckley, in 1995

(See Conference Report, April 1995)

“Unfortunately, racism–the abhorrent and morally destructive theory that claims superiority of one person over another by reason of race, color, ethnicity, or cultural background–remains one of the abiding sins of societies the world over. The cause of much of the strife and conflict in the world, racism is an offense against God and a tool in the devil’s hands.”–Elder Alexander B. Morrison, in 2000

(See “No More Strangers,” Ensign, Sept. 2000, 16)

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