Leonard Essay Photo

For those interested in this blog, here are a few links to writing I have done elsewhere or have had published elsewhere: “Leveraging Doubt: The Impact of Lester E. Bush, Jr.’s ‘Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: A Historical Overview’ on Mormon Thought“, which took second place in the 2013 annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon history essay competition. […]

The new LDS.org page on Race and the Priesthood

Since I joined the Church in 1972, I have been categorized by my fellow-members as cursed, less-valiant, fence sitter, Cain’s lineage, and others that would be too impolite to be repeated here, but that’s part of the legacy, if you will, or I will call it more of a burden that members of black African […]

Darius Gray.
Image courtesy http://www.ldsgenesisgroup.org/

The secretary said, “Darius! I hear Negros are going to be given the priesthood.”… I didn’t even look up—I was offended by it, because it was a sensitive subject. And then I told the woman, “Dixie, that’s not funny. Get out.” And she repeated it, and this time I swore at her and I told […]

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

At one time the people of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales who joined the Church longed to gather to Zion. They paid a terrible price in dealing with it. Hundreds of them, thousands of them died on that long march from the Missouri River to the Valley of the Great Salt Lake. You do not […]

Prisoners for polygamy. President George Q. Cannon in center, sitting.

In 1933, Elder James E. Talmage stood before the Saints for his last general conference address, speaking on timeliness. As a part of his remarks, he made an interesting statement on the doctrine of the gathering: There is a marked timeliness in the advice and counsel and instructions given to the Latter-day Saints from period […]

"Brigham Young chose the beehive as a symbol to encourage and inspire the cooperative energy necessary among the pioneers to transform the barren desert wasteland surrounding the Great Salt Lake into the fertile valleys we have today." 
~M. Russell Ballard

In 1898, President Wilford Woodruff stood before the Saints in General Conference and recalled a priesthood meeting in the early days of the Church where Joseph Smith stood and stated, “I want to say to you before the Lord, that you know no more concerning the destinies of this Church and kingdom than a babe […]

Enoch and the City of Holiness, even Zion

The quest to create a Zion community was a defining feature of the early Mormon movement. As they were forced to move from place to place in nineteenth-century America, the early Latter-day Saints attempted to gather to central locations and create holy cities—utopian communities based on religious principles taught by Joseph Smith. The practice of […]