It is the Same


Doctrine and Covenants 1:37-39: 1

37 Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.

38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.


Letter from Joseph Smith to Oliver Cowdery on abolitionism, published in the ‘Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate’, Apr. 1836, pp. 289–291: 2

“After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt but those who have been forward in raising their voice against the South, will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling and unkind—wholly unacquainted with the gospel of Christ. It is my privilege then, to name certain passages from the bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon this matter, as the fact is uncontrovertable, that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the holy bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation and walked with God. And so far from that prediction’s being averse from the mind of God it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude!”


A speech by Governor Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature, January 23, 1852: 3

“I have this section in my hand, headed “An Act in Relation to African Slavery.” I have read it over and made a few alterations. I will remark with regard to slavery, inasmuch as we believe in the Bible, inasmuch as we believe in the ordinances of God, in the Priesthood and order and decrees of God, we must believe in slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses, which they have in their families and their classes and in their various capacities brought upon themselves. And until the curse is removed by Him who placed it upon them, they must suffer under its consequences; I am not authorized to remove it. I am a firm believer in slavery.”


David O. McKay, in Llewelyn R. McKay, Home Memories of President David O. McKay (1956), p. 231: 4

“I emphasize Justice as an attribute of Deity, because it is the Lord who, though He “made of one blood all nations,” also “determined the bounds of their habitation.” In other words, the seeming discrimination by the Church toward the Negro is not something which originated with man, but goes back into the Beginning with God.”


Letter from the First Presidency to Dr. Lowry Nelson, July 17 1947: 5

“Your position seems to lose sight of the revelations of the Lord touching the preexistence of our spirits , the rebellion in heaven, and the doctrines that our birth into this life and the advantages under which we my be born, have a relationship in the life heretofore.

From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.

Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now God’s rule for Israel, His Chosen People, has been endogenous. Modern Israel has been similarly directed.

We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.

Faithfully yours,


George Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David 0. McKay”


1 Doctrine and Covenants 1:37-39 –
2 ‘Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate’, Apr. 1836, pp. 289–291, Joseph Smith Papers –
3 Speech by Governor Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature, January 23, 1852 –
4 Letter from David O. McKay reprinted in ‘Mormonism and the Negro’, pp 22 –
5 Letter from the First Presidency to Dr. Lowry Nelson, July 17 1947 –