Back to all Q + A's

When did the Mormon Priesthood Ban end?

Todd Noall

Todd Noall

Source Expert

Todd Noall is an author and religious scholar at Mormonism Explained with a focus on the history and theology of religion.

Fact Checked by Kevin Prince

Kevin Prince

Source Expert

Kevin Prince serves as the Source Authority at Mormonism Explained. Mr. Prince is a religious scholar as well as a technology industry CEO and entrepreneur.

Updated July 3, 2024

It appears that Brigham Young’s views on Blacks and the priesthood had changed upon moving to Utah. According to Brigham Young’s statement to Utah’s territorial legislature, Black people would eventually receive all the blessings of the priesthood. So, the first part of the question was not whether all worthy Black men would receive the priesthood, but when that would happen. The second part of the question is why did it take until 1978 for this to happen. There are no simple answers to these questions. One basic principle might be that God rarely gives answers to questions that we don’t ask. Records show that David O. McKay and Spencer W. Kimball sought revelation concerning ending the policy of banning priesthood and temple blessings to Black people. A second principle that might be helpful to remember is that prophets make mistakes. Mormons do not believe in the infallibility of their leaders.

It is always important to remember that God loves everyone and that all people are commanded to love their neighbors as themselves. The current president of the Mormon Church, Russell M. Nelson said “I assure you that your standing before God is not determined by the color of your skin. Favor or disfavor with God is dependent upon your devotion to God and His commandments and not the color of your skin. I grieve that our Black brothers and sisters the world over are enduring the pains of racism and prejudice. Today I call upon our members everywhere to lead out in abandoning attitudes and actions of prejudice. I plead with you to promote respect for all of God’s children.” God does not accept Mormons racist views, nor anyone else’s racism. God expects His children to love one another.

  • References
    1. Russell M. Nelson, “Let God Prevail,” Ensign, November 2020