The Anxious Bench’s John Turner has a New York Times editorial this weekend titled “Why Race Is Still a Problem for Mormons.” (Turner is the author of a new biography from Harvard University Press titled Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet.) In the Times piece, Turner calls on Mormons to confront directly their church’s historic policies with regard to race, including their ban on men of African descent from the priesthood, which was not formally lifted until 1978. Turner says that most Protestant denominations have
gradually apologized for their past racism. In contrast, while Mormon leaders generically criticize past and present racism, they carefully avoid any specific criticism of past presidents and apostles, careful not to disrupt traditional reverence for the church’s prophets.
The church could begin leaving those problems behind if its leaders explained that their predecessors had confused their own racist views with God’s will and that the priesthood ban resulted from human error and limitations rather than a divine curse.
You can read the rest here.