When the Ban Started

If the author of The CES Letter has done research on the documents concerning the relevant records, he has given us no evidence of his work. Is he aware of Parley P. Pratt’s April 1847 comments? Brigham Young’s comments in March and December of the same year? If he is convinced that the these insights are “very clear,” I would expect him to provide them to his readers.  If he knows the records as well as he implies that he does, it is odd indeed that he would cite only the 1949 “First Presidency Statement,” a document with a questionable provenance from over 100 years after the fact.

If he feels the records are “very clear,” then he should be able to tell us the month—or even the year—in which the priesthood restriction came into being.  He should be able to point us to the document laying out the “revelation” (as he calls it) dictating the origins of the ban. Was it in February 1849 when Brigham Young first went on record articulating the ban? February 1852 when he articulated it in public? Or was it earlier in April 1847 when Parley P. Pratt expressed his support for the restriction? Runnells doesn’t say. For someone who claims to know that the records are “very clear” and someone who is allegedly committed to shedding light on a misunderstood topic, his offerings are scant indeed.


Additional Readings:

“Race and the Priesthood,” essay on lds.org, https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng

Lester E. Bush, Jr. “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview,” https://www.dialoguejournal.com/2012/mormonisms-negro-doctrine-an-historical-overview/