we still remember mitch hedberg

A severed foot is the ultimate stocking stuffer.

Feb 13th 2007

Black Mormons

This article was recently submitted to all-encompassingly for publication. It is one of a series of informational posts intended to address widely-held misconceptions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. –Admin

There seem to be a lot of myths about Blacks in the LDS church. This misinformation comes from many sources. Most is from anti-Mormon literature. This literature seems to say that Blacks are not welcome in the Mormon Church, or that Blacks are considered somehow less valiant than other members of the church. This is not true. A story of some Black Mormons during the early days of the Church illustrates this:

Jane Elizabeth Manning was born to Isaac and Eliza Manning in Wilton, Connecticut, in the late 1810s or early 1820s. While a young girl, she lived as a servant–but not a slave–in a prosperous white farmer’s home.

After joining the church, she and eight members of her family decided to join the Saints in Nauvoo. They were denied passage on a boat in New York, so they undertook an 800 mile journey, on foot, to Nauvoo, Illinois. They walked until their shoes wore out, then they walked barefoot. There were times when they left full footprints of blood on the trail. They prayed for their feet to be healed, and this happened. When they arrived in Nauvoo, they were met, with open arms, by the Prophet Joseph Smith, himself.

After several days, each of her family members were offered jobs and moved into homes in Nauvoo. She was the only one left without a job. On the morning that Jane’s family left the Smiths for their new jobs, the Prophet Joseph came in to say his usual good morning to her. He found her weeping and inquired as to the cause of the tears. “The folks have all gone and got themselves homes, and I have got none.”

“Yes, you have,” he said, “you have a home right here if you want it. You mustn’t cry, we dry up all tears here.” He left the room and returned shortly with Emma. “Sister Emma,” he said, “here is a girl that says she has no home, haven’t you a home for her?”

Emma offered Jane the same warm hospitality she had given scores of others in similar need. Satisfied that the tears were over, the Prophet left Emma and Jane to arrange the details. Jane was a willing worker and told Emma of her skills. She could wash and iron clothes and was a good cook and housekeeper. “When you are rested,” Emma said, “you may do the washing, if you would just as soon do that.” Jane began the following morning. [FN1]

Members of the Mormon Church come from all walks of life, colors, and backgrounds. [FN2]

The Book of Mormon teaches that our Savior “inviteth [all the children of men] to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile”

    Other Links:
  • Mormon Beliefs
  • Black LDS
  • Black Mormons
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    FN1: Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, “Jane Manning James: Black Saint, 1847 Pioneer,” Ensign, Aug 1979, 26
    FN2: Dallin H. Oaks, “All Men Everywhere,” Ensign, May 2006, 77-80

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