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Footnotes

1. Stephen R. Haynes, Noah’s Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002); Molly Oshatz, Slavery and Sin: The Fight against Slavery and the Rise of Liberal Protestantism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Colin Kidd, The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600–2000 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2006); David M. Goldenberg, The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003); and David L. Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004).
2. Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst, eds., The Mormon Church and Blacks: A Documentary History (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015); W. Paul Reeve, Religion of a Different Color: Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2015); Newell G. Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks: The Changing Place of Black People Within Mormonism (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1981); Russell W. Stevenson, For the Cause of Righteousness: A Global History of Blacks and Mormonism, 1830–2013 (Draper, Utah: Kofford, 2014); and Lester E. Bush Jr., “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 8, no. 1 (Spring 1973): 11–68.
3. Abraham 2:9; Doctrine and Covenants 133:30–34, see also 64:36. For an expression of these duties, see Spencer J. Palmer, The Expanding Church (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978), 26.
4. Armand L. Mauss, All Abraham’s Children: Changing Mormon Conceptions of Race and Lineage (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 18–26.
5. Terryl L. Givens, People of Paradox: A History of Mormon Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 55; and Mauss, All Abraham’s Children, chap. 2.
6. John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012), 48. For Jacob’s blessings to his twelve sons, see Genesis 49:1–27. For the notion that patriarchal blessings were part of a series of rituals inspired by the Book of Mormon and Bible, see Jonathan A. Stapley, The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), 6.
7. H. Michael Marquardt, comp., Early Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2007); H. Michael Marquardt, comp., Later Patriarchal Blessings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2012). Marquardt provides an updated list of blessings on his website: https://user.xmission.com/~research/mormonpdf/additionalpb5c.pdf.
8. As cited in Irene M. Bates, “Patriarchal Blessings and the Routinization of Charisma,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26, no. 3 (Fall 1993): 4.
9. Of the rich body of scholarship on Mormons and race, surprisingly little has been written about Blacks and patriarchal blessings. One exception is Bates, “Patriarchal Blessings,” 3–8. Two seminal studies on Mormons and patriarchal blessings both skirt questions of race and lineage. See Irene M. Bates and E. Gary Smith, Lost Legacy: The Mormon Office of Presiding Patriarch, 2nd ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2018); and Gary Shepherd and Gordon Shepherd, Binding Earth and Heaven: Patriarchal Blessings in the Prophetic Development of Early Mormonism (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2012). Mauss’s All Abraham’s Children also ignores patriarchal blessings in his discussion of Black and Native American lineage within Mormonism.
10. Reeve, Religion of a Different Color, 109–10, 112, 128, 131; Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 37–38; and Stevenson, For the Cause of Righteousness, 6–7, 210–12, 230–31, 248–49. For William McCary’s experience in the Mormon Church see Angela Pulley Hudson, Real Native Genius: How an Ex-Slave and a White Mormon Became Famous Indians (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015), 65–68; and Angela Pulley Hudson, “William McCary, Lucy Stanton, and the Performance of Race at Winter Quarters and Beyond,” Journal of Mormon History 41, no. 3 (2015): 97–130.
11. Kirtland elders’ certificates, 1836–1838, Mar. 31, 1836, CR 100 401, 61, Church History Library, Salt Lake City and name listed among ministers of the gospel in “Kirtland, Ohio, June 3, 1836,” Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate 2 (June 1836): 335. See also Stevenson, For the Cause of Righteousness, 211–12. For insightful studies on Abel’s life, consult Newell G. Bringhurst, “Elijah Abel and the Changing Status of Blacks Within Mormonism,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12, no. 2 (Summer 1979): 22–36; W. Kesler Jackson, Elijah Abel: The Life and Times of a Black Priesthood Holder (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2013); Russell W. Stevenson, “‘A Negro Preacher’: The Worlds of Elijah Abels,” Journal of Mormon History 39, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 165–254; and Russell W. Stevenson, Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables (Afton, Wyo.: self-pub., PrintStar, 2013).
12. Doctrine and Covenants 124:91–93.
13. Bates and Smith, Lost Legacy, 39–40. For the office of local patriarch in Mormon scripture, see Doctrine and Covenants 107:39.
14. “History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834],” 83, The Joseph Smith Papers, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838–1856-volume-a-1–23-december-1805–30-august-1834/89; Joseph Smith Jr., History of the Church, 7 vols., 2nd ed. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 4:445–46; Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005), 288–89; and Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 41–43, 86–87.
15. Blessing of Elijah Abel by Joseph Smith Sr., c. 1836, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, courtesy of Lester Bush. Also in Marquardt, Early Patriarchal Blessings, 99.
16. H. Michael Marquardt has published many of Smith’s blessings in Early Patriarchal Blessings. See also Marquardt’s website, which includes blessings from Joseph Smith Sr.: https://user.xmission.com/~research/mormonpdf/blessingsbyjssr.pdf.
17. According to Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 101, n. 14. Unfortunately, not much is known about Stebbins.
18. For an insightful study of James’s life, see Max Perry Mueller, Race and the Making of the Mormon People (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017). See also Quincy D. Newell, “The Autobiography and Interview of Jane Elizabeth Manning James,” Journal of Africana Religions 1, no. 2 (2013): 251–91; and Quincy D. Newell, “‘Is There No Blessing for Me?‘: Jane James’s Construction of Space in Latter-day Saint History and Practice,” in New Perspectives in Mormon Studies: Creating and Crossing Boundaries, edited by Quincy D. Newell and Eric F. Mason (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2013), 41–68.
19. Blessing of Jane Manning James by Hyrum Smith, May 11, 1844, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, courtesy of Max Perry Mueller. Mueller notes that “Aunt Jane” was beloved by Latter-day Saints “for her indefatigable faith in Mormonism and for her memories of Mormonism’s first prophet” (Race and the Making of the Mormon People, 119). Reeve comments that when James died in 1908 she was “remembered as a well-respected person within the Mormon community” (Religion of a Different Color, 211). LDS apostles also referred to Jane Manning James as “Aunt Jane.” See Council of Twelve minutes, Jan. 2, 1902, in “Compilation on the Negro in Mormonism,” compiled by Lester Bush, 192, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. This moniker, however, was deeply racist. According to historian Eric Foner, after the American Civil War many slaves rejected being called “boy,” “auntie,” or “uncle.” These former slaves wanted complete “independence from white control,” including from names that racist whites assigned to them (Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction [New York: Alfred Knopf, 2005], 83). Fellow Mormons called Jane Manning James “Aunt Jane” as a term of endearment signifying her advanced age and beloved status within the Mormon community. Nonetheless, as Quincy D. Newell has argued in her forthcoming work on James, the term was rooted in white supremacy and the slave culture of nineteenth-century America. See Your Sister in the Gospel: The Life of Jane Manning James, a Nineteenth-Century Black Mormon (New York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
20. Blessing of Joseph T. Ball by William Smith, July 14, 1845, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, courtesy of H. Michael Marquardt. Also in Marquardt, Early Patriarchal Blessings, 320. For more on William Smith and patriarchal blessings, see Christine Elyse Blythe, “William Smith’s Patriarchal Blessings and Contested Authority in the Post-Martyrdom Church,” Journal of Mormon History 39, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 60–95. Blythe does not discuss Smith’s views on lineage for Black Latter-day Saints.
21. Brigham Young address to the Utah Territorial Legislature, Feb. 5, 1852, box 48, folder 3, Brigham Young Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. See also Reeve, Religion of a Different Color, 144–61; and Turner, Brigham Young, 218–29.
22. Blessing of John Burton by John Smith, Aug. 18, 1850, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, courtesy of Melvin C. Johnson. Not much is known about Burton. Walker Lewis blessing quoted in Connell O’Donovan, “The Mormon Priesthood Ban and Elder Q. Walker Lewis: ‘An example for his more whiter brethren to follow,‘” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 26, no. 1 (2006): 48–100 (quotations on 91–92); see also Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 101, n. 14.
23. In 1970, Assistant Church Historian E. Earl Olson researched lineage assignments. He specifically noted that John Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, gave blessings assigning the lineage of “Cain and Ham” to several Black Latter-day Saints. His findings are recorded in the Council of Twelve minutes, May 21, 1970, box 63, folder 3, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. My thanks to the late Edward L. Kimball for facilitating access to his father’s papers at the Church History Library.
24. Blessing of Jane Elizabeth Manning Perkins by John Smith, Oct. 10, 1889, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, courtesy of Max Perry Mueller (James’s married name was Perkins). In Lost Legacy, Bates and Smith affirm that it was not uncommon during the early days of the Church for Latter-day Saints to receive second patriarchal blessings. As of 2018, the Church handbook allows for a second blessing, providing the recipient receives permission from the Quorum of the Twelve (“Information and Suggestions for Patriarchs,” rev. ed. [Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2016], 6).
25. Council of Twelve minutes, Jan. 2, 1902, in Bush, “Compilation on the Negro,” 192.
26. Genesis 9:25–27; and Brigham Young, Oct. 9, 1859, Journal of Discourses, 7:290–91. For more on the biblical justification of slavery, see Haynes, Noah’s Curse, chaps. 4–5.
27. For Blacks requesting their temple endowments and patriarchal blessings, see Council of Twelve minutes, Jan. 2, 1902, in Bush, “Compilation on the Negro”; Reeve, Religion of a Different Color, 193–210; and Mueller, Race and the Making of the Mormon People, 150–52. When the First Presidency denied permission for Black Latter-day Saints to receive their temple endowments, they sought to participate in other temple ordinances. For this point, see Tonya Reiter, “Black Saviors on Mount Zion: Proxy Baptisms and Latter-day Saints of African Descent,” Journal of Mormon History 43, no. 4 (2017): 100–23. For early Blacks and their devotion to the LDS church, see Kate B. Carter, The Story of the Negro Pioneer (Salt Lake City: Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1965). Precise estimates are unknown, but probably fewer than two hundred Blacks were Mormon in 1900. See also Ronald Coleman, “Blacks in Utah History: An Unknown Legacy,” in The Peoples of Utah, edited by Helen Z. Papanikolas (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1976), 115–40.
28. Council of Twelve minutes, Mar. 1, 1900, in Bush, “Compilation on the Negro,” 188.
29. Council of Twelve minutes, Jan. 2, 1902, ibid., 191–92. See also Council of Twelve minutes, Aug. 22, 1895, ibid., 187.
30. David O. McKay to Henry H. Hoff, Jan. 24, 1935, in Minutes of the Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1910–1951, 4 vols. (Salt Lake City: Smith-Pettit Foundation, 2010), 4:336.
31. Sidney B. Sperry, who recorded patriarchal blessings for his grandfather Orson Sperry, recounted this experience to apostles Joseph Fielding Smith and Mark E. Petersen in the Salt Lake Temple, Oct. 7, 1954, “Discussion after a talk on Racial Prejudice,” 28, box 4, folder 7, William E. Berrett Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. For Knudsen’s experience, see ibid., 29.
32. Wallis journal, Oct. 16, 1934, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
33. Ibid. See also Gloria Wallis Rytting, James H. Wallis: Poet, Printer and Patriarch (Salt Lake City: R & R Enterprises, 1989), 185–86.
34. Heber J. Grant diary, Oct. 1, 1890, 447, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; Heber J. Grant to L. H. Wilkin, Jan. 28, 1928, box 63, folder 11, Leonard J. Arrington Papers, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University; “Minutes of a Special Meeting by President McKay,” recounting President Grant’s refusal to ordain to the priesthood a “negro man” because he was cursed (in McKay journal, Jan. 17, 1954, box 32, folder 3, David O. McKay Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah).
35. For the linkage of Blackness with Cain and Satan in Mormon discourse, see my essay “Whiteness Theology and the Evolution of Mormon Racial Teachings,” in The Mormon Church and its Gospel Topics Essays: The Scholarly Community Responds, edited by Matthew L. Harris and Newell G. Bringhurst (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, forthcoming).
36. George F. Richards, in Report of the Annual Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Apr. 1939 (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, annual), 58–59 (hereafter cited as Conference Report); and Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection: Short Discourses on Gospel Themes, 5th ed. (1931; repr., Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1945), 101–02.
37. Wallis journal, Oct. 16, 1934.
38. See “An Interview Between Brother and Sister Herbert Augustus Ford and Brother Kelvin Thomas Waywell, High Councilman Advisor to the Stake President on Genealogy for the Hamilton Ontario Stake,” taped on Oct. 21, 1973, Welland, Ontario, Canada, copy in box 32, folder 4, David John Buerger Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
39. Blessing of Herbert Augustus Ford by James H. Wallis, July 18, 1934, in “Herbert Augustus Ford Family” family history. See also “Letter from Patricia Ford outlining her research investigations,” ibid.
40. Joseph Anderson to Herbert Ford, Apr. 10, 1951, copy in First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve minutes, 1951, in Bush, “Compilation on the Negro,” 256.
41. Patricia Ford, “Herbert Augustus Ford and the LDS Priesthood,” May 31, 1978, box 32, folder 4, David John Buerger Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
42. Ibid. See also Theodore M. Burton, president of the Genealogical Society, to Ford’s stake president, Elden Clark Olson, Feb. 6, 1975, and Theodore M. Burton and Grant Bangerter to President Elden Clark Olson, Sept. 30, 1976 (affirming that LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball lifted the restriction).
43. As perceptively noted in Mauss, All Abraham’s Children, 26.
44. Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Day of Ephraim,” in Conference Report, Apr. 7, 1929, 122–25; reprinted in Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 20 (April 1929): 123–26 (quotes on 124).
45. Archibald F. Bennett, “The Children of Ephraim,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine 21 (January 1930): 69. According to Mauss, Bennett was the executive secretary of the Utah Genealogical Society (All Abraham’s Children, 28).
46. “Our Lineage,” lessons 1 to 10 of the Course for First Year Senior Genealogical Classes (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1934); “Children of the Covenant,” A Lesson Book for Second Year Junior Genealogical Classes (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1937); “Youth and its Culture,” Manual for the Gleaner Department of the Y.W.M.I.A. (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1938); and “Birthright Blessings: Genealogical Training Class,” Sunday School Lessons for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Sunday School Board, 1942).
47. Smith, Way to Perfection, 43, 46, 48, 105–06, 109–10. See also Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Negro and the Priesthood,” Improvement Era 27 (April 1924): 564–65; Alvin R. Dyer, “For What Purpose,” address to a missionary conference in Oslo, Norway, Mar. 18, 1961, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; and Melvin J. Ballard, “Three Degrees of Glory,” discourse in the Ogden Tabernacle, Sept. 22, 1922, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. For background and context to The Way to Perfection, see Reid L. Neilson and Scott D. Marianno, “True and Faithful: Joseph Fielding Smith as Mormon Historian and Theologian,” BYU Studies Quarterly 57, no. 1 (Winter 2018): 38–40. For a nuanced account of Mormon teachings on “the premortal world,” see Boyd Jay Petersen, “‘One Soul Shall Not Be Lost’: The War in Heaven in Mormon Thought,” Journal of Mormon History 38, no. 1 (Winter 2012): 1–50.
48. In the 1950s, the First Presidency cleared Negritos and Fijians for priesthood ordination and “reclassified [them] as Israelites.” For this point, see Armand L. Mauss, “The Fading of the Pharaoh’s Curse: The Decline and Fall of the Priesthood Ban Against Blacks in the Mormon Church,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14, no. 3 (Fall 1981): 12. See also R. Lanier Britsch, Unto the Islands of the Sea: A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Pacific (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1986), 502. For Australian Aborigines, see Marjorie Newton, Southern Cross Saints: The Mormons in Australia (Laie, Hawaii: Institute for Polynesian Studies, 1991), 209–10. For Black Africans, see Stevenson, For the Cause of Righteousness, 55–57, 75–91. Joseph Fielding Smith wrote The Way to Perfection during a time of intense racism in the United States. Some theologians used science, particularly eugenics, to justify racism. Others, like Smith (and other Mormon leaders), couched their racism in theology by appealing to scripture. Three books address these issues in some detail: Nell Irvin Painter, The History of White People (New York: W. W. Norton, 2010); Grace Elizabeth Hale, Making Whiteness: The Culture of Segregation in the South, 1890–1940 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1998); and David L. Chappell, A Stone of Hope.
49. John A. Widtsoe, “What is the Meaning of Patriarchal Blessings?,” Improvement Era 45 (January 1942): 33, 61, 63. Also published in John A. Widtsoe, Evidences and Reconciliations (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1943), 234. For the First Presidency statement, “Suggestions for Stake Patriarchs,” May 25, 1943, see James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–1975), 6:194–96 (quotation on 194).
50. For an excellent expression of this problem, see Jeremy Talmage and Clinton D. Christensen, “Black, White, or Brown?: Racial Perceptions and the Priesthood Policy in Latin America,” Journal of Mormon History 44, no. 1 (January 2018): 119–45; Richard E. Turley Jr. and Jeffrey G. Cannon, “A Faithful Band: Moses Mahlangu and the First Soweto Saints,” BYU Studies Quarterly 55, no. 1 (Winter 2016): 9–38; and William Grant Bangerter, These Things I Know: The Autobiography of William Grant Bangerter (Salt Lake City: Voices and Images, 2013), 170. Bangerter, a mission president in Brazil in the 1950s, explained: “I very earnestly sought the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord, and because of the mixture of African ancestry among Brazilian people, it was always very difficult to determine who would be eligible to hold the priesthood” (ibid.). Apostle David O. McKay explained to a mission president in Brazil that determining who had “negro blood” in South America “is not an easy problem to handle” (David O. McKay to Rulon S. Howells, June 29, 1935, Dorothy H. Ipsen Collection of Rulon S. Howells’s Missionary Papers, 1934–1949, Church History Library, Salt Lake City). First Presidency Secretary Hamer Reiser expressed a similar concern about South Africa (Reiser oral history interview with William G. Hartley, Oct. 16, 1974, ibid.).
51. Ariela J. Gross, What Blood Won’t Tell Us: A History of Race on Trial in America (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2008), chaps. 3–4; Peter Wallenstein, Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry: Loving v. Virginia (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2014), 42–43, 56–60; and Peggy Pascoe, What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), chaps. 3–4.
52. For the “one-drop” rule, see Smith, Way to Perfection, 106; Reeve, Religion of a Different Color, chap. 7; and Stevenson, For the Cause of Righteousness, chap. 10. Several states also followed the “one-drop” rule. For this point, see Pascoe, What Comes Naturally, 118–19, 140–54; and Wallenstein, Race, Sex, and the Freedom to Marry, 42, 55, 58.
53. Harold B. Lee, quoted in John Keahey, “LDS Head Says Blacks to Achieve Full Status,” Standard-Examiner (Ogden, Utah), Sept. 24, 1973.
54. See J. Reuben Clark office diary, Mar. 19, 1960, box 22, folder 3, J. Reuben Clark Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; First Presidency (Stephen L. Richards and J. Reuben Clark) to Joseph Fielding Smith, May 29, 1951, and Joseph Fielding Smith’s reply, June 8, 1951, both in box 17, folder 13, Joseph Fielding Smith Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
55. In the 1950s, Clark and Matson exchanged several letters in which they discussed ways to “differentiate the blood of Negroes and other peoples by means of hereditary factors in human blood.” See Matson to Clark, July 2, 1954 and Clark’s reply, July 22, 1954, box 391, folder 7, J. Reuben Clark Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; Matson to Clark, Oct. 20, 1958, Clark’s reply, Nov. 7, 1958, Matson to Clark, Dec. 16, 1958, Clark’s response, Jan. 9, 1958, all in “Clarkana” box 295, “Negro” folder, ibid. See also D. Michael Quinn, Elder Statesman: A Biography of J. Reuben Clark (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002), 350–51.
56. This practice took place in South Africa and Brazil. See South African Proselyting Plan (December 1951), compiled by Elder Gilbert G. Tobler, Mowbray, C. P. South Africa, discussion 13, 45–46, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. For Brazil, see “Lineage Lesson,” Brazil North Mission, 1970, ibid. See also Harris and Bringhurst, Mormon Church and Blacks, 102.
57. J. Reuben Clark acknowledged privately that in these racially-mixed countries there was no way to accurately determine bloodlines. He feared that bishops and stake presidents were conferring priesthood ordination on persons of African descent. For this point, see Council of Twelve minutes, Jan. 25, 1940, box 64, folder 5, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; also in box 78, folder 7, George Albert Smith Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
58. Mark L. Grover, “Religious Accommodation in the Land of Racial Democracy: Mormon Priesthood and Black Brazilians,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 17, no. 3 (Fall 1984): 32.
59. Talmage and Christensen, “Black, White, or Brown?,” 122–23. See also J. Reuben Clark office diary, Aug. 18, 1939, box 10, folder 5, J. Reuben Clark Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University; and David O. McKay journal, Nov. 1, 1963, box 55, folder 3, David O. McKay Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
60. Evan P. Wright to First Presidency (George Albert Smith, J. Reuben Clark, David O. McKay), Mar. 31, 1949 and First Presidency’s response, Aug. 31, 1949, both in box 64, folder 6, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
61. Digest of the minutes of the meeting of patriarchs of the Church with the General Authorities held in Barratt Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, Oct. 11, 1958, at 8:00 a.m. with President Joseph Fielding Smith, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, box 64, folder 4, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; and Elder Grant Farmer to Spencer W. Kimball, Sept. 12, 1953, box 64, folder 8, ibid.
62. An identified bishop to an unidentified stake president, Dec. 26, 1962, and the recipient’s wife to President David O. McKay, May 17, 1963, both in Matt Harris files (courtesy of Newell G. Bringhurst). She included long segments of her husband’s patriarchal blessing in the letter to McKay. First Presidency Secretary A. Hamer Reiser responded on behalf of President McKay. He told the woman that the matter would be referred to her stake president. See Reiser to unidentified sister, May 29, 1963, ibid. President McKay also instructed the woman’s stake president to investigate the matter to determine if her husband had “negro blood.” The results of the stake president’s investigation is not known. See McKay to unidentified stake president, June 3, 1963, ibid.
63. Donald William Hemmingway interview by Christen L. Schmutz, July 16, 1980, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
64. For this point, see Newell G. Bringhurst, “David O. McKay’s Confrontation with Mormonism’s Black Priesthood Ban,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 37, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2017): 1–11.
65. David O. McKay to an unidentified stake president, June 3, 1963, Matt Harris files (courtesy of Newell G. Bringhurst).
66. “Minutes of Special Meeting by President McKay,” Jan. 17, 1954, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; also in box 32, folder 3, David O. McKay Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah; and box 64, folder 8, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
67. For McKay’s overlooking Latter-day Saints suspected of having “negro lineage,” see Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2005), 78–79; and Mary Lythgoe Bradford, Lowell L. Bennion: Teacher, Counselor, Humanitarian (Salt Lake City: Dialogue Foundation, 1995), 165–66.
68. See, for example, First Presidency (David O. McKay, Hugh B. Brown, N. Eldon Tanner) to Bishop Bernard J. Price of Idaho Falls, Idaho, Apr. 16, 1964, Matt Harris files (courtesy of Newell G. Bringhurst)
69. Digest of the minutes of the meeting of patriarchs of the Church with the General Authorities held in Barratt Hall, Salt Lake City, Utah, Saturday, Oct. 11, 1958, at 8:00 a.m. with President Joseph Fielding Smith, President of the Quorum of the Twelve, box 64, folder 4, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
70. Ibid.
71. Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957–1966), 5:168. See also Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, compiled by Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954–1956), 3:172.
72. Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1958), 477.
73. See McConkie’s religion lectures, “Patriarchal Order” and “Pre-Mortal Existence,” University of Utah Institute, 1967, AV 191, CD 1–3, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. See also McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 102, 314, 476–77, 530–31.
74. McConkie, “Patriarchal Order.”
75. Eldred G. Smith’s ordination blessing is included in Minutes of the Meetings of the First Presidency and Twelve, Apr. 10, 1947, in Minutes of the Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:333. Biographical information on the Hopes can be found in Spencer W. Kimball journal, Oct. 20, 1947, reel 5, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
76. Ibid. Patriarch Smith also related this experience to BYU religion professor Roy W. Doxey, as recounted in James R. Clark’s letter to his father, June 1, 1956, box 90, folder 5, Paul R. Cheesman Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
77. Smith affirmed that he had “given blessings to a number of Negroes who are members of the Church” (in Eldred G. Smith BYU devotional address, “A Patriarchal Blessing Defined,” Nov. 8, 1966, 10, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; copy also in box 211, folder 6, Ernest L. Wilkinson Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University).
78. Joseph Fielding Smith, “Patriarchal Order of the Priesthood,” Improvement Era 55 (June 1952): 425; and Joseph Fielding Smith, “Your Patriarchal Blessing,” Improvement Era 63 (June 1960): 417.
79. Eldred G. Smith to the LDS Student Association, University of Utah Institute of Religion, “Patriarchal Blessings,” Jan. 17, 1964, 3, copy in box 6, folder 10, H. Michael Marquardt Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
80. Eldred G. Smith, “A Patriarchal Blessing Defined,” 9–10. William E. Berrett, BYU Vice President and Church Education System administrator, also taught that Blacks could not be given true patriarchal blessings since they could not receive “the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (“Race Problems,” Church History and Philosophy 245—Advanced Theology, July 10, 1956, Church History Library, Salt Lake City).
81. Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 125–26; and Reeve, Religion of a Different Color, 148–52.
82. Wilkinson’s racism was manifest most poignantly during the BYU athletic protests in the late 1960s. For Wilkinson’s reaction to the protests, see J. B. Haws, The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), chap. 3; Darron T. Smith, When Race, Religion and Sport Collide: Black Athletes at BYU and Beyond (Lanham, Md.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2016), 85–91; Gary James Bergera, “‘This Time of Crisis’: The Race-Based Anti-BYU Athletic Protests of 1968–1971,” Utah Historical Quarterly 81, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 204–29.
83. As recorded in David O. McKay journal, Nov. 13, 1966, box 63, folder 7, David O. McKay Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
84. Smith instructed Clark not to publish any statements the First Presidency issued “during controversial periods in Church history since they would probably be misunderstood today” (in Clark’s “Memorandum on a trip to see President Joseph Fielding Smith,” June 29, 1964, box 7, folder 9, James R. Clark Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University).
85. First Presidency Minutes, Mar. 1, 1968, box 67, folder 3, David O. McKay Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
86. For criticisms of Romney and Mormon racial teachings, see J. B. Haws, “When Mormonism Mattered Less in Presidential Politics: George Romney’s 1968 Window of Possibilities,” Journal of Mormon History 39, no. 3 (Summer 2013): 114; Haws, Mormon Image in the American Mind, 38–40; and Harris and Bringhurst, Mormon Church and Blacks, 75, 79.
87. Spencer W. Kimball to Edward L. Kimball, June 1963, box 63, folder 6, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. Sterling M. McMurrin served in the Kennedy administration as the Commissioner of Education. Stewart L. Udall served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations as the Secretary of the Interior. For their criticisms of Mormon racial teachings, see McMurrin’s addresses to the NAACP, Mar. 8, 1960, box 220, folder 2 and June 21, 1968, box 289, folder 2, both in Sterling McMurrin Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah; Udall to First Presidency, Sept. 18, 1961, box 209, folder 3, Stuart L. Udall Papers, Special Collections, University of Arizona; and Udall letter to the editor, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 2, no. 2 (Summer 1967): 5–7.
88. McKay journal, Nov. 13, 1966. Wilkinson informed Eldred Smith that President McKay did not want the address published “because of the present turmoil over the Negro question.” See Wilkinson to Smith, November 25, 1966, box 378, folder 3, Ernest L. Wilkinson Presidential Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.
89. Mark E. Petersen, “Race Problems As They Affect the Church,” address given to religious educators at Brigham Young University, Aug. 17, 1954, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
90. LDS Bishop J. D. Williams condemned Petersen’s sermon as a “gross misreading of LDS scripture” in “Analysis of ‘Race Problems—As They Affect the Church,‘” 1954, box 24, folder 2, J. D. Williams Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah. LDS sociologist O. Kendall White linked the talk with the Klan (in White, “Mormonism’s Anti-Black Policy and Prospects for Change,” Journal of Religious Thought 29, no. 4 [1972]: 44. For more on the backlash against Petersen, see Harris and Bringhurst, Mormon Church and Blacks, 68–69, 172–73, n. 38–39.
91. Smith, Way to Perfection, 109–10; Joseph F. Smith, Council of Twelve minutes, Aug. 18, 1900, in Bush, “Compilation on the Negro,” 191–92; Brigham Young, Feb. 18, 1855, Journal of Discourses, 2:184. On pro-slavery Protestant ministers, see generally Haynes, Noah’s Curse; Kidd, Forging of Races; Oshatz, Slavery and Sin; Goldenberg, Curse of Ham.
92. Smith address to the LDS Student Association, University of Utah Institute of Religion, “Patriarchal Blessings,” 8.
93. “Instructions to Patriarchs,” 1968, copy in box 6, folder 10, H. Michael Marquardt Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
94. Council of Twelve minutes, May 14, 1970, box 63, folder 3, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
95. Council of Twelve minutes, May 21, 1970, ibid. For Benson’s anti-Black views, see my article “Martin Luther King, Civil Rights, and Perceptions of a ‘Communist Conspiracy,‘” in Thunder from the Right: Ezra Taft Benson in Mormonism and Politics, edited by Matthew L. Harris (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, forthcoming).
96. There had been a longstanding tension between Eldred Smith and various apostles over many issues over many years. For this point, see D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1997), 116–31; Smith and Bates, Lost Legacy, chaps. 8–9; and Marquardt, Later Patriarchal Blessings, xxxi–liv.
97. Spencer W. Kimball journal, May 21, 1971, reel 35, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
98. “Patriarchs’ Meeting Minutes,” Apr. 6, 1973, copy in box 4, folder 3, Irene Bates Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
99. Ibid.
100. Ibid.
101. Sharon Pugsley to the Quorum of the Twelve, Aug. 20, 1970, box 9, folder 7, Joseph Fielding Smith Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
102. Utah Dailey Chronicle, Nov. 19, 1969, copy in ibid.
103. J. Duane Dudley to First Presidency (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney), May 13, 1974, box 32, folder 2, David John Buerger Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
104. Joseph Anderson to Spencer W. Kimball, May 28, 1971, box 64, folder 2, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City.
105. For two excellent studies depicting President Kimball’s views on Blacks, priesthood, and lineage, see Edward L. Kimball, “Spencer W. Kimball and the Revelation on Priesthood,” BYU Studies 47, no. 2 (Spring 2008): 5–85; Edward L. Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (Working Draft) (Salt Lake City: Benchmark Books, 2009), chaps. 20–22. My research in the Kimball papers reveals his sensitivity to Blacks and lineage.
106. First Presidency (Spencer W. Kimball, N. Eldon Tanner, Marion G. Romney) to J. Duane Dudley, May 17, 1974, box 32, folder 2, David John Buerger Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah. Kimball was remarkably consistent in this position. In 1956, he counseled patriarch George E. Jorgensen “that the matter of lineage for such a person would have to be left to the inspiration of the patriarch” (as quoted from a conversation that BYU religion professor James R. Clark had with Patriarch Jorgensen, June 1, 1956, box 90, folder 5, Paul R. Cheesman Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University).
107. L. Tom Perry, “Quarterly Stake Conference Report by General Authorities of the Santo André Stake Conference,” May 15–16, 1976, Matt Harris files (courtesy of Mark Grover of BYU).
108. Bates and Smith, Lost Legacy, 214, 220, n. 49.
109. See “Information and Suggestions for Patriarchs,” in Marquardt, Later Patriarchal Blessings, 565–66. On the question of the priesthood revelation not resolving Black lineage, see Harris and Bringhurst, Mormon Church and Blacks, 118.
110. President Kimball “retired” the Office of the Patriarch in 1979 and named Eldred Smith “Patriarch Emeritus.” Bates and Smith indicate that it is “not known what dynamics might have combined to cause Spencer Kimball to retire the office of Church Patriarch” (Lost Legacy, 216). They speculate that “perhaps it was the desire to end more than a century of tension over the proper parameters of authority for the office and to finally put to rest the question of lineal rights of succession.” For an insightful discussion of the matter, see Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride (Working Draft), 406–09.
111. The ideas expressed in this section were conveyed to me in an email on February 18, 2018, by a person with direct knowledge of Patriarch Smith’s views. Because of the sensitivity of the matter, I have chosen not to identify this person.
112. Books promoting the divine curse continued to circulate in the Church well after the priesthood revelation. This includes Smith, Way to Perfection; Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions; and McConkie, Mormon Doctrine. It was not until 2013 that the Church officially renounced its long-standing teaching that Blacks bore the mark of a divine curse. For two expressions of this statement, see “Race and the Priesthood,” Gospel Topics, Dec. 2013, https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng; and Matthew L. Harris, “Mormonism’s Problematic Racial Past and the Evolution of the Divine-Curse Doctrine,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 33, no. 1 (2013): 90–114.
113. Two sermons both with the same title illustrates this point. See Bruce R. McConkie, “All Are Alike Unto God,” address given at a Book of Mormon symposium for Seminary and Institute instructors at Brigham Young University, Aug. 18, 1978, Church History Library, Salt Lake City; and Howard W. Hunter, “All Are Alike Unto God,” devotional assembly address at Brigham Young University, Feb. 4, 1979, available at https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/howard-w-hunter_all-alike-unto-god.
114. Bruce R. McConkie memo to Spencer W. Kimball, “Doctrinal Basis for Conferring the Melchizedek Priesthood Upon the Negroes,” March 1978, box 64, folder 3, Spencer W. Kimball Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City. The context for this memo is important. In the months leading up to the priesthood revelation, President Kimball asked the apostles to prepare written memorandums justifying priesthood ordination on Black people. See Kimball, Lengthen Your Stride (Working Draft), 345; and Joseph Fielding McConkie, The Bruce R. McConkie Story: Reflections of a Son (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003), 374–75. McConkie’s assertion that Gentile “blood” could be purged by baptism echoed Joseph Smith’s teachings. See Smith’s writings of June 27, 1839, in “History, 1838–1856, volume C-1 [2 November 1838–31 July 1842],” 8, Joseph Smith Papers, http://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838–1856-volume-c-1–2-november-1838–31-july-1842/543. Smith applied the term “Gentile blood” more broadly; McConkie associated it with “Negro” converts.
115. James E. Faust, “Patriarchal Blessings,” Brigham Young University devotional, Mar. 30, 1980, https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/james-e-faust_patriarchal-blessings; and Gospel Principles (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2009), 273. See also Daniel H. Ludlow, “Of the House of Israel,” Ensign, Jan. 1991, https://www.lds.org/ensign/1991/01/of-the-house-of-israel?lang=eng.
116. As related in LDS Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington’s journal, June 25, 1978, box 33, folder 4, Leonard J. Arrington Papers, Special Collections, Merrill-Cazier Library, Utah State University. Keith N. Hamilton, Last Laborer: Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon (Salt Lake City: Ammon Works, 2011), 68 (my thanks to Hamilton for sharing a copy of his book).
117. Ibid., 69.
118. Eugene Orr interview with H. Michael Marquardt, Nov. 14, 1971, box 6, folder 3, H. Michael Marquardt Papers, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah. Also in Harris and Bringhurst, Mormon Church and Blacks, 90–91.
119. Darius Gray and Margaret Young, “No Johnny-Come-Lately: The 182-Year-Long BLACK Mormon Moment,” address at FairMormon conference, August 2–3, 2012, https://www.fairmormon.org/conference/august-2012/no-johnny-come-lately-the-182-year-long-black-mormon-moment. Gray also discusses his patriarchal blessing in an oral history interview with Dennis and Elizabeth Haslem, Dec. 4, 1971, box 1, folder 7, African American Oral History Project, 1971–1973, Special Collections, Marriott Library, University of Utah.
120. Sistas in Zion (@SISTASinZION), “It was church policy,” Twitter, June 7, 2017, 1:19 p.m., https://twitter.com/SISTASinZION/status/872548570087301120.
121. As quoted in Joseph Stuart, “Patriarchal Blessings, Lineage, and Race: Historical Background and Survey,” Juvenile Instructor (blog), June 8, 2017, http://juvenileinstructor.org/patriarchal-blessings-lineage-and-race-historical-background-and-a-survey.
122. Mauss, All Abraham’s Children, 40, n. 32; Armand Mauss, email message to author, Feb. 2, 2018.
123. As quoted in Stuart, “Patriarchal Blessings, Lineage, and Race” and confirmed in an email message to author, Feb. 14, 2018. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, I have chosen to keep the person’s identity anonymous.
124. John Dehlin, “Dustin Jones and the Lingering Legacy of the LDS Negro Doctrine,” Mormon Stories (podcast), May 31, 2011, http://www.mormonstories.org/256–258-dustin-jones-and-the-lingering-legacy-of-the-lds-negro-doctrine.
125. A point conveyed to me by numerous Black Latter-day Saints. After 1978, many Black Latter-day Saints claim lineage through Ephraim and Manasseh by adoption into the House of Israel—this according to persons knowledgeable on the subject. Because of the sensitivity of the matter, I have agreed not to identify them. Also instructive is that Black Mormons who have written about their conversion to the LDS Church have not discussed lineage in their books. See, for example, Alan Gerald Cherry, It’s You and Me, Lord! (Provo: Trilogy Arts Publication, 1970); Wynetta Willis Martin, Black Mormon Tells Her Story (Salt Lake City: Hawkes Publications, 1972); Joseph Freeman, In the Lord’s Due Time (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1979); and Darron Terry Smith, What Matters Most: A Story of Human Potential (Salt Lake City: Scribe Publishing, 1999). Apologetic works by Black Latter-day Saints also omit lineage and discussions of patriarchal blessings. See Luckner Huggins, A Son of Ham: Under the Covenant (Salt Lake City: Noah’s Family Publishing, 2005); and Marcus H. Martins, Setting the Record Straight: Blacks and the Mormon Priesthood (Orem, Utah: Millennial Press, 2007). Two exceptions discussing patriarchal blessings in their books include Black LDS authors Mary Sturlaugson Eyer, A Soul So Rebellious (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1981), 66–67; and Wain Myers with Kelly L. Martinez, From Baptist Preacher to Mormon Teacher (Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2015), 64. Neither discuss lineage, however.
126. “Information and Suggestions for Patriarchs,” 4.
127. Gray and Young, “No Johnny-Come-Lately.”
128. Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5:168.
129. “Information and Suggestions for Patriarchs,” 4. See also Dallin H. Oaks, “Patriarchal Blessings,” Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting (Jan. 8, 2005): 8 (my thanks to Mike Marquardt for this reference).
130. “Race and the Priesthood,” Gospel Topics, Dec. 2013, https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng.

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