A Mormon reader writes:
Starting with a hypothetical - suppose that Mormonism is truly led by prophets, God has always specified who and when a group could hold his priesthood. For hundreds of years it was restricted to the Levites. Later it was extended to gentiles. If it is God's priesthood, then I would suggest He can decide who can hold it and when, and historically has given that instruction to his prophets. He does it for his own reasons and purposes, and I'd suggest we'd be foolish to try to interpret why or what for.
In any event if you think Mormonism is led by prophets or not I don't think the racism claim holds then or now. To see my point you only have to look at how quickly the entire church (the entire church) turned on a dime when the revelation extending the priesthood was received. The following week the church rejoiced, blacks were immediately given the priesthood, and Mormons were overwhelmed with joy and collectively invigorated. Is that the sign of a racist people to turn the entire church literally on one statement by the leader, and precisely in one week with no subsequent hold outs or debate or opposition? From what I know on the inside, I just don’t think the signs of racism are there, then or now.
All points taken. But it still shocks me to think that this didn't happen until 1978. A non-Mormon reader writes:
Way back in 1991 my wife and I shared an apartment with a couple of friends from college. One friend was a white, outgoing, athletic girl from Choctaw, OK. The other was a black, outgoing, athletic boy from Oklahoma City. They were a fantastic couple, seemingly ignorant of the whole white/black racism thing, and quite obviously very happy. Marriage was discussed frequently, and enthusiastically. Then something odd happened. The girl started hanging out with a devout Mormon.
It wasn't long before our friend started coming home with these odd "facts of the day", as we liked to call them. Things like, the earth is only 6000 years old; carbon dating is a hoax; and other nonsense. Then things took a turn for the worst, she fully converted, and became a Mormon. Quickly thereafter the talk of marriage with her boyfriend all but ended, and apparently because of one simple desire, she wanted to be married in a Mormon temple. Mormon's don't allow mixed couples to marry in the official Mormon temples for some bizarre reason.
Well, that was that. The happy relationship was over, our friends split up and went their separate ways. We've lost track over the years, but last we heard she is married to someone in the church, not working out of the house, and has many children. We never did hear from our other friend, I'm sure he got over it, but what a heartbreaker.
Is inter-racial marriage now permitted in Mormon temples? (Update: yes it is, as long as husband and wife are both "Temple-Worthy", regardless of race. The "mixed couple" refers to a religious, not a racial, description.)