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Becoming a Fanboy of Orson Pratt

Apostle Orson Pratt

With the last-lasting priesthood and temple ban that ended in 1978, Mormons have a poor record with regards to race relations.  I talked about reasons why Brigham Young changed from support of ordination of blacks to opposition my last episode, but Apostle Orson Pratt is a bright spot in Mormon history given his vocal support for black civil and voting rights.  Slavery was legalized in Utah in 1852 because of support by Mormon prophet Brigham Young.  However, his apostle/legislator Orson Pratt not only went on record to oppose slavery, but was a proponent of black voting rights!  Dr. Paul Reeve of the University of Utah describes his findings of recently discovered speeches of the 1852 Utah Territorial Legislative session.  My mind was blown to learn that a decade prior to the Civil War, Pratt was a proponent of voting rights for African Americans, and said “angels will blush” if Utah passed the slavery bill.  Please listen in!  You can get a transcript here, or at Amazon.  (There will be no video of this episode due to camera problems.)

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