I really enjoyed sitting down with Dr. Mark Staker of the LDS Church History Library. Mark is a historian and has written about the first community that accepted the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio. I was surprised to learn that a former slave by the name of Black Pete was one of the leaders of this early Mormon community! In part 1 of our interview, we’ll talk about Black Pete’s introduction of speaking in tongues and his leadership in the fledgling Mormon community in 1830-1831. I think it’s a great interview! Please listen.
It’s time to conclude #BlackHistoryMonth, and here’s my latest conversation with Dr. Paul Reeve! In recent years the LDS Church has published a series of essays with a goal of giving Latter-day Saints good information regarding many aspects of LDS History. These essays are well footnoted, and seem to have been written by historians. I asked Paul if he helped craft the essay and he said that he played a major role in crafting the essay. Please listen to him describe his role. I think this is quite a scoop!
I also asked Paul to talk about race issues in our day, including the ban on children of gay parents and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing at President Trump’s recent inauguration. He was very candid in his opinions and I’m sure you’ll enjoy listening to this interview!
We’ve been talking a lot about the ban, but when did the ban actually begin? Warner McCary seems to be the last person who might have been ordained as late as 1846. Apostle Parley P. Pratt privately said blacks were cursed with regards to priesthood, and Brigham Young spoke forcefully that blacks were cursed in an 1852 address to the Utah Legislature. However, in 1879, church leaders didn’t know how to respond to Elijah Abel’s request to be sealed to his wife in the temple, and as late as 1921, Apostle David O. McKay didn’t even know that a ban existed. When did the ban actually happen? We asked Dr. Paul Reeve that question. Let’s listen in on our conversation…. (You can get a transcript here on our website, or at Amazon.com!)