FP tells ETB to make accommodations for white Church members' discomfort with Blacks.

Jun 23, 1942
First Presidency

First Presidency, Letter to Ezra T. Benson, July 23, 1942, Box 10, Folder 3, Lester Bush Papers

First Presidency, Ezra Taft Benson, J. Reuben Clark
Ezra Taft Benson

We can appreciate that the situation may present a problem in Washington, but President Clark recalls that in the Catholic churches in Washington at the time when he lived there, colored and white communicants used the same church at the same time. He never entered the church to see how the matter was carried out, but he knew that the facts were as stated. From this fact we are assuming that there is not in Washington any such feelings as exists in the South where the colored people are apparently not permitted by their white brethren and sisters to come into the meeting houses and worship with them. We feel that we cannot refuse baptism to a colored person who is otherwise worthy, and we feel that we cannot refuse to permit th[e]se people to come into our meeting houses and worship once we baptize them. It seems to us that it ought to be possible to work this situation out without causing any feelings on the part of anybody. If the white sisters feel that they may not sit with them or near them, we feel very sure that if the colored sisters were discretely approached, they would be happy to sit at one side in the rear or somewhere where they would not wound the sensibilities of the complaining sisters. We will rely upon your tact and discretion to work this out so as not to hurt the feelings on the part of any one. Of course, probably each one of the sisters who can afford it, has a colored maid in her house to do the work and to do the cooking for her, and it would seem that under these circumstances they should be willing to let them sit in Church and worship with them.

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