Deseret News explains black people's place in heaven.

Dec 17, 1903
News (traditional)
Deseret News

"Negroes and Heaven," Deseret News, December 17, 1903, 4

Deseret News
Patriarch Miner, Elijah Able, Joseph Smith, Jr., Deseret News
Reading Public

The funeral of a negro was being held in the First Baptist church at Salt Lake City when a prominent Mormon named Miner went into the pulpit and interrupted the ceremony, declaring that the dead man could not enter heaven. He said that an Ethiopian could not reach the state of exaltation necessary to entrance into heaven. His soul was doomed before his birth. There was only one negro in heaven, said he, and that was Joseph Smith’s servant.' "We have already explained the subject referred to in the foregoing paragraph, which is taken from The Pathfinder, a religious paper published in Washington, D.C. Is it not strange that the religious publications in the United States never call attention to the truths set forth in 'Mormon' addresses and writings, but whenever there is an opportunity to vilify and misrepresent, they copy and repeat the falsehood till it is circulated throughout the land. And, no matter how clearly and positively such statements are refuted, they never have the fairness to correct the errors into which they have fallen or that they have wilfully invented. "Now as to the paragraph from The Pathfinder: Elder Miner did NOT 'interrupt' the funeral ceremony, he was requested to make some remarks which he did; he did NOT declare 'the dead man could not enter heaven'; he did NOT say that 'an Ethiopian could not reach the state necessary to enter heaven'; he did NOT say 'his soul was doomed before his birth'; he did not say 'there was only one negro in heaven.' Every one of those assertions of The Pathfinder is untrue. "Its story is like the description given by another religious journal of the crab; that is, 'A red fish that travels backward.' The criticism of a noted scientist was: 'The crab is not red, it is not a fish and it does not travel backward.' With these exceptions the description was pronounced correct. And so with the exceptions we have made to The Pathfinder’s negro story. But of course that paper is too religious to announce its mistake, and tell the public that the 'Mormons' do not believe any such rubbish as that which is attributed to them.

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