The Church states that the LA Times story about an earlier plan to retract "doctrines concerning blacks" is incorrect.

May 19, 1998
News (traditional)
First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
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Cala Byram, "LDS Church says story is wrong," Deseret News, May 19, 1998, accessed June 10, 2021

Deseret News
First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Cala Byram, Los Angeles Times
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LDS Church says story is wrong

By Deseret News May 19, 1998, 12:00am MDT

Cala Byram, Staff Writer

LDS Church leaders say a newspaper story indicating they were considering a plan to retract early church doctrines concerning blacks was a surprise to them.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday the church was considering disavowing teachings that were once used to support claims that blacks are inferior. Monday afternoon, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a statement denying that the church's First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve was considering issuing such a statement.

"We have read the story which appeared in the May 18, 1998, Los Angeles Times and are surprised at its contents. The matter it speaks of has not been discussed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve," said the prepared statement issued by the church's governing body.

Instead, the presidency, led by President Gordon B. Hinckley, said the church's 1978 official declaration giving all worthy males the priesthood "continues to speak for itself."

In 1978, the LDS Church extended the priesthood to all worthy men regardless of color or ethnicity.

The Los Angeles Times story said a statement was being reviewed for release as early as next month to repudiate early church teachings that linked dark skin color to curses from God recounted in Hebrew and LDS scriptures.

The Times quoted sources who said the "racist legacy" in early LDS Church doctrines could undermine the mission of the church unless they were repudiated.

That legacy hasn't slowed the growth of the 10 million-member church, which has 110,000 members in Africa. Earlier this year, President Hinckley visited Africa on an extensive five-nation tour. In April, he became the first president of the LDS Church to speak at a conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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