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Official Declaration 2
by Cardell Jacobson
Declaration 2 revealed that the "long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood." This "priesthood revelation" made it possible for all worthy males to be ordained to all levels of the priesthood. Previously black members of the Church had been denied the priesthood, which precluded their holding priesthood callings and participation in most temple ordinances.
The revelation was received by President Spencer W. Kimball "after extended meditation and prayer" in the Salt Lake Temple. That same revelation came to his counselors and to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the temple, and then it was presented to all of the other General Authorities, who approved it unanimously. It was announced by letter to all priesthood officers of the Church and to the press on June 8, 1978. Declaration 2 contains the text of that letter and records its presentation and acceptance on September 30, 1978, in General Conference by the common consent of the members of the Church. The revelation resolved problems for many members who had agonized over the prior practice (Bush and Mauss), the historical origins and ramifications of which had become the subject of considerable debate and reflection.
Since the announcement, missionaries have actively proselytized in many nations with large black populations, where thousands have become members of the Church. Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle, noted this growth in the LDS Afro-American Symposium held at Brigham Young University on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the revelation (Oaks). In particular, he pointed to the rapid growth in black converts in the Caribbean islands, West Africa, and Brazil.
(See Blacks home page; Basic Beliefs home page; Doctrines of the Gospel home page; Scriptual Writings home page; Doctrine and Covenants home page; Overview of the Doctrine and Covenents home page)
Bush, Lester E., and Armand L. Mauss, eds. Neither White nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church. Midvale, Utah, 1984.
Grover, Mark L. "The Mormon Priesthood Revelation and the Sao Paulo Brazil Temple." Dialogue 23 (Spring 1990):39-53.
McConkie, Bruce R. "All Are Alike unto God." In Second Annual CES Symposium, pp. 3-5. Salt Lake City, 1978.
Oaks, Dallin H. "For the Blessing of All His Children." Address, LDS Afro-American Symposium. Provo, June 8, 1988.
Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, Doctrine and Covenants Official Declaration 2
Copyright © 1992 by Macmillan Publishing Company
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