CNN features black Mormon Marvin Perkins

Church member Marvin Perkins is among the African-Americans featured in CNN’s “Black in America.” In this two-minute video, he explains why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is “one of the best kept secrets” in American and the world.

“It’s funny because they automatically assume that I’m not Mormon because I’m black. There are few of us, but it’s growing. I know hundreds, if not thousands, of black Mormons.”

CNN Video: Marvin Perkins

10 thoughts on “CNN features black Mormon Marvin Perkins”

  1. Do you understand and believe what the Bible teaches about a false prophet or a prophet non the less. McConkie (quote below) took the easy way out….”Forget everything I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President Geroger Q.Cannon have said…” You don’t just “forget” what a prophet says. Read Isaiah 8:20, if a spirit doesn’t speak according to Gods word you shouldn’t listen to that spirit because it is not of God. Peter already had the revelation that the gospel was for all men, and Paul said we (believers) are ALL one it Christ, no differences.
    I would encourage you to read the Bible, and not take ANY mans interpretation of it, but search for yourself. I left the Mormon Church for this reason (blacks and the racism of the LDS church) and many others. By Gods grace, I was lead to the cross. I now live my life for Him. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I pray that you come out of the deception and bondage of the Mormon Church and its false doctrines. Research and study for yourself, and you too will come to see that it is not the truth.

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote in Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, Part II, The Mission of the Holy Ghost, Chapter 9—Revelation on the Priesthood 1989 (also spoken at a CES conference at BYU in August 1978):

    We Follow Living Prophets

    “Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and light line upon line and precept upon precept (2 Ne. 28:30; Isa. 28:9-10; D&C 98:11-12; 128:21). We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter anymore.

    “It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year [1978]. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light into the world on this subject.”

  2. A. Milby,

    The difficulty with your reasoning is that you are assuming everything said on the subject was a revelation and not simply an assumption or an interpretation. Gordon B. Hinckley said the following on the Mike Wallace 60 minutes interview:

    Mike Wallace: From 1830 to 1978, blacks could not become priests in the Mormon church. Right?

    Gordon B. Hinckley: That’s correct.

    Mike Wallace: Why?

    Gordon B. Hinckley: Because the leaders of the church at that time interpreted that doctrine that way.

    As you can see–there is no mention of revelation on the matter.

  3. As I am really taking a hard look at all of this, my mind is really opening. I think one has to have a solid understanding of church history and the way revelation has come, and the way the Fullness of the gospel isn’t something that was dropped into the church’s lap all at once.
    It is a delicate matter when separating tradition and practice from revelation and commandments.
    It doesn’t say the church is not true when our leadership operated to the best of their understanding at the times they were in. It doesn’t say that witholding the priesthood from blacks was the right thing to do at the time, but our leaders did the best they could based on what they knew, or thought they knew. It is easy to understand from the attitudes of the times. The 1978 revelation puts things into perspective. I am revamping my entire viewpoint on this, I want to help Marvin Perkins put on his blacks in the scriptures series in my stake because I know that this work was always meant to be global and to go to all the earth. Whatever holds me back from helping the Lord in His work, I have to prayerfully overcome (I’m no racist but there are a lot of things about this that I know must be a matter of prayer and change; that much I know.)

  4. You can look through this very site and discover that some blacks even in the early history of the church were given the preisthood. Joseph Smith himself ordained a black man to the office of elder. To say that the church is racist and biggoted is just simply false. I am sure that if you search and read and pray diligently on this subject you can gain a greater understanding of this sensitive matter.

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  6. The Priesthood and God. The priesthood is either the power to act in God’s name or it is nothing at all. The bible teaches clearly that God ordained Aaron to the priesthood. That is not exclusive to the Old testament (speaking of forgetting what the prophet’s have said), “No man taketh this honor unto himself, save he is called of God as was Aaron,” Hebrews
    Jesus said to his apostles, “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.”
    Since God did give authority to a select few to act as his “chosen priests” then there must be something to this leadership (not Luther’s cop-out, “the priesthood of believers” since he had no authority from God for the reformation.
    Either the Catholic church has the priesthood inspite of all non scriptural doctrine and non christian history, or the Mormon church had it restored to it.
    I don’t know why he chose Aaron, Ely or the Israelites or a man like Joseph Smith, but it seems he does chose whom he elects to give the priesthood, regardless of how that makes me feel. I cannot dictate to God his “ways and reasons.” The faithful blacks and polynesians and Phillipinos and the righteous will magnify that priesthood and bring this church out of its darkness.

  7. The “easy way out” accusation against Elder McConkie ignores one important ingredient. He denounced his own passed statements in his talk “All Are Alike Unto God” just as much as he denounced anyone else’s.
    He clearly stated that what he said on the matter was not informed by revelation, and the added light and knowledge given by revelation was such that his previous statements had been given in darkness and no longer had any meaning.

  8. There is an interesting point.
    Wallace’s claim that from 1830 on no men of African descent were ordained to the priesthood is not accurate. Elijah Able is one case that proves this was no so, and there was also a Brother Walker in Massachusetts who was ordained an elder. Elijah Able was actually ordained a seventy, which was a local calling until the 1980s (although there were always some general authority seventies). It appears that the first African descended seventy was ordained before the first Native American seventy. Although this does partly depend on whether Wilford Woodruff was right when he asserted the Pima man he ordained a seventy at the St. George Temple was the first Native American ordained a seventy, and this may partly depend on whether I have Cherokee Ancestors or not. If I do, than I may have some Native American relatives who were ordained seventy before Wilford Woodruff ordained that man in the St. George Temple (he had come for his endownments and to be sealed to his wife, I believe it was about 1878, the man had been taught by Arza Hinckley, who was a brother of Gordon B. Hinckley’s grandfather Ira). Of course, we could use the term “full Native Americans” and at least get rid of my mixed-Euro and Native American relatives (and I am not sure any of them were ordained seventies before 1875, but there were lots of them, and they joined in about 1832 [when Parley P. Pratt escaped from prison in Missouri it was from this family he borrowed a horse] so it is quite probable). Of course, there may have been another full ancesty Native American ordained a seventy before that, or maybe someone with more well documented Native ancestry. There is always the Ira Hatch link with his Paiute wife, but Brigham Young did not get as many missionaries to take Native American wives as he had hoped.
    My actual question, in case anyone has made it through my rambling, is Did President Hinckley not know of Elijah Able and others (quite possible), or did he realize that the statement of Mike Wallace was not fully accurate but he felt that it was not worth bringing up mitigating issues that might have led in a way he did not really want the conversation to go.
    It is probably hard to know the answer to the question. However, I think at times one of President Hinckley’s skills was not getting involved in minor points. The mention of Elijah Able does give African-American church members (especially those unlike my friends Larry and Truman who have long church stock from their Euro-American parent) a sense of connectedness with the Church that goes way back. However, it does not neccesarily mitigate against the view of the Church as having been racists.
    I guess for all we know President Hinckley just focused on Wallace getting 1978 right, and felt it was not worth discussing when the policy began.

  9. Pingback: A Conversation of Truth . . . Being Black in the Mormon Church | LDS Blogs

  10. The work Marvin Perkins and Darius Gray have done is very important and also because of the understanding that leaders are not perfect, not necessarily correct and revelation cannot be given to any man whether a leader or not, unless the preparation is somehow sufficient to receive it and conditions right. Brigham Young would not make it even as a bishop today with his attitudes based on his background, then again clearly he would hardly have had those attitudes if he had seen our time. And if I lived in his day, I can only hope I would have had different attitudes to his, but history shows the likelihood of that to be just about 0. So the work of and the CD of Marvin Perkins is very educating in many aspects. The gospel is what we follow first and foremost, not a persons individual opinions, a leader would not be able to get a revelation on subject matters way outside of his/her understanding or wishes. And the majority of members at that time did not understand very much in this area. They were busy trying to get rid of tobacco addictions and so on and had major economic problems to deal with. Today we may see some similarities in certain areas, not to do with just racism, but the tendency is clear, many people would still go for the option they are better than others, better than the poor (maybe they did something wrong), only now they are not allowed to pursue such thoughts and remain members of good standing. All should study Marvin and Grays CD and references, and those against mormons have to understand this insight, and look to history. Really and truly, if Martin Luther had been in different circumstances who is to say he would not have asked the very important questions on top of those he already did, and actually been given the answer. A lot has to do with timing and general conditions for religious thinking. History could have been different and things would be very different today that is for sure. But that being said it is not easy for outsiders if the insiders do not understand and accept the undisputed historic facts. The leader then and now will and can make many mistakes, why are they leaders then….because the stuff they do best is sufficient for the time, and maybe there are no better at any time, there are many simply reasons for it. Man has so many negative qualities…..or the world would be a better place hundreds of years ago.

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