I read with some interest the article by Peggy Fletcher Stack in the June 10 edition where Brigham Young’s relatives were trying to spin Mormon racial policy of barring black men from the priesthood and black woman from the Mormon temples.
Brigham Young’s relatives attempting to defend him as not being a racist or a bigot is laughable. If the reason for the policy was the political climate of the times, then why did the Mormons not change the policy of black exclusion after the Civil War ended in 1865, or when the 13th and 14th amendments were passed, or when the civil rights bill was signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1964?
No, the real reason was that Mormon leaders did not want white women marrying black men. All this “God made him do it” or "it was God’s will” is nonsense. The reason Spencer Kimball changed the rules in 1978 is that the federal government was contemplating taking away the Mormon church’s tax-exempt status because of their racist policy.
All the revisionist diatribe by Brigham Young’s relatives does not change the fact that Mormon policy’s as applied to blacks before 1978 was racist.
Jim Defa, Millcreek