‘Mormon Land’: Brad Wilcox’s speech spurs a key question — How can the church eliminate racism?

Top leaders have addressed the issue in word and deed, but the problem persists. Black Latter-day Saint scholar examines what more the faith could and should do.

Race is a fraught topic in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For more than 125 years, the Utah-based faith denied Black members access to its priesthood and temples. That exclusion ended in 1978, but discrimination and racism have persisted. And, though the church has formed an alliance with the NAACP, and church leaders have strongly condemned all forms of racism and bigotry, some members continue to resist change.

In a recent speech, a Brigham Young University professor and high-ranking church leader defended the former priesthood/temple ban as part of God’s timing.

(Courtesy photo) Latter-day Saint scholar Janan Graham-Russell.

On this week’s show, Black Latter-day Saint scholar Janan Graham-Russell, a graduate student at Harvard University who is spending the year at the University of Utah as a Mormon studies fellow, discusses that speech by Brad Wilcox — who has apologized twice for his remarks — and the ongoing issue of racism among church members.

Listen here:

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