“Are All Alike unto God? Prejudice against Blacks and Women in Popular Mormon Theology,” Sunstone 14 (April 1990): 20–21 AND “Lengthen Your Stride: the Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball”

Eugene England

by Edward L. Kimball, Deseret Book, 2005

“Eugene England asked [Elder Joseph Fielding Smith] in a 1963 private interview whether it was necessary for a faithful Latter-day Saint to believe that black men were denied priesthood because of their activities in the pre-existence. Elder Smith said, “Yes.” But when England asked for scriptural substantiation, Elder Smith reread the relevant passages, reflected, then finally stated, “No, you do not have to believe that [Blacks] are denied the priesthood because of the pre-existence. I have always assumed that because it was what I was taught … but you don’t have to believe it to be in good standing, because it is not definitely stated in the scriptures. And I have received no revelation on the matter.”