It was last Saturday, and we were sitting with about 300 other Mormons, including dozens of children, at the annual picnic of the Genesis Group, a social organization for black Mormons and their friends. Some were Latino or American Indian, and nearly half were white, the parents and siblings of adopted black children. It was the most racially integrated church event I had ever attended.
Having been introduced to Mormonism by kindly white neighbors in his hometown of Colorado Springs, the teenage Darius [Gray] read his way through much of the scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He had no idea about the racist church policy. His newfound faith was badly shaken.
“I went home and prayed,” Mr. Gray said. “And I received a personal revelation, an inspiration from God: ‘This is the restored Gospel, and you are to join.’ So the next day, I entered into the waters of baptism. Then the next day I went to church as a member for the first time.” And a little girl addressed him using a certain racial epithet. That was a first, too.
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© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.
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