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Article About Blacks, The Priesthood And Continuing Revelation

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If you look from feature to feature closely (long face, high forehead, high cheekbones, wide and full mouth, wide and flat nose--notice the shading is very faint in the photo in this area likely due to the flater nature of the nose, it is obviously the same man...probably the drawing was done from the photo, it's just that the details are more apparent due to the higher contrast.

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:P Obviously?

Did you read the edit I just added?

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:P Obviously?

Did you read the edit I just added?

You are right..."obviously" is way too strong, I plead lack of sleep for my overstatement and lack of caution. However, the features in the photo are very similar (perhaps why this drawing is assumed to be EA by his family) as I pointed out and are consistent with African American heritage. I believe there was a researched description of his appearance in the Standing on the Promises series though I may have confused him for another individual in the book, according to that description there would have been no confusion about his lineage. There was certainly no question about his being black among the Saints that I could find, so appearance would not be an issue so I am not sure why you even brought it up.

I looked for an image of the claimed artist's work, there appears to be none online that I could find and the few drawing I found were of quite a different style (of course that doesn't mean it isn't hers). The drawing was only attributed as being EA where it was posted as an image that I found. Do you have any information that accurately identifies it as a later independent work?

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It's from a challenge to the pic on a wikipedia article. Someone claims to have looked it up. I haven't looked it up, but I found a copy of the book online at a library near where I live. I'll have to go check to see if the drawing is indeed there. The pic on the wiki article has writing on the bottom that appears to have his name or something, but it doesn't look like it matches the drawing, so I assumed it was photoshopped or something. I'll go check the book asap.

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Don't forget that there was also Joseph T. Ball and Isaac Van Meter who were ordained as Elders. Joseph T. Ball served as a Branch President.

It doesn't really matter whether Walker was ordained before or after Joseph Smith, but please give your source where you think it shows there is an issue. What is the

And the quote you give from the minutes of the quorum of the 12 are incomplete. Joseph F. Smith effectively contradicted Coltrin's memory with the facts. Additionally, Coltrin was a slave owner.

1879: Abraham Smoot and Zebedee Coltrin Claim Joseph Smith Instituted the Priesthood Ban

Smoot, who owned two slaves, and Coltrin claim that Joseph Smith instituted the ban in the 1830s and dropped Abel from the priesthood. (L. John Nuttal diary, May 31, 1879, p. 170, Special Collections, BYU). Coltrin is working from an old memory and makes several factual errors. Joseph F. Smith provides the two certificates indicating Abelâ??s status as a Seventy, which contradict Coltrinâ??s claims, as does Abelâ??s patriarchal blessing, which is read aloud at the meeting. Joseph F. Smith says he thinks Brother Coltrinâ??s memory is incorrect.

Both Coltrin and Smoot claim to have asked Joseph Smith what to do with the â??Negroes in the Southern States.â? â??[The Prophet] said I could baptize them by the consent of their masters, but not to confer the priesthood upon them.â? We know that was Joseph Smith's position on slaves, and since his actions seem to be consistent with that, it makes sense. It would be difficult to have a slave be the Bishop of his Master.. (Above sources as quoted in Neither White nor Black, Bush and Mauss, Signature Books, pg. 60.)

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I believe it is an accurate photo. Additionally there is another with him with white hair from later on in his life. For me it doesn't make any difference as to how black he is. He was a brother in the gospel who at that time was referred to as "colored." Obviously people at that time thought he was black.

That reminds me of the church (non-lds) in Boston that had the "comb test" to see if you were allowed to attend. It was only for light skinned blacks.

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I believe it is an accurate photo. Additionally there is another with him with white hair from later on in his life. For me it doesn't make any difference as to how black he is. He was a brother in the gospel who at that time was referred to as "colored." Obviously people at that time thought he was black.

That reminds me of the church (non-lds) in Boston that had the "comb test" to see if you were allowed to attend. It was only for light skinned blacks.

Accurate?

Photo?

It doesn't make any difference to me either how black Elijah Abel was, except as it relates to his priesthood ordination.

cdsketchkz7.jpg

gumboyayasi9.jpg

That second pic in my post (#23) above that is supposedly of Elijah Abel is not of him. Someone photoshopped Caroline Durieux's sketch, removing her name (which is visible along the bottom -- click the pic to enlarge and see it) and adding Elijah Abel's name and birthdate to it. It was cropped out on the pic above (in post #23), but is visible on the pic posted on the wikipedia article:

eadrawingiz4.jpg

edit: CFR about Joseph T. Ball being black and Isaac Van Meter being black and ordained during Joseph Smith's lifetime.

Also, what do you mean to imply by noting that Abraham Smoot and Zebedee Coltrin owned slaves?

Also, what evidence is there that, as claimed by the Genesis Group on his grave marker, by blacklds.org, etc., Joseph Smith is the one who ordained Elijah Abel an elder?

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Kamenraider,

Are you saying that that is not a genuine picture of Elijah Abel, but was copied from that book?

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kaman: why the heavy interest in polygamy and blacks and the priesthood?

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The guy in the top one could pass for white! Hmmmmm.....

If anyone is actually buying into kaman's speculations please let me know. Otherwise we need not waste time on such arguments.

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Thanks for posting the reference, kr.

From the wiki discussion about the image:

The author of this drawing is unknown, but it was passed down by Abel's descendants, and located by research of Bob Phillips. It was published in Newell G. Bringhurst (1979), "Elijah Abel and the Changing Status of Blacks within Mormonism", 12(2) Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, p. 22.
Perhaps someone who knows either Newell G. Bringhurst or Bob Phillips or even Abel's family could ask them for more details to find out how the family confused this for a picture of Elijah (perhaps someone like the picture, kept it in his or her papers and when family members went through it, they made the mistake of assuming it was Elijah's. The discoloration makes it look like someone made a copy and then attempted to make it look more like a charcoal drawing by adding shading. I have seen some old photos given this treatment among my grandmother's stuff, including with colours.
It doesn't make any difference to me either how black Elijah Abel was, except as it relates to his priesthood ordination.
Are you thinking that perhaps because he was of light skin, that JS was okay with giving him the Priesthood where he wouldn't have a darker skin man?

I would be reluctant to draw any conclusions solely from a faded photo.

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Are you thinking that perhaps because he was of light skin, that JS was okay with giving him the Priesthood where he wouldn't have a darker skin man?

I would be reluctant to draw any conclusions solely from a faded photo.

I think you nailed it.

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Kamenraider,

Are you saying that that is not a genuine picture of Elijah Abel, but was copied from that book?

Yep.

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Accurate?

Photo?

I was referring to the photo. I didn't realize it was the sketch you objected to.

It doesn't make any difference to me either how black Elijah Abel was, except as it relates to his priesthood ordination.

edit: CFR about Joseph T. Ball being black and Isaac Van Meter being black and ordained during Joseph Smith's lifetime.

Also, what do you mean to imply by noting that Abraham Smoot and Zebedee Coltrin owned slaves?

So let me get this straight. It doesn't matter to you how black he was, yet you continue to object to a sketch that shows him to be very black. It is clear that people of his time considered him to be a man of color. So it would seem that priesthood would be an issue no matter how black or brown he was.

I note that Smoot and Coltrin were slaveholders to show that they may have had been blinded by their culture. It is evident that they were incorrect in their claims as they were contradicted by Joseph F. Smith.

As for references--what you asked for plus a Walker Lewis one as you asked for that previously.

Margaret Young states: We all know about Brigham Young referring to Walker Lewis in 1847 as â??one of the best elders, an African, in Lowell.â?

The following is from Connell Oâ??Donovan

â??It was either during the summer of 1843 or the summer of 1844 that Apostle William Smith was in Lowell and ordained Walker Lewis an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood of the Latter-day Saint church. Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal that Lewis was an Elder in Nov. 1844 and Elder William I. Appleby wrote to Brigham Young on May 31, 1847 that Lewis had been â??ordained some years ago by William Smith.â?

Wilford Woodruff to Brigham Young, November 16, 1844.: â??All was right with the Peterboro Churchâ?¦but I found it different with the Lowell Church, Elder Wm Smith & myself attended a church meeting together there All the mail [sic] members resigned their offices in that branch of the church except one colourd Brother who was an Elder .â?

Joseph T. Ball

From Connellâ??s research

â??We can assume that Joseph T. Ball was finally ordained an Elder by December 1837, for he left on his first of many missions the second week of January 1838. He was first called to be Wilford Woodruffâ??s companion in Maine (who was not yet an Apostle), and they would end up serving several missions together over the years.[1] Thanks to Woodruffâ??s comprehensive journals, we have an almost daily record of the activities of Elder Joseph T. Ball for the next few years.

Woodruffâ??s first journal entry to mention Elder Ball, was for their introduction on January 13, 1838:

[From mainland of Maine] â??Iâ?¦crossed to the North [Vinalhaven] Island to visit the Saints & also an Elder of the Church of Latter Day Saints who had come to labour with me in the ministry by the name of JOSEPH BALL. I visited Br Sterrett. Walked from thence to Brother J Ames. I there found Elder Ball. I had a Plesent interview with him. He had [already] Baptized six Personsâ? (emphasis is Woodruffâ??s)

â??On August 16, 1841, Elder Joseph Ball was appointed by church leaders to go on a mission to South America. Two weeks later the Quorum of the Twelve held a council at Brigham Youngâ??s home in Nauvoo and again resolved â??to send Joseph Ball to South America.â? Ironically at the same meeting, Elder Harrison Sagers was called to go on a mission to Jamaica, the birthplace of Elder Ballâ??s father. The two Elders were commanded to accompany each other as far as New Orleans, where they would then part ways. For unknown reasons, the two Elders failed to comply.â?

From Special Features in Margaret Young's and Darius Gray's documentary: â??In 1844, he became the official branch president of the Boston Branch, and thus Joseph T. Ball was the first black man to ever preside over a Mormon congregation, which is extremely significant. He was the BP from Oct. 1844 to March 1845.

Also from the documentary--a letter from Wilford Woodruff regretting that Brother Van Meter (an African and an elder) had left the Church.

Also, what evidence is there that, as claimed by the Genesis Group on his grave marker, by blacklds.org, etc., Joseph Smith is the one who ordained Elijah Abel an elder?

And what would it matter? I wasn't ordained by the prophet either.

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...

Are you thinking that perhaps because he was of light skin, that JS was okay with giving him the Priesthood where he wouldn't have a darker skin man?

I would be reluctant to draw any conclusions solely from a faded photo.

No, I think that it may have been a factor though that he was 7/8 white.

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I was referring to the photo. I didn't realize it was the sketch you objected to.

So let me get this straight. It doesn't matter to you how black he was, yet you continue to object to a sketch that shows him to be very black. It is clear that people of his time considered him to be a man of color. So it would seem that priesthood would be an issue no matter how black or brown he was.

I note that Smoot and Coltrin were slaveholders to show that they may have had been blinded by their culture. It is evident that they were incorrect in their claims as they were contradicted by Joseph F. Smith.

As for references--what you asked for plus a Walker Lewis one as you asked for that previously.

Margaret Young states: We all know about Brigham Young referring to Walker Lewis in 1847 as â??one of the best elders, an African, in Lowell.â?

The following is from Connell Oâ??Donovan

â??It was either during the summer of 1843 or the summer of 1844 that Apostle William Smith was in Lowell and ordained Walker Lewis an Elder in the Melchizedek priesthood of the Latter-day Saint church. Wilford Woodruff recorded in his journal that Lewis was an Elder in Nov. 1844 and Elder William I. Appleby wrote to Brigham Young on May 31, 1847 that Lewis had been â??ordained some years ago by William Smith.â?

Wilford Woodruff to Brigham Young, November 16, 1844.: â??All was right with the Peterboro Churchâ?¦but I found it different with the Lowell Church, Elder Wm Smith & myself attended a church meeting together there All the mail [sic] members resigned their offices in that branch of the church except one colourd Brother who was an Elder .â?

Joseph T. Ball

From Connellâ??s research

â??We can assume that Joseph T. Ball was finally ordained an Elder by December 1837, for he left on his first of many missions the second week of January 1838. He was first called to be Wilford Woodruffâ??s companion in Maine (who was not yet an Apostle), and they would end up serving several missions together over the years.[1] Thanks to Woodruffâ??s comprehensive journals, we have an almost daily record of the activities of Elder Joseph T. Ball for the next few years.

Woodruffâ??s first journal entry to mention Elder Ball, was for their introduction on January 13, 1838:

[From mainland of Maine] â??Iâ?¦crossed to the North [Vinalhaven] Island to visit the Saints & also an Elder of the Church of Latter Day Saints who had come to labour with me in the ministry by the name of JOSEPH BALL. I visited Br Sterrett. Walked from thence to Brother J Ames. I there found Elder Ball. I had a Plesent interview with him. He had [already] Baptized six Personsâ? (emphasis is Woodruffâ??s)

â??On August 16, 1841, Elder Joseph Ball was appointed by church leaders to go on a mission to South America. Two weeks later the Quorum of the Twelve held a council at Brigham Youngâ??s home in Nauvoo and again resolved â??to send Joseph Ball to South America.â? Ironically at the same meeting, Elder Harrison Sagers was called to go on a mission to Jamaica, the birthplace of Elder Ballâ??s father. The two Elders were commanded to accompany each other as far as New Orleans, where they would then part ways. For unknown reasons, the two Elders failed to comply.â?

From Special Features in Margaret Young's and Darius Gray's documentary: â??In 1844, he became the official branch president of the Boston Branch, and thus Joseph T. Ball was the first black man to ever preside over a Mormon congregation, which is extremely significant. He was the BP from Oct. 1844 to March 1845.

Also from the documentary--a letter from Wilford Woodruff regretting that Brother Van Meter (an African and an elder) had left the Church.

And what would it matter? I wasn't ordained by the prophet either.

Yes, Walker Lewis was ordained sometime before Nov. 1844, but that's not necessarily during Joseph Smith's lifetime, is it?

I know that Joseph T. Ball had been ordained during Joseph Smith's lifetime, but I just wanted to see some documentation (with specific citations) showing that his father indeed had African ancestry.

What would it matter whether Elijah Abel was ordained by Joseph Smith? It would be a significant piece of evidence supporting the idea that the priesthood ban was not initiated during his lifetime. I haven't seen any evidence that Elijah Abel was ordained by Joseph Smith, however it is sometimes stated as a fact.

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If anyone is actually buying into kaman's speculations please let me know. Otherwise we need not waste time on such arguments.
Which speculations? You don't think that the fact that a man was 7/8 white could have been a factor in his being ordained to the priesthood during a time when scripture was published (Book of Abraham) that lent support to the idea of priesthood denial based on Hamitic lineage -- a time when, some say, Joseph Smith directed that blacks not be ordained?
kaman: why the heavy interest in polygamy and blacks and the priesthood?
Is this a thread about me?

Do you have anything meaningful to contribute to the topic being discussed?

You can pm me anytime with personal questions.

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The information on the "one' exception is outdated and incorrect.

I do wish you would go over and read the timelines. It would help bring you up to date on some of the information. Elijah Abel was not the ONE exception. I understand that even this information is a bit outdated, and we now know there were others ordained in the 1830s. Several people were ordained under Joseph Smith, and at least one person of color under Brigham Young.

Here is a partial list

1836: In March, Elijah Abel, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1836: In December, Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Seventy.

1844: Walker Lewis, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1846: William McCary, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1900: Enoch Abel, the son of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1935: Elijah Abel, grandson of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1958: All black Melanesians (Fijians) are given the priesthood (blacks in the Philippines even earlier)

That is the problem with many of the discussions on blacks and the priesthood. Information is frequently quoted from the 1930's through 1960's during a time when lots of assertions were made but very little facts were actually researched.

You seem to focus on the exception to the basic rule of the church's 100+ policy of banning Blacks from the priesthood. Have YOU done research and read some of the racist publications distributed within the LDS Church? One, The Juvenile Instructor, comes to mind. Although privately owned in 1868, it published racist material and is classified as "semi-official" according to Wiki.

Check the October 15th, 1868 issue in particular.

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the fact that a man was 7/8 white
CFR please that Abel was 7/8 white.

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Members of the church in the 1800s were racist by today's standards. That is clear. But so was everybody else. But the scriptures say that the priesthood is to go to all men.I do get tired of people calling Mormons racist while ignoring other groups. We weren't the religion separating over the slavery issue. We weren't the ones baring children from going to schools or participating in lynchings year after year.There were exceptions to the ban. I happen to believe, from my research and from talking with other researchers that there was no ban at first.From everything I have read, the ban originated with Brigham Young. Yet, there were problems between the blacks and the whites even in the beginning just like other places in America.As for being 1/8 black, I think that is outdated wishful thinking. I believe it is incorrect. But, I don't think any percentage would make a difference. He looks black, and people of his time thought he was black. And I'm not talking about the drawing, I'm talking about the photos.There has been a lot of research done recently in this area. Margaret and Darius have combed through the archives as well as other information and found more information.You certainly would believe that Jane Manning James was black. She was promised an endowment and a sealing. She eventually got something less than that, but her letters clearly claim that JS promised her more.David O Mckay said it was a policy and not a doctrine.

You seem to focus on the exception to the basic rule of the church's 100+ policy of banning Blacks from the priesthood. Have YOU done research and read some of the racist publications distributed within the LDS Church? One, The Juvenile Instructor, comes to mind. Although privately owned in 1868, it published racist material and is classified as "semi-official" according to Wiki.Check the October 15th, 1868 issue in particular.
One of the popular books of the day claimed that blacks were created when Eve had an affair with the snake in the garden. (No it is not a Mormon book.)Our whole view on blacks was disgusting in that time period. it serves us well to distance ourselves from this.

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That is myth, not doctrine. The fact is that priesthood was given to blacks until Utah (around 1848) with no explanation.

Actually, there were further ordinations in Utah even after 1848. Here is an ordination record for one of Elijah Abel's descendents:

post-7377-1225007860_thumb.jpg

I somehow managed to misplace my other ones so will have to look for them but there are indeed more than this one. At least I didn't manage to lose all of them and I can post this one. :crazy::P

Edit: While looking through more of my stuff, I also just came across this one in a fairly recent edition of one of the Tanners' books. I thought I might have stuck my stuff with theirs for my move a bit ago. No dice! Where did I put that stuff....!!!!! ;)

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