Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Blacks, Priesthood, and Me

            There was a huge celebration in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 1, 2018. This day marked forty years since the revelation on the priesthood was received by President Spencer W. Kimball, his counselor, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was announced to the world on June 9, 1978.

            The “Be One” celebration was a call for all God’s children to be optimistic and to overcome prejudice. It was an absolutely wonderful celebration, and it deserves to be viewed by everyone. There were many talented people dancing, singing, speaking, and testifying of the importance of unity. They stressed that we are all children of the same Heavenly Father. We are family and should act like family.

            President Russell M. Nelson was the concluding speaker. He spoke of the importance of the two great commandments – to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. He also stressed that we are all alike unto God because He loves all of His children. Here are the concluding words of the Prophet, Seer, and Revelator:

On every continent and across the isles of the sea, faithful people are being gathered into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Differences in culture, language, gender, race, and nationality fade into insignificance as the faithful enter the covenant path and come unto our beloved Redeemer.

Ultimately, we realize that only the comprehension of the true Fatherhood of God can bring full appreciation of the true brotherhood of men and the true sisterhood of women. That understanding inspires us with passionate desire to build bridges of cooperation instead of walls of segregation.

It is my prayer and blessing that I leave upon all who are listening that we may overcome any burdens of prejudice and walk uprightly with God – and with one another – in perfect peace and harmony.

            I remember well the day that this revelation was made known to the world. It was a day that I had heard about for all my life. I knew that it was coming, but I did not know when it would be. Would it happen during my lifetime or after my death? I had no idea. I just knew that it would come.

            On June 9, 1978, the day that the revelation on the priesthood was made known to the world, I was home sick with four little children, including a six-month old baby. I finally reached the point that I could not handle the children on my own any longer, and I called my husband at work to tell him that he would need to come home. I was lying on the couch in the living room and the children were playing around me when my husband came briskly through the front door. His first words were, “Here is something that you will want to hear!”

            My husband turned on the radio, and I heard the announcement that the priesthood and temple blessings had been extended to all worthy male members of the Church. This meant that worthy brethren would be able to take their wives and children to the temple to be sealed together for eternity. I rejoiced to know that this prophecy had been fulfilled in my lifetime.

            The revelation had been a long time in coming, and it was received joyfully by all in my acquaintance. Most of us had no idea why the blessings were previously withheld but had faith that they would be extended to all members of the Church at some time. I am grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who saw fit to extend His blessings to all of His children. I join in the celebration to “Be One” with all people.

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