Interracial Marriage Discouraged by Church Leaders Today

The world seeks to bring us pitfalls by making us fear to tell the truth. Here we share inspired warnings and encouragement from latter-day prophets re a lesser known principle in preserving marriages.

In September 1976, President Spencer W. Kimball delivered a speech at a BYU devotional titled “Marriage and Divorce.” In his comments, he was talking about how prevalent divorce is and how marriage is not easy. He uses a survey from Salt Lake County to show some statistics that prove his point. He shows how about half of the marriages in one month resulted in divorce. Then, he shows how only 10 percent of the marriages that occurred in a temple ended in divorce. Next, he gives some advice on how to make and keep a lasting marriage.

“We are grateful that this one survey reveals that about 90 percent of the temple marriages hold fast. Because of this, we recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question.” – President Spencer W. Kimball, BYU Devotional, “Marriage and Divorce,” 7 Sep 1976

Nay-sayers may point out how this was before 1978. While that is true, even after Official Declaration 2, nearly twenty years later in 1995, this quote can be found in lesson 31 of the Aaronic Priesthood manual (accessible on LDS.org here). The exact reference is “Choosing an Eternal Companion,” Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3 (1995), pg 128.

Then, for the third time, this was reiterated in the CES Eternal Marriage Student Manual, which is still being used and taught today (accessible on LDS.org here). The exact reference is “Marriage for Eternity,” Eternal Marriage Student Manual (2003), pg 169.

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25 Responses to Interracial Marriage Discouraged by Church Leaders Today

  1. David Johnson says:

    The report that 90% of Temple Marriages stay good, what is that from. I had heard for years that Temple Marriages were increasingly failing. It sure seems to happen a lot, in the youngest generation around here.

    • An Admin says:

      From internal records we assume. Perhaps because we are increasingly rejecting the words of our leaders, we are reaping the reward of increased divorces

    • Lena M Hansen says:

      The church’s stats are grossly misleading. That 10% of temple divorces, is literally that; 10% is the percentage the “temple divorces” granted. You can be temple sealed to a former spouse and legally divorced, but to the church you are still married and they count your marriage as such.

  2. White is Delight says:

    And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

    And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

    And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.

    • t.j says:

      Why can’t people understand that that verse was OBVIOUSLY speaking of gangrene? Gangrene is loathsome, and it causes the flesh to rot and turn black. Simply having brown skin is not particularly loathsome, nor is it a curse, aside perhaps in how other people TREAT you.

    • Dave says:

      Not sure if this is satirical, or if you’re actually attracting alt-right folks to your post. Either way, this is white supremacist baloney.

      It’s one thing to point out that couples from widely different backgrounds may have a few additional obstacles to overcome, but it’s something different entirely to aid and abet folks who believe interracial marriage is a threat to the white race.

    • DJ says:

      What is the ‘white’ race, anyway?

  3. Benjamin Nephi Shaffer says:

    This wording, almost exactly, is also found in CHI vol. I, instructing bishops to discourage miscegenation whenever possible. (But also instructing them that if a member commits interracial marriage, church discipline is not advised.)

  4. Donny says:

    The Lord has always commanded against interracial marriage. We can go all the way back to Genesis and the Lord guiding Abraham in choosing a wife for his son Isaac (Gen. chapter 24).

    • Dave says:

      The Lord forbid interracial marriage thousands of years ago when the house of Israel was at constant risk of cultural contamination from surrounding corrupt societies. The key attribute was not race, but religion – i.e. don’t marry outside the covenant.

  5. Brady Tolley says:

    I would hope this site allows a link to the official church website. This essay completely rejects the entire premise of this post. You should read it. https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng

    • An Admin says:

      they don’t actually contradict. However, if they did, they are BOTH on LDS.org (which we link to). One is in an official manual with the words of a prophet, the other…

      • Brady Tolley says:

        The other… has the official sanction of the First Presidency on Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. https://www.lds.org/topics/essays?lang=eng

        • Brady Tolley says:

          *and

        • An Admin says:

          The words in the manual don’t? Riiight

          • Brady Tolley says:

            I never said the manual was unsanctioned. You implied that the essay was less official.

            I suppose I misspoke earlier with my original comment- the Church has taught this post-1978. I was taught this growing up (I was born post-1978). I just think it’s clear the Church no longer holds this position in 2018.

          • An Admin says:

            says who? The church still publishes this on their site and hasn’t contradicted it

        • Donny says:

          The essay on the Race and the Priesthood was not written by the quorum of the twelve or first presidency. It was written by so called scholars who seem to be not so well versed on LDS theology. The essay on Race and the Priesthood contains false doctrine or philosophies of men that do not square with the standard works.

          • Brady Tolley says:

            Yet, they are approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve and on LDS.org. Here’s what I think: many early church leaders were racist and it’s a shame we STILL can’t get past this issue. Best of luck to you all in the coming decades in the Church – the age of Fielding Smith, McConkie, and Ezra Taft Benson is over and has been for awhile. Don’t sleep through the Restoration, as President Uchtdorf would say.

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