The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
Question #17

Q. But I thought that the Priesthood ban couldn’t be lifted until all of the descendants of Abel first had the Priesthood?

A. This is what most Mormons thought. They assumed that Abel would not be resurrected until the beginning of the Millennium, or at the Second Coming of Christ.

But...

LDS scriptures seem to reveal that Abel was in fact resurrection at the time of Jesus’ Resurrection; 2000 years ago.

In ancient Palestine there were two harvests per year: the first harvest and the second harvest. Also, some of the fruits and grains ripened early, before the first harvest, and this was known as “the first-fruits”.

Mormons believe that there will be three Resurrections of the dead. They are:

1) The First Fruits: those saints who were resurrected with Jesus at His resurrection 2000 years ago:

“And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:52-3)

2) The Resurrection of the Just: those who are righteous and will reign with Christ for 1000 years over the earth. This resurrection occurs at the beginning of the Millennium.

3) The Resurrection of the Unjust: those who were unrighteous, and will be purified in Hell for 1000 years, and then be resurrected from the dead and be judged according to their works.

Most Mormons assumed that Abel would be resurrected with the Resurrection of the Just; since he was just (righteous). However, LDS scriptures seem to reveal that in fact he was resurrected among the first fruits; with Jesus 2000 years ago. Doctrine and Covenants section 133 seems to indicate that the Saints from Adam to John the Baptist arose with Jesus at the time of His resurrection:

“Yea, and Enoch also, and they who were with him; the prophets who were before him; and Noah also, and they who were before him, and Moses also, and they who were before him;

55 And from Moses to Elijah to John, who were with Christ in his resurrection,” (D&C 133:54-55)

Another point that must be made is something called the “Supplications of the Prophets”.

The LORD commanded Moses to free the Israelites from the bondage of the Egyptians. Moses obeyed, and the LORD, through Moses, sends various scourges and curses upon the Egyptians in order to force them to free the Israelite slaves. This included the killing of all the firstborn males of Egypt; none of who had been personally responsible for enslaving the Hebrews.

But that didn’t matter. Because in mortality the children are liable for the sins of their parents.

Moses, with the help of the LORD, eventually freed the Israelites, and he took them across the desert of Sinai toward the Promised Land.  Moses climbed Mount Sinai to converse with the LORD, and to receive from Him the commandments. But while Moses was on the mount the Israelites rebelled, and they became exceedingly wicked. They made themselves a golden calf, after the image of the Egyptian god Apis, and worshiped it. They became so wicked and rebellious that the LORD decided to utterly destroy them. Moses wrote:

“And the LORD said unto me, Arise, get thee down quickly from hence; for thy people which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves; they are quickly turned aside out of the way which I commanded them; they have made them a molten image.

13 Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people:

14 Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make thee a nation mightier and greater than they.” (Deuteronomy 9:12-14)

The LORD had told Moses that He was going to utterly destroy Israel; leaving only Moses behind, and making of him a great nation via his descendants. Moses could have left it at that; watching all the Israelites, except his own children, perish at the hand of God. And God would be justified in doing so; since He has the right of life or death over His creatures.

But Moses decided to make a supplication to the LORD; to plead with Him to not destroy the Israelites. Moses wrote:

“And I fell down before the LORD, as at the first, forty days and forty nights: I did neither eat bread nor drink water, because of all which ye sinned, in doing wickedly in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

***

25 Thus I fell down before the LORD forty days and forty nights, as I fell down at the first; because the LORD had said he would destroy you.

26 I prayed before therefore unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, destroy not thy people and thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed through thy greatness, which thou hast brought forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand.” (Deuteronomy 9:18, 25-26)

Because of this supplication from His Prophet Moses, the LORD did not destroy Israel; as He said He would do.

The petitions of the Prophets are powerful! The Prophets of the LORD are men that He listens to.

The Mulattoes of Brazil had shown great or exceeding faith. They were willing to submit their wills to the Will of God; whatever that brought. They were willing to sacrifice to help build the Temple; even if they could not worship in it! They showed the same kind of exceeding faith as the Canaanite woman who recognized Jesus as the Messiah. That’s how much faith they had. And the LORD rewards faith.

The exceeding faith of these people of Brazil caused the Prophets and Apostles of the Church to plead mightily before the LORD, and to petition and supplicate  Him to lift or revoke the Priesthood ban. Night after night President Kimball and others  prayed and supplicated the LORD in the Holy of Holies in the Salt Lake City Temple; like Moses supplicated the LORD night after night, day after day, on Mount Sinai. They fervently pleaded and petitioned the LORD to revoke the Priesthood ban.

And, after many such nights, the LORD revoked it.

It’s just that simple.

The Priesthood ban may have been revoked because Abel was raised with Jesus at His Resurrection, and went to another world and had children which all gained the Priesthood.

Or...

It could have been a response to the petitions of the Prophet and Apostles of the Church; based upon the exceeding faith of the Brazilian Saints.

It may have even been both.

Of course, the LORD is all knowing. He sees the end from the beginning. He works in mysterious ways. He arranged all the coincidences and circumstances that led to the President of the Church petitioning Him to remove the ban. He was working this all along. We just didn’t know it at the time.

Brigham Young spoke to the Saints in Salt Lake City in 1852, and said of Cain:

“The Lord put a mark on him; and there are some in his children in this room. When all the other children of Adam have had a privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the head, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.” (Journal of Discourses 2:143)

These and other like statements led many to believe that the Hamites would not receive the Priesthood until after the final resurrection; the resurrection of the unjust at the end of the Millennium. Some ask how could Negroes be granted the Priesthood before that time. The answer is simple. The supplications of the Prophets can sometimes alter the Decrees of the LORD; if, of course, the LORD agrees. The LORD decreed to destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He made no exceptions for Lot and his family. The prophet Abraham pleaded with the LORD to spare Lot (his nephew) and his family. The LORD agreed. The LORD has all power, but acts of exceeding faith, either on the part of His Prophets or His people, can alter His divine decrees. When the Canaanite woman approached Jesus to heal her daughter He ignored her; until she showed Him exceeding faith; at which point He accepted her and healed her daughter. The LORD listens to His Prophets, and to those who show Him sincere faith of an exceeding nature.


Please feel free to e-mail Darrick Evenson

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