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Q. I've heard that the only reason why the priesthood-ban was not lifted before 1978 is because non of the Presidents of the Church asked the Lord about the ban before 1978, and had they asked the Lord would have told them that the ban was not of Him. Is this true?

A. No. That's an invention. It's a myth. President Greorge A. Smith asked the Lord in 1948 and the answer was "not yet". The following is a report by Richard Jackson, a Church architech who worked in a office near that of President David O. McKay in 1970. Br. Jackson reported:

"I rmemeber one day that President McKay came into the office. We could see that he was very much distressed. He said, 'I've had it! I'm not going to do it again!' Somebody said, 'What?' He said, 'Well, I'm badgered constantly about giving the priesthood to the Negro. I've inquired of the Lord repeatedly. That last time I did it was late last night. I was told, with no discussion, not to bring the subject up with the Lord again; that the time will come, but it will not be my time, and to leave the subject alone.' We were all, of course, a little dumb-struck. I don't think it has ever been written that that happened....I've never told anybody about that. I can still see him coming in with a bit of a distraught appearance, which was unusual for President McKay. He always appeared as if he had everything under control." (David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, 2005, p. 104)
We can only speculate as to "why" the Lord thought that it was not yet the right time. Was it because white Mormons were not ready? Maybe! We don't know. Was it because black Africans were not ready? Maybe! We don't know. But we do know this, that Church Presidents DID inquire of the Lord, and the Lord said (paraphrase): 'Not yet, and don't bother me again on this question!'

The belief that Church Presidents simply neglected to ask the Lord on this issue before June 1978 is false.

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