President Nelson to national NAACP convention: We want to be 'dear friends'

Return To Article

Commenting has temporarily been suspended in preparation for our new website launch, which is planned for the week of August 12th. When the new site goes live, we will also launch our new commenting platform. Thank you for your patience while we make these changes.


  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 25, 2019 4:58 p.m.

    @abrady
    @2 bits-so would you argue that is right and wrong changes?
    ---
    RIGHT changes. That's obvious. That's a silly question to even ask today. I was just pointing out that the times were different. The culture was different. The world was different then.

    ===

    RE: "That what is right today may have been wrong yesterday, and what is wrong today might be right tomorrow?"...
    ---
    Never said that. Nobody here said that. You are making Assumptions about what people think. False-Assumptions.

    Slavery was never "right". Just saying things were different then. Culture was different (doesn't make it OK then or now).

    You blame "White Supremacy". Many black colonists owned slaves. Slavery was common practice in Africa at the time.

    Study history. Most Africans brought to America as slaves were already slaves in Africa (owned by other black people and sold to European Slave Traders who brought them to America as slaves).

    European slave traders didn't go to Africa and throw anybody with black skin in their ships. They went to Africa and bought slaves and brought them to America.

    Google "Slavery in Africa"...

    Not saying it was right. Just educating you on history.

  • abrady murray, UT
    July 25, 2019 10:01 a.m.

    @2 bits-so would you argue that what is right and wrong changes over time? That what is right today may have been wrong yesterday, and what is wrong today might be right tomorrow?

    Also, here is a quote from the VP of the confederacy Alexander Stephens the the founding of the confederacy

    "Our new government [the confederate states] is founded upon exactly the opposite idea [opposite of equality for all]; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth"

    Seems like they may have had a different opinion on things, but the concepts seem pretty much like what I laid out.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 25, 2019 9:25 a.m.

    abrady
    RE: "In fact, slavery in the US was based purely on white supremacy"...
    ---
    You are judging people of that time with concepts and terminology of our time, terms that didn't even exist in their time.

    Back then nobody had even heard the term "White Supremacy".

    It existed, but there wasn't a term for it. The term "Racist" hadn't even been invented yet.

    The concepts of equality and inequality existed, but we didn't have the modern terms of "racist", "white supremacy", "white nationalist" or "black nationalist". Those are modern terms.

    There were free blacks in America from the beginning. Some came to America as slaves, some didn't. Some came to the colonies the same as other colonial Americans (not as slaves, but as free people)

    Google "Free African Americans in the Colonial Era"...

    There were free blacks living in America before and during the Civil war.

    Google "Free Blacks in the Antebellum Period"...

    Africans brought to America as slaves were slaves in Africa (sold to non-American slave traders).

    Google "Slavery in America - HISTORY"...

    Don't apply today's terms and morals to other times and cultures. It was a different era.

  • abrady murray, UT
    July 25, 2019 7:45 a.m.

    @livebytruth-the civil war was about one thing, slavery. The false dialouge that something else was at play comes from the defeated soother states starting very soon afternoon the Civil War. Read quotes from before the civil war instead of after, and it is very clear. The economy of the South was built on white supremacy.

    To your next comment: "The black race has suffered from a lack of education, but will they be willing to receive education? It seems to me that the whole racial issue has a lot to do with ethnic groups feeling sorry for themselves instead of just getting busy and educating themselves like any other American would have to."

    Wow, would this include professors, judges, doctors, astronauts, our former Utah Republican rep to congress and the former president?

    "The whole racial issue" stems from a long history of white supremacist thinking in the US. The thought that this is somehow over and we are now free of racism is not true.

    There are hundreds of studies showing how black Americans are negatively impacted by biases in education, jobs, finance, healthcare and the justice system. These are scientific facts that we are still a racist country at heart.

  • abrady murray, UT
    July 23, 2019 8:05 p.m.

    @mom3-"slavery has been around since the beginning of time"? The only reason that the US fought a war to stop it is that there was a portion of the US that decided to break its oath to defend and uphold the constitution (Robert E. Lee and many others) in favor of defending its white supremacy and they tried to leave the union rather than acknowledge that "all" men were created equal.

    Most other western countries at the time abolished slavery earlier and without the bloodshed that the US faced.

    In fact, slavery in the US was based purely on white supremacy.

  • Justathoughtortwo New York, NY
    July 23, 2019 1:34 p.m.

    @mom3, I don’t think you’re unintelligent at all, but I don’t agree with the conclusions you’re drawing from your understanding of history. I’m glad you’re not getting your history from YouTube or social media, but just because you’re getting it from books does not mean you’re getting reliable history.

    You claim the NAACP was “created by all white men.” That is simply not true. It was created in 1909 by an interracial group that included W.E.B. DU Bois (a black man), Ida Bell Wells-Barnett, (a black woman), and Mary White Ovington (a white woman), among many others.

    The Democratic Party is the oldest political party in the U.S. and it has changed quite a bit in its over 200 years of existence. At one time it did support or tolerate slavery, but since the middle of the 1900s that has not been the case. Now it is the Democratic Party that fights for civil rights.

    I would think one would choose a party based on what it stands for now rather than what it stood for during the American Civil War.

  • mom3 Payson, UT
    July 23, 2019 12:53 p.m.

    As far as President Nelson and the NAACP I do not understand it but he is the prophet and there must be a Devine reason for this. Our ways are not Gods ways we just trust in him and move forward knowing it is in his hands. Maybe it is the answer to the racism within the NAACP and a way to help bring about change. There are those that will always hate others for one reason or another and will probably never change, but we should never stop trying.

  • mom3 Payson, UT
    July 23, 2019 11:54 a.m.

    It is disturbing to me that you would just assume where I got the history of the NAACP. I do not not watch u tube I read books. I do not use social media I prefer to think for myself and not rely solely on the opinions of others. Why do you assume the history you are referring to is correct and what I am referring to is not? For some reason a lot of those on the left just lump everyone that disagrees with them into one category stupid and unlearned. This is most of those leaning lefts biggest problem so many of you behave as if you know all things and rest of us know nothing. Back in the fifties liberals decided to change America they had to get into our schools. They have literally rewritten history. Please do not attack those you do not know and just do your own research. FYI America did not start slavery, but we are the only country that fought a war and lost lives to stop it. There were black slave owners in America. Blacks in Africa were kidnapping and selling blacks from other tribes into slavery and by the way only 3% of slaves came to America over 40% went to Europe. Slavery is not a white mans problem it has been around since the beginning of time.

  • Count Rushmore Too Salt Lake City, UT
    July 23, 2019 9:07 a.m.

    I think those complaining about the church partnering with a leftist organization have completely missed the point. The church's partnership is focused on the SRS program, which (in case you don't know about it), is 100% in line with conservative values. I hope the church is able to achieve a partnership with every leftist organization and gradually wean them off the influence of the adversary.

    This isn't about the church capitulating, or appeasing, not at all. It's about an "under the radar" campaign to change hearts and minds, and it is a miracle worth celebrating.

  • Robert F. Smith Provo, UT
    July 23, 2019 3:38 a.m.

    Great article, Tad.

    I marched in a civil rights demonstration with the NAACP in 1964 as a young Mormon, and am so proud to see Pres Nelson embrace the NAACP.

  • abrady murray, UT
    July 22, 2019 7:36 p.m.

    @tsobserver, I was pretty sure you were referring to the US govt and the constitution that codified white supremacy and the superiority of the white race by allowing slavery.

    @Americanfirst, not sure why you see this as political. President Nelson preaches love and yet the reply from what seems to be a conservative voice is why love those unpatriotic minorities. That comment is by definition identity politics? Ps. Your conservative religion had a majority communist vote in 1932 coming off of trying to live the United order.

    @2bits, the modern priesthood ban has been acknowledged by the church as a ra out of racism by the post Joseph Smith early leadership of the church. There was no doctrinal basis for the ban and any reference to the ban should include that acknowledgement. This is from the church's essay.

  • AS SD San Diego, CA
    July 22, 2019 5:29 p.m.

    @mom3 I think it’s you who doesn’t know your history.

    “The NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was established in 1909 and is America’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. It was formed in New York City by white and black activists, partially in response to the ongoing violence against African Americans around the country. In the NAACP’s early decades, its anti-lynching campaign was central to its agenda.”

    It’s fought for the those who face discrimination, those marginalized, those who have been treated as non-citizens or second class citizens.

    Racism and the lasting effects of discriminatory policies by the US government needs continued attention and focus. The US and the Church can’t snap it’s fingers and say “Ok, everyone is equal” when there has been centuries of slavery and Jim Crow laws.

    For instance, only 2% of post WW2 government backed home mortgages went to African Americans even though they were 20% of the population.

    Steps like this by the Church are welcome and needed. The church has a duty to make up for lost time when policies neglected a whole group of God’s children based on outward appearance.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    July 22, 2019 5:28 p.m.

    This is a great day for the Church and the NAACP to join hands for the advancement of "All People" or in other words all of God's Children.

    mom3 - Payson, UT and others that have been negative or confused by Pres. Nelson's actions need to learn the "TRUE" history of the NAACP and quit relying on YouTube for their research.

    I'm thankful Pres. Nelson has taken this stand and support him 100%

  • daclash Yuba City, CA
    July 22, 2019 4:45 p.m.

    The President of my church and my prophet said we must do these things. Done!

  • Sense&Sensibility Mesa, AZ
    July 22, 2019 3:35 p.m.

    The stated goal according to President Nelson & NAACP’s President Derrick Johnson is to “...help more people by working together in asking all people, organizations, & govt. units to:

    > work together with greater civility
    > eliminate prejudices of all kinds &
    > focus on important interests we have in common

    ALL people are God’s children. Simply stated: we strive to build bridges of cooperation rather than walls of segregation.”

    [Source: YouTube video: “President Nelson addresses the NAACP convention 21 July 2019”].

    @ Rick for Truth - PROVO, UT The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a conservative or liberal political organization. It is the restored Church of Jesus Christ & it is a global organization. Jesus Christ definitely rocked the boat in His day by elevating women & associating with a wide variety of people (including those who endured prejudice in His time).

    I loved the scripts. President Nelson shared from both the Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 26:33 (which the audience applauded) & the Holy Bible - Matthew 22:36-40 that help us overcome traditional divisions & recognize the precious worth of each soul.

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    July 22, 2019 3:33 p.m.

    If you are being open to common sense then you can't see this as anything but good. This is not a political move or a personal move, it was what he believes to be true and right. I admire someone who stands up for what he thinks is right and has the ability to know what is right. Too many people in the world can't see the difference between right and wrong.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    July 22, 2019 2:52 p.m.

    I guess La Raza, Aryan and the Muslim Brotherhoods are next. The NAACP is a political leftist organization. Just read their own manifesto. I understand the churches desire to reach out and pay penance for past wrongs, but the NAACP is just not the right vehicle to accomplish this. One of their demands of course are reparations, and free home loans. The Urban League would have been a much better choice. Very sad, reminds me of Sir Chamberlain trying to make peace with evil before WWII.

  • Count Rushmore Too Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2019 12:25 p.m.

    It seems to me that this partnership is a perfect example of the style of priesthood leadership Latter-day Saints should aspire to, as outlined in D&C 121, but as well, the extent of priesthood power we should wield, as described by President Nelson in "The Price of Priesthood Power," April 2016.

    In this polarized political climate, the ability for the church to partner with a historically left-leaning organization to implement a program that exemplifies conservative principles, without encountering the least bit of contention (e.g., false charges of racism that have become the new normal), is nothing short of miraculous. There are so many insights to be gleaned from this partnership.

  • Pugman Tremonton, UT
    July 22, 2019 12:21 p.m.

    And that my friends is the beginning of a cure all for all of society's woes.....to love God and all other's. Such a simple principle. But......these are the things mocked in today's society. Thank you for a good piece of journalism...........maybe this will resonate with the masses...........maybe not

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 22, 2019 11:32 a.m.

    I don't see any human difference between people of any race. We are all spirit children of the same father. Our bodies may be slightly different... color of the skin, hair, etc, doesn't matter to God. We may all have different physical characteristics (eye color, hair color, skin color, face shape, etc), but our spirits are offspring of the same god who gave our body's life.

    I'm glad Pres Nelson got a chance to explain this to them (and to others who will listen).

    ===

    @Impartial,
    God's laws adapt. We studied this concept in Church yesterday.

    We studied the apostle Paul receiving revelation to take the gospel the the gentiles. By Jewish law it was taboo for him to even associate with them. So he had to explain the new law to both the Jews (who thought he was being a heretic) and to the Gentiles who wanted to know more about the gospel and what they called "The Unknown God".

    There were also changes to the law when Christ came (end law of Moses).

    And other times. Including 1978.

    There was a time when only the Jews could hold the priesthood. Later expanded to the Gentiles. Later to all races. I would not be surprised if God's plan was to expand it again someday.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 22, 2019 10:57 a.m.

    BSR
    I’m surprised you were unware La Raza is liberal and the NAACP generally votes dem, and not GOP. But leave it to a liberal commenter to sew discord into an otherwise uplifting and positive thread.

  • tsobserver Mapleton, UT
    July 22, 2019 10:45 a.m.

    @BraveSirRobin -- you can add whatever groups to "others" that you like. Both parties have a history of racist members. Most partisans only see one side of that two sided coin. That's the nature of partisanship. I was thinking more along the lines of the KKK and Arian Nation and the Democratic Socialists of 1930s Germany, but you can take your pick.

    The promotion of the interests of any people based on race seems to promote racism in one way or another. I hope that with leaders like President Nelson, we as a people will overcome such divisive tendencies in all politics, including race related politics, and treat each other with love and respect, especially when we disagree.

  • Deej Salt Lake City, UT
    July 22, 2019 10:25 a.m.

    I was pleasantly surprised to see this happen. With all the negativity in the news these days, it's nice to see leaders trying to make a difference to fight racism and help one another.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    July 22, 2019 10:25 a.m.

    @tsobserver - Mapleton, UT
    July 22, 2019 6:37 a.m.
    "I'm one who philosophically disagrees with organizations founded to promote one race over another such as La Raza, the NAACP and others, but President Nelson's statement that we do not have to agree with one another to love one another resonates with me."

    Those groups exist due to their persecution and lack of rights that were imposed on them. Believe it or not, Blacks were still discriminated against long after the civil right act. In fact, a certain church wouldn't allow their Black members to hold the priesthood until almost 1980.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 22, 2019 10:24 a.m.

    No irony today.

    My eyes moisten to hear President Nelson pay tribute to Medgar Evers, a true American hero, and to hold out the hand of friendship to a great people. He is a prophet who speaks the truth!

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 22, 2019 10:08 a.m.

    I sure hope the Democrats & Republicans took note of this meeting! I'm getting tired of the bickering.

    Thanks to the LDS & NAACP for setting an example.

  • search diligently Lehi, UT
    July 22, 2019 9:50 a.m.

    Cool to see a couple of dozen comments that are (almost) all positive!

  • Denyse Dayton, USA, OH
    July 22, 2019 9:29 a.m.

    Yes, this is one small step for President Nelson and Rev. Brown and one giant step for man and woman kind. Glorious event for a needed cause. Thank you ever so much.

  • Granny Barton Austin, UT
    July 22, 2019 8:40 a.m.

    After hearing all the encouragement to "fight to win" comments by the NCAA leadership what a softening influence by our prophet encouraging us to remember the commandment to love God and our neighbors. Now, if those of us who are rabid BYU and U OF U fans would remember that council.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    July 22, 2019 8:24 a.m.

    This is a big step for the NAACP. It promotes self reliance and pulling one up by their bootstraps, not the normal victimhood that sometimes stands in the way of progress.

    Good for President Nelson. Building bridges and getting help from them.

    I wish the NAACP all the success in the world on this. It is great they are listening to a prophet.

  • Steve Drabner El Paso, TX
    July 22, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    It's about time to accept all of God's children. I salute President Nelson.
    When I was serving in Vietnam, the black guys in my unit asked why black men could not hold the priesthood in the church. I told them about the Curse of Cain. I was 18 at the time and knew in my heart that this didn't come from God, but from the white leaders of the church.
    Thank you President Nelson for taking this step forward!

  • FTF Park City, UT
    July 22, 2019 8:21 a.m.

    What's to prevent president Nelson from making this same gesture at a tribal conference in San Juan County some fine morning? Racial divisions at home need attention, too.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 22, 2019 8:15 a.m.

    @tsobserver

    "I'm one who philosophically disagrees with organizations founded to promote one race over another such as La Raza, the NAACP and others..."

    By "others" you mean the Republican party, right?

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    July 22, 2019 8:07 a.m.

    What an awesome event! Quite groundbreaking on the part of the NAACP and the Church. Time to let bygones be bygones. While we learn from history, it’s time to let it be history and move forward with love in our hearts for all people everywhere.

    I had the privilege to attend last night. What an evening! The NAACP were most gracious hosts.

    A pity there were only about 3000 in attendance. There was a notable lack of almost any Latter-day Saints in attendance. But, it was sponsored by the NAACP and not a Church meeting.

    President Nelson’s speech was not publicized by the Church locally. Don’t know the reasons. Probably appropriate reasons. But, the usual informal local Church grapevine was also very silent about this event. Not right or wrong, good or bad, just interesting.

    Very glad I was one of the 3000 and didn’t miss this event. Truly historic and significant and a spiritual feast.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    July 22, 2019 7:59 a.m.

    While President Nelson's praise of Medgar Evers was game changing I think his stories of personal connection with the African-American pastor of a Missionary Baptist Church, the same set of Baptists Churches Martin Luther King was part of, was most important. Even more so when paired with his quote from 1st John on those who claim to live God but hate their brothers being a liar. Rhe NAACP is steeped in a certain ban of Evangelical Christianity that allows Jewish board members but still distrusts The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on theological grounds often more than on past racial policy ones. President Nelson's long connection with a pastor in Salt Lake City and his open embrace with Amos Brown will remove hurdles that other things will not. Still I had to bring up the Genesis Groyp to urge one of my fellow branch members to take a job in Utah. We need to be pioneers in breaking culture lines if we ever hope to do so.

  • Slyone Herriman, UT
    July 22, 2019 6:44 a.m.

    President Nelson is making an historic step towards helping all of our brothers and sisters. Last May, my wife and I completed the 12 week Self Preparedness Class taught by a local instructor using the manual prepared by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It taught us so much about starting a business and how to make it be successful using the principles we learned. It really was an eye opener. We have no doubt that the principles we learned can be helpful to many other people to help them be successful in starting a business and learning to be self sufficient to provide for their family.

  • tsobserver Mapleton, UT
    July 22, 2019 6:37 a.m.

    Russell M. Nelson is a prophet of God. His example and words inspire me. I'm one who philosophically disagrees with organizations founded to promote one race over another such as La Raza, the NAACP and others, but President Nelson's statement that we do not have to agree with one another to love one another resonates with me. It gives me another thing to work on in my personal life.

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    July 22, 2019 6:13 a.m.

    I love what Reverend Brown said:

    'We are going to lock arms with you to fight racism,'" said the Rev. Brown, who added, "He's here to help us do a heart transplant for the nation."

  • hobblecreek CA, 00
    July 22, 2019 5:48 a.m.

    President Nelson offers balm for the weary soul. He also gives focus to the direction Heavenly Father wants us to go.

  • Little Andy , 00
    July 22, 2019 4:35 a.m.

    Good for all involved. Lets fight Satin and his army and not each other.

  • Tony1941 Winchester, VA
    July 22, 2019 3:57 a.m.

    It is uplifting to realize that a prophet of God has managed to accomplish that which the warring members of our two main political parties have failed to accomplish. The future is bright with respect to what this will mean for our brothers and sisters living in the inner cities.

  • California94131 SF, CA
    July 21, 2019 10:01 p.m.

    What a great story this is. I wish our country’s political offices, especially those in the White House and the Capitol, were populated with this caliber of human being.

    President Nelson, Reverend Brown, Reverend Dear, and all these other fine Americans are building bridges and not walls, including and not rejecting, lifting rather than degrading. They are uniting rather than sowing conflict and animosity, looking for the best in all of us rather than dredging up the worst and using it for personal motives, showing that people who have not always seen eye to eye in the past can work together to make a better world for all humans.

    These are the kind of folks who are truly making America great again.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    July 21, 2019 9:47 p.m.

    From all this a great work will go forth. Many blacks will begin to truly succeed thanks to the training materials. Lives will change for the better.

  • Terence L. Day Pullman, WA
    July 21, 2019 9:16 p.m.

    I have never been prouder to be a Mormon!

    I was working as a consultant to the International Livestock Center in Africa (Ethiopia) when President Kimball announced extension of the priesthood to Blacks. I learned in an aerogram r from my son, Ben, and wept copious tears of joy.

    Many in the body of the Church have been slow to change attitudes about Blacks and I'm thrilled that President Nelson is working towards true love for Blacks and other races and ethnicities. I pray that members of the Church will respond with loving relations with all of God's children.

  • water rocket , 00
    July 21, 2019 9:07 p.m.

    This proves that in small things great things can be accomplished. The astronaut on the moon said "This is one small step for man, and one great step for mankind". And so it is with these two groups of people. This really is "one great step for mankind".

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    July 21, 2019 7:28 p.m.

    A great message from the prophet! I'm so proud of my church and our leaders.

  • Sense&Sensibility Mesa, AZ
    July 21, 2019 7:12 p.m.

    “Standing near the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the banks of the Detroit River, President Nelson stood arm in arm with one of King's students, the Rev. Amos C. Brown, in the midst of a national conversation about racism and xenophobia.”

    This week hurt my heart, but this message along with the close relationship Pres. Nelson & Rev. Amos Brown shared along with their msgs. today helped heal it. Thanks @TadWalsh & DN for sharing this historic & inspirational story!

  • MICHAEL R. LOVERIDGE Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2019 6:55 p.m.

    What an inspiring article! So wonderful to see this exemplary meeting and the spirit of cooperation between the Church and the NAACP. This is in stark contrast to the bitter divisiveness and lack of progress between our two national parties.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    July 21, 2019 6:50 p.m.

    Good for Mr Nelson! Glad to see he has moved past the beliefs that were taught during the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

  • WallE Walla Walla, WA
    July 21, 2019 6:49 p.m.

    Awsome. President Nelson knows how to bring us together rather than tear us all apart.

    You have to admire him from multiple prospectives.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    July 21, 2019 6:48 p.m.

    Wow! This is so inspiring to see President Nelson to not only be speaking to this organization but to be embraced by them. And his words honoring Medger Evers were so perfectly stated. In my 6.5 decades on earth and in the church I have hoped this day would eventually come.