Remarkable Ordinations

W. Paul Reeve

“Let’s Talk About Race and Priesthood” by W. Paul Reeve, p. 14. Published by Deseret Book 2023-

Before the Priesthood Ban Was Enacted– “Other Black men converted in the early decades of the Restoration, but not all of them were ordained to the priesthood. That, however, was nothing out of the ordinary. Not all white men were ordained, either, and no enslaved men were ordained in the South.17  In the nineteenth century, the purpose of ordination was to provide each congregation with leadership, not to ensure that all men held priesthood office. In 1842, the branch in Brandywine, Pennsylvania, for example, reported 124 total members, which included seven elders, two priests, three teachers, and two deacons, while the branch in Salem, Massachusetts, counted 66 members, with one elder and one priest.18  Not until the early decades of the twentieth century did the Church systematically ordain young men to priesthood offices.19  The fact that a few Black men were ordained to the priesthood when white men were not universally ordained makes it that much more remarkable.”