“Build Upon Common Ground” – Church Manual Error

Elder Gary E. Stevenson

Speech at the 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Luncheon, sponsored by the NAACP

Concerning the 2020 “Come, Follow Me” gospel study manual that includes a false statement in the lesson for the week of February 3 that dark skin in the Book of Mormon was the sign of a curse:

“One of our recent church manuals includes a paragraph with some outdated commentary about race,” he said. “It was mistakenly included in the printed version of the manual, which had been prepared for print nearly two years ago. When it was brought to the attention of church leaders late last year, they directed that it be immediately removed in our annual online manual, which is used by the great majority of our members. We have also directed that any future printed manuals will reflect this change.

“We’re asking our members to disregard the paragraph in the printed manual,” he added. “Now I’m deeply saddened and hurt by this error and for any pain that it may have caused our members and for others. I would just like to reiterate our position as a church is clear. We do condemn all racism, past and present, in any form, and we disavow any theory advanced that black or dark skin is a sign of a curse. We are brothers and sisters, and I consider you friends. I love and appreciate you.”