News Release

Correcting Misinformation on Campbell Live

Last night on TV3's Campbell Live program New Zealand politician Hone Harawira stated that Mormons only recently "allowed blacks into heaven." This statement does not accurately represent the beliefs or history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Individuals of all nationalities, ethnicities and colours have joined the Church of Jesus Christ since the Church was organized in 1830. In one of the faith's books of scripture, the Book of Mormon, the Latter-day Saint doctrine of inclusivity is stated plainly. "The Lord denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile". (2 Nephi 26:33).

For some of the Church's history men with African heritage were not permitted to receive the priesthood, or authority to administer in the Church's sacraments and other ordinances. However, during this period, all members of the faith, regardless of ethnicity or colour, were entitled to membership in the Church and to hope for salvation and eternal life through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That restriction was removed in 1978 and since then all worthy male members of the Church have been eligible to receive the priesthood.

There are over 14 million Latter-day Saints worldwide and around 100,000 in New Zealand. Visit any one of the 300 or so Mormon congregations in New Zealand and you will find Maori, Europeans, South Americans, Australians, Africans, Koreans, Japanese and many others. The diverse and harmonious reality of Latter-day Saint congregations is much different to the picture that some commentators paint of Mormons.

For more accurate information and context regarding this subject, follow this link to LDS Newsroom.


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.