45 years ago today - 45 years ago - Oct 1, 1974-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]
... In the discussion afterwards Wendell Ashton mentioned two or three things that were very interesting. The single most ticklish problem for the Church in terms of public communications, he said, is the problem of the Negro and the priesthood. He said it is his impression that we are getting tighter on the issue rather than more lenient. President [Harold B.] Lee in his statement on the issue had included the sentence, "We have always believed that at some time the Negro will be given the priesthood." He said President [Spencer W.] Kimball's suggestion and those of his associates is that this be modified to read, "Some day the Negro may be given the priesthood." He [Wendell Ashton] said President Lee, in giving him his call, which President Lee emphasized was a Church service call, said the advantage of having him was that he could make statements which could later be repudiated if necessary by the First Presidency. On the Negro issue they have insisted that he, Wendell Ashton, make the statement. President Kimball has followed that same policy.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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