Image by Ben Crowder.

SHOULDER TO THE WHEEL:

Latter-day Saints Working to End Racism and Become a Zion People

As Latter-day Saints, we are grateful for our faith, for our membership in the LDS Church, and for the opportunity to have experiences that will help us grow. The Savior taught that each of us is worthy of love and understanding and that as we learn from one another we become a Zion people.

June 8, 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the end of the Church’s ban on priesthood ordination and temple participation by Black people.  Although the ban has ended, its impacts remain with us still, as Black LDS people have testified. This anniversary is an opportunity to show each other an “increase of love” (Doctrine and Covenants 121: 43) as we reflect on and act to repair the impacts of racism in our Church and in the world.

Reflecting on racial segregation, discrimination, and privilege can bring up difficult feelings, including guilt, sorrow, and defensiveness.  But the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that as these feelings lead us to look inward with humility, we will be uplifted and blessed.

All of us make mistakes, sometimes because we simply do not know how to do better.  There are also missteps in the LDS past that have resulted in the exclusion of souls precious in the sight of the Lord from the full blessings of the gospel.  Each of us can “put our shoulders to the wheel” to learn from our history so we can reach greater unity.  

Shoulder to the Wheel represents a new effort among diverse Latter-day Saints to support reflection and action to end racism in our communities. We have compiled a list of steps and resources you can use in your home, your congregation, and your community to reflect and learn from our experience as LDS people. Will you pledge today to put your shoulder to the wheel?