The African-American Outreach Program was developed by LDS Church member and long-time stalwart Marvin Perkins as a way to address gaps in knowledge and understanding that were hindering LDS people and prospective converts. Brother Perkins has developed an outstanding set of resources at Blacksinthescriptures.com and can arrange for a fireside / community event in your area; pledge today to
use these valuable resources on our pledge form. In his own words, Brother Perkins describes his work, and a situation he recently faced as an LDS Church member of Black African descent:
The yelling caused a constant flow of men, women and children to gather in order to see what all the commotion was about, especially in a place unaccustomed to load voices of any type. As they arrived at the scene of the ruckus, it was immediately clear that it was yet another racial dispute as we’re experiencing in Charlottesville and around the US more recently. The significant difference was this confrontation was taking place in the hallway at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California, in November of 2017, during church services.
The man doing the yelling, berating a husband and wife, telling them that they are cursed because of their skin color, was the Gospel Doctrine instructor. The couple being berated are coordinators for a member-oriented proselyting program dedicated to sharing the scriptural truths that cause such divisions amongst Saints, families and neighbors, continually, lovingly and in an edifying manner. They effectively fill the gap created by having a wealth of doctrinal answers on the LDS race teachings, that leaders have been unwilling to share for over a century now. This creates high tension between well-meaning members seeking to protect church leaders and converts and others seeking to protect the truths of Christ.
With just over 50 coordinators throughout the US and the world, this small band of dedicated Saints, most of who’ve never met in person, have been responsible for thousands of baptisms, reactivations and preventions (members leaving the church and missionaries leaving their missions) since their inception in 2009. Their outreach is structured through in-home classes, social media, videos, video conferences, firesides and community events and whatever it takes to create harmony between the children of God. The first baptisms of the African American Outreach Program (AAOP) in 2009 was a Caucasian family in Colorado, who’d filtered through every member, leader and mission president in their area, for over 20 years, looking for just one, who could explain the LDS race teaching and policies with doctrine that matched the God is no respecter of persons.
To learn more about the work of the AAOP or to arrange a fireside and community event go to raceandthepriesthood.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.