Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mo Black LDS History

Elder Elijah Abel

Meet Elder Elijah Abel. Elder Elijah was one of the first black man to recieve the priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He was also what we call a General Authority,ordained as a Seventy and was very close with the Prophet Joseph Smith and his family.
In his patriarchal blessing, given to him by the Patriarch Joseph Smith Sr. He was told he would be a welding link between the black and the white, the past and the future. His posterity was blessed to not be witheld the priesthood. He had a son and a Grandson ordained to the Priesthood in the early 1900's.

He served missions in Canada twice, Ohio, New York and other Eastern United States.

Elijah Abel stayed a faithful member of the Church until the day he died. When I personally think of the hardships of the saints, particularly the black saints I get angered by those who are easily offended because they're released from a calling they like, or someone didn't really like or agree with how a lesson was presented, or they didn't get called to a position they felt they were worthy and deserving of.
There were members of the church who wanted 10, 12, 15 years to be baptized and to have the blessings of the temple and waited. And although they were unable to have all the blessings at the time, they remained worthy of them. I value and honor their committment and dedication. Some people's committment is as strong as an enjoyable calling. Or a strong as the 11:00 am time block. We could really learn faith, endurance, and the true meaning of being a member of the church from the black saints. I love how they knew the gospel, and didn't let the things "unrelated" to their salvation get in their way.
I guess they didn't let religion get in the way of their salvation.

I'm pleased at their example. They not only went through all the persecution of the early pioneer saints,they did it always with the fear of being returned to slavery. Add the pioneer persecution with the ethnic/race persecution. And yet they remained strong. They stayed. They paved the way. I would face them with shame if I quit because of some minute infraction that doesn't even matter in the long run.
I thank God for their example and strength.


Paul said...

"I guess they didn't let religion get in the way of their salvation." -- Love it and so true!

"There were members of the church who wanted 10, 12, 15 years to be baptized and to have the blessings of the temple. And although they were unable to have all the blessings at the time, they remained worthy of them." -- Of course everyone (black or white) could always be baptized; you might was to rephrase that as some might read it wrong. But anyway, salvation comes through baptism (and confirmation) more that anything else as Jesus states so emphatically.

Love the music! We need more "black" music in church. We need more black members singing black music in church singing like only blacks can! Whites singing in our church sacrament meeting is all too often like white bread -- NO FLAVOR!

Keep the faith, child! You is soooo cooool. And stay righteous, cause that can be real hard to do in today's world.

Best to you dear sister and God bless.

ShaBANG said...

Actually, the church had not yet been to black africa and they were begging for missionaries to come. The church would recieve letters to please send missionaries so they could be baptized as early as the 1940's. So yes, they were able to be baptized however, the church was not there for it to happen:

"Unlike any other time in Church history, thousands of Africans—primarily from Nigeria and Ghana—had been converted to the gospel during the three decades before the 1978 revelation without the aid of missionaries and without receiving baptism. After studying the Book of Mormon and other Church literature, many wrote to Church headquarters requesting information and even baptism. During this period there were more letters coming from these unbaptized Africans than all of the rest of the world combined. Literature was sent, but because the country did not have any priesthood holders, these people were asked to wait for baptism. Undaunted, they formed congregations so they could worship together and share their message with others. Many of the congregations bore the name of the Church, and most were independent from each other. By the mid-1960s, more than 60 congregations existed in Nigeria and Ghana, and more than 16,000 followers were pleading and praying for membership in the Church."

Th. said...


I'm glad you're posting these. Like you said in your last post, not many people really know about black pioneers and we should.

I don't read your blog regularly, but every time I happen to follow a link here, you always have something I needed to here. Keep it up~

Kristin said...

Is there a book that has these histories? I'd love to have them.

On a different note, have you heard of a product called Carol's Daughter? Someone recommended it to me. I got the Olive Oil and it works good. It says just to use a little, but I have to use a lot.

ShaBANG said...

There are books. My favorites are a trilogy written by Margaret Blair Young and Darius Aiden Gray (Papa D)
One More River To
Cross, The Last Mile Of The Way and Bound For Caanan.

They include actually verbage from the diaries of the Black pioneers, news paper articles and church records. These are a Phenominal read. And I'm honored to call them both very close friends who are dear to my heart.

As for the olive oil. Since we live in a Desert, you will always need to use quite a bit... especially in the summer.

Haven't heard of Carol's Daughter. BUT I'll be at the shop tomorrow in Provo all day. Bring in Bailey can come get an education in Black hair care. :)

Julipalooza said...

I knew of Elijah Abel, but not much. Your post just confirms my fear that it was never the Lord who wouldn't let black men hold the priesthood, but the racism of the members (and, as a white girl, I have no problem calling out my ancestors!) I think we're seeing the blessings of eliminating that from our Church--look how the membership has exploded in the 30 years since ALL worthy men were allowed to hold the priesthood!

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