Maybe the older person at church who had said the mean thing about the interracial couple still thought blacks and whites should be separated? I learned about , the 1967 Supreme Court decision striking down bans on interracial marriage as unconstitutional.Around the same time, I learned about the Mormon Church’s own tragic history of banning blacks from receiving the Priesthood or attending the Temple until 1978.While playing one afternoon, I stumbled upon a wedding invitation for a mixed-race couple in my ward. Even if the closest temple was 12 hours away in Atlanta.The invitation included an engagement photo, and said the wedding would be held in a few weeks at the chapel. Earlier that summer I had flown to Utah and had waited outside and gotten a vanilla ice cream cone with my grandparents (on my dad’s side) during an Aunt’s (on my mom’s side) temple wedding. As I was still staring at the photograph invitation, someone came up behind me and made an offhand comment.
(d) A 1990 Ensign article by Myrna Braman, where she describes an adventure around 1980 when her interracial family had decided to hike up to the Oakland Temple grounds out of curiosity, despite believing that Mormons hated blacks and would reject their interracial family.
I learned that even following the June 1978 Official Proclamation, although the “ban” on interracial marriage had been lifted, its discouragement continued.
By the time I was 18 or 19 I had added “interracial marriage” to my “benchmark of reliability” checklist.
They were warmly welcomed instead, and the family eventually converted.
It’s been six years since I became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.