Question: Were blacks denied access to Mormon temple open houses?

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Question: Were blacks denied access to Mormon temple open houses?

There is no priesthood requirement to tour a temple during an open house, and all were welcome

A message to FairMormon reads: "I heard that, prior to 1978, blacks were denied access to temple open houses because they carried the “mark of Cain.”" Is this true?

It would be surprising and unfortunate if a black person in the 1960's was turned away from a temple open house during the period that the priesthood ban was in place. Blacks were certainly allowed in during a temple open house, and many did tour the temple during these times. There is no priesthood requirement to tour a temple during an open house, and all were welcome. This is not to say, however, that such an unfortunate denial of entry did not take place. Sadly, prevailing racial attitudes during the 1950’s and 1960’s make it quite possible that a member might have denied such entry, even going so far as to say that the person carried the “mark of Cain.” Even highly placed Church leaders made statements during this period which would now be considered quite racist. Such attitudes are, of course, repugnant to modern Latter-day Saints.

FairMormon is not aware, however, of any policy of forbidding entry to open houses to people of a given race or ethnicity.

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Further reading and additional sources responding to these claims