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BRIEFLY : Religion: History of Black Mormonism

January 20, 1994

Until 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints barred African Americans from the priesthood, although some have been included as members of the church since its early days in the 1830s.

Since the priesthood ban was lifted, blacks have helped fuel the Mormon Church's 10% annual growth rate, according to organizers of a Black History Month exhibit at the Los Angeles Mormon temple's visitor center at 10777 Santa Monica Blvd. in Westwood. It features photographs, artifacts, heirlooms and a video about black Mormons in the United States and several African countries.

The exhibit will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Feb. 18.

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