120 years ago today - Saturday, Aug 18, 1900

Letter read from president Ben E. Rich, conveying information that the President of the South Carolina Conference, G.R. Humphreys, had accidentally run across a village of negroes who were members of our Church and that two of the males had been ordained to the priesthood by the elder (Bond) who had baptized them, and Elder Humphreys wanted to know what should be done about this. The question was now considered.

President [George Q.] Cannon informed President [Lorenzo] Snow that President [Brigham] Young had held to the doctrine that no man tainted with negro blood was eligible to the priesthood; that President [John] Taylor held to the same doctrine, claiming to have been taught it by the Prophet Joseph Smith. President Cannon read from the Pearl of Great Price showing that negroes were debarred from the priesthood; also that Enoch in his day called upon all people to repent save it were the descendants of Cainan.

President Snow intimated to President Cannon that this was one of the questions which it was understood would come up before the Council of First Presidency and Apostles for discussion the first time there should be a full attendance.

President Cannon remarked to President Snow that as he regarded it the subject was really beyond the pale of discussion, unless, he, President Snow, had light to throw upon what had already been imparted.

Brother [George F.] Gibbs now reminded President Cannon that President [Joseph F.] Smith had on a previous occasion related something going to show how the full blooded negro came through the flood which had not to his knowledge appeared in our records, and suggested that President Smith be asked to repeat it.

Upon being invited to do so President Smith said that he had been told that the idea originated with the Prophet Joseph [Smith], but of course he could not vouch for it. It was this: That the woman named Egyptus was in the family way by a man of her own race before Ham took her to wife, and that Cainan was the result of that illicit intercourse.

This subject was now dropped without President Snow intimating that the subject would be further considered.

[George Albert Smith Papers, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah, in Marquardt, H. Michael, Mormon Central: Excerpts From Minutes of the Council of the Twelve and of the First Presidency, 1879-1947 http://www.xmission.com/~research/central/chorg2.htm]

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