Minutes of the Council of the Twelve and of the First Presidency: Letter read from President B.A. Hendricks of the South African Mission, dated October 4, addressed to President Rudger Clawson, stating in substance that a serious race question was confronting himself and associates, missionaries, on account of the doctrine having been taught to some of the negro saints that they could perform certain ordinances in the House of the Lord, and he desired an answer to this question: "Is it possible for a promiscuously bred white and negro to be baptized for the dead?" adding that a great many blacks had become members of the Church in South Africa, and were good, honest people. President Hendricks also stated that by asking this question he did not wish it to be inferred that he and his fellow missionaries were directing their work among the white race.
President [Joseph F.] Smith remarked that he saw no reason why a negro should not be permitted to have access to the baptismal font in the temple to be baptized for the dead, inasmuch as negroes are entitled to become members of the Church by baptism.
[George Albert Smith Papers, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah, quoted at 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]