NAACP and Mormons call for racial harmony, civility

Source:  Associated Press

By BRADY McCOMBS

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Top leaders from the NAACP and Mormon church on Thursday called for greater racial harmony and mutual respect following the first official meeting between national leaders from the civil rights organization and Utah-based religion.

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The media event in Salt Lake City came ahead of a 40th anniversary celebration planned next month by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints of its 1978 decision to lift a ban on blacks in the religion’s lay priesthood. The ban was rooted in the belief that black skin was a curse, and it lingers as one of the most sensitive topics in the religion’s history.

Neither NAACP President Derrick Johnson nor Mormon church President Russell M. Nelson mentioned the past ban during their brief prepared remarks.

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