Odds are high that this quote is simply a vestigial remnant of an earlier era rather than a deliberate decision on the part of the Church to discourage interracial marriage in 2015. Consider the Church’s new for seminary students. Its coverage of Genesis 9 explicitly counters the old “curse of Canaan” idea and uses language very similar to the Gospel Topics essay:
Although this quote is offensive, it is softened only slightly by the fact that it is still-not-exactly-helpfully encouraging marriage between people with similar backgrounds and cultures. The manual’s follow-up questions all focus on the importance of marrying within the faith rather than within one’s race (not that racial categories are even so clear cut anyway). Also, attend well to President Kimball’s important role in facilitating the revealed lifting of the restriction which is briefly outlined in the Gospel Topics essay. At the same time, the quote does not identify interracial marriage as sinful, but rather that it is not recommended. Technically, the manual’s statement and the essay can still be understood to not contradict each other.
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Given the flexibility in updating the “Race and the Priesthood” essay, perhaps this manual could be updated in its digital edition, or perhaps it’s time to simply retire the manual’s digital edition. In fact, the next change in the Gospel Topics essay appears in a paragraph that states: