“The Long-Promised Day,”
Ensign, June 2018
São Paulo Brazil Temple
Illustration of São Paulo Brazil Temple by Grzegorz Wróbel
Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and  witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending  many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.
He has heard our prayers, and  by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones  every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple.”
With the help of others, President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) carefully studied the scriptures and statements made by Church leaders in addresses, journals, meetings, and other sources since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith, including the following:
1852: “That time will come … [when] they [black members of the Church] will come and have the privilege of all we have the privilege and more.” 1
President David O. McKay
1947: “Sometime in God’s eternal plan, the Negro will be given the right to hold the priesthood. In the meantime, those of that race who receive the testimony of the restored gospel may have their family ties protected and other blessings made secure, for in the justice and mercy of the Lord they will possess all the blessings to which they are entitled in the eternal plan of salvation and exaltation.” 2
President Harold B. Lee
1972: “It’s only a matter of time before the black achieves full status in the Church. We must believe in the justice of God. The black will achieve full status, we’re just waiting for that time.” 3
2. Witnessing the faithfulness
Read the powerful experiences of faithful black members around the world who joined the Church before the 1978 revelation and experienced the announcement of the long-promised day:
3. Many hours … supplicating
President Spencer W. Kimball
1978: “I remember very vividly the day after day that I walked over to the temple. … I knelt and prayed. And I prayed with such a fervency, I tell you! I knew that something was before us that was extremely important to many of the children of God.” 4
In 1979, President Kimball further explained: “I want you to know, as a special witness of the Savior, how close I have felt to him and to our Heavenly Father as I have made numerous visits to the upper rooms in the temple, going on some days several times by myself. The Lord made it very clear to me what was to be done.”
4. He has heard our prayers
President Thomas S. Monson
1978: “At the conclusion of the meeting with the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve, we had a special prayer at the altar [in the temple] where President [Spencer W.] Kimball was voice. He implored the Lord for light and knowledge on this issue which has such far-reaching consequences. It was a source of great comfort to the Brethren to hear his humble pleadings as he sought guidance in his lofty calling.” 6
In 1985, reflecting on the direction from God that followed this prayer, President Monson wrote, “It was a moment of exultation, for we had heard the Lord’s prophet declare the Lord’s revelation for this time.”
5. By revelation … confirmed
President Gordon B. Hinckley
1988: “There was a hallowed and sanctified atmosphere in the room. For me, it felt as if a conduit opened between the heavenly throne and the kneeling, pleading prophet of God who was joined by his Brethren. The Spirit of God was there. And by the power of the Holy Ghost there came to that prophet an assurance that the thing for which he prayed was right, that the time had come, and that now the wondrous blessings of the priesthood should be extended to worthy men everywhere regardless of lineage.
“Every man in that circle, by the power of the Holy Ghost, knew the same thing.”
The revelation was about more than just ordination to the priesthood. Men, women, and children were blessed by access to all priesthood ordinances, including the blessings of the temple.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie
1981: “The time had now come to offer the fulness of the everlasting gospel, including celestial marriage, and the priesthood, and the blessings of the temple, to all men, without reference to race or color, solely on the basis of personal worthiness.” 9
Editors’ note: This article is not meant to be a comprehensive explanation of
Official Declaration 2, only a starting point for your own study.
Brigham Young, speech given on Feb. 5, 1852; see “Race and the Priesthood,” Gospel Topics,
David O. McKay, in Llewelyn R. McKay,
Home Memories of President David O. McKay (1956), 231.
Harold B. Lee, in L. Brent Goates,
Harold B. Lee: Prophet and Seer (1985), 506.
Spencer W. Kimball, in Edward L. Kimball, “Spencer W. Kimball and the Revelation on Priesthood,”
BYU Studies, vol. 47, no. 2 (2008), 52.
Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball (2006), 239.
Thomas S. Monson, in Heidi S. Swinton,
To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson (2010), 393.
Thomas S. Monson, in Swinton,
To the Rescue, 394.
Gordon B. Hinckley, “
Priesthood Restoration,” Ensign, Oct. 1988, 70.
Bruce R. McConkie, “The New Revelation on Priesthood,” in
Priesthood (1981), 128.