Thursday, March 08, 2012

Jane Manning, black Mormon pioneer

Jane Manning James
Excerpts of  "See Jane pray — remembering a black Mormon pioneer and her decades of devotion," Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune
"Jane" is Jane Manning James, a friend of Mormon founder Joseph Smith and his wife, Emma. James was also a servant in the LDS prophet's Mansion House. In 1894, she was "sealed" to Mormonism's first couple "not as their spiritual child but as their eternal 'servitor,' " Mueller notes.

James was denied access to the temple for more than 40 years despite persistent pleas to do work for her dead and to be sealed to a priesthood-holding man.
After 1978, when the LDS Church lifted the ban on blacks in the priesthood, James was posthumously sealed to her children and enjoyed full temple blessings.

Max Mueller, a Harvard-trained non-Mormon scholar who is writing his doctoral dissertation on Mormon concepts of race in the early LDS movement, will present his research Thursday, March 8, with a lecture titled "Jane's Faith" in the LDS Church Office Building's auditorium at 7 p.m. The presentation is part of the LDS Church History Library's "Men and Women of Faith" series.