Generally speaking, when anyone wants an easy quote on the past racist theologies of Mormonism, they quote Bruce R. McConkie. I am one of those people who would like a clearer statement repudiating past theological justifications for the priesthood ban. On the other hand, I think that at times folks understate the extent to which they have already been repudiated explicitly. In August of 1978, two months after the publication of the revelation to President Kimball, Elder McConkie told an audience at BYU:
Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more.
Accordingly, I have a request. Anytime anyone in the press quotes Elder McConkie’s theologies of race, I would ask that they also quote this passage from his sermon “All Are Alike Unto God.” Of course, simply lining up the two quotes doesn’t capture the full complexity of the issue for either Mormonism or Elder McConkie. (I am not conviced that he ever fully rejected the notion that black’s were less valiant in the pre-existence.) On the other hand, it would be a whole lot more accurate than simply quoting McConkie as the Mormon position on race and saying that his statements have never been repudiated.