Mormon leader denounces racism at conference

Quentin L. Cook, a member of a top governing body, spoke briefly about race Saturday during a speech on the importance of humility.

Cook reminded members that the religion’s signature scripture, the Book of Mormon, declares that “we all are unlike unto God.” He said anyone who claims superiority based on race, sex, language or economic class is morally wrong and doesn’t understand God’s purpose for his followers.

Cook’s comments come after church leaders in August condemned white supremacist attitudes as “morally wrong and sinful” after a protest over a Confederate War monument in Charlottesville, Virginia, descended into deadly violence.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints still deals with questions about their views on race, in part because the faith banned men of African descent from the lay clergy until 1978. The church now disavows the theories of the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, which led to the ban.