RELIGION

50th anniversary celebration held for The Genesis Group

Oct 23, 2021, 11:55 PM | Updated: Oct 24, 2021, 10:08 am

SALT LAKE CITY – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Genesis Group, an organization dedicated to serving Black members of the Church.

Through several voices – including well-known members of the Church, like Alex Boyé and the Debra Bonner Unity Gospel Choir – the Tabernacle at Temple Square came to life Saturday evening.

“Often times, we find ourselves in communities where there’s not a lot of us, not a lot of African Americans. It’s important that we have the opportunities to get together and celebrate with each other and enjoy our culture together,” said Davis Stovall, president of the Genesis Group.

Saturday’s event also paid tribute to the Genesis Group’s rich history, including the significance of its inception seven years before President Spencer W. Kimball announced the revelation giving the priesthood to all men of the faith.

Until 1978, Black male members were excluded from holding the priesthood.

The Genesis Group was started in 1971.

Three apostles were tasked to oversee its creation – Elders Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson and Boyd K. Packer.

“We are the ones that did not have the priesthood, and so Genesis was started as a result of that, and to know the origin story and to know that it was something that weighed so heavily on the hearts of our leaders that they started this group and that we continue to have it today, it’s beautiful,” said Tamu Smith, who participated in Saturday’s program.

Saturday’s event was not just for Black members.

Kenny Burt, who was invited by a member of the Choir, said it gave him an opportunity to learn more about the sacrifices of the Church’s Black Pioneers.

“It just warmed my heart and touched my soul deeply,” said Burt.

Izabele Corbin, a Church member from Brazil, said Black members outside of the United States can also relate to the stories of early African-American Pioneers.

“I loved the music, it touched my heart,” Corbin said. “Also hear[ing] the stories about the Black people in the beginning of the Church — the Pioneers — was really nice.”

Smith hopes Church members of all races will walk away with a greater sense of understanding and appreciation.

“It frees them up to be able to tell the hard stories without shame, and it frees us up to listen to the hard things without feeling guilt,” she said.

Over the years, the Genesis Group has functioned in various formats and currently operates as a multi-stake activities group in Utah. The group hosts meetings on the first Sunday of every month.

KSL 5 TV Live

Religion

The Angel Moroni statue sits atop the Salt Lake Temple as thousands begin gathering at the Conferen...

Eric Cabrera, KSL NewsRadio

Renovation managers give updates on Salt Lake Temple

Salt Lake Temple renovation managers have given updates on the project. They come after four and a half years of construction.

1 day ago

Elder Jorge F. Zeballos, President of the Church’s South America Northwest Area, his wife Carmen ...

Mark Jones

Church announces groundbreaking news for 2 temples in South America

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced Monday groundbreaking news for temples to be built in South America.

2 days ago

The Taylorsville Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated on Su...

Mark Jones

‘Faithful members will be blessed’: Elder Gerrit W. Gong dedicates Taylorsville Utah Temple

The Taylorsville Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated Sunday by Elder Gerrit W. Gong, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

10 days ago

Jennifer Bate, Lillian Wilkins, Andrew Wardle and David Een (accompanied by Alex Marshall) perform ...

Carlysle Price

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints releases 13 new Hymns

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has begun it's gradual release of the new global hymnbook, releasing 13 new songs Thursday.

13 days ago

Couple stands among children **This image is for use with this specific article only**...

CNN

American missionary couple killed by gang in Haiti, family says

A married couple from the US who were serving as missionaries in Haiti were killed there on Thursday, family members said.

19 days ago

A husband and wife serving as full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day S...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Latter-day Saint missionary husband follows wife in death, days after tragic accident

A husband and wife serving as full-time senior missionaries in California have both died as a result of a traffic accident.

22 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

50th anniversary celebration held for The Genesis Group