Printer-friendly version

Joseph Smith and the Abolition of Slavery

Joseph Smith opposed the abolition of slavery in the mid-1830s, but then changed his position and supported abolitionism toward the end of his life. The four articles listed below provide two examples each of Joseph’s public teaching on the subject.


1. Slavery is authorized by the BibleLatter-Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, April 1836

2. Critique of abolitionismLatter-Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, April 1836 (this article is unsigned but apparently represents Joseph Smith’s position at the time)

3. Blacks Should Be Separate but Legally Equal (History of the Church, 2 Jan. 1843) 

4. Abolish Slavery (History of the Church, 7 Feb. 1844)