In this article, the author presents a highly selective reflection on the history of the LDS Church's evolving teachings on race. He divides the discussion into three periods: pre-1978 era, post-1978 era, and the current era.
The author argues that, in all three periods, the LDS Church has worked to tell a story of historical continuity in its relationship with people of African descent. For Latter-day Saints, in terms of establishing new doctrine, God's Church doesn't make history. Only God does. And His prophets enact changes to doctrine based on revelation. Yet lately, the LDS Church has begun to acknowledge (or political exigencies have forced it to do so) that Church leaders have, on occasion, made history themselves-at least in terms of race-based exclusionary policies-and not the kind of history that today's Church believes is in continuity with God's wishes. [From the article]