Undercover Brother

Mormon Encounters

In 1978, the Mormons allowed black males to become members of the Mormon priesthood, amid allegations of racial discrimination. At that time, Spencer W. Kimball—the president of the LDS (Latter Day Saints)—supposedly had a revelation from God that allowed Mormons of all races to be eligible for the priesthood.

     The previous doctrine recorded in the Book of Mormon stating that dark skinned people were cursed, was overturned due to internal and outside pressures on the church. Soon after this change in doctrine, I shifted into undercover investigative reporter mode again, and infiltrated a local LDS congregation.

Mormon missionaries

     To gain entry, I played along with a pair of Mormon missionaries who canvassed my neighborhood. I pretended to be interested in joining the church, and was invited to attend a Sunday service. While there, I took in all that I could. However, I did something that I still regret till this day. They use water for communion—not wine, nor grape juice. Since this was a poor representation for the blood of Christ, I still participated in the liturgy and drank it anyway, in order not to blow my cover.

Spy vs Spy

     A few weeks later, while attending a class at the University of Phoenix extension in Mountain View, I ran into a shocking situation. I had just entered the classroom and was preparing for the lecture, when the professor made the following remark: “Some people are here to learn more about giving professional talks on the Mormon priesthood.” His statement shook me up. I looked around at the other students, and all of them seemed oblivious to what was just said. As for me, I knew exactly what he was saying; since I had been grooming myself to become a more polished and effective lecturer, by taking public speaking classes.
     Evidently, Mormons were watching me as much as I was watching them. It was like a case of “spy versus spy.” I compared it to a situation when looking through a pair of binoculars at someone, only to find out they’re staring back. Since some of the employees at IBM were Mormons, they must have kept track of my moves; especially after I had expressed an interest in becoming a member of the LDS. Needless to say, my cover was blown, and the jig was up. From then on, I ceased my internal investigation of the church. I had been foiled again.

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