UTAH (ABC4) – Brad Wilcox, a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a religion professor at Brigham Young University has issued another apology regarding controversial race statements he’s been criticized over.
In a virtual event meeting for a youth audience in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday night, Wilcox spoke further on the controversy saying, “This has been a hard week for me. Some of you may have heard about a talk I gave last Sunday night. Now, it wasn’t the first time I’d given that talk and it wasn’t the first time I’ve used the ideas I shared or the line of reasoning that I used to try and address some difficult topics.”
Wilcox was referring to a video recording of an address he made at a youth fireside in Alpine on Feb. 7 that circulated around social media.
Wilcox came under fire after statements he made regarding the Church’s previous policy on withholding the priesthood from people of “black African descent” in a way that many found offensive and controversial.
He continues his apology on Sunday night saying, “In the past, I failed to see how my comments could be seen as insensitive and hurtful, and I’m very grateful for friends — friends like Brother Corbitt -– who have helped me and corrected me, and taught me. Once again, I apologize and am grateful, more than ever, for the atonement of Jesus Christ, which allows us to trust in the Lord.”
Since that first video, two more videos have surfaced, showing Wilcox making almost identical statements during speaking events.
In one of the videos, Wilcox says, “I don’t mean to be a little over-simplistic, but sometimes I just think that we make things too complicated. Why didn’t the Blacks get the priesthood until 1978? What’s up with that, Brother Wilcox? What, Latter-day Saints were prejudiced? What — Brigham Young was a jerk? I mean, you’ll hear a lot of things. But maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Maybe instead of asking why didn’t the Blacks get the priesthood until ’78, we should be asking why didn’t everybody else get it before 1829? I mean, why did they have to wait until 1829 to have the priesthood restored?”
BYU has since released a statement on Twitter saying:
“We are deeply concerned with the words recently used by Dr. Brad Wilcox. We appreciate his sincere apology & believe he is committed to learn from this experience. BYU remains committed to upholding President Nelson’s charge to root out racism in our institutions. We are carrying out the guiding principles outlined by President Worthen in evaluating and implementing the recommendations provided by the Committee on Race, Equity and Belonging, including the creation of a new Office of Belonging.”