First black priesthood holder recalls historic day

Joseph Freeman's friend wondered what was wrong.

He noticed that Freeman was visibly concerned -- a mystery since the man who is usually smiling had just received historic news that would positively change his and many others' lives.

Freeman -- who would become the first Mormon of black African descent to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in the LDS Church after the 1978 priesthood revelation -- was asked by his friend what his worry was. "This means I have to go home teaching now," Freeman joked.

Freeman, 58, recently spoke of his conversion and his groundbreaking experience.

Long before the LDS Church appeared on his radar, Freeman was a devoted religious person. At 10 years old, he was baptized as a member of the Holiness Church.

Furthermore, it was his dream to become a lay minister in the faith, something he accomplished after earning an evangelist's license.

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