Born on December 25, 1959, Bradley Ray Wilcox teaches ancient scripture at BYU and has served as the second counselor in the Young Men general presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church since April 2020.
Among his many works, The Continuous Atonement stands out. He has been a part of the LDS Church’s Sunday School General Board and is a frequent speaker at church functions.
Early Life and Career
Wilcox grew up in the Mormon community of Provo, Utah, and then relocated to Ethiopia. While serving as a missionary for the Latter-day Saints in Chile, he composed the anthem for the Via del Mar Mission. He earned his BA in elementary education from BYU in 1985.
After that, Wilcox became a sixth-grade teacher in Provo. Subsequently, he returned to BYU to complete a master’s degree in education.
Wilcox completed his Ph.D. studies at the University of Wyoming with a concentration in “curriculum and teaching with a focus on literacy.” After that, he joined BYU’s faculty, initially teaching in the School of Education and then in the School of Ancient and Mormon Studies.
Brad Wilcox Controversy
Brigham Young University theology professor and Latter-day Saint leader Brad Wilcox has issued yet another apology for racially insensitive comments he made in the past.
Wilcox further on the topic during a virtual event meeting with young people in Edmonton, Alberta on Sunday night, saying, “This has been a challenging week for me. At least some of you may have heard about a talk I gave on Sunday. Now, I’ve delivered that lecture before, and I have utilized the principles I presented and the rationale I used to try to address some tough problems before.
Wilcox was alluding to a video of his speech given to a group of young people at a fireside in Alpine on February 7 that has since gone viral online.
Many people found disrespectful and controversial statements Wilcox made about the Church’s former policy of denying the priesthood to those of “black African origin.”
On Sunday night, he continued his apology by adding, “In the past, I failed to recognize how my statements may be regarded as insensitive and harmful, and I’m very grateful for people — friends like Brother Corbitt — who have helped me, corrected me, and taught me. Please accept my apologies once more, and know that my gratitude to God for His atoning sacrifice in Jesus Christ is greater than ever.
Two further videos of Wilcox’s public speeches since the first have emerged with nearly identical content.
Wilcox says in one of the clips, “I don’t want to be a little over-simplistic, but sometimes I just think that we make things too complicated. When did Blacks finally get access to the priesthood?
Brother Wilcox, what gives with that? Say what? Latter-day Saints are biased? Wait, Brigham Young was a jerk? Basically, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of viewpoints.
Perhaps, though, we have posed the wrong inquiry. Perhaps a more appropriate question would be, “Why didn’t everyone else obtain the priesthood until 1829?” rather than “Why didn’t the Blacks get the priesthood until ’78?” The restoration of the priesthood didn’t happen until 1829; why did that take so long?
Concerned as we are by the recent statements made by Dr. Brad Wilcox, we would like to say the following. We accept his apology in good faith and think he will grow as a result of this.
In accordance with President Nelson’s directive, BYU will continue to work to eliminate prejudice on campus.
Among the Committee on Race, Equity, and Belonging’s suggestions was the establishment of a new Office of Belonging, and we are following the principles laid out by President Worthen to evaluate and implement these suggestions.
Wilcox and his wife, Deborah G. Gunnell, have raised four children. She worked as a nurse in Guatemala while on a religious mission.