The Book


Panther to Priesthood is the autobiography of Ed Willis . The powerful message in this gripping life-story is that the ultimate transformation and search for lasting peace, happiness, and racial equality is found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Ed's life’s journey was punctured by intense encounters with prejudice, violence, addiction, and hopelessness. Both Ed and Wanda were members of the Black Panther Political Party in their early adult years. During this tumultuous era, they both continued to search for a better world and the answers to life’s ultimate questions: “What is the meaning of life?,” “Is there a God who loves me and is interested in my welfare?,” and “Is there a different way to find harmony and unity with my brothers and sisters of all colors and ethnicities?” Where could they find answers to these questions? Here are Ed’s thoughts on this matter:

In Panther to Priesthood the act of racism comes up in various places in the book.  Mankind has been divided by racism and it has created an embedded psychology of slavery that remains entrenched in both whites and in blacks.  Differences in others can enrich our lives and yet divisions can tear our lives down.  We’re divided by economics, geography, race, religion and politics, just to name a few.  Love for one another can erase all divides.  In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints we learn that through Jesus Christ, with His gospel and His commandments, this can be accomplished.


The restored gospel and the Priesthood upon the earth can resolve in each child of God the differences that divide us.  My wife, Wanda Willis, my sister-in-law Elva Clay and I, Ed Willis, testify to these truths for these are the building blocks the Lord has provided for us in the LDS Church.  With these truths we have gained liberty in Christ Jesus. 

We hope the same for all.”