I hope my Stake President and other leaders don't mind if I use my paper
scriptures. I like them, find them easier to mark, and can see them better.
I'm noticing a little bit of arrogance among some Church members who seem
to think one is a Neanderthal if one isn't up on buying and using the
latest digital gadget. It's rather amusing sometimes to watch these people
stumbling around on their phones trying to find some spot in their manuals or
when their devices run out of battery power.
I think one word describes my feelings on this matter: Huzzah!
Very impressive! I am glad we can now point church members and other individuals
with sincere questions to official sources to help explain these sensitive
topics in a condensed and simplified fashion. I imagine the church will address
more sensitive topics as time goes on.
Nothing enables an evolving reality like the internet. Gone are the days when
you have to be held to so called truths issued in the past.
@BloodhoundI use my paper scriptures as well. I feel it is
something I can pass on to my children.
As the church continues to come out of obscurity and out of darkness and shown
to the world as a light upon a hill that cannot be hid, we now have a wonderful
resource to show the world the facts regarding certain things that some thought
were being kept a secret. I am impressed that the leadership has taken this
added stance and given the membership something to share with others what is
official. Of course the detractors will still make their claims but
I long for the day when all will be revealed and nothing will be hidden as God
opens His history to all to view. There will be some rather shocked faces as he
shows the truth of what happened in the past and that, for example, he really
did appear to Joseph Smith and, he really did reveal the Book of Abraham through
revelation to him (among a LOT of other things). It will be then
that those who have fought against the church will wish they wouldn't have
and will regret all they have done to try and ruin The Lord's true church
upon the earth.
I am thrilled the the LDS Church is taking the time to put some of the tougher
issues on the website. I just read the one on Race and the Priesthood and it
doesn't gloss over the topic or try to sugar coat the Church's history
on this point. Having the ability to go to the website of the Church and get the
full story directly from the Church will be great for this and a few other
"hard" topics. I look forward to the Church putting more of these on the
I'd like a few more answers please:Are illegal aliens allowed to
serve missions without returning home first?How do they obtain temple
recommends?Is tax fraud still considered a sin?
"Church members are cheering the enhanced pages, especially the one on race
and the priesthood, which plainly "disavows" theories some critics have
claimed were church doctrine and the basis for a ban on blacks holding the
priesthood, a ban lifted by revelation in 1978."Let's not
take a step backward with this paragraph. Let's call it like it is. The
Church is disavowing things that WERE taught as DOCTRINE by church leaders,
often in general conference. I am not a critic, I just want my church to be open
and honest about its history, and that includes you, Church-owned Deseret News.
The Church's statement was a huge step in the right direction. Please,
don't muddle things up by presenting things the way you did in this
paragraph. Sure, some critics claimed these theories were doctrine, but so did
many Church leaders through the years, and surely Church leaders are not
Some very important commentary on the new church statement comes from LDS
historian Richard Bushman. According to the SL Tribune, Bushman says that the
church statement "is written as a historian might tell the story ... not as
a theological piece, trying to justify the practice." Bushman goes on to
say that the new statement "drains the ban of revelatory significance, makes
it something that just grew up and, in time, had to be eliminated." In
other words, the statement repudiates not just the rationales, but the ban
I thought the issue of blacks and the priesthood was handled sensitively in the
book not published by Deseret entitled "David O. McKay and the Rise of
Modern Mormonism." Based on notes and diaries of Clare Middlemiss, Pres.
McKay's personal secretary from his time of ordination as an apostle until
his death. At the time of publication, though only a few years ago, the
chances of the book's frank approach being allowed by Deseret Book were
probably still quite slim.The point was made that Brigham Young
established a policy - not a doctrine - about the issue. He wanted Utah to be a
state; we are approaching the Civil War. Later custom afterward logically
required revelation since the church was growing worldwide and during
McKay's time, the civil rights era, restoring priesthood to blacks would
probably have blown a hole in a church with such an insular membership
heretofore.The sad part is the human need to know WHY an issue
exists and so we begin making up our "truth." Pity for this. Lots of
damage has happened because we require answers rather than relying on the Lord
for our guidance when it's time.
Seriously...?! Oh, my. Words cannot describe how long overdue this is. The
website continues to be underwhelmingly non-transparent and incomplete. Thank
goodness for my parents awesome library, I have access to all doctrines taught.
You still won't even allow posts here of a factual nature on certain
controversies.It should be obvious and embarrassing that it is still
impossible to get accurate and full documentation on certain controversial
topics. All I have to do is ask three questions about the MMMassacre, BoM
changes and the evolution of the temple ceremony to get my posts denied here.So yes, thank goodness for technology that still documents the reticence
and non-full disclosure of Mormon history to this date.Too little,
To Say No To BoI understand that people see illegal immigrants as
part of the United States problems. In many cases, illegals do create many
issues. But we must also judge as Christ would judge. I love Les Miserables
because Victor Hugo shows how the letter of the law can be harsh and very
Unchristian. The young man or young woman whose parents carried across the
border had no say in the matter. The parent whose children are starving will
take desperate actions to care for his / her family. As we all would.If by paying taxes or trying to make ammends for breaking a law, we imperile
our family, would we do it?These are the issues bishops must grapple
with when an otherwise law abidding, stalwart young man, woman, or family comes
to him for a temple recommend or request to serve a mission. Does the bishop /
stake president instead throw them under bus sort to speak? To report them
would be to destroy that family or person.I am glad I don't
have to judge.
Count me among the members who are cheering these new church statements. That
said, it is incorrect for the DN to suggest that only "critics" are
claiming the now repudiated theories were taught as doctrine. In reality, the
curse of cain, lack of premortal valiancy, and other teachings that are now
rejected were all officially taught as doctrine by prophets, apostles,
seventies, and local leaders. As one example, the 1949 First Presidency
statement on the priesthood ban said the ban was doctrine, revealed by God, and
due to several of the racist theories the church now rejects. I am
very grateful that we live in a time of greater light (to paraphrase Elder
McConkie). But in our zeal to put down the mistakes of our ancestors, let us
not make new mistakes by whitewashing who exactly is responsible for those
teachings. That is our burden to wrestle with. We should not push it off for
our children to stumble upon in the future.
Ohio-LDS-Here is one very important detail to keep in mind regarding
the ban: President McKay prayed about lifting the ban and didn't feel
impressed to at that time. This is very significant because it strongly implies
there were divine reasons for maintaining the ban for whatever reason. One day
we will have all the answers, but this important detail should not be
Of course, such revelations about revelations creates a new set of problems.In the 60s the family of a friend of mine left the church over the position on
the priesthood.What do we say to them?What do we say to all those
missionaries (myself included) who taught that doctrine as coming from the
Lord?Going forward, will we be more skeptical about direction from the
general authorities? And what other "doctrines" will be subject to
scrutiny?Looking for loopholes will become a hobby and rationalizing
behavior now has a new ally.
Say No to BO-Tax fraud: Handbook 1 in the church (available to
Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies) answers this question to leave no doubts
whatsoever. Ask a bishopric member to read to you section 17.1.23 (Income Taxes)
from Handbook 1 for an answer. Emmigration/Immigration: Also ask a
bishopric member to read to you section 17.1.18 (Emigration of Members) in
Handbook 1. This does not directly answer your questions about illegal aliens,
but will serve as very strong foundation and you can probably come to a
I don't believe that simply linking to another church-based website or
article answers the underlying issues addressed. The difficult history and
doctrines espoused by those outside the church are rooted in historical fact and
are proven through original LDS sources. Truth, where ever it is found, is
truth. Spinning history and ignoring long taught and difficult historical
doctrines doesn't dismiss the fact that the church as a very checkered
past. If you read or question a doctrine seen on an outside website, in an
article, or in a tract, don't just dismiss it as false, research it.
Follow the cited references, most from LDS sources. Study it out for yourself
and don't allow the church to direct your path. Many times, the references
will generate more questions, follow those to their conclusion. If you allow
only the church sponsored and faith promoting history to stand without proof,
are you seeking the personal truth that the church promotes? Don't be
afraid to question. When your personal eternal life, and that of your family,
is at stake, it is important to understand and seek the truth, where ever that
truth lies or where it may lead.
Say No,You're questions, while direct are still leading.Our bishops aren't perfect people, neither are our members. But we
don't require anyone to be perfect in order to obtain a temple recommend.
Temple recommends aren't trivial, nor a matter of judgement. They are a
matter of worthiness to obtain certain blessings.Instead, I have one
questions for you.A man and woman are in love and want their
marriage to be united by God for eternity, and unbreakable. Because of his past
mistakes, he still owes a debt to society. He may not even be welcome to
society.Would you deny their desire, perhaps even God's, to
unite them?Personally, I do believe in sustaining the law. But I
also don't see the relevance of someone's desire to enforce justice,
with our desire to worship and attend the temple. To what end should justice
exclude allowing families to be happy? Are the two mutually exclusive? It's
more worth examining the rules critics are introducing into this situation than
it is to examine our own beliefs... why? Because the rules are the criteria we
are being held against.
Just read the page on the ordination of black men to the priesthood. Well done.
@Dave D Why should the DN include everything you want to hear/read? Just read
the webpage on this topic and you will see that your concerns are met.I like @Ohio-LDS and @1.96 Standard Deviations' observations.This change is big, really big. And exciting. Nice direction the First
Presidency is going. Good to see that these often criticized "old men
leaders" recognize technology. It makes no difference what the critics or
member complainers say or will say about this or any other aspect of the church:
The Lord moves in His own time table in in His own way and while at times
explains/teaches us what He does, He chooses not to at times for His own
purposes. That is what faith is all about.
Instead of claiming they can't lead the Church astray, as it is now
acknowledged Brigham Young did in this instance, why not ask that members pray
for them so this doesn't happen?
I also just read the page on Race and Priesthood. It provided some good
historical context and explained the process leading up to the revelation given,
but after reading it the question remains unanswered: Why were the blacks denied
the priesthood in the first place? Honestly. I am not being sarcastic. But
can anybody explain why the original ban as there? Was it because of political
pressure when UT was made a state? It looks like all of the "common"
explanations were disavowed, so what is the explanation of the original ban?
Can anybody shed some light on it or direct me?
Ultimately, it all boils down to faith in the basics of the Gospel. And Church
members need to be more discerning. Just because an administrative announcement
is made, or a leader makes an inspiring statement or exhortation, it does not
mean that becomes a core doctrinal matter. The blacks and the priesthood issue
is a good example. I don't believe it ever came from God. The same holds
true for other statements that became doctrinal in application but were never
intended as such. Example, President McKay's statement, "Every member
a missionary". Or the PR campaign the Church executed in the early 1970s on
families has since taken on a life of its own to the exclusion of all those who
don't fit the mold (singles, for example). Even President Hinkley's
"Six B's" took on an exagerated life of its own. Members would do
well to remember Joseph Smith's statement that a prophet is only a prophet
when acting as such. Otherwise, he is fallible. A good man surely, but
fallible. Some expect us to look at our leadership as infallible, and it
@gittalopctbi,I do not expect the Deseret News to address all my concerns.
But as a news organization, I do expect them to be honest. And the paragraph I
highlighted is not honest. I have read the statement on the Church's
website (not to mention many of the referenced sources) and am pleased with the
progress, though even this statement ignores things that ought to be addressed.
To try to spin the story so it is the critics who are to blame rather than the
leaders and general membership of the Church who actually made these racist
statements only gives church members room to persist in believing that our
racist past was, somehow, divine. If you truly believe that all are alike unto
God, that cannot hold up.
I have read the article about Race and the Priesthood and I am truly impressed
that the Church has embraced its history so completely. As a young boy, my
parents always taught us that one day blacks would have priesthood privilege
equal to others. I always hope it would happen in my lifetime. I served my
mission among blacks in the early 70's and my hope grew significantly as I
wanted these blessings for families I taught and baptized. There has been much
faith required of me in my lifetime, and in this matter, there is no exception.
In the grand scheme of things, I believe that whatever trials or limitations we
face, man-made or God-given, God will rectify and qualify and justify and
glorify all His children through His mercy, justice, love, and perfect plan.
Nobody of us is perfect, we are told God is.I think what we might
overlook here (e.g. church history and priesthood), is that the church, as it is
true, needs to depend and rely on revelations to guide it. They have little
choice, if things aren't the way we expect them. Not knowing everything
about it puts us in the same struggle. That will be hard for people outside of
the church to understand. There is no way we can ever overcome this problem, we
just have to wait for more restorations to come. Our weakness is the past but
more weak is the worthiness of the church to receive more.At least we are
on the road for it.
"Nothing enables an evolving reality like the internet. Gone are the days
when you have to be held to so called truths issued in the past."I don't know. The Enlightenment achieved a lot without the Internet.
This is definitely a start but as Mahalini points out, the basic question of why
blacks were denied the priesthood in the first place remains artfully
Another viewpoint about the Priesthood that must be considered is policy vs.
principle. When Brigham Young declared that blacks could not hold the
Priesthood, was he declaring a policy or a principle? Policies change but
principles don't. I believe that Brigham Young's statement was a
policy not a principle, because Brigham Young taught that the time would come
when blacks would hold the priesthood.Why did Brigham Young declare
a policy about the Priesthood? I don't know. To answer that question, we
would have to look at the context of his statement, and we will need help from
historians to do that. The revelation of 1978 declared the principle that all
worthy men can hold the Priesthood.Why did some LDS give reasons why
blacks could not hold the Priesthood? I think it is because those LDS felt
reasons should be given why the policy was in effect. Since Brigham Young
apparently did not explain his policy, some people gave their own reasons about
the issue.When policies change, it is difficult for many LDS to
accept the change. This indicates those members have mistakenly thought certain
policies were principles and not policies.
So the current church is stating that what previous prophets, seers, revelators,
apostles taught as doctrine (recieved via revelation from almighty God) was just
policy when the first presidency specifically stated it was not policy but
official doctrine is not doctrine but policy? So every prophet and apostle
from Brigham Young to Spencer Kimball was wrong and taught false doctrine,
leading the church astray? but the D&C says God will never allow that to
happen. If God allows church leaders to teach false doctrine then how can we
trust them? What are current prophets teaching that future prophets will look
back on and say "they were speaking as men" or "Thomas S. Monson was
a man of his time and was wrong"? Why did God allow false teachings in his
church for 150 years?
@1aggieAt one point only the sons of Aaron could hold the priesthood
and then only Jews. In the long run, it all works out
RE: Allen, Brigham Young declared that blacks could not hold the Priesthood?
Policy or principle,The Doctrine did not originate with President
Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith…we all it is due
to his teaching that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood. The Way to
perfection, pp 110-111, Joseph Fielding Smith.In 1978, Brazil was
one of the strongest reasons why the ban was lifted. The opening of its new
temple in Sao Paulo, the LDS Church was ordaining hundreds of Brazilians to its
priesthood. Did the LDS Church ignore Brazilian history? Between 1538 and
Brazil's abolition of slavery in 1888, about five million African slaves
were brought to that country. Through mixed marriages, Mulattos make up a
substantial portion of the Brazilian population. How would the LDS Church
possibly know whether or not those being ordained were qualified? With the
dedication of this temple only a few months away, it would seem imperative that
the church either lift the ban or face the possibility of a public relations
nightmare.Among the prophets and teachers of the (early) church at
Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called the black man, Lucius (from
Cyrene)….(Acts 13:1 NLT)
This is long overdue and the right direction towards more transparency around
the history of the church, but it's still not enough. Ever since I started
learning that elements of official church history I was taught were not only
incomplete, but fictionalized stories in many cases, I have wondered when the
church will acknowledge faults of the past and start to define their course for
the future. I'm glad it's happening now, albiet slowly. As for the new "official" statements on Blacks and the Priesthood, I
think the acknowledgement that past doctrines taught by Apostles and Presidents
of the church were incorrect, should cause an orthodox believing member to
question what other doctrines are potentially incorrect, and when is a
"prophet" speaking for the Lord, vs. when is he speaking as a man.
These are fundamental questions that have to be raised, and when I started
raising them for myself that's when my eyes started to be opened and the
faith crisis began for me. I'm still on that journey now, and it's a
hard one, much harder than serving a mission or any other challenges I've
faced earlier in life.
@MahaliniIt seems like God allows us to stumble and fall not only
individually, but as a church as well. Bruce R. McConkie who made very racist
statements about blacks in Mormon Doctrine, later recanted his earlier beliefs
with a statement at a BYU conference where he said, “It doesn’t make
a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before
the first day of June of this year, 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement,
and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on
this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the
past, we forget about them. We now do what meridian Israel did when the Lord
said the gospel should go to the Gentiles. We forget all the statements that
limited the gospel to the house of Israel, and we start going to the
Gentiles.”The church also once taught that polygamy was
essential to exaltation in the celestial kingdom. Many doctrines have changed
with time, we need to be less dogmatic and also realize that our leaders are
fallible humans that make mistakes.
Ultimately, we have to be guided a lot by our own consciences and our own
understanding. All organizations are staffed and led by other mortals, and as
such are subject to mortal frailties and ideologies. It isn't always
popular or acceptable to actually say this in many venues, but it's the
absolute truth. As divine beings created by God, we are each given powers of
intelligence and understanding, and we only disregard or discount those
abilities to our own peril. After all, we're the ones who must personally
bear the consequences of whatever we think, feel, or believe . . . so it stands
to reason that we should be vigilant in this realm, and act accordingly.
Regarding the points that Brigham Young and others who taught that not all men
could have the priesthood where wrong.Initially the Apostles only
went to the Jews. Even Christ himself said he wasn't to go to the
Gentiles. In Matt 15:22-27, Christ told the woman of Canaan that he wasn't
sent but to the Lost Tribes of Isreal, and she responded that even the dogs eat
the crumbs from their master's table.For what ever reason,
Christ was only to teach in his mortal ministry to the tribes of Isreal. Did
that mean he didn't love the Gentiles and Heathens. No, it just means that
it wasn't their time.The scriptures even say that the first
shall be last and the last shall be first. The gospel went to the Jews first,
and it will be taught to them last in the latter days.For what ever
the reason, the Lord didn't need for all to have the Priesthood at the same
time in this dispensation. When he needed the gospel to go forth in his
timeline, he made sure that the prophet understood that all worthly males should
hold the priesthood.
I"m glad the church has issues this explanation about blacks and the
priesthood. It takes a lot of faith on the part of the church to lay it all out
there because there are now a whole new set of questions to account for like why
a prophet say something as a policy yet it be interpreted as a doctrine and then
it not being corrected for years by a future prophet because there was confusion
about it being a policy or a doctrine or whatever the reason.It will
be interesting to see how the topic of polygamy will be handled, particularly
the practice before the 1852 announcement of the practice when it was practiced
long before that date and after the 1890 announcement of it ending when it was
practiced after until the little known 1905 second proclamation. Finally how
will idea that the first wife had to consent when it's a pretty well
established fact that Emma did not consent and in fact fought against it. Which
of course this brings about many more complications in the relationship between
Emma and Joseph. Still I'm glad there is an effort being made
to be transparent by the church.
Ever growing---always learning. This current increase of information just
confirms to me as to the continuing growth of those that lead the LDS Church
through inspiration. Great leaders throughout religious history each have a
human, opinonated side. Brigham Young did a great deal of good, but unlike the
Savior, was not perfect. We all need to express our appreciation to researcher
Dean Jessee for the amazing gift he gave us all in telling us the true and
remarkable story of Joseph Smith. I believe this was the beginning of the
current thought that we are not ashamed of our past. We understand. We've
grown up and stopped apologizing.
"Members of the Church who were considered to be of African descent were
restricted from holding the LDS Church's lay priesthood prior to 1978. The
reason for the ban is not known. There is no contemporary, first-person account
of the ban's implementation. There is no known written revelation
instituting the ban. In 1949, the First Presidency, led by President George
Albert Smith, indicated that the priesthood ban had been imposed by "direct
commandment from the Lord.""The attitude of the Church with
reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the
declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is
founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the
effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not
entitled to the priesthood at the present time.—First Presidency
statement, August 17, 1949"(FairLDS)
Some serious oxygen deprivation at high altitudes going on here? The Tanners
alone have documented changes and accurate historical evidence for over forty
years. And what were we told by church leaders re those facts?... Summon up
some honesty here, my Beehive brethren.Since when is it a
"really big and exciting" deal that your ecclesiastical leaders decide
to openly deal with controversies almost two centuries after the fact? Even the
Vatican dealt with its Nazi sidings within half a century. Why is openly
dealing with controversies suddenly such a paradigm shift that it generates
uphoria here? I am baffled. My thirty-plus years as a generational Mormon of
(proud) heritage saw dealing with our controversies closer to a Vlad
Putin's preference for executive order, rather than an open forum for
improved understanding.All the naval gazing and questioning of past
prejudices here are so outside of objective reasoning, not to mention the total
Biblical absence of anthing even close to the LDS priesthood. If each
successive church prophet never revealed the heavenly reasoning, considering the
possibility of man-made authorship is a viable option.And that is
the conclusion of many of us who left for doctrinal reasons.
"This is long overdue and the right direction towards more transparency
around the history of the church, but it's still not enough."You are right. It is not enough...for some people. Not matter how
transparent the Church is about its history, it is doubtful that it will move
the needle. People have already made up their mind, and nothing will change it.
It has always been that way.
@Sharrona "n 1978, Brazil was one of the strongest reasons why the ban was
lifted."I don't know if Brazil was one of the reasons why
the ban was lifted, but that country certainly benefited, as you have said, by
the lifting of the ban. My wife's uncle was the first President of the
Temple in Brazil, and he was to have to make the final decision whether or not
individuals could enter the Temple. That was a very heavy burden that he
didn't relish, and he and his wife were relieved when the ban was lifted.
At the time the ban was lifted, there was an active LDS in my ward who was of
African descent, and we all rejoiced when we heard about the ban being
lifted.The comments being made about this article show that it is
difficult for most of us to separate policy from principle. Even church leaders,
both local and general, have had a difficult time. We all need to recognize that
LDS leaders are, as others have said in their comments, not infallible in their
decisions and actions, but they are still inspired in their callings.
@Allen "LDS leaders are, as others have said in their comments, not
infallible in their decisions and actions, but they are still inspired in their
callings."One of the things I believe we need to move away from
in the church is the idea that we should always follow our leaders. You say
that leaders are inspired in their callings, and I would alter that statement to
say that leaders have the right to inspiration, but that because they are
fallible and human, they often make mistakes. Some would say that it is better
to follow a leader, even if they are doing something wrong, and that somehow God
will bless us for that obedience. This is a problem in my mind, and I think we
need to speak out about it in the church. I believe we should be individually
accountable for doing something morally wrong, even if we were commanded by a
leader to do it. Think about the things you are being taught, use wisdom,
reason, judgment, prayer and personal inspiration to determine if you believe
they are true, and then follow your conviction to do what is right.
You buried the lead Tad.1. As someone who is not LDS, I think this
new statement on Blacks and the Mormon Priesthood is the most wonderful thing to
come from the Church since 1978. It is a bold new move towards healing,
reconciliation, and reality. It says God does not consider any of his children
to be inferior - and never did. It reaches out the hand of friendship as never
before to those who the Church once discriminated against. Calling this
statement a "website enhancement" is like calling the Declaration of
Independence "a political blog."2. By the way, in the 7th
graph you state it was anti-Mormons who promoted racial theories as "church
doctrine and the basis for a ban on blacks holding the priesthood." I
personally heard those theories taught over the public from the highest leaders
of the Church. I'll also never forget when an Apostle of the Church who
formerly promoted those ideas said, "obviously I was wrong." I sincerely
hope you meant to say something else. There is certainly nothing to be gained
from such an outrageous statement except to detract from the true Christian
Spirit shown in this wonderful gesture by the Church.
Wouldn't it be great if the democrats were as open and transparent about
their history and support of slavery as the Church is on this particular point
of the priesthood? If I were being critical of the Church for its history and
used this particular piece of its history to bash the Church or question my
faith, and I was at the same time a member or supporter of the democrats, I
would have to compare the histories of these two organization with respect to
blacks. I would have to leave the democrat party, the party of slavery,
immediately when I realized that the democrats have been way way worse then the
Church ever was on issues of race. I would have to join the republican party,
the party of Lincoln and emancipation, as a matter of principle and consistency.
@Say No to BO:Based on my experience as a former bishop, which carries
zero official weight, my answers to your 3 questions are: "Are
illegal aliens allowed to serve missions without returning home first?"
Yes."How do they obtain temple recommends?" By honestly answering
the interview questions."Is tax fraud still considered a sin?" I
assume so. It should be noted that although I issued many temple
recommends, I cannot recall ever issuing a recommend to a perfect or sinless
person. None of the recommends I issued was ever rescinded by the Stake
Presidency. It is amazing to me how much confidence the Church places in the
individual judgement, and if you will, inspiration of local priesthood leaders.
I issued more than a few recommends to undocumented residents, and I did so
prayerfully and with a good conscience. These are some of the most temple-worthy
people I know. I also issued temple recommends to people who were working on
overcoming sin--I guess that would be about everybody.
@ DAVID DLook from the eternal perspective of things ? "... now it is better that a man should be judged of God than of man, for
the judgements of God are ALWAYS just, but the judgements of men are not always
just."(Mos 29) Each one of a problem was meant to be, if we
cannot do anything about it or change the substance thereof. But God does do
these things to bless his children, for us hard to comprehend. Only white people
thought black to be a problem, Blacks never did.After we passed through
the veil, we will know that all His works are just.I don't
think on this historical-web the church is failing, I wonder if they intented
this for people to have something to chew on. Because the implications are clear
and ground position is set firm.God was never racial, the church
intentions never either,but God will never lose battle on saving his
children. Is not repentance our main focus on earth, then so is the Priesthood a
means to repent. The Whole have no need for a physician, but the Sick. Some day no races no nations, all being one in Christ.
Detractors and naysayers will never be satisfied. Yet they cry for some
explanation they claim Church leadership is holding back. Even if they could
imagine the worst possible answer, it could not be that much worse than the
explanation already offered: the priesthood was withheld from those because of
the color of their skin. Its really that simple. Now move on.
RE: Casey See, For what ever reason, Christ was only to teach in his mortal
ministry to the tribes of Israel. I ask, didn’t Israel
understand? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by those who are
not a nation; with a senseless nation I will provoke you to anger.” And
Isaiah is even bold enough to say, “I was found by those who did not seek
me; I became well known to those who did not ask for me.”(Roman 10:19-20
NET). Because of Jewish unbelief.Jesus went to, “the other
sheep” or Gentiles,( in John 10:16). .. I want you to know that
God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!"
Acts 28:28.RE: Allen, Priesthood authority? In(D&C 110: 1-16)
Elias and Elijah appear to JS, but in the Bible they are the same person. The
KJV translators attempted to transliterate Elijah to Elias because there
isn’t a Greek character for the English letter J.To avoid
confusion, modern translations: NIV, NJKV, Catholic Bible have Elijah instead
of Elias in(Mt 11:14, Mark 9:12-13; Luke 1:17)JS mis-understood the KJV.
If Mormon prophets say things that are simply not correct, does that mean that
God told them something incorrect(since they're speaking for God)Or did the prophets simply not understand what God told them? And if so, how
does one ever know whether a prophet is truly speaking for God or just claiming
With regard to temple recommends, I know some people who could probably sail
right through all the recommend questions--and maybe have. However, they are
also some of the most dangerous people on the planet in my opinion, given their
avowed ideologies and positions. Some of these folks spend a lot of time in our
nation's capitol, and are working busily to overthrow what we have left of
a free nation. Scary stuff, but further proof that ecclesiastical edicts,
traditions, and even judgments don't always cover the entire gambit of our
existence or its ramifications.
1.96,There is absolutely no reason that David O McKay had to justify
keeping the Priesthood from Blacks and also keeping Temple admittance to black
men and women.Keeping Blacks or any race of people from having the
Priesthood was a vile and racist policy.For others as well as
1.96,As someone who studied and taught LDS Church history, I hope
that the LDS Church realizes that ALL history is useful and necessary to be
shared with the public and most especially to LDS Church members.
I see the LDS church doctrine like arguing gravity.You can talk all
bout how and why, but the apple still falls to the ground.With
staunch LDS, there us no use in discussing the "warts" because, in the
end, there has to be an explanation or reason. And there are usually many,
depending on who you ask. The key is to pick the one you are
comfortable with and move on.Isn't it just possible that the
MEN who led the church just went with the flow about blacks?Maybe there
was no reason as to why. Maybe it just seemed like the thing to do. And then, with all the uproar in the 60's and 70's, isn't it
just possible that a smart leader realized that this could not continue if the
church was to grow?Same with polygamy. Isn't the most logical
explanation as to why it started, the obvious one? And, isn't the reason
for the end of polygamy also most likely the logical/obvious one?Yes, these could certainly be inspiration from above, but how can one discount
the possibility of decisions of plain old mortal men?
@ mattrick78No the priesthood was not denied because of the color of
their skin,it was denied because of such claim that those blessings were
reserved for future generation of people of such certain tribe and lineage.That is a very big difference.Also the Lamanites were denied
such blessings after times of Moroni, not because of their skin color. The
Whiteness referred to in the scriptures is in relation to the spiritual purity
of people, not skin color.Egypt tried to upheld the old patriarchal
system, but was denied. What skin color did they have? Skin color is an
indication of blood lineage, it has nothing to do with worthiness.
I wonder if some of the delay in giving the priesthood to blacks didn't
have something to do with apartheid in South Africa. Would the church have been
placing some of its members at risk if the church changed its policy? Or would
it loose recognition? Back in the '60s it was against the law for blacks
and whites to go to the same church in South Africa. Perhaps the time for the
revelation was related to a softening of South Africa's apartheid policy.
Just a thought.
You can't spin the PC card here. It is what it is and it's documented
to the teeth. Reversals on bans or doing a 180 on plural/celestial marriage
won't change what every 19th-century LDS prophet said came straight from
God (of this world). Lipstick it all you want. We lived it and taught it,
cringed while trying to explain it, as The Brethren didn't budge for almost
150 years.Black skin was the curse of Cain. Polygamy was/is the
Order of Heaven. Coffee, cigarettes and liquor keep you out of the temple,
from being sealed for eternity, and from joining The Father and The Son in the
Celestial Kingdom. The high exodus rate began in the 90's. So
now they try to get in front of the caboose? Since the '80's, The
Brethren have allocated the debates and apologetics to FAIR, FARMS and BYU
profs. They could have simply had a fireside chat with "God's very
spokesman" answering any questions. And now with all the technology, they
still defer to the pulpit twice a year?'White and
delightsome' is not pure and delightsome on any level or lipstick.
So let me see if I get this straight: reading many of the above comments tells
me that prior to President Kimball, every Prophet was party to a false
practice.(including Brigham Young). Sorry people but I reject that notion
entirely. I accept that certain explanations had no basis in truthLet me see if I get this straight: according to many of the above comments,
every Prophet prior to President Kimball was party to a false/erroneous practice
vis-a-vis blacks and the Priesthood. Sorry people but I totally reject that
notion. I firmly support all Prophets of this dispensation as Prophets, Seers,
and Revelators, and that this Church is the Lord's kingdom on the earth.
You cannot have it both ways folks..... The Church is true but many Prophets
went happily along with false doctrine!!!!. BULLoney! I do not have answers on
many things but I say it again BULLoney!!The Savior is in control, He has
reasons for things we do not understand.
Thinkman-In the Old Testament, only the tribe of Levi had the
priesthood. Christ himself also limited the preaching of the gospel to the Jews
and excluded the gentiles for a time. Why? I don't know. God's wisdom
is far greater than our own and all things come at the proper time and place.
God is merciful and just, and temple work allows for the blessings of the gospel
to reach everyone dead or alive. President McKay was a prophet of
God and His authorized spokesman at that time. This prophet of God did not feel
impressed to lift the ban at that time after pleading with God. God's
wisdom is far greater than our own and all things come at the proper time and
place. Have faith that God is merciful and just.
Excuse me people, but it was pointed out above that the First Presidency in 1949
issued the following statement confirming that the ban was DOCTRINE:"It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct
commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from
the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of
the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present
time.—First Presidency statement, August 17, 1949"Why is this very clear and all-important declaration not even mentioned on the
website? Seems like the usual whitewashing is going on to me.
To those claiming the priesthood ban was policy and not doctrine..."From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the
doctrine of the Church, never questioned by Church leaders, that the Negroes are
not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel." (Statement of The First
Presidency on the Negro Question, July 17 1947, quoted in Mormonism and the
Negro, pp.46-7)"The attitude of the Church with reference to
Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of
a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the
doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that
Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the
priesthood at the present time." (The First Presidency on the Negro
Question, 17 Aug. 1949)It is clear that if the highest members of
the church, the first presidency say that it is doctrine, the it was doctrine.
They claimed it was a direct revelation from the lord. So now, were they wrong
with that revelation?
The racism taught as doctrine in the July 17, 1947 letter by the First
Presidency to Dr. Lowry Nelson, was a tentacle of the apostasy that held on
after the restoration, and polluted the minds of the Lord's anointed.
Lucifer himself was the origin of these folk doctrines, and he sought to destroy
the church by whispering lies in the ears of the prophets through the years to
prevent the elect, foreordained for leadership, faithful African people of the
earth from receiving blessings. God was not the source of the doctrines.
Lucifer took pride that he was able to thrash prophets in this way just as he
laughed with glee when Mark Hoffman deceived prophets with his forgeries. It is
a time for tears that it took so long for the voice of the Lord to be heard.
Also a time for joy that we can move on into the future and let the scars
preserve for us a remembrance of the glimmers of hope that have emerged.
Footnotes, or editor notes will need to be added disavowing the following
scriptures: 1) 2 Nephi 5:21 "Lord God did cause a skin of blackness
to come upon them."2) Alma 3:63) 3 Nephi 2:154) Jacob
3:8-95) Moses 7:22 "for the seed of Cain were black, and had not
place among them."6) JST Genesis 7:107) JST Genesis 7:29
"for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them."
"and he sought to destroy the church by whispering lies in the ears of the
prophets "My earlier point exactly.But then, that
brings us to another conundrum.You are claiming that the Profits
were all led astray concerning blacks and the priesthood.So, you are
suggesting that the profits can be led astray and present incorrect
teachings?How often do you think that happens. When will it happen next.
Was the introduction of Polygamy also wrong and "wispered" by
"Lucifer himself"?I will give it to you. While it was
creative, these attempts to justify past issues create more confusion and
problems than they explain.
metatronNice. So gods own anointed, who supposedly communicate and
get revelation from god directly, couldn't tell that this
"doctrine" was coming from satan? If so, then we can never trust that
the revelations came from god... The Doctrine and Covenants states that a
prophet can never lead the church astray... Revelations from the devil would be
considered leading astray
Interesting discussion. I am a little disappointed. I think it'd be easier
if the church identified racist doctrines outright, rather than explaining
policy vrs doctrine. I honestly don't have a problem respecting prophets
who endorsed racist viewpoints. We all have weaknesses. I can feel the
promptings of the Holy Ghost regarding their teachings. With the curriculum
program of the church doing so much work to present the teachings of prophets of
old for relevance today, I'd think we could weather the claim. The problem is the potential to imply that anything a prophet says is just his
bias rather than relevation. I suspect that our leaders sometimes receive
promptings, and even in attempting to put such promptings into words of
instruction for the general membership they aren't entirely sure
they've managed to communicate what God wanted communicated. It's the
same fear Moroni feared when he worried about "the mistakes of men". But we should be able to cope with that. Perhaps that's one of the
greatest tests we face as a membership is the need to think for ourselves,
rather than place the onus of infallibility on our leadership.
- 1.96 I had to respond to this idea that, "only the tribe of Levi had
the priesthood". This is not correct, as it is stated in Psalms 110,
"Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." There were
plenty of non-levite priests in the Old Testament; - Gideon - built an
altar and performed sacrificial rites and he was of the tribe of Manasseh.- Minoah - the father of Sampson who was of the tribe of Dan performed
sacrificial priesthood rites.- Elkenah - Father of Samuel was of the tribe
of Ephraim and he held the priesthood.- David's sons - Tribe of judah
were ordained priests 2 Samuel 8:18 they held offices in the priesthood, then we
have the book of Mormon:Lehi - Tribe of Manasseh, Nephi, Jacob, Alma, etc.
held the priesthood in the old testament.To be of Christ and an heir is to
hold priesthood power, Galatians 3:29 "If you belong to Christ, then you are
Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."
DNA analysis shows that the some Africans such as descendants of the Falashic,
and Lemba of Ethiopia and Zimbabwe have a legal right to the priesthood as
y-chromosomal tests have verified that a line of males carry the cohen modal
haplotype. After entering the waters of baptism, and entering the "new and
an everlasting covenant" DCov 22,DandCov 68:16,18DandCov
107:16,76"But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the
presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry"
Many comments above are from folks who have no testimony of the Restored Church.
Your words are now and have been for years simply a re-hash of the malarkey we
have heard from you all along. Don't waste your time and mine as I have
come to realize just from your name here that your words merit ZERO of my time.
If all you have is the Bible then you are part of the 39,000 so-called Christian
denominations. Where is God at this moment? Where is his Only Begotten, Jesus
Christ at this moment? They sure have been quiet for 2000 years. NO
...WAIT...living Prophets actually walk the earth AND speak for the Savior
Himself! The most senior Prophet is none other than President Thomas S. Monson.
There is daily proof around the globe of the divinity of the Lord's
Restored Gospel. For those who humbly follow Him, His hand is manifest in
boundless tender mercies and mighty miracles. I have personally felt his
influence in my own life and will testify to His suffering for me in Gethsemane
and on Golgotha on the cross.
I have to say I am quite encouraged by the page on "Race and the
Priesthood", and wish it had been published many years ago. On the other
hand, I am not sure anything there is new, just a little more officially from
the Church. Spencer W. Kimball said in a 1956 BYU speech "Inter-racial
marriage is no sin." However I am glad to see this idea directly and
pointedly attacked. While serving a mission in Nevada in 2000-2002 I knew Church
members who rated inter-racial dating as a very high level sin. I found such
views very disturbing and racist.Elder McConkie denounced all
pre-1978 attempts to explain the status of blacks and the priesthood by himself
and others in August 1978. Unfortunatly as a talk to CES teachers it was not
widely available, and his book that perpetrated some of the very misinformation
that he denounced continued in print for many years after that.Elders Holland and Oaks denounced the attempted explantions in their interview
for the PBS special "Mormons", but I will admit this is the most upfront
the church has been. I applaud this.
The most intriguing thing I find in the new statement on race is that the very
place where Brigham Young seems to have announced the race restriction on the
priesthood he said that at some future point people of African descent would
receive "all the privaleges and more" then available to church members.
This seems to be from recently transcribed speeches given by Brigham Young, and
seems to add a different nuance to his views.
Early statements by the church show clearly that this is a very uneasy
situation, and this present historical work out also.The church
should be a All-loving, Christ-like institution having no argue to other
matters.However, the brethren cannot circum-talk reality as of being
the Lord's church.If they felt it was withheld from the African
people, they could do no otherwise but hope explanations would come, not clear
enough until today."Our living prophet, President David O.
McKay, has said, "The seeming discrimination by the Church toward the Negro
is not something which originated with man; but goes back into the beginning
with God...."The history of bibel times tells us much about
strong unpopular revelations, we just are used to pick the good stuff. I am glad
that this stupid polygamy stuff left us, I am glad Africa is one of the
strongest in church progress today.In my personal opinion, the Lord
did his atoning work , He wants people to be saved. The road toward salvation of
all men, is a huge project, and we need to wait on Him.However, this issue
will not come back and haunt us again.
RE: 96 Standard Deviations , only the tribe of Levi had the priesthood.The Aaronic or Levitical priesthood ended with the death of Christ. The
entire function ,and the term Cohen means, ’one who stands up for another,
and mediate the cause.” Before the *Great Sacrifice ,the priest had to
stand in the gap for the people and offer animal sacrifices. Do Mormons still
carry out this function. No! Therefore their office is insignificant.
Christ is a priest forever after "the order of Melchisedec,"
Hebrews 5:6. It’s clear in Hebrews 7:24 that the priesthood
held by Christ is unchangeable and does not transfer to another since He lives
forever.An important principle to Luther and the Reformation was
“the priesthood of all believers.” (i.e)”But you are a
chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special
possession(peculiar), that you may declare the praises of him who called you out
of darkness into his wonderful light.(1 Peter 2:9 NIV).RE:
Rikitikitavi, Gethsemane, Luke 22:43–44 is absent from the oldest papyrus
and MS of Luke.. Catholic Bishops conference and modern translations agree.@ Desert, See History of the Church, Volume 5, pages 218-219
The new section on race and the priesthood is well written and very welcome. I
think it could be somewhat more explicit, though. In Matthew 10:5, the Lord
tells his disciples to not go into "any city of the Samaritans". Since
Christ was not racist, it can only be because Jewish converts would have split
the early Church asunder if they had been required to sit alongside Samaritan
converts in Christian meeting places. Who was 'unworthy' in this
instance - the Jewish converts, of course. Take the logical leap
forward to the nascent restored Church in the 19th and 20th Centuries in
America. Had white LDS converts been required to sit alongside black converts,
it would have been the cause of great divisions in the Church that Joseph Smith
and subsequent prophets were establishing under God's direction. So,
bottom line, who were the 'unworthy' ones in the 19th and 20
Centuries? Certainly not the blacks. It would have been the whites because of
the endemic racism in the broader white community of the time.So,
perhaps there were some God-inspired reasons for the priesthood ban, even though
some of the early Brethren misinterpreted why it was occurring.
Thirty years ago I was a nineteen year old kid living in Salt Lake City. I
tried to tell my LDS friends that there was no mark of cain on African
Americans, I tried to tell them that it was absolutely false that blacks were
less valiant in the pre-existence. I defended myself vigorously as my LDS
friends insisted the ban on blacks holding the priesthood was in fact god's
will.Now, thirty years later the LDS church leaders are finally
saying what I said as a teenager. Part of me wants to get in touch with those
friends and ask them how I knew these truths as a teenager but their own leaders
didn't reach the same conclusion for decades.
It was never true that leaders of God's church couldn't lead the
church astray. It happened with the Jews, (Their leadership at the time caused
that people to reject their own Messiah). The early Christian church devolved
and brought us the inquisition wherein people were tortured to death for not
adhering to church doctrine.Yes God does grant churches that he has
established the freedom to stray, and their respective leadership was highly
involved in this straying.Rather than claim they are somehow
different and can't be lead astray, which has been proven false for
churches past and now for the LDS church, ... pray and ask for the members to
pray for you that you don't do it.This claim along with the
immoral stands the church has at times adopted, has caused LDS to throw reason
and conscience out the window, dumbing them down.Pride cometh before
I invite all questioning believers to consider the theological position of the
nonbelievers: we have never been led astray by our leaders (we don't have
any to whom we defer).
@96 Standard Deviations , only the tribe of Levi had the priesthood.The Aaronic or Levitical priesthood ended with the death of Christ. The
entire function ,and the term Cohen means, ’one who stands up for another,
and mediate the cause.” Before the *Great Sacrifice ,the priest had to
stand in the gap for the people and offer animal sacrifices. Do Mormons still
carry out this function. No! Therefore their office is insignificant.
Christ is a priest forever after "the order of Melchisedec,"
Hebrews 5:6 . It’s clear in Hebrews 7:24 that the priesthood held by
Christ is unchangeable and does not transfer to another since He lives
forever. An important principle to Luther and the Reformation was
“the priesthood of all believers.” (i.e)”But you
are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special
possession(peculiar), that you may declare the praises of him who called you out
of darkness into his wonderful light.(1 Peter 2:9 NIV)RE:
Rikitikitavi, Gethsemane, Luke 22:43–44 is absent from the oldest papyrus
and MS of Luke.. Catholic Bishops conference and modern translations agree.@ Desert, See, History of the Church, Volume 5, pages 218-219
I have thought that the ban on blacks had much to do with the times America was
living in. In those days black people were not even considered a full person.
Hatred of blacks was so intense that it would spill over to even white people
who were known to help blacks. The Church was going through its own period of
being hated and I suspect that the last thing they needed at the time was to be
seen as a black accepting church. As we know members of the early Church were
killed and run out of town all the way to what is now Utah. Mormons were hated
enough as it was, the addition of having the racist hatred added to them was
probably a burden they didn't need. It doesn't make it right, but in
those days I suspect many members were very afraid of the world around them and
what was going to happen. I only wish the ban had been lifted sooner than 1978.
I was glad to see a black Bishop while I was on my mission in England in 1982.
"I have thought that the ban on blacks had much to do with the times America
was living in. In those days black people were not even considered a full
person. Hatred of blacks was so intense that it would spill over to even white
people who were known to help blacks."Yes, all that is true.But, come on. Sincerely think about it. Dont you think that if there
were guidance from above, it would have been " Yes, I know this will be
difficult, but these are all my people and should be treated the same"The way it was handled certainly looks to be the decisions of smart
mortal men based on the times. That is the most likely scenario.
Is there a place one can go to in order to determine if a pronouncement is
policy or doctrine? Is there a website? It would have been nice to know all
this back in the day.
RikitikitaviProphets don't speak for christ. They are just men,
speaking for themselves. If they were speaking for christ I don't think
they would get so many things wrong and have to correct them later.
Basic doctrine taught in years past seems to have been whitewashed away,
particularly by the LDS web teams. Now we only get taught the kiddy,
supernatural, or politically correct versions with almost total neglect for the
inspired teachings and symbolism behind the Scriptures and Temple. Who can be
enthusiastic for a religion whose watered-down teachings and interaction with
the world come from its PA, legal departments, and web teams than actual leaders
who should understand the symbolism and are supposedly holy and annointed. If
men in their last act of life can't make decisions without a legal team,
public affairs team, marketing teams, web teams, and a host of nepotistic Ivy
League intellectuals, then where is there any room for God or divine inspiration
in any of this? Today's Church sounds like the church Isaiah described.
"Where are the strong men, where are the wise men, where are the prophets,
where are the mothers, where are the virtuous women who don't shop at City
Creek or Station Park malls and drive fancy SUVs?"
JoeBlowWell, maybe there was no Red Sea for the Lord to part to save
his people. Could be that since the LDS Church was so new, and vulnerable, he
saw that it would have been totally destroyed before it ever had a chance to run
west and establish itself. The Lord does work in ways that we don't often
see or understand. After all, he could use his power to do a lot of things to
help, but doesn't. Free agency still had to be allowed to rule the day.
Both on the side of good as well as evil. Sometimes the Lord steps in when
absolutely necessary, and sometimes, (usually in my opinion) he lets human free
agency take place. After all, there can be no fair judgement of any person who
did not have a choice to do good or evil. The persecutors of the black people
will be held accountable in the end. That I have faith in. And some of them
may have been LDS at the time.
happy2bhere,It is OK to just admit that the doctrine was racist.
There are no mind gymnastics, no conjectures, no theories needed to
just come to the very simple and correct conclusion that keeping the Priesthood
from Blacks was racist.The men who run and manage and lead the LDS
church are just that: menThey have no special calling, or authority
that either you or I have to speak for God other than they just take it to be
the center of their lives. It is too bad that the LDS Church is
just now finally admitting that the doctrine was wrong in the first place.
I love people who can question and so I'm so happy to participate on here.
I have had questions such as this since I was a little girl and am so glad to
see them in print. I believe that people are coming face to face with the fact
that I figured out about "realization" on many things (rather than
revelation) as many want to believe in. God Bless!
That thumping sound you hear is Brigham Young being thrown under the bus....
I want to applaud the Deseret News for allowing comments and insights that may
not support or endorse everything the LDS church does.Keep this
forum more open to dissenting, yet respectful views! If you do, your readership
and exposure will only increase.
"Thinkman Provo, UTIt is OK to just admit that the doctrine was
racist."What specifically was racist about the doctine? I reject the rest of you post completely. No one needs to make any
apologies for the ban on the prieshood. And no one needs to come to any
conclusion that Joseph Smith or any of the other prophets were incorrect until
the lift in 1978.Every prophet and apostle who is living or who has
lived is a spokesman for Christ. Undeniable. Yes, they are men, but they are men
called of God to lead the world back to Christ. You do not have to
believe or accept this for it to be true. RE the critics outside and
within the church, no amount of information on any issue they deem contriversial
or wrong will ever suffice.
I think it's very interesting that in the website discussion, the Church
goes into much discussion regarding the racial culture in America (even with a
major section of the discussing titled "The Church in an American Racial
Culture"). Why is this necessary? In fact, what does America's racial
culture have to do at all with whether Blacks should have been allowed or not
allowed to hold the priesthood in a church with living prophets and God at the
head?I'm curious what others think.
Regarding blacks and the pre-1978 ban on Priesthood ordination:It is
a documented fact that Joseph Smith ordained at least a few black men to the
Priesthood.However, let's look at some other facts....1 - The priesthood is literally the power and authority of God.2 -
Joseph Smith's day, and afterwards for many generations, was a time of
great oppression of blacks; ranging from slavery in the 1800s to organized
lynchings in the 1930s-60s in which those sworn to uphold the law often turned a
blind eye to violence and murder.Now.....what do you think would
have happened if a black man (who, at worst, was a legal slave or, at best, was
a 'free' man on paper but one who was still oppressed, badgered and
beaten 'under the table') declared to a white person (especially a
white male) that they (a black man) held the very "power and authority of
God"?What do you think would have happened to them?I'll give you a hint: it likely would not have been a cordial discussion
between the white person and the black Priesthood holder.So perhaps
blacks not holding the Prieshtood (momentarily) was for their own protection?
Re:Caravan"It is a documented fact that Joseph Smith ordained at least
a few black men to the Priesthood.""So perhaps blacks not holding
the Prieshtood (momentarily) was for their own protection?"?????Doesn't make sense at all, especially when the church
relocated to UT. Also ignores the many years the ban persisted after the
Civil Rights Act.This issue raises many troubling and conflicting
messages and pronouncements coming from leaders.
The idea that the church has nothing to apologize for is just
"infallibility" under a different light. We are all (even as a group of
believers) just humans engaged in the awesome task of living--by that I mean
making mistakes, taking risks, looking through the glass darkly, etc. It may be
that the notion of apologizing as the first step in repentance is uncomfortable
and we avoid that discomfort by thinking the institution is above that, or that
God would never let the institution be human or weak or "fallible". Both
of those hopes are ways to absolve us from any responsibility for this racism,
and yet, it is that ability to choose and be responsible for our choices that
will help us grow into what we are meant to be. Repentance is required even
from the Chosen People. And I disagree that it's done on the Lord's
An apology to black members and the entire membership is in order. Simply
updating a webpage will not do.
When Catholic or Protestant Church leaders made mistakes, Mormons called it
"the Great Apostasy". But when Mormon leaders made mistakes, Mormons
either deny it and cover it up in order to maintain the illusion of
"infallibility" (the Brethren will NEVER lead you astray. God would
remove them before he would allow that), or they begrudgingly admit that
"God works through imperfect, fallible men" -- just, apparently NOT
Catholic, Protestant, and other imperfect, fallible men, right?When
Catholic history records that Apostles were killed and Church authority rested
in Councils of "imperfect" Bishops, Mormons cry "Apostasy!", but
when Joseph Smith dies without establishing clear succession of authority,
Mormons declare some supernatural, questionable event by Brigham Young to
justify succession of authority.When Protestant and Catholic
leaders changed doctrine or rituals, Mormons attack: "See the Apostasy!"
But when Mormon scriptures have "white and delight some" changed to
"pure and delight some", and other scriptures and endowments are
changed, it is "continuing revelation".When Catholic Popes
condemn and apologize for racist or doctrinally errant statements of past
Leaders, Mormons claim it confirms the Apostate Catholic Church. But Mormon
leaders' not apologizing is "faith-affirming?
I think people have to accept that there is ambiguity about why the ban was in
place. We do not understand when exactly it was put in place, but we do have
evidence that it was not enforced on those already ordained and that some men of
known African descent were ordained after the ban was put in place.I
doubt we will ever understand why in this life. I have to side with those who
think the ban was against God's will, but he allowed it because in his
wisdom he saw its continuance as less disruptive. I have known African-American
members alive during the ban who had ideas on the ban that seemed to imply they
thought it had positive effects on the Church. However since one of the theories
I have heard ignores the fact that the Catholic Church was able to operate as a
multi-racial institution in the US, although with few African-Americans outside
of Louisiana and Baltimore before 1970, I am not sure their arguments work
either.We do not know why it started and we do not know why the Lord
did not bring about its ending sooner.
For what it is worth the importance of families is not a 1970s PR campaign. It
is a direct result of Doctrine and Covenants section 131 among other
revelations. The current emphasis on familes is actually a result of the
"Proclamation on the Family". On the other hand, the 1970s
actually see the church for the first time actually start to try and organize
programs for singles. Harold B. Lee who had spent some time as a widower was one
of the key people pushing for that. "Every member a
missionary" may be a statement of David O. McKay, but the Doctrine and
Covenants say "It becometh every man who has been warned to warn his
neighbor". It is actually the attempts to delegate missionary work to a
special class of people that is out of line with the doctrine, not the notion
that we all have a duty to share the gospel.
@John Pack Lambert of Michigan" I have to side with those who
think the ban was against God's will, but he allowed it because in his
wisdom he saw its continuance as less disruptive. "So the God
who created this and countless other worlds, who reins down hurricanes and
tsunamis, who destroyed Sodom, Gomorah, and other wicked cities, allowed this
practice, which was against his will, to continue because to end it at anytime
prior to a decade after the Civil Rights Act passed would have be
"disruptive"? ThIs is the most amusing thing I've read in a long
Whoever thought that prophets were perfect, inerrant and always said what God
had in mind have failed to read the Old Testament.
I have never read in church doctrine or in history in general, where it was
deemed that whites, at the time of the restoration, lived in a culture of
"great priveledge". does the author have any examples to back this
sweeping generality ? In fact MANY white people arrived in this new world as
indentured servants. Read Benjamin Franklin's history. He worked as a slave
for about seven years or so.I am not saying indentured service was the same as
slavery, but, Great Priveledge? define that please. this is probably better
discussed in morman circles but there are many comments about the new Official
response to blacks and the withholding of the priesthood.
@ RaybesYou said, " But we should be able to cope with that.
Perhaps that's one of the greatest tests we face as a membership is the
need to think for ourselves, rather than place the onus of infallibility on our
leadership."This is an incredibly difficult position to be in.
To be in a state contrary to those in authority in the Church may end up getting
you excommunicated. If one of those in authority is in fact acting as a man, he
will not get excommunicated.....but you will. That is an extremely precarious
situation to find your self. My difficulty lies in the fact that we
are:1. Told to think for ourselves and pray about it2. Follow the
prophet, he won't lead you astray3. You will get excommunicated if
you publicly disagree with the decision of the current prophet4.
Statements of past prophets can be commented on by current prophets and called
policy, instead of doctrine. 5. A prophet is only a prophet when acting as
such.Do you see some serious issues with this list?
It is great to see the church addressing some of these issues. I appreciate the
proactive approach. They are right on point with their assumption that anything
short of full disclosure appears devious. The next step is fiscal disclosure.
I feel like I'm not the only one who is interested in more information.
There are places in the world, including Canada, where it is required to
disclose. Why not be open about it? Thoughts?