Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Church issues Race & Priesthood statement rejecting theories for past ban on Blacks in priesthood

blacks george albert smith priesthood prophets race

  • Please log in to reply
229 replies to this topic

#1 prisonchaplain

prisonchaplain

    Senior Moderator

  • Senior Moderators
  • 12320 posts
  • LocationFederal Way, WA

Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:47 PM

I found a link to this at Real Clear Religion. It appears to be a very recent statement from the Church, and more or less blames Brigham Young's pronouncement that Blacks could not receive the priesthood on the prevalent cultural realities of his era.

https://www.lds.org/...sthood?lang=eng

The Real Clear Politics article indicated that this statement is being well-received--a "Christmas Present" to LDS of all ethnicities.

Mormon church traces black priesthood ban to Brigham Young | The Salt Lake Tribune

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#2 DHK

DHK

    5,000+ posts and hasn't been banned yet...

  • Members
  • 5568 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:57 PM

There's been a lot of news coverage on this one:

Mormon Church Explains Past Ban on Black Priests - ABC News

Plus all these:

https://news.google....ml&hl=en&geo=US
"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21). President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

http://speeches.byu....viewitem&id=909

#3 Praetorian_Brow

Praetorian_Brow

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 451 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 03:59 PM

I believe a lot of people knew it was racism, but didn't want to believe the church culture was capable of it, so it became a defensive faux pas to mention the subject. When I broached the subject with some sensitive members, they get upset quickly, but what surprised me is that when I broached the subject with people within the church who have a quiet confidence, they agreed with me that it was institutionalized racism and somewhat ridiculous to believe it was God's will.

Thank you for the links!

#4 Just_A_Guy

Just_A_Guy

    Semi-Senior Moderator, and Repentant Sea-Lawyer

  • Senior Moderators
  • 8617 posts
  • LocationUtah County, Utah, USA

Posted 10 December 2013 - 04:24 PM

People sure are reading what they want to in this essay. The statement does point out the cultural milieu in which the ban arose; but what it does not say is precisely what our critics and the race-baiters most dearly want it to say (and what the media is falsely implying that it does say): that Brigham Young was wrong, and that the policy was not part of God's plan for the Church. Indeed, the document specifically points out that " After praying for guidance, President McKay did not feel impressed to lift the ban."

It's great that more people will be reading about the background of the policy from a far, far more authoritative source than previously. On the other hand: for those who have been paying attention, there's really nothing new here. Yeah, there's a clear-cut statement that the ban didn't exist until the Young administration--but we had this discussion back when the header to OD-2 was changed in the new edition of the scriptures earlier this year. Yeah, the statement repudiates the justification for the policy--but the Church has been doing that (albeit not always so loudly) since Elder McConkie's "forget everything" sermon back in 1978.

As for the policy itself: it remains unrepudiated. If anything, the inclusion of the tidbit re President McKay bolsters it.

Edited by Just_A_Guy, 10 December 2013 - 04:29 PM.

About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are darned fools and should stop.
 

--Senator Elihu Root


#5 prisonchaplain

prisonchaplain

    Senior Moderator

  • Senior Moderators
  • 12320 posts
  • LocationFederal Way, WA

Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:06 PM

I read the statement before I read the newspaper article. Admittedly, this is not an issue I've paid much attention to over the years. My outside eyes took the church's statement to mean that the ban was very much in fitting with the times. That implication did come across to me as an explanation for a policy that seems so wrong to us.

JAG is correct that there was no apology, and no suggestion that God's will for the church was in any way thwarted. Nevertheless, leadership appears to be wanting to explain in the best way possible something that to modern thinking seems so wrong. Perhaps this statement is not so much a change in content as an admission that even many members find this aspect of church history to be difficult to understand. What is offered is that culture may well have helped form what God needed to do in this circumstance.

Perhaps there is a parallel with Jesus' explanation of why Moses allowed easy divorce. He said it was not God's best for his people, but rather what God allowed due to the hardness of their hearts. Could it be that the hardness of American hearts in the early to mid-19th century necessitated a ban on blacks in the priesthood? It's not my role to analyze that--but it is what the statement appears to me to imply.

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#6 ElectofGod

ElectofGod

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 415 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:55 PM

The Church proclaims that redemption through Jesus Christ is available to the entire human family on the conditions God has prescribed. It affirms that God is “no respecter of persons”24 and emphatically declares that anyone who is righteous—regardless of race—is favored of Him. The teachings of the Church in relation to God’s children are epitomized by a verse in the second book of Nephi: “[The Lord] denieth none that cometh unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; . . . all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.”25


Or Brigham young,

In the preisthood I will tell you what it will do. Where the children of God to mingle there seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse of being deprived of the power of the preisthood upon themselves but they entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an ungaurded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head, and kill man woman and child it would do a great deal towards atoneing for the sin. .. It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain for servants. ...Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; we will sommons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishopric, and all the elders of Israel, suppose we summons them to apear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with with us and be pertakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction..." (Brigham Young, February 5 1852)


and many other quotes including other presidents such as john taylor.

Racism could be one reason. But who knows who was really right.

#7 Just_A_Guy

Just_A_Guy

    Semi-Senior Moderator, and Repentant Sea-Lawyer

  • Senior Moderators
  • 8617 posts
  • LocationUtah County, Utah, USA

Posted 10 December 2013 - 05:58 PM

Yeah, PC, I don't rule out a Samuel-esque scenario where God offers the people something, they insist on having it their way instead, and so God tells the prophet "fine, give 'em what they want".

I think the danger (and, frankly, the unspoken agenda for much of this brouhaha) is when we give way to the notion that "no, the prophet just led the Church astray--and if the old prophet led us wrong about this, then the current prophet is leading us wrong about whatever else I want him to be wrong about".

Edited by Just_A_Guy, 11 December 2013 - 08:04 AM.
Correct spelling error

About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are darned fools and should stop.
 

--Senator Elihu Root


#8 ElectofGod

ElectofGod

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 415 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 06:42 PM

...is when we give way to the notion that "no, the prophet just led the Church astray--and if the old prophet led us wrong about this, then the current prophet is leading us wrong about whatever else I want him to be wrong about".


This is exactly the issue here.

And this is the issue that should be addressed as MANY are losing Faith in God because of these things. I think this would be a beneficial discussion to many people that are struggling. There are SO many things that have changed.

Its nice to just state what you did. But it would do more for those struggling if we stated WHY we shouldn't give in to that notion that "so and so got this wrong, hence others could also be wrong".

#9 DHK

DHK

    5,000+ posts and hasn't been banned yet...

  • Members
  • 5568 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:09 PM

Or Brigham young,



and many other quotes including other presidents such as john taylor.

Racism could be one reason. But who knows who was really right.


The later statements and the scriptures are right.

We believe in revelation and we believe in the scriptures. It's simple.
"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21). President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

http://speeches.byu....viewitem&id=909

#10 jerome1232

jerome1232

    Little Penguin

  • Members
  • 1171 posts
  • LocationCalifornia, USA

Posted 10 December 2013 - 07:20 PM

I thought it was a great summary of history and it's really interesting to see which news outlets report it as such and which ones bend it to the meaning they'd like.
Break from PRISM. Don't get spied on. Use Free Software.

http://prism-break.org/

#11 NeuroTypical

NeuroTypical

    Senior Moderator

  • Senior Moderators
  • 7452 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:48 PM

One thing to keep in mind, is Brigham (and others) made various speculative statements outside of their offices. Brigham said a lot of things as Governor, addressing secular audiences, not as prophet.

ElectOfGod, do you know the source of your quote?
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#12 ElectofGod

ElectofGod

    Banned

  • Banned
  • 415 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 10:49 PM

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


Loudmouth, its partially quoted in the official statement.

number 8.

Brigham Young, Speeches Before the Utah Territorial Legislature, Jan. 23 and Feb. 5, 1852, George D. Watt Papers, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, transcribed from Pitman shorthand by LaJean Purcell Carruth; “To the Saints,” Deseret News, April 3, 1852, 42.


It summarized parts of it here,

In 1850, the U.S. Congress created Utah Territory, and the U.S. president appointed Brigham Young to the position of territorial governor. Southerners who had converted to the Church and migrated to Utah with their slaves raised the question of slavery’s legal status in the territory. In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and February 1852, Brigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination. At the same time, President Young said that at some future day, black Church members would “have [all] the privilege and more” enjoyed by other members.8


Mormonism and racial issues/Blacks and the priesthood/Policy or doctrine - FairMormon

#13 DHK

DHK

    5,000+ posts and hasn't been banned yet...

  • Members
  • 5568 posts

Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:09 PM

Speeches

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.


"But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21). President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ." - Neal A. Maxwell, October 10th, 1978.

http://speeches.byu....viewitem&id=909

#14 Just_A_Guy

Just_A_Guy

    Semi-Senior Moderator, and Repentant Sea-Lawyer

  • Senior Moderators
  • 8617 posts
  • LocationUtah County, Utah, USA

Posted 11 December 2013 - 08:15 AM

I dunno, Skippy. Even within the Church, it seems quite a few people are bound and determined to remember the darkness, and get as much mileage out of it as possible.

"We don't know" means we don't know. Too often, McConkie's statement is presented as a sort of "unless you agree with my narrative--shut up."

About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are darned fools and should stop.
 

--Senator Elihu Root


#15 RickGrimes

RickGrimes

    Junior Member

  • Inactive 3+ Months
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:13 AM

Yeah, PC, I don't rule out a Samuel-esque scenario where God offers the people something, they insist on having it their way instead, and so God tells the prophet "fine, give 'em what they want".


I think this has been the case in several of the Church's recent statements/ policies. Doesn't mean that Samuel or in this case- the Church leadership are not inspired, just shows the direction the masses of the membership are inclined to lean.

#16 prisonchaplain

prisonchaplain

    Senior Moderator

  • Senior Moderators
  • 12320 posts
  • LocationFederal Way, WA

Posted 11 December 2013 - 09:33 AM

Rick, I took that quote to mean that Brigham Young may have been led to give the masses what they want, much as Samuel was led to appoint a king, though God said it would not be best to have one. You seem to imply that it is some of the more recent statements that may be God allowing the masses what they want. Am I reading you wrong?

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." -- Lord Acton


#17 Just_A_Guy

Just_A_Guy

    Semi-Senior Moderator, and Repentant Sea-Lawyer

  • Senior Moderators
  • 8617 posts
  • LocationUtah County, Utah, USA

Posted 11 December 2013 - 10:38 AM

Honestly, PC, speaking in general about various Church policies--I think there are some relatively recent Church policies that are more a function of God's placating his stubborn, disobedient children rather than a reflection of His own mind and will for the Church.

But I don't think the ending of the priesthood ban was one of them.

Edited by Just_A_Guy, 11 December 2013 - 10:40 AM.

About half the practice of a decent lawyer consists in telling would-be clients that they are darned fools and should stop.
 

--Senator Elihu Root


#18 garryw

garryw

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 225 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 11:09 AM

The part of the statement about Brazil is interesting to me, my dad was a missionary there pre 1978 and I was there post 1978. Africans, natives, and Europeans have been mixing there since the days of Columbus, so imagine the difficulty in defining the term black.

As a side note, I met a man named Helvecio Martins who did volunteer manual labor on the Sao Paulo temple knowing full well he was disqualified to enter. He had a short but prophetic conversation with Spencer W Kimbal at the groundbreaking. In addition to this he was promised the priesthood in his patriarchal blessing.

#19 LittleWyvern

LittleWyvern

    Senior Member

  • Inactive 1+ months.
  • 1586 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 02:12 PM

I think the larger message we should get out of all of this is that it's important that we all cultivate a personal relationship with the Holy Ghost in order to direct and guide us. All of us have a tendency of being products of the worldly culture and teachings around us, even prophets (yes, I take prophetical non-infallibility seriously). However, we are called to not be "of the world." A relationship with the Holy Ghost helps us to make decisions on a higher level than worldly influences, but sometimes the best way we can learn is by trying what we think is right and seeing the consequences of our actions.

Thus, I think approaching this new article as an exercise in determining whether or not past prophets and leaders were "wrong" is the wrong way to go. Instead I like to look at these events as slow but sure steps on our long journey to the state of perfection that a Zion state of affairs would require of us as a Church, both regarding the priesthood ban and our individual reactions and feelings about it. Our Church continues to grow and gain more gospel knowledge as it is revealed to us, and I see this new section on race and the priesthood as a step in a positive direction rather than something to be used for ideological scorekeeping.

قُل لَّوْ كَانَ الْبَحْرُ مِدَادًا لِّكَلِمَاتِ رَبِّي لَنَفِدَ الْبَحْرُ قَبْلَ أَن تَنفَدَ كَلِمَاتُ رَبِّي وَلَوْ جِئْنَا بِمِثْلِهِ مَدَدًا


If the ocean were ink wherewith to write the words of God, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than the words of God, even if another ocean was added for its aid.


#20 Canuck Mormon

Canuck Mormon

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2840 posts

Posted 11 December 2013 - 03:41 PM

To me this shows that there are few people who know what is policy and what is doctirne within the church. Maybe the church should work on clarifying what is doctirne and what is current policy.
Check out my blog!!!

http://www.gmc72.blogspot.com/





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: blacks, george albert smith, priesthood, prophets, race

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

IPB Skin By Virteq