Mormons, Mandela, and the Race and Priesthood Statement

And yet there is more that could be said and done.  Call me cynical but the timing of the Race and the Priesthood statement from the LDS Newsroom;  the PR department;  the First Presidency, or wherever it came from appears to be an effort, in light of Mandela’s death, to mitigate for the church being positioned on the bad side history.   Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence.  Either way, as a church we have no right to effuse over Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.  His greatest work was as a political subversive and in his  challenge to the racial, political and economic order of things, the very things our church has historically excommunicated for – calling it ‘apostasy’.  So we don’t get to join hands with the rest of the world in celebrating a figure who would have been deprived of influence, priesthood, and even membership had he been a Mormon.  And notwithstanding the  long awaited honesty of the Race and the Priesthood statement, we are not yet that church that was once racist, and is no longer.  Yet more needs to be said and done.

Firstly, an apology is in order.  The lives of faithful people both black and white were destroyed, upended, devastated by this doctrine.  There are generations and generations of Black and Coloured folk who have had to wonder who they are in God’s eyes because  church leaders sustained a discourse that blatantly positioned them as inferior.   They need an apology.

There were those who were excommunicated for their outspoken criticism of the church’s position on the divine order of mortal color – have they received an apology and a reinstatement– even posthumously?  They deserve an apology.

And there are white folk who have been lead astray be a vicious doctrine upheld by white men.  White priesthood leaders who have not had to think about what their own race means in the order of  Godly things and have apparently  privileged their own credibility as inspired religious leaders above their need to put things right, and they have not put things right when they could have been put right – white folk deserve an apology for being lead to believe things that are simply not true.

And this admission has taken a long, long time, too long in fact – a wait that deserves an apology in and of itself.

Secondly, this is not something for the newsroom alone.  This is not an incidental explanation that gets to sneak in quietly on a discrete webpage.  The racial theories of the past were declared, understood and promulgated as doctrines and thus need to be officially repudiated in General Conference, as letters to be read by Bishoprics to their congregations, in addendum documents  provided with curriculum materials.  This statement should have come with an explanatory letter from the First Presidency, signed by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and backed up with procedures for  dealing with those who continue to teach and preach these spurious doctrines.  There must be some protection for those who will continue to be affected by those who cling to these false doctrines, and feel justified in preaching them in church.  Will those who refuse to part with their racist accounting of the order of heaven be treated as harshly as those who had in the past raised  the voice of protest to those racist doctrines?

Thirdly, we need to find a way of talking about the fact that a few good men alone don’t equal God.  We need to accept the dangers in privileging mortal leadership above the sovereignty of God, and the efficacy of scripture.   Because we are a largely white conservative church, not just in terms of demographics, but in terms of culture, power and influence, perhaps we imagine that the question of race is incidental, irrelevant or not necessary in terms of questions pertaining to our personal salvation.  But there are huge implications in this admission of wrong that now need to be tackled;

1)   Those we had thought were talking to God, had in fact made a God of their culture, their politics, their privilege, their race.  They were wrong.  What else have they been wrong about?

2)   Given that they were wrong and it has taken the Brethren this long to admit it, what do we  accept now as doctrine that might be repudiated in a few years time?

3)   Where are the curriculum lessons that address our need to deal with  institutional and even prophetic error?

4)   Will we be protected in our objection to other forms of prejudice that have been weaved into the fabric of our organization?  Does this give us a justification to raise a protest to this as well?  Can we now thumb the ‘Brethren’ and tell them that they simply can’t be trusted?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the statement, though frustratingly overdue, to be a relief, and absolutely necessary, I’m not so churlish as to deny its importance.  But over time I’ve seen the church make statements for one of two reasons.  One as a PR exercise to mitigate for public criticism, and one as a concerted effort to teach and influence the ‘right’ thinking of its members.  Without the extra effort to ‘put right’, to repent, this statement appears to be in the former category.  Great, but just not great enough.

 

  • Neal

    Brilliant! So well said. Thank you.

  • Paul

    Here’s the problem, Gina: The Brethren just don’t get it.

    Example: Quote from Elder Dallin H. Oaks’ speech given at BYU-Idaho on 13 October 2009 on the subject of religious freedom post-Prop 8: “It is important to note that while this aggressive intimidation in connection with the Proposition 8 election was primarily directed at religious persons and symbols, it was not anti-religious as such. These incidents were expressions of outrage against those who disagreed with the gay-rights position and had prevailed in a public contest. As such, these incidents of ‘violence and intimidation’ are not so much anti-religious as anti-democratic. In their effect they are like the well-known and widely condemned voter-intimidation of blacks in the South that produced corrective federal civil-rights legislation.”
    For reasons unknown (were there no better examples? – actually, were there no VALID examples? Did the Brethren actually support that “federal civil-rights legislation”?) he created de facto equivalency between the suffering Blacks endured as the result of racial discrimination, and the “sufferings” Latter-day Saints endured as a result of their decision to deprive another minority, homosexuals, of their rights.
    IOW, it’s hopeless. The LDS echo chamber functions as it was designed to function. It takes quite a commotion for the Brethren to look out a window.

    • Namakaokona

      What is surprising to me is that Elder Oaks, a lawyer, while talking about ‘violence and intimidation’ can not now, never has, and never will be able to present actual evidence of such. I do know that some people taped signs to the fence of the LA Temple during a legal protest on Santa Monica Blvd., which if I am not mistaken is public, not Mormon Church property. Can Elder Oaks present a single case, pending, past or in the courts involving charges of ‘violence and intimidation’ brought against any gay individuals or groups–any names, cases anything?

      • Darren

        “while talking about ‘violence and intimidation’ can not now, never has, and never will be able to present actual evidence of such”

        http://www.christianexaminer.com/Articles/Articles%20Dec08/Art_Dec08_09.html

        http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8

        (In other words, “don’t you *dare* speak your mind in my town, bub”)

        One more for fun: http://www.necn.com/Boston/Nation/Prop-8-supporter-to-press-charges-after-alleged-assault-/1226488669.html

        There’s plenty of evidence. And, yes, there’s plenty of evidence of violence against gays which the LDS Church has consistantly condemned.

        • Namakaokona

          I don’t blame you for simply posting links of incidents for which there is NO evidence, NO charges, NO court cases, nothing except ‘someone said’. For instance (I am not afraid to deal specifically with real examples) the white powder sent to Mormon Temples has NEVER been linked to any gay group or person, yet I am sure you are more comfortable blaming gay people in the absence of evidence. The perpetrators could easily have been your FLDS cousins who think the main Mormon Church is apostate. Vandalism of Mormon chapels has NEVER been linked to any gay groups or persons, but again, in the absence of facts, it is much easy to accuse gay people or groups. Scott Eckern and Richard Raddon both resigned their jobs with the Sacramento Theatre group and with the Los Angeles film festival because both organizations both had numerous gay clientele and employees and because patrons were outraged at the tactics used by the Yes on 8 campaign which were designed to demonize, lie about and strip gay Californians of equal protection under the law. Do you seriously expect gay people to pay for discrimination against them? I would assume you would likewise be against boycotts launched by ‘Christian’ groups against JC Penney, Ford and Disneyland? Would you be so sanguine about a political action committee designed to strip Mormons of their right to marry, because many Christian sects believe Mormonism to be a cult? Let me suggest rather than pursuing made up stories for which there is NO evidence, that you might want to reflect on the favorable views held by Californians of Mormons which have plummeted since the Prop 8 campaign: the campaigns fear mongering claims have proven to be absolutely false and most Californians didn’t appreciate being lied to.

          Your report of ‘numerous blog posts’ as a source means nothing more than back fence gossip. When you are prepared to name a single case of any criminal activity of which any gay person or group has been accused of, convicted of with accompanying names and cases, then what you present amounts to nothing more than gossip and rumor. FBI statistics will bolster my contention that homosexuals are subjected to bullying, violence and murder EVERY YEAR in this country–don’t compare some people doing an inappropriate and loud demonstration in a Catholic Church to murder and violence against gay people which occur every year in the United States. If you are upset with an inappropriate demonstration at a Catholic Church, I suggest you direct your umbrage at the countless cases of child abuse and rape by Catholic priests and the subsequent cover up by the Catholic Hierarchy.

          I also suggest that in a world where your central theme is how much you are persecuted, you might do well to come up with actual evidence that rises above the level of anonymous blog posts to get a real handle on who is persecuted and who is not. In the meantime, as I said, you have offered nothing–nothing concrete as evidence except an exaggerated view of your own persecution.

          • Darren

            Richard Raddon was a fellow who had to leave his position of employment of his film group in California. After it was reported that he donated to the LDS Church to fund Prop 8, pressure mounted and it became impossible to continue in his film organization capacities. I know Richard Raddon as we met for seminary in his home while he was a teenager. My mother spoke directly to his mother and to his wife about the incident. It was as claimed.

            “On November 4, 2008, the citizens of California adopted a ballot measure, Proposition 8, that changed the California Constitution such that marriage would only thereafter exist “between a man and a woman.” Plaintiffs are primarily formed ballot committees under the PRA and were established specifically to support the passage of Proposition 8.

            The PRA requires committees such as Plaintiffs to report detailed information regarding their contributors. Specifically, Plaintiffs are required to file semiannual reports including the name, street address, occupation, name of employer, or if self-employed, the name of the business, the date and amount received during the period covered by the statement and the cumulative amount of contributions. Cal. Gov.Code §§ 84200, 84211(f). This information is then available, inter alia, on the website of the Secretary of State. Additionally, opponents of Proposition 8 have reproduced such information on a variety of their own websites and have also included other publicly-available personal information such as telephone numbers. At least one such website provides contributor information via an interactive map detailing the contributors’ address, occupation, and contribution amount. See Declaration of Sarah E. Troupis (Second) (“Second Troupis Decl.”), 2:6-9.1

            Plaintiffs allege that, as a consequence of their support of Proposition 8, their contributors have been subject to threats, reprisals, and harassment. Plaintiffs submitted numerous articles elaborating various death threats, physical violence, and threats of violence directed against Proposition 8 supporters, as well as acts of vandalism, protests, and boycotts. See Declaration of Sarah E. Troupis (“First Troupis Decl.”).

            Specifically, Plaintiffs provided evidence that Fresno Mayor Alan Autry and Pastor Jim Franklin, of Fresno’s Cornerstone Church, both supporters of Proposition 8, received a death threat. Id., Exh. C. That threat stated in part:

            Hey Bubba,You really acted like a real idiot at the Yes of [sic] Prop 8 rally this past weekend. Consider yourself lucky. If I had a gun I would have gunned you down along with each and every other supporter. It’s a blessing that you won’t be our Mayor for much longer.”

            http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020090202410

            “Vandals also hit houses of worship. Perpetrators used orange paint to vandalize a statue of the Virgin Mary outside one church. Offices at the Cornerstone Church in Fresno were egged. Swastikas and other graffiti were scrawled on the walls of the Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Francisco, a parish known widely as being “gay-friendly.” In San Luis Obispo, the Assembly of God Church was egged and toilet-papered, and a Mormon church had an adhesive poured onto a doormat and keypad. Signs supporting Prop 8 were twisted into a swastika at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Riverside. Someone used a heavy object wrapped with a Yes on 8 sign to smash the window of a pastor’s office at Messiah Lutheran Church in Downey.”

            http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2009/10/the-price-of-prop-8#_ftn1

            Declaring such a thing by and large not anti-religious was somewhat generous of Elder oaks. hardly a sign of him being ignorant

            “Also, a fire outside an LDS church in Littleton, Colo., is being investigated as a bias-motivated arson that may have stemmed from the church’s position on Proposition 8. Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies responded to the building about 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, some three hours after a church member found a burning copy of the Book of Mormon on a doorstep. No damage to the church was reported.”

            http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705262671/Protests-over-Proposition-8-outcome-getting-personal.html

            Now, by your logic, am I to conclude that Joseph Smith was not killed out of hatred toward Mormons? Who was charged with such a crime?

            I also tend to hate boycotts. I don’t mind shopping at JC Penny or Target for that matter. And I have full plans to go to Disneyworld next summer. (Keep me and my family in your prayers that we can make it there. I’d appreciate it)

            ” the white powder sent to Mormon Temples has NEVER been linked to any gay group or person

            I agree so let go your presumptuous presumptions though only a fool would not suspect a link to the incident. (BTW, I had not even remotely considered the white powdered incident).

            “don’t compare some people doing an inappropriate and loud demonstration in a Catholic Church to murder and violence against gay people which occur every year in the United States”
            What does that have to do with gay marriage? The LDS church condemns such actions. They are pure evil.

          • Namakaokona

            I am baffled. You say ‘BTW I had not even remotely considered the white powder(ed) incident’ Then one can only ask why you referenced it in your first post? It was one of the bullet points you listed in you post’s link. If you had not even ‘remotely considered’ the incident why did you bring it up as ‘proof’ of intimidation?

            Again, you referenced stories that are allegations, with NO proof, no cases–if you listed someone as a ‘plaintiff’ then who were the defendants? It doesn’t amount to a real case because someone alleges something against a person or group….who was the defendant? Again, you allege things that have NO proof, no specifics, no cases, no names of those accused–just your web based accusations.

            So Richard Haddon quit his job–he didn’t HAVE to do anything. Also, let me correct something before you get in any deeper: you contend that he ‘donated to the LDS Church’. That is false. Donations were given to Protectmarriage a PAC, NOT to the LDS Church–members did that according to instructions from Mormon leaders. When he publicly supported a legal measure that demeans gay people and deprives them of a legal right, and when fellow employees and patrons were largely the same people and their supporters who would be affected by the measure, what did he expect–candy and flowers? You seem to assume that whatever position you take should come with no consequences. As a result of your decision to support Prop 8, you may only expect to be free to do so, to be safe and protected from illegal activities. If you are a victim of illegal activity, you may seek redress under the law, but that requires evidence–allegations pulled from the internet don’t rise to evidence, especially since you haven’t contended or proved who committed illegal acts. You may not expect to be free from criticism, you may not expect that your views will be immune from criticism because they are founded in your religion. You may not expect others not to boycott or refuse to do business with you because they disagree with your views.

            Until you can PROVE by facts any illegal intimidation tactic, what you are saying are simply allegations that have no proof. Good luck.

          • Darren

            Nothing illegal or intimidating here I suppose.

            WARNING: f-bombs.

            http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/knockout-game-backfires-when-woman-defends-herself-against-attacker#

            As for my lengthy Heritage post, the white powered substance was a small bit of intimidations against the LDS Church. It wasn’t even on my radar. My emphasis has been primarily over actions on the streets. Even the heritage link, if you follow it, reports no direct connection to gay activists being the culprits. But, again, one would be a fool to discount the coincidence of the timing of it.
            The defendants in the lawsuit is the sate of California and its law to require disclosure of donations over $100.
            Richard Raddon had to quite his job, yes. there was way too much pressure from gay activists (as opposed from Christians against JC Penny) for him to keep his position. Yes, he did donate to the LDS Church who donated all funds specified for Prop 8 to the proper channels. In other words, LDS members can give their donations directly to their bishop who gave it to the organizations to support Prop 8. No, the LDS church did not keep these funds but these funds were given in large numbers to the LDS Church for Prop 8 use.
            And what’s more demeaning to you, supporting Prop 8 with a donation or two or forcing one out of his employment for those donations? Which world do you want to live in? And no one was seeking to deprive gays of their rights. Gay rights is a modern-day phenomena. It’s never happened before anywhere in the history of the world. What rights? To be happy? They can be happy. To marry? They can marry in the exact same manner as you and me. Shall we now create special rules just for gays? That’ll unite society? What are you talking about? The LDs church did nothing to deprive anyone of their rights, only to preserve what has always been the norm. And, believe you me, if you’ve actually read the cite Oaks devotional talk, you’ll see the broader context of his speech. There *will* be (and is) action taken by gay activists to use the power of the state over religious liberty. That’s his main concern.
            And I am not the one who views my actions to have no consequences, that would be the gay activists. By whatever means, they’ll get their agenda through and despite what society thinks, they’ll move forward with impunity. I’m not talking about gays but gay activism and gay activists.

          • Namakaokona

            So what occurred ‘on the streets’ that amounted to anything more than protests? In the case to which you are referring, the case was dismissed because the plaintiffs could show nothing more than a loss of business. No illegal or criminal activity was proven and the State of California’s right to require information about who donates money to political campaigns was upheld. The plaintiffs came to court and alleged things for which they had no proof. So according to you and Elder Oaks, alleging something amounts to proof? Obviously you don’t live in CA. Individual Mormons were asked by the Church to donate to Protectmarriage and PAC, and not through the Mormon Church. The Mormon Church made a direct donation of 192,000 dollars after amending their initial claim that they only donated a little over 2,000 dollars. The Mormon Church was fined for not reporting fully their direct contribution. Proposition 8 removed the right to marry under CA law for homosexual citizens, and was found to be in violation of the 14th amendment to the US Constitution. Can you or Elder Oaks specify which religious rights have been compromised by allowing civil marriage for homosexual citizens? Again, hysteria is not evidence. What on earth is the ‘gay agenda’? If you mean equal protection under the law–yes, that’s exactly what we want. Curious also about what ‘special rights’ you are referring to.

          • Darren

            Shouting in one’s churches, burnig their books, attacking fellow supporters, physically and verbally is intimidation. It is specifically designed to scare people not to vote against the attacker’s will.
            The ggay agenda is to thust gay marriage and “equal rights” no matter what. Even if it’s one person sitting on a bench who miraculously find constitutional rights judes for over two hundred years did not find. Once marriage is a national right you honesty think it’ll stop there? People have already lost their employment due to their political views and yet you view the gay marriage movement as benign?
            Prop 8 did not remove any law it placed order where there was chaos created by the courts. The federal courts removed the law of Prop 8 so in the end your side won. We should now be better off being more equal.

          • Namakaokona

            When one opens the first page of the ‘Opposingviews’ website you referenced, there is on the first page a quote about ‘shooting a *igger’ I won’t read anything beyond that, and I suspect that most readers won’t either.

          • Darren

            The website is not racist and the specifed video is of a young man running up to a young girl in a mall and hitting her. He gets beat up by her and her boyfriend in the process. The latest news story is that she won’t press charges. So, by your logic, I’m only accusing the perp of malfeficence. No charges, no arrest, no trials.

            http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/09/man-probably-never-saw-this-coming-after-allegedly-attempting-to-knock-out-woman-in-mall/

          • Namakaokona

            PS Quit while you are not so far behind.

          • Darren

            Ok, no more correct history. Got it.

    • Darren

      I terms of voter intimidation, what’s the difference in intent from those who intimidated blacks from excercizing their God-goven right to vote from that Prop 8 supporters experienced? I see no difference so could you elucidate me a bit?

      • Paul

        You’re equating the KKK in the Deep South with gay men in California, have I got that right?
        Secondly, as Namakaokona observed, where was the legal action as a result of that “intimidation”? If it was as awful as Oaks implies, where’s the evidence?
        AS for your sources (below) they’re all right-wing, i.e., not impartial. You should know you’re going to be challenged on this in a public forum.

        • Darren

          I don’t believe I mentioned the KKK. Let me check……………….NOPE, didn’t mention them, you did and you’re the first and only one to mention them.
          I say left wing opponents to Prop 8 used intimidation tactics, including physical and verbal violence against those who supported Prop 8. Now, I assume you have just as much access to the world wide web as I do so if you would like to show how the pro-Prop 8 recipients of violence and intimidation deserved that assault or that it did not really happen as my right wing, “partial” sources claim, feel free. I’ll gladly accept that as part of my elucidation here tonight. In fact, its telling of the lack of coverage on these events from left wing sources, eh?

          • Paul

            Your posts on this blog are sloppy, irrational and embarrassing. You don’t bother to proof before you send, and your command of English leaves much to be desired – IOW, you sound like a Republican. Go to bed.

          • Darren

            Well I guess I see everything in the lens of the KKK. Brilliant observation.
            My grammatical errors are my blogging fingerprint. Result of lifelong physical limitations combine with bad typing habits.

          • Namakaokona

            What is your evidence? A name? A group’s name? Any arrests? Any cases pending or disposed of in the Courts? Any ongoing investigation in any state anywhere? Anything concrete?

      • Namakaokona

        Easy. No one stopped any one from voting in the Prop 8 case. Do you have any cases of people who were intimidated from voting? How do you keep a straight face and compare campaign signs taped to the fence of the LA Temple to Jim Crow laws, cross burnings, murder and lynchings? Get a grip. BTW since when are Mormons so concerned about Black citizens being kept from voting? Mormons never lifted a finger–never offered any support, financial or otherwise in the black civil rights struggle in this country. For you to now claim that you are being persecuted in the same way is more than nonsense–it is insulting.

        • Darren

          “Intent”, Namakaokona, what’s the difference in *intent*? Fortunately nowadays people can and should get into legal troubles (unless you’re member of the New Black Panther Party and brought up on charges of voter intimidation under the Obama administration) for preventing by intimidation one to vote. Do you honestly view the tactics of violence, vandalism, and intimidation from opponents of Prop 8 as disassociated with the intent of preventing Prop 8 supporters from gathering, debating, and freely expressing their views and, yes, actually voting their conscience?

          If you do this is not the only aspect of American society and its history which you are ignorant. Just don’t make your ignorance blissful lest your awakening, if you ever actually look into it, be much cruder upon yourself than needs be. George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father, who also ran for president (and failed which I’ve no doubt makes you happy despite the fact that the political party the Romneys belong to are the ones who ran voter equality through Congress, not the party Obama belongs to) was a *huge* supporter of voter and civil equality for blacks.

          Here’s a good quick run down on George Romney.

          http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-and-romney-dads-civil-rights-oil-poverty-auto-volunteer-influences

          • Paul

            Your posts on this blog are sloppy, irrational and embarrassing. You don’t bother to proof before you send, and your command of English leaves a great deal to be desired – IOW, you sound like a Republican. Please go to bed.

          • Namakaokona

            Were you actually able to posit any evidence whatsoever of ‘violence, vandalism and intimidation from opponents of prop 8′, you might have a point, but, like Elder Oaks, you have only talking points and as yet NO evidence. Again, got any cases with real names, documented cases anything whatsoever? You apparently easily trust talking points from the drug addict Rush Limbaugh, which explains the lunatic fringe story about ‘New Black Panther voter intimidation’ and some mythical connection to President Obama–again, a lunatic fringe talking point with no facts to back it up. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were opposed by the Republican Party, and the so called Mormon Church never offered any support. George Romney without question was a supporter of civil rights, Mitt, sadly was not. He did concoct quite a lie about ‘marching through the streets of Detroit with his father and Dr. King’, which turned out to be completely false. His father, while a civil rights supporter never joined any of Dr. King’s marches.

            I’m sure that you, as it is with Elder Oaks, are not used to being questioned by those you deem less than yourselves, which is why Elder Oaks insists that because his views and his so called Church’s views are founded in religion, that you all should be immune from criticism. I think not.

            I’m am still eager for any facts whatsoever that support a single illegal act by any gay individual or group that rises above blogosphere hysteria and gossip. Matt Drudge and RedState.com, the Heritage foundation’s talking points aren’t going to cut it.

          • Darren

            “You apparently easily trust talking points from the drug addict Rush Limbaugh, which explains the lunatic fringe story about ‘New Black Panther voter intimidation’ and some mythical connection to President Obama”

            Limbaugh’s a doof. I don’t ever cite him for news.

            http://pjmedia.com/blog/black-panther-case-draws-scrutiny/

            http://pjmedia.com/blog/obama-administration-stonewalls-u-s-civil-rights-commission-on-black-panther-case/

            “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 were opposed by the Republican Party, and the so called Mormon Church never offered any support.”

            While the Mormon Church remained silent/neutral, the Civil Rights Act in 1964 was vastly supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats. The most vehement opposers were southerners who in 1964 the vast majority were Democrats. Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy, along with their party, opposed Eisenhower’s 1957 Civil Rights Act. That act had to be stripped down to be pass by Democrats and what was stripped down appeared in the 1964 Civil rights Act.

            “While the Kennedy administration was ignoring its campaign pledges, the Republican minority in Congress introduced several bills to protect the constitutional rights of African-Americans. In January 1963, congressional
            Republicans introduced a sweeping civil rights bill to enact what Democrat opposition had prevented from being included in the 1957 and 1960 laws. Threatened by this initiative, the president finally acted. Hastily drafted in a
            single one-nighter, the Kennedy bill fell well short of what the GOP had introduced the month before. Many Democrats were preparing a protracted Senate filibuster of this civil rights bill, which was in a committee of the House of Representatives when John Kennedy was murdered in November 1963.”

            http://politicalfray.com/history/2503-republican-roots-1964-civil-rights-act.html

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/88th_United_States_Congress

            “When the bill came before the full Senate for debate on March 30, 1964, the “Southern Bloc” of 18 southern Democratic Senators and one Republican Senator led by Richard Russell (D-GA) launched a filibuster to prevent its passage.[13] Said Russell: “We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.”[14]”

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

            Feel free to refute the claims.
            And I do not trust Mitt on truthfulness any more than I do George Bush on principles. While mitt fabricated his marching with the king, the claim o n this thread that the Mormons “didn’t raise a finger” in support of civil rights is patently false.

          • Namakaokona

            So then what is your evidence of Mormon support of civil rights? The so called Mormon Church had no problem with political activism in opposing the ERA and gay marriage–what did they offer in support of black civil rights?

          • Namakaokona

            The Dixiecrats–Democrats who opposed the Civil Rights Act, have all joined the Republican Party–Utah and the South are solidly Republican.

          • Darren

            Yup. After their conversion to supporting civil rights.

          • Namakaokona

            The Dixiecrats who opposed the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act left the Democratic Party because of the Democratic support of civil rights. They have found their home in the Republican Party which is now the party of racists and angry old white men. Black people do not belong to the Republican Party, neither do Hispanics, neither do Asians in any significant numbers because they recognize this fact. You can continue to delude yourself if you choose to, and continue to lose elections. I hope you do. Utah is largely Republican, and Mormons are largely Republican because racism is deeply embedded in Mormon history and doctrine. You have again failed to produce any Mormon support beyond George Romney of Mormon support for civil rights. Of course, Governor Romney was chastised by Elder Delbert Stapley, who opposed in great detail equality for ‘the negro’. The letter, on Mormon Church letter head is dated January 23, 1964. Elder Stapley recommends that Romney read ‘Mormonism and the Negro’. This letter is online and easily accessible–of course this makes it more difficult for the Mormon Church to lie about its racist past. Anyone who wonders what the so called Mormon Church’s teachings were in 1964 regarding civil equality for black people should read this letter. Today, the enemy is simply a new one–Mormons are now dedicated to destroying equality for gay people. Same bigotry different enemy.

    • Gina Colvin

      A very poor use of analogy I think. Protest and civic outrage is often positioned as intimidation. Violence often erupts because of the use of force to silence the dissident. Democracies must allow public demonstrations of discontent. This argument is typical of Oaks and I agree – they don’t get it. Why would they – look at the circles they run in.

  • therealjeaniebeanie

    Well put.

    • Gina Colvin

      Cheers!

  • EteU Spencer

    I have been in the church my adult life and one of the first to receive the Priesthood. I look forward-not back. I feel that the church members should do the same. If, born in Jim Crow and directly affected by the priesthood ban-so should others.

    • Gina Colvin

      I think the injunction to prescribe a best course for all church members is easier said than done. You seem to demonstrate a great deal of generosity and faith even as someone directly affected. Yet there are others who were similarly affected, and those who were affected in other ways. The ban on the Priesthood defined a church wide theology and people need to work this out in whatever way they can. Its great that we now have this opportunity.

    • Carl Bethel

      That is not possible EteU Spencer, If the church is the One true church its Leaders should have not destroyed the many lives that they did and shrug off what happened as a mistake and keep going. Someone has to face the music.
      If you have children and they are white, remember that it were black children that were told that they and their ancestors had been cowards in the preexistence. You cannot abuse children in that way destroy their lives and simply continue looking forward.

      • Carl Bethel

        Destroyed what lives?

        The lives of many black children that learned about their and their ancestors being fence sitters and cowards in preexistence. No Brigham Young was a racist and the web site in church is indirectly acknowledging it. As I said. You most be white..I bet you wound not allow your children to be taught by the black panther party on some of the same “mistakes” made by Mormon Leaders. I understand your Racist way of thinking. Since it is Blacks the ones hurt it appears that nobody has been hurt.

        Really? “Were told” by whom, exactly?
        Bruce R. McConkie
        By the way nothing happened to him after c omitting this horrifying abomination.

        Your attitude of nothing has been done goes very well with the White power LDS church.

        Good luck.

    • UnderCover Brother

      EteU Spencer:

      I really do have a problem with your statement re: look forward-not back and feeling that Church members should do the same. I have also been in the Church a long time and I’ve seen for myself the everlasting and damaging effects of members being denied the blessings of entering into the House of The Lord to make covenants with God. I have also seen with my own eyes young men being denied the opportunity to act in the name of the Lord by being a holder of His Priesthood – both of these being due to the color of their skin.
      I have bi-racial children. Three weeks ago, as a family we were having our daily scripture reading and it was my turn to read. These were
      the words I read to my wife and children:

      ‘And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
      And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white
      like unto the Nephites;
      And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites…’

      I got half way through the 3rd verse when I stopped and looked up at my wife with this; ‘WTH’ look on my face. She was staring straight back at me with this, ‘What are we saying to our children?’ look of horror on her face. So this is happening now. Is your response that I should look forward not back and that my children should do the same? Should that be the same response to the young black men and their families from the 1970’s?

      Jesus was very clear on this matter. He said:

      ‘But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me (and I would include those young black men and black families), it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.’

      I don’t ever remember Him teaching look forward not back and stating that Church members should do the same. And the Church definitely does not ask its members to do the same.

  • Raymond McIntyre

    Although this is in no way an excuse, all of us make God in our image and likeness, groups just as much as individuals and it is, to some degree, an absolute necessity. We cannot understand anything so completely ‘other’ as God unless we have some mechanism of grounding that understanding in what we do know. It is therefore not too surprising that sometimes God appears to have the same prejudices / likes / dislikes as we do, what we simply must never forget is that God is more than we can comprehend and greater than our personal or societal / group prejudices.

    • Gina Colvin

      Beautifully put Raymond!

    • mariapetrova

      True and gracious. Thank you.

    • gimpi1

      Very valid, Raymond. Do you have any ideas how people can stop “creating God in our own image?”

      • Raymond McIntyre

        I am not sure we can or really whether we should. How can we ‘understand’ someone we can’t picture in some way?

        • gimpi1

          Perhaps the best we can do is try to visualize God as the best in ourselves, rather than, as we all too often do, as holding some of our most unpleasant aspects.

          Perhaps that’s one of the reasons I remain outside of many belief-systems. I’ll think about that.

  • Carl Bethel

    As am Mormon, former Missionary, and member of a Bishopric I cannot hear the name Mandela without being totally ashamed. Again we were in the wrong side.

    • Darren

      “I cannot hear the name Mandela without being totally ashamed.”

      Why?

      • JohnH2

        Because apparently everyone in the church is guilty for something that most of us weren’t even members for (or even born) and even if we were we had no ability one way or another to change the ban; This obviously includes everyone that did do what they could to get the ban lifted because that doesn’t matter for our collective guilt, and obviously this includes all the Apostles and Prophets that sought revelation from God to lift the ban because who the heck cares about revelation for God?.

        • Carl Bethel

          John read the church’s website: The church does not recognize the banning of blacks from priesthood as official doctrine. It was a “Mistake” First of all it was not a mistake it was an atrocity. second, it was do to racism and not God’s will. Have you read Joseph Fielding Smith book “the way to perfection”? According to him “Blacks are the lower race” I don’t think he was praying to lift the ban.

      • Carl Bethel

        Because we did not use our political prowess as an institution to fight apartheid. On the opposite we supported Apartheid. Back then I thought that the reason that we didn’t fight Apartheid politically was because the church did not get involved in Politics, which Prop 8 showed was not true. The Mormon Church supported Apartheid which is shameful

    • Gina Colvin

      Institutionally we were – but personally we are all over the political spectrum. A former bishop in our stake protested the Springbok (South African rugby tour) of New Zealand and took to the streets with helmet, bat, and boots to say no to sporting ties with an apartheid nation. He’s a legend and if he were still living would have every reason to hold his head up high!

      • Raymond McIntyre

        Yup, there were a number of us on the lines.

  • UnderCover Brother

    Gina,

    Very well done! Thank you.

    • Gina Colvin

      You are most welcome friend!

      • Darron Smith

        Gina that was an excellent paper! Thank you for writing it! I posted it on my site and I hope folks review it. Well done!

        Darron Smith

        • Gina Colvin

          Cheers Darron. Will check out your site!

  • Darren

    In order to issue an apology, via Geenral Conference and letters sent out to the various bishops of the world, asre we to assume that the brethren did not pray to God for guidance? If they did it is my understanding that the Lord did not answer them one way or the other. So who should apologize to those denied the priesthood? Doctrines and meaning of doctrines, including reasons behind them, are always confusing when the heavens close on the given subject.

    Though “Race and the Priesthood” makes it sound as if Brigham Young refused blacks the priesthood due to racism my understanding is that due to reports that Joseph Smith rescinded the priesthood from blacks and for whatever reason Brigham Young followed along with the idea that JS did. We don’t know exactly why Brigham Young refused the priesthood for blacks; nor do we know exactly what went on behind the scenes for future LDS presidents to continue to ban. We do know that David O. McKay prayed about it and received no inspiration to lift the ban. Why was God so silent? And doesn’t that make God the ultimate reason for the duration of the ban? Should He appologize?

    https://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng

    • gimpi1

      “We do know that David O. McKay prayed about it and received no inspiration to lift the ban. Why was God so silent?”

      Perhaps, pursuant to Raymond’s comment above, when God contradicts what we already believe, we become a bit hard of hearing.

      • gimpi1

        Replying to KIwi57′s deleted comment:

        I don’t know Mr. McKay’s history, but he still chose to keep an injustice intact , perhaps because he believed that God wanted him to. I can’t get behind that.

        All too often throughout history, people have committed vile acts that they believed God desired. Think inquisition. Think witch-hunts. Think 911. Think honor killings. Think KKK. To me, if you believe God wants you to be unjust, you should use that as a wake-up call, to examine exactly what you believe about God.

  • Ola Adeyemo

    Darren, “Joseph Smith rescinded the priesthood from blacks and for whatever reason Brigham Young followed along with the idea that JS did.” Where does it say that JS rescinded the priesthood?? If he did, how come it’s not in the D&C?

    • Darren

      Ola;
      There’s absolutely no record of him rescinding the priesthood from blacks. There’s no statement by him regarding any such thing. But Brigham young apparently thought he did. Somewhere along the exodus LDS leaders were under the impression that Joseph Smith may have done such a thing (I’m convinced he did not) and the main point is that we don’t know exactly why the priesthood ban was implemented.

      • Ola Adeyemo

        Darren,

        I think we need to be very careful of what we say concerning this issue b/c it can leak into the general population of the church and somehow becomes believable by people who don’t pray about it or use common sense. On this issue, no praying was needed for me to know that it wasn’t true for the simple fact that I know that “God is no respecter of persons.” On my mission, my companion and I were teaching a Black man the gospel and he had a question about why Blacks could not hold the Priesthood. My companion from Idaho stated that because we descended from Cain and he was cursed..blah, blah, blah….. Do you know that was the last time we saw that investigator who had been meeting with missionaries for years and I don’t blame him. As a Black man, I don’t want to feel inferior to anybody because God did not make me that way.

        • Darren

          Brother Ola;
          I completely agree with being careful and prayerful on this subject. I also advocate beig as accurate as possible. One thing Gina has done which is a great service via her posts on blacks and the priesthood is that the justifications regarding the ban are mere myths; not “facts” and certainly not LDS official doctrines.

        • Gina Colvin

          Actually Ola, I gave a talk about this a couple of weeks ago, and the missionaries came to me recently and thanked me. They had been challenged by a black man who wanted to know why the priesthood ban, they simply replied ‘it was wrong’. Now they are teaching him! Less blah blah blah would be good all round methinks! (says me a blogger who is full of blah blah!) :)

  • mariapetrova

    100% gold. Thank you.

  • http://www.examiner.com/x-10560-Special-Needs-Kids-Examiner Heather E. Sedlock

    Thank you for sharing this. I agree 100% with what you’ve said here so succinctly. You hit the nail on the head for me, so to speak.

  • Connell O’Donovan

    Mandela “would have been deprived of…even membership had he been a Mormon.” Huh???

  • Metatron-Enoch

    Unfortunately, Mandela was an operative in the communist network orchestrated by the Soviet Union. From the December 5, 2013 statement of South African Communist Party deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila:

    “At his arrest in August 1962, Nelson Mandela was not only a member of the then underground South African Communist Party, but was also a member of our party’s central committee. To us as South African communists, Cde Mandela shall forever symbolize the monumental contribution of the SACP in our liberation struggle,” the party said in a statement reacting to Mandela’s death.

    “The contribution of communists in the struggle to achieve the South African freedom has very few parallels in the history of our country. After his release from prison in 1990, Cde Madiba became a great and close friend of the communists till his last days.”

    • gimpi1

      Perhaps, if others had been more willing to work to end apartheid in the 1960s, Mr Mandela wouldn’t have needed to turn to the communists.

      When the Communist Part does better on issues of social justice than many U.S. churches managed to, and somehow (perhaps by accident) came out on the right side of history in this case, what does that tell you?

      • Metatron-Enoch

        History is written in the manner that the Communists desire the world to view it, for they are the masters of deception. Many KGB defectors tried to warn the West of their tactics, but to the chagrin of the defectors, they realized that the West had been lulled away into carnal security. Mandela was just one of those “useful idiots” that Lenin spoke of, rendering Mandela a mere puppet.

        I am a Jeffersonian libertarian that believes countries that have internal problems should deal with them internally. I am against foreign intervention from the United States, as it has sapped our resources, where we spend 1 trillion a year to maintain our empire militarily around the world.

        What does it tell me about the communist, well they are organized and financed to reach their ends.

        • gimpi1

          I’m sorry, but the history of South African apartheid (our our American cousin, Jim Crow) wasn’t written by communists. They, and we, did it all by ourselves.

          Apartheid is simply wrong. Racial segregation, discrimination, oppression are simply wrong. This is no longer a matter for debate. Sadly, the communists were right to support Mandela, and the U.S. in the 1960′s were wrong. That’s OK to admit. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

          I generally agree with you regarding foreign intervention. However, some principles are worth intervening over. Apartheid is one. History has decided.

          Mandela was far, far more than you attempt to reduce him to. And, when a profoundly unjust system such as communism recognizes, and reacts to, injustice better than we do, it’s long past time for a hard look in the mirror. Had we had the wisdom to do that in the early 1960s, things might be much better now.

          • Metatron-Enoch

            Who says our system is any better? The year 1913 was death nails in the coffin for the United States, as bankers drove through legislation–Federal Reserve act–that has destroyed our currency ever since. These same bankers are the ones who financed and backed the Bolsheviks in the 1917 Revolution, Hilter’s Nazi Regime, and Mao’s Cultural Revolution.

            Mercantilists, who would other wise be destroyed in an unadulterated free-market system, used the law to push through their agenda and create monopolies. This ensured that competition would be quelled and eliminated. Thus, communism is a delight to these megalomaniacs, for centralized planning allocates resources to the chosen winners beforehand.

            Of course Apartheid is wrong, but I do not see the logical reasoning in fighting wars orchestrated to line the pockets of these bankers, the same ones Obama is financed and backed by. There is money to be made in foreign intervention and war of any kind. You should read about how the Rothchilds orchestrated the French Revolution, and made a pretty penny off of it. These leaders are useful in facilitating these events, for it is like FDR stated, “Presidents are not elected, they are selected.”

          • gimpi1

            I’ll have to let this go. Frankly, you come off as a bit of a conspiracy-theory, obsessive type, and I simply don’t want to engage on that level. Fare well.

          • Metatron-Enoch

            There is no theory, my friend. This is all on public record: Plenty of declassified CIA documents to examine. The Book of Mormon was written specifically to alert us to the growing use of secret combinations in the last days. The problem with many in the Church is that they do not believe in systematic evil on this level. Satan has alway operated by secret oaths and secret societies.

            I believe D&C 38:29 is quite apt for the discuss: “Ye hear of wars in far countries, and you say that there will soon be great wars in far countries, but ye know not the hearts of men in your own land.” I find it fascinating that many deny the possibility of conspiracies, when Christ himself was killed in such an ordeal. It does not matter, the Book of Mormon is before us, and the Lord has plenty to say about what He will do to the Gentiles in the Church and in this nation. Salve!

          • Blapper

            I like hockey

          • Gina Colvin

            I prefer rugby myself. Some say that rugby is dangerous but I’ve found hockey (ie. field hockey) to be frightening in the extreme. As a rugby player I just feel safer.

          • Blapper

            My daughter plays and loves rugby. In Canada when we say hockey we only mean the kind played on ice. If it is any other kind we preface it with field hockey, table hockey, street hockey, etc. but hockey in it’s pure and unadulterated form is played on ice ;)

          • Blapper

            And yes it is very rough and not for the faint of heart, just how we like it.

          • Namakaokona

            Glenn, is that you?

        • Namakaokona

          So since you are so detailed on the communists, perhaps you can name a few who have managed to fool everyone?

          • Metatron-Enoch

            The problem is that most of them do not call themselves communists, but rather they must blend in amongst the people in order to perpetuate their treachery. In order to rot a nation from within, clandestine activities are required to do so. This can also be done under the banner of peace. The Roman statesman Cicero made noted that those who are the most dangerous are the traitors: “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

            Those of the past who deceived this nation are still amongst us. Prescott Bush, the father of George H. W. Bush, financed and backed Hitler during World War 2, and had an avid interest in fomenting propaganda to draw the United States into the Second World War. However, he is not the only one. These elites promoted Hitler and even allowed him to grace the cover of Time magazine at least three times, and he was even named man of the year by this same magazine. Also, Bill and Hillary Clinton have been involved in some of the most notorious drug running operation, while they were in Arkansas.

            The problem is that the conspiracy is intricate, the web so complex, that it baffles the mind. However, Karen Hudes, a World Bank whistleblower, sheds some light on the orchestration of how this is all being played out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLpzA9kY_W8p39PSzMZKlve9FQVhoMtXd_&v=ACVWfcL8c7s

            I can tell you all this stuff, but without reading it and finding it for yourself, it won’t matter much. This is what I had to do. Unfortunately for me, it took me serving in war to realize that I was duped by the government and by those who purport to be died in the wool Americans. In order to disabuse yourself, you must realize that this is a puzzle and the piece are hidden in plain view. A book I would recommend to understand the communists’ tactics is “New Lies for Old” by Anatoliy Golitsyn. The author was a KGB defector, who tried to warn the West. After realizing his exhortations fell on deaf ears, he wrote this book in 1984 and soon went into hiding afterwards. His predictions are astonishing and accurate. However, the communists are not the only players though. There are a few predator, global factions that vie for power.

  • gimpi1

    “Will those who refuse to part with their racist accounting of the order of heaven be treated as harshly as those who had in the past raised the voice of protest to those racist doctrines?”

    If history is any guide, probably not.

    “Those we had thought were talking to God, had in fact made a God of their culture, their politics, their privilege, their race. They were wrong. What else have they been wrong about?”

    Good question. If I might suggest, explaining exactly how they got this so wrong might shed light on how they came to the wrong conclusion, and make correcting future thinking a more straightforward process.

  • Guest

    “The lives of faithful people both black and white were destroyed, upended, devastated by this doctrine.”

    Really? I think you are overselling it a bit.

    • Carl Bethel

      If you are a member of the church your denial is hurting the church. I for once will not stop voicing my opinion until there is a sincere apology and an acceptance of responsibility. I worked close to GA…There is a lot of racism among them. I will not stop until this is clear. The doctrine of Mormon church is abusive and can only be preached by abuse and intimidation.

  • Gina Colvin

    You first. Prove that they weren’t.

    • OnTheCrown

      I have lived in the U.S. most of my life. I have never met a faithful person black or white whose life was destroyed by this doctrine. I don’t think you have any proof of this.

      • Metatron-Enoch

        She has none, for fomenting dissent is the entrée for the day. What if, the Lord is taking away the sublime truths that the earlier brethren taught in order to supply the milk requisite to save those who can not bear the mysteries of God now? Alma 12:9-11 comes to mind on this. I know the Lord has His timing and reasons for such things.

        Eventually D&C 85:7 will come to fruition, where the “one mighty and strong” will come and do the bidding of the Lord, but I wonder if this happens after D&C 112:24-26 occurs?

  • Gina Colvin

    Quite right.

  • Gina Colvin

    Why would I parade a list of aggrieved persons in front of you for your assessment as to whether in your mind they warrant the adjective ‘destroyed, devastated, upended? That would be offering you the opportunity and even the power to make a decision as to whether or not you agree. And should you not agree that persons ‘x’, ‘y’ and ‘z’ were devastated I would have perpetrated a singular insensitivity, parading their pain for the purposes of engaging in a futile attempt to win an argument. And I’m not about to do that. Now you can fist pump the air and tell yourself that my reluctance to disclose the personal stories of multiple people is an admission of my creative overkill or you can accept what I say on face value. Either way – I’m not really bothered.

    • OnTheCrown

      If someone of “faith” was destroyed by the ban and have maintained their faith then wouldn’t they have the priesthood by now?

  • Metatron-Enoch

    So, is it safe to assume that you think the scripture Alma 3:6 is racist?

  • Courtney

    First off, I love this article. I personally know of people whose lives were affected negatively by this doctrine, and parading their names on this board is not the solution-the Church offering them a decent apology is a good place to start, though. Hopefully this happens at a local level first-with Bishops reaching out in the right spirit. Secondly, Darren, as a Catholic growing up in Utah, I experienced much of the harassment that you described in your post about the Prop 8 incidents, save that I was just a young girl, and I was attacked for not being Mormon. When I was 10 years old, two male Mormon Missionaries grabbed me on my way home from school and shoved a Book of Mormon into my backpack (the police were called by my teacher, who witnessed the events while cleaning up litter), we had several Mormon Missionaries shouting scripture outside the steps of our Cathedral on Sunday mornings (warnings were issued several times until the police were called, and this has since become punishable by the Mormon Church as well), and once, most hurtfully, at the age of 7, my friends’ mother slapped me across the face for asking if her daughter could play with me after church. Mind you, I was a VERY devout Catholic, visiting the Pope twice, attending mass 6 days a week. My testament was strong, and I worked hard to love and treat everyone with kindness and respect. The Catholic Church is just as guilty in its history of injustices acted out upon society. I believe now that most Christian organizations have strayed far from Jesus’ original plan-to love one another. Not supporting equal rights for homosexuals, not “The Gay Agenda,” as you negatively refer to it, Darren, may have shamed a few supporters of Prop 8 into quitting their jobs, but last I checked, in 29 states, it’s still legal to FIRE someone who openly admits to being gay, regardless of their job tenure or work ethic. I don’t think the heterosexual voters are the ones who should fear for their jobs, rights or livelihoods here. Rather, as Christians, I would love to see the day that all churches embrace all human beings as they are…humans. We are born in the image of God. We make mistakes along the way…we stumble…we may hurt others…but we are born who are, and we are all part of humanity, and the more kindness, respect, love and appreciation that we show for each other will equate to less fighting, less division, and ideally, bring us all closer to Jesus. I personally believe that Jesus loved everyone, and was non-discriminitory in his views on treating everyone with basic human kindness, respect, and love, and would want every law-abiding citizen to have a chance at a life with equal rights, no matter your race, religion or sexual identity.

    • Carl Bethel

      Courtney,
      Mormons are indeed good people. The experiences that you relate do not fit the average Mormon. They are in general very caring.

      • Courtney

        Carl-I do not disagree with you. I think that the true teachings of the Mormon church are quite positive, having read the Book of Mormon and the D&C, and attending several sacrament meetings with friends. I try to study up on all religions, as it brings about better cultural understanding. From what I’ve seen, many members are indeed great people. I was only bringing up my experiences as a young person in Utah to show that just as Mormons have felt intimidated and harassed, as brought up by Darren, so too have some Mormons done the harassing. People are not perfect, and to generalize the gay community with some who were over-zealous and in the wrong is no better than generalize that the Mormon community makes no such mistakes, because they do, and have done, just as loads of other humans from all backgrounds, ethnicities and religious affiliations have done. To OnTheCrown’s point, It is not enough to say that those who put slavery into law are dead, so the future generations that followed through with it need not apologize. It’s not whether David O. McKay, who was my friends’ grandfather, btw, did not receive revelation from God to remove the ban, and he is no longer alive, so no one living should be held accountable. Rather, it’s a great step that those living are willing to say, “this was wrong, and we continued to allow it, and we shouldn’t have.” The next piece, as stated here in this article, though, should be something akin to ” we do owe apologies to those whose lives were adversely affected, both those living now and those who have passed on.” The local Utah news (Channel 4) featured an African American couple who were converts to the LDS church in the 70′s and 80′s and felt the effects of discrimination up until this announcement. There are still people walking this earth who were members of a Church that made them feel like second class citizens. Your church does baptisms for the dead, in the belief that life continues on in some form forever. Why can you then, OnTheCrown, so dismissively say that no apologies are needed because many or most whom this affected are dead? Doesn’t that go against your belief that life is eternal? Do we suddenly stop caring for those who’ve passed on? Do we decide that wrongs committed by those who have passed on are not valid because they are now dead?

    • OnTheCrown

      How would the apology work exactly? Who will apologize to who especially since those that continued the ban are now dead…?

      • gimpi1

        If it were me, I would apologize to the world in general, for publicly stating things that degraded a whole bunch of people, and hiding behind God while I did it. I would take responsibility for my error. I would also explain how I fell into my error in the first place, and how I had corrected my thinking, so my future judgements could be trusted. Without those actions, any future statements I make should be taken with a whole shaker of salt.

        If a group made such a mistake in ethics and morality, and it refuses to own up, and won’t explain how it has corrected its decision-making process to avoid such mistakes in the future. I, personally wouldn’t be able to trust it. If the Mormon church wants to have its moral intuition trusted, I think they would be wise to take this action. Just a view from the outside.

        • OnTheCrown

          Whose error is it exactly? When the people who perpetuated the ban are now dead? Then who do you apologize to? All those of African descent or just those that who were banned specifically before 1978?

          • gimpi1

            In my opinion, it was your church’s error. The people at the top of your church should apologize, not because they made the mistake personally, but because they are at the top, and with privilege comes responsibility. They apologize to society at large, because your church presented a mistaken doctrine in the past that caused harm to the world at large. They explain how your former leaders made mistakes in developing the doctrine in the first place, and how your church has learned from their mistakes, and won’t make them again. That’s how you win back trust after making a mistake. At least that’s how I would play it, if I were one of your leaders.

          • Gina Colvin

            We’ll said!

          • gimpi1

            Thank you!

          • OnTheCrown

            Interesting opinion but I disagree.

          • gimpi1

            That’s fine. That’s what makes horses race.

          • OnTheCrown

            Of course. There are different opinions on how they should move forward, including those who were affected by it personally who are satisfied how the Church has handled it so far. You can’t please everyone.

          • Carl Bethel

            Agree with you gimpi1, except that in my most honest opinion, this was not a mistake, it was an abomination. For me a mistake is something like wearing socks that don’t match.

  • OnTheCrown

    You could probably say the same thing about any church doctrine. I am
    sure that there is at least one person who has been devastated or offended by any
    number of church principles or policies. That is the way it has always
    been.

    • Carl Bethel

      On the crown, The policy of withholding priesthood from blacks was an abomination, Only Polygamy, and Polyandry Practiced when Joseph Smith married women that were already married can be compared to the ban against blacks.

      • OnTheCrown

        The priesthood has been withheld from people in the Bible according to lineage. It is hardly an abomination.

        • Gina Colvin

          That’s quite right – withheld based on lineage, as opposed to skin colour.

        • Carl Bethel

          It is not an abomination to you because it didn’t affect you. The fact that you don’t think it is an abomination does not mean it is not an abomination
          In Judges 11:30-39 a Man kills his daughter as sacrifice to God. If you do that now it would be an abomination as big as discriminating against a race,

          • OnTheCrown

            You could also look at it that just because you think it is an abomination does not necessarily mean that it is an abomination.

            Yet you fail to answer how withholding the priesthood from an even larger swath of people based on lineage in the Old Testament is not an abomination….or is it?

          • Carl Bethel

            There are many things that happened in the old and new testament that we don’t know whether happened or not. If it happened as it is written it is an abomination of course.
            On The Crown: We see in the book of Mormon, Bible, D&C, POGP a lot of celestial manifestations. Why is it that we don’t hear our leaders talking about Pillars of light, Angels that they can see and that others can see. God talks to President Monson as much talks as much as he talks to pope Francis, and the CEO of GE.

          • Metatron-Enoch

            It is only an abomination to those who do not understand the big picture the scriptures are providing. Instead, many are unable to drink deeply from the scriptures, due to the distortion of knowledge by the infiltration of Marxist doctrine and various other Satanic philosophies.

            This article is saturated with class struggle with the objective of fomenting anger and division–a trademark of Marxist literature. It is obvious that there are many within the Church, who are members solely for the cause of disruption. Does it offend you that the primary builders of the city of Zion on the American continent will be the literal seed of Joseph (Ether 13), with the assistance of the Gentiles that remain faithful to their covenants while passing through the days of tribulation spoken of in Revelations 7? Or is this racism by the Lord?

            Is it racism that the Lord will be so fed up with the Gentiles in the Church and on this land that the Father states, “I will bring the fulness of my gospel from among them” (3 Nephi 16:10)? Is it also racist that Christ will allow the seed of Joseph to be amongst the Gentiles “to go forth among them as a lion among the beasts of the forrest, and as a young lion among the flocks of sheep, who, if he goeth through both treadeth down and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. (3 Nephi 20:16; Mormon 5:19-24)?

            I come from a long line of Native Americans and am a literal descendent of the Book of Mormon prophets and from the tribe of Manasseh, and I know the Lord placed a curse upon the Lamanites. However, through obedience to the laws of the Gospel, the seed of Joseph shall blossom and become a great people. The problem is you have rested the scriptures and it shall be unto your own destruction (Alma 13:20; 2 Peter 3:16)!

          • OnTheCrown

            If you don’t know whether it happened or not then that could apply also to what you “see in the book of Mormon, Bible, D&C, [and the] POGP.”

          • Carl Bethel

            We definitely know that Prophets of the church stated things like: ” Blacks represent Satan” (John Taylor), “You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth,
            uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind….Cain slew his brother. Cain might
            have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. (Brigham Young), “Blacks are a lower race” (Joseph Fielding Smith).

            These statements happened and do mot relate to any scripture.

          • OnTheCrown

            A lot of what you say has been taken out of context.

          • gimpi1

            Saying that a whole group of people – based on nothing more than physical appearance – are lesser in intelligence and of less value, there’s a context that makes that acceptable? I sure can’t think of any.

          • OnTheCrown

            Well first off, it was not based on physical appearance but ancestry. Even so, it is something I still don’t fully understand just as I don’t understand why it still excludes based on gender and how old you are. I don’t have all the answers.

          • gimpi1

            Then, at the risk of being rude, if you don’t understand it, why do you believe it? I’ve never understood that. I apologize in advance if this an offensive question.

          • OnTheCrown

            No offense taken. What “it” are you talking about? I just said I don’t have all the answers.

          • gimpi1

            As I understand it, you said you don’t understand why the priesthood was withheld from people based on linage. However, if I understand you, you don’t have any problem with it being done, even though it is obviously unfair. I understand you also saying that the gender ban is OK with you, though you don’t understand it. Again, to me it seems to be unfair.

            If I don’t see any reason for something, and I do see reasons against it. (It’s unfair, it’s hurtful, it causes pain, it drives people away) I don’t believe it is the right thing to do. No argument from authority will convince me, without some supporting reasons.

            Do you have supporting reasons, or is this just an argument from authority, along the lines of “I think that’s what God wants, so I won’t question it, no matter how silly or wrong it looks.”

          • OnTheCrown

            What makes you think I don’t have a problem with it?

          • gimpi1

            I thought that was what you were saying. I thought you were defending it. If I was mistaken, never mind.

          • OnTheCrown

            I think you just assumed what I may think of this complex issue because most people here are either virulently for or against whatever issues is being discussed. What I do know is that the priesthood has been and still is exclusionary for some reason or another. The details of which I don’t have all the answers for.

          • Vaughan Hamilton

            you obviously are not aware that white people were kept from the priesthood as well. It was only when Peter had his vision that that restriction was lifted. This is not a white man policy but a direct revelation from God

          • Carl Bethel

            You are trying to justify the discrimination in the Mormon church with the discrimination stated in the bible. You need to read the article in the LDS website: “There was no revelation, it was based on discrimination.
            God, if there is one, is not involved with Mormon leaders. You as a Mormon, know that your testimony is based on a decision that the church is true. Not on revelation. You have to Decide that the church is true. You say that you sustain Elder Monson as a Prophet but you know that you don’t sustain him. You do what others do: repeat something you have heard when you share your testimony. Having a good feeling while someone talks does not mean that he is a Prophet.

          • Stephen

            Judges 11:30-39 There is another actual option in histoy for Jeph and his daughter. She spent her life in sacrificial service to Israel as a virgin and never married. Not killed as some think sacrificed can only means. But the point being; “stupid oaths we make to God.”

  • Carl Bethel

    I am also one of those persons. I don’t consider myself to be in denial. There were people that openly criticized this man made policy. They were excommunicated. Their lives ruined for telling the truth. For trying to fight a policy that went against God’s principles. Something has been done. But much more still needs to be done. You want to justify the actions of the leaders of the church it is your choice. I have seen in my life time that many of the doctrines of the church are supported with bullying in part of the leaders and of members. I follow my own conscience and I will continue to speak up until more is done to achieve real justice.

  • steve

    When Christ died on the Cross the veil in the temple was torn in half. The official earthly preisthood was abolished except one. Jesus became the one and only High Priest. “All men” who believe in Christ were priests at home only read the book of Hebrews at least once.
    A High priest is a position He alone will hold forever and will not give to Mormons or any one else.
    There is no white and or black mormon priesthood. It’s a mute point.
    The Cross of Christ is the last and final sacrifice for all sins. Any who reject that can not be saved. Jesus said,” I AM the Truth the Way and the Life.” Jn 14:6
    Believe that Jesus died on the cross for you. Don’t be decieved.


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