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GravyBoat

Priesthood Ban Info

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I recently got into an argument with my dad over the priesthood ban: I believing it's a product of racism, and he believing that it is fully inspired.

By the end of the week, he said that he wants to "address all of my complaints," but it's feeling more and more like it will be a full-blown debate.

I need all of the information that I can get my hands on to prove my point, including statistical data, facts, and opinions. Anything else you can think of would help.

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My advice, GravyBoat. Don't discuss it with your dad. You are not going to change his mind, and I doubt he will change yours. Why would you want to do something contentious with your father? If you want a "racism vs inspiration" debate just for the fun of it, there are plenty of people around you could get into it with. Don't risk family upheaval over it.

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I hardly think that he's doing this for the fun of it. And when a family cannot talk about differences in opinion, that's sad. I live in one that is like that, you either tow the line or stay silent about your difference. Just because someone doesn't agree with the way every single minute thing in the LDS church works, that doesn't make them out for trouble! Let someone picket the temple out here in DC, I and my apostate behind would be out there ringing some necks, ok? That's holy ground, regardless of what I call myself.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I wish some would have it for those who dissent in belief. They're not doing it to be devilish or cruel, they're just thinking. Goodness...

Gravy, make known your views to a point. There will come a time when you'll both have to say it's a draw. But do not take disrespect from anyone because of an opposing view. Let dad know how much you love him, and how much you respect him for the leader he has been in your home. But also let him know that with growing into an adult, changes in view are likely to surface. This is one. Lovingly state your case, and then let it be.

Edited to put a space in.

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I hardly think that he's doing this for the fun of it. And when a family cannot talk about differences in opinion, that's sad. I live in one that is like that, you either tow the line or stay silent about your difference.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

GIMR, I respectfully disagree with you, maybe. I don't think it's always an either/or situation - either a family has to be able to discuss EVERYTHING NOW or there's a lot of eggshell-walking/towing the line. Some issues are not "ripe" to be discussed at the moment - especially if that moment is a hot one. Artificial deadlines like "by the end of the week" are not helpful, either.

The truth is, no matter what the facts are (i.e., Joseph gave the priesthood to Elijah Abel and others, the Blacks were then denied the priesthoods, the prophets prayed about the issue over the decades, in 1978 Pres. Kimball received the revelation, etc.) there are NO REASONS authoritatively given for that sequence of facts, only speculation. I agree with what was said above: each man of each opinion will likely remain of the same opinion after the debate. Since that is true (or likely true), WHY HAVE THE DEBATE IN THE FIRST PLACE??? How on earth is the fact of forcing (or allowing for) such a devisive debate somehow more healthy than keeping silent on that issue for the moment?

As the scriptures wisely counsel, for everything there is a time (paraphrasing). My wife and i enjoy an incredible ability to discuss virtually everything with each other and with our children, but sometimes we simply have to table some issues for a later time, when cooler heads can prevail.

Also, what is the goal of the discussion/debate? Does each side truly feel, "hey, maybe I can learn something here?" or is it a matter of "hey, I want to make sure I make my strongest point and that the other side listens and crumbles under the avalanche of evidence I produce?" If it's the second, then, again, "towing the line" for now (not saying forever) is, from my perspective, a much wiser choice.

Having said all that, as usual, GIMR, I whole-heartedly agree that many - perhaps all - debates and differences of opinion include a lack of RESPECT. If we could all only live more respectfully (of course, whether or not it's good to demand respect or simply demonstrate it is another debate, I suppose...). Keep up the reminders on that point - we all need it.

Respectfully yours,

Bro. Sid

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Thank you St. Balthasar for being able to voice your difference of opinion in a Christlike way. There need to be more in the faith like yourself.

However, I think it is very sad when a child has a view or a question that is squashed by the parent simply because the parent might not want to deal with it or view it that way. Gravy may not have to deal with this now, but it is an issue. You see, how would his father's view affect his possibly bringing a woman of African American descent into his home as a love interest?

This issue, the lack of "answer" especially (we don't know...that don't cut it for me), has always had me fearful with regards to dating LDS. Not that I ever had a chance to. And I think this is why. There are folks who believe that my people did something to deserve a second-class status in their church, hence we should have a second-class status in their lives as well, regardless of the lifting of the ban. And many of these folks cannot see their hesitation to get to know their African American siblings as veiled racism.

I think the issue should be talked about. It's because we keep "avoiding contention" that it keeps coming out with such vehemence on boards like these.

What is everyone afraid of? I'm sorry, but the explanations that I've been fed these past four years don't fill me at all. It only makes me wonder what God found wrong with me...His creation.

Forgive me if that doesn't sit well with anyone. But most of you are not the subject of this concern.

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Here's an example of why I think discussion of issues like this within families is important, and why we shouldn't just put it off because it's uncomfortable for some folks to face.

I know a person who's family feels that they are racist because they wouldn't date black people. Well, all that was available in their early 20s were thugs, and this person was raised in a different environment. For a long time, this individual had to wear the mantle of "racist", and it hurt. It was not until that person sat down with the family, amidst the confusion and dissension and explained their view, that understanding was to be had. Has everyone's overall view changed? No. My friend still has relatives that feel my friend to be "not in touch with the culture" because the individuals she dates are successful, educated, spiritual. But one day my friend happened upon a wealthy black man who still had a touch of the southern gentleman in him. He treats her like gold...and he loves Jesus. Sounds like a good combination to me, considering what my friend's family is made of. None of the women in her family have ever come close to attracting this type of man, because they settled for color and culture above character.

Where do you think she would be if she never stood up for herself?

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GIMR, I think that it is important not to be caught up in racial stereotyping, but I don't think that the proposed debate is dealing with current attitudes. I may be wrong, but I thought that the point of the debate was the historical basis for the priesthood ban, rather than current perceptions of race differences.

My experience is that most of the brouhaha over this point comes from locales with little racial diversity. Our ward has a blend of folks, with a black Bishop and 1st Counselor. About one-third of our ward consists of black members (we also have numerous hispanic and Polynesian members), and most of the newly-baptized members in the past few years have been black. Interestingly, we have hosted a variety of funerals in the past 8-10 years for famlies who want both blacks and whites to attend, because there are both black and white churches in the area who are not keen on people of the other color traversing their thresholds (racism works both ways, I'm afraid). Our Bishop and his brother (who is the 1st Counselor) were both members before the Priesthood ban was lifted, and they don't really care much about the history. Both are also quite well versed in the roles of blacks in church history. They are also quite well versed in historical treatment of blacks here in the South.

Our Bishop's daughter is attending BYU and gets a kick out of the responses of all the white kids who have seen few blacks in their lives. She has enjoyed BYU immensely and hasn't had any negative responses, but says that the over-reactive fawning from some who feel a need to be politically correct can be quite tiresome.

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I think the issue should be talked about. It's because we keep "avoiding contention" that it keeps coming out with such vehemence on boards like these.

What is everyone afraid of?

Thank you, GIMR, for our respectful interchange. I, too, wish that all could express contrary opinions in such Christlike tones.

Here's what I'm afraid of:

- I'm afraid that no satisfactory answer is coming at this time.

- I'm afraid that one group of people (I was going to write "one side" but there are many more sides than two to this issue) expects that the Church is hiding something and are not open to the possibility that the Church is simply not hiding anything.

- I'm afraid that one group of people expects to press the issue UNTIL one day the Church "officially" admits that the policy was racist, not of God, uninspired, etc. (that won't satisfy, either; it will only lead to a demand for an "official" apology, which, of course, will never satisfy, either - the debate for that group will simply shift from "what is the explanation? TELL ME NOW!" to "Why would a Church professing to be led by the Savior LIE TO US FOR ALL THESE YEARS??").

- I'm afraid that some in the debate, rather than do as Joseph did and humbly and sincerely ask God (I don't think there's a debate that there is a GREAT lack of wisdom on this issue) and see what He says (according to His timetable, of course).

- I'm afraid, ultimately, that following the voice of the Spirit - following the prophet and staying with the fold - is a matter of faith, and that faith is ultimately tragically jeopardized by the "well, if the Church wants my allegiance then God/the Church has to satisfy ME or else it's the wrong Church, wrong God and wrong Jesus, because, after all, the TRUE Church/God/Jesus wouldn't have such a mess surrounding this issue."

Obviously this issue, like many others, is up close and personal to a significant population of members. Issues such as polygyny, MMM, Blacks & the Priesthood, the translation process/historicity of the Book of Mormon, Homosexuality, euthanasia, Youth in South America (ok, that was just me trying to be funny), etc. are not going away (my fears listed above - and more - apply to many of those issues).

Somehow, true Christians and Saints must transcend the differences, IMHO, even if that means not getting a satisfactory answer at the moment (I have faith that, one day, all who are of the Spirit will truly better understand, and satisfaction will come). Joseph taught that our (the Saints') greatest object should be to build Zion - and Zion is defined as being of one heart, one mind, dwelling in righteousness and having no poor - not even one - among us (Moses 7:18, synopsized). Ultimately we must trust that God is fair (may even visit the FAIR boards occasionally) and that all of our stupid, human imperfections and frailties (that lead to unfairness - real or perceived) were somehow not only part of the Plan - but essential to it.

Again, as always, Respectfully yours,

Bro. Sid

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I guess I see both sides of the fence. I think problems should be discussed, but in a wholesome loving manner. The way this so called discussion about the Priesthood Ban seems more like it well be an all out war far. I can

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>Anything else you can think of would help.

Once you have labeled any individual or any organization as "racist", I doubt that any argument will change your mind. You will always be able to find justification for your opinion.

Racism is a highly charged emotional issue, and simply does not go away with reasoned discussion.

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But do not take disrespect from anyone because of an opposing view

i tottally agree with this....its really sad when members of the same familly cant even speak their minds because of "what its supposed to be the correct thinking"...

my girlfriend is in a similar situation, she feels she cant be her real self when discussing things with her TBM family and that is really sad...

i always thought that the place were people should feel more safe and free when discussing things was at home...i know this is not the standard but it should be...

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Gravy-I think the most important thing is to definitely talk it over, but in a noncontenious way. If you think it will get contentious, a good way to communicate is through written communication and emails too. That way you both have time to react in a way that is measure. I would be willing to speak to various intepretations given for the ban over the years:

1) Curses of Cain

2) Curse of the Pharoah in BOA

3) pre-existence

4) due to the need for the church to grow and if it had dealt with the issue of race, the fledgling church would have not made it.

Now, the book "Neither White NOr Black" by Armand Mauss and Lester Bush is online in it's entirety: Please go over this and check out the index for references specific to various intepretations above(there are other interpretations, but these are the big ones):

http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/neith...eithertitle.htm

1)For historical background on #1: Check out Neither White Nor Black online and check out the essay "Mormon Negro Doctrine: A Historical Overview" This will give you a good historical basis for how the ban came about historically and when the curse of Cain was first identified and associated with the ban specifically. It also explains how this curse predates MOrmonism and was just seen as common knowledge back in their time. You will also see some differing views of how the lineage of Cain and Ham would effect one's potential and inheritances on earth here from Joseph SMith and Brigham Young.

Also check out this quick read from ARmand L. Mauss:

http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/conf/2003MauA.html

It speaks to some of the logistical somersaults we have to do to pin a race with the lineage of Cain specifically.

2) For scriptural intepretations via the BOA, again referring to the fair article on the link above gives some counterpoints to this interpretation. In addition, check out

"Whence the Negro Doctrine? A Review of Ten Years of Answers" online in "Neither White Nor Black" for an understanding regarding this interpretation. This interpretation didn't get legs until later in years after the ban was already instituted-it was never referenced for instance by BY.

3)Pre-existence theories are also covered in the "Mormon Negro Doctrine: A Historical Overview" paper as well. This theory was given alot of weight at the beginning to the middle of the 20th century, but then effectively reputed by the First Presidency in the 60's I believe. Brigham Young in the paper referenced here actually specifically rejected this notion of pre-existent theory in "Mormonism's Negro Doctrine:"

"The preexistence "hypothesis" gained wide acceptance among MOrmons, and was even included in non-Mormon accounts of Church teachings. Brigham Young, however, did not feel it necessary to appeal beyond the curse of Cain to the preexistence. When asked "if the spirits of the negroes were neutral in heaven,"he answered, "No, they were not, there were no neutral [spirits] in Heaven at the time of the rebellion, all took sides.....All spirits are pure that came from the presence of God. The posterity of Cain are black because Cain commited murder. He killed Abel and God set a mark upon their posterity. But the spirits are pure that enter their tabernacles." (p.72 of Neither White NOr Black)

4) Is a little harder to answer since it's based more on perceptions. But I'd have something ready to discuss this idea.

Finally, in Neither White Nor Black online, I would also read "The FAding of the Pharoahs Curse" and "The Changing STatus of Elijah Abel" for some really good historical background and context. The latter paper will just get you in the ol' ticker and the former gives a great timeline involved with the steps made by the church that helped to narrow the ban and effectively set the stage for a lifting of the ban.

If you have time, check out Armand L. Mauss "All Abraham's Children: Changing MOrmon Conceptions of Race and Lineage." Excellent read. Blacklds.org has a bunch of great and easy access timelines to look over as well as some really good papers and talks that may be helpful too.

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Hey Bro. Sid,

Again, thanks for always remembering who you are when you type here, and who you represent. I can't say enough how much I wish others were like you. Ambassadors of God, enough said? cool.gif

I'm going to cut and paste from your post, because I want to reply to all aspects of it. A shortie won't do, LOL.

Youth in asia, you remind me of my co-worker. :P

- I'm afraid that no satisfactory answer is coming at this time. 

I'm going to have to say that I agree on this one. But my hypothesis for this are many. I'll get into that hopefully to your satisfaction later in the post.

- I'm afraid that one group of people (I was going to write "one side" but there are many more sides than two to this issue) expects that the Church is hiding something and are not open to the possibility that the Church is simply not hiding anything. 

You know, I don't really feel the church as a whole is hiding anything, it has always kind of bothered me when people painted the church as a whole as this sinister, treacherous organization. I think that a lot of people are on the defensive about this issue, as they would be if we were talking about race issues in America as a whole. No one wants that mantle put on their shoulders, most of us were awake during history class, we have witnessed what such hatred is capable of. Even the most flawed human being doesn't want to look and see such spiritual ugliness staring at him or her from the mirror each morning. So I feel you on the above.

- I'm afraid that one group of people expects to press the issue UNTIL one day the Church "officially" admits that the policy was racist, not of God, uninspired, etc. (that won't satisfy, either; it will only lead to a demand for an "official" apology, which, of course, will never satisfy, either - the debate for that group will simply shift from "what is the explanation? TELL ME NOW!" to "Why would a Church professing to be led by the Savior LIE TO US FOR ALL THESE YEARS??").

Okay, now this is kind of complicated for me. You see, I talk about the issue, but it's not something that I lose sleep over...anymore. It really used to bother me, when I was an active LDS, and felt like my culture was a shackle around my ankle. I never felt comfortable in my culture and within myself at church. Not to mention, the reactions of my family and friends when I became LDS made it worse. Black people DO NOT REACT WELL when they hear that "one of their own" has become mormon. I haven't really seen this with other religions. One has to ask why. I've seen large numbers of blacks in many other faiths, and there's no problem. I had to explain to many a person why I chose to be LDS. And to be honest, I don't even know anymore myself. The church met a deep need in me back then, and I'm glad that it did. But when folks of my culture find out where I've been....it's almost like a stigma. But unlike those I came across in the church, they let it go. The church I belong to now, was kind of "concerned" (which bothered me) when I told them I used to be LDS. But they don't define me by my past, I'm a new person in Christ. When I was LDS, I was always my lost virginity, my thug family, my culture. It hurts, so I can see why folks press the issue. I did for a while, but then I got tired. And the choice was to stay and be burdened with things "as is" (a very lonely state for me), or move to where I felt like I could both be used by God to serve others, and recieve spiritual nourishment myself.

To be honest with you, if the church were to come out with the above statement, they would not get anything other than respect from me. Because you see, I do believe the ban to have been of man, given what the attitudes of the day were. The problem I have with it is that people still defend it. And they can't reverse the situation, to see how it feels. I don't expect any church leader to be perfect, and perhaps that's why I'm "ok" with their silence on this. It's actually the vehemence of the members themselves each time this is brought up that gets to me. Act like your prophet, and stop being a pain in the (fill in the blank) over this. I know this church is true to you, but you aren't dealing with the stigma of a cultural difference turned religious doctrine.

- I'm afraid that some in the debate, rather than do as Joseph did and humbly and sincerely ask God (I don't think there's a debate that there is a GREAT lack of wisdom on this issue) and see what He says (according to His timetable, of course).

Bro. Sid, I asked God. And my answer shocked the heck out of me. Because at the time that I got it, I was still a stalwart, faithful, die-hard LDS. Given where I am now, what do you think my answer was? It took me TWO YEARS to listen. And longer to not look back in anger. I don't feel angry with church leadership over this, because what church hasn't had to deal with this? I'm just frustrated with those who can't get over their fear of dissenting views, who choose to defame every person who talks about this.

The answer to my prayers, as spelled out in heaven and in my journals, many a prayer my friend, the answer was to "move on in peace". I wish that I could contribute to the church, but I have learned that who I am and what I am is of little worth. And there are some things I cannot change. I can be and am the following:

-Chaste (better than the alternative)

-Sober (in the chemical sense)

-Dedicated to God (well, most of the time)

-Prayerful (hehe, especially when upset, goodness, you ain't up at 3 am giving thanks)

-Eager to do His will

But I am also

-Feisty

-Inquisitive

-Cynical (ok, working to change the trust issues)

-Brutally Honest (which I won't change, because too many people have attributed that as a virtue to me)

-From a "unclean" background

The latter five just don't fit in the church, my friend. They don't. I spent four years having my good qualities ignored, and those five things I cannot change hung about my neck like a millstone. Where I am now, those things (like everything should be) are turned around and used for God. Yes, I'm feisty. Which means I'll vehemently defend those who need it. Yes, I'm inquisitive, which means God can teach me because I never shut up and stop asking. Yes, I'm cynical, but I'm working on the trust issues, and meanwhile using that cynicism to keep me away from those who like to abuse in God's name. Yes, I'm brutally honest. I have NO problem saying I'm broken before God and in need of Him...and so are you. And YES (humph) I'm from an unclean background, but I'm saved. It doesn't matter WHAT YOU DO, you can be too.

In a world where some folks don't even know what it's like to deal with the highs and horrible lows of serious sin, it's hard for the rough-edged to feel like they have a place. They're always struggling with worthiness. Where I am now, we're all misfits. But we love Jesus, and that's what keeps our army marching and singing.

I never felt that way as an LDS. I think that this has a lot to do with culture, because my people are still in that mentality that you don't have to give it your all, just blame everything on society keeping you down. I wasn't raised like that (don't know how that happened), but I'm still a part of that problem. Those are still my people, who often frighten people like those that I used to share a church with. Heck, they frightened me.

- I'm afraid, ultimately, that following the voice of the Spirit - following the prophet and staying with the fold - is a matter of faith, and that faith is ultimately tragically jeopardized by the "well, if the Church wants my allegiance then God/the Church has to satisfy ME or else it's the wrong Church, wrong God and wrong Jesus, because, after all, the TRUE Church/God/Jesus wouldn't have such a mess surrounding this issue."

Bro. Sid, would you follow a God who wanted your unconditional love and service, but had decided that you weren't worthy of His? I left the church because I could not feel God's love there. And I'm not going to get into specifics, but my life has been spared too many times for me to doubt His adoration of me any longer. I decided to return the favor. But I cannot dwell where His love is not made apparent through human interaction AS WELL AS our one-on-one interaction.

Do you think that it is God's will that people stay in situations where they continuously suffer? Even Job's suffering was temporary. Do you think the problem of race in the LDS church will be solved in my lifetime? Because I honestly do not. And I do believe that the TRUE Church/God/Jesus wouldn't have such a mess surrounding this issue. However, the true church cannot be found in tabernacles of brick and stone, but in the human heart. That is why I think the "true church" exists both here...and in other places.

There are men and women who are bold enough to look this black elephant in their living room in the eye. And then the rest of the church who would rather raise their Books of Mormon just a little higher to block the view. I hope that progress CONTINUES to be made.

I agree, we must transcend the differences...even if we don' t know "why" at the moment. But I got the confirmation from God that I didn't have to take discomfort, disrespect, and in extreme cases, abuse until the day the "why" came along. Because of this issue, and the treatment it posed for me, I could not grow spiritually in the LDS church. And I felt that there was no point in me being present feeling such anger, nothing good could come of it. I'm sure some would say, "well, just don't be angry". But they're ususally people who are not affected by this, due to the color of their skin. They don't understand when someone is telling you that God has issue with you and your race which is connected to identity.

Well, we'll see what comes next, eh? <_<

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I recently got into an argument with my dad over the priesthood ban: I believing it's a product of racism, and he believing that it is fully inspired.

By the end of the week, he said that he wants to "address all of my complaints," but it's feeling more and more like it will be a full-blown debate.

I need all of the information that I can get my hands on to prove my point, including statistical data, facts, and opinions. Anything else you can think of would help.

From all of the scriptural and documented evidence we have, you are correct. I used to suscribe to the "we don't know" cliche until I heard and read the full text of the talk by Marvin Perkins. It shows clearly many scriptures where the Lord commands the Priesthood to go to all. It also shows a pattern of racism by past and present leader (up unto David. O. McKay administration). After I read it, the only question that I had was, did the Lord tell Brigham Young to withhold the Priesthood and instruct him to "tell no man"? Which seems highly unlikely to me. If BY had received such, then he would have had knowledge that would have kept him from making so many incorrect statements regarding Blacks and the Priesthood as it relates to Blacks. Brother Perkins emailed the text of the talk to me after the conference. I'd write him. I'm sure he'd send it to you as well. It's well worth the read. There is a link to his email from the Genesis website's newsletter. Since it's there, it might be ok to give it here ... [email protected]

You may want to go easy on your dad with this information though. A lot of this information comes as a real shock and challenge to one's testimony, especially those that realize that what they have been told for many years by good people is not true. He might have to reevaluate his testimony and get familiar with the fact the leaders in the Old and New Testaments as well were imperfect also.

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I recently got into an argument with my dad over the priesthood ban: I believing it's a product of racism, and he believing that it is fully inspired.

By the end of the week, he said that he wants to "address all of my complaints," but it's feeling more and more like it will be a full-blown debate.

I need all of the information that I can get my hands on to prove my point, including statistical data, facts, and opinions. Anything else you can think of would help.

I forgot to mention one thing. As I understand it, it is our responsibilty to help others, especially our family. So I appreciate your seeking to help your dad. Avoiding the issue will only leave it unresolved.

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Gravyboat--just a couple notable quotes to have:

re: The potential of blacks--Joseph Smith saw the blacks' status as environmental whereas Brigham Young saw the status as divinely destined, and that their status should neither be raised nor lowered:

1)Joseph Smith:"They came into the world as slaves, mentally, and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them...Go into Cincinnati or any city, and find an educated negro, who rides his carriage, and you will see a man who has risen by the powers of his own min d to his exalted state of respectability. the slaves of Washington are more refined thean the Presidents.(Milllennial Star 20(1858)). (Neither White NOr Black, p. 106)

2) Brigham Young: "Thus, while servitude may and should exist, and that too upon those are naturally desinged to occupy the position of "sevant of servants"[a reference to the curse of Ham], yet we should not fall into the other extreme, and make them as beasts of the field, regarting not the humanity which attaches to the colored race; nor yet elevate them, as some seem disposedto an equality with those whom Nature and Nature's God has indicated to be their masters, their superiors..."(Neither White Nor Black, p.68)

re: the vision of who would be able to enter the temple in Kirkland and Nauvoo initially:

"No discrimination was evident int he 1836 rules governing the temple in Kirkland, which provided for 'old, or young, rich, or poor, male or female, bond or free, black or white, believer, or unbeliever.' Nor was a discriminatory policy porjected for Nauvoo Temple when the Firs Presidency anticipated in 1840 that 'we may soon expect to see flocking to this place, people from every land and from every nation, th epolished European, the degraded hottento, and the shivering Laplander. Persons of all languages, and of every tongue and of every color; who shall with us worship the Lord of Hosts in his holy temple, and offer up theirorisons in his sanctuary."(Neither White Nor Black, p68).

These all come from the paper "Mormonism's Negro Doctrine: A Historical Overview" that is online like I mentioned.

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By the end of the week, he said that he wants to "address all of my complaints," but it's feeling more and more like it will be a full-blown debate.

I need all of the information that I can get my hands on to prove my point, including statistical data, facts, and opinions. Anything else you can think of would help.

I don't think that someone could prove or disprove that the priesthood ban was a question of racism or revelation from the high.

True:

We don

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. Sid, would you follow a God who wanted your unconditional love and service, but had decided that you weren't worthy of His? I left the church because I could not feel God's love there. And I'm not going to get into specifics, but my life has been spared too many times for me to doubt His adoration of me any longer. I decided to return the favor. But I cannot dwell where His love is not made apparent through human interaction AS WELL AS our one-on-one interaction.

Do you think that it is God's will that people stay in situations where they continuously suffer? Even Job's suffering was temporary.

...I could not grow spiritually in the LDS church. And I felt that there was no point in me being present feeling such anger, nothing good could come of it. I'm sure some would say, "well, just don't be angry". But they're ususally people who are not affected by this, due to the color of their skin. They don't understand when someone is telling you that God has issue with you and your race which is connected to identity.

GMIR: Thank you for your long, thoughtful, beautiful post. I don't have time to adequately respond to all I want to, so for now this will have to do.

To answer the question I quoted above, no, I want not want to follow a God that did not deem me worthy of his unconditional love, but since I don't believe that to be the case (i.e., I believe that God sends His love to all - unconditionally, although His blessings are not so unconditional), I would never think that, if I were feeling unloved in Church, that it had anything to do with God or His love (I would suppose it was a member problem).

Just a word about my experiences: I have two close Black friends, one life-long (since we met, which was in college about 20 years ago) from Africa, and the other a chap I met who served in the bishopric with me (we aren't as much in contact anymore, but run into each other occasionally).

My first friend grew up in Uganda and ended up getting some kind of UN Scholarship to study at a university in Italy. There he found the LDS missionaries, joined the Church, and even went on a mission. His cultural background could not be more different than mine (his public circumcision story from when he was 18, though typical for his culture, has so many elements alien to anything in my culture, it is just incredible!). When he eventually came to BYU he was truly dismayed - not at the way the members in general treated him (he felt like a "preferred" member), but the way his fellow Blacks (those not from Africa) treated him. He agonized over the situation for quite a while before he realized (this is his conclusion, not mine): they have a chip on their shoulder that they can't let go of, and so will always be bitter. So he moved on from his association with them. He and I still keep in touch, and he has never felt that out-of-place lack-of-progression that you felt, at least not in the Church.

My second friend was converted as a jr. College athlete in Texas (of all places!). He "felt the fire" of the gospel, joined the Church (was disowned by his family; his uncle was a preacher), went on a mission, went to school in California (of all places!) and married... a sweet White LDS girl. When I knew him more closely they had 4 kids. One time our bishop asked him if he ever felt treated differently because he was Black. He said that it was yes and no, mostly no, but that most of the differences were GOOD differences (he felt he seemed to be treated better, not worse), so they were OK with him.

I'm not trying to belittle your answers to your prayers, but is is possible that "move on" meant "change location - move to somewhere else" but not "move on from the Church?" :P

My German cousin (she was found by the missionaries at age 17 and was baptized when she was 18 then immigrated to USA and now lives in my county with her convert-husband and their kids) has an interesting story. Her second father (my uncle had abandoned their family) took them to live on a farm in Zaire (Africa). Well, there was a civil war, and her father was shot and killed, and for several weeks she and her mom had to hide from the Blacks until they could be smuggled out via the French embassy. She was only 11 a the time and had lived there 3 years, and it took her until she was much older to feel "safe" around Black people.

My point is: we all have hang ups - cultural, situational or otherwise. I believe the Lord wants us to heal - and help others (and maybe His Church) heal, too. Job's suffering was indeed temporary - but still could have been years and years long!

However, what you said about not being able to grow spiritually - that really touched me. I was moved to tears. I have a friend who is in that position (for completely different reasons) and I just don't know what to do. Some people are so mean, and no amount of proof that the friend is worth something seems to help; people keep their prejudices (I mentioned his situation in another thread; he is on the sex offenders list and ________ hit the fan when a wardmember of his (he's not in my ward) saw him in the temple). I know the reasons for the negative feelings from others are completely different (one has to do with fault, although past fault; the other (yours) does NOT), but the feelings are very similar.

Sorry I must go. God bless you GIMR!

As always, Respectfully yours, in Christ,

Bro. Sid

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Gravy-one quick citation that is very helpful that deals withe scriptural justification of the ban in how it relates to lineage and marks the pharaoh:

re: Neither White NOr Black, p.37-"Mormonism's Negro POlicy:"

"A careful reading of the Mormon scriptures reveals a very complex picture---

1)Cain's descendants, who "were black," are never again identified after Moses 7:22(an antedilutvian time) nor are Cain's brethren who were shut out with him(Gen. 5:26 JST).

2)The antedilvuian people of Canaan were apparently not black until they fought with the people of Shum(thus are questionably, if at all, connected with Cain)(Moses7::P; and the JST renders Canaan as "Cainan," and gives the impression that these were the prophet Enoch's own people(Gen. 7:6-10; for Enoch's background, Gen. 6:43-44).

3)Nowhere is it stated that Ham married a descendant of the antediluvian people of Canaan. The closest suggestion of this is through the reference to Pharaoh, a descendent of Ham and also a descendant of the "Canaanites"(Abr. 1:21), YET other references in the book of Abraham to Canaanites refer to the descendants of Ham's son, Canaan, to whom the Pharaoh could had been related also.

4)All that is said of Ham's wife is that her name was "Egyptus, which is Chaldean signifies that which is forbidden"(Abr. 1:23); yet we are told that Ham, shortly before the flood was of such high standing that he "walke with God"(Moses 8:27).

5)The Pharaoh and his lineage, the only persons identified as being denied the preisthood(Abr. 1:26-27, are minimally identified as descendants of Ham and Egpytus. ONLY with the Pharaoh is any connection between the descendants of Ham through Egyptus and those through Canaan even suggest,,,,,,

6) YET the Pharaoh is hardly a "servant of servants." Moreover, the Pharaoh is depicted as a "white" in Facsimile 3 in the book of Abrham, in obvious contrast to a "black slave belonging to the prince."

7) Finally no reference is made to any son of Ham other than Canaan being cused with servitude nor any lineage of Ham other than that of Pharaoh being denied the priesthood. the caus of the preisthood denial is not given(one wonders idolatry), nor is there any continuous lineage of "black people" apparent in any of the scriptures."

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*waves at koakai*

Ah, for the church of Joseph's day...he was just so much more OPEN, and so were the Saints under his direction.

Marcelo, you are right LDS are not more racist than other Christians. There are many out there with this issue. But their organizations have faced the issue as an organization, and now it's up to the individual to decide what to believe. The LDS church isn't really doing this. They're stuck at "we don't know".

Bro. Sid! Howdy! I just saw that you replied, so let me read. :P

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I recently got into an argument with my dad over the priesthood ban: I believing it's a product of racism, and he believing that it is fully inspired.

Have you ever considered you are both right? Perhaps, for whatever reason, it was inspired by the Lord to restrict the Priesthood. As a result of this, many LDS developed racist beliefs that were uncalled for. Just because a certain segment of our Heavenly Father's children were not to participate in Priesthood blessings, does not mean they were in anyway inferior, or less valiant.

But that is exactly what many of us thought and in fact taught. I grew up in the 1960's and it was a well defined belief that blacks were not as worthy as us Anglo Mormons. That was totally racist. We were not to associate with them, or if we did, just in a casual way.

The Priesthood ban should have been just that, a waiting time before all blessings would be given. Instead, it was an excuse to proclaim our superiority over the black race and identify them as unworthy...that was wrong, even if the ban was inspired, which I honestly don't know if it was.

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Bro. Sid,

I get to go home now, so I'll reply to you in the morning. Have a nice evening y'all!

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I believe we have plenty of doctrine on this issue. But all the doctrine say all are alike and that all men can have the Preisthood. This I also believe this is one of the reasons we are seen as racists, because we have all of this, and still act as though "we don't know". It's hard to read these scriptures, chapter 4 in the David O. McKay book, and contrast that with the knowledge that Blacks received the Priesthood while Joseph was alive, and still wonder if it was race related. All this in the face of McConkie's confession that let us know that they spoke many things that were wrong and that they just didn't understand. Many, no I'll venture out, most Saints today still think that dark skin is a curse and that Blacks are, welcome now, but still less than somehow. They are not mean spirited about it, but they truly believe it. I believe, that to have the true Church, and to truly believe that, makes us much more racist than any others who racism is based on their lack of knowledge. Here we claim divine privilege to racism, but we just would like to call it something else. We really have to see this for what it is if we will ever make any major inroads with African Americans coming into the LDS Church.

Forgive me, but I copied and pasted this in from a document and so there will be footnotes in the middle of the text.

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Gravy, I think in any discussion with your Dad it is important to stick with the facts:

1) God is not a racist.

2) Modern Humans originated in Africa. White skin is the adaptation.

3) The Human Skin colors were around way before the Biblical Characters who are cited for receiving their calamitous cursings.

Think what you ultimately want your Dad to get out of this, and remember you can be more persuasive with sweetness than combativeness.

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