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Priesthood Ban Info

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Guest KW Graham

== Do you not believe in human adaptation?

To a degree perhaps, but I don't find the evidence compelling for an adaptation of this magnitutde, and as mentioned above, it appears to be based on speculation. There is a reason why Arabs wrap white towels around their heads and wear white robes. Try wearing all black in the desert and you'll melt within minutes, I don't care what color you are. I just don't see the benefit of having black skin in a desert or white skin in the snow. Why do Eskimos have darker skin?

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I have listened to both ends and I can argue both cases. I like to think it was inspired though racism could be in the mix. I have no problem with the idea that Black Africans could be of the Canaanites and could of had such a restriction upon.

No different from the Moabites had a restriction. In The Book of Ruth, the Moabites, the descendants of Lot, did not give food or water to the Israelites when they came out of Egypt. The Lord cursed them; proclaiming that a Moabite would not enter the Congregation of the Lord until the 10th generation.

But Joseph Smith gave a Black man the priesthood. Doesn't that mean the BRigham was mistaken?

Well, Ruth, a 1st generation Moabit, showed such great faith that the Lord made an exception, and she became an Israelite. Yet all other Moabites were still denied.

Then the acts of Jesus as he said, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel" and ask why he should administer the Canaanite woman whom he refered to as a "dog". She swallowed her pride, and said, "Truth, Lord!" Because of her faith was "great", he did minister and her daughter was healed. Other Canaanites were still denied the the Priesthood.

This is discrimination, to choose a race over others is "racism". The Lord chose Israel, among all nations, to be His people. And then chose one tribe of 13 Israelite tribes, the Levites, to be Priests. That is discrimination, but it was from the Lord, and He has no a character flaws, it was done in his wisdom.

But when I said it could of had racism in the mix... Maybe the saints weren't prepared for Black priests. I think it could also be inspired and still have to do with racism.

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Racism did not exist during biblical times. It was invented and elaborated on in Western Civilization. It has a historical starting point, and is distinguished from basic xenophobia and bigotry and prejudice.

How do you logically pinpoint a race with a Canaanite lineage? I hear people do this often, and yet I don't hear the particulars.

To say that Elijah Abel was an exception to the rule, perhaps for some specific reason, seems to go against historical documentation that shows initially one's racial background was not pinpointed as a reason for being denied access to the ban. He was not an exception to the rule at that point, that is never implied or overtly said. The question that was raised by some members when he and other blacks began joining the church was whether blacks should have the priesthood or not. That's coming from the opposite end.

Joseph Smith's vision of who would hold the priesthood simply contrasted with Brigham Young's vision. Joseph Smith's notions of how possible lineages affected a person's potential is VERY different from Brigham Young's notions. Joseph Smith rejected that the lineage of Ham/Canaan destined blacks for servitude by the end of his life, and never once associated the lineage of Cain as a feature that could stop someone from having the priesthood. That's the reality.

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== Do you not believe in human adaptation?

To a degree perhaps, but I don't find the evidence compelling for an adaptation of this magnitutde, and as mentioned above, it appears to be based on speculation. There is a reason why Arabs wrap white towels around their heads and wear white robes. Try wearing all black in the desert and you'll melt within minutes, I don't care what color you are. I just don't see the benefit of having black skin in a desert or white skin in the snow. Why do Eskimos have darker skin?

Have you ever seen a black skinned person with a sunburn? Black skin is advantageous (especially in a sea faring hot climate), not because it's comfortable because it protects from skin cancers. Eskimos didn't develop lighter skin because they didn't need to. They get plenty of vitamin D from their diets.

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PS Ray-I showed this earlier but want to post it again in regards to pinpointing race with Canaanite lineage via scripture:

"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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Ray: another couple quotes I used recently on another thread to show the initially inclusive nature of who would be considered eligible for the temple as well:

"Rules and Regulations to be Observed in the House of the Lord in Kirkland"---drafted by Joseph Smith and others in 1836----provided for admittance of both "black and white."

As late as 1840, the First Presidency issued a statement anticpating that "we may soon expect to seed flocking to this place[Navoo], people of every land and from every nation...[including]the degraded Hottentot....who shall with us worship the Lord of Hosts in His holy temple and offer up their orisons in His santuary."(Neither White NOr Black, p.34)

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Guest KW Graham

I don't know, it still sounds like a pretty weak argument. Especially since blacks can and do get skin cancer from overexposure to the sun.

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I have listened to both ends and I can argue both cases. I like to think it was inspired though racism could be in the mix. I have no problem with the idea that Black Africans could be of the Canaanites and could of had such a restriction upon.

I've heard "Canaanite" used so often in reference to Cain's descendants. Wouldn't the proper term be "Cainite?" Canaan was just the name of the Palestinian region in antiquity. Was it originally inhabited by Cain's descendants?

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I don't know, it still sounds like a pretty weak argument. Especially since blacks can and do get skin cancer from overexposure to the sun.

Don't take my word for it. There is lots of good info out there from different disciplines that explain human skin color. Here's one:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Anthropology_...lationVariation

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Guest KW Graham

It is still a weak argument for me to accept. They want to say that all humans come from a black race, and then they want to explain blacks living in desert Africa as an "adaptation" of the human body. Well, if humans were originally black, they the adaptation went from black to white, not from white to black.

Where is the evidence that blacks living in Alaska get white over time?

Why is it that not all desert peoples are black? Do we even know if the Sahara area was always a desert? Again, it raises more questions than it answers.

It is also a scientific fact that black people have muscles that are more dense than white folk, which is why you don't see too many black swimmers - they don't float well. Does this mean black peoples originally lived far from the ocean?

Not everything that's different from black and white needs to be explained via adaptation theories.

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It is still a weak argument for me to accept. They want to say that all humans come from a black race, and then they want to explain blacks living in desert Africa as an "adaptation" of the human body. Well, if humans were originally black, they the adaptation went from black to white, not from white to black.

Where is the evidence that blacks living in Alaska get white over time?

Why is it that not all desert peoples are black? Do we even know if the Sahara area was always a desert? Again, it raises more questions than it answers.

It is also a scientific fact that black people have muscles that are more dense than white folk, which is why you don't see too many black swimmers - they don't float well. Does this mean black peoples originally lived far from the ocean?

Not everything that's different from black and white needs to be explained via adaptation theories.

Do you think that black skin being a curse from God is a more logical explanation? If you do some sincere research (from real science) you will find perfectly good scientific explanations for human skin color. Supernatural explanations are completely unnecessary.

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Guest KW Graham

== Do you think that black skin being a curse from God is a more logical explanation?

Sure. At least it doesn't suffer from inconsistency as do the "natural" explanations. Scientists only offer theories, nothing really concrete. And as I explained above, they can't have it both ways. If people became black-skinned through a process of climate "adaptation," then this means mankind was originally white. In today's PC culture, such a statement rings of hate, racism and bigotry. So they tell us man was originally black. So much for the adaptation, I guess.

== If you do some sincere research (from real science) you will find perfectly good scientific explanations for human skin color. Supernatural explanations are completely unnecessary.

The same "science" will also assure you that there was nothing supernatural about the creation of the world. And again, inconsistent theories is all you'll get.

Not sure why you're so quick to toss out the supernatural.

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Send him to our blacklds website...but first use the new book on David O'McKay. He is on record saying it was not doctrine. I can probably count the people I know on two fingers who have studied the issue and think it was anything more than going with the flow of the society at large. Using the word "racism" is historically inaccurate and inflammatory. There is not a much uglier label to attach to someone/thing. That you would tells me that you are not really interested in a discussion. Racism did not exist as a concept let alone a word when this all began. Today we have assigned it a name and behavior. Don't expect people without your advantage of hindsight and a hundred years to act or think like you.

I'll have him check the website, no problem. The book's a good idea, but I sense that the McKay biography will be immediately tagged as anti-mormon by my father. No doubt about it. And nothing's going to change his opinion until the brethren at the top refute the priesthood policy as being inspired to any degree.

As far as people who DO believe that the ban is inspired, try these people: Gladys Knight, Thurl Bailey, General Authorities through official statements, and Darius Grey (if I'm not mistaken), Scott Gordon, practically my entire singles ward, most everyone in my home ward (nameless celebrities being the exception), most likely Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennett, and Mitt Romney. How many do YOU know have studied this issue? If it's less than 12 million, then I think that we as members need to be educated through our Sunday school program and retaught on this issue.

I don't think my DAD wants a discussion on this matter. I think he just wants me to listen to him and buy into his ways and accept it as truth. He had the gall to say that calling the ban uninspired is hurting my testimony. I need the church to educate my father.

From a rhetorical point of view, yes, the word, "racism" is inflammatory. By the genesis of the word, it was meant to be inflammatory. That's why I used it, duh. We need change really badly, or else we'll continue scaring off adherents.

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As far as people who DO believe that the ban is inspired, try these people: Gladys Knight, Thurl Bailey, General Authorities through official statements, and Darius Grey (if I'm not mistaken), Scott Gordon, practically my entire singles ward, most everyone in my home ward (nameless celebrities being the exception), most likely Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennett, and Mitt Romney.

Whoa.....

I see I am mentioned in this list as well as others I have spoken with on the issue that may disagree with you.

It is possible the ban was inspired, but the evidence that we have to date doesn't support that position well.

One of my favorite articles on the subject is here:

http://www.blacklds.org/mauss.html

Scott

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As far as people who DO believe that the ban is inspired, try these people: Gladys Knight, Thurl Bailey, General Authorities through official statements, and Darius Grey (if I'm not mistaken), Scott Gordon, practically my entire singles ward, most everyone in my home ward (nameless celebrities being the exception), most likely Orrin Hatch, Bob Bennett, and Mitt Romney.

Whoa.....

I see I am mentioned in this list as well as others I have spoken with on the issue that may disagree with you.

It is possible the ban was inspired, but the evidence that we have to date doesn't support that position well.

One of my favorite articles on the subject is here:

http://www.blacklds.org/mauss.html

Scott

I'm sorry, Scott. I'm singling you out when you don't even disagree. I apologize. Even if you did disagree, there's no reason to get so personal. I'm nothing short of sorry for my outburst on you.

I wish I could just get my dad to understand that this was a policy. If we're all believing now that it was uninspired, then let's have everyone know that. That still remains my point. The boys up top are saying nothing, so we've got to say something for them.

[added]

As far as proof is concerned, the only proof my father needs is the fact that a General Authority and a prophet has said it. If there's any saving grace, it might be the fact that there was an instance where McMurrin recalls McKay flat-out saying:

"'There is not now, and there never has been a doctrine in thie Church that the Negroes are under a divine curse.' He insisted that there is no doctrine in the Church of any kind pertaining to the Negro. 'We believe,' he said, 'that we have a scriptural precedent for withholding the priesthood from the priesthood from the Negro. It is a practice, not a doctrine, and the practice will some day be changed. And that's all there is to it'" (McMurrin's chat with McKay, as quoted by Prince in DOM: Rise of Modern Mormonism, pp. 79-80).

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Why does it matter to you? If it was a policy, then it is a policy that was created because of the weakness of men and their social order and has now been changed by revelation. If it was a policy that God wanted changed sooner, He would have changed it sooner, but left it for as long as the Church wasn't prepared to receive more. If it was a revalation it was likely a revelation that was given BECAUSE of the weakness of society in the first place and so the ultimate reason for the revelation is the same as if it is a policy. God is no respecter of persons but works within man's societies to achieve His purposes. I am very glad of the 1978 revelation giving the priesthood to all worthy men in the Church.

-SlackTime

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Do you think that black skin being a curse from God is a more logical explanation?  If you do some sincere research (from real science) you will find perfectly good scientific explanations for human skin color.  Supernatural explanations are completely unnecessary.

Some researchers distinguish "the curse" from "the mark."

The curse was separation from God. The mark was skin color.

Therefore, black skin is *NOT* a curse - it is a mark. Once a people were reunited with God, they were no longer cursed, even though they still may carry a mark.

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Why does it matter to you? If it was a policy, then it is a policy that was created because of the weakness of men and their social order and has now been changed by revelation. If it was a policy that God wanted changed sooner, He would have changed it sooner, but left it for as long as the Church wasn't prepared to receive more. If it was a revalation it was likely a revelation that was given BECAUSE of the weakness of society in the first place and so the ultimate reason for the revelation is the same as if it is a policy. God is no respecter of persons but works within man's societies to achieve His purposes. I am very glad of the 1978 revelation giving the priesthood to all worthy men in the Church.

-SlackTime

Why does it matter to me? I've stated at least twice now that my DAD, my FLESH AND BLOOD believes that the ban on our black brethren was INSPIRED. My own father whom I love believes this.

As far as how you stated it, I stick to that. God has shown ambiguity before, and I have little doubt that He wanted us to come to our own conclusions. We ain't a perfect Church, but we celebrate the unique divine authority to commune with God. No doubt.

As far as it being revelation, I think the weakness of society developed BECAUSE we bought into tripe like blacks being inferior, including the priesthood ban. Growing up, I didn't have racist intentions until someone implied into my mind that I should. My mother used to tell me how she wouldn't have a problem with me marrying a black woman, but she just found the general population of black women to be generally ugly. And it's hanging onto traditions like God-inspired bans that perpetuate garbage like that rhetoric.

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It matters to me because skin color, marks, and curses are still alive in our community. I'm not even black, but have had to deal with a lot of crap that has no place in our community. I don't want that crap to happen to my mixed kids either. And I don't want that crap to fall upon new members who have no orientation to this type of thinking. I had the orientation as a lifelong member to understand where it was coming from. But if I didn't have that orientation? I don't think I would have lasted in the church with alot of what I have seen gone done personally. Nothing worse than what happens in secular culture, but enough to make you rethink if you are welcome in the religious community.

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Also, I think when we look at the history of the ban, especially the last 40 or so years of it's practice, I don't think we can presume that if God wanted an uninspired policy changed, there would have been revelation on it. President O'McKay thought initially that since it was a practice and not doctrine, it's lifting could be done administratively-that revelation wouldn't be needed. He lifted the ban off Fijians for instance and did so administratively. We see that our leaders very much have to take the initiative to know what and when to ask for inspiration I think. I think we can thank President Kimball for taking that initiative, but also all of the others in leadership who took steps before then to make the lifting possible. And there were steps most definitely beforehand that anticipated the lifting(ie-deciding to build a temple in Brazil in the first place).

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bump-just interested in Katherine's response....

I have no response to that. I'm just mystified that a seemingly intelligent person with any knowledge of biology would believe that dark skin is a curse from God and not a human adaptation. To me, it's absolutely absurd. But, I can't argue with someone who doesn't want to know.

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Gravyboat Said:

Why does it matter to me? I've stated at least twice now that my DAD, my FLESH AND BLOOD believes that the ban on our black brethren was INSPIRED. My own father whom I love believes this.

Ok, but as I said, even if it was given by God (inspired) it was given because of man's weakness, and it has been corrected now. Does your Dad accept this?

And it's hanging onto traditions like God-inspired bans that perpetuate garbage like that rhetoric.

Be careful, sometimes it is the hanging onto hurt and anger and the past when we should be moving on that perpetuates the wedges in our relationships whether between members of our families or between races.

-SlackTime

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Be careful, sometimes it is the hanging onto hurt and anger and the past when we should be moving on that perpetuates the wedges in our relationships whether between members of our families or between races.

-SlackTime

If a person feels that it was a bad (wrong) policy in the first place, it would be easier for them to move on if leadership stated that it was an error that has now been corrected. But our leadership has never done that.

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