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Lamanite

Priesthood Ban And Revelation

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Yet, each time a meeting was held concerning the ban and its continuance, each time the answer was to continue it. and, it continued until the next time it was addressed. Why would God want something continued that was not part of his plan in the first place? What of that question?I know it is an uncomfortable idea for some to concede that God himself may well have been behind the initial ban but we have examples in both modern practice and in ancient scripture. That is sufficient to me and convincing enough in light of the evidence that God did and does indeed ban nations and lineages from certain blessings at times.

Having been there as well, this brother's testimony was quite touching as well as being highly impactful. His faith and trust in God was implicit and evident. Would that I could be this faithful!
You could! That is the beauty of it! It takes work and persistence, however, as well as making oneself like a humble child.

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Why would the prophet petition God persistently, day after day, to end something God didn't start? That makes no sense.

Because he "believed" that God started it.

The relevant question is what was the basis for this belief. Afterall, he may also believed that the ban had to do with blacks being fence sitters. And we know now, that was wrong. (Though I am not sure how we know that.)

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Because he "believed" that God started it.

The relevant question is what was the basis for this belief. Afterall, he may also believed that the ban had to do with blacks being fence sitters. And we know now, that was wrong. (Though I am not sure how we know that.)

He was a prophet who received revelation. The revelation was that "the long-promised day has come" (Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 2) not that it was a rectification of what never should have happened in the first place.

Your notion simply does not square with the sense of what is expressed in the letter now canonized as Official Declaration 2.

And I think you will search in vain to find documentation that President Kimball ever subscribed to the notion that blacks were "fence sitters."

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Why would the prophet petition God persistently, day after day, to end something God didn't start? That makes no sense.

That's a great question. Truly, the mind of God is mysterious and unknowable. It's quite possible they were influenced not by any intrinsic racism, but just a burden of not knowing why the ban was there (or assuming they did, but being wrong), and therefore a reticence to change something that they didn't fully understand (I have heard that Lester Bush's research into the murky origins for the ban was instrumental in opening the eyes of some people in the CoB as to what exactly was known about it's origin and perpetuation.)

Of course, if President McKay was flat out wrong about the origin of the ban, it is possible he was wording his prayers in such a way that it was impossible for God to answer him affirmatively. After all, if he asked "God, is it time for the black race to be redeemed from their premortal curse and get the priesthood", God couldn't answer "yes" without affirming that it was because of a premortal curse. And perhaps their line of communication wasn't precise enough for God to clarify which part of the question was erroneous, and which was being responded to. If it wasn't the result of a premortal curse, than the answer would have to be "No". Maybe President Kimball was the first to ask "Lord, do you mind if we give the blacks the priesthood?" at which point a relieved God said "Yes, please do!"

Maybe there really was some reason that people with dark skin and presumed African ancestry were different in such a way that they shouldn't be able to have the priesthood or go to the Temple from the mid-1800's to 1978, at which time it was OK.

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That's a great question. Truly, the mind of God is mysterious and unknowable. It's quite possible they were influenced not by any intrinsic racism, but just a burden of not knowing why the ban was there (or assuming they did, but being wrong), and therefore a reticence to change something that they didn't fully understand (I have heard that Lester Bush's research into the murky origins for the ban was instrumental in opening the eyes of some people in the CoB as to what exactly was known about it's origin and perpetuation.)

Of course, if President McKay was flat out wrong about the origin of the ban, it is possible he was wording his prayers in such a way that it was impossible for God to answer him affirmatively. After all, if he asked "God, is it time for the black race to be redeemed from their premortal curse and get the priesthood", God couldn't answer "yes" without affirming that it was because of a premortal curse. And perhaps their line of communication wasn't precise enough for God to clarify which part of the question was erroneous, and which was being responded to. If it wasn't the result of a premortal curse, than the answer would have to be "No". Maybe President Kimball was the first to ask "Lord, do you mind if we give the blacks the priesthood?" at which point a relieved God said "Yes, please do!"

Maybe there really was some reason that people with dark skin and presumed African ancestry were different in such a way that they shouldn't be able to have the priesthood or go to the Temple from the mid-1800's to 1978, at which time it was OK.

I can only point to Official Declaration 2, which does not contain conjecture or supposition, but doctrine that is part of the official canon. Again, reading through it, I don't see how it is possible to get the sense that the priesthood restriction is something that God never intended in the first place.

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I wonder if the reason there has not been a formal disavowal by the Brethren of "folklore" regarding the former priesthood/temple restrictions is because they are not united as to what is "folklore" and what was "true doctrine." Moreover, I suspect they are not in agreement with each other as to how the practice began (specific revelation or best judgment of the Brethren after study and prayer), and how long it had lasted (i.e., did it really start in the time of Cain or of Ham, and lasted until 1978, or did it start during the administrations of Joseph Smith or Brigham Young).

A problem with the nondisavowal is that the prior teachings/folklore retain semi-legitimacy. If, for example, I disagree with some of the prior teachings, which are no longer affirmatively taught--e.g., certain races were less valiant in the premortal existence--or if I state that such teaching is not actually Church doctrine, I am told, "Well, if it was good enough for Elder/President Smith/McConkie/Peterson etc... it is good enough for me, unless and until the Brethren say otherwise."

I do think essentially all of the Brethren would agree that the supposed degree of pre-mortal "valiance" is not related to race. But if they were to issue a statement expressly directing that this previous teaching of some of their predecessors was incorrect, what would that do to some of the other teachings, as to which there may still be a difference of opinion (e.g., black Africans are descended from Cain)? Would that mean that they continue to be legitimate nondisavowed teachings?

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I can only point to Official Declaration 2, which does not contain conjecture or supposition, but doctrine that is part of the official canon. Again, reading through it, I don't see how it is possible to get the sense that the priesthood restriction is something that God never intended in the first place.

How would OD-2 be worded differently if the priesthood ban was a well-meant, sincere mistake conceived by Brigham Young and perpetuated with the best of intentions by his successors? I don't see anywhere where the origin of the ban is addressed.

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Of course, if President McKay was flat out wrong about the origin of the ban, it is possible he was wording his prayers in such a way that it was impossible for God to answer him affirmatively. After all, if he asked "God, is it time for the black race to be redeemed from their premortal curse and get the priesthood", God couldn't answer "yes" without affirming that it was because of a premortal curse. And perhaps their line of communication wasn't precise enough for God to clarify which part of the question was erroneous, and which was being responded to. If it wasn't the result of a premortal curse, than the answer would have to be "No". Maybe President Kimball was the first to ask "Lord, do you mind if we give the blacks the priesthood?" at which point a relieved God said "Yes, please do!"

Heh...In a church that believes even prophets have to ask that is not out of the realm of possibility. Once the ban was entrenched, I think it very likely that each President of the church assumed the position of the previous prophet..there was no reason to question it given cultural attitudes. Since there is no indication of an offical start this seems quite likely to me.

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He was a prophet who received revelation. The revelation was that "the long-promised day has come" (Doctrine and Covenants, Official Declaration 2) not that it was a rectification of what never should have happened in the first place.

Your notion simply does not square with the sense of what is expressed in the letter now canonized as Official Declaration 2.

And I think you will search in vain to find documentation that President Kimball ever subscribed to the notion that blacks were "fence sitters."

There is an allusion to the idea that President Kimball both participated in and embraced the idea that blacks were both inferior and were less valiant in the Premortal life. Edward (author) focuses on the cultural aspects of President Kimball's bias and his development over time until that great and glorious revelation was received. This can be found in his sons biography of his presidency "Lengthening Your Stride" I think this is on page 214 ish (I'm working from memory here so I could be off by 20-30 pages :P )

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I believe he was referring specifically to the idea that blacks would never have the priesthood in this life, or before all the other races had taken full advantage of it. I don't see how it applies to the theories regarding the origin of the ban; those would certainly still be valid even after the ban had gone away (unless Elder McConkie was arguing that the entire ban itself should be forgotten, and everything anyone ever said about it from day one should be considered a tragic error.)

But his categorical dismissal of 120+ years of teachings raises the interesting idea of wondering what else could be totally dismissed in the future. Could every teaching about the worldwide flood of Noah, or the historicity of the Book of Mormon, or that women shouldn't wear bikinis, also be swept away by the words of one apostle at a CES fireside?

There were blacks who did hold the priesthood. It is documented. I don't think you will find any answers to the "theories" of the ban in this life...just speculations.

The "forget" part of McConkie's statement refers to the myths or folklore.

For example: Blacks were....less valient in the pre-mortal life, fence-sitters, cursed, not ready for the priesthood... to name a few.

I highly recommend you watch Blacks in the Scriptures.

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Because he "believed" that God started it.

The relevant question is what was the basis for this belief. Afterall, he may also believed that the ban had to do with blacks being fence sitters. And we know now, that was wrong. (Though I am not sure how we know that.)

Or how about... why would 'god' be silent to all the 'prophets' who upheld the ban over the years ??

It seems to me, that either the 'prophets' weren't hearing from God or the god they follow actually wanted the ban.

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hgomez2:

Article of Faith No. 9

We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

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There were blacks who did hold the priesthood. It is documented. I don't think you will find any answers to the "theories" of the ban in this life...just speculations.

Just like descendents of Moabites were allowed into the congregation of the Lord even though there was a ban of membership in the congregation of the Lord for them. Ruth, David, Solomon....

The "forget" part of McConkie's statement refers to the myths or folklore.

For example: Blacks were....less valient in the pre-mortal life, fence-sitters, cursed, not ready for the priesthood... to name a few.

Yes, these were folkloric ideas. However, the ban was real and was upheld by several Presidents of the Church when brought to council. As soon as prayer was turned to the ban continued--until June of 1978.

I highly recommend you watch Blacks in the Scriptures.

I don't--for several reasons. ;):P

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MM- you ought to make a full response with criticisms and praises and see if the things in the presentation can be sharpened and improved. In my view that would be an interesting and important project.

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MM- you ought to make a full response with criticisms and praises and see if the things in the presentation can be sharpened and improved. In my view that would be an interesting and important project.

I have thought about it. Unfortunately, I have a lot of things on my plate and another couple plates coming my way in addition, and probably should not even be spending time here posting these days. I sometimes can't help myself, though. ;):P

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Just so there is no misunderstanding, I think this quote from a more recent thread clearly and succinctly illustrates why I believe the Priesthood Ban could not have originated with God (or any other being that has an advanced understanding of genetics):

â??Now think about your direct ancestors living 40 generations in the past, in about the year A.D. 1000. The size of that group is harder to estimate. But as two co-authors and I explained in Nature in 2004, that group included many millions of people. Forty generations ago, almost everyone living today had ancestors in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and many present-day Asians, Europeans, and Africans had ancestors in the Americas because of the continual exchange of mates across the Bering Strait.

It gets even stranger. Say you go back 120 generations, to about the year 1000 B.C. According to the results presented in our Nature paper, your ancestors then included everyone in the world who has descendants living today. And if you compared a list of your ancestors with a list of anyone else's ancestors, the names on the two lists would be identical.

This is a very bizarre result (the math behind it is solid, thoughâ??here's a brief, semitechnical explanation of our findings). It means that you and I are descended from all of the Africans, Australians, Native Americans, and Europeans who were alive three millenniums ago and still have descendants living today.â?? (Steve Olson, "Why We're All Jesus' Children; GO BACK A FEW MILLENNIUMS, AND WE'VE ALL GOT THE SAME ANCESTORS," slate.com [15 March 2006], located at http://www.slate.com/id/2138060/)

(Emphasis added)

I don't object to the priesthood ban because of political correctness, or "civil rights", or any other social influence (although I do support all such motivations). I object to the priesthood ban because it was logically impossible to implement in the first place, and the only reason it lasted so long was because Church leaders didn't realize it. It was applied arbitrarily, and without reason, because that was the only way it could be implemented. I view it in the same way I would a priesthood ban based on hair color, or foot size.

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Or how about... why would 'god' be silent to all the 'prophets' who upheld the ban over the years ??

It seems to me, that either the 'prophets' weren't hearing from God or the god they follow actually wanted the ban.

Did you live in the pre-civil rights era? There was little reason to question. There were few blacks in Utah and they were treated far worse in other parts of the country. We all heard the same racial junk coming over the airwaves and paper. That was just the way it was. It was a non-issue until the world began tovery slowly wake up. Even then they wanted to just point fingers. There is a quote in a 60s LOOK magazine (THE mag back then). The antis like it because it has JFS referring to blacks as "darkies". So I ran down the magazine to find this article and it was pretty funny. There was not one black person in that magazine...not on a football team, not in an ad, not even in the background. Nowhere...except one article about some whites and a story about grateful blacks being the recipients of their charity. And this was what it was like at first. Be cool and point out problems in other people's back yards but keep them out of your own. I remember the first Saturday Night Live shows and Garrett Morris in the first cast. That was just sooo enlightened and everyone felt sooo progressive in watching it. Well, it wasn't until decades later when I saw reruns that I realized that every single skit he did was a black joke. He was not doing what everyone else was doing at all. And so it went.

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