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Lamanite

1978 Revelation A Result Of Government Pressure

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I work out with a girl who said she has proof that the Government was pressuring the Church to change its policy regarding Blacks and the Priesthood or it would lose its tax exempt status. I asked for a source. She said her Dad knew it. LOL.

Anyway, does anyone have this proof, or am I correct in assuming this is typical anti Mormon clap trap with no hard evidence?

Big UP!

Lamanite

My dad said the same thing. The proof is in the library of congress. :P

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I work out with a girl who said she has proof that the Government was pressuring the Church to change its policy regarding Blacks and the Priesthood or it would lose its tax exempt status. I asked for a source. She said her Dad knew it. LOL.

Anyway, does anyone have this proof, or am I correct in assuming this is typical anti Mormon clap trap with no hard evidence?

It's just typical anti-Mormon claptrap with no evidence to support it. It's false.

As a geezer who was alive and quite aware during the years leading up to the revelation, I can say with certainty that the pressures on the Church were much, much lower in 1978 than they had been ten years earlier. Latter-day Saints, by and large, weren't expecting a change or even giving the issue a lot of attention; most of our critics assumed that we were irredeemable and were resigned to the status quo.

Incidentally, the current issue of BYU Studies has a superb and very important article, written by President Kimball's son Edward (a retired law professor), on the lead-up to the revelation and on the revelation itself. There is no need to invoke mythical government "pressures" to make the story make sense.

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It's just typical anti-Mormon claptrap with no evidence to support it. It's false.

As a geezer who was alive and quite aware during the years leading up to the revelation, I can say with certainty that the pressures on the Church were much, much lower in 1978 than they had been ten years earlier. Latter-day Saints, by and large, weren't expecting a change or even giving the issue a lot of attention; most of our critics assumed that we were irredeemable and were resigned to the status quo.

Incidentally, the current issue of BYU Studies has a superb and very important article, written by President Kimball's son Edward (a retired law professor), on the lead-up to the revelation and on the revelation itself. There is no need to invoke mythical government "pressures" to make the story make sense.

Any way some of us poor college students can get a copy of the article you alluded to, Bro. Peterson? I'd enjoy reading it.

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Any way some of us poor college students can get a copy of the article you alluded to, Bro. Peterson? I'd enjoy reading it.

I doubt that it's on line anywhere; it just appeared in print maybe two weeks ago.

If you're at the right college, it should show up in your library.

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My dad said the same thing. The proof is in the library of congress.

Banned, yet posting anyway ... :P If I didn't believe in miracles before, I certainly do, now. ;)

P.S.: "My dad said ..."? Are you sure your dad isn't so full of hot air you could use him as a balloon? :crazy:

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I dont think that is the was the case. (I was on my mission when the change was announced..) If you really believe it had subsided - ask yourself what would be the climate today if the change had not happened... it would be nightmare.
Perhaps, but in 1978, the trend was down. Whatever happened later (and that hardly eliminates revelation and prophesy), the political environment was not as hostile as it had been earlier.
ttrib mentioned Stanford, but as I recall Wyoming and UTEP also threatened boycotts. Again today??
Today is not part of the question. As a matter of fact, the question was solely about governmental (tax) pressure. These others are side issues. They may have played into the whole scenario. But, as I recall, there was a reduction of that sort of pressure, too.

Standford, for instance, was backing down because their sports teams were jealous of the debate team that still was "playing" BYU. It was a budget issue for them, and having to travel further made it uneconomical for them. (As a Speech and Drama major, I was in on some of the flutters over this.) The football team, the basketball team, and others, all wanted on board, too.

I do not know of any pending Govt actions at the time. I do recall a interview w/ LeGrand Richard that they had difficulty figuring out who was black in South America for temple/priesthood ..
This is one of the interesting parts of this whole question.

We built the S

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I doubt that it's on line anywhere; it just appeared in print maybe two weeks ago.

If you're at the right college, it should show up in your library.

Of course I'm at the right college! Who in their right mind would choose BYU over the U for grad school?! :P

All is well. I just got off the phone with my dad and he's going to scan the article and e-mail it to me. Hope that isn't illegal or anything!

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The ban/curse was never taught as being a permanent condition, so I think it is rather silly to suggest that any other entity forced or pressured the Church into lifting the ban. I will say that I agree that the spreading of the gospel through missionary efforts outside of the US was a factor, since after, Brigham Young said it would be more than a century before:

When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.

-Brigham Young, 1854 Journal Of Discourses Vol 2

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It was also somewhere around this time that the Southern Baptist Convention issued an apology for its support of slavery.
Sorry, Jason, that apology was not forthcoming for yet another 17 years. It was 20 June 1995 that the SBC made the statement to which you refer. Re: Christian Century, 5 July 1995.

Lehi

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Has anyone ever said anything about the content of the revelation? Or in other words, have there been any second- or third-hand accounts of what actually happened?

Here are some quotes, the ones everyone has read.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "It was during this prayer that the revelation came. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon us all; we felt something akin to what happened on the day of Pentecost and at the Kirtland Temple. From the midst of eternity, the voice of God, conveyed by the power of the Spirit, spoke to his prophet. The message was that the time had now come to offer the fullness of the everlasting gospel, including celestial marriage, and the priesthood, and the blessings of the temple, to all men, without reference to race or color, solely on the basis of personal worthiness. And we all heard the same voice, received the same message, and became personal witnesses that the word received was the mind and will and voice of the Lord."

And: "President Kimball's prayer was answered and our prayers were answered. He heard the voice and we heard the same voice. All doubt and uncertainty fled. He knew the answer and we knew the answer. And we are all living witnesses of the truthfulness of the word so graciously sent from heaven."

And: "In the days that followed the receipt of the new revelation, President Kimball and President Ezra Taft Benson, the senior and most spiritually experienced ones among us, both said, expressing the feelings of us all, that neither of them had ever experienced anything of such spiritual magnitude and power as was poured out upon the Presidency and the Twelve that day in the upper room in the house of the Lord. And of it I say: I was there; I heard the voice; and the Lord be praised that it has come to pass in our day."

President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Not one of us who was present on that occasion was ever quite the same after that. Nor has the Church been quite the same. All of us knew that the time had come for a change and that the decision had come from the heavens. The answer was clear. There was perfect unity among us in our experience and in our understanding."

Elder LeGrand Richards: (When asked if details of the revelation would be included or just a statement): "We discussed it in our meeting. What else should we say besides that announcement? And we decided that was sufficient; that no more needed to be said."

Elder McConkie's statement

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I work out with a girl who said she has proof that the Government was pressuring the Church to change its policy regarding Blacks and the Priesthood or it would lose its tax exempt status. I asked for a source. She said her Dad knew it. LOL.

Anyway, does anyone have this proof, or am I correct in assuming this is typical anti Mormon clap trap with no hard evidence?

Big UP!

Lamanite

Nope. Didn't happen. In fact, even the newspapers were surprised by the announcement and by the lateness of the hour when it came. Much of the pressure had been dying down by that time with a few flukes here and there.

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It's just typical anti-Mormon claptrap with no evidence to support it. It's false.

As a geezer who was alive and quite aware during the years leading up to the revelation, I can say with certainty that the pressures on the Church were much, much lower in 1978 than they had been ten years earlier. Latter-day Saints, by and large, weren't expecting a change or even giving the issue a lot of attention; most of our critics assumed that we were irredeemable and were resigned to the status quo.

Incidentally, the current issue of BYU Studies has a superb and very important article, written by President Kimball's son Edward (a retired law professor), on the lead-up to the revelation and on the revelation itself. There is no need to invoke mythical government "pressures" to make the story make sense.

Hey...I use the phrase "clap trap" too. We're brothers. Now, does Edward add anything in addition to what he already wrote in the bio of his Dad's Presidency?

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Has anyone ever said anything about the content of the revelation? Or in other words, have there been any second- or third-hand accounts of what actually happened?

Here are some quotes, the ones everyone has read.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie: "It was during this prayer that the revelation came. The Spirit of the Lord rested upon us all; we felt something akin to what happened on the day of Pentecost and at the Kirtland Temple. From the midst of eternity, the voice of God, conveyed by the power of the Spirit, spoke to his prophet. The message was that the time had now come to offer the fullness of the everlasting gospel, including celestial marriage, and the priesthood, and the blessings of the temple, to all men, without reference to race or color, solely on the basis of personal worthiness. And we all heard the same voice, received the same message, and became personal witnesses that the word received was the mind and will and voice of the Lord."

And: "President Kimball's prayer was answered and our prayers were answered. He heard the voice and we heard the same voice. All doubt and uncertainty fled. He knew the answer and we knew the answer. And we are all living witnesses of the truthfulness of the word so graciously sent from heaven."

And: "In the days that followed the receipt of the new revelation, President Kimball and President Ezra Taft Benson, the senior and most spiritually experienced ones among us, both said, expressing the feelings of us all, that neither of them had ever experienced anything of such spiritual magnitude and power as was poured out upon the Presidency and the Twelve that day in the upper room in the house of the Lord. And of it I say: I was there; I heard the voice; and the Lord be praised that it has come to pass in our day."

President Gordon B. Hinckley: "Not one of us who was present on that occasion was ever quite the same after that. Nor has the Church been quite the same. All of us knew that the time had come for a change and that the decision had come from the heavens. The answer was clear. There was perfect unity among us in our experience and in our understanding."

Elder LeGrand Richards: (When asked if details of the revelation would be included or just a statement): "We discussed it in our meeting. What else should we say besides that announcement? And we decided that was sufficient; that no more needed to be said."

Elder McConkie's statement

From Edward Kimball's bio "Lengthen your stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball", we learn that Elder McConkie kind of got an "earful" for making it seem as if they heard an actual voice. If he did, it was not a shared experience and President Kimball counseled him on this matter.

Big UP

Lamanite

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Now, does Edward add anything in addition to what he already wrote in the bio of his Dad's Presidency?

The BYU Studies article is a lengthier treatment of the subject than he was permitted by his publisher to include in the biography.

Even so, though, there is one curious omission from the sources he cites: He doesn't quote Leonard Arrington's Adventures of a Church Historian (University of Illinois Press), in which Professor Arrington, the former Historian of the Church, gives a very interesting account of the revelation, based in part on his own conversations with two apostles immediately after the event.

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P.S.: "My dad said ..."? Are you sure your dad isn't so full of hot air you could use him as a balloon? :P

Yeah and the Smithsonian said there were no perenial rivers in all of Saudi Arabia too. Opps...

http://www.nephiproject.com

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The BYU Studies article is a lengthier treatment of the subject than he was permitted by his publisher to include in the biography.

Even so, though, there is one curious omission from the sources he cites: He doesn't quote Leonard Arrington's Adventures of a Church Historian (University of Illinois Press), in which Professor Arrington, the former Historian of the Church, gives a very interesting account of the revelation, based in part on his own conversations with two apostles immediately after the event.

Since Arrington has a special place in my heart, I remember the passage well. Nevertheless, I'm excited to read it.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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Does anyone know of a similar case where the IRS made a similar threat to another church? Can anyone tell me how to research this?

Marvin

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While it's easy to look at Official Declaration 2 from a US-centric viewpoint, we also shouldn't underestimate the influence of the missionary work in Brazil and other areas of the world with large populations of mixed (or indeterminate) heritage.

Brazil is the main influence that led up to Official Declaration 2. Anyone who says differently either is ignorant or is a liar. It broke President Kimball's heart that many of the Latter-day Saints who were working to build the temple in Brazil would not be able to use it. It made him want to take it to the Lord in prayer with all his heart. He was a good man who was very much in touch with the will and direction of the Lord. He was and is part of my family--distant relative though he was. But, the truth is, Brazil was what most influenced the outcome of OD-2, not so-called civil rights pressures in the US.

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Elder McConkie's description was so spiritually charged that he could barely contain it.

Elder McConkie, the way I see it, was one of the key players here. He was well-known for being outspoken, even on this issue (though many don't know all that he really said in the first edition of Mormon Doctrine) and if he didn't think a revelation occurred he most certainly would've made his thoughts known to the public. But he received the same revelation with all the others who were present and was absolutely giddy over it and basically went around the Church telling everyone how good this news was.

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Brazil is the main influence that led up to Official Declaration 2. Anyone who says differently either is ignorant or is a liar. It broke President Kimball's heart that many of the Latter-day Saints who were working to build the temple in Brazil would not be able to use it. It made him want to take it to the Lord in prayer with all his heart. He was a good man who was very much in touch with the will and direction of the Lord. He was and is part of my family--distant relative though he was. But, the truth is, Brazil was what most influenced the outcome of OD-2, not so-called civil rights pressures in the US.

I believe there was also a statement by LeGrand Richards to this effect. My recollection is that somebody stopped him in the lobby of the Church Office Building and asked about the revelation and Elder Richards talked about how they needed local leadership in Brazil but that it was getting harder over time to determine who should or shouldn't be given the priesthood.

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I believe there was also a statement by LeGrand Richards to this effect. My recollection is that somebody stopped him in the lobby of the Church Office Building and asked about the revelation and Elder Richards talked about how they needed local leadership in Brazil but that it was getting harder over time to determine who should or shouldn't be given the priesthood.

That indeed was a big part of the happenings in Brazil. There was much confusion and Patriarchal Blessings were for the time being utilized for the purposes of determining who could or could not be ordained, but even there it was difficult.

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The origin of the allegation that government pressure on the church's tax exemption prompted the revelation seems to be based on two things.

1) The IRS challenged Oral Roberts University's tax exemption because they refused to allow interracial dating on campus, or to let blacks attend and some other things. This happened in the early 70's and went to the Supreme Court twice, with Oral Roberts losing.

2 --- Rex Lee was Solicitor at the time and he recused himself from deliberations on the matter. After some extensive searches (though all internet), I have been unable to confirm what those who espouse this claim allege --- that Bro. Lee did so because he had defended the LDS church in similar case.

The IRS at the time sent the same letters to lots of colleges and those other than Oral Roberts simply fixed the problems. BYU, to my knowledge, had never done the things that Oral Roberts was accused of doing (though certainly President Wilkerson had discouraged interracial dating and one of the Apostles also opposed interracial dating after the Revelation (or maybe said that the fact that all worthy members could hold the priesthood didn't mean that interracial dating was encouraged). I attended BYU til 1977 and was married to a a person of color at the time of the revelation and I had never read or heard any counsel against dating those of color ever, so whatever was "counseled" at BYU wasn't widely published.) BYU never had the issue as part of its admissions or honor code. BYU never discriminated against people of color at all.

So why anyone would think that the church would be concerned about losing BYU's tax exemption is puzzling. And to extrapolate that concern to losing the CHURCH's tax exempt status is just plain absurd.

I think that the Brethern began building the Brazil temple knowing not only that those building it could not attend, but also knowing that the temple could not be staffed and run with the existing membership. I think it was a complete leap of faith on the Brethern's part, which the Lord answered with a revelation just in time to have the training and ordinances completed so that when the temple was open it could run like it needed to be.

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One interesting bit of trivia regarding Official Declaration 2 is that 2 of the 12 Apostles weren't there on the day of decision: Mark Petersen was in South America, and Delbert Stapley was in the hospital.

Historically speaking, if you were to list the apostles of 1978 in order of their racist feelings (based on their talks and letters), Elders Petersen and Stapley would definitely be towards the top of the list.

While they obviously signed on to OD2, it is interesting that they weren't there for the discussion/pre-revelation phase of the process.

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While they obviously signed on to OD2, it is interesting that they weren't there for the discussion/pre-revelation phase of the process.

I'm fuzzy on this but I think I read somewhere that Petersen and Stapley each received the same revelation independently. And the matter must've been discussed in other meetings they attended prior to "the big one."

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