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blooit

Blacks, The Priesthood, and 1978

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Also, while reading up on a few local churches in the area I live some time back, I found this little piece. The important pieces are in the first paragraph. Echoes of the past...

Welcoming Congregation

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Quoting from a letter written to a mormon professor who felt opposed to the ban in the 1940's (and I admit that this is most readily found in anti-sources. But who's fault is that?)

It's clearly the fault of the nit-pickers, of course.

And to me this is the greater issue. Regardless of whether BY was representative of people in his day, the basic structure of the church allowed his out-dated views to be rationalized and practised by what where most certainly morally good and upright people for a lot longer period than they would have been if those same people had been allowed to judge the issue independantly of the insititution. And who knows how many people who were not-so-moral used his statements to justify their attitudes?

It seems, in this case, that having a bad "prophecy" is worse than having none at all. So whether he was putting his pant on or taking them off when he said this, people suffered for it.

Pardon me, but who "suffered for it," and how?

Was their suffering any greater than that of the gentiles who, up until apostolic times, were not permitted the blessings of the Gospel at all?

In an imperfect world, sometimes there are swings and roundabouts. For myself, I remain eternally grateful that the Church of Jesus Christ was not sending missionaries to Africa at a time when most missionaries were being used (with or without their consent) as advance reconnaisance for the colonial powers.

Regards,

Pahoran

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Also, while reading up on a few local churches in the area I live some time back, I found this little piece. The important pieces are in the first paragraph. Echoes of the past...

Echoes of the past? How?

Are you accusing the abolitionist Quakers of jumping on a bandwagon of "political correctness" the way the UU's are today?

A moment's thought reveals that the UU's aren't actually sacrificing anything there. They can welcome everyone, including those who are unrepentantly proud of their sins, because they don't actually have any doctrines, they don't have any moral standards, and they don't stand for anything. This is not a virtue.

And of course, anyone who wants to be a UU but does have beliefs, principles and moral standards is eventually going to get tired of all the compromising. And of being identified with the lowest common denominator of UU participation, as they watch their coreligionists mince ponce sashay march down the street cheek by jowl with the NAMBLA contingent.

Regards,

Pahoran

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[...][

Now a host by definition is "1. An army. 2. A great number; a multitude." To me that means thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands or even millions. Letâ??s see just how sure you are, shall we? Provide me with a mere fraction of a host, say 250 activities which I â??would not feel comfortable with the modern Church taking part in today.â? See how generous I am feeling? You need not come up with thousands or more of such activities. Shucks, I'm feeling especially generous. Make it just 50. If you cannot do that, then I can only suppose that this, like everything else in this post and your previous post, is nothing more than gas and hot air.

[...]

Holy Isaiah 29:21 Batmanâ?¦

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Holy Isaiah 29:21 Batmanâ?¦

I was starting to think maybe I was the crazy one since I wasn't buying ebed's argument, but maybe the best course of action at this point is to add him to my ignore list. I honestly can't read a post of his without having some kind of visceral reaction. Now I know why. Thanks Stu. :P

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Quoting from a letter written to a mormon professor who felt opposed to the ban in the 1940's (and I admit that this is most readily found in anti-sources. But who's fault is that?)
It's clearly the fault of the nit-pickers, of course.

Webster's Main Entry: nitâ??pick

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Echoes of the past? How?

...anyone who wants to be a UU but does have beliefs, principles and moral standards is eventually going to get tired of all the compromising. And of being identified with the lowest common denominator of UU participation, ...

I'd like to restate this from my first post in this thread-

"Regardless of whether BY was representative of people in his day, the basic structure of the church allowed his out-dated views to be rationalized and practised by what where most certainly morally good and upright people for a lot longer period than they would have been if those same people had been allowed to judge the issue independantly of the insititution. And who knows how many people who were not-so-moral used his statements to justify their attitudes?"

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I was a teenager in 1978 and LDS, we were so excited when this proclamation came down. My parents and grandparents has issue's though if I dated anyone outside my own race.
I was a teenager in the early 70's and my non-LDS parents had a problem with that also. It wasn't just Mormons who had a problem, it was pretty much the whole older generation, my mother up til she died 2 years ago still used the dreaded 'n' word and it was just that generation - she wasn't any more or any less prejudiced than most other white folk of her age (born in the 1920's) My protestant church (C&MA) growing up had no blacks in it at all, my high school had 3 blacks.

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Bump for Nyal.

You have yet to respond to my CFR in support of your claim that a "reasonable person" could maintain the view that the timing of the 1978 Revelation was "suspicious."

Where are they, please?

[Crickets chirping...]

Regards,

Pahoran

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EbedCorrected.png

Holy Isaiah 29:21 Batmanâ?¦

You are correct. It was honestly meant to be illustrative that structurecop either offers only his own opinion or he makes outlandish unsupported statements without documented evidence in support. However, asking him for 50 was waaay over-the top. That I was truly not expecting to receive a single example is no excuse. My bad. I acknowledge it. You got me.

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EbedFantasy.png

I was starting to think maybe I was the crazy one since I wasn't buying ebed's argument, but maybe the best course of action at this point is to add him to my ignore list. I honestly can't read a post of his without having some kind of visceral reaction. Now I know why. Thanks Stu. :P

Man, I really did strike a nerve but you are not crazy; you just live in your own little fantasy world where you think your poor humor, unsubstantiated opinions and declarations should be treated as if they were God breathed. Well, let me pop your little bubble. Many (most?) of your responses are the apologetic equivalent of an inept drive-by shooting. Examples:

Others are mere half-witticisms having little, if anything, to do with the thread in which they are posted. Examples:

What precious little that remains consist of your own unsubstantiated opinion and declarations. Examples:

You fail to provide any documentary evidence on your own yet you expect others to provide it. Examples:

I bought this book at Deseret Book a few years ago when I was looking into Native American mythological parallels to the Book of Mormon stories. I read a few pages and realized the author (L. Taylor Hansen) cited no sources for her stories, despite claiming to have advanced degrees from Stanford and had recorded the stories in personal meetings with Native American tribal leaders (no specific tribes named). Upon checking online recently, I found her listed as a science fiction author who apparently had an interest in ancient Native American civilizations. Fortunately it appears that Deseret Book is no longer carrying this item. I've been trying to track down her credentials and find other sources for her stories but it appears that they were entirely fabricated. Does anyone else have any background on this item?

So, yeah, if you wish to put me on your ignore list, I shall not be insulted nor shall I miss you. In actuality, you would be doing me a favor for I would not have to sift through your drivel in search of a crumb worthy of the effort.

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Bump for Nyal.

You have yet to respond to my CFR in support of your claim that a "reasonable person" could maintain the view that the timing of the 1978 Revelation was "suspicious."

Where are they, please?

[Crickets chirping...]

Regards,

Pahoran

I have no clue whether these newspaper articles actually exist--it's late and I'm tired and not in the mood to look them up. The link is at mormonismi.net (whatever that is). If these articles were printed, there was obviously public pressure to change the policy shortly before it was changed. If this article is bogus, my apologies.

"Better Late Than Never"

Mario S. DePillis observed:

For Mormonism's anti-black policy a revelation was the only way out, and many students of Mormonism were puzzled only at the lateness of the hour. New York Times 11.6.1978

In 1974 the Mormon doctrine of discrimination against blacks brought the Boy Scouts into a serious confrontation with the NAACP. The Boy Scouts of America do not discriminate because of religion or race, but Mormon-sponsored troops did have a policy of discrimination. On July 18, 1974, the Salt Lake Tribune reported:

A 12-year-old boy scout has been denied a senior patrol leadership in his troop because he is black, Don L. Cope, black ombudsman for the state, said Wednesday....

The ombudsman said Mormon 'troop policy is that in order for a scout to become a patrol leader, he must be a deacon's quorum president in the LDS Church. Since the boy cannot hold the priesthood, he cannot become a patrol leader.'

The Mormon leaders apparently realized that they could never prevail in this matter and a compromise was worked out:

Shortly before Boy Scout officials were to appear in Federal Court Friday morning on charges of discrimination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a policy change which will allow black youths to be senior patrol leaders, a position formerly reserved for white LDS youths in troops sponsored by the church....

An LDS Church spokesman said Friday under the 'guidelines set forth in the statement, a young man other than president of the deacons quorum could (now) become the senior patrol leader if he is better qualified.'

Salt Lake Tribune 3.8.1974

Mormon President Spencer W. Kimball "had been subpoenaed to testify" in the suit (Ibid., Oct. 23), but on Nov. 7, 1974 the Tribune reported:"A suit claiming discrimination against blacks by the Boy Scouts of America was dismissed Wednesday in federal court...all parties to the suit..signed an agreement stating the alleged discrimination 'has been discontinued.'"

Since 1976 the Mormon Church has been repeatedly embarrassed by one of its own members who became alienated over the anti-black doctrine and decided to take matters into his own hands. On April 3, 1976 the Salt Lake Tribune reported:

PORTLAND, Ore.--A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ordained a black into the priesthood Friday, saying he did so in an attempt to force a revision in Mormon doctrine about the Negro race.

Douglas A. Wallace,...first baptized Larry Lester,...in the swimming pool of a motel in northeast Portland. He then ordained Lester to the office of priest in the Aaronic Priesthood of the LDS Church....

The rites were preceded by a news conference at which Wallace said he has long been bothered by the Mormon Church's bias against blacks and he feels the time has come to challenge it. He said often all that is required to change a policy is for someone to break out of tradition....

The president of the Portland-Oregon Mission of the church, Robert Seamons, said of Wallace's actions:

'He is using the priesthood in an unrighteous manner and his action will have no validity because the president of the church has said that blacks are not to hold the priesthood.'

Wallace said he hopes there are no recriminations against him for his action, such as excommunication.

On April 13,1976 the Salt Lake Tribune revealed that

"Douglas A. Wallace was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sunday for ordaining a black man into the church's priesthood."

After a confrontation with Church personnel at an April conference session, Mr. Wallace was ejected from the Tabernacle. Later he was served with "a court order barring him from attending conference." (Ibid., Oct 4, 1976)

Although we did not agree with some of Mr, Wallace's ideas on religion, we did not consider him to be dangerous and we were rather surprised to notice the close surveillance the police kept him under when he walked along the public sidewalk outside of Temple Square. We were rather startled to see such a thing in Salt Lake City.

Another Mormon who has put a great deal of pressure on the Church is Byron Marchant. Mr. Marchant took a very strong stand against racism in the Church. The Dallas Morning News for Oct. 20, 1977 reported:

"SALT LAKE CITY (AP)--The man who cast the first vote in modern history against a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been excommunicated and fired as church janitor.

"Byron Marchant, 35, of Salt Lake, is the second opponent of the church policy withholding the priesthood from blacks to be excommunicated in the last two years."

When Mr. Marchant tried to distribute literature at Temple Square at the next conference he was arrested:

"Byron Marchant, excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was arrested Sunday at 1:45 p.m. at Temple Square of charges of trespassing,....Marchant was requested to leave the church grounds after he offered literature to people waiting in line for admission to the 2 p.m. session of general conference, Mr. Gibbs said. J. Earl Jones, director of security for the Mormon church reportedly advised Mr. Marchant he was on private property and asked him to leave. When Mr. Marchant refused, Mr. Gibbs said police officers were contacted and Mr. Marchant was placed under arrest at approximately 1:45 p.m."

Salt Lake Tribune, April, 3, 1978

Mr. Marchant published a sheet in which he called for demonstrations against the Church's policy:

"Next October Conference (1978) I will join all interested in a march on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In the event that the Mormon Church decides to ordain worthy Afro-Americans to the priesthood this demonstration will be a sort of celebration. A demonstration of support. In the meantime, every person and/or group concerned about Utah Racism is encouraged to speak out and attend the October protest."

Mr. Marchant's threat of a demonstration at the next conference may have caused Mormon leaders to think more seriously about having a new revelation. The general authorities seem to have a real fear of demonstrations around Temple Square. Although Mr. Marchant is probably a peaceful man, the issue concerning blacks in the Mormon Church was so explosive that the slightest incident could have touched off a riot where innocent people could have been injured. We think that the Church was wise to change its policy before the demonstration.

However this may be, when the Mormon Church yielded Mr. Marchant dropped a civil suit:

"Following Friday's announcement that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will allow blacks to receive the priesthood, Byron Marchant, longtime advocate of such a policy, dropped a civil suit filed against Church President Spencer W. Kimball Wednesday.

"Marchant was suing President Kimball for not appearing as a witness in a case currently pending against Marchant... Marchant was suing the Mormon Church president for $100 for not appearing after being subpoenaed to testify in the case. Marchant's subpoena was quashed Thursday."

Salt Lake Tribune, June 10, 1978

Another article in the same issue of the Tribune observed that "The last three years have also seen repeated attempts by church dissidents to subpoena Mormon leaders into court proceedings, with the central issue often related to the church's belief about blacks."

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Bump for Nyal.

You have yet to respond to my CFR in support of your claim that a "reasonable person" could maintain the view that the timing of the 1978 Revelation was "suspicious."

Where are they, please?

[Crickets chirping...]

Regards,

Pahoran

What is there to cite? It was my own conclusion, my own thesis. With a more careful reading of my posts, it becomes plain.

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I have no clue whether these newspaper articles actually exist--it's late and I'm tired and not in the mood to look them up. The link is at mormonismi.net (whatever that is). If these articles were printed, there was obviously public pressure to change the policy shortly before it was changed. If this article is bogus, my apologies.

I won't say the article is bogus; but your highlighted conclusion is.

"Better Late Than Never"

Mario S. DePillis observed:

For Mormonism's anti-black policy a revelation was the only way out, and many students of Mormonism were puzzled only at the lateness of the hour. New York Times 11.6.1978

So newspapers printing articles after the event is supposed to be evidence of public pressure beforehand?

How does that work, exactly?

In 1974 the Mormon doctrine of discrimination against blacks

Whose idea of neutral reporting is that?

brought the Boy Scouts into a serious confrontation with the NAACP.

[snip]

Shortly before Boy Scout officials were to appear in Federal Court Friday morning on charges of discrimination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a policy change which will allow black youths to be senior patrol leaders, a position formerly reserved for white LDS youths in troops sponsored by the church....

"White LDS youths." That's an interesting way to say "Deacons' quorum presidents."

The president of my deacons' quorum, some eight years earlier, was not "white." Accuracy is not important to these folks, I take it?

An LDS Church spokesman said Friday under the 'guidelines set forth in the statement, a young man other than president of the deacons quorum could (now) become the senior patrol leader if he is better qualified.'

Salt Lake Tribune 3.8.1974

Yes, we know all about this. How can a lawsuit settled in 1974 possibly be exerting "pressure" in 1978?

Just how "serious" a "confrontation" could this have been? It did not impact the Priesthood issue at all, and it was settled to the satisfaction of all parties. There was no possible downstream impact still lurking around in 1978; how can this possibly be relevant?

Since 1976 the Mormon Church has been repeatedly embarrassed by one of its own members who became alienated over the anti-black doctrine and decided to take matters into his own hands. On April 3, 1976 the Salt Lake Tribune reported:

PORTLAND, Ore.--A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ordained a black into the priesthood Friday, saying he did so in an attempt to force a revision in Mormon doctrine about the Negro race.

Douglas A. Wallace,...first baptized Larry Lester,...in the swimming pool of a motel in northeast Portland. He then ordained Lester to the office of priest in the Aaronic Priesthood of the LDS Church....

Yes, Mister Wallace had and has delusions of relevance. Notice that he couldn't find a black Church member to go along with the charade. But according to Mister Wallace, the Trib appears to have misreported things. His version is that he didn't mention the Church or any Priesthood office in his sham "ordination."

The rites were preceded by a news conference at which Wallace said he has long been bothered by the Mormon Church's bias against blacks and he feels the time has come to challenge it. He said often all that is required to change a policy is for someone to break out of tradition....

The president of the Portland-Oregon Mission of the church, Robert Seamons, said of Wallace's actions:

'He is using the priesthood in an unrighteous manner and his action will have no validity because the president of the church has said that blacks are not to hold the priesthood.'

Wallace said he hopes there are no recriminations against him for his action, such as excommunication.

On April 13,1976 the Salt Lake Tribune revealed that

"Douglas A. Wallace was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Sunday for ordaining a black man into the church's priesthood."

Mister Wallace was excommunicated for apostasy. His subsequent book, "Under the Mormon Tree," demostrates that he was thoroughly apostate at the time. Ordaining a black person was not an excommunicatable offense then, if ever. Ordaining someone who was not a member of the Church, had not been interviewed, and whose ordination had not been approved by anyone holding Priesthood keys was an act of apostasy.

I mention these details to demonstrate the inaccuracies you will get relying upon old newspaper accounts.

Mister Wallace did not embarrass the Church; he embarrassed himself. He was simply too dense to realise it.

After a confrontation with Church personnel at an April conference session, Mr. Wallace was ejected from the Tabernacle. Later he was served with "a court order barring him from attending conference." (Ibid., Oct 4, 1976)

Yes, this was quite an entertaining story. Mister Wallace tried to gate-crash Conference. He kitted himself out in a white suit, walked into the Tabernacle with a few supporters, and tried to get up onto the stand. When Church security personnel intercepted him, his flunkeys reportedly screamed "Don't touch the Lord!!"

It didn't work.

Although we did not agree with some of Mr, Wallace's ideas on religion, we did not consider him to be dangerous and we were rather surprised to notice the close surveillance the police kept him under when he walked along the public sidewalk outside of Temple Square. We were rather startled to see such a thing in Salt Lake City.

Who's this "we?" Ah, the Tanners, right?

Mister Wallace was being watched because Mister Wallace had tried to disrupt a Conference session.

Another Mormon who has put a great deal of pressure on the Church

Another one? Well then, who was the first?

Oh, so Jerry and Sandy think Wallace's publicity stunts "put a great deal of pressure on the Church," do they? :P;):crazy:

is Byron Marchant. Mr. Marchant took a very strong stand against racism in the Church. The Dallas Morning News for Oct. 20, 1977 reported:

"SALT LAKE CITY (AP)--The man who cast the first vote in modern history against a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been excommunicated and fired as church janitor.

"Byron Marchant, 35, of Salt Lake, is the second opponent of the church policy withholding the priesthood from blacks to be excommunicated in the last two years."

Wow, the second in two years. Gives you an idea of the scope of this mighty groundswell of discontent, doesn't it?

I remember reading the transcript of the sustaining in which Mister Marchant opposed the brethren. President Tanner simply told him to see someone afterwards, and that was that.

When Mr. Marchant tried to distribute literature at Temple Square at the next conference he was arrested:

"Byron Marchant, excommunicated member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was arrested Sunday at 1:45 p.m. at Temple Square of charges of trespassing,....Marchant was requested to leave the church grounds after he offered literature to people waiting in line for admission to the 2 p.m. session of general conference, Mr. Gibbs said. J. Earl Jones, director of security for the Mormon church reportedly advised Mr. Marchant he was on private property and asked him to leave. When Mr. Marchant refused, Mr. Gibbs said police officers were contacted and Mr. Marchant was placed under arrest at approximately 1:45 p.m."

Salt Lake Tribune, April, 3, 1978

Let's see. An anti-Mormon tries to hand out anti-Mormon literature on Church property and is removed.

And this represents "a great deal of pressure," does it?

Mr. Marchant published a sheet in which he called for demonstrations against the Church's policy:

"Next October Conference (1978) I will join all interested in a march on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In the event that the Mormon Church decides to ordain worthy Afro-Americans to the priesthood this demonstration will be a sort of celebration. A demonstration of support. In the meantime, every person and/or group concerned about Utah Racism is encouraged to speak out and attend the October protest."

Mr. Marchant's threat of a demonstration at the next conference may have caused Mormon leaders to think more seriously about having a new revelation.

Or not.

GLENDOWER

I can call spirits from the vasty deep.

HOTSPUR

Why, so can I, or so can any man;

But will they come when you do call for them?

Mister Marchant can "call for" anything he pleases. What evidence is there that anyone took notice of him? Did the "demonstration of support" the following October actually materialise?

The general authorities seem to have a real fear of demonstrations around Temple Square. Although Mr. Marchant is probably a peaceful man, the issue concerning blacks in the Mormon Church was so explosive that the slightest incident could have touched off a riot where innocent people could have been injured.

Injured by whom? How many thousands of militant blacks lived in SLC in 1978 to provide the personnel for this riot?

We think that the Church was wise to change its policy before the demonstration.

How cunning of the Tanners to couch an accusation as a compliment! For who would ever be so churlish as to question it?

Well, me.

The vast pressure being exerted by a couple of fringe nutters just doesn't seem all that vast. Sorry.

In the late sixties, the Black Panther organisation was reported as targeting the Church; nothing came of it. Some schools decided to take their bat and ball and go home instead of playing BYU; this stopped after the school started granting athletic scholarships to black students. The NAACP started out hostile, but its last action was in 1974 over the boy scouts. Various news magazines had printed disparaging articles, but that was dying down; it just wasn't news anymore. Church growth was accelerating everywhere. There was virtually no "public pressure" in 1978, so of course the Tanners had to seize upon these trivial incidents to try to make them into something scary. Like you, they were desperately wedded to the idea that the Church of Jesus Christ never does anything good unless someone forces us to.

A moment's thought reveals what a remarkably bigoted notion that is.

However this may be, when the Mormon Church yielded

Note the loaded language: "yielded." Note also that the "However this may be" is actually a concession that they have not made their case; so they are changing the subject.

Mr. Marchant dropped a civil suit:

"Following Friday's announcement that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will allow blacks to receive the priesthood, Byron Marchant, longtime advocate of such a policy, dropped a civil suit filed against Church President Spencer W. Kimball Wednesday.

"Marchant was suing President Kimball for not appearing as a witness in a case currently pending against Marchant... Marchant was suing the Mormon Church president for $100 for not appearing after being subpoenaed to testify in the case. Marchant's subpoena was quashed Thursday."

Salt Lake Tribune, June 10, 1978

Another article in the same issue of the Tribune observed that "The last three years have also seen repeated attempts by church dissidents to subpoena Mormon leaders into court proceedings, with the central issue often related to the church's belief about blacks."

And just how successful were any of these attempts? Did the article say? Because the Tanners, of course, do not.

Answer: they weren't.

The "public pressure" accusation (because that's what it is) fails upon inspection.

What is there to cite? It was my own conclusion, my own thesis. With a more careful reading of my posts, it becomes plain.

IOW, no "reasonable" person holds this view; just you.

Got it.

Regards,

Pahoran

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I don't understand why it is so important for the critics to somehow show that the church was "pressured" to lift the ban on Priesthood. I know they love to play the Gotcha Game, but it only shows they do not understand how revelation works or anything about the history of how it came about. Please understand that when the Revelation came it was very much unexpected after going through the years of real pressure and stigma because of it. Those of us who knew faithful black members were very joyful at the news and very thankful that we were able to see it happen. You can try to twist "evidence" all you want but unless you know the real story, particularly of the influence of the African converts (who were converts in spirit only) you can't begin to understand why and how it happened.

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The "public pressure" accusation (because that's what it is) fails upon inspection.

IOW, no "reasonable" person holds this view; just you.

Got it.

Regards,

Pahoran

The question wasn't whether the pressure was legitimate, or well reasoned, or unbiased--it was whether there was public pressure for the Church to treat Africans equally. Members of the public--like Marchand and Wallace the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Associated Press, and the Dallas Morning News, no matter how misinformed you think they were--were exerting that pressure.

Unless you think writing and printing newspaper article reporting that somebody was excommunicated from a church for ordaining a Black man to the Priesthood isn't "exerting pressure." In which case, I have no idea what it's like in your world.

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Interesting conclusions, P. You are quickly becoming one of my favorite posters on the boards, you know, in a cartoonish sort of way.

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Members of the public--like Marchand and Wallace the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Associated Press, and the Dallas Morning News, no matter how misinformed you think they were--were exerting that pressure.
And you really believe that these reporters had that much influence on church leaders after being boycotted and protested in the 60's? The fact that such reporters were critical may have been happening but had nothing to do with the decision. After all, when hasn't there been a time when we as a church have had some criticism from the media?

It's like going to the doctor for a broken leg and in the process the doctor finds out you have leukemia (true case). Because the discovery of the disease happened at the same time the patient had the broken leg doesn't mean the broken leg caused the leukemia.

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The question wasn't whether the pressure was legitimate, or well reasoned, or unbiased--it was whether there was public pressure for the Church to treat Africans equally. Members of the public--like Marchand and Wallace the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, the Associated Press, and the Dallas Morning News, no matter how misinformed you think they were--were exerting that pressure.

Unless you think writing and printing newspaper article reporting that somebody was excommunicated from a church for ordaining a Black man to the Priesthood isn't "exerting pressure." In which case, I have no idea what it's like in your world.

Just because the pressure was "exerted", it does not necessarily follow that the pressure was "felt".

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I don't understand why it is so important for the critics to somehow show that the church was "pressured" to lift the ban on Priesthood.

The weird thing for me is that none of it makes any sense, any way you look at it.

Whatever motivation you give for the ban, it doesn't make sense. Whatever reason or theory you come up with for the lifting of the ban, and the timing of the lifting of the ban, it still doesn't make sense. Whether you think the ban was from God (it wasn't), or the ban was a mistake perpetuated by well meaning but fallible, mistaken Church leaders (probably), it still doesn't make sense.

Instead of worrying about newspaper articles and such nonsense, why not think about the real, practical problems that are at the root of the matter, such as...

How can you have a genetic "curse"? If the curse has an ancient origin, it would only take a few generations and intermarriages for the curse to spread to almost every human on Earth (not counting totally isolated populations). Does the curse get passed on if you have a 1/64 ratio of cursed ancestry? Or 1/254? At what point does the curse become so diluted that God doesn't care anymore? This is a critical question that God should answer in the course of establishing a genetic curse, but never did. (See my post below to see how the Church dealt with the issue)

Eventually, Church leaders in the 1950's were faced with this conundrum and somehow decided on 1/8 as being sufficient genetic dillution for a curse. So if someone with a curse marries an uncursed, their kids are cursed. If those cursed kids marry an uncursed, the curse stands. But if their kids marry an uncursed, the curse is now gone. So the problem wasn't that there was too much intermarriage; the problem was that there just wasn't enough!

Look at the arguments apologists use for Lamanite DNA and the spread of Lehite ancestry, and you'll see those same issues at work here (but spreading a curse instead of a blessing).

Does the curse have a pre-mortal origin or factor? Our sense of justice (and the principles of the 2nd Article of Faith) demand that someone would have to have done something to deserve being cursed. Since a person is born into the curse, we logically surmise that it must be something someone has done in the premortal existence, and their station in life is a justfied result. But it's not just a matter of "not being able to have the priesthood in Earthly life", because technically speaking, billions of people have lived on Earth and not been able to have the priesthood. Not only were millions "denied" the Priesthood in the middle ages, and in different places at different times in all ages of the Earth, even today, there are billions who live in North Korea or China who aren't able to have the priesthood or get married in the Temple. They are just as "cursed" as the black people were.

So instead of God just setting aside certain souls to be sent to Earth when they would logistically be denied the priesthood in this life, he set aside certain souls so they would be sent to Earth at a time and place where they could learn the Gospel, accept it, and then be denied the Priesthood....? They could have faith in Christ, repent of their sins, be baptised by proper authority and make baptismal covenants, receive the Holy Ghost, take the sacrament, and faithfully serve the Lord, but he didn't want them to receive the priesthood so they could render even more service as leaders, or have any Earthly benefits of the Temple.

And all of this just happened to coincide with the same race of people in the same country that had severe cultural hostility towards them to the point of denying them basic rights for hundreds of years...? If Brigham Young had tried to apply the "curse" to another group based on an arbitrary genetic or hereditary condition (people with red hair, people under 5'4", people with back hair), we would think he was crazy. But for some reason, there is something that makes the idea that people with black skin and african ancestry should be treated different seem not so odd. Why is that?

And then, after hundreds of years of slavery, and a century of "second class" status and severe persecution, when the culture is finally coming around to granting this group of people rights and privileges, it becomes time for this specific group of people to now be granted Priesthood blessings. Again, how does this make sense from an "eternal" perspective?

Any way you slice it, it makes absolutely no sense. :P

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Any way you slice it, it makes absolutely no sense. :P

Wrong, cinepro! It makes perfect sense as a test of people's faith. You know God is way into such mind games with his children.

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Wrong, cinepro! It makes perfect sense as a test of people's faith. You know God is way into such mind games with his children.

Or...it could have been a mistake...I, for one, am willing to go there.

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JangoStango:

Already established Scripture. To see if we will do whatsoever our Lord will command us to do.

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Here is some history from Lester Bush (written in 1973) regarding how the Church dealt with the problem of "diluted negro blood":

The most important of the new developments were the incorporation of Joseph Smith and the Pearl of Great Price into the immediate background of the Negro policy. There were also several important decisions. In 1902 the First Presidency received an inquiry concerning the priesthood restriction to a man who had one Negro great-grandparent. The basic question was what defined a "Negro" or "descendant of Cain." There were precedents for a decision, and Joseph F. Smith recounted that Brigham Young applied the restriction to those with any "Negro blood in their veins." Even so, Apostle John Henry Smith "remarked that it seemed to him that persons in whose veins the white blood predominated should not be barred from the temple." It is not clear exactly what Apostle Smith had in mind, but if he meant cases in which there were more Caucasian grandparents, for instance, than Negro, he would have been much more liberal in his definitions than the vast majority of his contemporaries.164 It had long been the peculiar notion of American whites that a person whose appearance suggested any Negro ancestry was to be considered a Negro, notwithstanding the fact that perhaps fifteen of his sixteen great-great-grandparents were Caucasians. This was particularly so if it were known that there was a black ancestor. Theoretically the presence of a "cursed lineage" should have been discernible to a Church patriarch. However, a previous Council had already been faced with a problem which arose when a patriarch assigned a man of "some Negro blood" to the lineage of Ephraim.165 Joseph F. Smith's answer to the proposal by Apostle John Henry Smith was unusually revealing:
President Smith . . . referred to the doctrine taught by President Brigham Young which he (the speaker) said he believed In himself, to the effect that the children of Gentile parents, in whose veins may exist a single drop of the blood of Ephraim, might extract all the blood of Ephraim from his parents' veins, and be actually a full-blooded Ephraimite. He also referred to the case of a man named Billingsby, whose ancestors away back married an Indian woman, and whose descendants in every branch of his family were pure whites, with one exception, and that exception was one pure blooded Indian in every branch of the family. The speaker said he mentioned this case because it was in line with President Young's doctrine on the subject, and the same had been found to be the case by stockmen engaged in the improvement of breeds. Assuming, therefore, this doctrine to be sound, while the children of a man in whose veins may exist a single drop of negro blood, might be entirely white, yet one of his descendants might turn out to be a pronounced negro. And the question in President Smith's mind was, when shall we get light enough to determine each case on its merits? He gave it as his opinion that in all cases where the blood of Cain showed itself, however slight, the line should be drawn there; but where children of tainted people were found to be pure Ephraimites, they might be admitted to the temple. This was only an opinion, however; the subject would no doubt be considered later.166

By 1907 the First Presidency and Quorum had reconsidered, and ruled that "no one known to have in his veins negro blood, (it matters not how remote a degree) can either have the priesthood in any degree or the blessings of the Temple of God; no matter how otherwise worthy he may be."167 The doctrinal concept related by Joseph F. Smith is virtually identical to the now outdated theory of "genetic throwback." Though once a widely accepted phenomena, modern geneticists doubt that such cases ever existed.

Mormonismâ??s Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview

Lester E. Bush, Jr.*

Dialogue, Vol.8, No.1, p.11

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How can you have a genetic "curse"?...Any way you slice it, it makes absolutely no sense. :P

Thank you, cinepro, for providing the most insightful post on this topic. In the light of modern science, little to nothing in religion makes sense. Or, as Jango pointed out (in jest), you can play the "god is testing our faith" card. I'll stick with "it doesn't make sense".

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