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blooit

Blacks, The Priesthood, and 1978

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The LDS church needs to face at least three facts { :P }, in my opinion:

1. For better or for worse, the true reason for ceasing the practice of polygamy in the late 1800s was not that God just happened to decide at that moment that the church should stop practiciing it, but rather that there was too much opposition from the powerful United States government.

Uh huh.
2. The 1978 official declaration allowing male blacks to obtain the priesthood was not just because God happened to decide that "the time has now come" for blacks to have the priesthood, but rather that church leaders saw the writing on the wall: racism and discrimination are not reasonably supported by logic and reason, and the discriminative denial of the priesthood to blacks was a public relations nightmare for the church.
Huzzah! We now have a reliable means of reading the minds of distant individuals, many of whom, after 31 years, are now dead!
3. Admitting error by the LDS church, while it will inevitably shake the fragile faith of some people who apparently only have the ability to see things in black and white (no pun intended), will be much better off for the church in the long run and should instill in its leaders the humility that comes with understanding that we do not have all the answers and that some doctrines which we have long accepted as true may actually be erroneous.
;)

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In another recent thread, your claim that the timing of the proclamation was in any way "questionable" was challenged. You offered a discredited hate propaganda site in support of that claim; their arguments were promptly shredded. When asked for further support for your claim, you defaulted.

Given the timing of the evolution of civil rights and the civil rights movement, that the 1978 revelation was a response to public pressure makes common sense. Otherwise, it'd be a pretty extraordinary coincidence.

I suspect the only "proof" many Mormons would accept is an apostle unequivocally stating "we finally gave Blacks the Priesthood because we had no choice politically," and even then I'm sure some would find a way to discredit such a statement.

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But I don't think that theologically they believed that black people couldn't get to heaven for example,
LDS never believed that black people couldn't get to heaven. Having grown up at the time of the Civil Rights Movement, I was very aware of how sensitive this was and was always taught that "in the Lord's due time" the Priesthood would be given. But that was never a requirement to get to heaven, as all things would be resolved at some time.
Given the timing of the evolution of civil rights and the civil rights movement, that the 1978 revelation was a response to public pressure makes common sense.
Uh, the Civil Rights Movement was in the early 60's. By 1978 it was pretty much a non-issue politically.

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A few thoughts:

1) Those of us who remember this time period, remember that much of the heat had actually eased by 1978. It had been much more intense before that time.

2) Thurl Bailey mentions that regardless of whether this was doctrine, policy, or preference, "blacks were not ready, and whites were not ready." In my humble opinion, 1978 was not a response to the civil rights movement, but the civil rights movement was God's preparation for all men to receive the priesthood. Remember, my dear evangelical friends, that God is not subject to time.

3) To those who keep reaffirming that the ban was nothing more than a racist manifestation that proves God does not lead the church, please respond to Elder Sitati's quote I gave at the beginning:

"Christ came only to the Jews and not until the end of his mission did he commission the apostles to go to all the world," he said. "Different communities are invited to participate in the plan of salvation at different times. What is important is that the salvation to which they are invited is the same. It doesn't matter that the Jews were the first, if you like, and the Africans are the last."http://www.sltrib.com/ci_12148790?source=most_viewed

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MichaelW:

In 1978 there was little to no public pressure for the change. 1968 was a different question.

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MichaelW:

In 1978 there was little to no public pressure for the change. 1968 was a different question.

That's ridiculous. There is significant public pressure for groups with perceived racist or otherwise bigoted rules to change still today (and please note I said "perceived"). If there had been no change in 1978, do you honestly think there would be no public pressure today? And in addition to that, there was internal pressure to change the "policy."

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That's ridiculous. There is significant public pressure for groups with perceived racist or otherwise bigoted rules to change still today (and please note I said "perceived"). If there had been no change in 1978, do you honestly think there would be no public pressure today? And in addition to that, there was internal pressure to change the "policy."

You really have had to be there to understand - (not sure how old you are) - but public pressure was relatively light by 1978. The bulk of the public pressure was in the previous decade.

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CFR that Elder Peterson taught:

That blacks were not the equals of whites;

That their skin colour "bordered on sin;"

That could only strive to serve the "higher races."

Elder MARK E. PETERSON

Race Problems -- As They Affect The Church

Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level,

Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954.

Read the quote. It's clear. Read it. Now. Put you eyes over the words and move them back and forth.

I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, "First we pity, then endure, then embrace"....

Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, "what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." Only here we have the reverse of the thing -- what God hath separated, let not man bring together again.

Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood...This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa--if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory.

1. (That blacks were not the equals of whites) The full potential of blacks is not the full potential of whites, they committed a "sin" before being able to sin and were CURSED with a dark skin. This is PAINFULLY clear. Blacks NOT the equals of whites.

2. (That their skin colour "bordered on sin) He says it: "We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, "First we pity, then endure, then embrace"...." Being black is almost a sin. It is certainly the result of sin.

3. (That could only strive to serve the "higher races) Again he says it: "If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory." So, little sambo, if you are REALLY good and REALLY faithful, then you get serve whitey in whitey heaven.

n another recent thread, your claim that the timing of the proclamation was in any way "questionable" was challenged. You offered a discredited hate propaganda site in support of that claim; their arguments were promptly shredded. When asked for further support for your claim, you defaulted. Have you since found better arguments in support of your accusation? If so, please produce them. If not, then you have no valid basis to make the claim. The correct term for a claim you know to be unfounded is a "lie." I invite you to obtain some honesty and stop telling such.

I did not default. A good man pointed out I was being snarky after pointing out this is essentially a difference of opinion. I stopped.

You really have had to be there to understand - (not sure how old you are) - but public pressure was relatively light by 1978. The bulk of the public pressure was in the previous decade.

If you weren't there SHUT UP! YOUR OPINIONS DON'T COUNT! I WAS THERE! LOOK AT ME I'M OLDER THAN YOU! AGE AGE AGE AGE!!!

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic...uments.html#age

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Nyal:

Were/are there bigots in the Church? Sure, so what. The Church is not a Rest Home for the perfect, it is an Emergency Room for the sick and the dying of this fallen world.

Personal opinions are not/nor have they ever been Doctrine of the Church.

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Nyal:

Were/are there bigots in the Church? Sure, so what. The Church is not a Rest Home for the perfect, it is an Emergency Room for the sick and the dying of this fallen world.

Personal opinions are not/nor have they ever been Doctrine of the Church.

Point 1. Of course.

Point 2. Total cop out, since there is no possible way to separate revelation from opinion (and yes I read the church's statement, it solves nothing).

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Nyal:

1. OK

2.That is what I do not understand. You might not like, and even disagree with, what someone else believes, that is your right. But it is rather baffling why you would try to tell someone else what they believe.

We have a long established method in the Church for what it is we believe. It goes by the title of Common Consent. http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/priesth...on_consent.html

As to further the point. If my very Non-LDS Grandmother believed the Moon to be made of Green Cheese it would have very little to nothing to do with the church she was member, and played the organ in of all of her life.

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Nyal:

1. OK

2.That is what I do not understand. You might not like, and even disagree with, what someone else believes, that is your right. But it is rather baffling why you would try to tell someone else what they believe.

We have a long established method in the Church for what it is we believe. It goes by the title of Common Consent. http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/priesth...on_consent.html

As to further the point. If my very Non-LDS Grandmother believed the Moon to be made of Green Cheese it would have very little to nothing to do with the church she was member, and played the organ in of all of her life.

I have never, ever, ever ever told anyone what they believe. My statement is a commentary of what a prophet said. You can believe what you wish. I see no way to discern when a prophet speaks or when a man speaks. It is a common problem, one I am not alone in experiencing.

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Nyal:

So it is a "cop out" and "said nothing" but you are not telling us what we believe? Kinda strange way to put it, but OK.

What other way it there to discern what any groups' official doctrine is? Oh I guess you could go to any number of individuals of the group, but what you end up with is what they as individuals believe. Not necessarily what the group has as what it officially believes.

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When God says that He will never let a prophet lead the church astray, one has to wonder just how far astray he would have to go before God would intervene??

I would think the priesthood ban would be a big enough snafu that God might want to appear in a vision or something and tell BY, "Hey, you're doing a great job as prophet, but this whole banning the blacks thing.... I can't have you doing that." It also seems strange to me that JS was getting revelation from God every other day, but as soon as he died, BY is left alone to figure the rest out by himself?

I can accept that God lets men run the church as best they can, but some things are just too big to think God would just let them slide. Which, to me, makes it appear that God is not running the LDS church. Men are.

Well there you go again doing God's thinking for him. Instead of wasting all that time praying to God can we just ask you for the answers?

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Nyal:

So it is a "cop out" and "said nothing" but you are not telling us what we believe? Kinda strange way to put it, but OK.

What other way it there to discern what any groups' official doctrine is? Oh I guess you could go to any number of individuals of the group, but what you end up with is what they as individuals believe. Not necessarily what the group has as what it officially believes.

That's the idea.

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Authors of nearly every news story that discusses Africa, Church growth, or African American Mormons, seem to feel the need to bring up 1978 in depth. Maybe this is acceptable. It is, after all, a part of our history. What I object to is the tone of many of these articles, but oh well.

My question is this: when did the other American churches begin to allow blacks to fully participate in their leadership? How many were actually segregated, while LDS wards were not?

This isn't a question of equal treatment. It has been and always will be about turf. We are sheep stealing. In order to counter that, the other denominations have to paint us in as bad a light as they can. What makes it worse is that we are spreading stuff around the other guys can't counter, that is, don't believe us, ask God. How can they counter that? In the end it is the worldliness of the traditional Christian churches versus the testimony of the Holy Ghost. The best way to counter us is to confuse the issue. Get the investigators to doubt us so they never try.

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If you weren't there SHUT UP! YOUR OPINIONS DON'T COUNT! I WAS THERE! LOOK AT ME I'M OLDER THAN YOU! AGE AGE AGE AGE!!!

http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic...uments.html#age

Wow - I'm sorry my statement set you off so much. I'm really not that old but I was there enough to know of the pressure and how much it had let off by 1978 - I don't remember telling anyone to shutup - just making a historical statement from personal experience. That is not the "AGE" fallacy - I simply said I was there. History always gives more credence to primary sources, rather than speculation. You mis state the fallacy.

As far as the Mark E. Peterson quotes, we've been over that. Tell me, could I not find similar racial quotes from pastors and leaders from ever major religion in America? As I stated earlier, how do you respond to Elder Sitati's quote?

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This isn't a question of equal treatment. It has been and always will be about turf. We are sheep stealing. In order to counter that, the other denominations have to paint us in as bad a light as they can. What makes it worse is that we are spreading stuff around the other guys can't counter, that is, don't believe us, ask God. How can they counter that? In the end it is the worldliness of the traditional Christian churches versus the testimony of the Holy Ghost. The best way to counter us is to confuse the issue. Get the investigators to doubt us so they never try.

Best bleeping answer I've heard yet. Very good points - hadn't thought of it that way.

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Well there you go again doing God's thinking for him. Instead of wasting all that time praying to God can we just ask you for the answers?

Sure! It appears that the LDS church is a man-made religion with no evidence that it has any more contact with God than any other reigion.

Anything else I can answer for ya? :P

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Recommended reading on the topic:

David M. Goldenburg, "The Curse of Ham: Race and Slavery in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2003)

Stephen R. Haynes, Noah's Curse; The Biblical Justification of American Slavery (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002)

Stirling Adams reviewed both books in BYU Studies vol 44. n 1, 2005. He discussed the issue online here:

http://bycommonconsent.com/2007/06/05/curs...m-foiled-again/

The statements by LDS individuals must be read in their proper historical and social context to be understood. Wrenched from context, they can function rather like wrench in a game of Clue. But that involves deliberate misuse of a tool. The tool was design for repair, rather then mayhem.

And of course, a very helpful context for considering the statements of various LDS people, authorities and laymembers alike, over the years should be this bit of esoterica in D&C 1,

24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these acommandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

25 And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;

26 And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;

27 And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;

28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.

I've found that a very good way to discern the inspiration of church leaders involves keeping a realistic view of what they are, along with a realistic view of what I am. It happens that I wrote a detailed study of Biblical Keys for Discerning True and False Prophets for FAIR not long ago. In that light, I think the LDS leadership stands out very clearly and distinctly from all modern competitors.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

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Whether it was "doctrine" or not seems to be a matter of debate. David O. McKay actually stated that it wasn't a doctrine, but was a practice in place. I'd suggest some reading here: Link 1, Link 2

David O. McKay was only speaking as a man. His statement that it wasn't doctrine does not meet the usual standards of doctrine as routinely defined on this board. Just ask BC.

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David O. McKay was only speaking as a man. His statement that it wasn't doctrine does not meet the usual standards of doctrine as routinely defined on this board. Just ask BC.

I am forced, again, to say - it is still a matter of debate. You, and others, keep proving me right.

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Given the timing of the evolution of civil rights and the civil rights movement, that the 1978 revelation was a response to public pressure makes common sense.

Given that there was no "public pressure" worth mentioning at the time, the claim that it was a response to non-existing "public pressure" makes no sense at all.

Unless "common sense" is some sort of shorthand for "what anyone can come up with simply by leaning back in their chair, and with no actual facts to back them up."

Otherwise, it'd be a pretty extraordinary coincidence.

A "pretty extraordinary coincidence" that the Church made a change when there was no noticeable "external pressure?" Umm, okay.

I suspect the only "proof" many Mormons would accept is an apostle unequivocally stating "we finally gave Blacks the Priesthood because we had no choice politically," and even then I'm sure some would find a way to discredit such a statement.

You mean like all the ways "some" find to discredit President Woodruff's remarks about the Manifesto?

Regards,

Pahoran

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Sure! It appears that the LDS church is a man-made religion with no evidence that it has any more contact with God than any other reigion.

Anything else I can answer for ya? :P

You and Tarski should form a club.

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This is breathtakingly backward thinking, even for the period.

Maybe so. But is there a reason why you don't cite the source.....

Apostle Mark E. Peterson, Race Problems - As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954

....?

I think it's so as to not discredit your own claim that such teachings may have been doctrinal.

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