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blooit

Interesting Thoughts on Blacks and the Priesthood

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Just as he was preparing to sing his final hymn, "How Great Thou Art," Boye took an aside to share how he came to grips with being a black man in a faith which didn't allow blacks to have the priesthood until 1978. He said he at times struggled with the ban, particularly during his mission, but the Lord told him profoundly that the church was true.

All faiths went through the exact same challenge, he said, but at least the Mormon faith has an official declaration that came out of it.

http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/mormon_experience/?id=9986

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My companion ZL was black. We were together for about 4 months. We served in LA, CA. He was a firebrand for the Church. I can't remember his exact response when asked about the ban but the result almost always positive. We also baptized the girlfriend of the son of the senior missionaries who converted him in Kenya. Unfortunately, we were unable to help convert someone from his own country (imagine that). E. Dale LeBaron in the Ensign gets the year (1983) wrong. It was actually a couple of years after that.

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Just as he was preparing to sing his final hymn, "How Great Thou Art," Boye took an aside to share how he came to grips with being a black man in a faith which didn't allow blacks to have the priesthood until 1978. He said he at times struggled with the ban, particularly during his mission, but the Lord told him profoundly that the church was true.

All faiths went through the exact same challenge, he said, but at least the Mormon faith has an official declaration that came out of it.

http://mormontimes.com/mormon_voices/mormon_experience/?id=9986

And that is excatly what i tell people whom complain about the ban, "Talk to the black members and ask them". :P

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And that is excatly what i tell people whom complain about the ban, "Talk to the black members and ask them". :P

You don't tell them to talk to the blacks who left the church?

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And that is excatly what i tell people whom complain about the ban, "Talk to the black members and ask them". :P

I think that is about the only thing you can do, and hopefully would help someone.

But even then it is unsatisfactory. The few black members I have spoken to are deeply conflicted about the ban, and they believe that it was a cultural thing, not a real direction from God. That the extension of the Priesthood to all was rectifying a mistake, not a simple change in the Lord's will. They stay active in the church because of their testimony, despite the fact that they are angry and frustrated that it took the church so long on this issue.

As for

All faiths went through the exact same challenge, he said, but at least the Mormon faith has an official declaration that came out of it.
I think this is disingenuous as well. Most religions might have had segregation,(i.e. separate black and white congregations) but very few if any simply refused saving ordinances or authority to start their own separate branches. The Baptists might have been as racist as anyone, but they didn't believe (at least officially) that blacks were not worthy to have priesthood responsibilities in their churches. They just kept them in different congregations, and kept everything separate.

It is the difference between having separate but equal schools, or having education for white people only, and expecting black people to home school their kids. Most churches had the equivalent of separate schools. The Mormon church had no real viable option for black people until 1978.

I am glad that some black people are able to reconcile this issue for themselves. It must be very hard to deal with.

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Mormon Questioner:

The LDS has never excluded Blacks from membership in the Church.

There is no requirement to hold the Priesthood to be eligible for the Saving Grace in the Church.

Why do you think the Southern Baptist Convention was even formed. Because Blacks were not even human. :P

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Mormon Questioner:

The LDS has never excluded Blacks from membership in the Church.

There is no requirement to hold the Priesthood to be eligible for the Saving Grace in the Church.

Why do you think the Southern Baptist Convention was even formed. Because Blacks were not even human. :P

Nope, they were never excluded from membership, but they were not in any way eligible for the same level of blessings as white members. They were not eligible to lead congregations. They were no eligible to go to the temple, to be sealed as families, to be sealed as husbands and wives, to be able to give blessings to their families, to be able to do much of what white members were able to do.

As I said, it is like providing white kids with good schools, and then expecting the black kids to be home schooled. Sure those black kids are getting an education, but they aren't getting the same benefits as the white kids.

As for no requirement to hold the Priesthood in order to obtain saving grace? Well sure, just like ANY person who has ever lived, they can be resurrected. And just like any member, they can have their sins washed away. But they COULD NOT receive the same glory and blessings and exaltation as white people. We do still teach (right?) that you have to be married in the temple and take out your endowments in order to be exalted? Or has there been a change recently that I don't know about.

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The SBC and others may have been entirely as racist in their thinking. A difference is that they don't claim to have a leader who speaks for the Lord - so their erroneous thinking is not believed to be the will of the Lord concerning blacks.

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Mormon Questioner:

There is no requirement to hold the Priesthood to be eligible for the Saving Grace in the Church.

He didn't say "Saving Grace". He said saving ordinances. Since blacks were excluded from any Temple blessing, including Celestial Marriage, it's reasonable to point out that blacks were excluded from ordinances necessary for exaltation.

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Mormon Questioner:

Your claim was that Blacks were not partakers in the "Saving Ordinances" in the Church. That is a lie. Holding the Priesthood is not requisite for the Saving Ordinances" which are Baptism, Receipt of the Holy Ghost, Confirmation as a member of the Church.

Receipt of the Blessings of Eternal Life is not requisite on holding the Priesthood in this life.

The Church as always been AGAINST any discrimination in schooling be it secular, or in our Church Meetings based on skin color. ALL have always been welcome to attend any of our public meetings.

Yes any Black/Brown/Red/Yellow/White/Purple with Green poky dots/ person whom lived a worthy life, obeying all the Commandments he/she has been given will receive ALL of the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them, including Exaltation in Highest Degree of the Celestial Kingdom, to rule and reign with God.

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it is like providing white kids with good schools, and then expecting the black kids to be home schooled. Sure those black kids are getting an education, but they aren't getting the same benefits as the white kids.
You here make a couple of very unwarranted assumptions.
  1. That government-run, tax-funded (grtf, aka welfare) schools are or can be "good".
  2. That family-centered education is not better than grtf-welfare schools at providing "benefits" to the children.

Both assumptions are categorically false.

As for no requirement to hold the Priesthood in order to obtain saving grace? Well sure, just like ANY person who has ever lived, they can be resurrected. And just like any member, they can have their sins washed away. But they COULD NOT receive the same glory and blessings and exaltation as white people. We do still teach (right?) that you have to be married in the temple and take out your endowments in order to be exalted?
You ignore the fact that there is not now, nor has there ever been a requirement that those whose temple work is done posthumously have their race identified in any way. Thus I feel more than justified in claiming that there were thousands of temple endowments performed for black LDSs and other black men and women on exactly the same basis as for whites, Chinese, or Australian aborigines. It may well have been that one in five temple endowments done between 1910 and 1980 were for black people.

When I extracted names from public records, there was a census in Ohio I worked on. The census did identify the race of the individual, but there was no place on the temple card I where copied the name, birthdate, etc., for the person's race, no place.

Black people have never been, in LDS theology/soterology, denied a place in the Celestial Kingdom. It is true they were ineligible to do the work themselves, but unlike many, or even most, churches prior to the mid-XX, we saw black souls as just as much God's children as anyone else, saw them as fully human, and treated them with the respect they merited based on that humanity.

Moreoever, it was not their being "black" by which the Priesthood was withheld from them, since many other black "races" were allowed the Priesthood; e.g., Negritos and others from the South Seas. It was their lineage, not their color that was determinant. In addition, having known a great many people from South Africa who were LDSs prior to 1978, it is clear to me that color was not the issue because they were at least as "white" as I am, and many blonder and with bluer eyes, but were nonetheless denied the Priesthood unless they could trace their ancestry out of South Africa.

It is also rather odd to find the ban on the Priesthood insulting, for instance, since the Priesthood is nothing if not an obligation to serve others, and black LDSs were being served by whites (and others) and had no reciprocal obligation.

Lehi

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Pre-1960s, did Christian congregations mix blacks and whites? Yes, there were black congregations and white congregations of many faiths, but did they typically meet together?

As far as I know, no LDS congregation ever excluded blacks (or any race for that matter) from worshipping with them.

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cinepro:

Participation in Temple Ordinances in this life is not nor has it ever been a requisite for Exaltation.

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Blacks were given the Priesthood before 1978. This is just a small list, but it does show it was done.

Look especially at the 1958 line..

1836: In March, Elijah Abel, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1836: In December, Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Seventy.

1844: Walker Lewis, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1846: William McCary, a black man, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1900: Enoch Abel, the son of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1935: Elijah Abel, grandson of Elijah Abel, is ordained to the office of Elder.

1958: All black Melanesians (Fijians) are given the priesthood (blacks in the Philippines even earlier)

1978: Revelation on Priesthood gives the priesthood to all worthy men regardless of color.

(Source: www.blacklds.org/priesthood)

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Another page to look at is http://www.blacklds.org/history

Look especially at 1838: Sister Eunice Kinney Taught and Baptized by Elijah Abel.

Also look at 1853: Elijah Abel was denied his Endowments but had already gone through the Kirkland Temple for washings and anointings and has already done batizisms for the dead in Nauvoo.

The timeline is pretty interesting.

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As for no requirement to hold the Priesthood in order to obtain saving grace? Well sure, just like ANY person who has ever lived, they can be resurrected. And just like any member, they can have their sins washed away. But they COULD NOT receive the same glory and blessings and exaltation as white people. We do still teach (right?) that you have to be married in the temple and take out your endowments in order to be exalted? Or has there been a change recently that I don't know about.

My 2 cents: What about all those people, black, white, etc., who lived between the priesthood being taken from the earth till the Restoration? They missed out on these saving ordinances also. I believe God has worked all this out and one day it will all be revealed.

I'm all for looking/progressing forward instead of being hindered by the past.

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LOL, I love the blindness shown in this thread.

Participation in Temple Ordinances in this life is not nor has it ever been a requisite for Exaltation.

Ok, this is true, but it is a matter of definitions. If by exaltation you mean entry into the celstial kingdom, then fine. If you mean becoming like our Heavenly Father and obtaining the highest level of the CK, then no. Were we not taught by our prophets that black people would be servants in the Celestial Kingdom? Here is what fair wiki has to say:

"Thus, given the policy in place at the time of Elder Petersen's remarks, black members would be eligible for exaltation, though they like others who had not received all the ordinances would assist and help others as "servants." This is not slavery, but a partnership between exalted beings. A modification would have required a lifting of the priesthood ban."

It may well have been that one in five temple endowments done between 1910 and 1980 were for black people.

QFR or even a semi cogent argument. How on earth could you possibly claim this? Considering that it would seem likely that the majority of names submitted are for ancestors, it would be really incredibly unlikely that all those good mormons were submitting their black ancestors names for temple work. You may be correct that race wasn't included as line on name submission forms, but then making the leap to the claim that 1/5th of all temple endowments were for black people is ludicrous. I am sure some slipped through, but they would not have been the majority.

Even today, when there are black members, a very very small percentage would be black names, because we are now asked to only submit our ancestors names. It makes no sense to believe that before 1978 a full 20% were.

we saw black souls as just as much God's children as anyone else, saw them as fully human, and treated them with the respect they merited based on that humanity.

Gag.... literally gag. I can't believe the whitewashing so many of you seem to have done on this issue. It is one thing to excuse this as God's will and something we just don't understand. It is quite another to claim that we treated them with the full respect they merited based on their humanity. Brigham Young preached that if a white person and a black person married, they should be killed. We preached that they were subject to the curse of cain, and unable to even step foot in our temples.

Sure they might have been allowed to attend church with us, but we would not have allowed them to hold any priesthood calling, not even the level we give to 12 year old boys. We would not have allowed them to be married for eternity. We would not have allowed them to receive endowments. This is not showing them the respect they deserve.

Ward Temple night would have been a difficult night as a black member.

It is also rather odd to find the ban on the Priesthood insulting, for instance, since the Priesthood is nothing if not an obligation to serve others, and black LDSs were being served by whites (and others) and had no reciprocal obligation.

I just literally felt sick to my stomach. Your lack of any empathy whatsoever is incredible. The fact that you can't imagine that it would be insulting to be told that you can be a servant in heaven, and that you can't be married to your spouse for eternity, and while your white fellow members are creating worlds and obtaining all that Heavenly Father has, you will be declined that opportunity because your ancestors had negroid blood. And you can't see how that is insulting at ALL?

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McConkie's earlier statements on the topic, like those of other other church leaders, implied or overtly stated that the priesthood restriction would never be lifted. To this, McConkie stated:

There are statements in our literature by the early Brethren that we have interpreted to mean that the Negroes would not receive the priesthood in mortality. I have said the same things, and people write me letters and say, "You said such and such, and how is it now that we do such and such?" All I can say is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or George Q. Cannon or whoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.

It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them. We now do what meridian Israel did when the Lord said the gospel should go to the Gentiles. We forget all the statements that limited the gospel to the house of Israel, and we start going to the Gentiles.[4]

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The Church as always been AGAINST any discrimination in schooling be it secular, or in our Church Meetings based on skin color. ALL have always been welcome to attend any of our public meetings.

Just curious, but does anyone know if the Church-owned Hotel Utah was segregated, or denied privileges to blacks?

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Just my 5 pence of worth from outside USA. When thinking of the possibilities:

1. God gave the the ban; Why would he do it? a) because He saw that the Curch would not survive in the racial athmosphere of those early days. And all to the 1978? cool.gif because Abels decendants should first get the gospel... I dont think we know who theyan re so can we say when that happened... no ... maybe 1978? c) because we are to learn something of it. In my life once happened something so terrible ... I stil dont know what that was good for, but everyone says we grow by hardships...

2. It was not from God but from the early leaders because : a) they were afraid of even more persucation, if they were frendly to blacks b)Some members were racists... many people were in those days. c)they believed deeply in wrong teachings of the Church they were converted from d) it was a common way of thinking those days.

So IF answer is no 1 ... what can we do. We can thank God it is over and try to find out what was it we should ahve learned from it. IF it was no 2. What can we do? I dont think any of those leaders are alive today and can be accused and punished... and why should they they did what they believed was right. Ok IF it was wrong it was a terrible mistake, but done by men who believed they were right. And if it was done knowingly, so I believe God will take care of that in hes due time, but he wont puinish us people of today because of it. In case of it was wrong waht can we do... we cant say it was wrong as there is NO prove that it was. In fact there is NO prove to anything, only assumptions.

Maybe the thing we need to learn with this is to get on our knees and trust that God will make it all good again.

The thought that blacks had missed some ordinanses is wrong, they just did not get them while here on the Earth. For some reason blacks just were not to do the work before 1978. They got the saving ordinances.

BY said this and BY said that.. sometimes I would like to have a word with him... maybe reading his speaches had been a better idea and not speaking without anything written... lets face it we dont know if there are servants in the Heaven... or what colour they are, maybe even white too. Maybe BY missed the white servants... :P

We need to let it go. Everyone knows and all LDS who know something know there are many possibilities waht may be true... maybe in teh future we will find out the truth... and then... what should we do then? It is kind of funny that Church has officially apologised at least 2 times for the MM but I never heard, that anyone has ever apologised Church members for all persecution they had to go trough and HM and all the land and houses they had to leave behind. ;)

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MANY preachers and professors of the Christian faith used the Bible to support slavery. To suggest that this is a Mormon problem because of denial of the priesthood and ignore the rest of the United States' views on Black folks is just plain kooky.

Mars' suggested reading: Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher) and White Like Me (Tim Wise)

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"To suggest that this is a Mormon problem because of denial of the priesthood and ignore the rest of the United States' views on Black folks is just plain kooky."

Boy, I certainly don't think one should ignore context - context may be the ultimate explanation for why the ban was imposed, so ignoring it is harmful to understanding. But the argument that others were as guilty, or maybe guiltier in some respects, doesn't excuse a ban that survived the core civil rights movement in the US on the understanding that it was God's will. There is a difference in a preacher's erroneous interpretation of scripture and believing in a similar decree by the mouthpiece of the Lord on the Earth today.

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Participation in Temple Ordinances in this life is not nor has it ever been a requisite [sic] for Exaltation.

That's not true.

Ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood (for men), the temple endowment, and the marriage sealing are all essential for exaltation (see True to the Faith, p. 109; Gospel Principles, p. 303).

Edit: Okay, never mind. I just noticed your qualifier, "in this life." Sorry.

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Edit: Okay, never mind. I just noticed your qualifier "in this life." Sorry.

Always gotta watch out for the qualifiers. They'll getcha every time. :P

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