Jump to content

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Olavarria

The Priesthood Ban

Recommended Posts

As I understand it, the current official position is "we don't know". Given what little I know about the history of the ban, that makes alot of sense.

My questian is: why do we "need" an explanation?

Isnt the fact that the ban existed and then lifted good enough?

Share this post


Link to post

Apparently not! This along to the number of times alone since I joined it has been brought up.

Share this post


Link to post

My questian is: why do we "need" an explanation?

For those who believe - no explanation is needed.

For those who don't - and especially for those who want to - removing a potential stumblingblock or two can be a good thing, yes?

Share this post


Link to post

My questian is: why do we "need" an explanation?

The broader question is, "Who is **WE**?"

How one answers that question can lead to a completely different answer to the first question.

So while I can appreciate the need for the occasional circle-the-wagons approach for some...

...my concern is that such an approach creates exclusion...instead of onramps.

Share this post


Link to post

As I understand it, the current official position is "we don't know". Given what little I know about the history of the ban, that makes alot of sense.

don't you think it makes more sense that some people (LDS leaders) simply shared some views of the times (racism) and took racist measures? don't you believe it makes more sense for a Prophet (Monson) to know the reason for the ban? If these other explanations do make more sense then we need to change the "we don't know" for "the GA decide to not say it".

My questian is: why do we "need" an explanation?

I don't know what you mean by "need" but, don't you think it would horrible for a religion to discriminate based on the color of your skin (your father, your mother, yourself) and then offer no explanation for it and expect people to follow it?

Isnt the fact that the ban existed and then lifted good enough?

lol! no.

Share this post


Link to post

We don't need any amateur explanations. Why? Because we already have an official one:

August 17, 1949

The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have."

The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

George Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay

The First Presidency

Share this post


Link to post

As I understand it, the current official position is "we don't know". Given what little I know about the history of the ban, that makes alot of sense.

"We don't know" is good enough.

My questian is: why do we "need" an explanation?

The only people I see that need some explanation are black investigators. It is important to acknowledge the ban, don't know why the ban, give some history, preferably, Jane Manning James and Elijah Abel...not speculations, and praise the ban was lifted. For most white members this is a non-issue, which is fine but when teaching the Gospel in the black community it must be addressed, discussed and then move on. When I talked to the black members(in my ward and stake) they told me they had to get past the ban issue in order to move on.

Share this post


Link to post

You know what's funny? I'm actually helping teach and fellowship a black family with the missionaries right now. They have a baptism date set for next month. They haven't brought up the ban and we're not going to (I ain't gonna be reading the 1949 statement to them, LOL). I guess they know that if we were some kind of racists we wouldn't be so anxious to teach them, invite them to Church, help them move into their new place, etc. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes, huh?

Share this post


Link to post

I prefer McKay's statement that it was never the doctrine of the Church, but a policy that was followed. I have the unfortunate position of being a skeptic and there is nothing more disappointing than when a leader of the Church states something that is not true, is based on personal views, and does not indicate that it does not come from the Lord. Historically there are enough instances where prophets and apostles gave personal opinions and paraded them as doctrine. At times it seems as if the Brethren forget that they only wear the mantle of prophet, seer, and revelator; God chose them to serve as such. The operative word being serve. They are entitled to revelation just as every individual is lives on the earth is; the only distinction is that they have the Keys of the Priesthood and can direct the Church. The Holy Spirit is as restrained in our lives as we chose to make Him.

Share this post


Link to post

I prefer McKay's statement that it was never the doctrine of the Church, but a policy that was followed. ...

Do you think he was speaking as a prophet when he said that though? Did Sterling McMurrin ask him leading questions or exaggerate his answers? He was recalling a conversation that he said took place fourteen years earlier, the notes he took being "lost" now. I would think it would have to be David O. McKay's personal opinion if it directly contradicted the official statement that Pres. McKay signed his name to five years before he talked to McMurrin.

Share this post


Link to post

You know what's funny? I'm actually helping teach and fellowship a black family with the missionaries right now. They have a baptism date set for next month. They haven't brought up the ban and we're not going to (I ain't gonna be reading the 1949 statement to them, LOL). I guess they know that if we were some kind of racists we wouldn't be so anxious to teach them, invite them to Church, help them move into their new place, etc. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes, huh?

Just be prepared when someone does bring it up. Get Blacks in the Scriptures and Nobody Knows: The untold story of black Mormons and/or share with them this website Genesis Group

I spoke with a black sister(member for 15+ years) she told me she approached a black (not-LDS) genealogist about combining resourses to get more blacks interested in family history. The genealogist shot this sister down claiming her LDS Church was racist....yes, stranger than fiction.

Share this post


Link to post

As I understand it, the current official position is "we don't know". Given what little I know about the history of the ban, that makes alot of sense.

Pedro, maybe you might want to do a little more reading on the subject. There actually is quite a bit you could learn and then you'll see that it doesn't make 'alot of sense'--it's a cop out.

I suspect that if you research the subject, you'll find you'll have a lot more questions than you apparently have now.

My conclusions is that "We don't know" is the only explanation the church can offer right now--since they do not wish to undermine the faith of those who can't accept that church leaders are fallible and the church does not exist in a vacuum.

My questian is: why do we "need" an explanation?

I'm a curious person; I want to know things--one reason I still spend time on this board. ;) I understand and support the church's decision to give 'we don't know' as their explanation right now. But when the church members are stronger and can face the skeletons that exist in every closet, it will be nice to get a more honest explanation.

Isnt the fact that the ban existed and then lifted good enough?

Uh no. The fact that the ban existed and then was lifted only raises questions--questions some choose to ignore and are happy to do so with an explanation of 'we don't know'. :P

Share this post


Link to post

I guess if "we don't know" is a good enough answer for you, then sure, leave it at that.

For me, it is not.

However, if you wish to get away from the stereotype of blinding following whatever the Prophets says, I'd suggest that yes, you ask WHY!!!

Stereotypes aside, it's probably a good idea to ask why with any major prophetic statement. It's plainly evident that prophets can and do make official declarations that are not from God and I believe these should be scrutinized and questioned.

Share this post


Link to post

Scottie:

Why?

"I don't know" is a perfectly good answer. It works in science, the arts, even religion. It opens all of us up to the possibility of learning. The LDS even have an Article of Faith that confirms we don't know a great deal of things.

Article of Faith #9: We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Share this post


Link to post
"I don't know" is a perfectly good answer. It works in science, the arts, even religion.

Just because scientists can admit they don't know why something is, it most definitely is NOT okay. The search for why continues.

It opens all of us up to the possibility of learning.

I don't think this is what Pedro is saying. I understood his post to mean that "I don't know" is a perfectly good answer, and that we should stop asking questions. How does this open anything up to learning??

Article of Faith #9: We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

When do you suppose God is going to reveal some answers to all of these "we don't know" questions?

Share this post


Link to post

Scottie:

You still have NOT answered my question as to why it is perfectly good answer in science, the arts, and in any other religion except the LDS. The Saints, and I, readily admit not to knowing everything. But that admission means nothing to you, or you use it as a cudgel against us.

The Lord for his own purposes have declined to give us the reasons for any of the bans on who can hold the Priesthood. Further I fully expect to continue to read/hear speculative answers from men until such time as the Lord sees fit to tell us. I expect that someday the Lord will tell us. If not, it is definitely one of the many questions I'm going to ask when I see him next.

Share this post


Link to post

You still have NOT answered my question as to why it is perfectly good answer in science, the arts, and in any other religion except the LDS. The Saints, and I, readily admit not to knowing everything. But that admission means nothing to you, or you use it as a cudgel against us.

I believe I did answer the question, but allow me to clarify.

"I don't know" IS a perfectly good answer, as long as it doesn't end there. Whether it be science, art or religion. The search for WHY should continue.

The OP seems to be implying that we should stop searching for an answer and accept "we don't know" as THE answer. Science does NOT accept "we don't know" as the definitive, final answer. Do you see the difference?

Share this post


Link to post

Just be prepared when someone does bring it up. Get Blacks in the Scriptures and Nobody Knows: The untold story of black Mormons and/or share with them this website Genesis Group

I spoke with a black sister(member for 15+ years) she told me she approached a black (not-LDS) genealogist about combining resourses to get more blacks interested in family history. The genealogist shot this sister down claiming her LDS Church was racist....yes, stranger than fiction.

If they bring it up I guess I'll just point out that even though the ban was sometimes implemented in a racist way, it was really about lineage rather than race.

Since I believe in pre-Adamites and a limited flood, I'm sure that black Africans were around before Cain or Ham, and I suppose there might be some today who aren't descended from them.

Even though I've noticed a few errors in material produced by the Genesis Group members (For example there's a picture someimes used that's supposed to be of Elijah Abel that's really a sketch that was made of someone else by an artist named Caroline Durieaux long after Abel was dead, and photoshopped to add his name -- see THIS thread.), I guess I'd still be okay with putting them in touch with them.

Share this post


Link to post

Scottie:

When we are asking about the things promoted by God. Then God is the only one that can answer that question.

No one that I know of has ever said that the search should not continue. I personally am seeking for it, but have yet to receive the answer. Of course I have my own speculations as to the answer, but then I readily admit that they are just my own speculations.

Share this post


Link to post

I think the official "we don't know" position is really a "the Church does not have an official position with respect to the causes of the prior practice" which is really another way of stating "the Brethren are not in agreement as to what were the causes of the prior practice--including its source and history (i.e., did it really start with Cain and Ham, or did it start with Brigham Young or Joseph Smith)." By stating that there is no official position, I think the Brethren have stepped away from the 1949 and 1969 official statements--which do take a position on some of those questions.

Share this post


Link to post

If they bring it up I guess I'll just point out that even though the ban was sometimes implemented in a racist way, it was really about lineage rather than race.

Will you really mention that the ban was sometimes implemented in a racist way? That is soo wrong and mean spirited too. Even Bruce R. suggested we should forget everything that was said/taught before the "78" revelation due to limited knowledge.

Since I believe in pre-Adamites and a limited flood, I'm sure that black Africans were around before Cain or Ham, and I suppose there might be some today who aren't descended from them.

Wow, what manuel is this taught in? and are you teaching this to the investigators? Are the missionaries supporting this also? For as long as I have been a member I was never taught this.

Even though I've noticed a few errors in material produced by the Genesis Group members (For example there's a picture someimes used that's supposed to be of Elijah Abel that's really a sketch that was made of someone else by an artist named Caroline Durieaux long after Abel was dead, and photoshopped to add his name -- see THIS thread.), I guess I'd still be okay with putting them in touch with them.

Since you noticed errors from Genesis Group you should email them with the corrections.

Share this post


Link to post

We don't need any amateur explanations. Why? Because we already have an official one:

August 17, 1949

The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have."

The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

George Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay

The First Presidency

I just threw up a little in my mouth. Does anyone else find this type of stuff unacceptable and disgusting, even as a faithful Latter-day Saint? Joseph Smith must have been rolling over in his grave.

H.

Share this post


Link to post
kamenraider: We don't need any amateur explanations. Why? Because we already have an official one:
August 17, 1949

The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have."

The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

George Albert Smith

J. Reuben Clark, Jr.

David O. McKay

The First Presidency

I just threw up a little in my mouth. Does anyone else find this type of stuff unacceptable and disgusting, even as a faithful Latter-day Saint? Joseph Smith must have been rolling over in his grave.

BY said the ban would end one day.

WW said the ban would end one day.

GAS said people choose to some unknown extent the circumstances under which they will be born.

Sorry, my friend from the Great White North, I don't get what it is that gives you discomfort.

That very DOM who signed that there letter in '49, while himself President of the Church, declared privately that he believed the ban was policy not doctrine, and sighed for the day when the ban would be lifted.

Share this post


Link to post

I just threw up a little in my mouth. Does anyone else find this type of stuff unacceptable and disgusting, even as a faithful Latter-day Saint? Joseph Smith must have been rolling over in his grave.

H.

You did make me laugh with that comment. You speak strongly, but I cannot disagree with your point. Why is it that when men are given authority, they either immediately or grow to abuse it. To quickly to they confuse the mantle of their calling with themselves as an individual. A prophet is only a prophet when he speaks as such; all other times he is no better or worse than every other man. It makes me sigh with regret, but I could do not better and I am a sinner with too many beams in my eye to consider getting the splinter out of another's.

Share this post


Link to post

Sorry, my friend from the Great White North, I don't get what it is that gives you discomfort.

That very DOM who signed that there letter in '49, while himself President of the Church, declared privately that he believed the ban was policy not doctrine, and sighed for the day when the ban would be lifted.

Here's something, for starters, that I really don't get:

The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time.

Where is this doctrine declared? Is it simply that BY declared it, and thus it is such? But, even if that is so, I really have a problem with this:

The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known,

First, where is this doctrine written?

Second, does this imply that one's mortal experience is dependent on something more than keeping one's first estate? In other words, were black's less valiant than white's in the premortal existence? And what of those who are born mentally retarded - were they less valiant than those who are able-minded? What of any of us who are afflicted with disease at birth? I mean, how far can we stretch this doctrine which has not been fully revealed yet implies a mortal experience that is punitive based on premortal worthiness?

Or, please, help me, am I misreading this?

H.

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...