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Olavarria

The Priesthood Ban

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This is interesting:

I remember one day that President [David O.] McKay came into the office. We could see that he was very much distressed. He said, "I've had it! I'm not going to do it again!" Somebody said, "What?" He said, "Well, I'm badgered constantly about giving the priesthood to the Negro. I've inquired of the Lord repeatedly. The last time I did it was late last night. I was told, with no discussion, not to bring the subject up with the Lord again; that the time will come, but it will not be my time, and to leave the subject alone." We were all, of course, a little dumbstruck. I don't think it has ever been written that that happened.... I've never told anybody about that. I can still see him coming in with a bit of a distraught appearance, which was unusual for President McKay. He always appeared as if he had everything under control.

--interview with Richard Jackson (an architect for the Church Building Department 1968-1970) quoted in Gregory A. Prince and Wm. Robert Wright, David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, SLC: Univ. of Utah Press 2005, pg. 104.

If the ban had been a mistake, then why would the Lord tell David O. McKay not to ask him about it again?

Another quote regarding the ban having originated with Joseph Smith:

Prest. A. O. Smoot said, W. W. Patten, Warren Parrish and Thomas B. Marsh were laboring in the Southern States in 1835 and 1836. There were Negro's who made application for Baptism, and the question arose with them whether Negro's were entitled to hold the Priesthood, and by those brethren it was decided they would not confer the Priesthood until they had consulted the Prophet Joseph, and subsequently they communicated with him, and his decision, as I understood, was they were not entitled to the Priesthood, nor yet to be baptized without the consent of their masters. In after years when I became acquainted with Joseph myself, in Far West, about the year 1838, I received from Joseph substantially the same instructions. It was on my application to him what should be done with the Negro in the South as I was preaching to them? He said I could baptize them by the consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them.

--L. John Nuttall journal, May 31, 1879.

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This is interesting:

If the ban had been a mistake, then why would the Lord tell David O. McKay not to ask him about it again?

Another quote regarding the ban having originated with Joseph Smith:

So I disagree with this. So what. I think this is a great point. It is clear and it cuts right to what I would consider the real point of the thread. Why apologize for something that is ordained by God and therefore requires no apology? The reason? The Lord commanded it. There it is. Done. Now if we are supposed to be a peculiar people, then who cares what people think. The elect hear the Lord's voice so what is the big deal? This makes way more sense then entering into some convoluted rational trying to place our prophets as "products of their time" when it is convenient. This approach has clarity and integrity in my opinion. I don't agree with the point of view but I can respect it as a clear religious belief. If I really believed in the church, then this is the route I would go. I mean what other route is there that is not about rationalizations and jumping through hoops?

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Pres. Monson owes no one an apology, for the statements were not his. Our past leaders all acted to the best of their understanding, and were consistent with the best of men of their day.

You are basically saying that the best men of their day were no better than racists. I bet there were plenty of better men that were not racists. If our past leaders are consistent with the best men of their day and act to the best of that level of understanding, then how does that make them any different than any other man of their day especially considering that plenty of men were not racicts?

Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. How are we defining racism? The assumption that one race is inferior to another. Was it typical of their day to assume Blacks were less intelligent? Sounds like it was. So one man might incorrectly assume Blacks are inferior mentally, but treat them kindly. Another man might incorrectly assume Blacks are inferior mentally, and treat them like dirt. Are both racist? I suppose. Yet there's a vast difference between the two. So yes, the best of men of that day were probably racist since they were not properly educated nor exposed to the fact that a black man is not deficient. The typical black man of that day had not had the opportunity yet to reach his potential as far as education. A man shows his true character in how he treats his fellow man despite his wrong assumption about him.

The fact is our leaders hold themselves out to their members and the world as prophets, seers and revelators and as such represent God. When it comes to the priesthood ban etc. That is precisly the reason why it bugs new members, prospective members and non members. You can't have it both ways. If you hold them to no higher standard than the prevailing wind and men of the day, then fine you are left with a poor excuse but at least an excuse for no apology. If you hold them anywhere close as prophets representing God and His Church, then Monson should apologize. This is not an issue of past prophets and GAs acting as men etc. This is an issue of prophets and GAs representing the Church acting as racists with their words and implementing and sustaining racist policies. Can you at least see where I am coming from?

They speak for God, but they are not God. They are men. They are not perfect. No prophet throughout history was perfect. Yes, I do hold them to a higher standard. I expect them to be kind, honest, honorable, of the highest integrity, humble and obedient to God. But they are trying to live their lives just like everybody else. They deal with the same potholes and hurdles as everybody else. They get angry, frustrated, embarrassed, cranky, tired, and say stupid things, just like everybody else. But when it comes to running this church, God steps in and takes the controls.

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Another quote regarding the ban having originated with Joseph Smith:
Prest. A. O. Smoot said, W. W. Patten, Warren Parrish and Thomas B. Marsh were laboring in the Southern States in 1835 and 1836. There were Negro's who made application for Baptism, and the question arose with them whether Negro's were entitled to hold the Priesthood, and by those brethren it was decided they would not confer the Priesthood until they had consulted the Prophet Joseph, and subsequently they communicated with him, and his decision, as I understood, was they were not entitled to the Priesthood, nor yet to be baptized without the consent of their masters. In after years when I became acquainted with Joseph myself, in Far West, about the year 1838, I received from Joseph substantially the same instructions. It was on my application to him what should be done with the Negro in the South as I was preaching to them? He said I could baptize them by the consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them.

--L. John Nuttall journal, May 31, 1879.

That's quite interesting, but the plain language involves a ban on giving the priesthood to black slaves. The issue of priesthood for free blacks is not addressed.

It would, of course, be helpful if the alleged exchange had been written down closer to the event. 43-44 years is quite a long time and a lot of things might have occurred in the interim to affect Br. Nuttall's memory of the event.

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That's quite interesting, but the plain language involves a ban on giving the priesthood to black slaves. The issue of priesthood for free blacks is not addressed.

It would, of course, be helpful if the alleged exchange had been written down closer to the event. 43-44 years is quite a long time and a lot of things might have occurred in the interim to affect Br. Nuttall's memory of the event.

But the quote doesn't say that slaves can be ordained to the priesthood with consent of their masters, and from the other quote in that post, we can also see that the Lord still was unwilling that blacks should receive the priesthood as late as the late 1960's.

Do you think Abraham Smoot mistakenly remembered that the issue was brought up at all, or only that (in two separate instances, no less) Joseph Smith said that blacks should not receive the priesthood?

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Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. How are we defining racism? The assumption that one race is inferior to another. Was it typical of their day to assume Blacks were less intelligent? Sounds like it was. So one man might incorrectly assume Blacks are inferior mentally, but treat them kindly. Another man might incorrectly assume Blacks are inferior mentally, and treat them like dirt. Are both racist? I suppose. Yet there's a vast difference between the two. So yes, the best of men of that day were probably racist since they were not properly educated nor exposed to the fact that a black man is not deficient. The typical black man of that day had not had the opportunity yet to reach his potential as far as education. A man shows his true character in how he treats his fellow man despite his wrong assumption about him.

They speak for God, but they are not God. They are men. They are not perfect. No prophet throughout history was perfect. Yes, I do hold them to a higher standard. I expect them to be kind, honest, honorable, of the highest integrity, humble and obedient to God. But they are trying to live their lives just like everybody else. They deal with the same potholes and hurdles as everybody else. They get angry, frustrated, embarrassed, cranky, tired, and say stupid things, just like everybody else. But when it comes to running this church, God steps in and takes the controls.

So your higher standard for a prophet is kind, honest, honorable, or the highest integrigy, humble and obedient. These are the standards of any man trying to live a good life. But that is your point right? Well, if my dad or some dude was leading the church as man fine. But leading the church as a prophet, no way. Your standards for a prophet don't included any expectations for that person to act in the capacity of a prophet, seer and revelator at all. Why is this? Well, if you did hold them to this standard then you would be forced to conclude that God implemented and sustained this racist policy for a long time and tolerated racist statements from the pulpit in conference, or maybe God was cool with that because they were tired and cranky that day.

This issue should not be about prophets being a product of their times or that they are just human. Throw that excuse on some other issue but not this one. The priesthood ban was implemented by a prophet in the capacity of a prophet and was sustained by future prophets and GAs acting in the same capacity. Statments were made and letters were written by GAs representing their callings and the Lords church. There is no way around it. You want to throw the whole human argument out there and then not actually deal with the logical ramifications of such a rational.

For me the way better reason is simple. God has discriminated with his people throught scriptural history for various reasons and he did it in his restored church as well. God stepped in and took the controls on this issue through his annointed leaders. He told them what to do and inspired them to speak from the pulpit in conference and manage this issue as His representatives. The fact that it seems many of these dudes were possibly actually racists is beside the point. If I still had a testimony, then how else are you supposed to look at it? What other reason could you possibly give for the ban and the racist statements? Do you realy think God just was yawning or something when this went down and overlooked it? Do you really thing he would allow this annointed leaders to have no spirit of revelation regarding this issue even as the same men acted in the capacity of a prophet and GAs for like 150 years? Do you really think that God would let his prophet simply do what he personally wants regarding this issue? He is not exactly choosing what cheese he wants with his ham sandwich here. If you really believe the prophets and GAs were acting as men in the context of their times on this issue, then you don't have prophets, seers and revelators running the church. How could you tell when they were acting for God while leading the church or acting as a man? I think it is safe to assume that church members during this period received a spiritual confirmation of this doctrine as set down from their leaders. To not think that is insulting to them, to the station and purpose of a prophet and maybe to God himself.

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Elder George F. Richards

Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles

Conference Reports, April 1939

Punishment of Those Not Valiant

The negro is an unfortunate man. He has been given a black skin.

But that is as nothing compared with that greater handicap that he is not permitted to receive the Priesthood and the ordinances of the temple, necessary to prepare men and women to enter into and enjoy a fulness of glory in the celestial kingdom.

What is the reason for this condition, we ask, and I find it to my satisfaction to think that as spirit children of our Eternal Father they were not valiant in the fight. We are told that Michael and his angels fought, and we understand that we stood with Christ our Lord, on the platform, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." I cannot conceive our Father consigning his children to a condition such as that of the negro race, if they had been valiant in the spirit world in that war in heaven. Neither could they have been a part of those who rebelled and were cast down, for the latter had not the privilege of tabernacling in the flesh. Somewhere along the line were these spirits, indifferent perhaps, and possibly neutral in the war. We have no definite knowledge concerning this. But I learn this lesson from it, brethren and sisters, and I believe we all should, that it does not pay in religious matters, matters that pertain to our eternal salvation, to be indifferent, neutral, or lukewarm. he Lord, through one of his servants, addressing the angel of the church of the Laodiceans, said:

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou were cold or hot.

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.

To members of the Church I would ask, are any of us of that class today-lukewarm, indifferent and neutral-a lesson to be learned from the experiences of others who have gone before. I firmly believe that God had something to do with the recording of these events, and having them preserved and handed down to us from generation to generation, that we might read, and reading, profit thereby. We are under direct command of the Lord to search the scriptures, where these things are contained. We have been admonished in this conference so to do.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard

Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles

Conference Reports, April 1939

It is written in our own revelations that only those that can abide the celestial law can endure celestial glory. As we sow so shall we reap. We are reaping now, here on the earth. Blessed and fortunate are we, the sons of Joseph, the descendants of Israel, for we are reaping the consequence of our righteousness before ever we lived on this earth. Just as Brother George F. Richards has indicated that our poor benighted negro brethren are suffering the consequence of their sowing at some other time and place, so as certainly shall we hereafter reap what we are sowing here and now.

President George F. Richards

President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles

Conference Reports, October 1947

The Negro race have been forbidden the priesthood, and the higher temple blessings, presumably because of their not having been valiant while in the spirit. It does not pay to be anything but valiant.

Elder Melvin J. Ballard.

(President of Northwestern States Mission.)

Conference Reports, April 1915

My brethren and sisters, we are here reaping the reward of our, former labors, and we are going hereafter to reap the consequences of our lives and works here. We know, from the doctrines that we have received, that men and women have existed before coming into this life, for countless ages, and that we have been developing certain qualities, and the reason we are separated into great classes, as the Negro race and the other races on the earth, is not a matter of caprice. God did not take three beautiful children yesterday morning, and say to one, You go to the Negro woman, and to another one, You go to that Chinese mother, and to another, You go down to that beautiful Christian home. In my opinion, there were classes and races, and separation into different groups and conditions before we came to this world, and all are getting what they are entitled to receive here. But this is as far as we will travel together, for after this life, some will get a celestial glory, and some a terrestrial glory, and some a telestial, and we will no longer journey in a great class, or in a great company, made up of all classes. I believe that, while there will be classes in the spheres to which we will belong, we shall be grouped on separate planets. If we comply with all requirements we will be prepared to go into the highest places for further advancement, and that is celestial glory, and it is gained by obedience to celestial law. The celestial abode will be upon this redeemed earth, for God has declared that it will fulfill the purpose for which He has created it, and it will no longer need to have the light of the sun by day nor moon and stars by night, but will have power to emit its own light. It shall be the home of those who overcome, and who have kept the law, and who have measured up to all the requirements.

Re: "erroneous speculation"

Isn't an apostle or other General Authority speaking in general conference entitled to an automatic presumption that he is "speaking as a prophet"? If not, why should anyone ever listen to general conference?

What is the objective standard for determining whether "a prophet is speaking as a prophet"?

If apostles and other church leaders are teaching the philosophies of men mingled with scripture, doesn't that mean " they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof"?

Isn't religious leaders intermingling their personal interpretations with "truth" exactly the apostasy that made the restoration of the gospel necessary?

I'm beginning to feel like a broken record....I know Bruce R. McConkie was not a prophet but he is/was very inspired.

"All Are Alike unto God". Speech given Aug 1978...oops this doesn't work.

"All Are Alike unto God" Hope this link works!

"Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever 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.

We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don

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I will tell you one good reason why the Church needs a reason for the ban on the priesthood. I guy that just moved out of my ward is black. He and his family converted 7 years ago. Has a few kids and even his mom joined like last year. She would always attend our gospel principles class. Great family. Really. He always made the most sincere comments in class. Beautiful teenage kids. So a couple months ago I hear that he has stopped going to church because of not only the priesthood ban (he knew the highlights of this and by highlights I mean the super general explanation for his missionaries) but also many of the other racist comments and stuff by leaders.

So this is a big deal in our ward and in his new ward and a group is sent over to try to talk to him and have them come back. Well a friend of his wound up saying some diparaging things to him about his church being racist because he is black and he can't see how a black person could tolerate being a member of the LDS church.. He disagreed and told the guy he was wrong. He then went online and that is when he really got pissed. He pulled his family from churhc. They are all on board and pissed.

Look, I know that sometimes on this board empathy for guys like this runs a little dry. The fact is this is real life. This is what members are going through who have a testimony in the church and then lose over stuff like this.

So yeah, when you are sitting accross from a formerly sincere believing black member who is pissed/embarrassed/disgusted and is looking you in the eye and asking you the why for all the racist statements, ban and history with the church................yeah, "I don't know" from the prophet does not cut it. And that is just an I don't know regarding the priesthood ban. What about the racist statements? For those there is not even an I don't know from our prophet. There is silence. I am telling you that apologetics just does not cut it in situations like these. What we needed was an explanation from our prophet by the spirit of revelation. A statement like this from our prophet would be truth and if delivered with sincerity (which we were) would at least have a chance of delivering the holy ghost to the guy. I don't know does not deliver anything.

Do I expect Monson to chase and try to explain every apologetic situation? Of course not. Would I expect a prophet of God to step up on something like this and provide a clear reason and explanation by the spirit of revelation? Yeah. Guys like this deserve it and I am telling you there are more situation like this than you may think. I think the priesthood ban and the accompanying cloud of racism should be hit by our prophet head on.

Get this documentary, the black members love it. Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons

The black members in my ward/stake had to get past this issue. I loaned Nobody Knows and Blacks in the Scriptures to new black member...ward mission leader wasn't happy (uncomfortable with discussing the ban)...anyway Damien was grateful I shared.

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I'm beginning to feel like a broken record....I know Bruce R. McConkie was not a prophet but he is/was very inspired.

"All Are Alike unto God". Speech given Aug 1978

"Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever 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.

We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don

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"Some are heralding the fact that there was one of colored blood, Elijah Abel, who was ordained a Seventy in the early days. They go to the Church chronology and find the date of this ordination, and hold that up as saying that we departed from what was started way back, but they forget that also in Church history is another interesting observation. President Joseph F. Smith is quoted in a statement under date of August 26, 1908, when he referred to Elijah Abel who was ordained a Seventy in the days of the Prophet and to whom was issued a Seventy's certificate. This ordination, when found out, was declared null and void by the Prophet himself and so likewise by the next three presidents who succeeded the Prophet Joseph. Somehow because of a little lapse, or a little failure to do research properly, some people reach a conclusion that they had wanted to reach and to make it appear as though something had been done way back from which we had departed and which now ought to be set in order."

--Harold B. Lee, April 19, 1961, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1961, pg. 7.

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"Some are heralding the fact that there was one of colored blood, Elijah Abel, who was ordained a Seventy in the early days. They go to the Church chronology and find the date of this ordination, and hold that up as saying that we departed from what was started way back, but they forget that also in Church history is another interesting observation. President Joseph F. Smith is quoted in a statement under date of August 26, 1908, when he referred to Elijah Abel who was ordained a Seventy in the days of the Prophet and to whom was issued a Seventy's certificate. This ordination, when found out, was declared null and void by the Prophet himself and so likewise by the next three presidents who succeeded the Prophet Joseph. Somehow because of a little lapse, or a little failure to do research properly, some people reach a conclusion that they had wanted to reach and to make it appear as though something had been done way back from which we had departed and which now ought to be set in order."

--Harold B. Lee, April 19, 1961, BYU Speeches of the Year, 1961, pg. 7.

Sounds like he must have been having a bad product of his times day.

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Sounds like he must have been having a bad product of his times day.

Naw . . . rather, it's that no good thing cometh out of Provost.

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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.

What is interesting is not the Ban itself but the concept that through the Ban we can see the church as a Threefold institution.

1. A Religious Institution.

2. A Political institution.

3. A Fallible institution.

People don't like to talk about it as they are faced with the Statement from Mckay that it was a policy, not a doctrine. And then in the next sentence from earlier leaders that it is a doctrine not a policy.

My experience in arguing to find a "reason" has lead me to conclude the inquirer presupposes one of two things: Either we can know the reasoning of God (it was a revealed by God) or it was a man made decision (see the church is fallible). We can't know the reasoning of God through rationality and argument so those who want a reason are really looking for a segway or backdoor into the topic, "Oh Look, the church is imperfect". But so what. The church is imperfect. There are contradicting reports about doctrine or policy from the highest leaders when suggests when more that it was a man made directive and not revealed.

The question matters in as much as we want to be able to look at the institution of the Church as an entity that is in reality more than a simple, perfect, transcendent entity that can't make mistakes. Those that don't want to go there are welcome to move on - I am sure it won't effect our exaltation.

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So was the denial of the preisthood to blacks doctrine or just speculation?

False dichotomy.

So, in the same vein, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

The Priesthood Ban was policy, not doctrine, but it need not have been speculative.

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bump

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False dichotomy.

So, in the same vein, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

The Priesthood Ban was policy, not doctrine, but it need not have been speculative.

It would be clearer to ask if the idea for the ban (e.g. the policy itself) came from God or from man.

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It would be clearer to ask if the idea for the ban (e.g. the policy itself) came from God or from man.

While it might be clearer, it is also a useless exercise.

The only correct, honest, factually sustainable answer to that question is, "We don't know."

Any other response is mere speculation.

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While it might be clearer, it is also a useless exercise.

The only correct, honest, factually sustainable answer to that question is, "We don't know."

Any other response is mere speculation.

There's a difference between "We don't know if God commanded it" and "We don't know why God commanded it".

If the answer from Church leaders (and found among Church members generally) is the former, I would consider that extremely useful progress.

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There's a difference between "We don't know if God commanded it" and "We don't know why God commanded it".

If the answer from Church leaders (and found among Church members generally) is the former, I would consider that extremely useful progress.

Excellent question of distinguishment. And to the point, there is no evidence that it was commanded by God. This, IMO, is at the root of the "we don't know" mantra we are supposed to accept. I beleive it substitutes for the real honest answer: "we don't want to talk about it".

Which is why we need an official apology before we can move forward with the African American community here in the US.

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Excellent question of distinguishment. And to the point, there is no evidence that it was commanded by God. This, IMO, is at the root of the "we don't know" mantra we are supposed to accept. I beleive it substitutes for the real honest answer: "we don't want to talk about it".

Which is why we need an official apology before we can move forward with the African American community here in the US.

This bigoted matra is getting tiresome, DanGB.

We are ALREADY moving forward with the African American community.

It is ark-steadiers and apostates such as yourself who cannot let go.

Let me state this as bluntly as I know how:

We DON'T KNOW whether the Ban originated with God or with man.

IF the Ban did originate with GOD, then we have no business apologizing for it. To do so would be to "spit in God's eye" and place the need for political correctness and racial appeasement before our loyalty to God.

Were we to offer an (empty) apology for something the Lord decreed, then we would CEASE to be his Church and become but one more denomination of Babylon.

If it is ever proven conclusively that the Ban DID NOT originate with God, I'll be the first one in line outside the Church Headquarters Building demanding that the Church fess up and state it this boldly.

Until then, however, "We don't know" is the ONLY honest answer we can offer.

Until it is determined specifically and clearly that the Ban was not God's will, we have no business grovelling before Babylon, begging for forgiveness- no matter how much you crave thier pat on the head.

As far as apologies go, there is no need.

No one now alive was harmed by the Ban.

No one has been deprived of blessings to which they were entitled.

There is no demonstrable harm extending from the Ban.

None.

There is no demonstrable ill-intent. There is no evidence that this Ban was placed maliciously, nor is there any evidence that the Ban was enforced capriciously or with ill-will.

Where there was no harm and no malice, there is no need to apologize.

Those who reject the Church over this issue are those whose focus on the temporal and banal would preclude them from attaining Zion in any event.

If the Spirit whispers the truthfulness of this Church and this Gospel to them, and they then reject that witness because of an historical anachronism that does not affect them in any way, then they are more loyal to Babylon than to Christ.

If their hearts are set upon Zion and their loyalty is to their Savior and Redeemer, then the Ban will not keep them from Zion.

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False dichotomy.

So, in the same vein, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

The Priesthood Ban was policy, not doctrine, but it need not have been speculative.

Was it God's policy?

H.

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Excellent question of distinguishment. And to the point, there is no evidence that it was commanded by God. This, IMO, is at the root of the "we don't know" mantra we are supposed to accept. I beleive it substitutes for the real honest answer: "we don't want to talk about it".

Which is why we need an official apology before we can move forward with the African American community here in the US.

I don't mind talking about it...I gave the lesson on The Priesthood yesterday in RS and I brought up the ban and we discussed it. I will say some sisters did look uncomfortable but the lesson went well. I agree people just don't want to talk about it but then again they don't like to talk about polygamy either.

I don't think the Church will ever offer up an official apology, but if you absolutely neeeeed one get Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons-- that may be the closest you will ever get.

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Was it God's policy?

H.

We don't know.

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We don't know.

But, just to distinguish, is there a difference between:

1) God's policy

2) A policy of the COJCoLDS?

H.

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