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DanGB

Withholding the priesthood from blacks

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StuddleyG:

Agency yes, but I don't believe it was just the way thing were. But I think it had more to do with the fact that slave, of any color, are not free to act for themselves.

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Alma 13:1-5

1 And again, my brethren, I would cite your minds forward to the time when the Lord God gave these commandments unto his children; and I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people.

2 And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption.

3 And this is the manner after which they were ordained

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Seems to me that this issue was made moot more than a quarter of century ago, which makes me wonder why it continues to stick in the craw of some people. Is there something I can do to help those people get unstuck from the distant past and move on with their lives? Don't you think it about time to retire the bell bottom pants and the "we shall overcome" chant? :P

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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Seems to me that this issue was made moot more than a quarter of century ago, which makes me wonder why it continues to stick in the craw of some people. Is there something I can do to help those people get unstuck from the distant past and move on with their lives? Don't you think it about time to retire the bell bottom pants and the "we shall overcome" chant? :crazy:

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Because :P is a favorite pastime.

Glenn ;)

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The attitude of the Church with reference to the 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."
There seems to be a connection between rejecting the Spirit of God in the pre-mortal world and rejecting the power of the holy priesthood here.

The above verse mentions nothing regarding the preexistence. Following a pattern of the Lord's dealings with his children we see among other peoples, the actions of one generation can have lasting effects upon their posterity according to a larger plan known to the Lord and for which I offer no explanation. The Priesthood ban had nothing to do with "race" as commonly understood at all (unless one's benefit of the doubt runs against the Church no matter what else may be brought to the table) and everything to do with linage. It is black African's linage and its connection to an ancient ethnic group who were denied the right to the Priesthood that is important here, not any modern concept of "race".

The idea that black people were "less valiant" in the preexistence was never settled gospel doctrine. At best, it was a longstanding theological explanation offered within the context of the cultural biases that existed in the age in which it was formulated. Its fairly easy to understand how this idea was constructed. There is a body of teaching in the Church that, I think it safe to say, the vast majority of LDS would agree is true to the extent it has been revealed, which tells us that, as with this life (our second estate) our choices, faith, diligence and consistency in gaining light, knowledge and intelligence in the preexistent world (our first estate) have conditioned and, to some degree, determined the perimeters and specifically calibrated experiences of this life. This would be as true for a black person born in the deep South at the turn of the century, a Mongol born in the 12th century, or a Jew born in Germany just in time for the Holocaust. Are the experiences of all of these a direct expression of preexistent sloth?

Perhaps yes, and perhaps no. This is all a matter of "perhaps" because I'm convinced that each of our lives have been "fine tuned" by the Lord, whether that life lasts 80 years or eight minutes, to provide the body of experiences and perceptions that individual requires for his continued progression and exaltation. Those experiences will include contact with both the sweet and the bitter. I think it quite possible that being born at a certain time, under certain less than optimal circumstances, or with certain handicaps, could be just as much a reward for preexistent valiance as an indication of some lack of effort in the premortal world.

The key for me is that each of our lives involves specific developmental tasks, challenges and experiences that are key to us as eternal, spiritual beings moving through a mortal probationary state, and hence, reaching back into premortality to find an "explanation" for either a silver spoon or birth on the "wrong side of the tracks" is fraught with difficulties.

The continual cry of "racism!" whenever this (or numerous other similar issues) arises seems to me to be more like an intellectual trope than a serious reflective analysis, and one that has done as much damage, in its own way, to human happiness and civility as any forms of the old racism ever did.

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The 1949 First Presidency statement says:

There seems to be a connection between rejecting the Spirit of God in the pre-mortal world and rejecting the power of the holy priesthood here.

Kamenraider has the best music ever on his blog. Freaking sweet! Anybody with taste this good should be taken seriously and I am not joking.

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Although, I share your feelings, I still think that the topic has brought up some interesting issues relative to the idea. The question was not if it was doctrine, but if it was based on doctrine.

Obviously it was based on doctrine, but what doctrine or doctrines was it based on?

Obviousy you have answered your own question so it is up to you to find that doctrine and share it.

Was it based on the doctrine of the pre-existence? Was it based on the doctrine of obedience? Did it have something to do with valiancy as some have proposed?

No, No, No. Your questions are based on speculation not doctrine.

What do we learn because of it or what does it teach us?

That God knows more that us.

For instance, could it be considered another witness of the love that God has for His children?

~sigh~

I think there are a lot of things we could consider relative this topic that one may utilize to stretch their minds if they are inclined.

The problem is too much stretching leads to speculation and this topic has been overly speculated ....time to give it a rest and move on.

It may even be useful as an indicator of our agendas. For someone looking for an excuse not to live the gospel, it could provide a convenient excuse.

Agreed...convenient excuse

Or....Since we know so little in an official way, is it something that should be left for our individual ponderings???

Ponder away but whatever you come up with is just speculation.

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Kamenraider has the best music ever on his blog. Freaking sweet! Anybody with taste this good should be taken seriously and I am not joking.

Thanks. I was hesitant to put that stuff on there along with Church-related content, although I purposely tried to avoid songs with cussing. I plan on switching to a playlist of my favorite audio clips from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith when I switch my blog to being indexed by search engines (it's not now).

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Since the ban was merely policy and not doctrine, I assume that the decision to rescind the ban was also policy, and not doctrine; I assume that it is merely current policy, and not doctrine, that all worthy males may hold the priesthood regardless of lineage. I further assume that, therefore, the church might re-instate the ban sometime in the future. No?

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Since the ban was merely policy and not doctrine, I assume that the decision to rescind the ban was also policy, and not doctrine; I assume that it is merely current policy, and not doctrine, that all worthy males may hold the priesthood regardless of lineage. I further assume that, therefore, the church might re-instate the ban sometime in the future. No?

No. Read OD2.

Why speculate when you've got primary sources.

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All-Seeing Eye:

Yes he can. In fact he still maintains a ban to this day. Women can not hold the Priesthood. Further the Lord can say that all blue eyes blonds are hereafter denied the Priesthood. I'm not a blue eyed blond so it wouldn't effect me personally, and I see no reason for such a ban. But it is his call.

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The Church has stated quite clearly that the idea that blacks were less valiant is BUNK.

Where did "the Church" clearly state that?

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Since the statement involves claims of statements made by "the Church", I would expect a statement from a Church publication of some sort to satisfy the CFR.

Logical derivations on apologetic websites aren't exactly "the Church".

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cinepro:

That some members held that view is undisputed, but I know of nothing that shows that speculative belief to be Church doctrine. It is like trying to prove a negative. You can go through the Standard Works of the Church all you want. The doctrine of Blacks were less than valiant isn't there.

The closest I can come to a disclaimer is by BRM: "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President 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.

"http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/history/blacks/mcconkie_revelation.htm

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cinepro:

That some members held that view is undisputed, but I know of nothing that shows that speculative belief to be Church doctrine. It is like trying to prove a negative. You can go through the Standard Works of the Church all you want. The doctrine of Blacks were less than valiant isn't there.

The closest I can come to a disclaimer is by BRM: "Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President 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.

"http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/daily/history/blacks/mcconkie_revelation.htm

Which part of OD2 rebuts the idea that blacks might have been less valiant in the pre-existence?

I agree that the idea is based on speculation and conjecture, and that it can also be refuted with speculation and conjecture.

I was just curious what Selek was thinking of when he said "The Church has stated quite clearly that the idea that blacks were less valiant is BUNK," since he seemed to have specific comment in mind and I can't remember the Church ever clearly addressing the issue.

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cinepro:

To Whom It May Concern:

On September 30, 1978, at the 148th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following was presented by President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church:

In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously.

President Kimball has asked that I now read this letter:

June 8, 1978

To all general and local priesthood officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world:

Dear Brethren:

As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God

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No. Read OD2.

Why speculate when you've got primary sources.

What fun is there in that?

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Unless we know that God DID command the Ban (a matter of fierce and irrelevant debate), we cannot know why he ordered it.

Selek,

There is a huge disconnect in logic and reason with this statement. Unless we know God DID command the ban, for which there is no evidence, we have no reason believe such ban was commanded via revelation of doctrine. As far as I know, there has never been a statement from the Church as to when and where this was revealed as doctrine. Accordingly, blacks became singled out based upon skin color, and it obviously had nothing to do with "worthiness", which is why IMHO a Church apology is long overdue.

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Selek,

There is a huge disconnect in logic and reason with this statement. Unless we know God DID command the ban, for which there is no evidence, we have no reason believe such ban was commanded via revelation of doctrine. As far as I know, there has never been a statement from the Church as to when and where this was revealed as doctrine. Accordingly, blacks became singled out based upon skin color, and it obviously had nothing to do with "worthiness", which is why IMHO a Church apology is long overdue.

In the documentary called Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons Rev. Cecil Murray was interviewed and he said President Hinckley apologized to him for the church's role in slavery and racism in America.

We have come Full Circle...... This video costs $25, get it, watch it then pass it on...unless you just enjoy :P

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Selek,

Accordingly, blacks became singled out based upon skin color,

Impossible, if we are going to be conceptually coherent about this. As has already been pointed out, peoples of other nationalities and ethnic backgrounds, with skins as dark or darker than many Africans, were never restricted from the Melchizedek Priesthood. Blacks were "singled out", if that is the correct term, because of linage.

and it obviously had nothing to do with "worthiness", which is why IMHO a Church apology is long overdue.

If the ban was an inspired policy, then "apologizing" for it would place the Brethren in conflict with the highest president of the Church, Jesus Christ, and appear to the world as a sign of submission to the secular world, and when the secular world smells blood, it goes for the throbbing throat of its prey.

I'm personally satisfied that the ban was something the Lord desired, for whatever reason, for the time it lasted, and I do not see this as in any essentials different from the other priesthood bans that have existed in history (most of the world's people, if the gospel history of this planet is an indication, have been under a "priesthood ban" for most of their histories. White Europeans were under an effective ban, by having the gospel removed from them, for almost two thousand years. Indeed, the entire world was under a gospel ban from the final disappearance of the Church (end of the 2nd century?), to the opening of this dispensation).

Shall we "get over it"?

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In the documentary called Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons Rev. Cecil Murray was interviewed and he said President Hinckley apologized to him for the church's role in slavery and racism in America.

The 19th century LDS were generally abolitionist in their sentiments. What role did the early Mormon church play is slavery and racism? I think perhaps the Rev. Murray should be tasked with a CFR here.

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Selek,

There is a huge disconnect in logic and reason with this statement.

Only if one approaches it with certain ideological blinder on.
Unless we know God DID command the ban, for which there is no evidence, we have no reason believe such ban was commanded via revelation of doctrine.

This statement is false. There is considerable evidence to suggest that the ban was commanded- despite it's never having been doctrine (nice attempt at sleight of hand there, by the way). It is far more accurate to say that rhere is no conclusive proof.

The mere fact that it took so long to overturn despite the earnest prayers of both membership and members of the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency indicates that there was more to it than the mere "whims of men".

Had it been mere error a/o prejudice on the part of the leaders of the period, David O. McKay and the others would have been able to overturn the policy out of hand. That it took years of earnest supplication and prayerful petitioning of the Lord indicates that the Lord did not want the Ban overturned before 1978- which shoots the "them Marminz is just biguts" rationale in the foot.

As far as I know, there has never been a statement from the Church as to when and where this was revealed as doctrine.
That's because it never was doctrine. It was policy, despite your earnest and fervent wishes to the contary.
Accordingly, blacks became singled out based upon skin color, and it obviously had nothing to do with "worthiness", which is why IMHO a Church apology is long overdue.

Your opinion is worth precisely what we paid for it- and I (for one) want a refund.
Blacks were singled out because of lineage, not skin color.
False again. You're repeating an anti-Mormon (and politically correct) myth as though it were a Gospel truth, and in so doing, you are speaking ill of the Lord's anointed.

Just for the record- had the Ban not been lifted in 1978, I would have been barred from the Priesthood based on my lineage- despite the fact that my skin color appears downright Nordic.

In the antebellum South, I'd be called mulatto or Creole- though my grandfather and his father would have been found dripping from a tree for "dallying" with white women.

No one owes me an apology- nor do they owe my grandfathers, great-grandfathers, nor anyone else.

They were not deprived (by the Church) of anything to which they were entitled.

The Priesthood belongs to the Lord, and is his to bestow as he sees fit. There is no right to the Priesthood.

None.

If the Lord were to suddenly decide tomorrow to limit his Priesthood to one-legged marsupials named Fred, then that's his right- and none of us would have any right to complain.

As has been stated, you are flogging a dead horse.

You are engaging in baseless gossip, wild speculation, and politically-correct race-baiting in an effort to justify your own ark-steadying and to grant yourself an undeserved pat on the back for being so "enlightened".

You are speaking ill of the Lord's annointed and engaging in meaningless posturing and empty rhetoric for the sole purpose of massaging your own ego.

I suggest that your ponder the simple fact that it is a privilege and a blessing to be a member of this Church- not a right.

It is a privilege and a blessing to hold the Priesthood.

It is a gift- a commission and a trust granted by a benificent Heavenly Father, not a rite of passage or a mile-stone you can check off based upon years of membership.

None of us- not Gordon B.Hinckley, Thomas Monson, Jerry Lewis, or Mickey Mouse- have ANY RIGHT to the Priesthood.

It is not our due.

It is not our birthright.

It is not our heritage.

It is a privelege from the Lord than he can revoke or extend at any time.

Until you come up with solid, substantive, proof that the Church acted wrongly, you're just another *** braying in the field, proclaiming himself king of all he surveys.

Until you come up with solid, substantive, proof that the Church acted wrongly, you're just trumpeting your own preference for Babylon over Zion.

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