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zelder

Priesthood Ban

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Wait... so let me get this straight...

One prophet can flippantly use his priesthood keys, without consulting God, to initiate a wrong teaching/action/procedure/tradition (what have you) and God is bound to honor it, but a subsequent prophet, holding the same keys, cannot exercise those same keys to do away with a wrongly implemented action without begging and pleading with God to authorize him to reverse something he already knows is wrong?

Seems you are grasping at straws here, my good man.

Think what you will. I have good reason for thinking this way. it doesn't matter that you think I'm grasping at straws. I think this is based on quite solid ground.

Ed Goble

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In reading through many of the above rationalizations for the ban, I have to ask, whatever happened to "the prophet will not lead the Church astray"?

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In reading through many of the above rationalizations for the ban, I have to ask, whatever happened to "the prophet will not lead the Church astray"?

Why do you believe that the prophet led the church astray if the Lord used something to his own purposes?

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In reading through many of the above rationalizations for the ban, I have to ask, whatever happened to "the prophet will not lead the Church astray"?

I guess you'd have to define what it means to "lead the Church astray." Certainly, the brethren are fallible, and mistakes are made. Mark Hoffman's duping of the Church authorities is a good example. Articles in the Ensign discussing the significance of the "finds," rationalizations about white salamanders . . . in the end alls it really shows is how important it is to have a firm testimony grounded in Christ, Joseph Smith, and the Book of Mormon. Then all the little diversions become just that . . . little diversions.

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In reading through many of the above rationalizations for the ban, I have to ask, whatever happened to "the prophet will not lead the Church astray"?

I think literally a prophet CAN lead the church astray for a while, but course corrections will be made eventually.

Then again, my opinions are hardly orthodox.

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Wait... so let me get this straight...

One prophet can flippantly use his priesthood keys, without consulting God, to initiate a wrong teaching/action/procedure/tradition (what have you) and God is bound to honor it, but a subsequent prophet, holding the same keys, cannot exercise those same keys to do away with a wrongly implemented action without begging and pleading with God to authorize him to reverse something he already knows is wrong?

Seems you are grasping at straws here, my good man.

Oh, one more thing. your use of the word flippantly here I think is out of order. I don't think Brigham Young did stuff like this lightly.

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Why do you believe that the prophet led the church astray if the Lord used something to his own purposes?

I suppose I see no reason to believe the ban had anything to do the Lord's purpose. Looking back, it just seems completely earthbound and unethical.

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I think literally a prophet CAN lead the church astray for a while, but course corrections will be made eventually.

Then again, my opinions are hardly orthodox.

Well, your opinion seems to be well grounded if we look at the evidence objectively and pragmatically, rather than dogmatically.

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Yes, God uses stuff for his purposes, which is why he didn't inspire the brethren for the ban to be lifted immediately, despite the fact that David O. McKay pleaded for it. All things have to be done in order, and according to the Lord's timing. This doesn't demonstrate that the ban was inspired in the sense of coming from God originally. But you cannot forget that Brigham Young used the keys of his priesthood to do what he did, by declaring that Blacks could not have it, right or wrong. And God honored his priesthood keys. which goes to show, when someone has priesthood keys, they need to be incredibly careful with the way they use them. Because if they institute something by abusing their priesthood keys, and heaven is bound to honor it, then they will be ultimately held accountable for the results of what happens when those things are bound in heaven. That doesn't mean that Brigham Young abused his keys. It only means that he used them the best he knew how. That which is bound on earth is bound in heaven, right or wrong. So the use of the keys of the priesthood in this thing is a key to understand why it wasn't just something that could be lifted procedurally, and that it was something that was so weighty, despite the fact that it was based on incorrect tradition. this is the concept that Joseph Smith was referring to here, where, despite what a prophet does incorrectly, the use of his priesthood keys are still honored:

"Noah was a righteous man, and yet he drank wine and became intoxicated; the Lord did not forsake him in consequence thereof, for he retained all the power of his priesthood, and when he was accused by Canaan, he cursed him by the priesthood which he held, and the Lord had respect to his word, and the priesthood which he held"

So whether or not some people like fundamentalists think that the Manifesto was inspired, right or wrong, the priesthood keys have been used to suspend plural marriage. It is bound in heaven that plural marriage is suspended, by the use of those keys. People can argue till they are blue in the face about the rightness or wrongness of something or whether something is inspired or not. But the priesthood ban could not be lifted without using the same priesthood keys that implemented it, and without the Lord saying that it was time, regardless of how it was implemented to begin with. No doubt Brigham Young was doing it with the best light he had at the time. To say that it was bigotry is unfair, because we all do what we do with the best light at the time we had when we did it. We seldom know whether certain things we do were right or wrong until we have hindsight, even though to us at the time we might feel that we are justified, or that we are making the right decision. Now, on the priesthood issue we have hindsight, and certain people are trying to blame Brigham Young for not having the same hindsight. That is silly.

Similarly, a suspension in plural marriage can never be lifted until priesthood keys lift it. Not that it should be. Not that we hope for it. But it isn't a procedural thing. It would take the same kind of revelation that lifted the priesthood ban to lift the suspension on plural marriage. So the fundamentalists are wrong on this point, regardless of how the Manifesto came to be.

Ed Goble

I agree with you Ed, it doesn't happen often but I do agree with you on this. If people feel that I am calling President Young a biogt, they are not understanding what I am saying. Only God can determine the character and heart of President Young. I too feel that he did not feel that what he wa doing was wrong and even probally felt that it was the will of god.

His actions though, the priesthood ban, was an action that's based in racism. The action was bigoted, I do not doubt this, at that time most people acted in bigoted ways. His actions are racist, only Christ can determine if President Young as a person is a bigot or racist and what impact that has on his enternal progression. I feel that it will not impact his progression, he will be forgiven of his weaknesses like we all can when we finite best to live after the example of Christ. We all have weaknesses, and God gives us weaknesses to let us grow and become better and stronger.

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As it is always said revelation doesn't happen in a vacuum,

Making up stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum either.

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Now, many years later I read a thread like this and I have to marvel at the capacity for the Church and its members to make a shift in their attitudes. I did have Utah relatives who went to their graves not being able to make this shift, but I see the younger generations have incorporated the change admirably.

Stick around. You ain't seen nothing yet!

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Making up stuff doesn't happen in a vacuum either.
\

:P That is hilarious on soooooo many levels.

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Modern conceptions of racism and bigotry simply do not apply in this case. The words have no meaning in the innocence of the time where people assumed that it was correct thinking. And when I say innocence, I mean precisely that. People were naively thinking that that was good thinking!! They were brought up with those beliefs. They had no reason to have skepticism against those beliefs. Nobody introduced to them the idea that they should question it. These word, bigotry and racism, only have meaning in our day when people should know better. That is why I say that it is a cultural construct of the time in which Brigham Young lived, NOT bigotry,and NOT racism. Just a plain cultural construct that has been abandoned in a more enlightened time, and now we have a priesthood policy to match.

Ed Goble

I agree with you Ed, it doesn't happen often but I do agree with you on this. If people feel that I am calling President Young a biogt, they are not understanding what I am saying. Only God can determine the character and heart of President Young. I too feel that he did not feel that what he wa doing was wrong and even probally felt that it was the will of god.

His actions though, the priesthood ban, was an action that's based in racism. The action was bigoted, I do not doubt this, at that time most people acted in bigoted ways. His actions are racist, only Christ can determine if President Young as a person is a bigot or racist and what impact that has on his enternal progression. I feel that it will not impact his progression, he will be forgiven of his weaknesses like we all can when we finite best to live after the example of Christ. We all have weaknesses, and God gives us weaknesses to let us grow and become better and stronger.

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The topic description says it all. Was the priesthood ban the result of bigotry or was it really an inspired policy? Where did the ban come from?

Was the ban a mistake

If by mistake, you mean

  • by accident - the ban was intentional, so no, not a mistake
  • regrettable - the church has never said that it regrets the ban, nor has any apology been issued, so I'd say no
  • not by revelation - there's enough historical evidence to suggest that the ban came to those that the LDS church deems as authorities, and that subsequent authorities verified that the ban should remain in place, so, I'd say that those that created and upheld the ban felt they were doing the right thing, thus, my answer is no.
  • it was wrong - see 'regrettable' and 'not by revelation'. The church has never said if it feels the ban was wrong. Apologist literature tends to defend the church's position, so, personal ethics aside, the position of the church seems to indicate the ban was not wrong.

So no, the ban wasn't a mistake. It was intentional, done without regret, and maintained by those who claim proper authority.

Is it what God wanted? According to those who hold authority in the church, yes, it is what God wanted, since those in authority upheld the ban buoyed by revelation. Do all Mormons thing this is what God wanted? Some do, others don't.

Whether it was officially a mistake, or officially what God wanted, let your personal ethics guide you on this one. It was wrong to prohibit blacks, regardless of reason.

H.

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Your reason for why you say it is not regrettable to the Church doesn't stand, because you are playing brain surgeon in saying that the Church thinks it isn't regrettable. You don't know the hearts of the authorities and can't get into their heads. Because any rational person can see that the Church is in a position where it cannot apologize, even if it wanted to. Because it would put itself in a position of having to accept possible liability to people that would want reparations. So no, there are many reasons why the Church should not apologize. Secondly, the church's official position is "we don't know." And it really doesn't know for sure. The historical record seems to indicate that it was MOST LIKELY Brigham Young. That doesn't prove without doubt. So until the Church's position officially changes to "Brigham Young was at fault" then they aren't going to say "we are sorry that Brigham Young was at fault."

Similarly, for "was it wrong", the Church has to acknowledge it was Brigham Young at fault for them to then take the position that "it was wrong". Because first the Church needs a position on something that it acknowledges as fact before it can take responsibility. At this point, they feel obviously they have a rational reason to say "we don't know" and therefore they have a rational reason to not feel that an apology is needed.

So it is a bit of unfeeling and uncharitable for you to say "So no, the ban wasn't a mistake. It was intentional, done without regret, and maintained by those who claim proper authority." Because you are trying to make it seem like it should be a simple thing for the church to (1) Admit Brigham Young was responsible and (2) then apologize for what Brigham young did. there are too many other considerations for it to be that simple. And therefore your attempt to captialize on the fact that the Church's position is "we don't know" in order to say that it was intentional and done without regret as fallacious, because there is a huge leap that has to be made from "I don't know" to "it isn't regrettable."

Ed

Was the ban a mistake

If by mistake, you mean

  • by accident - the ban was intentional, so no, not a mistake
  • regrettable - the church has never said that it regrets the ban, nor has any apology been issued, so I'd say no
  • not by revelation - there's enough historical evidence to suggest that the ban came to those that the LDS church deems as authorities, and that subsequent authorities verified that the ban should remain in place, so, I'd say that those that created and upheld the ban felt they were doing the right thing, thus, my answer is no.
  • it was wrong - see 'regrettable' and 'not by revelation'. The church has never said if it feels the ban was wrong. Apologist literature tends to defend the church's position, so, personal ethics aside, the position of the church seems to indicate the ban was not wrong.

So no, the ban wasn't a mistake. It was intentional, done without regret, and maintained by those who claim proper authority.

Is it what God wanted? According to those who hold authority in the church, yes, it is what God wanted, since those in authority upheld the ban buoyed by revelation. Do all Mormons thing this is what God wanted? Some do, others don't.

Whether it was officially a mistake, or officially what God wanted, let your personal ethics guide you on this one. It was wrong to prohibit blacks, regardless of reason.

H.

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Modern conceptions of racism and bigotry simply do not apply in this case.

See I don't believe morals are based on the times, I believe people justify immortal acts because of the times and the lack of understanding of the people but the basic moral principal that people are to be judges by there actions not by there skin color is Eternal Truth, IMO.

Just like Nurimburg Nazi Trials,I cannot see Christ accepting "we didn't know any better", "everyone else was doing it" and "I was told to/ ordered to" as a defense for wrongs done. The Light of Christ gives us the basic morals to know that judging a person (especially because of the color of there skin) is wrong.

If this simple truth is base upon the times then in my opinion there is no such thing as eternal truths which means the Gospel is not eternal and neither are we.

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If what you are saying is true, then everybody that has false traditions in this world right now should wake up and get baptized, and if they don't abandon their false traditions in this moment, because they should know better in this very instant, then they all have to go to hell. If what you are saying is true, then King Lamoni should have known better not to kill his servants, and his fathers before him, and his fathers before him. It is true that when Ammon came, Lamoni started to let the light of Christ work upon his heart and started to wonder if his murders were wrong. But if somebody is veiled over their minds with false traditions, it takes a long time for the spirit of the Lord to work on that person to finally remove the veil of untruth from their minds from that false tradition. Sorry, you are simply just dead wrong on this part. I'm happy that we could at least come to agree on the other part of this issue.

Ed

See I don't believe morals are based on the times, I believe people justify immortal acts because of the times and the lack of understanding of the people but the basic moral principal that people are to be judges by there actions not by there skin color is Eternal Truth, IMO.

Just like Nurimburg Nazi Trials,I cannot see Christ accepting "we didn't know any better", "everyone else was doing it" and "I was told to/ ordered to" as a defense for wrongs done. The Light of Christ gives us the basic morals to know that judging a person (especially because of the color of there skin) is wrong.

If this simple truth is base upon the times then in my opinion there is no such thing as eternal truths which means the Gospel is not eternal and neither are we.

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My point is this: When you talk about something someone taught without providing the reference, you are simply showing that you are lazy and would rather cast the onus on someone else to have to track it down, and then forcing them to make the assumption that what they have found is indeed the reference you were relying on. I know that in the past you have been resistant to the suggestion that you provide references. I hope that will change.

This is civil discussion not a presidential debate, the teachings of Brigham Young on this matter are known as common knowledge in the several Elder's Quorums I have attended. Last time I can remember the rules of my high school debate team correctly, things that can be reasonably accepted as common knowledge do not require specific citation. I am sorry that I am not a walking encycopedia of references, I can point you in the general direction and look for specific quotes but this is suppose to be a civil and friendly discussion not a hostile and competitive debate.

If this was a competitive debate I and a team of fellow debaters would of spend countless hours preparing references. This isn't though and according to the rules of these forums debating is prohibited. This is suppose to be friendly discussion only, your need to compete with me at evey opportunity is against the nature and rules of this forum. I will please ask for you to review the rules and apply them so we can all have a friendly and fun discussion.

There is plenty of forums designed for competitive debate, this one is not one of those forums, if you need to competively debate I would invite you to join one of those forums designed for competitive debate and utilize this for friendly discussion.

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I'm probably older than most of you here. I remember exactly what I was taught as a child about the Priesthood ban. As I grew and matured, what I was taught by my parents, my Sunday school teachers, my Seminary teachers, Bishops, Stake Presidents, on up, made less and less sense to me. Notions of blacks being "less valiant in the pre-existence", being "fence-sitters in the war in heaven", being "descendants of the seed of Cain" were all earnestly and repeatedly passed along as part of my Mormon education.

Your recollection is the same as mine of that time. Frankly, other than knowing the teachings on the subject I never thought much about it. In that day blacks kept to their group and whites to theirs, even in places like open-minded California.

At the time the ban was lifted I knew black members of the church and was inspired by their faithfulness in the face of such limitations and so much prejudice even among members of the church. When the ban was lifted I literally shouted for joy. Though unanticipated I was so happy that these faithful people I knew could now have the full blessings of the gospel. And it seemed so right and natural that it happened when it did.

As to the reason for the ban. I have come to the opinion through the years that it wasn't so much based on doctrine as it was policy put in place for whatever reason by inspiration or revelation. Not having documentation I don't think any of us can say for sure. The reason I believe for the ban had to do with the fact that the blacks from Africa had been so put down and had been slaves for so long that it would take many generations before they could overcome such a legacy. Look at the Civil Rights Movement and how it supposedly opened doors, but ask yourself if it really freed the blacks. They were still oppressed, there was still a great deal of prejudice. The separate drinking fountains in the South illustrate this very well. In other words they may not have been slaves but they were still relegated to a separate existence and did not have the same freedom as whites to move in society. It took a good 10 years after the unrest of the movement for this stigma to begin to lift. And I believe it was at that time that those of that lineage could finely integrate more fully into society as a whole and into the full program of the church.

Perhaps this policy illustrates better than anything else how the church can withstand the pressure of the world and when the time is right make a turnaround that rejects the policy of the past and embrace new inspiration and revelation. And in turn there has been an increase of black membership, racial intermarriage and a full acceptance that could not have been experienced in the 60's or before.

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If what you are saying is true, then everybody that has false traditions in this world right now should wake up and get baptized, and if they don't abandon their false traditions in this moment, because they should know better in this very instant, then they all have to go to hell. If what you are saying is true, then King Lamoni should have known better not to kill his servants, and his fathers before him, and his fathers before him. It is true that when Ammon came, Lamoni started to let the light of Christ work upon his heart and started to wonder if his murders were wrong. But if somebody is veiled over their minds with false traditions, it takes a long time for the spirit of the Lord to work on that person to finally remove the veil of untruth from their minds from that false tradition. Sorry, you are simply just dead wrong on this part. I'm happy that we could at least come to agree on the other part of this issue.

Ed

I didn't say anyone should know better, I said morals do not change with time, they are eternal truths. If morals were subject to the times the the holocaust was not bad since most people back then disliked Jews, neither was the segregation and abuse of black Americans by white American's wrong since at that time since most people though blacks didn't deserve rights or equality.

Eternal truth doesn't change it is no less wrong to judge people by the color of there skin now than in the time of Adam. It is no less wrong to murder people because of there religion today than it was in the time of Adam.

The morals don't change, they are always there and they are taught in every sriptural record we have from Genesis to the most recent Inspired teachings of the living prophet.

People do not always do the right thing, this we know for a fact, for most of recorded history the majority of people are not doing what is right. People not doing the right thing never means that they don't know what is right.

I feel that every rational (someone who is not insane or too young to be accountable) person that knows right from wrong at all times. As a great American General once said (who's name escapes me at the moment because I had a huge brain fart), Knowing what is the right thing to do is easy, doing the right thing isn't.

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That is just simply not true at all..... You simply can't say that because something is wrong, then someone should be accountable and have knowledge that such is the case. You are just simply wrong. Oh well, that's the last time I will say that. I think we made the point that we disagree.

I didn't say anyone should know better, I said morals do not change with time, they are eternal truths. If morals were subject to the times the the holocaust was not bad since most people back then disliked Jews, neither was the segregation and abuse of black Americans by white American's wrong since at that time since most people though blacks didn't deserve rights or equality.

Eternal truth doesn't change it is no less wrong to judge people by the color of there skin now than in the time of Adam. It is no less wrong to murder people because of there religion today than it was in the time of Adam.

The morals don't change, they are always there and they are taught in every sriptural record we have from Genesis to the most recent Inspired teachings of the living prophet.

People do not always do the right thing, this we know for a fact, for most of recorded history the majority of people are not doing what is right. People not doing the right thing never means that they don't know what is right.

I feel that every rational (someone who is not insane) person that knows right from wrong at all times. As a great American General once said (who's name escapes me at the moment because I had a huge brain fart), Knowing what is the right thing to do is easy, doing the right thing isn't.

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This is civil discussion not a presidential debate, the teachings of Brigham Young on this matter are known as common knowledge in the several Elder's Quorums I have attended. Last time I can remember the rules of my high school debate team correctly, things that can be reasonably accepted as common knowledge do not require specific citation. I am sorry that I am not a walking encycopedia of references, I can point you in the general direction and look for specific quotes but this is suppose to be a civil and friendly discussion not a hostile and competitive debate.

If this was a competitive debate I and a team of fellow debaters would of spend countless hours preparing references. This isn't though and according to the rules of these forums debating is prohibited. This is suppose to be friendly discussion only, your need to compete with me at evey opportunity is against the nature and rules of this forum. I will please ask for you to review the rules and apply them so we can all have a friendly and fun discussion.

There is plenty of forums designed for competitive debate, this one is not one of those forums, if you need to competively debate I would invite you to join one of those forums designed for competitive debate and utilize this for friendly discussion.

Two points, from the Board Guidelines, about things not to do on the Board:

Telling others how to behave. Anything you find objectionable should be reported using the button located in each post.

Refusing to provide appropriate references to support your statements

You have repeatedly told me to follow Board guidelines. Perhaps you should review them.

Shalom Brother

P.S. If we all listed the things that were "common knowlege" from our Elder's Quorum experiences, "I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." John 21:25 :P

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In reading through many of the above rationalizations for the ban, I have to ask, whatever happened to "the prophet will not lead the Church astray"?

I have written my thoughts on this before when it comes to polygamy. Without trying to find the thread (which might have been deleted) I will see if I can give a similar response to my thoughts on this again.

The Church is still here. The priesthood ban did not lead us away from God and it did not destroy the gospel or what we believe. I don't think that having a incorrect policy will lead the Church astray, even one as big as this one was. I mean, every Sunday someone somewhere is most likely turned away from serving the Sacrament for not having a white shirt on when that is not even a policy, but just a tradition, yet the Church continues. Granted those are not prophets doing so.

I think that the saying of "the prophet will not lead the Church astray" means that he won't lead us away from God. That he won't start telling us to worship at the feet of Joseph Smith instead of Jesus Christ. That a prophet won't tell us to start taking care of our wants and desires before worrying about the needs of others. I personally think there are always going to be policies and procedures and ideas that are out of line, but that doesn't mean the Church is going astray, it means there is an idea out there that is wrong.

I don't think the priesthood ban, even though in my book wrong, lead the Church astray. The Church is still strong. The gosepel and Christ are still the center and even better, the Church leaders took away that ban thru a revelation.

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That is just simply not true at all..... You simply can't say that because something is wrong, then someone should be accountable and have knowledge that such is the case. You are just simply wrong. Oh well, that's the last time I will say that. I think we made the point that we disagree.

Well a lot of men were hung in Germany following WWII for this very concept. If it is false then these men were innocent and were murdered by American GI's, instead of executed for crimes against humanity for committing genocide.

I accept that we disagree but the idea and concept is far from unreasonable or illogical. It had been used numerous times in justice systems throughout the world and in international court. I feel deeply that this is inspired wisdom from God. If you feel that it is unreasonable or illogical I would love to hear your position.

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Seriously, though.

I know I'm just repeating myself, but for any and pretty much all questions concerning the history of the ban, and the revelation,read this article from BYU Studies, written by President Kimball's son, Edward.

Without straying into hyperbole, all the essential details and documentation are there concerning the full history of this practice, misconceptions, and the exact detailed process leading up to the 1978 Revelation.

It's not an overstatement to declare that this should be essential reading for building an informed opinion on this topic. It's powerful, exhaustive in documentation, and also very, very inspiring.

If you're discussing this topic, and haven't read this yet, please, either download it, print it, or just begin reading it. I can't stress this enough.

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