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consiglieri

Racism In The L.D.S. Church

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I am not sure the quote should be given in this book. I do believe the lessons should focus on marrying someone you can go to the temple with.

I agree that it is usually easier to marry someone that has a similiar culutre, socio-economic background and education, but I don't think it is a necessity. It often has more to do with personality. Someone who likes to follow their cultural traditions is going to have a hard time being married to someone from another culture who likes to follow their cultural traditions unless they are both willing to compromise and support each other. I don't think race is the same as culture, but I do believe that is often how people look at it. I was sort of thinking that was how this manual was looking at it, but I don't think that is how President Kimball intended it when he stated it. He was pointing at getting to the temple.

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There are a number of people in this thread who have observed successful interracial marriages in the Church that seem to defy the logic of the manual counsel.

I am wondering if there are any who have seen Church marriages break up in the Church due to interracial problems.

In other words, we seem to find a number of exceptions to the manual "rule," and I am wondering if anybody has seen any examples in the Church that prove it.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

In my seminary class (early morning for the real Saints) in 1992 we spent on morning discussing a Black Sister of the Church who married a white man and she wrote a book about her experience of throwing hot water on the missionaries that came to her door and other mistreatment she did to the missionaries before she joined the Church, IIRC she joined the Church and married before 1978.

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Consig, I do agree that such concerns probably are not as major a factor as they were several years ago, due to our very mobile and worldwide society and the internet.

I do think that in-laws can be the major factor.

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I do think that in-laws can be the major factor.

Perhaps the manual should be updated accordingly. ;)

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In my seminary class (early morning for the real Saints) in 1992 we spent on morning discussing a Black Sister of the Church who married a white man and she wrote a book about her experience of throwing hot water on the missionaries that came to her door and other mistreatment she did to the missionaries before she joined the Church, IIRC she joined the Church and married before 1978.

Sounds like A Soul so Rebellious.

I seem to recall her writing a couple of sequels with lines from the same hymn.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I am not sure the quote should be given in this book. I do believe the lessons should focus on marrying someone you can go to the temple with.

I am honored I have finally written a post you seem to agree with, Em! ;)

I hope you and yours are doing well.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I honestly don't know what the big deal is unless you are just making a big deal for the sake of it.

I wish to correct the notion that I sometimes stir the pot simply for the sake of stirring the pot.

The reason for this particular post is on a thread on another board, I stated that I thought the LDS frowning on interracial marriages had been dropped by the wayside more than two decades ago.

Another poster ferreted out this quote from the Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3 which frankly surprised me.

I did a little more research regarding the original quotation and the editing involved.

I am genuinely concerned that the young men of the Church are being taught this racist concept.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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Suggestions will always have exceptions.

What is a successful marriage? Is one where they fight all the time, sometimes verbally abusive, but they stay together anyways still a good marriage? Is a loveless marriage for the kids a successful marriage?

We can always externally assume that a group of people are doing well and have a model marriage, but goes behind the doors of some might shock you. Heck, my parents were married 27 years before they divorced, and the things my father was doing behind her back shocked me, and I lived there for 18 of those years.

So we are provided a guide for how we can go through a checklist with our potential partners. It doesn't mean that you can't have a "successful" marriage without following every part of that rule.. Some people make choices to deal with the hardship of a particular discrepency. I know a lot of mixed religious marriages that function, but boy have some been in ugly fights over raising the kids and going to church programs.

This issue is far too complicated to cast off or ignore suggestions, but at the same time not every suggestion will fit your situation.

I own a Frilled Lizard. They suggest against them because they can be skiddish and mean. I lucked out and took a risk. Mine happens to be one of the nice ones..... But I also take messures to make sure I am on guard if he ever gets moody.

What does that mean in the end?

JMS

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I am genuinely concerned that the young men of the Church are being taught this racist concept.

Consig, I'm not sure what you consider to be racist here.

The concept that racial differences can cause headache in marriage is not in and of itself racist. The moment the hierarchy hits, i.e., marrying 'below' your race, or that the motivation for separation of races comes from some evil-twisted idea purity harking back to the 'pure race' idea, then yes - that is racist.

The Church is simply putting in a manual some advice concerning the recommendation of the setting of marriage so as to help the couple succeed. It does not say it interracial marriages shouldn't happen. It's one quote, in the context of trying to keep marriages together. I think it's a stretch to say that the Church is teaching a racist concept based on what this manual is saying. Do you feel there is cause to say otherwise?

In any case, the grouping of interracial marriage alongside culture and socio-economic status further bolsters the point that is is simply a bit of counsel to consider and not by any means the wholesale put-down of folks of a different skin color. The same advice fits- without changing a word of it- if it was being read in Nigeria or Ivory Coast, where the fair majority of the Church membership is black.

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There is a wonderful couple in our ward with a white husband and an Asian wife. They are both highly educated and have beautiful children.

I wonder what message we may be sending our youth as to how to view this couple . . .

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Are there examples vis-a-vis this couple in your ward of other members acting un-kind towards them based on their "interracial" marriage?

Has their "interracial" marriage precluded them from temple blessings, or callings from the ecclesiastical leaders? Are there only certain rows of benches they are allowed to sit in?

Certainly racism exists, my belief: it is a minority of the population and has more to do with personal ignorance than the quote from the OP.

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Certainly racism exists, my belief: it is a minority of the population and has more to do with personal ignorance than the quote from the OP.

Racism needs only shallow authoritative soil in which to flourish.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

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I can tell you that this thread launched some anti threads today. If that comment only addressed race, then I would say that we have a problem. The just of the statement is that couples need to have as much in common as possible. Interracial marriages can work out fine if the couple lived on an Island. Most of these marriages have trouble because of extended families being unreasonable. Marriage is hard enough, without starting off on a shaky foundation.

One of my favorite cousins is Anne a black lady; when my Dad found out Tracy had married a black woman, he asked; “well is she Christian?” That was all that mattered to him. We all love them very much, but living here in the South Tracy lost almost all of his friends and ended up in another Church because of the way he was treated in the one he grew up in.

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I am wondering if anybody has seen any examples in the Church that prove it.

I have seen it as a contributing factor to divorce, it had nothing to do with the way the couples were treated at church, in both cases the couple was originally from another country and brought their baggage with them from what I saw.

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I have seen it as a contributing factor to divorce.

In what way did race, specifically, contribute?

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In future manuals, it might be helpful if instead of discouraging inter-racial marriages, the boys were told that the women of certain races and cultures have traditionally been more subservient and respectful of their husbands, and that if they can find a woman from one of these cultures, they might find married life to be more enjoyable.

I'm also a little disappointed that the manual didn't discuss waist-to-hip ratios and the importance of full lips, high cheek bones, and symmetrical, firm breasts as indicators of fertility and vitality.

But they gave it their best shot.

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I have a very close friend who served a mission in a foreign country. There was a mutual attraction between her and one of the elders, who is a native of that country. He served as an assistant to the president (if that means anything). When she returned from her mission, she told me that she and this young man were considering getting together after his release and look into the possibility of marriage. I showed her this quote from President Kimball. Why? They had the cards stacked against them. The differences they had were significant. She was a college graduate, Phi Beta Kappa, with a degree in accounting and finance. She went on to law school. She now has a high position with an international steel corporation. At the time of their marriage, he spoke no English and had no math skills. She has been the breadwinner for most of their marriage, except for the time she was in law school (she continued to work part-time). He has had difficulty maintaining FT employment in the U.S. His language skills are still poor, and he has very low self-esteem. They have been considering divorce off and on for the past several years. He rules in the home, as did his father. He stopped going to church several years ago because he never felt comfortable in an English-speaking ward. They have not divorced, but she considers their marriage as having failed. She says they discussed the significance of their racial/cultural/economic/intellectual differences, but at the time thought that love could overcome them all. She remembers President Kimball's advice and now questions the wisdom of having discounted it. She has given up on the chance of being happy in her marriage. She says she now lives for the two of her three children that are still at home. One has a significant handicap and will require custodial care for the rest of her life. My heart breaks for her.

This is but one case. Are there similar stories that end in success? Certainly. I don't know what the odds are, but I would think that the more a couple have in common, the more likely they are to stay together, and to do so happily. This is what I see as the point of President Kimball's counsel, not "racism."

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In what way did race, specifically, contribute?

As I added on to the post above, there were attitudes that had been carried over from their previous countries that caused conflict. One could include the difficulty under "culture" even though it was specifically tied to race differences in their home countries (one couple was from England, the other from Latin America). In these two cases it was direct conflict in the couple that I saw, in another it was the inlaws that were the problem (and not the white inlaws). I do not know if the inlaws were immigrants or not, though it was likely they were. I do think second and third generation have less differences to overcome, but extended family can still be a problem.

As additional info, I have been told by couples that there are certain areas of the US and Canada where a mixed couple of European and First Nation heritage would be treated poorly by their respective inlaws and the surrounding community close to reservations, other areas there would be no problem. In Russia when we lived there about 15 years ago, we had black friends being spat upon and attacked on a regular basis, any one of them daring to marry a Russian woman could possibly have been risking their lives, there were other minorities in similar situations so attitudes vary and I don't think one should automatically dismiss race as an issue simply because one doesn't see much of it in one's own neck of the woods these days.

Having said that, I think the manual's advice would be better to be rewritten to teach potential couples to explore what difficulties might arise due to ANY differences in their background prior to marriage...not afterwards as what differences matter vary from person to person (in one case for example, I know the breaking point was economic status because the wife refused to adjust to the lower economic status of her husband and not only drove them into debt but continued to go behind her husband's back to get money from her parents), I don't think specifics need to be given but if they are, "culture" is sufficient coverage for "race". Also I think it would be wise to add the caution of examining what kind of pressure the extended family can put upon a couple as in most cases this is where I see the cultural differences causing problems (such as in the couple where one of the spouses was from a Sikh background and the other white and therefore never good enough for the inlaws).

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This is but one case. Are there similar stories that end in success? Certainly. I don't know what the odds are, but I would think that the more a couple have in common, the more likely they are to stay together, and to do so happily. This is what I see as the point of President Kimball's counsel, not "racism."

I am not sure why this example helps. This couple shared the same race, Caucasian.

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She has been the breadwinner for most of their marriage, except for the time she was in law school (she continued to work part-time). He has had difficulty maintaining FT employment in the U.S. His language skills are still poor, and he has very low self-esteem....They have not divorced, but she considers their marriage as having failed. She says they discussed the significance of their racial/cultural/economic/intellectual differences, but at the time thought that love could overcome them all.

In cases where it's the wife from the lower economic or educational status, there is greater chance of success, but I've seen few marriages survive where it was the husband having the lower economic/educational level.

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I am not sure why this example helps. This couple shared the same race, Caucasian.

"I have a very close friend who served a mission in a foreign country. There was a mutual attraction between her and one of the elders, who is a native of that country."

What makes you assume this?

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Consider the age of the book in question. It is woefully dated, and needs replacement. But the Church is so busy with getting materials up in other languages and for other programs of the Church that it has not had resources or time to do it.

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I am not sure why this example helps. This couple shared the same race, Caucasian.

Read it again. I am not sure why you didn't understand.

I know them both, and they do not.

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I am genuinely concerned that the young men of the Church are being taught this racist concept.

I'm sorry, what "racist concept" is that? I seem to have missed it.

Racism needs only shallow authoritative soil in which to flourish.

While a smug accusation of "racism" needs only a shallow mind.

Regards,

Pahoran

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While a smug accusation of "racism" needs only a shallow mind.

Aww, come on, Pahoran...

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I wish to correct the notion that I sometimes stir the pot simply for the sake of stirring the pot.

The reason for this particular post is on a thread on another board, I stated that I thought the LDS frowning on interracial marriages had been dropped by the wayside more than two decades ago.

Another poster ferreted out this quote from the Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3 which frankly surprised me.

I did a little more research regarding the original quotation and the editing involved.

I am genuinely concerned that the young men of the Church are being taught this racist concept.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Here is the issue I have.

I am genuinely concerned that the young men of the Church are being taught this racist concept.

I don't think that suggesting that an interiacal marriage is harder than a non interiacal marriage is racist. Therefore I think you are stirring the pot just for the hell of it.

I have known plenty of people who have entered into such relationships were race is a factor. Generally by the in laws and that does put extra strain on the relationship.

Can an interacial marriage work? Yes. It can work just fine. Should you know what you are getting into if you decide to get invloved? yeah. Only a fool would go in blindly.

I find this counsel to be similar to date people that are of the same faith. Are we bigots now if we counsel our youth not to enter into interfaith marriages?

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