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One thing I've never been sure of is how the ban originated. I know that Kimball received a revelation in 1978 to end the ban, but what was the origin of it in church doctrine?

There was no "Origination" it was a result of a racist man called Brigham Young.

I am sure BY loved the Black man...but only as a servant. Should we bring out the quotes from this man?

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Cant resist:

"Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin" (Journal of Discourses, 7:290-291).

"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient; more or less, to the laws that were given us there" (Joseph F. Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:61).

Now lets see what the true God has to say:

For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward." (Deuteronomy 10:17)

"For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:11)

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How true Moxy. How horrible of him to say such things. To think he could go against the equal rights laws and ideals of the time is truly astonishing.

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How true Moxy. How horrible of him to say such things. To think he could go against the equal rights laws and ideals of the time is truly astonishing.

What would the times of the people have to do with God? Do you think God is racist when his people are racist? Get real. There is no ryme or reason the LDS church did not allow the Blacks to have the Priesthood, other then pure hatred by the prophet of the church. Sorry your too blind to see it. But 20/20 hind sight is now very clear on this issue.

There is no scripture, no proclimation, no revelation, to why the Blacks could not have had the priesthood. Them are the facts.

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What would the times of the people have to do with God?  Do you think God is racist when his people are racist?  Get real.  There is no ryme or reason the LDS church did not allow the Blacks to have the Priesthood, other then pure hatred by the prophet of the church.  Sorry your too blind to see it.  But 20/20 hind sight is now very clear on this issue.

There is no scripture, no proclimation, no revelation, to why the Blacks could not have had the priesthood.  Them are the facts.

No, I'm serious Moxy. Brigham Young was a horrible person for going against the equal rights ideal of the time. He only has himself to blame, he can't blame it on any revelation from God, can he?

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We don't know why the ban. Wish we did. It would make our missionary work with US blacks easier.

Seriously, even if we don't know "why", how did church leaders know that they should withhold the priesthood from blacks to begin with?

Since a revelation was required to "lift the ban", was there a revelation to instruct the church to "withhold" in the first place? This has always confused me. How do we justify even doing it in the first place if we have no source (scripture or revelation) that instructs us to?

If this was not a doctrine to begin with, but rather a practice that somehow began, how do we know it was god's will to begin with as opposed to just a practiced established by man?

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You can see the mostly white missionaries trying to persuade the mostly black residents of Harlem to check out the church, and you can quickly hear--from comments of black residents--how the Church is perceived.

Well, of course they do....look how hard those like you work to retain those perceptions.

.

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Since a revelation was required to "lift the ban", was there a revelation to instruct the church to "withhold" in the first place? This has always confused me. How do we justify even doing it in the first place if we have no source (scripture or revelation) that instructs us to?

If this was not a doctrine to begin with, but rather a practice that somehow began, how do we know it was god's will to begin with as opposed to just a practiced established by man?

There is no record of a revelation. There is no evidence when it officially began and the report that JS put out the word to deny the priesthood came from a diary entry some 45 years later. That is why I don't think that it was a revelation.

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I think it is a very hard thing to just glaze over all the racist remarks made by LDS presidents. To say they really didnt know better and they were just harmonizing with the trend of the time just doesnt cut it.

A man who is appointed by God should know better than to spout off nonsense. The sad part of the matter is that those like Brigham Young REALLY DID feel that way about blacks. His thoughts on the matter have to be some of the worst hate filled commentariies I have ever heard.

Most slave owners just wanted blacks to do thier dirty work and did consider them a lower class of human. But the only time I ever heard of the "mark of Cain" and black skin and a flat nose actually being a curse from God, and that blacks should be killed on the spot for marrying a white person, was from a "famed" LDS president. This man wasnt driven by a mere trend, he was filled with hate. Enough hate that he made up a bunch of untrue stories and whats worse, he even said that such a thing will ALWAYS be so, and will not change, all while being considered a "prophet".

I am glad there were those throughtout history who have realized that we are all humans, brothers and sisters, and just because we have white skin black skin, tan skin, curly hair, straight hair, slanted eyes, round eyes, doesnt matter one whit to God. If not for these people, blacks may still have been persecuted just for being black.

One thing for sure, Brigham Young only helped to keep racism alive.

These men who said such things had no authority to speak for God whatsoever, I think he should have his name banished from BYU. Good heavens, call it something else, just not the name of such a hate monger.

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But the only time I ever heard of the "mark of Cain" and black skin and a flat nose actually being a curse from God, and that blacks should be killed on the spot for marrying a white person, was from a "famed" LDS president.

I first heard it from a Baptist minister, the first of many.

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Since a revelation was required to "lift the ban", was there a revelation to instruct the church to "withhold" in the first place?  This has always confused me.  How do we justify even doing it in the first place if we have no source (scripture or revelation) that instructs us to?

If this was not a doctrine to begin with, but rather a practice that somehow began, how do we know it was god's will to begin with as opposed to just a practiced established by man?

There is no record of a revelation. There is no evidence when it officially began and the report that JS put out the word to deny the priesthood came from a diary entry some 45 years later. That is why I don't think that it was a revelation.

If we conclude that it was not by revelation, then are we not forced to conclude that it was by scripture within doctrine?

What scripture then do we source to support this denial (blacks being denied the priesthood) being from God?

If we have no scriptural support, and there was no revelation, how can we conclude it was commanded by God in the first place?

This is what makes this history so tough for me.

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But the only time I ever heard of the "mark of Cain" and black skin and a flat nose actually being a curse from God, and that blacks should be killed on the spot for marrying a white person, was from a "famed" LDS president.

I first heard it from a Baptist minister, the first of many.

Must have been a very warped person. When someone makes up junk like this, you know they got issues.

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He was not unique at all in this belief. Actually, it was a common teching in evangelical churches when I was growing up. I still know quite a few who believe this. Not the "killed on the spot" part (not officially), but certainly that black skin was the mark of Cain.

Blacks in general were "discouraged" from attending white evangelical churches. Still are in some places.

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He was not unique at all in this belief. Actually, it was a common teching in evangelical churches when I was growing up. I still know quite a few who believe this. Not the "killed on the spot" part (not officially), but certainly that black skin was the mark of Cain.

Blacks in general were "discouraged" from attending white evangelical churches. Still are in some places.

While I realize that some "good ole boy" religions still hold fast to hate logic, I didnt realize they could also claim the mark of cain story. Amazing.

Doesnt it seem strange that the general public would have to lead the way on such important issues?

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What is it then? Why did this happen when supossibly this church was to be the church of Jesus christ... Why did god let brignham young to countinue as the represenative of jesus christ when he was clearly not worthy for the part. I would say if a man like brignham young were to lead some church and i knew what kind of a person he was then I would not be part of that church..... Well i can say this and I hear it alot. The people of the church are not perfect but the church is.... then if the church was perfect then why did it alow such a man like BY run the show at that time. It angers me that i have to confront this because im tired of haveing my faith shaken. Time to time I doubtted the church and then believe it again and then doubtted again and again but there is only one thing bringging me back to the church and its the peaceful feeling that i can only describe or what i think it is... Love... I get when I pray to god about such things and ends up showing me the truth of what i ever i want to know that i need at the time to survive what is it that causes me to doubt again? Is it the cunning planes of the devil who setted up such a thing to take place to make us fall? Well the only thing that keeps me believeing in this church is what i just wrote. Hope is the only thing that makes me hold on to the church and i am not active in this church but i was born in it so what is the issue with this black and white thing.... man im just confused. Im going to sleep.............

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If we conclude that it was not by revelation, then are we not forced to conclude that it was by scripture within doctrine?

What scripture then do we source to support this denial (blacks being denied the priesthood) being from God?

There isn't one. The Book of Abraham reason was put forward many years later.

If we have no scriptural support, and there was no revelation, how can we conclude it was commanded by God in the first place? 

We can't

Scott

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What is it then? Why did this happen when supossibly this church was to be the church of Jesus christ... Why did god let brignham young to countinue as the represenative of jesus christ when he was clearly not worthy for the part. I would say if a man like brignham young were to lead some church and i knew what kind of a person he was then I would not be part of that church..... Well i can say this and I hear it alot. The people of the church are not perfect but the church is.... then if the church was perfect then why did it alow such a man like BY run the show at that time. It angers me that i have to confront this because im tired of haveing my faith shaken. Time to time I doubtted the church and then believe it again and then doubtted again and again but there is only one thing bringging me back to the church and its the peaceful feeling that i can only describe or what i think it is... Love... I get when I pray to god about such things and ends up showing me the truth of what i ever i want to know that i need at the time to survive what is it that causes me to doubt again? Is it the cunning planes of the devil who setted up such a thing to take place to make us fall? Well the only thing that keeps me believeing in this church is what i just wrote. Hope is the only thing that makes me hold on to the church and i am not active in this church but i was born in it so what is the issue with this black and white thing.... man im just confused. Im going to sleep.............

First of all, it is clearly a jump to claim that Brigham Young wasn't "worthy." He was a product of his time. He was no more racist than anyone else in his day--and it could easily be argued that he was less racist than many in his day.

God has always used men to do his work. None of those men have been perfect. All of those men have had some "false" beliefs. Look how Peter had to be educated in the New Testament. Jonah didn't even want to go preach to the people he hated, and he was really mad at God when God didn't destroy them.

Men are men. That won't change.

Scott

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Cant resist:

"Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin" (Journal of Discourses, 7:290-291).

"There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient; more or less, to the laws that were given us there" (Joseph F. Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:61).

Now lets see what the true God has to say:

For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward." (Deuteronomy 10:17)

"For there is no respect of persons with God." (Romans 2:11)

Would you have us think that all of the tribes got to hold the priesthood since the days of Moses? Is that how you apply that verse you quoted?

Paul O

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If we conclude that it was not by revelation, then are we not forced to conclude that it was by scripture within doctrine?

What scripture then do we source to support this denial (blacks being denied the priesthood) being from God?

There isn't one. The Book of Abraham reason was put forward many years later.

If we have no scriptural support, and there was no revelation, how can we conclude it was commanded by God in the first place?

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PGY:Time to time I doubtted the church and then believe it again and then doubtted again and again but there is only one thing bringging me back to the church and its the peaceful feeling that i can only describe or what i think it is... Love... I get when I pray to god about such things and ends up showing me the truth of what i ever i want to know that i need at the time to survive what is it that causes me to doubt again?

DS:Maybe God is trying to tell you that you and Him can still have that relationship inside of a church or out?

I think God can talk to each and every one of us if we just listen. I have heard him loud and clear, looking back on my life I can see His hand guiding me the whole time.

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I think it is a very hard thing to just glaze over all the racist remarks made by LDS presidents. To say they really didnt know better and they were just harmonizing with the trend of the time just doesnt cut it.

It is hard to hear. But it is also hard to hear from Baptists, Catholic, Methodists and everyone else who said exactly the same things. The difference is that BY also stood against the brutality of the day. That was different.

A man who is appointed by God should know better than to spout off nonsense.

Why? What precedent, short of Christ, do you have for demanding that men be perfect?

His thoughts on the matter have to be some of the worst hate filled commentariies I have ever heard.

This is mindboggling. Southern Christians were torturing, maiming and butchering slaves at the time. I can put up far worse comments. Would you like some resources to begin a study on race?

Most slave owners just wanted blacks to do thier dirty work and did consider them a lower class of human.

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It is not my job to educate people, or provde documentation for people who--with arrgant self-righteopusness-- claim to be bored to sleep by discussions of racism. We're taught not to cast pearls before swine. But I remember well the protests against BYU that occurred throughout 1969-1970 (I was in college myself, then, I had friends and family mmbers who were faithful LDS, trying to mke sense of the protests). I remember the violent protest by black students at University of Colorado (protesting racism at BYU) in February of 1970, as clearly as I recall the slaying of students (in anti-war protests) at Kent State in May of that year. A Rocky Mountauin News photographer was taken to the hospital in that violent protest; if anyone wants documentation, they can read the back ssues of the papers, Feb. 6, 1970. UPI carried stories nationally (Nov. 13, 1969) when Stanford University's President Kenneth Pitzer declatrede that Stanford would stop competitions with BYU (whether in athletics o non-athetics--eve the debater team could no longer compete with BYU) because Stanford believed BYU to be racist in its policies. The AP carried the story nationally (May 27, 1970) when the Univ. of Washingtn's human rights commissino called for ending athletc competition with BYU. Contemporary newspaper reports in 1969-70, of the protests of blacks against BY quoted black protesters as specfically objecting to the fact that the LDS Church, by banning blacks from the priesthood, prevented blacks from advancing in leadership positions in the Church. There were no blacks in the top leadership of the Church, because blacks could not even obtain the Priesthood then (much less become General Authorities, or a Prophet). Although the ban on blacks in the Priesthood was overturned in 1978, its ramifications are still felt today. The senior-most leaders of the Church--the oldest General Authorities-- all came up in an era when blacks were banned from the prieshood. The fact that the General Authorities with the most seniority are still all-white (and that situation will essentially remain the same for some time) is the result of that long-maintained ban on blacks in the priesthood. If many American blacks perceive the LDS Church today as a Church in which the senior leadership is white, that is because that is a fact, not because supposed "race baiters" say so. There are many things the LDS Church can take justifiable pride in; its historical treatment of blacks is not one of them. When I was growing up, I'd hear older Church members justify the ban on blacks in the Priesthood by citing a line in The Book of Abraham, which they took to mean that blacks were cursed by God. People who believed blacks were cursed by God (as some of my own relatives did) will instill those values in their children (or try to)m and oppose inter-tracial dating (people cursed by God were presumed less worthy). I could never accept the idea, though, that God wants mankind to be divided. I believe there is (or should be) a unity among people. I believe, though, that if the LDS Church wants to gain more acceptance among American blacks, leaders will someday have to say something along the lines of, "We were wrong in promulgating the ban on blacks in the priesthood; that policy was man-made, not inspired, and we regret it." There certainly were other Churches, besides the LDS Church, with racial problems--no one disputes that. But the relationship between the LDS Church and black Amercans has been problematic in a lot of ways. (When the ban of blacks in the priesthood was lifted, there were many older Church members who were upset, because they had been raised a certain way. I took time for everyone to more or less reach a consensus that lifting the ban was a good thing.) Time heals wounds.

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I believe, though, that if the LDS Church wants to gain more acceptance among American blacks, leaders will someday have to say something along the lines of, "We were wrong in promulgating the ban on blacks in the priesthood; that policy was man-made, not inspired, and we regret it."

Perhaps such a statement will be forthcoming in the future. Perhaps not. However, I believe any rift that exists is more effectively closed by the actions of the collective membership based on teaching and direction from the leadership than by a mere statement. To be trite, actions speak louder than words, and in this area, the LDS Church has nothing of which to be ashamed. We are what people see and encounter today, not what BY said oh so many years ago (reflecting the bigoted wisdom of the day) or a practice of exclusion that was lifted over 20 years ago.

(When the ban of blacks in the priesthood was lifted, there were many older Church members who were upset, because they had been raised a certain way. I took time for everyone to more or less reach a consensus that lifting the ban was a good thing.)

Huh!?!?!? Where were you? Certainly not at church. Mormons worldwide issued a collective sigh of relief in 1978 and celebrated en mass with a view of a brighter future. While a very small few may have thought otherwise, the vast majority were finally prepared for the great event.

With all your talk of the 60s and anti-BYU protests, you appear to regret that we have moved beyond that. Oh what a wonderful time it was.

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(When the ban of blacks in the priesthood was lifted, there were many older Church members who were upset, because they had been raised a certain way. I took time for everyone to more or less reach a consensus that lifting the ban was a good thing.) Time heals wounds.

What a load of garbage. One more time....your "oh, those were the days...." remembrances are charming but put up some DATA. And there is data on this. Use it.

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Louis D. you wrote

I remember the violent protest by black students at University of Colorado (protesting racism at BYU) in February of 1970, as clearly as I recall the slaying of students (in anti-war protests) at Kent State in May of that year.

At least you didn't say the event was "seared in [your] memory." The protest was at Colorado State University, not the University of Colorado. Small thing, I know, unless you're from either of those universities.

By the way, keep up the good work Juliann. Like you, I'd rather live in the present than deal in presentism:

In the midst of this millennial miasma, another word has come along to stir up historians: presentism. 'It's when a historian sees events in the past through the prism of present-day standards,' the lawyer-historian [Annette Gordon-Reed] tells me. 'For example, Thomas Jefferson is often judged harshly as a sexist even though the notion of complete equality between the sexes was almost unthinkable in his era.' Gordon-Reed calls it the 'why wasn't Jefferson like Alan Alda' question."

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