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Africans and Mormonism

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Before we praise the RLDS too highly for their "forward" thinking regarding the priesthood (which, of course, they don't have) it should be noted that black members were only permitted to the "lower" priesthood. They were not allowed in the "higher" priesthood for many years.

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The LDS Church is the only major denomination to have people meet in the congregation they live in.

Actually most all denominations have people meet in the congregation they live in. I think you meant to say that the LDS Church is the only church that requires it.

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I stand corrected.

Dr Fatguy

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Kurtlein,

With regard to your remarks regarding the RLDS practice of ordaining Blacks to the "lower priesthood" (actually we have no such thing), please could you provide a reference.

The reason I ask is that I have an RLDS D&C which contains a revelation to Joseph Smith III on the subject of Black ordination, and it makes no such specification.

Alan

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In regards to the Blacks holding the Priesthood. Have any of you thought that perhaps the Lord didn't see it fit for them to hold the Priesthood at that time? And maybe for his own reasons? For his ways are not our ways, and his thoughts are not our thoughts.

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Dan,

Ummm, problem with that is that Blacks were ordained to the priesthood by Joseph Smith. Several of them. Then along comes Brigham young and stops it.

So, the problem with your proposition is that it creates a God who can't decide what is best and keeps flip-flopping from one thing to the other. A very inconsistent God.

By extension then, should we suppose that the current practice of ordaining Blacks in the LDS church is subject to change just like it was originally? perhaps the next LDS president will stop it again.

Alan

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It was in the (then) Milwaukee Journal, early 1970's, when the president of Schlitz Brewery resigned his "Eldership" in the "higher" priesthood in the RLDS Church (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin Congregation) because he felt it conflicted with his occupation as a brewer and returned to the "lower" priesthood as a Priest. In the same article it mentioned that unlike the LDS the RLDS permitted blacks in the "lower" priesthood. The on-line archives of the (now) Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel don't go that far back and I no longer live in Wisconsin but I delivered the paper when it was in the religion section. I also remember reading something about it in the Saints Herald which someone subscribed to for us.

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Kurtlein,

I can guarrantee you that this is absolutely not true.

It is well to keep in mind that the Milwaukee Journal is hardly an authority on things RLDS.

Alan

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Kurtlein,

I can guarrantee you that this is absolutely not true.

It is well to keep in mind that the Milwaukee Journal is hardly an authority on things RLDS.

Alan

Can you? Were you there?

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I know RLDS history well enough to know that there was no distinction between Whites and Blacks with regard to either the Aaronic or the Melchezedek Priesthoods.

Alan

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I know RLDS history well enough to know that there was no distinction between Whites and Blacks with regard to either the Aaronic or the Melchezedek Priesthoods.

Alan

I think it ill behooves us to try to tell the Reorganite/CoC cousins what they believe, when we gripe so much about BACs doing the same to us.

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Juliann, if wounds are to be healed, then fcts must be faced, not hidden or glossed over. The LDS Church has a problem gaining and keeping black members which many other leading Christian denominations do not have because of what many blacks have perceived to be prejudicial attitudes within the Church.

You are having a problem facing reality. Leading Christian denominations have been divided for some time....have you ever heard of groups like the AME? Do you understand the significance of that?

I rwemember, because it occurred in my college years in the early '70s, when protests by blacks against BYU racial policies were fervent (at one game, violent).  Inter-racial dating was then  forbidden at BYU. When the University of Washington announced it would no longer play games against BYU because of racial discrimination, that was significant. 

ZZZZZzzzzzzz Two can play the remember game. I'm going to ask again, what purpose does it serve for me to remind you that blacks had their own churches in the 70's? I can bury you in data and studies about ongoing problems in Protestant race relations today. What does this accomplish?

John Stewart's "Mormonism and the Negro (1960)"--

And that is the worst you can pull up? You are worried about a ridiculous book that a miniscule part of the population read while the southern churches were turning a blind eye to some of the worst terror and brutality the world has seen? You have to be kidding!

And, Juliann, if you want that situaion to improve, you must ask why so few black people have felt welcome in the Church, and what could be done to make things better.

Because of race-baiting like this? I cannot even begin to tell you how stupid your objections sound considering the larger picture. If blacks can forgive the churches who enslaved and murdered them for centuries, I think the LDS church will get by somehow without your uninformed advice.

And please provide some documentation if you want your laundry list of double standards to be considered. :P

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I think it ill behooves us to try to tell the Reorganite/CoC cousins what they believe, when we gripe so much about BACs doing the same to us.

I would like some documentation, though. There was a claim that RLDS engaged in no discrimination whatsoever and my question was not answered. A quick search on the net is bringing up things like blacks were ordained...but for the purpose of ministering to blacks. Also, blacks were segregated and I find it hard to believe that in that time and era it would have been possible to openly associated with blacks in the south. I'm not making this an accusation and I'm sure they have a better record that most...but this idea that you have to have behaved like a 21st century church in the 60's is irrational.

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The LDS church has always warned membwes of the difficulty associated with inter-cultural/racial marriages... they still do today. Why becasue the overwhelming statistical evdience of every survery conducted shows that there is great seperation chances amongst inter-racial marriage. That has nothing to do with skin color or equality.

Also about the LDS church keeping members who are black. Let it be remembered that the LDS church has the highest percentage retention rate out of any Christian Religion in the united states, England, Canada, Australia, Japn, taiwan, and many other countires. Followed by the seventh day adventists followed byt he jehovah witnesses.

In fact the conversion rate of the Baptist church is reportedly lower than the number of people turning to other religions or ceasing religious practice.. i am not sure about other christian fatihs however.

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I am not seeing what the big controversy over this is.

There is only one question we need to ask. Does God guide who the Priesthood can and should be given to?

The Answer is yes.

God told Moses only the Levites could hold the priesthood at a time.

Heck Christ Himself prohibited the Gospel to be preached the the Gentiles.

Does that make Moses or Christ racists? They both knew the time would come when all would be given the blessing. God had His reasons for waiting to extend this blessing.

Because of this our congregations are not segregated like most of the rest of Christendom. We have our brethren of all races sitting together and are truly one in Christ.

Because of the Ban we were not in African back when they were rebelling against the colononial masters and saw Churches as an instrument of colonial oppression. we were saved from that stigma.

It could have been one of those reasons or God could have some higher reason none of us can see or even concieve. What I can assure you is the foolishness of God is greater than the wisdom of the greatest wise man. And He sees things in the big picture that we cannot.

The fact that the blessings of the Priesthood have not been denied anyone from any race. Although there were some denied those blessings in mortality they shall be blessed with them in the resurrection. All shall stand before God on equal footing.

We can speculate all we want. Our Critics can accuse of vile and false things all they want but it doesn't change what matters.

What matters isnt there was once a priesthood ban on those of African decent. What matters is does God speak to mankind and does He speak to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If He does then God withheld those blessings for a time for a reason and it doesnt matter whether we think it was wrong or right because God is wiser than us all. If God doesnt speak with the Church then the priesthood ban doesn't matter since it doesnt matter one whit to anyones salvation.

So why make such a big issue out of such a small molehill?

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Juliann, if wounds are to be healed, then fcts must be faced, not hidden or glossed over. The LDS Church has a problem gaining and keeping black members which many other leading Christian denominations do not have because of what many blacks have perceived to be prejudicial attitudes within the Church. I rwemember, because it occurred in my college years in the early '70s, when protests by blacks against BYU racial policies were fervent (at one game, violent). Inter-racial dating was then forbidden at BYU. When the University of Washington announced it would no longer play games against BYU because of racial discrimination, that was significant. BYU--the most prominen LDS-affililiate college or university--was recognized as being out of the American mainstream, behind the times compared to most colleges, in terms of rcial attitudes. William Berrett, Vice President of BYU and Vice Administrator of the Unified School System of the LDS Church wrot a supplement to John Stewart's "Mormonism and the Negro (1960)"--as hurtful a white supremacist book as ever read justifying the LDS positions on raciak discrimination. Individuals like Berrett were so high u in the LDS world that their views cannot be dismisseed as those of random individuals. They were leaders and educators. Until Church officials acknowledge past sins in attitudes towards blacks that were taught widely within the Church, I don't know how wounds will heal. Very, very few blacks are members of the LDS Church (much less high-up me4mbers). And, Juliann, if you want that situaion to improve, you must ask why so few black people have felt welcome in the Church, and what could be done to make things better.

Louis, I'm not sure where you are deriving your information. The church doesn't keep track of racial designation in its membership database, so it would be extremely difficult to determine who is what race. As such, how can you say that baptism and retention of black members is so bad relative to other denominations? Of baptisms in our ward the past 4 years, at least 70% of the people were black, and almost all are still quite active. Our Bishop and his first counselor are black. We are one of the few integrated congregations in town. The same pattern exists in the rest of the Stake. Do you have some numbers to back up your assertions? How are the other denominations doing? I'm sensing that you are shooting arrows in the fog hoping to strike some unseen target.

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Well, it's a challenging doctrine. I imagine if the tables were turned, caucasions would have at least as much of a problem with it, if not more.

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Was it a doctrine or practice? My opinion is practice.

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If you live in the New Yor area, as I do, it is not hard to see the problems the LDS Church has had--and continues to have--in attracting and retaining black members. 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. In the matter of racec relations, the LDS Church has baggage that the Prebyterian, Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Episcopal churches of this region don't have. Juliann, you may choose to tune out when you hear these facts (and write "ZZZZZZZ" in you rpost, because you are willfully choosing to blind yourself, to sleep rather than want t see if your beliefs are correct). Brigham Young's numerous anti-black statements (preserved in the official "Journal of Discourses" I have on my bookshelf) influenced attitudes of the community for decades, and left a lingering imprint. You can still find Mormons who believe--because the old stories were passsed down--that black skin color is a curse, that blacks were less valiant than whites in the pre-existence, and that is why inter-racial dating is to be discouraged (or outright banned, as it once was at BYU). The line in the BOM of Mormon about people being "white and delightsome" provided a kind of support for white supremacist thinking; the assumptioon that white is more delightsome than black is offensive. Thre are black members of the LDS Church who have tried--and are currently trying--to combat the racial problems they feel have been fostered. They have often complained they do not feel they are listened to. Every time sme writes something like, "ZZZZZ"--meaning, "I wouild rather go to sleep than learn about these masttters," it only confirms their impressions of indifference. No amount of documentation will change attitudes of people who want to believe (despite all evidence) that there were no problems in the past and no problems today.

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Oh please, Louis, Juliann has forgotten more about this topic than you'll ever know. She's not ignoring anything, willfully or otherwise.

It's true that we don't attract many black members in the U.S. but the number of black members in other countries is rising dramatically. Moreover, my brother was a missionary in Harlem. He tracted in the projects and he fair to moderate success among african-americans. A good deal of our problem attracting black members has nothing to do with past LDS racial history. The issue is much more complex and multifaceted than you portray it.

C.I.

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I don't know the reason for the ban. Nor does anyone one else here.

For all I know it was a trial to the caucasians. To see how we would treat those under the ban.

At any rate it is but one of the many questions I'm going to ask Heavenly Father about. When I finally go home.

My son served his mission in Zimbabwe, and percentage wise Africa is the fastest growing area in the Church.

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Julian: "I'm not making this an accusation and I'm sure they have a better record that most...but this idea that you have to have behaved like a 21st century church in the 60's is irrational."

I quite agree . . . and wonder if you really intended to state I am the "you" in the last "but . . ." clause.

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Was it a doctrine or practice? My opinion is practice.

I think the question is whether or not it it true doctrine.

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Was it a doctrine or practice?  My opinion is practice.

I think the question is whether or not it it true doctrine.

Depends, I suppose, on what the definition of is is.

JK

We don't know why the ban. Wish we did. It would make our missionary work with US blacks easier. Folks in Africa don't seem to care much, the BAC antis' efforts notwithstanding.

A more interesting question for you: Find me an LDS person today who isn't delighted the ban was lifted.

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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?

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