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Juliann,if you wish to believe the LDS Church has no problems attracting/retaining black members, you are free to believe that. But very few black people in the New York area (where I live) are Mormons. If I speak with black friends or acquaintances about the Church, they tend to dismiss it because they think of it as a Church that treated blacks like second-claass citizens, that taught people of a God darkening people's skin as punishment. (Yo need not take my wordonit. You ould read, for examle, what theNew ork Times and other papers have printed about the Mormon Church and New York's black community.) Yes, Brigham Young's views on race were outrageous; he was highly prejudiced. But in the 1950s and '60s, when some US Churches were beginning to support black civil rights, men like Joseph Fielding Smith were still writing how black skin was a sign of God's curse. When Martin Luther King was organizing freedom marches, his marchers were not all black; they were joined by some

whites from various Christian and Jewish denominations. King got expressions of support from various enlightened Christian and Jewish clergymen. I wish I could say that LDS leaders figured prominently among those joining in the fight for black civil rights back then, but that wasn't the case. I wish I could say that Utah was neof the first states to pass ciovil rights laws for blacks, but that wasn't the case. I'm glad the ban on blacks in the priesthood was lifted. I cetainly am not nostaligc for the tensions of the '60s and the '70s over race. I'm glad for the progress we've made But I think you'd have to be an ostrich, burying your head in the grouind, to think that the LDS Church does not still have problems in the eyes of many black Americans. If you were black, Juliann, would you feel warmly to a church that to this day was still trying to tell you that God did not want you to have the priesthood until 1978, that in some way you were not as good as whites? That alone is why many self-respecting blacks will still shun the LDS Church (even though many members are obviously free of bigotry). It would help a great deal if the Church could ever say that the anti-black policies were not of God, were not the will of God, but simply flawed policies created by all-too-human, flawed prophets and their supporters. You might believe, Juliann (as I do) that books like "Mormonism and the Nego" were ridiculous. But those racist books were never condemned by Church leadership. Their authors were not disfellowshipped or excommunicvated; they thrived in the Church culture, for the authors werer espousing views that were popular. It is understandable that all of us want to believe our Church is perfect, or the best of all Churches in all area. But the LDS Church has work to do in regards to civil rights. Has the Church produced leaders in the Civil Rights movement? Is the Church today producing the young people who will march alongside the Martin Luther Kings of tomorrow? Juliann, I don't think you want data, or proof, regarding the matters Ive brought up; I feel your mind is made up. And your argumnts sound very defensive. You keep pointing out that there were other churches i the southwith worse records (which is of course true but irrelevant). But if you want to know how the LDS Church is perceved by blacks, you can make inquiries. And learn. And see we have a ways to go. I'm all for the progress weve made. But we need to make more--not merely get defensive and say the LDS Church was better than some Southern churches. That's not enough.

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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.

Ahhh, the post hoc fallacy is alive and well, I see.

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Has the Church produced leaders in the Civil Rights movement?

Should they?

In what particulars is the present-day Civil Rights movement possessed of morality, judgment or -- frankly -- anything else to which the Church should be required to subsume its stated purposes?

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Yes They Should.

And if you are unaware of the particulars is the present-day Civil Rights movement possessed of morality, judgment or -- frankly -- anything else, then you are answering the overall question. Mormonism shares no morals that, in the realm of equality and justice in regards to Black people, they share no morals or virtues that are Biblical.

Do you honsetly think the answer is "no they should not?"

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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.

He went against many other laws and ideals, from polygamy to sedition against the US Government. This wasn't an issue of going against anything. He didn't BELIEVE in the truth, which is that God created Black people equally in every way imaginable with whites.

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. If I speak with black friends or acquaintances about the Church, they tend to dismiss it because they think of it as a Church that treated blacks like second-claass citizens, that taught people of a God darkening people's skin as punishment.

My, my. You have built a virtual army of strawmen. I've yet to see you citing any statistics. How many rambling remembrances have you posted and have yet shown any ability whatsoever to comprehend that not all blacks are American?

If I speak with black friends or acquaintances about the Church, they tend to dismiss it because they think of it as a Church that treated blacks like second-claass citizens, that taught people of a God darkening people's skin as punishment.

As did every major religion so what is your point beyond your bigotry towards LDS? Can you not comprehend that either?

(Yo need not take my wordonit.  You ould read, for examle, what theNew ork Times and other papers have printed about the Mormon Church and New York's black community.) 

We will have to, won't we? You certainly aren't going to supply anything to bolster your bigotry. I have already told you to walk into a library and survey the shelves dedicated to race and religion.

.    But in the 1950s and '60s, when some US Churches were beginning to support black civil rights, men like Joseph Fielding Smith were still writing how black skin was a sign of God's curse

One more time:

“In response to King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that his children might one day play together with white children, Graham, who had been invited but did not attend the 1963 March on Washington, said: ‘Only when Christ comes again will little white children of Alabama walk hand in hand with little black children.’  Richard O. Emerson and Christian Smith, Divided by Faith:  Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America.  New York: Oxford University Press, 2000,  p 47.

C.T. Vivian, a leader in the civil rights movement, said racism is deeply ingrained in America’s faith structures. "If you’re black in the United States, you become a Christian in spite of Christianity, not because of it," said Vivian, a former Nashville, Tenn., pastor who is now board chairman for the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal.

"In many ways the civil-rights movement was a confrontation between two Baptist groups," Vivian said. While Martin Luther King and other civil-rights leaders were "almost exclusively Baptists," opposition to the movement centered in white Baptist churches, because the South is largely Baptist, he said.

American Baptist Press

Speakers at Atlanta conference urge Baptists to combat racism

January 12, 1999 - Volume: 99-03 By Bob Allen

That you are a self-appointed protector of blacks while swimming in this kind of ignorance is appalling.

Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past,threatens the future and makes the present inaccessible. ~ Maya Angelou

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Didn't Juliann write a paper on Blacks once? Could someone post a link to it?

Thanks.

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Juliann, if you do not understand why some black Americans are turned off by the LDS Church, consider these facts. It was not enough that Brigham Young said hateful racist things in the 19th century. If that were all, people could easily look past that, saying he was a product of his time, and his statements in the mid-1800s had no relevance after his lifetime. Unfortunately, however, when the First Presidency of the LDS Church issued its official statement on the "Negro Question" (August 17, 1949), it approvingly cited Young in support of its racial policies, which it said had not changed at all. The First Presidency wrote: "The attitude of the church with reference to negroes remains as it alwayys stood...." The First Presidency quoted Young's reference to those "cursed with a skin of blackness." The statement suggested "that the Negro is punished or allotted a certain position n this earth...because of his failure to attain other stature in the spirit world." In 1978, the Church rescinded its ban on blacks in the priesthood. But it did not go farther. (Indeed, Pres. Hinckley told the LA Times: "I don't see anything further that we need to do." But did the Church ever rescind those racist suggestions in the 1949 official state,ent of the First Presidency, implying that blacks have an nferior status on earth because of actions taken in the spirit world (in the pre-existence)? Did the First Presidency ever state that it was wrong to suggest that, and that members should not believe that? To my knowledge, no. Which leaves those awful implications of the 1949 First Presidency statem,ent on the Negro Question in place. Apostle Bruce McConkie revised his influential book "Mormon Doctrine" to make note of the Church's 1978 change of policy regarding blacks and the priesthood. But he cntinued to insist that the race anmd nation in which men are born in this world is a direct result of their pre-existent life." He continued to suggest in print that Godf had set up a "caste system," and that Negroes were lower castwe. He wrote: "Cain, ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be dentified as caste apart, with whom the other descendants of of Adam should not intermarry." He was promulgating these racist, white-suprmaacis views AFTER the 1978 change opolicy regarding blacks and the priesthood. Was he disfellowshipped? Were his books removed from a Church-asffiliated bookstore? No. He books continued to enjoy widespread respect within the Mormon community. You can buy new copiews of Apostler McCoonkie's book to this day. Juliann, if you want to understand why some blacks are turned off by the LDS Church's views on race, you need onlyu reflect on tyhese facts. These bigotted statements come from highly respected figures in the LDS Church, offering spiritual guidance in my oqwn lifetime (not in Brigham Young's lifetime). These views of blacks--as a caste apart, punished because of actions taken in the pre-existebnce--continue to be voicedby some members of the Church. Why does not the First Presidency condemn such views, and say we have more enlightenment today? (My sources for the above, include--in addition to personal obseervation, Richard and Joan Ostliong's well-respected book, "Mormon America" (Harper San Fraqncisco, 1999)., pages 94-97. The same book notes (page 231) that only 0.4 percent of the students at BYU are black. If the LDS Church wants black Americans t feel that it considers whites and blacks equal, that it does not believe people are "cursed" with dark skins, that it is does not believe blacks were less valiant than whites in the pre-existence, the leadership of the Chutrch should make an official statement to that effect, and actvely strive to change attituides of those members which may still happen to accept the out-dated attitudes of McConkie and the 1949 Official Statement on the Negro Question by the First Presidency. Otherwise these attitudes may continue to be passed along by those who believe them. If you met me, Juliann, you would probably describe me as white; I am light-skinned, with a diverse array of friends and relatives (some of whom are Mormon, others are not.) But, as I've noted in passing in books I've written, I happen to be of mixed racial background. I am personally saddened when I read a statement by a respected BYU proferssor emeritus Eugene England that says he felt a majority of students at BYU believed (based on informal surveys he made) that blacks are "cursed," that their skin color "is an indication of riggteousness in the premortal life." Such beliefs are not being taught in the modern-day Lutheran, Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, or Roman Catholic faiths. If the leadership of the LDS Church feels such beliefs are wrong, it should say so--and repudiate past statements in support of such racial bigotry, once nd for all. I'm not going to post further on this topic. I don't believe I can reach you, Juliann; your mind seems rigidly set. Good luck.

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Juliann, if you do not understand why some black Americans are turned off by the LDS Church, consider these facts.

That is the best you can do? More strawmen? Does anyone here deny that the priesthood ban has had consequences? And I'd be glad to discuss facts with you anytime you feel like finding one.

But did the Church ever rescind those racist suggestions in the 1949 official state,ent of the First Presidency, implying that blacks have an nferior status on earth because of actions taken in the spirit world (in the pre-existence)?

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What you seem to be missing, Louis D. is that some here actually have cared enough about this issue to do some pretty extensive research and work on the subject.

You, OTOH, have an apparent sincere concern in your comments, yet demonstrate a lack of knowledge that would indicate actual effort and time put into the issue.

Who really cares the most here?

You should stop jumping to conclusions and at least do some background research in the archives here at FAIR so you know who you are dealing with. Otherwise it appears that all you care about is making yourself feel better by playing the crusader in an issue that you aren't willing to invest any real commitment in, unlike others that are here. If you want to accomplish change, it's better to work with people who are actually doing something about it rather than just criticizing them from the sidelines.

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well I found that men are men and god use men to make his church and his church will teach them but for no Brignham Young was a man and did not have all the full teachings of the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Yes I am the dude PGY. I only lose faith because I forget what i learn. What can you say from a guy who sins most of his life is sin. There is always oposite influence with me about the church. THe spirit that im familliar with brings me back to the church and dragon slayer those feelins of peace and love delt with the topics and teachings of the BOOK OF MORMON and so the truth is plain and we live in a life of liers with lack of knowledge or people who find things to make sense that prove the church wrong who really dont go that deep in to studying of the spiritual ends of the church but they study more into the physical relm then the spiritual realm. I can tell you this though the book of moromon gave me so much love for others by teaching me how to love. By the spirit i learned this. With out god I cant love. You can all quote me and say anything you want about me and what i just said it does not matter because as you read about the saints of the old you see they hang from a short end of evidence but live in faith. Why would I feel such truth run threw my body and deny it because some guy said this and this. Never have I knowen that the spirit of the lord could be so beautiful so loveing so careing to want me to be happy and love others. I do believe that the church is true because of what it has showed me threw the spirit and me seeing the same simmilar testimonies of others with the same spirit and the spirit is one perfect thought and gives little by little to build your faith upon its rock the spirit of jesus christ our savior and brother who will always be there for us when we want him to be. :unsure::P<_<:ph34r:

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Dragonslayer, or should it be Dragonserver,

you wrote:

But the only time I ever heard... that blacks should be killed on the spot for marrying a white person, was from a "famed" LDS president.

No. You didn't.

The only time you or I ever heard that blacks should be killed on the spot for marrying a white person, was from a lying anti-Mormon who cowered behind the anonymity of the internet.

What you heard from Brigham was that a white man who took advantage of his black slaves by sexually expoiting them should be put to death on the spot. That is the true meaning of the statement you are misrepresenting.

What you also heard from Brigham, when he, being the governor of Utah territory, had the opportunity to put his views into law, was that a white man who took advantage of his black slaves by sexually expoiting them would have said slaves confiscated. This was the only anti-miscegenation law passed in Utah during Brigham's tenure as governor.

Just so you know.

JLH,

you wrote:

If we can't conclude that it was ever originally commanded by God, how can we possibly conclude that the revelation that Spencer Kimball received in 1978 was from God? I mean why would God give a revelation lifting a ban He never put in place to begin with?

This is a non sequitur. God has revealed a great many things that changed existing states of affairs that were not instituted by him. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" is just one example of a revelation given to change a practice that was not instituted by revelation.

That's why all those who say this 1978 revealtion was more a reaction to social pressure on the church make a good case.

Only as long as we are relying upon emotion, not logic.

Regards,

Pahoran

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As much as critics like to land on Mormons, I'd take our history on this topic as compared to others any day. But it still isn't a rosy picture. If we had not been upfront about the ban while others were just quietly throwing blacks out of their churches or preventing them from entering their seminaries....no one would even notice us.

The above is a classic example of "living in denial". Perhaps Juliann will explain what the lds "2nd Article of Faith" states and why this was not applicable to blacks.

Time for the lds church to just admitt it's error.

Something about "what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to ...."

You guys need to slow down on the black vs. mormon idea. I grew up in a mormon home and while it wasnt the ideal, I never was allowed to think of blacks or indians as anything other than equals.

I was a missionary in the year the blacks got the priesthood. I heard it at the church in california while we were waiting for something. It came over the janitors radio. We had no idea it was happening. We learned it like the rest of the world.

Prior to that the Black Panthers had been targeting the mormon church for their racism and were going to "storm the headquarters" to get it resolved. They would do whatever it took. They were a mean force to be reckoned with. When they met with the first presidency and the prophet, they came out with a completely different demeanor. They left their mtg with the first pres. and prophet quietly and without fanfare. They simply said the issue was done. It was some time after that that the Priesthood was given to them.

Now, we could suppose a lot of things. But the fact of the matter is, the black panthers never left anyone without a loud resolute and a fist shaking. That didnt happen here. There was an answer given with reverence and they never spoke of it again. I still have the church newsletter upstairs. Maybe I will take a look at it tomorrow.

I also want to mention that if you read the OT, the priesthood is given only to the levites and even then it is the aaronic priesthood. The lord has waited for certain things to transpire before this power (not an obligation) is given to any people.

It has always been a tribe of Israel thing. Not a manking thing.

The church has never been afraid of taking a stance. It was always upfront and clear about the issue. It sounds like you are the one in denial. Do you need the church to fit into your denial scenario because you fear there is logic or purpose there?

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I served a mission in a Black country, The Dominican Republic, shortly after the Priestood Revelation, 1979-81. I think this was the right mission for me because I always had a hard time accepting the denial of priestood and temple blessings to our Black brothers and sisters. The Domican Republic has been one of the fastest growing areas in the Carribean and the first in that area to have a temple.

Personally, I believe the denial of priestood and temple blessings started with Brigham Young and his interpretation of the POGP and some of his personal biases towards the Negro Race. He made some racist comments regarding why Blacks have flat noses and black skin and strongly condemned inter-marriage with the Negro Race.

I believe as time went by and the US became more racially tolerant and passed Civil Rights Law, the LDS Church realized that they were behind the times and that some of their most faithful members were in Black countries such as Brazil. I believe President Kimball was inspired to lift this ban and also realized the damage this was doing to the church, as a whole.

Presently, the black congregations of Africa have the highest activity rates in the church. I can personally attest from the experiences on my mission, these faithful people were ready for the Gospel and have helped the church in its current rapid growth.

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"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.)

this means, that "law of God" makes it that any white person AND any Black person should be killed, whether or not it's in America (where interracial marriage was illegal) or Brazil (where it was encouraged) or Egypt (where Hamites and Whites intermarried) or anywhere else on the earth... GODS LAW, not AMERICA'S LAW.

Nice try Mormons. Bet you the moderator doesnt post it.

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Yes They [the LDS Church] Should [provide leaders for the present-day civil rights movement].

And if you are unaware of the particulars is the present-day Civil Rights movement possessed of morality, judgment or -- frankly -- anything else, then you are answering the overall question. Mormonism shares no morals that, in the realm of equality and justice in regards to Black people, they share no morals or virtues that are Biblical.

Do you honsetly think the answer is "no they should not?"

Do you honsetly think the answer is "no they should not?"

That's right.

Mormonism shares no morals that, in the realm of equality and justice in regards to Black people, they share no morals or virtues that are Biblical.

This is garbled. Care to try again?

In my real life, I come across the acquisativeness and cynicism of those who claim to represent the interests of minority group members quite frequently. I have yet to come across an advocate not in it for the benjamins. Are you proposing to tell me the aquisative advocate is not the leadership? The law of Cui bono would suggest otherwise.

'Course, I'm only 50 and have been doing this for over 20 years. But that's not scientific, is it?

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Is it true to Mormons that God is:

A. All-knowing

B. Infallible?

[spelling corrected.]

Yes and yes.

There is a minority strand of LDS thought which holds that God progresses in knowledge. This strand is best represented by an LDS philosopher named Blake Ostler. The basis of this view is not that you or I could know something that God does not know, but that (1) precise and infallible knowledge of future events is not compatible with free will, and (2) the future, since it does not yet exist, is not inherently knowable. Thus, when the future arrives, the reality that God merely expected or anticipated, comes to pass and he now knows it.

Ostler expresses the free will portion of the argument thus: assume that God has always infallibly foreknown that you will rob a 7-Eleven store next Tuesday. If you freely choose not to rob the store, this would entail that God was wrong. Since it is not possible for infallible foreknowledge to be wrong, it follows that either (1) you are not free to choose not to rob the store, in which case the future is immutably fixed and there is no free will, or (2) there is free will, the future is not immutably fixed, and God does not infallibly foreknow the future.

However, this idea does not necessarily entail actual fallibility on God's part. While, in this view, he cannot know what will happen, he does know everything that could happen. That is, he knows that you could choose to either rob the store or not rob it. This is because he knows everything that is true of the past and the present; he knows what everything in creation has done and is doing; he knows what all of the the variables are, and foresees all possible outcomes; he can thus plan for all contingencies and be certain that his purposes will be accomplished because of his almighty power.

I hope this is helpful.

BTW, how is your buddy Usama?

Regards,

Pahoran

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So prophecy then is just the best forcasting available? And if it could be wrong?

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So prophecy then is just the best forcasting available? And if it could be wrong?

I always find this so amazing. You don't consider prophecy a reality yet you trivialize a very complex and rich topic for an easy cheap shot. Do you have any interest at all in at least taking a look from scholarship where it is considered a worthy topic?

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Juliann,

I am interested in taking a look at it. Hence my questions. I think they are fair questions. Forcasting is a suitable term for the process Pahoran is describing. And if God knows all the possibilities, but does not communicate all those possibilies in the scriptures, then he isn't providing his infallible knowledge via revelation, but something else. My guess would be he has likelihood estimates for all the possibilities he plans for, and communicates the most likely scenarios to his prophets. But I don't know, so I'm asking.

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But I don't know, so I'm asking.

Openess theology provides some interesting thoughts on this.

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You wrote: I apologize if this has been brought up, but I only have a couple questions and don't have the time to forum search through topics. Please don't take this as an attack, I'd just like to know.

Gary: This is what this forum is for - to ask questions, get ideas from others, so you can formulate your own ideas on issues.

1 ) Cain being darkened by God as punishment for his sin. Does this infer that the reason Africans are indeed dark is because of this, and not effect of the sun?

Gary: Cain's skin was darkened as a punishment for sin. However, we have no actual evidence in the scriptures that this "curse" was passed on. Other curses of dark skin are noted, such as the Lamanite curse in the BoM, however what exactly entails the curse or why a curse would continue is a question. In the instance of the BoM, it was more to help Nephites separate themselves from unbelievers. However, when Lamanites were converted, this issue of skin and curse virtually goes away. We don't hear about the skin curse after the visit of Jesus to the Americas, and so the term Lamanite after that period may have been more of a political term, rather than a racial one.

2 ) I know Joseph Smith has been quoted stating that abolishing slavery would be counter-productive to the curse placed upon them, and that whites at the time shouldn't have to suffer because of it. Was this a reflection of the religion itself? If it is, would you, as LDS Christians, agree with his opinion at the time?

Gary: Joseph Smith ran for president of the United States. On his platform was the issue of buying freedom for the slaves by selling lands out west. Joseph did not discuss the curse, but actually ordained some blacks, like Elijah Abel, to the priesthood. The issue of the curse took hold in Utah under Brigham Young. Research shows there is no evidence of a mandate from God to establish/reestablish the "curse of Cain" in our day. It is very possible that the common belief of the 1840s/1850s of the blacks being cursed was accepted by Brigham Young and taught form that stand point.

IMO, The Lord allowed a "ban" (not a curse) on the priesthood for several reasons. First, the LDS church was under constant attack as it was over issues including polygamy and its active proselyting that scared people into taking drastic actions against Mormons. Second, the small Church was doing its best to establish a foundation, one which it would have not been able to do in a racist America had it embraced proselyting to many African-Americans, even as recent as the 1950s and 1960s. The Church was still a western Church until that timeframe, so addressing the issue of blacks and the priesthood ban was not a major issue.

In 1978, however, a temple was being built in Brazil. With the mixture of blacks and whites in that country, it was difficult to separate race. Elder David B Haight of the Twelve Apostles told me in 1979 about the revelation to end the priesthood ban. President Kimball gathered his counselors and the majority of the Twelve together in the Salt Lake Temple to pray about ending the ban. The Lord gave them a major revelation on the issue, one which Elder Bruce R McConkie would later tell me was "greater than the revelation of the Son."

So, we do not know exactly why a ban was put in place, though I believe the Lord allowed it in order to allow the Church to establish a foundation and to survive. But it definitely did end with a revelation, when the Church was strong enough to go into more of the world, and when the world was ready to accept blacks as equals.

I lived in the South for almost 20 years, during which time I noted that most Christian churches are still segregated, though by choice. There are white Baptist Churches and Black Baptist Churches, but very few integrated ones. The LDS Church is totally integrated by geography, so if you attend our branch/congregation in Tuskegee Alabama, you'll see blacks and whites sitting together. The same in Montgomery, AL and other places. Of course, depending on the demographics of an area, a congregation may be more of one race/ethnicity than another.

3 ) Why were blacks unable to become ordained prior to 1970? And why were they then allowed to?

Gary: I think I tried answering that above. For some reason, God allowed a ban. I believe it was to allow the small Church to grow until it and the world were ready for blacks to be considered equals. It isn't the first time the Lord has given limitations on priesthood or membership. Only the descendants of Levi were allowed to hold the Levitical priesthood under the Mosaic Law, and then only Aaron's descendants were allowed to be high priest. Jesus told his apostles to only take the gospel to the tribes of Israel and not to the Gentiles, lifting that restriction later when Peter was commanded to go to Cornelius. Why the restrictions on taking the gospel to the Gentiles? Because the Lord chose it that way. The Church in His day would have suffered had it not been allowed to first establish a foundation amongst the Jews, and then when it was strong enough, to take it to the Gentiles, as well.

Gary Smith

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Yes They [the LDS Church] Should [provide leaders for the present-day civil rights movement].

And if you are unaware of the particulars is the present-day Civil Rights movement possessed of morality, judgment or -- frankly -- anything else, then you are answering the overall question. Mormonism shares no morals that, in the realm of equality and justice in regards to Black people, they share no morals or virtues that are Biblical.

Do you honsetly think the answer is "no they should not?"

Do you honsetly think the answer is "no they should not?"

That's right.

Mormonism shares no morals that, in the realm of equality and justice in regards to Black people, they share no morals or virtues that are Biblical.

This is garbled. Care to try again?

In my real life, I come across the acquisativeness and cynicism of those who claim to represent the interests of minority group members quite frequently. I have yet to come across an advocate not in it for the benjamins. Are you proposing to tell me the aquisative advocate is not the leadership? The law of Cui bono would suggest otherwise.

'Course, I'm only 50 and have been doing this for over 20 years. But that's not scientific, is it?

No it's not scientific. Because your experiences are not held to a higher virtue than anyone else's, including my own.

You're explaining why the Mormon religious structure should not have taken a stand with the ideals of the civil rights movement. Your excuses are that some within the civil rights who represent minorities (assuming they are not minorities themselves) were too cynical and too weak-willed to stand up for the ideals, without money being the primary motivation. I think the results over the past 50 years refute you.

In addition, you are of course saying "those in the civil rights movement didn't really do any good, why should we Mormons?" because as it well known, the Mormon church did absolutely no good in leading or standing for the ideals of the civil rights movement.

You've wasted 20 years then. Whatever the reason you began in 1984 is unrelated to the comments I am speaking of.

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You asked:

Is it true to Mormons that God is:

A. All-knowing

B. Infallible?

rameumptom: The majority of LDS do believe that God is all knowing and infallible. There is a small group, as Juliann mentioned that do believe God does not know the future, but knows all there is to know at this current moment. These people, like Blake Ostler, believe in "libertarian" free agency, or absolute agency, if you will.

I personally do not ascribe to their position, though I've studied and considered it. Elder Neal Maxwell of the Twelve apostles describes God as living in an "eternal Now", where all things are present before Him.

My personal opinion on how it works with agency is: God the Father knows all things. LDS theology teaches Christ is our mediator in all things. If the Father reserves some events of futurity from Christ (such as which ones of us will be saved), then it allows for the majority of events on earth to be handled by Christ, without Christ knowing who exactly will make it all the way or knowing positively each decision we will make in the future. There are examples in scripture of God keeping things from Christ, such as in Matthew 24, where only the Father knew the day and hour of the Second Coming, or Christ telling his disciples in John 15 that whatever the Father had taught him, he had shared with his "friends." And in LDS theology, D&C 93 tells us that Christ went from grace to grace until he achieved a fulness.

Rameumptom

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