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Be One (Teaser Trailer for the Celebration on the Priesthood)

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5 hours ago, juliann said:

And this is not just a Mormon problem, we do have the advantage of not officially segregating congregations so we don't have the bigger the problem of a white church on one side of the street and a black on the other. 

To be fair, it’s pretty easy to not segregate your church into black and white congregations when it would have been imposssible to do so (prior to the ban).

Edited by omni

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2 hours ago, juliann said:

I think it is quite knowable with the growing body of evidence. That there was no claimed revelation that started it should be enough, IMO.  We do know that. There is a difference in what can be "known" and how the church has to walk on eggshells because of members who will fall apart.

It seems like we shouldn’t have to choose between losing members who believe that temple ban was of God and those who believe that it wasn’t.  But I agree, the Brethren are walking on eggshells with the current ambiguous essay. 

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On ‎05‎/‎08‎/‎2018 at 12:29 PM, cinepro said:

Likewise, there's a lot in the scriptures that is allegorical, metaphorical, or mythical (as is constantly pointed out on this forum).  There would be nothing wrong with the Church saying that while these verses were in the scriptures historically, they aren't something the Church wants taught anymore, and we aren't sure of their veracity in the first place.

What is wrong with the fact that they included the following text in the newest edition of the scriptures?

Quote

The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood.

(Doctrine and Covenants, OD 2, Heading)

But keep in mind that the biggest ban on just about everybody holding the priesthood is recorded in the Bible when Moses said only his brother and his brother's sons could hold the Aaronic priesthood at the time it was created.

Edited by MormonMason

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31 minutes ago, MormonMason said:

But keep in mind that the biggest ban on just about everybody holding the priesthood is recorded in the Bible when Moses said only his brother and his brother's sons could hold the Aaronic priesthood at the time it was created.

But there is a difference in saying only a hundred plus men can hold the office of General Authority, for example, and saying only one group of people are excluded from being called to hold the Priesthood...especially when that group were already oppressed in society in multiple ways.

People understand that special callings have number limits on them, reasoning only so many are needed and it is not that anything is wrong with all the rest.  When a general calling has an exclusion for a small group of people only...then the obvious question becomes what is wrong with them that they can't be worthy to have what everyone else has.

Edited by Calm
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31 minutes ago, Calm said:

But there is a difference in saying only a hundred plus men can hold the office of General Authority, for example, and saying only one group of people are excluded from being called to hold the Priesthood...especially when that group were already oppressed in society in multiple ways.

People understand that special callings have number limits on them, reasoning only so many are needed and it is not that anything is wrong with all the rest.  When a general calling has an exclusion for a small group of people only...then the obvious question becomes what is wrong with them that they can't be worthy to have what everyone else has.

Descendants of Lot were forbidden to enter the congregation of God by his command (Deut. 23:3-4; Neh. 13:1-3).  Only a very few exceptions were made (Ruth, David, Solomon, etc).  God has his reasons for doing the things he did, when he did them, even when we don't.  When the Church was spreading in the days of the original twelve apostles, God forbade his apostles to preach the Gospel in Asia (Acts 16:6-7).  What about all those people who weren't allowed by God and his Holy Spirit to have even the Gospel or even be members of the Church?

Sometimes it is a test of faith.  Jews looked very unfavorably on Canaanites in the days of Jesus.  Jesus's disciples got tired of a Canaanite woman crying after them for help.  Jesus ignored her!  The disciples asked the Lord to tell that Canaanite woman to go away!  He doesn't rebuke his disciples.  But what does Jesus do when this Canaanite woman finally managed to speak to him and wanted some help with her sick daughter? He told her he wasn't sent to anybody but the lost sheep of Israel and that it wasn't right to give the food of the children of Israel to the dogs!  Did the woman storm off in anger? No.  She pled with Jesus and admitted in so many words that she was a "dog" by saying, "Truth, Lord, but the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table".  Jesus was amazed with her response and helped her from that moment.  (See Matt. 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30.)  Why did he not rebuke his disciples and not ignore her himself? Why did Jesus make the poor woman go through all that?

Sometimes we just don't know why. God has his reasons, whatever they may be.  We just have to trust him and his servants the prophets (2 Chron. 20:20).  He knows what's best for us even when we don't.

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3 hours ago, rockpond said:

It seems like we shouldn’t have to choose between losing members who believe that temple ban was of God and those who believe that it wasn’t.

I wouldn't expect members with either of those understandings to walk away (or, to use juliann's demeaning language, 'fall apart') if corrected. I know I wouldn't.

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

When a general calling has an exclusion for a small group of people only...then the obvious question becomes what is wrong with them that they can't be worthy to have what everyone else has.

You mean like allowing everyone to serve in the temple except single members over the age of 30?

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Sometimes we just don't know why. God has his reasons, whatever they may be.  We just have to trust him and his servants the prophets (2 Chron. 20:20).  He knows what's best for us even when we don't.

I don't disagree (I heavily lean towards the Ban being manmade, but Pres. McKay's experience leaves the question still open a wee bit for me; nor do I require the Ban to be manmade because it was so very, very unequal in its treatment in mortality, I see a lot of inequality that appears to be the work of God when only mortality is looked at and not the entirety of our existence), but that doesn't remove the difference between calling a few and excluding a few.  Using one to dismiss the impact of the other doesn't work, imo.  It is apples and oranges...or at least grapefruits and oranges.

Edited by Calm

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1 minute ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

You mean like allowing everyone to serve in the temple except single members over the age of 30?

Yeah, that is more like it.

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Those who don't want to accept a divine origin for the ban *always* ignore testimony from contemporaries and eyewitnesses like Zebedee Coltrin (presidency of the seventy) and Abraham Smoot, who report that Joseph Smith himself claimed revelation for the ban. They usually dismiss them as being Southerners or slaveholders, so of course they would make that up (no evidence for that, and that is sort of ad hominem to claim that). Coltrin even reports Joseph dropping his head in thought and prayer and then saying that God revealed that they should not be given the priesthood.

Stapley, in the above linked blog post, repeats the fact that black men were ordained during the time of Joseph Smith. What he, and all others, never emphasize is how many are we talking about? You can count them on one hand, and it is equally clear that the inception of the ban was not uniform and clear-cut. That is, witnesses report Joseph Smith's revealing of the ban after these men had been ordained. Zebedee Coltrin reported being the one who ordained Elijah Abel, and he said that he felt so rebuked by the Spirit that he determined that he would never again ordain another black man. One can say, "Well, he was just a racist jerk, so of course he felt that way," but this blithely dismisses his own testimony on the matter (i.e., letting him speak for himself without putting words in his mouth or imputing motives to him).

I think a strong point (the same point the Church makes with respect to gay marriage, in fact) is the longevity and intensity of the handed-down tradition among the Brethren (which President McKay invoked when speaking about attempting to lift the ban. He required a direct revelation on the matter on the other side of the scales from this handed-down tradition, and his answer from God was that it was not the right time). I think such longevity and intensity can only be explained by a Joseph Smith origin, and not just leaving it at the feet of Brigham Young. And, when John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Heber C. Kimball, Ezra T. Benson, George A. Smith, et. al. talk about the ban, they all have similar views. I think such uniformity is to be explained by taking their cue from Joseph Smith, not solely Brigham Young. Even without a written, terminal revelation, they knew from their experience and weren't comfortable imparting their own wishes or views over the tone Joseph Smith had set without a direct revelation.

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8 minutes ago, rongo said:

Those who don't want to accept a divine origin for the ban *always* ignore testimony from contemporaries and eyewitnesses like Zebedee Coltrin (presidency of the seventy) and Abraham Smoot, who report that Joseph Smith himself claimed revelation for the ban. They usually dismiss them as being Southerners or slaveholders, so of course they would make that up (no evidence for that, and that is sort of ad hominem to claim that). Coltrin even reports Joseph dropping his head in thought and prayer and then saying that God revealed that they should not be given the priesthood.

Stapley, in the above linked blog post, repeats the fact that black men were ordained during the time of Joseph Smith. What he, and all others, never emphasize is how many are we talking about? You can count them on one hand, and it is equally clear that the inception of the ban was not uniform and clear-cut. That is, witnesses report Joseph Smith's revealing of the ban after these men had been ordained. Zebedee Coltrin reported being the one who ordained Elijah Abel, and he said that he felt so rebuked by the Spirit that he determined that he would never again ordain another black man. One can say, "Well, he was just a racist jerk, so of course he felt that way," but this blithely dismisses his own testimony on the matter (i.e., letting him speak for himself without putting words in his mouth or imputing motives to him).

I think a strong point (the same point the Church makes with respect to gay marriage, in fact) is the longevity and intensity of the handed-down tradition among the Brethren (which President McKay invoked when speaking about attempting to lift the ban. He required a direct revelation on the matter on the other side of the scales from this handed-down tradition, and his answer from God was that it was not the right time). I think such longevity and intensity can only be explained by a Joseph Smith origin, and not just leaving it at the feet of Brigham Young. And, when John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Heber C. Kimball, Ezra T. Benson, George A. Smith, et. al. talk about the ban, they all have similar views. I think such uniformity is to be explained by taking their cue from Joseph Smith, not solely Brigham Young. Even without a written, terminal revelation, they knew from their experience and weren't comfortable imparting their own wishes or views over the tone Joseph Smith had set without a direct revelation.

Reasonable points but I’ve got a few questions/comments:

1.  If Joseph Smith received a revelation that black men should not be ordained, shouldn’t we find something in the JS papers project?  Is there anything there?

2.  Brigham Young does seem like a strong enough leader that he could have influenced all of the leaders that you list.  I don’t find that hard to believe. 

3.  The longevity argument is not particularly compelling to me.  Our very human prejudices take a long time to overcome.  Slavery went on for centuries and humans were able to find justification for it in the Bible.  We passed those beliefs down from one generation to another.  Today, in general conference, we watch our general authorities quote and re-quote the apostles.  For me it is easy to see how incorrect principles can gain longevity. And the, now disavowed, false justifications for the racial restrictions that were taught through official channels over a century seem to be evidence of that. 

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52 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Reasonable points but I’ve got a few questions/comments:

1.  If Joseph Smith received a revelation that black men should not be ordained, shouldn’t we find something in the JS papers project?  Is there anything there?

2.  Brigham Young does seem like a strong enough leader that he could have influenced all of the leaders that you list.  I don’t find that hard to believe. 

3.  The longevity argument is not particularly compelling to me.  Our very human prejudices take a long time to overcome.  Slavery went on for centuries and humans were able to find justification for it in the Bible.  We passed those beliefs down from one generation to another.  Today, in general conference, we watch our general authorities quote and re-quote the apostles.  For me it is easy to see how incorrect principles can gain longevity. And the, now disavowed, false justifications for the racial restrictions that were taught through official channels over a century seem to be evidence of that. 

Good points.

1) Only if he sought to have it written. Coltrin and Smoot both simply speak of him telling them what the will of God on the matter was, but there doesn't seem to be any insistence on anyone's part that he take a scribe, put it in writing, and codify it. Coltrin reports that the question came up when discussing the matter after serving a mission in the South, so they sought out Joseph for a definitive answer. That is when he (according to Coltrin) became visibly in a revelatory mode, and gave his answer. 

1a) For the sake of argument, if this incident indeed really did happen, what implications are there for those who don't believe in a divine origin for the ban? Would Joseph Smith saying that God revealed the ban have any bearing on the matter --- whether written down or not? Assuming for the sake of argument that Joseph Smith gave different answers on this over time, doesn't that at least refute the notion that Joseph Smith had nothing to do with the ban's inception? I think the fall-back position then becomes "no written, codified revelation," or "he changed his mind." The state of the evidence is such that it pretty much comes down to what individual members want to believe --- either they believe the witnesses were lying and made it up, or they believe them. But, it's left up to the individual as to what he wants to believe. Which is where the Paul Reeve essay leaves us, too . . .

2) This is also a Meinungssache. A mirror that reflects the way each of us wants it to be or to have been. For me (and others), the impact on a wide variety of men with different temperaments is much broader than Brigham Young's sphere of influence. His influence didn't carry the day with Adam-God, for example. Why assume that it had to have with the ban? Because they need to pin it on him to avoid Joseph Smith (like the RLDS did for years and years with polygamy).

2a) Where did Brigham Young get his idea that the priesthood would in the future be given to blacks? Everyone knows his statement that it would be after Abel's descendants had the opportunity first, but that still envisions a time when it occurs. He also made a statement 116 years before the ban was lifted that there were people present who would see that day. Where did he get this idea from? Wilford Woodruff also taught that temple blessings would be available in the future to the seed of Ham. I think these are also traces of what Joseph Smith taught on this, not just their own ideas.

3) The question that anti-divine originers have never answered to my satisfaction is: why did God allow his prophets and leaders to perpetuate it for so long if it was so wrong in his eyes? And if part of that answer is: because lifting it prematurely would have hurt the Church due to social climate, then doesn't that point to the ban being a protection for the Church until that time? 

Edited by rongo

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11 hours ago, Calm said:

I don't disagree (I heavily lean towards the Ban being manmade, but Pres. McKay's experience leaves the question still open a wee bit for me; nor do I require the Ban to be manmade because it was so very, very unequal in its treatment in mortality, I see a lot of inequality that appears to be the work of God when only mortality is looked at and not the entirety of our existence), but that doesn't remove the difference between calling a few and excluding a few.  Using one to dismiss the impact of the other doesn't work, imo.  It is apples and oranges...or at least grapefruits and oranges.

But it does establish a pattern.  On the other hand, I lean completely towards the ban not being manmade.  I've seen too much to think otherwise.  It was not just David O. McKay who had an experience like that to which you allude.  He really wanted the ban to end but it continued.  A similar but worse thing happened to John Taylor, too.  He held a council to determine whether or not ban should be discontinued.  A Black woman (I do not recall her name at this precise moment) had wanted to receive her endowment but the policy prevented it.  They had considered admitting Blacks to at least the Aaronic part of the endowment ceremony.  Apparently, contradictory eyewitness testimony of a couple individuals was presented during the council, along with other evidence.  President Taylor finally stated to the people involved in the situation that the information and testimony was inconclusive, and that he would have to check Church records and take it to prayer to come to a final decision.  He did what he said he would.  He also had the heartrending situation, toward the end of the matter, of that same member of the Church scratching her arm with her nails until she bled in front of him in protest to the ban.  But what had he done? He did what he said he would.  And the ban continued.

Another situation took place during the administration of Joseph Fielding Smith.  The ban continued.  But, even during the ban, exceptions were made.  I have copies of membership records showing that two descendants of Elijah Abel were ordained to the priesthood while the ban was in full force.  I also have a copy of written eyewitness testimony of a Black Branch President ordained during the administration of Joseph Fielding Smith, while the ban was in full force.  His patriarchal blessing stated that he was in part of the lineage of Judah, so his ordination was allowed to proceed in spite of the ban.  It had nothing to do with the color of skin but with lineage.  If it had been due to the color of the skin it is highly unlikely that there would have been any ordinations at all.  People who claim it was because of skin color have no clue as to the realities of the situation.  Those who claim the policy only was man-made either have not seen all the evidence or choose to ignore parts of it.  I have also checked into the various literature written during the period of the ban and prior, and it does not support claims made that the policy only was based on slaver and related literature.  It would not be until 1852 that such a publication would come even close to LDS ideas on the matter of Blacks, but that was after the ban had already been in force.  Earlier literature was quite different, including that written by Blacks themselves in the 1800s.

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1 hour ago, rockpond said:

Reasonable points but I’ve got a few questions/comments:

1.  If Joseph Smith received a revelation that black men should not be ordained, shouldn’t we find something in the JS papers project?  Is there anything there?

2.  Brigham Young does seem like a strong enough leader that he could have influenced all of the leaders that you list.  I don’t find that hard to believe. 

3.  The longevity argument is not particularly compelling to me.  Our very human prejudices take a long time to overcome.  Slavery went on for centuries and humans were able to find justification for it in the Bible.  We passed those beliefs down from one generation to another.  Today, in general conference, we watch our general authorities quote and re-quote the apostles.  For me it is easy to see how incorrect principles can gain longevity. And the, now disavowed, false justifications for the racial restrictions that were taught through official channels over a century seem to be evidence of that. 

Many records were lost in the move across the prairies.  John Taylor particularly had difficulties with that.  When he found that he had only eyewitness testimony, he finally had to take it to prayer.  And that resulted in the policy of the ban continuing rather than ending.  Same with David O. McKay.  He was of the opinion that the ban could be ended and he really wanted it ended in his time.  But when he took it to prayer for a final decision, the ban policy continued.  He was so affected by this that when asked by a reporter when the ban would end he flat out told the reporter, "Not in my lifetime, or yours."  And the Church subsequently hunkered down on the matter.

Finally, if it were based on prejudices, why were Blacks ordained at all? Surely you were aware that Blacks were ordained while the policy was in force, weren't you? At least two of them I know about were descendants of Elijah Abel.  I'm surprised that at least that is so little known.  It had nothing to do with human prejudices against Blacks because of the color of their skins.  In Brazil, a Black man was ordained during the administration of Joseph Fielding Smith because he was partly a descendant of Judah (according to his patriarchal blessing).  That was during the time when the policy was in full force.

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2 hours ago, rongo said:

Those who don't want to accept a divine origin for the ban *always* ignore testimony from contemporaries and eyewitnesses like Zebedee Coltrin (presidency of the seventy) and Abraham Smoot, who report that Joseph Smith himself claimed revelation for the ban. They usually dismiss them as being Southerners or slaveholders, so of course they would make that up (no evidence for that, and that is sort of ad hominem to claim that). Coltrin even reports Joseph dropping his head in thought and prayer and then saying that God revealed that they should not be given the priesthood.

 

I think you are probably quite aware that these statements were long after the fact, and if I recall, are actually second hand as well. They are dismissed because Coltrin's dates are wrong as well as him being the person who ordained Abels as a Seventy even as he denied it. 

Quote

Stapley, in the above linked blog post, repeats the fact that black men were ordained during the time of Joseph Smith. What he, and all others, never emphasize is how many are we talking about? You can count them on one hand, and it is equally clear that the inception of the ban was not uniform and clear-cut. 

Uh, how many black members were there to be counted at all? That is a strange bar to raise. And if it is clear that the inception of the ban was not "clear-cut" it is very puzzling why you are fighting against that as a "clear-cut" indication it was not done through revelation.

 

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16 hours ago, bluebell said:

But there is a claimed revelation (or at least inspiration) that kept it going, isn’t there?  I thought that Pres. McKay claimed that he wanted to end the ban, and prayed to be able to do so, but was told “not now.”

There were rationalizations and reasons created to keep it going because there was no revelation to rely on. And really, isn't that what we actually relied upon? The awful stories about why? Pres. McKay's experience is disheartening, but I do not see any indication that he went through the process Pres. Kimball did. Pres. McKay also had a more spotty record on what he has said about blacks so I suspect he was more conflicted. That and there were openly racist apostles at the time. I doubt Pres. McKay could have gotten a concensus. I think that is confirmed when you read Edward Kimball's account with two problem apostles  conveniently out of town when everyone met and confirmed the revelation lifting the ban. That is conjecture, of course, but no more so than an idea that God set up the ban.....

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1 hour ago, MormonMason said:

  People who claim it was because of skin color have no clue as to the realities of the situation.

No clues indeed...

Quote

 You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam. 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.

Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof.

Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.

Brigham Young, 1859

 

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14 minutes ago, juliann said:

I think you are probably quite aware that these statements were long after the fact, and if I recall, are actually second hand as well.

Yes to the first part, no to the second. They were given as testimony in President Taylor's fact finding inquiry in the 1880s. But the testimony was first-hand (Coltrin saying what Joseph Smith told him, etc.). 

They are dismissed because Coltrin's dates are wrong as well as him being the person who ordained Abels as a Seventy even as he denied it.

That is incorrect. They are dismissed because people don't like what he said. 

Uh, how many black members were there to be counted at all? That is a strange bar to raise.

There weren't a lot of black members in general, but there were certainly more than just three or so. One of the major points in the Missouri mob manifesto was that Mormons worshiped side-by-side with blacks. I just think those who point out that blacks were ordained during Joseph Smith's time should specify exactly how small of a number this really is. They make it sound like this was a common occurrence, until mean Brigham Young took it away. We are talking about a very, very small number.

And if it is clear that the inception of the ban was not "clear-cut" it is very puzzling why you are fighting against that as a "clear-cut" indication it was not done through revelation.

It is messy. It appears that Joseph Smith said conflicting things. It also appears that a few men were ordained, but later Joseph Smith said this shouldn't have happened (Coltrin reported that Elijah Abel was told not to use his priesthood on his mission). On the one hand, there wasn't a written, codified revelation. On the other, the prophets all the way down to OD2 were unified in upholding the ban --- even when they personally wanted to lift it, and even when they prayed about it. 

I'll repeat my question for you: why do you think God allowed it to continue for as long as he did if he was definitely and uncategorically opposed to it? The Marvin Perkins/Darius Gray approach of "God wanted to wait until society and the Brethren were ready to not be racist any more" is not satisfactory to most people who think about it, either. 

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16 minutes ago, juliann said:

There were rationalizations and reasons created to keep it going because there was no revelation to rely on.

They all felt that there was. Shouldn't that count for something? It seems ridiculously arrogant to argue that the prophets and apostles were too blinded by their own racism to be able to recognize --- unlike the smarter modern PC people --- that they were incapable of discerning revelation and distinguishing between their own biases.

And really, isn't that what we actually relied upon? The awful stories about why?

Calm had a good way of talking about something I have brought up a lot on this topic: "disavowing" the pre-existence is problematic because it is the only explanation for a lot of things, and we have no problem pointing to the pre-existence as impacting mortality in other ways:    "I heavily lean towards the Ban being manmade, but Pres. McKay's experience leaves the question still open a wee bit for me; nor do I require the Ban to be manmade because it was so very, very unequal in its treatment in mortality, I see a lot of inequality that appears to be the work of God when only mortality is looked at and not the entirety of our existence"  

The "awful" stories really point to the pre-existence as affecting station and opportunities/restrictions in life. We have no problem with this when it is not race, and many things are much, much more impactful than race (time on earth, country and government, family, culture, etc.).

Pres. McKay's experience is disheartening, but I do not see any indication that he went through the process Pres. Kimball did.

And your evidence for this is . . . you don't like his answer, but you do like Kimball's. 

Given our new direction under President Nelson of considering every insight and flash of inspiration by the president as "revelation," I'm not sure that playing "dueling prophets" between McKay and Kimball, or Young and Kimball, etc. is meaningful. All of them were authorized key-holders, which means having the key to inquire of God. When you start playing "they didn't do it right," or "they didn't really care about the issue how they should have," I think this just sets up prophets being tools of our own inclinations and wants --- with an attendant ranking system. 

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30 minutes ago, juliann said:

There were rationalizations and reasons created to keep it going because there was no revelation to rely on. And really, isn't that what we actually relied upon? The awful stories about why? Pres. McKay's experience is disheartening, but I do not see any indication that he went through the process Pres. Kimball did. Pres. McKay also had a more spotty record on what he has said about blacks so I suspect he was more conflicted. That and there were openly racist apostles at the time. I doubt Pres. McKay could have gotten a concensus. I think that is confirmed when you read Edward Kimball's account with two problem apostles  conveniently out of town when everyone met and confirmed the revelation lifting the ban. That is conjecture, of course, but no more so than an idea that God set up the ban.....

I get where you (and others) are coming from, and I understand what you are saying, but I'm not comfortable dismissing Pres. McKay and other issues as quickly.  Neither do I discount the idea that the ban wasn't of God.  

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We have no problem with this when it is not race, and many things are much, much more impactful than race (time on earth, country and government, family, culture, etc.).

I know many who have problems with these, so I don't see your reasoning as solid here.

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