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Moksha

Apostle of Color

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1 Kings 19:11-13, in the Cynically Revised King James Version:
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.

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An example of where racism is resolved would be nazi Germany. Unresolved rasism would have at least an internal stuggle. The ideal should be no rasism. That said, I don't think there is racism in the church as a hierarchy but there may well be racism in some of the members. That is their problem not the church's. To those that say that polygamy was meant to test its members, why wouldn't the Lord test those that would have a problem with a black GA. I think that soon there will be an apostle that is of color (at least latino but remember that it would be helpful if he spoke english) but I don't think that the Lord would put one there just to fill a 'quota'.

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Of course, the Lord won't directly speak (i.e., face to face) to GBH on the issue (or any issue for the matter, as we might expect); he will just give GBH a few simple impressions (just like he does with the rest of GBH's spectacular prophetic revelations).

Embittered cynicism is such an attractive quality. (emphasis added by closet doubter)

"Sarcasm" is right up there with "embittered cynicism" on the attractive quality scale :P

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"Sarcasm" is right up there with "embittered cynicism" on the attractive quality scale :P

I strongly disagree.

But perhaps you would have preferred that I take him on directly with a frontal assault, instead of with a (rather gentle) bit of irony?

Are you aware of a distinction between sarcasm and irony? Or do you not recognize such a division?

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Guest joepalmeto
An example of where racism is resolved would be nazi Germany.

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Are you aware of a distinction between sarcasm and irony?  Or do you not recognize such a division?

Daniel,

Yes, I do recognize such a division between the two. However, irony and sarcasm often cohabit together.

Good ol' Merriam-Webster says it best [regarding "sarcasm"]:

a mode of satirical wit depending for its effect on bitter, caustic, and often ironic language that is usually directed against an individual (emphasis add by me)

You stating "Embittered cynicism is such an attractive quality" and [mis]quoting 1 Kings 19 was excellent use of irony. But that irony was obviously "directed against [me]" So I am correct when I say you were sarcastic; but at the same time, by my way of stating such (i.e., "Sarcasm" is right up there with "embittered cynicism" on the attractive quality scale) I exhibited my own sarcastic irony (or would that be ironic sarcasm? :P)

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joepalmeto,

Years later, after I had come out of the LDS box -and look back in, I was able to realize where some, if not most, of his racist attitudes came from.

The LDS scriptures and doctrines. The BoM, D&C, PoGP, JoD, Mormon Doctrine, etc, and even conference talks.

He was raised in the church, in a different time. Look at how the American Indians are described in the BoM, blacks in the PoGP, Mormon Doctrine, JoD, etc, etc.

The GAs in office today are from his generation. I am not painting his entire generation with a broad brush dipped in my fathers life, but one cannot dismiss that these opinions were widespread in his generation and still affect these people's opinions today.

Your father was racist because of the Book of Mormon and Church teachings? Yet so was most of america when you were growing up no doubt - yet they didn't have the Book of Mormon or believe the teachings of the church - did all USA racism originate from the Church?

One would hope that the church and it's teachings (if they are perfect) would stop us from particpatin, believing, or supporting the evil of a social norm such as racism. However even people who practive religion are subject to social norms ideas and pressures. That is why the spirit directs the leaders - not to eliminate there cultural based decisions but to remind them that when they make a decsision based on incorrect cultural norms that they need to change it.

Australians would go 'abo (aboriginal) hunting on the back of trucks with sot guns. They would gun down the ABOS in the outback like they were deer. There were rape camps where women were raped by white men until they were pregnant then sterilised.

New Zealand land wars in which the natives were butchered. America was Racist before the mormons as was the rest of the world.

see ya

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To all who posted on this thread...

While you were all correct to remind us all that good decides what happens it was not at all interesting to here dogmatic gripes that missed the point.

The church is now larger in population outside the USA than it is inside the USA. Also the number of 'ethnic members' is around the same as the number of causian members. It is interesting that in conference it appears that only white leadership can be seen.

There are perhaps many good reasons for this - one of which is GOD -

I think god makes his calls based on decisions and appropriatness - thus one can predict revelation if they to enquire into the information accesable with the spirit and openness... should we feel we come to an answer however we still wait on God for revelation before we act.

Perhaps a better purpose for this thread would be to discuss why there are no coloured preisthood instead of saying that we need some. It seems to me that time and demographics would yeild a rational acter to call more ethnic people - lets talk about cultural and social reasons why there they haven't been called yet.

Also two interesting things - both of the latest additions to the 12 apostles are both from Europe which has a tiny fraction of global members - also they have both resided in the USA for some time (as far as i can determine) and they are both white. Once again the newly called represent a tiny minority (demographically speaking). Of course they represent us all as apostles but that is not what this thread is addressing.

Finally the time of the black apostle is no where near here. If we are going to analysis this rationally choice according to representative capactiy would be logical - asain leaders and South American leaders, as well as Australian, Tongan and pacific Island leaders wouldl be a better choice than the Black american (demographically speaking).

Lets discuss this like it was apologetics - not a really immature sunday school lesson - i can get those other boring answers at church on sunday.

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Joe P.,

your diatribe about your father being racist because he was LDS was one of the most ridiculous things I ever read. Your father was just another unreasonable racist, don't go blaming it on the Church. Are you going to blame the segregation in the Southern States on the Church too?

Bikeemikey,

Perhaps a better purpose for this thread would be to discuss why there are no coloured preisthood instead of saying that we need some. It seems to me that time and demographics would yeild a rational acter to call more ethnic people - lets talk about cultural and social reasons why there they haven't been called yet.

What do you call "coloured priesthood"? Do you limit "priesthood" to the GAs? I have seen many coloured priesthood holders in my home country of France.

Also two interesting things - both of the latest additions to the 12 apostles are both from Europe which has a tiny fraction of global members

I've checked one biography of Elder Bednar: it gave him as American born and raised.

Europe might have a tiny fraction of the global membership, but if the vast majority of European converts hadn't emigrated to the USA at the beginning of the church, I suspect there would be infinitely more European LDS. How many American members actually descent from European-born-and-converted members?

Edit: that trend of European members emigrating to the States is still very alive to this day. I have seen way too many (to my taste) young, active LDS people go and start a family in the USA. As you can guess, that does NOT help with the LDS demography here in Europe...

Del

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Okay, for all you individuals who are hammering my Moksha for having the cajones to say what should be said, shame on you. Why not an apostle of color? Do we people of color not matter, or are we just supposed to continuously pay homage to the white man, ignore the fact that we are not "pure, white, and delightsome" (and never will be, I'm as white as I'm gonna get, and compared to many that's pretty white), and just stay silent because SLC is too afraid to face it's racial issues?

Have you no idea what it would do for the self esteem of people of color everywhere to see one of their own helping to lead this church? Do you know what it feels like to go to church every sunday and know that for many, the hue of your skin matters, not only that, they feel justified in not facing who you are as a person, because their leaders will not? Have you felt this?

The comment about who Jesus chose as His original apostles is moot. Jesus took people from various walks of life, and that's how it should be today, not just prosperous caucasians who do not by any stretch of the means represent the whole. I have such a hard time relating to their words, because they don't know what it's like to be me.

I've spent my whole life having the color of my skin thrown in my face. By my own people, because I was "too white", by white people because I wasn't good enough for many of them. Stared at, because I look "peculiar" to some, and beautiful to others. I'm sick of being forced to just be what I look like.

I learned very quickly where I stood in this church when it comes to the color of my skin, and no matter how many innocent white mormons tell me that I'm hallucinating, I know that I will not be taken home to mom, I know that I'm only good enough to talk to in church to make you feel like your a good person, I know that I'm something to be feared, because people like me are "ghetto", we pack pistols and don't have fathers, we have "babydaddys".

The way white people in this church act is directly related to SLC. Hardly ever do words come from SLC about how to treat people of color, and many in our church unconsciously play out what they see in our leadership. It's okay to have people of color on the lower tiers of leadership, but to have them out there and visible would mean that this church is finally fully acceptable of people of color...and white people would have to act in kind.

It hasn't happened yet. It should. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm pretty b*tchy about sitting on the back of the spiritual bus. I want to see more leaders of color in this church. We're not all pure, white, and delightsome. And I'm about as "cursed" as you see your own mom to be. I'm a good person, we all are. Why can't we have a voice?

If it's not my Gospel music being ushered out of sacrament by decrees from Salt Lake, it's th (I'm sorry, but it is) racist rhetoric in the BOM about skins of darkness. If it's not ignorant little white boys looking at me like I'm the daughter of Satan, its ignorant little white girls talking about my "velcro-y" hair. If these people were to see in their leadership someone who looked like me, oh SO MUCH would change.

Yes, it's about time for people of color to be up and visible in the leadership of our church. How about a black apostle? Too much for people to swallow?

Please forgive me for the racist undertones of my post. I love all colors, I'm made up of many. But not until I was baptized into this church did I have to face on a daily basis the color of my skin. Do battle, wage war....simply to be accepted. I'm not accepted because SLC isn't decreeing that I have to be. And yet they're preparing for Zion. What do the scriptures say? "Be one, for if ye are not one, YE ARE NOT MINE"!!!!

To be one means that this unspoken law of not marrying interracially (which my mom constantly mentions, she knew about the priesthood ban before I did) should be done away with. More emphasis on actually trying to get to know other cultures. Let some ethic music into sacrament! Stop fearing us! Stop fearing what's different. Diversity is beautiful. Go read 1 Corinthians 12.

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The only racism Ive seen in this thread is the assumption that The Lord needs to call some Apostles of other races because apparently the Twelve aren't diverse enough.

Okay, you must be out of your mind. People are different in many ways, we're not just talking about skin hue, we're talking about CULTURE, LIFE PATHS. I'm sorry, but the GAs cannot relate to me. I find myself looking outside the church on many occasion to find spiritual leaders who can speak on what I deal with. It's only because of the truths in the scriptures and the temple that I stay. These men, if I were to go to them and ask them can they relate to the horrors I have endured, I doubt they'd do anything other than tell me to pray...not knowing the hours, days, months, years that I have screamed my pain to God.

Quite frankly I don't know why you even look at the world through the color of race. People are people. Who cares what their skin looks like?

But it's ok for God to ban people the right to the priesthood based on race (oh, I mean lineage), right?

Again, you must be out of your mind.

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~God NEEDS to call Apostles of color, or what? Are people gonna stop believing in the truthfulness of the gospel simply because there isn't more of an ethnic diversity in our Apostleship? Gimme a break!

God doesn't need it. However, culturally ignorant individuals DO, so that they may learn to act with more love and tolerance towards their colored family in this church...for the white men aren't teaching it, apparently.

I speak from much sad experience. Trust me, I'd love to write to SLC and ask them to speak on the church's cultural ignorance at conference, but I know they won't listen.

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It does not seem to matter to many of you, nor be apparent that even though God heads this church, MEN STILL EXIST WITHIN IT, and like it or not, they do have the capacity to act as men, and not as representatives of God. The issue of race is a prime example. God does not see color, tell me, any of you, why would God create people just to punish them for how He created them? He would not. Hence to me, priesthood bans, curses of skins of blackness, the unspoken but still very active lack of interracial marriage, the cultural ignorance is all examples of men acting as men.

I know that God loves me as I am. However, I know that many of the men I meet will never consider me past what I look like. I know that I'm secretly considered "second class" and even feared by many. I know by the looks in their eyes, the lack of fellowship outside of church, the testimonies of mistreatment by many a young black person in this church. They're leaving and not coming back, and I feel helpless. Luckily, I have an understanding bishop.

Many of you cannot relate, because you haven't been (within this generation, let go of the pioneer saints for just a second) subject to the isolation of being different. If you grew up anywhere near Utah, or even in, you don't know what we feel. We've had to change so much just to join this church, do we have to throw our dignity out the door as well?

I don't know who I am any more half the time. Tell me why, dear bretheren and sisters, why did I equate whiteness with righteousness when I first joined this church? Why did I equate SLC culture with LDS doctrine? I'm no idiot, I'm quite smart. But I internalized all that was taught to me. Is this right? Is it right to leave the subliminal message out there that we as people of color are still visitors in our own churches?

The insensitive response to moksha's thread has me sad. Because many of you just can't, and apparently will not see. I could tell you some stories that would make you cringe.

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To GIMR,

I can't empathize with you because I am a WASM (White Anglo Saxon Mormon) from the beginning to the end. I can't imagine the problems one would have not knowing if those in priesthood authority over understood me or not. I come from Utah and told racist jokes all my life. It never occured to me these could be insulting in any way until I put a face on the statements in the jokes. I then gave up the practice. I was raised by two people, my parents, who were democrats like some people are Catholics or Mormons. My father almost left the Church when Ezra Taft Benson became Prophet because of ETB's politics. We were always raised to accept people for who they were not by the color of their skin. The greatest shock my mother and me ever had was when I was seriously courting, with all the connotaions of this word, a young lady who was African American. I brought her home for Sunday dinner and my mother was aghast. She was down on the mongrolization of the races. Who would have thought a true blue liberal would have reacted this way.

The town I was raised in was 98% White. I had no dealings with African Americans until I was an adult. This lends itself to racism. If one never sees the humanity of the group one is showing bigotry against, one can harbor these views and not realize how damaging they are to one's soul.

Just as an aside, my parents didn't derail the young lady and me, it was her father. He sent her to Atlanta to a historically Black University so she would meet the right kind of young man, a Black young man.

I post this to help us see racism is totally idiotic. I could see a member of the "12" being called who isn't a WASM. I think it could be inconsiquential. This is what it would be for me. It would probably be huge for some other people. I believe as long as race is such a huge issue we won't be able to reach Zion which is our goal. There can be no unity, equality or purity as long as this is an issue. We need to get beyond it.

Dr Fatguy

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Dr Fatguy,

Thank you SO much for sharing. It just gets to me, when things like this are brought up, and the usual "silence and follow the prophet" lines are thrown out. Sadly, I do feel different. Before I joined the church, I did not. Honestly, I did not. I grew up in an all-white neighborhood, dealt with racism, but I saw myself as a person, not a color. That all changed in August of 2001. Now, to many, I'm a color before I am a person.

I see how much faithful LDS look to our leadership for guidance, and I feel that the lack of dialogue coming from them on this issue only hammers in stone what is unconsciously breeding in many a mind. And I grew up in a "black vs. white" world, too. My family raised me to think there were such things as black speaking, black music, black acting. I went to Europe, and all that changed. I saw diversity for the first time, and who I was as a "fair-skinned" black person was considered beautiful, not an abomination. I am a person who has been followed by strangers on many an occasion, trying to figure out amongst themselves "what" I am. It hurts.

When I joined this church, I was told the lie that I would never again face any sort of discriminiation. And in my spiritual neediness, I swallowed it hook line and sinker. I wish I hadn't. My journey here would have been much more fruitful, instead of a year of inactivity after just 18 months into it.

(To the general populace on this thread)

I cannot handle the essence of who I am being denied me in my own church. And yet it keeps happening. And what does Salt Lake do? Black Americans have no base in this church. There are so few of us, and our needs aren't being met. There are some who can swallow the priesthood ban issue, good for them. But I know many a black person who is struggling, and it's hard. We have strong leaders in our cultural history, why not in our church? Would it be that bad to see a black man in the twelve? Those who would leave over such an issue (because that's probably the fear that keeps them from doing what should be done) don't really understand why they are here anyways.

Again, I cannot reiterate how much the faithful in this church look to headquarters for examples of how they should live. An all-white world is not the reality anymore. If this church is global, our leadership should reflect that. And I think that God would love to see it this way. But we have agency, and so long as we have antiquitated individuals in the high tiers who lived in the days when it was being taught that people like me were fence sitters in the pre-existence, nothing is going to change.

I have struggled for almost four years with who I am in this church. My family has watched me, wondering if I've lost it. I almost did. Many a day I sit amongst my sisters and wish that I were white, hispanic, asisan, anything ANYTHING but black. Why? Because I know I'm not fully accepted as I am. Outside of church, I'm fine. But inside, in the midst of things that mean so much to me, I know that I have to wait for (and possibly never see) a man who will come along and see me, not my color. I have to wallow through all the people who don't see me, looking for true friends. Even my patriarchal blessing speaks of making sure my friends are true ones.

One day I woke up in church (spiritually), and realized that my testimony was based on the culture of the people I had indoctrinated myself into. I had let the fire of GIMR die. And that hurt so much. The journey to regain myself took me out of this church just weeks after I went to the temple. And I fought to get there, too! I have had people on my right and my left throughout this journey telling me who I am and what I believe, the intents of my heart, where I'm going....and some telling me with their eyes, what they think I deserve. All because of what I look like.

It hurts so bad. And I know this would not be so, if the faces that guide us were not all white. So yes, I'm calling out to God for a person of color to be in the twelve...or even the first presidency. It is time. People of color matter too, we're not just here to boost your numbers, so you can say "see, we love everybody".

I have a different story to tell, and the only reason I am here, constantly having to fine-tune my BS meter, is because I have a testimony of this Gospel. Till the day I die (or someone drives me out of this church...and I'm digging my heels in, but it's not easy), I will fight for the right to express who I am FULLY. Not just within the bounds of someone's comfort zone.

Sorry this turned into a rant, but I feel very strongly about this. I've experienced much pain dealing with this, I have friends (one who begged to be a stake missionary upon learining the Gospel who has left and won't come back...she says "I just want to go back and not care what they say") who have told me stories (one who is moving from SLC had a bishop tell her if she ever married a white man, her seed would be cursed, another has had friends come and ask her for adulterous acts, because they were too ashamed to marry her, married what looked right, and ended up unhappy...WTF?). It's not fair!

YES!!!! EMPHATICALLY YES, I want leadership of color VISIBLE in this church.

It many not mean much to many of you, but it means something to me. Because even though we say we live in a world of equality and love, actions speak louder than words.

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Joepalmeto Previously Posted: I grew up LDS along the Wastach [sic] front. It was rare for me to see, or associate with anyone who was not white and LDS.

Ken Responds: You didn

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Samantha/GIMR,

It is not my intent to insult your intelligence, nor to perpetuate the ignorant attitudes to which you (Sadly!) have been exposed which have no place in the Church of Jesus Christ. If you find any of the information contained in this post helpful, by all means, use it. If, on the other hand you

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GIMR;

I am truly sorry you have had such a hard time in the church. I do know there are racists in the church. It's unfortunate but a fact.

My immediate and extended family at last count was made up of 4 different races. I have somewhat seen what you are talking about, though I'm sure not to the extent you have experienced.

I have been on the tennis court with my very dark skinned cousin when someone on the next court made a racist comment. I was embarrassed and angry at the same time. I have seen white guys not want to date my dark skinned sister because of her race. (I am white, my other-race siblings and cousins are adopted, also have some diversity by marriage) These things are infuriating.

But... I do think we need to remember that the church exists to help us all become better people. It's not fair to blame the actions of some (even many) on the church. Remember charity, the greatest virtue. Everyone is at a different level of spiritual development.

I really hope you can not let your understandable anger over the small-mindedness and bigotry of some people drive you away from God's church. As I posted previously, I firmly believe those at the highest levels are not racist.

I too was hoping for a darker skinned apostle last time, I too think it would be good for the church, but I'm not the one who decides, I will sustain those whom the Lord has called. He must have His reasons for calling the ones he did.

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I appreciate the outreach that has been done on this thread, however I have to say that I have met Mr. Gray, and although he is a nice guy, the reality is black Americans are utterly alone in most wards in this church. I could see if the Genesis branch was extended past salt lake (and we tried...the authorities here weren't having it) People do not understand us, they do not feel that they have to, past platitudes and a few minutes of concern, because the church hasn't said that they should. Not at any conference I have watched, not in any talk I have heard. I also have to say that I do not believe that the leaders are 100% not racist. They come from the era of my mother, and people are effected by their environments. THey were alive and kicking when the doctrine was taught that my people were "less valiant", "fence sitters", "cursed". How do you just erase an upbrining? I'm sorry, but you cannot. They may smile at me, but I know where I stand.

Like I said, my testimony stands in the Gospel, and I feel that men are acting as men, and not as representatives of God, when people of color are just statistics in this church, to show that the church isn't "all white". LOL come to my ward.

Until this issue is faced, until people can sit down and face their preconceptions, I and many people like me will continue to be on the outside looking in...in our own church, no less! When I have brought this issue up, ever since it became one I decided to fight, I've been pointed to websites (forgive me, I'm not trying to be mean here) that speak of black pioneers, but are they even mentioned on pioneer day? They never were in my ward. How many know about them?

Black Americans are invisible in this church, except for once a year when black history month comes around. And then all of a sudden the church cares. I see that as a PR stint. But that still won't make us marriageable, that still won't make us people who were never cursed in the first place, that won't erase the racism THAT IS HERE! I am not alone in my experiences, every black person that I've become friends with has experienced the same, and they hail from Ghana, they live in Las Vegas, SLC, they hail from Michigan. This is very widespread, and nothing is being done because church leaders aren't speaking about it. And they're not speaking about it because they don't see it to be an issue, we're not important apparently.

I believe these attitudes to be very widespread. And will believe so until I am welcomed as an equal, not someone to fear, not someone who is an oddity, or someone you would never think of dating (that hurts more than anything else), but YOUR EQUAL. It's not fair.

These attitudes came from Salt Lake. It's in print, no less. Perhaps not on the church website, as they keep everything like that swept under the rug, but it's there. And in the black community at large, being mormon is seen as betrayal to your race. Think about why.

I will continue to speak vehemently about this issue until I see a GA condemn any sort of racial bigotry. Until I hear them say it's ok to date me, a black woman. That you won't get afro-cooties, that your children can grow up normal, and even be educated. That "Good Times", Little Kim, Snoop Dogg and Dave Chappel do not constitute the whole. And just because some black people used the word n*gger, doesn't give you the right to do it. I sure don't.

I will fight, because I'm tired of my siblings of color running from this church and never looking back, unless in anger. No one else seems to want to say anything. So I'll shout. I'll shout loud, and KNOW that God approves. Challenge authority? Gladly.

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In the immortal words of Chris Rock's character from the movie Rush Hour II, "Which one of y'all kicked me?" :unsure: Ken grins, not because he finds anything particularly amusing, but rather because he needs to check to see if he still has all of his teeth! [Raises hand to mouth... (In muffled voice) "Yep, I think they're all still there..."] :P

P.S.: I hereby nominate Samantha to fill the next vacancy in the Quorum of the Twelve! All in favor? [i'm sure the vote will be unanimous...] There. Feel better? <_<

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LOL

Man, if they put me in a leadership position, a WHOLE LOT OF FOLK will be up in arms!

My mom always tells me I should be a preacher. I say this: if I'm meant to be in ministerial leadership, I'll be the first black female bishop in church history. 'Nuff said.

*hands Kenngo some dentures*

They're my gramma's, but I disinfected them. She takes them out all the time anyway.

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GIMR/Samantha Previously Posted: *hands Kenngo some dentures*

They're my gramma's, but I disinfected them. She takes them out all the time anyway.

Ken Now Sez: (In muffled voice, before inserting the proffered "falsies"...) "Mnff-mfffm"... (Then, after inserting them...) "I mean, 'Thank you!' :P There! That's muuuch better..." And, Samantha, I hope you can tolerate my bluntness here, but if it's the last thing I do, I'm going to dissolve that Crazyglue

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Samantha, it is certainly a pleasure to read your posts. Whenever I read your stuff I realize you will be a famous writer some day.

You have made the case. The idea is here, it would be a blessing if we could have an Apostle of Color. God in his infinite glory loves all his Children. The Church of Jesus Christ opens its Ministry to all the people of the world. The Book of Mormon is published in a multitude of languages to the peoples of the world.

Shall these people have a face among the leadership that is a hue closer to their own? Can there can be an Apostle whose very presence runs counter to to the unfortunately too pervasive although unadmitted idea that "White makes Right"?

Did the very poignant words of Samantha soak in? She represents a future hope for this Church. Listen to what she has to say.

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I was disappointed when two white guys got called as apostles. I was hoping for at least a Latino. I listened to all the rationalizations in defense of the all-white leadership. They claim that the apostles represent Christ to the members; the members don't elect a representative. But the truth is, we do come from different cultures. The apostles are inspired leaders, but they are still products of their upbringing. A black apostle, a Hispanic apostle, an Asian apostle (and so forth) would help translate the gospel for their own culture. Don't we teach that everyone should be taught in their own tongue? I'll rejoice the day we get someone outside of the European-American culture into the Quorum of the Twelve.

And GIMR, I hear you. God bless you for your faithfulness in spite of the struggle.

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Samantha

I don't even know how to respond. I am the Young Men's Pres. in my ward and I have two priests that are black (I don't call the African American becasue they are from the Carab. originally). I love these two young men as much as as I do the other 10 that are white. In fact I am partial to one of the blacks mostly becasue he fits my personality much better than most of the other boys. But hearing you talk I now worry about if they have some of these same feelings, do they feel like they are not loved. Do they feel like they don't belong. And if so how can I help them?

I grew up in a time and place that my first experience with a person of color other than seeing one from a distance was in 7th grade. It took me a while to feel comfortable, but because he was patient with me we became friends. He became one of the most popular kids in my High School. And i thought wow we have come a long way and then I found out a few years later that he ended up married and divorced because his in-laws hated him for the color of his skin. Broke my heart.

Fast forward to my son as a 2nd grader and me trying to answer the question "why don't I have any black friends" I explained that there were not any black kids in his school and therfore he didn't have much opportunity to do so. Later that year a new family moved into the city and my son comes home to tell me about his new friend that is black.

I guess what I am trying to say is don't lose hope. A lack of people of color in leadership positions may bother you and many others( and that is not a bad thing), but as we get more diverse as a church and people of color become more prominant that day will come when we will see it. I believe that God doesn't see color when looking for leaders, but he does look at spiritual maturity (which disqualifies me) and that maturity many times takes many years of service in the gospel. I personally look forward to the day when there is more obvious examples of how truly diverse we as a people are when we look at our leadership. I know that doesn't mean much from me beings I am part of the group that doesn't feel left out, but I want you to know that you are loved and valued (even if sometimes we don't show it by our actions) I look at my sons generation and compare it to my own and I have hope that your grandchildren will not have to feel as you do when attending church.

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