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John Stewart Mormonism And The Negro


Tramper

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I do find this article written by John Stewart to be rather impressive. Isn't much of these ideas expressed in the article still valid?

http://magazine.mormonfundamentalism.org/mormon_negro.htm

The true church ought to be at odds with the world. The circumstances under which we are born could very well be the result of our behavior in the pre-existence. I think that behavior and blessings are an eternal principle. We know for instance that we had our free agency in the pre-existence.

I do not find the article to be racist. It is the work of a brave and enlightned man. In short; a fine piece of work.

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I do find this article written by John Stewart to be rather impressive. Isn't much of these ideas expressed in the article still valid?

http://magazine.mormonfundamentalism.org/mormon_negro.htm

The true church ought to be at odds with the world. The circumstances under which we are born could very well be the result of our behavior in the pre-existence. I think that behavior and blessings are an eternal principle. We know for instance that we had our free agency in the pre-existence.

I do not find the article to be racist. It is the work of a brave and enlightned man. In short; a fine piece of work.

I think history including the Old and New Testaments would agree with you. I am often curious at the christian conglomerate world and their constant barrage at the LDS church specifically on how we are so wrong because we don't see things as they do - and they are right because there is more of them??? History says that the one true gospel is not going to be the overwhelmingly acceptable one socially.

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I do find this article written by John Stewart to be rather impressive. Isn't much of these ideas expressed in the article still valid?

http://magazine.mormonfundamentalism.org/mormon_negro.htm

The true church ought to be at odds with the world. The circumstances under which we are born could very well be the result of our behavior in the pre-existence. I think that behavior and blessings are an eternal principle. We know for instance that we had our free agency in the pre-existence.

I do not find the article to be racist. It is the work of a brave and enlightned man. In short; a fine piece of work.

I am often asked about what harm there is in believing in the Mormon church. "So what if it weren't true after all. What harm does it do?"

Well, the bolded sentence is a possible example I would say---especially if this is still taken as doctrine.

The very act of looking at another human being, taking note of skin color and then concluding that the person must have done something wrong is both foolish and disgusting.

(I don't know if the OP was serious or an example of trolling)

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I find the article to be very dated, and if I'm not very much mistaken, the "not valiant in the PreExistence" nonsense has been repudiated by the Church.

Our lot in this life is not random, nor is it the arbitrary assignment of an uncaring and indifferent God who tossed his creations on the Earth like so many dice on a crap table.

The author was speaking (without the imprimatur of the Church, I noticed) with limited light.

We now know more, and that new light has swept away the darkness.

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I am often asked about what harm there is in believing in the Mormon church. "So what if it weren't true after all. What harm does it do?"

Well, the bolded sentence is a possible example I would say---especially if this is still taken as doctrine.

The very act of looking at another human being, taking note of skin color and then concluding that the person must have done something wrong is both foolish and disgusting.

(I don't know if the OP was serious or an example of trolling)

Ah.....a little light and it all becomes clear. This article comes not from a Church source, but an apostate outfit (the Woolley sect).

Given the biased and dated nature of the article, and the failure to disclose its apostate origins, I lean towards troll, but the jury is still out.

It could be an error by a well-meaning, but mistaken member who googled something without following it up.

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This is article is basically someone taking a couple ideas he fancies and running wild with it. It's also very condescending to blacks. The thing I wonder time and time again is how people honestly can buy that looking at one's skin pigment, you can basically read a persons heart and mind and soul with it. It's so overly simplistic to think skin color can tell us so much, and then it 's just wrong to assume you can judge a person's soul by it, thinking it even tells what they were like in the pre=existence. I think time and time again Jesus taught us to not try to judge a book by it's cover. We aren't psychics. And here we are 2000 years later dealing with this same issue.

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This is article is basically someone taking a couple ideas he fancies and running wild with it. It's also very condescending to blacks. The thing I wonder time and time again is how people honestly can buy that looking at one's skin pigment, you can basically read a persons heart and mind and soul with it. It's so overly simplistic to think skin color can tell us so much, and then it 's just wrong to assume you can judge a person's soul by it, thinking it even tells what they were like in the pre=existence.

After reviewing the OP's posts, I am now leaning heavily towards the idea that he was trolling.

The Woolley sect beleive that they hold the true priesthood and that every Prophet since John Taylor (who was removed by God because of the Manifesto) has been an imposter.

They and they alone hold the true priesthood and apparently expect to serve as a sort of hands-off caretakers of the main body of Saints until all becomes apparent- and they resume the legitimate leadership.

Tramper's posts have all sprung from that vein.

So, in summary, we have a likely apostate/ark steadier posting an inflammatory article from an unauthorized source to help reveal the "proper" LDS mindset.

Troll, troll, troll, your boat.....

Gently down the stream.......

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Tramper has been trolling since he came. Wow, he found a book (on a website, of course). What I find interesting about his book...and I actually own it, is that it gives us clues that Stewart felt like there was too much straying from his viewpoint. Gosh...look at one of Stewart's no-nos:

(2) Confess that we do not know the reasons for this policy,

That is exactly what is said today, Pres. Hinckley gets ridiculed regularly for it. This book is a prime example of those who think everything has to be explained and that if it isn't they should do it. This is why we come up with folklore.

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Trolling... me? Oh no.... Me a little scamp? ...Oh yes... :-)

I am an active LDS (Latter Day Skeptic). I go to church every sunday. Pay my tithing and make cookies for kids on our family home evenings.... I am married to an very active ex-missionary whom I love. That is all true. I visit the temple every month, but thanks to Signature Books I lost my old faith and began searching for spirituality. I have not yet given up on my old faith though. It gave me a comfort that I often miss.

Back to subject. I believe that Stewart's article correctly describes Mormon theology.

Mark Petersen once said this: "A Chinese, born in China with a dark skin and with all the handicaps of that race, seems to have little opportunity. But think of the mercy of God to Chinese people who are willing to accept the gospel, in spite of what they might have done in the pre-existence to justify being born over there."

I do not have an hidden agenda....

I just feels that Stewart's position might as well be in harmony with the scriptures....

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In a stake conference session for youths in 1987 (I was unmarried then) the stake president (a medical doctor, very well learned in doctrine) said that it was not wise to encourage interracial marriages.

I here present the conclusions from Stewart's article. Exactly what is wrong with his reasoning?

"In conclusion:

(1) In the LDS doctrine regarding the Negro, we see a vivid illustration of the principles of free agency, fore-ordination, eternal progress, and the justice and mercy of God.

(2) We see the importance of the relationship of pre-mortal life to this life, and this life to the next; that the circumstances of our birth into this earth life are determined by our performance in the spirit world, and that our performance here will determine our fate hereafter.

(3) We should take warning by this as to the need of our being valiant and anxiously engaged in a good cause, so that we do not forfeit our birthright and annul the gain that we made in pre-mortal life.

(4) While the Negro suffers certain limitations in this world, as pertaining to the Priesthood and its attendant blessings, he can eventually have the opportunity of enjoying Priesthood membership.

(5) We should remember that the Negroes, like ourselves, are children of God, our brothers and sisters; that our Church has a record of kindliness toward the Negro; that whatever prejudice exists against him is in the mind of individuals, and certainly does not reflect Church policy.

(6) There is nothing in Church policy that forbids nor discourages us from extending brotherly Christian love to the Negro. This, however, does not and should not include intermarriage, for we would bring upon our children the curse of Cain, or rather, we would bring unto ourselves children from those spirits destined to be of the seed of Cain.

(7) We should stand united as members of the Church bearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not allowing Satan to cause doubt and contention among us on this or any other issue, for if we know the truth the truth shall make us free - free from such doubts and contentions.

(:P We should more keenly sense the great opportunity and the tremendous challenge that we have in carrying the Gospel to all the world, to "every nation, kindred, tongue and people," sharing its blessings with all who will partake."

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It doesn't really bother me that apostles have believed or even taught things that weren't true. I trust the Lord.

Well, the problem with your way of reasoning is that it doesn't fit Mormon theology. If we had free agency in the pre-existence, why shouldn't we be able to trace the blessings from our behavior in that existence in this life; in the same way we believe that our actions here will have a significance for us in the next existence?

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In a stake conference session for youths in 1987 (I was unmarried then) the "learned" stake president said that it was not wise to encourage interracial marriages.

I here present the conclusions from Stewart's article. Exactly what is wrong with his reasoning?

"In conclusion:

(1) In the LDS doctrine regarding the Negro, we see a vivid illustration of the principles of free agency, fore-ordination, eternal progress, and the justice and mercy of God.

(2) We see the importance of the relationship of pre-mortal life to this life, and this life to the next; that the circumstances of our birth into this earth life are determined by our performance in the spirit world, and that our performance here will determine our fate hereafter.

(3) We should take warning by this as to the need of our being valiant and anxiously engaged in a good cause, so that we do not forfeit our birthright and annul the gain that we made in pre-mortal life.

(4) While the Negro suffers certain limitations in this world, as pertaining to the Priesthood and its attendant blessings, he can eventually have the opportunity of enjoying Priesthood membership.

(5) We should remember that the Negroes, like ourselves, are children of God, our brothers and sisters; that our Church has a record of kindliness toward the Negro; that whatever prejudice exists against him is in the mind of individuals, and certainly does not reflect Church policy.

(6) There is nothing in Church policy that forbids nor discourages us from extending brotherly Christian love to the Negro. This, however, does not and should not include intermarriage, for we would bring upon our children the curse of Cain, or rather, we would bring unto ourselves children from those spirits destined to be of the seed of Cain.

(7) We should stand united as members of the Church bearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not allowing Satan to cause doubt and contention among us on this or any other issue, for if we know the truth the truth shall make us free - free from such doubts and contentions.

(:P We should more keenly sense the great opportunity and the tremendous challenge that we have in carrying the Gospel to all the world, to "every nation, kindred, tongue and people," sharing its blessings with all who will partake."

The problem is at least two-fold Tramper.

First and foremost, your presented it as Latter-Day Saint thought on the matter. It is not. It comes from an apostate group, not the Church.

Second, it is extremely dated. It is well over thirty years old- very likely considerably older.

Third, the "not valiant in the Pre-Existence" nonsense has been repudiated by the Church. Continuing to misrepresent it as Latter-Day Saint thought or policy is dishonest.

Here's a quote from Bruce R. McConkie which respects real LDS thought on the matter:

"Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world. We get our truth

and light line upon line and precept upon precept (2 Ne. 28:30; Isa. 28:9-10; D&C 98:11-12; 128:21). We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don't matter anymore.â?

"It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year (1978). It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light into the world on this subject.

From President David O. McKay:

â??There is not now, and there never has been a doctrine in this Church that the Negroes are under a divine curse. There is no doctrine in the Church of any kind pertaining to the Negro. â??We believeâ?? that we have a scriptural precedent for withholding the priesthood from the Negro. It is a practice, not a doctrine and the practice someday will be changed. And thatâ??s all there is to it.â?
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Well, the problem with your way of reasoning is that it doesn't fit Mormon theology. If we had free agency in the pre-existence, why shouldn't we be able to trace the blessings from our behavior in that existence in this life; in the same way we believe that our actions here will have a significance for us in the next existence?

I haven't given you in reasoning to judge what the problems are with it. I didn't say we can't trace any blessings from our behavior in the pre-earth life to this world. We can. The fact that we're here on earth is a way our behavior in the pre-earth life affected us. But the consequences of our decisions there, good or bad, do not manifest themselves in our skin color.

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Well, the problem with your way of reasoning is that it doesn't fit Mormon theology. If we had free agency in the pre-existence, why shouldn't we be able to trace the blessings from our behavior in that existence in this life; in the same way we believe that our actions here will have a significance for us in the next existence?

John Stewart was not an apostate or cultist....

The negro doctrine was more than a practice. Harod B Lee and Josepf Fielding Smith thought that it was a scripture based doctrine. I do agree with them. To reduce this issue to a practice is ludicrous at the best. Have you read what Orson Pratt and BY wrote and said?

"When God allows a spirit to take on a Negroid body, do you suppose He is unaware of the fact that he will suffer a social stigma?" -- John J. Stewart

"Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood and law of God." -- Journal of Discourses, II.272.

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"A Chinese, born in China with a dark skin and with all the handicaps of that race, seems to have little opportunity. But think of the mercy of God to Chinese people who are willing to accept the gospel, in spite of what they might have done in the pre-existence to justify being born over there."

The bolded phrase is precious.

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If we had free agency in the pre-existence, why shouldn't we be able to trace the blessings from our behavior in that existence in this life; in the same way we believe that our actions here will have a significance for us in the next existence?
What we define as blessings and what God defines as blessings may be two different things.

JS was subjected to some pretty uncomfortable blessings according to Sec. 121 and 122.

Being born into hardships in life, including ones that limit how far one can advance in society, just may be a sign of being very valiant in the pre-existence as opposed to supposed labeling of various ethnic groups as less valiant.

I have never figured out why people assume that easy circumstances in this life equals valiancy in the previous one.

IMO, God challenges those that can handle it and takes it easy on those who would break under pressure just like any parent would do.

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The thing I wonder time and time again is how people honestly can buy that looking at one's skin pigment, you can basically read a persons heart and mind and soul with it.

Oh come on, Koa, that would be such a neat system! Can you imagine how much easier it would make our life, and our Bishops' life!? We would just need a little machine to measure the darkness of our skin, and we would know right away just how good we have been today! Every week, the Bishop would just have to scan us, and compare the results with the previous week's results, to know who committed grave sins that week and should see him in his office right away! Wouldn't that be oh-so-neat?

Come on, think of all the possible applications!

No need to worry about what Dear Daughter or Dear Son might have done on their date! Just scan them before they leave and again when they come back, or you know right away if they've been good or naughty!

A new project for the Young Women and the Young Men: lighten your skin by 10 degrees this year!

A new guideline for Temple attendance: you must have lost 20 degrees since your baptism to go the first time, and you need to lose at least 5 degrees a year to keep going!

And so on and so forth!

Man, that would make spotting the sinners and our own repentance SOOOOOOO much easier! Not to mention the dissuasive aspect of it! John and Jane would think twice before committing adultery, because it would be bound to show on a scan.

Oh, and it would bring a fortune in tourism revenue to the Scandinavian countries: they are so light, they must be really pure and sinless, so let's all go spend our holidays over there, to learn how to live purely too <_<

Honestly, what's not to like in this system??? :P

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(6) There is nothing in Church policy that forbids nor discourages us from extending brotherly Christian love to the Negro. This, however, does not and should not include intermarriage, for we would bring upon our children the curse of Cain, or rather, we would bring unto ourselves children from those spirits destined to be of the seed of Cain.
It would be nice if the Church clarified this.
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Was the ban for black people to receive the priesthood a practice or was it a doctrine?

The answer is quite simple. It was a doctrine based on both the scriptures and the word of the living prophets. All the writings from GA:s referring to the scriptures is very convincing.

The problem arises when the leaders nowadays claims that we donâ??t know the reason for the past discrimination. Shouldnâ??t there be an explanation?

The change in vocabulary from doctrine to practice, and the unwillingness to explain the discrimination that took place for more than 140 years could perhaps (not necessarily my view) seems more like cowardice cover up than a straightforward behaviour that one could expect from representatives from the true church.

I wonder however if the â??Less Valiant doctrineâ? isnâ??t in fact still in use. We see few if any black GA:s and we could not expect to find black people in the highest hierarchy. After nearly thirty years after the revelation we should expect to find at least one black apostle. The advices against interracial marriages from local leaders fit well with the fundamental thinking of this well established doctrine.

I do believe that Stewartâ??s article explains very well the reasons for the ban, I would find the leaders courageous if they would hold on to that explanation. Thereâ??s no need to be ashamed.

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I find the article to be very dated, and if I'm not very much mistaken, the "not valiant in the PreExistence" nonsense has been repudiated by the Church.

I'm familiar with the following quote often used as a basis for those saying that the "preexistence" doctrine was a common rationalization used in the church.

The First Presidency Statement on the Negro Question

August 17, 1949

The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: â??Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to.â?

President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: â??The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.â?

The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.

The First Presidency

However I've yet to see a statement, official or otherwise, from the church repudiating this notion. If someone knows it it would be quite useful to point to future posters.

Phaedrus

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