Jump to content

Blacks And The Mormon Priesthood


marvmax

Recommended Posts

President Martins visited my mission and was quite impressive. I believe his son, Marcus, was the first black missionary after the revelation that extended priesthood to all worthy males. It has been a few years, but that is what I remember hearing.

Link to comment
Does anyone know anything about this book or the author. I just got an advertisement for from LDS Living. I did a search on Marcus H. Martins and found out that he is from Brazil. That sounds promising.

He is indeed the son of the late Elder Martins, and is a Brazilian. He teaches religion at BYU-Hawaii, and, if I recall correctly, has a Ph.D. in sociology.

I'm going over to Hawaii in November to give several lectures there; he's my contact.

Link to comment

How did the Church determine if someone was black or not: if his father was or mother or his grandfather ect. How did South Carolina in 1850 determine if someone was black or not?

The Church had set a standard of proof where you had to prove via your genealogy for like I dunno 5 generations on either side no black ancestory or something like that, the terms were utterly impossible to get around. However one of the very reasons the ban was lifted was for the very reason it was getting hard to determine ethnicity, this was becoming a problem in Brazil. Many people that appeared white no doubt received the priesthood accidently in the intervening time.

In my opinion the ban was racist but also ironically had some basis in doctrine, though I am completely alone in my opinion I believe that the reason it was lifted is because the black skinned curse is being lifted from the earth, by the mingling of the races there are not people anymore that are as black as pitch tar, they are the minority. Elijah Able does not appear to of been for example pure blood negro. There is no doubt in my mind that being colored or not colored has to have some direct relationship and bearing relative to the pre-existence it is in my mind utterly impossible to not be so, logic can dictate no other possibility as I see it. However I am open to suggestion. It appears to me it was a rough mixture of policy, doctrine, and racism all played a part. I accept I am completely alone in my belief.

Darius Gray is the real expert and he illustrates all the paradox's and contradictions of the ban, very well in my mind, I understand he was invited to make a presentation at BYU on his research into the policy.

Link to comment

Is what we have the priesthood or is it the "Mormon priesthood"?

If it's the priesthood of God, then blacks need to take the matter up with God. I don't know who put the ban on blacks in the priesthood, whether it was God or a misunderstanding. I do know that when President McKay made it a matter of intense prayer, he received a revelation saying that it would be another. He never again made it a matter of prayer.

President Kimball could have received the revelation all by himself and of course the church would have adopted it, but what adds to the credibility of the 1978 revelation is that it was received by the entire First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

It wouldn't have made any difference to me because I believed President Kimball to be a prophet. But if I were a critic (read non-believer), I would tend to believe that he made the whole thing up. But when upwards of fifteen men receive the revelation and can testify of it, it becomes much more impressive.

Again, it's a matter of God working through witnesses. If we casually reject it, we will be judged for it.

Link to comment
How did the Church determine if someone was black or not: if his father was or mother or his grandfather ect. How did South Carolina in 1850 determine if someone was black or not?
Although the Church standard said not one drop of Negro blood, most Southern States adhered to the standard of more than 1/32 in their racial purity tests.
Link to comment

David Omen McKay put it down in his own personal diary that he personally did not like Negroes. Not all of the 15 apostles agreed with the lifting of the ban, however from what I know there was no doubt when God had spoken and the revelation was received by all the apostles, personal belief systems were set aside, God had spoken and that was acknowledge by all.

Severian: Although the Church standard said not one drop of Negro blood, most Southern States adhered to the standard of more than 1/32 in their racial purity tests.

I have always been curious how this was enforced? Did bishops comission the ward genealogist to examine family histories? What were the procedures and guidlines for determing ethnicity?

Link to comment
I have always been curious how this was enforced? Did bishops commission the ward genealogist to examine family histories? What were the procedures and guidelines for determing ethnicity?
I doubt any search for "racial purity" was ever done if the person passed for white. And why should they? The notion of a hereditary curse was flawed from the beginning. I understand the unworkability of this horribly flawed idea reached its zenith about the time the Brazil Temple was to go on-line.
Link to comment

Although the Church standard said not one drop of Negro blood, most Southern States adhered to the standard of more than 1/32 in their racial purity tests.

Hey I agree. However its not uncommon to look to all appearances white and actually be negro.

Link to comment

That book looked interesting and a part of a trio...I was think of picking it up and taking a look in the bookstore. But it's the beginning of school and no place to read right now.

How did the Church determine if someone was black or not: if his father was or mother or his grandfather ect. How did South Carolina in 1850 determine if someone was black or not?

By a similar rule that still has some social placing today: one drop rule... for the majority of U.S. history is split into a stiff defining of racial categorizing: black or white. The trouble came, as stated before, when the Church entered a world where the views of race strong differed from the U.S. ideology such as Brazil, where categorizing wasn't about ancestry but looks and the majority of the population was mixed with something or another. IMO, this problem that the church faced, will also happen in the U.S. today and moreso in the future as multiple groups from various backgrounds begin to question the archaic thought.

In my opinion the ban was racist but also ironically had some basis in doctrine, though I am completely alone in my opinion I believe that the reason it was lifted is because the black skinned curse is being lifted from the earth, by the mingling of the races there are not people anymore that are as black as pitch tar, they are the minority.

I could see why. I don't think this is very sound reasoning...considering the number of people black as night were and always have been similar to the number as pale as ghosts: miniscule. The part of my family that are straight from Africa are not that dark (a dark brown)...and fairly average for that region from what I can tell. It has nothing to do with admixture and everything to do with region and expected variety in the people of a continent. Skin pigmentation isn't being lifted from the earth...frankly, as someone who is brown and likes it, I find this idea stupid. I've really tried to find a better way of wording this, but I can't find it. It's a mix of poor religion on part of skin color and curses and worse understanding of race in general.

Elijah Able does not appear to of been for example pure blood negro.

What would that have to do with anything?

There is no doubt in my mind that being colored or not colored has to have some direct relationship and bearing relative to the pre-existence it is in my mind utterly impossible to not be so, logic can dictate no other possibility as I see it.

I agree that we aren't placed in our situations randomly. But I think you place too much emphasis on skin color (I also find your wording obsolete and confusung in a time of large numbers of brown people in this country...but that's another topic) as it is only a small part of life and its experiences. I disagree with the usual expectation of what this brings or the generalizations of who was or wasn't valient. There isn't one way to tell.

However I am open to suggestion. It appears to me it was a rough mixture of policy, doctrine, and racism all played a part. I accept I am completely alone in my belief.

there were mixture of policy, beliefs, speculation within an environmet where ideas that today are considered racist were the norm, yes.

With luv,

BD

Link to comment

There is no doubt in my mind that being colored or not colored has to have some direct relationship and bearing relative to the pre-existence it is in my mind utterly impossible to not be so, logic can dictate no other possibility as I see it.

If logic is your friend, you need to hang with a different crowd... :P

Link to comment

Remember all....

The ban was "specific" to those of AFRICAN DESCENT, not based on "skin color".

Which is exactly why "racism" wasn't really the issue related to it. The spirit of racism was simply a part of those times, and mormons sometimes weren't immune.

Interestingly, pre & post 1978 the Church and it's people where among the lest racist religious groups I ever observed. Most of the others had a good amount of racism, including some black congregations. And I didn't even know of the ban until several years later after these observations. That's how noticeable the differences between groups where in this matter. Clearly then, the ban didn't have as big an influence on the common LDS in reference to actual "racism" in the Church that many like to believe.

Link to comment

David Omen McKay put it down in his own personal diary that he personally did not like Negroes.

Yes and he also did not like Catholicism; however, his views on both changed considerably. He went to the Lord repeatedly until he was told not to press the matter again.

I've never kept a journal, unfortunately, but if I had, I certainly would not like to be judged by some of the things I would have written. Growing up, I began liking blacks at a very early age. Then came busing and forced integration. Then came the beatings and the shake downs. When I left high school I despised them. One of the blacks I actually got along with was a fellow named Phillip. Phillip, however, got stabbed in the groin by a white student he'd tried to shake down after school. The incident touched off a racial powder keg at the school and less than a week later the white student, burdened with disciplinary action and serious death threats, went into one of the family bathrooms and blew his brains out with his father's shotgun.

Then the whites turned on the blacks and before it was all over, the white students were on one side of the building and the blacks on the other, and the only thing in between were riot-garbed policemen with big nightsticks. It took years for me to mellow my feelings; however, coming back to my home city, I can't say I was sad to see that many of the very kids who had beaten me and others up and had taken our money were either in prison or had low paying jobs as grocery baggers or driving delivery trucks. The only ones who had made good, for the most part, were the blacks who wore glasses, were members of the Chess Club and didn't fit in with the black community. They had become teachers, doctors and clergymen. A few had become attorneys.

Entering the federal workforce, I generally found blacks, primarily black women, completely incompetent. But after years of working with blacks, I gradually found myself liking them again. One became closer than my brother.

The point is that people change, and they can change fairly rapidly or it may take years. My experience reinforced the fact that yes, folks are products of their environment. I was, you are, and so are the prophets of God. Ignorance and fear can't be changed by a single revelation; it comes by life experiences. And journal entries become merely snapshots of a given time and place.

Link to comment

Remember all....

The ban was "specific" to those of AFRICAN DESCENT, not based on "skin color".

Which is exactly why "racism" wasn't really the issue related to it. The spirit of racism was simply a part of those times, and mormons sometimes weren't immune.

Interestingly, pre & post 1978 the Church and it's people where among the lest racist religious groups I ever observed. Most of the others had a good amount of racism, including some black congregations. And I didn't even know of the ban until several years later after these observations. That's how noticeable the differences between groups where in this matter. Clearly then, the ban didn't have as big an influence on the common LDS in reference to actual "racism" in the Church that many like to believe.

The ban was considered specific to people of alleged African descent, but historically how that was determined was pretty inaccurate. In addition, the whole premise of African descent is that people thought you could take a lineage(Cain) and then interchange the notion of a lineage with the notion of race and decide that Africans were suppossedly all neatly originated from Cain's lineage.

In regards to the notion of determining who is African, people as far as in Fiji were considered "African" simply because of American perceptions of associating certain superficial markers like hair texture and nose shape with "African"

characteristics.

Link to comment

There is no doubt in my mind that being colored or not colored has to have some direct relationship and bearing relative to the pre-existence it is in my mind utterly impossible to not be so, logic can dictate no other possibility as I see it.

What is your basis for thinking that? I"m not trying to fight or anything, I'm just trying to understand what your belief is based on. When you use the word "colored," are you meaning blacks by chance? Just trying to clarify further. Just curious what the logic is behind it.

Link to comment

What is your basis for thinking that? I"m not trying to fight or anything, I'm just trying to understand what your belief is based on. When you use the word "colored," are you meaning blacks by chance? Just trying to clarify further. Just curious what the logic is behind it.

Well nothing here is provable in my opinion however that does not mean it cannot be known (not believe) I know many things I cannot prove as we all do know doubt. However it is my contention that all babies black and white are all born white for I dunno the first 3 minutes or something I think this is significant. I think it was Joseph Fielding Smith who taught in Doctrines of Salvation that we also will all be resurrected white regardless of individual ethincity. My logic is if Jesus Christ was a white Jew and he was exactly similiar to his father, God must also be white, therefore everyone in the pre-existence is also white, being the children of God? However God being a polygamist of the numerous Heavenly Mother's wives of God they may not all be white I do not know this for sure, that is if you believe the different races have the one common Heavenly Father but individual ethnicities may have individual Heavenly Mothers. ie, 12 Different Heavenly Mothers for each of the tribes of Israel for example, hence the reason they are organised into houses.

The problem with getting to the bottum of this issue is objectivity in my mind, race is a sensitive topic and emotions can run high. So I think the real truth behind it is usually obsecured and the objective approach seldom happens. I myself am white, for me this issue deeply troubled me in my teens I wanted to know what the real truth was what is the answer to this mystery? I had to know. And attempting to discard all the veils of confusion and misdirection to get to the bottum of the matter in the history of the church is very difficult. Its almost like you need a third party a marshon who is neither black nor white but green I suppose to be the unbiased investigator. Anyhow just to reiterate my views are radical and held by only a tiny minority ie., myself which am commonly wrong.

Bluedreams I live in Australia, I would like to know what is your opinion and what is also the approach in the black lds community for new members that are negroes, should they be told about 1978 or not? There are some in my ward and I wasn't sure if it should be hushed up or they should be told incase they find out about it from the wrong source. I don't know the answer.

Link to comment

Thanks for answering barauk. I think one of the cool things about online dialogue is that you can attempt to have more frank and honest discussions here than you can have for instance in church or in person. Race is a hard thing to talk to about people, we all come from different backgrounds, and it's hard to gauge the best way to approach the subject with people who have different sensibilities on the matter.

I just asked about "colored" simply because I wasn't sure if you were specifically talking about blacks or people of color more generally. I've heard it used in different contexts. In America, "colored" has generational implications in it's use too.

I personally think the ban was not inspired by God, but that the lifting was inspired. I don't have a problem with thinking that and still thinking the church is true. I think it's just another example of how strongly we are tied to our respective times and places, and just how hard it can be for people to transcend those influences and conditioning. My basis for this is mainly due to looking at the historical origins and of the ban and looking at the last 30 or so years prior to the lifting and the events that led up to that lifting.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...