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Armand Mauss: 3 Unresolved LDS Historical Issues


cinepro

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BCC has an article on Armand Mauss's reflections on Official Declaration 2 and the end of the Priesthood Ban. In it, he mentions what he sees as 3 "unresolved issues" that remain even after the revelation on the priesthood:

(1) In the absence of a formal and public announcement of a divine revelation, how are the devout supposed to know the difference between doctrines originating from heaven and those originating in folklore? There is no clear revelatory origin for either the policy or the associated
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...

For me personally, I think I've found reconciliation, and this reconciliation is based wholly on spiritual manifestations. My intellect cannot fully explain the ban. Perhaps others are capable of such mental gymnastics, I am not. And so today I remain completely uncomfortable with how the ban originated; and how it was maintained; and how it was managed and taught; but I'm happy we are at a different place today. I really feel like we are renewed and converted as a people. Continually reborn. (See Alma 5)

Big UP!

Lamanite

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There are some things that occurred in the early church where there is not recorded formal declaration. The restoration of the Melchizedek

priesthood is a big one. So maybe it was not restored after all. That the ban was by revelation was affirmed twice by the First Presidency, once in 1949 and 1969. The ban was lifted the correct way, by a revelation from the Lord. It is my understanding that at least one past prophet had sought the Lord

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Just some advice from someone with personal experience.

The church does not belong to the bishop, it does not belong to the stake president. I don't care how "high"up someone is mad at me.

I have had disagreements with both over the years, and I just ignore them. I even was removed as a teacher because someone in the high council was unhappy with me.

The only position they cannot take away from me is home teacher, and I can attend church and partake of the sacrament even if it "hairlips the boogey man". It has nothing to do with worthiness, but personal reasons.

You just ignore it, and do you duty. Leave the consequences in the hands of the Lord. "This is my right to actively participate in the church, and the rest of you guys can jump in the lake for all I care."

Leaving the church is really dumb, and you got nobody but yourself to blame.

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Well said. While my situation in the past has not been nearly as difficult as your seems to be, I have never thought much about what others were thinking so much as whether or not I was doing a good job.

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(1) In the absence of a formal and public announcement of a divine revelation, how are the devout supposed to know the difference between doctrines originating from heaven and those originating in folklore?

It's considered ultimately from God if published by the Church.

There is no clear revelatory origin for either the policy or the associated
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I never really liked "everything" Armand Mauss has ever said or written on this issue. I think he "too much" makes the Church out to be "racist" and having to apologize etc. when there is actually "more" to the issue. He incorrectly thinks he and/or Bush are simply "matter of fact" in their works, when they clearly operated from a bias that the Church was "racist".

I think he incorrectly assumes there "is not" a "Faithful" history that can be told on this or any other issue, yet still maintaining intellectual integrity, balance of facts, etc. Many LDS scholars seem quite "able" to tell the whole truth, yet it be Faithful and not condemnatory of the Church, and they do so because they actually ARE telling the whole truth. Frankly in answer to his question, I don't think there is "room" in the Church for "wolves in sheep's clothing", and there never has been. If you are slanting the evidences in a negative way, and not telling all the "positive" things, then you simply aren't being "matter of fact", and you aren't telling the whole truth, especially if you are a Faithful member. Bush clearly wasn't a Faithful member to have left the Church over the issue.

The "signs of apostasy" are in the writing already before hand.... And that applies to Armand Mauss as well.

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The "signs of apostasy" are in the writing already before hand.... And that applies to Armand Mauss as well.

I agree. IIRC, During a GBH interview when the question of Priesthood came up, he did not say anything about the doctrine being erroneous nor did he apologize for it.

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It's considered ultimately from God if published by the Church.

Then the church has thrown God under the bus more than a few times if that is your standard.

Abraham 1 seems like clear revelation to me.

And it clearly doesn't pertain to Africans.

We would be lying if we stated we know now the doctrine that the lineage of Cain was denied the priesthood is erroneous.

Speak for yourself. Pres. McKay is on record saying the ban was not even doctrine. The "lineage/curse of Cain" is old Protestant nonsense and you should be ashamed of yourself for clinging to it when the church has rejected it.

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The "lineage/curse of Cain" is old Protestant nonsense and you should be ashamed of yourself for clinging to it when the church has rejected it.

CFR. I think it would be a good idea if the Church were to explicitly reject that doctrine, but I can't find anything in official Church publications that offers any doctrinal basis for the priesthood ban. It's apparently a big mystery why the ban was ever in place. It's certainly correct to say that the Church does not currently cite the "curse of Cain" as a justification, but it's equally correct to say that the Church has not rejected that explanation.

As always, of course, I'm happy to be corrected if I have misunderstood, misread, or missed anything.

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You are in no position to judge Armand Mauss because you obviously know nothing about him.

I once left the Church primarily over the priesthood issue, so please don't tell me "what" or "who" I know.

I've read his writings, and just as the quote above from him, I find that on this "particular" issue, he's AGAINST the Church.

Now, you can try and sugar coat this if you want, but it's simple fact. Read his own words above, they are clear.

Understand, I'm not stating that he's not a faithful LDS, nor am I stating he's not generally on the "right" side, nor that he hasn't contributed a lot to the Priesthood issue discussion. I'm just stating that IN THIS, he's against the Church, and I've known it from his writings for a long time, not just this quote.

Frankly, since we are on the subject. I don't think really any LDS scholar has done a "proper" treatment on this issue and the Church. Too many like Mauss has dwelled too much on the "racism" aspects, rather than enough of the "pro" aspects.

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I once left the Church primarily over the priesthood issue, so please don't tell me "what" or "who" I know.

I've read his writings, and just as the quote above from him, I find that on this "particular" issue, he's AGAINST the Church.

Now, you can try and sugar coat this if you want, but it's simple fact. Read his own words above, they are clear.

Understand, I'm not stating that he's not a faithful LDS, nor am I stating he's not generally on the "right" side, nor that he hasn't contributed a lot to the Priesthood issue discussion. I'm just stating that IN THIS, he's against the Church, and I've known it from his writings for a long time, not just this quote.

Frankly, since we are on the subject. I don't think really any LDS scholar has done a "proper" treatment on this issue and the Church. Too many like Mauss has dwelled too much on the "racism" aspects, rather than enough of the "pro" aspects.

Interesting. Could you type up a quick list of the 'pros' as you see them, for the priesthood ban?

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Elder Holland on the ban and on the folklore surrounding it, from an interview in 2006:

Where were you when you heard that the ban was lifted on blacks in the priesthood?I can remember exactly where I was. For us that's the "where we [were] when Kennedy was shot," this deep, deep, spiritual, emotional moment in the history of the church. I was a very young commissioner of education, still in my 30s, and I was coming over from my office in the church office building to the suite of General Authority offices for something or other. ... I walked into the office of the General Authority I was going to see, and he said, "Have you heard the news?" This was barely moments out of the temple meeting and the announcement where it was official. And I said: "What news? I haven't heard any news." And he said all worthy men -- regardless of race or status or circumstance -- all worthy men are to receive priesthood.

You're going to think all I do is cry, but this is in the same family as that missionary experience I described to you. I started to cry, and I was absolutely uncontrollable. I felt my way to a chair ... and I sort of slumped from the doorway into the chair and held my head, my face in my hands and sobbed. ...

There's no issue in all my life that I had prayed more regarding -- praying that it would change, praying that it would come in due time. I was willing to have the Lord speak, and I was loyal to the position and the brethren and the whole concept, but there was nothing about which I had anguished more or about which I had prayed more. And for that to be said in my lifetime, when I wasn't sure it would happen in my lifetime, ... it was one of the absolute happiest days of my life. ...

I've talked to many blacks and many whites as well about the lingering folklore [about why blacks couldn't have the priesthood]. These are faithful Mormons who are delighted about this revelation, and yet who feel something more should be said about the folklore and even possibly about the mysterious reasons for the ban itself, which was not a revelation; it was a practice. So if you could, briefly address the concerns Mormons have about this folklore and what should be done.

One clear-cut position is that the folklore must never be perpetuated. ... I have to concede to my earlier colleagues. ... They, I'm sure, in their own way, were doing the best they knew to give shape to [the policy], to give context for it, to give even history to it. All I can say is however well intended the explanations were, I think almost all of them were inadequate and/or wrong. ...

It probably would have been advantageous to say nothing, to say we just don't know, and, [as] with many religious matters, whatever was being done was done on the basis of faith at that time. But some explanations were given and had been given for a lot of years. ... At the very least, there should be no effort to perpetuate those efforts to explain why that doctrine existed. I think, to the extent that I know anything about it, as one of the newer and younger ones to come along, ... we simply do not know why that practice, that policy, that doctrine was in place.

What is the folklore, quite specifically?

Well, some of the folklore that you must be referring to are suggestions that there were decisions made in the pre-mortal councils where someone had not been as decisive in their loyalty to a Gospel plan or the procedures on earth or what was to unfold in mortality, and that therefore that opportunity and mortality was compromised. I really don't know a lot of the details of those, because fortunately I've been able to live in the period where we're not expressing or teaching them, but I think that's the one I grew up hearing the most, was that it was something to do with the pre-mortal councils. ... But I think that's the part that must never be taught until anybody knows a lot more than I know. ... We just don't know, in the historical context of the time, why it was practiced. ... That's my principal [concern], is that we don't perpetuate explanations about things we don't know. ...

We don't pretend that something wasn't taught or practice wasn't pursued for whatever reason. But I think we can be unequivocal and we can be declarative in our current literature, in books that we reproduce, in teachings that go forward, whatever, that from this time forward, from 1978 forward, we can make sure that nothing of that is declared. That may be where we still need to make sure that we're absolutely dutiful, that we put [a] careful eye of scrutiny on anything from earlier writings and teachings, just [to] make sure that that's not perpetuated in the present. That's the least, I think, of our current responsibilities on that topic. ...

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It's considered ultimately from God if published by the Church.
Then the church has thrown God under the bus more than a few times if that is your standard.

That is the Church's standard.

Abraham 1 seems like clear revelation to me.
And it clearly doesn't pertain to Africans.

Considering Abraham 1, "Africans" is not an unreasonable attempt to follow the scriptures.

We would be lying if we stated we know now the doctrine that the lineage of Cain was denied the priesthood is erroneous.
Speak for yourself. Pres. McKay is on record saying the ban was not even doctrine.

Then we might ask, why did he enforce the policy? We could then answer, because he prayed about it and the answer was either nothing or "not yet". Then we might ask juliann specifically, why would DOM pray about what to do over something that was not doctrine? Why did he not just make the change? And the only possible answer that makes sense is, the ban is doctrine.

The "lineage/curse of Cain" is old Protestant nonsense and you should be ashamed of yourself for clinging to it when the church has rejected it.

The BoA is nonsense? And btw, if you think I should be ashamed, should I then think you are not believing LDS? I'd leave the invective at sign-in page ma'am.

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Interesting. Could you type up a quick list of the 'pros' as you see them, for the priesthood ban?

This is something I quickly wrote up on another forum....

It was in response to someone stating that we had many "explanations" for the ban before it's lifting, but none after.

Of course, it may not fully go into your question, but, some aspects do touch on it I think. What I mostly meant by "pro's" is that there is a "positive" and more truthful side of the issue, that simply isn't emphasized enough by many, when it should be, because in my view that side is actually the "truth" of the majority and of the religion itself. Meaning, all the negative stuff were "sideshows", not the REAL Church.

You are right, that is an interesting thought the way you've brought up that question that way.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to get into that. But, there indeed would be some "pro's" in the sense you meant for the ban.

-------------

We have "explanations".

1. The ban only applied to those of "African" lineage, not blacks.

2. All other races including blacks of the Islands, non African blacks of Central/South America "were" given the Priesthood.

3. Skin color was only one of the ways to help determine lineage, but not the final way.

4. White men were denied the Priesthood if they had African Lineage.

5. Lineage was usually determined by Patriarchal Blessing.

6. The Priesthood Biblically was always highly "restricted" also by Lineage to certain Tribes, etc.

7. Christ Himself denied the Gospel to be given to any non-Jew. It took Peter after Christ's death to receive a Revelation to give the gospel to the Gentile. Was Christ a racist?

One thing that's interesting with this, is that Christ did give the gospel to a "couple" of non-Jews. Likewise, in the LDS Church a "few" African blacks were also given the Priesthood.

8. Interesting to note that by the 70's Racism and even slavery of the black African had finally ended the world over. Thus, it it plausible that God operates according to man's timeline, as he's done Biblically on other issues such as the Higher Law vs the 10 Commandments etc., so the Priesthood in order to not be defiled by the evils of racism, bigotry, and the slavery of man, was denied to those who were under those conditions. Thus, it had nothing to do with racism "by" the Church, but racism in the world at large. God does nothing unless man is ready for it.

9. The possible initial beginnings of the ban were believed to be according to an interpretation of the scriptures. However, there is no sure sign of this, thus possible that it was simply the way things were interpreted after the fact in trying to find scriptural reasons for the ban. Given the lack of evidence, the ban may have been put in place by revelation that was never canonized, and then the assumptions followed after.

10. The LDS Church always had messages of tolerance, and love for others, including blacks, and it always taught "against" racism. Being first exposed to the LDS Church before the ban was lifted, I can testify that those in the Church and the Church itself was so "non-racist" in it's behaviors and teachings, that I didn't even know the ban existed until it was lifted. It was also along with the Catholic Church, had no sign of racism in it. Many of the other religions I had attended over the years, there was often some sort of racist thing uttered, even in a black church I had attended for a period.

11. Mormons always kicked out the KKK whenever they tried to settle in Utah. That doesn't give any indication that mormons were racist. In fact it gives the opposite indication.

12. Blacks and all races have "always" been allowed to be members of the Church, there was no segregation either, all races fellowshipped with each other. In contrast to most other religions.

13. Mormons, including the leadership of the Church always "lamented" the existence of the ban, but had Faith that one day the ban would be lifted. Such a common belief and view in the Church, even by it's leadership, again does not indicate a religion or a people who are "racist".

14. The ban was both a doctrine and a policy. The doctrine is that the Priesthood is given of God according to His Will, and some of the possible commandments of such can be found in scripture, but given Latter-day Revelation, the Church is unsure whether those scriptures actually apply to the subject. The policy in this instance is that those of African Lineage were not to be given the Priesthood.

Doctrine does not change, but Policy's do. Meaning that sometimes the "practices" that relate to certain doctrines are what changes, not the doctrines themselves. For example, the Law of Sacrifice. The doctrine is still the same, but the practice is now different, we no longer kill animals.

In conclusion, studies have shown that mormons were no more or less "racist" than any other population of America, some were racist, some where ethno-centrist, but most were neither, and certainly were not anything close to those in the South for comparison.

The Church itself also given the actual facts of the Priesthood ban, was not "racist", but simply did what God said to do, and the Church could not do otherwise until He said otherwise. Had it been up to mormons, the ban would have been lifted long before. But, God's Will is not man's Will in the LDS Church. We are led by God, not man.

It is true that some statements by LDS leaders were racist by our standards, and other statements are misconstrued and misused by critics, thus not actually racism, but something else. It is also true that some leaders made false assumptions in trying to "explain" the ban. However, none of these things were "doctrine" of the Church, and for that matter, were not believed by most of the Church, because after all, we have the scriptures and spirit ourselves. As a part of the checks and balances in the Church, the Church still remained intact and not led astray.

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This is something I quickly wrote up on another forum....

It was in response to someone stating that we had many "explanations" for the ban before it's lifting, but none after.

Of course, it may not fully go into your question, but, some aspects do touch on it I think. What I mostly meant by "pro's" is that there is a "positive" and more truthful side of the issue, that simply isn't emphasized enough by many, when it should be, because in my view that side is actually the "truth" of the majority and of the religion itself. Meaning, all the negative stuff were "sideshows", not the REAL Church.

The positive is the lifting of the ban. The truth is that all the excuse making is just that.

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The BoA is nonsense?

No, but I think there's a good case that the idea that its statements on Priesthood lineage restriction are any more applicable in the modern era than the Deuteronomic restriction on Priesthood is quite nonsensical.

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I once left the Church primarily over the priesthood issue, so please don't tell me "what" or "who" I know.

I've read his writings, and just as the quote above from him, I find that on this "particular" issue, he's AGAINST the Church.

Now, you can try and sugar coat this if you want, but it's simple fact. Read his own words above, they are clear.

Understand, I'm not stating that he's not a faithful LDS, nor am I stating he's not generally on the "right" side, nor that he hasn't contributed a lot to the Priesthood issue discussion. I'm just stating that IN THIS, he's against the Church, and I've known it from his writings for a long time, not just this quote.

When you say that someone is a wolf in sheep's clothing or that you recognize the stages of apostasy it is a little hard to not come to the conclusion you are questioning their worthiness or faithfulness. In fact, it is impossible.

I have known Mauss for years, FAIR has had him speak more than once (with the Church News reporting). You are maligning a very good LDS man who has done immeasurable good for the church and its members. I'm sure this won't stop you but I say it for others.

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