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Conflict in the Quorum of 12


Damien the Leper

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A good friend of mine and I were talking about the internal relationship of the 12 behind closed doors. His father used to work for the Church Welfare about 20 years ago and had access to the church archives. His father found documentation of a specific meeting in which Wilford Woodruff proposed "infallibility" as scripture when it comes to the Prophet speaking. The decision was far from unanimous and I believe an apostle had been removed from his position because he refused to accept such a proposition. It appears that politicking has a historical place when pertaining to official church decisions.

Is anyone familiar with this? If so, could you provide a reference in which I can read about these types of conflicts.

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A good friend of mine and I were talking about the internal relationship of the 12 behind closed doors. His father used to work for the Church Welfare about 20 years ago and had access to the church archives. His father found documentation of a specific meeting in which Wilford Woodruff proposed "infallibility" as scripture when it comes to the Prophet speaking. The decision was far from unanimous and I believe an apostle had been removed from his position because he refused to accept such a proposition. It appears that politicking has a historical place when pertaining to official church decisions.

Is anyone familiar with this? If so, could you provide a reference in which I can read about these types of conflicts.

Do you have any evidence to back this up, so we will have something more than just hearsay from you?

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Edward L. Kimball published a biography of his dad, entitled Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball. It was published back in 2005 and it includes a CD-ROM with the original version of the biography (before it was sanitized by the publisher). Apparently Mr. Kimball had some problems with what he wanted in the book, but the publisher didn't want to put it in (I believe the publisher is owned by Deseret Book), so they included the original draft on the CD to make everyone happy. But just this year, a different publisher, Benchmark Books published the full, working draft edition.

If you are interested in conflicts among church hierarchy you might be interested in getting the full version of this book, either on CD, or the newly published working draft edition. From what I have been told this full version discusses the end of the Priesthood Ban and shows that for sometime there were conflicts among the 12 and first presidency about ending the ban, of course that is just what I have been told.

Edward explains that in his biographical writing
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From what I have been told this full version discusses the end of the Priesthood Ban and shows that for sometime there were conflicts among the 12 and first presidency about ending the ban, of course that is just what I have been told.

That is just a rumor started by the McConkie faction after it was outmaneuvered by the Kimball faction. :P

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If you are interested in conflicts among church hierarchy you might be interested in getting the full version of this book, either on CD, or the newly published working draft edition. From what I have been told this full version discusses the end of the Priesthood Ban and shows that for sometime there were conflicts among the 12 and first presidency about ending the ban, of course that is just what I have been told.

IIRC,

Hugh B Brown attempted to reverse the priesthood ban as a matter of policy by attempting to get a majority decision from the Q12. President McKay was in poor health at the time, and in the leadership vacuum President Brown thought the time was right to reverse the policy. Elders Harold B Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith would have none of it however. Those two believed the priesthood ban had doctrinal basis, and balked at President Brown's attempt. A dejected, defeated President Brown ultimately agreed with the rest of the Q12 that unanimity was needed to reverse the policy - which was three years after President Brown's death by the new president of the church, Spencer W Kimball.

This account is described in David O McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism

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If you're interested in conflict in the quorum from the 19th Century, there's always this book:

Conflict in the Quorum: Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith

It's based on a Dialogue article, so if you don't want the book-length version, you could track down the article.

As for the Priesthood ban, it is an often overlooked bit of trivia that 2 members of the Q12 weren't there for the final meetings leading up to the revelation/decision. And based on past statements they had made, it's possible those two apostles would have been inclined to oppose the change. They supported the announcement after the fact, but I wonder what the phone call or telegram was like that informed them of the meeting.

Truly the Lord does work in mysterious ways.

(I will add that Ed Kimball's book shows that Elder McConkie was helpful and encouraging of the receipt of the revelation, with both Packer and McConkie arguing there was no scriptural impediment to the lifting of the ban).

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As for the Priesthood ban, it is an often overlooked bit of trivia that 2 members of the Q12 weren't there for the final meetings leading up to the revelation/decision. And based on past statements they had made, it's possible those two apostles would have been inclined to oppose the change. They supported the announcement after the fact, but I wonder what the phone call or telegram was like that informed them of the meeting.

I was under the impression that the entire FP and Q12 was present when the 1978 revelation was received.

Which 2 weren't there?

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I was under the impression that the entire FP and Q12 was present when the 1978 revelation was received.

Which 2 weren't there?

Elder Delbert L. Stapley was ill and would pass away that August and Elder Mark E. Petersen who was in South America.

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Isn't he the one who had given a talk which was widely considered to come off racist?

Yes.

Mark E Petersen was the most racist member of the Q12 without question.

The implication is he was specifically excluded from the buildup to the 1978 Priesthood Revelation, and the meeting in the temple itself, because of his stubborn racism.

Bruce R came around however.

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Yes.

Mark E Petersen was the most racist member of the Q12 without question.

The implication is he was specifically excluded from the buildup to the 1978 Priesthood Revelation, and the meeting in the temple itself, because of his stubborn racism.

Bruce R came around however.

Are you basing that off his 1954 talk, I think it was, about Race Relations? What gives the implication he was excluded? why would they call him on the phone to talk about it, when he said in his bio that he was "delighted" and he "fully sustained" it? (Barton, 176)

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A good friend of mine and I were talking about the internal relationship of the 12 behind closed doors. His father used to work for the Church Welfare about 20 years ago and had access to the church archives. His father found documentation of a specific meeting in which Wilford Woodruff proposed "infallibility" as scripture when it comes to the Prophet speaking. The decision was far from unanimous and I believe an apostle had been removed from his position because he refused to accept such a proposition. It appears that politicking has a historical place when pertaining to official church decisions.

Is anyone familiar with this? If so, could you provide a reference in which I can read about these types of conflicts.

Have you figured out why this is important to you? Do you like conflict in other areas of your life? Do you find it thrilling?

The Q of 12 are human beings and they have a right to disagree with each other. Who cares?

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Are you basing that off his 1954 talk, I think it was, about Race Relations? What gives the implication he was excluded? why would they call him on the phone to talk about it, when he said in his bio that he was "delighted" and he "fully sustained" it? (Barton, 176)

We'll never know what might have happened had Elder Petersen been more involved in the decision making process. He may have been a voice for the status quo, or he may have been a supporter of the change. Either way, I'm sure he would have supported President Kimball at the end of the day (as he did). But being involved in the process is different then getting a telephone call that 10 of your fellow quorum members and the first presidency have received a revelation..."And how do you feel about that...?"*

It's just an interesting footnote to the whole situation that the apostle who had the most racist remarks on record was on a different continent when the revelation was given. :P

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We'll never know what might have happened had Elder Petersen been more involved in the decision making process. He may have been a voice for the status quo, or he may have been a supporter of the change. Either way, I'm sure he would have supported President Kimball at the end of the day (as he did). But being involved in the process is different then getting a telephone call that 10 of your fellow quorum members and the first presidency have received a revelation..."And how do you feel about that...?"*

It's just an interesting footnote to the whole situation that the apostle who had the most racist remarks on record was on a different continent when the revelation was given. :P

I wonder if Elder Petersen was so racist in his views that talks would have broken down and not gotten to the point of where it did when Pres. Kimball received the revelation. In other words why would someone one day sustain it yet the day before he was against such a suggestion? It would be interesting to read his journals and see what further he said about it

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A good friend of mine and I were talking about the internal relationship of the 12 behind closed doors. His father used to work for the Church Welfare about 20 years ago and had access to the church archives. His father found documentation of a specific meeting in which Wilford Woodruff proposed "infallibility" as scripture when it comes to the Prophet speaking. The decision was far from unanimous and I believe an apostle had been removed from his position because he refused to accept such a proposition. It appears that politicking has a historical place when pertaining to official church decisions.

Is anyone familiar with this? If so, could you provide a reference in which I can read about these types of conflicts.

When did we have an apostle removed from his calling around that time period?

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That is just a rumor started by the McConkie faction after it was outmaneuvered by the Kimball faction.

In fact, Elder McConkie wrote a memorandum to President Kimball before the revelation strongly supporting ending the race/lineage exclusion. Elder Monson was the only other member of the 12 who sent Kimball a memorandum on the subject (also supporting the change).

Elders Harold B Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith would have none of it however. Those two believed the priesthood ban had doctrinal basis, and balked at President Brown's attempt.

According to Brown's biography, the entire quorum, except Lee (who was out of town) voted to change the practice, but when Lee returned, he strongly opposed the possible change, and the somewhat wishy washy statement about the issue followed in 1969.

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When did we have an apostle removed from his calling around that time period?

I am not saying my search was perfect, but I could not find any.

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When did we have an apostle removed from his calling around that time period?

I couldn't find any either. The only member of the Twelve during Pres. Woodruff's time as President that was dropped was Elder Moses Thatcher but it had nothing to do with infallibity questions. There was Elder Albert Carrington a bit earlier but again nothing to do with infallibility of the Prophet.

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The attached is an online link to the journal entries of Wilford Woodruff. Jump to January 27, 1860.

Woodruff Journals

I am not sure, but what is described is close to the account in his journal of the debate over Orsen Pratt's The Seer and what he said about God. Pratt wasn't seperated from the quorum, but obviously bad feelings came and went as you read through WW's remarks during this period.

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I have heard current GA's talk about how they will have disagreements and discussions but when it comes to making a decision that affects the church they come together unanimously. We are talking about intelligent men who have their own ideas. But when it comes to praying about what is right they will unite.

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