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By Five Solas
[In this new creation all distinctions vanish.] There is no room for and there can be neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, [nor difference between nations whether alien] barbarians or Scythians [who are the most savage of all], nor slave or free man; but Christ is all and in all [everything and everywhere, to all men, without distinction of person].
--Colossians 3:11, Amplified Bible
I read the “Amplified” translation of the New Testament back when I was still LDS. And the rendering of this passage has long stuck with me. The words in ’s are the “amplifications” intended for greater context and understanding of the thought being communicated. And they are sometimes quite beautifully composed, In this new creation all distinctions vanish. I like to think about that.
Today is the day we honor Dr. King and his legacy. It means as a practical matter, I’ll be spending the afternoon riding bikes with my kids, instead of them at school and me at work. It also means they are sleeping in and I have a few minutes to enter my thoughts into the keyboard (while I fast walk on my treadmill). But it’s also a moment for reflection. If I want to see a direct result of King and his legacy, I find it in the attitude of my kids toward various persons of color. Influenced as they are by so many things that were influenced by him, such as our public schools--and yes, even our churches. And I will readily admit their attitudes are healthier than mine were at their age.
I’m interested in folks' thoughts on Dr. King and his legacy here. Once upon a time predominately LDS Utah held out against his holiday, and if memory serves was the very last state in our Union to recognize it. Would that be a source of pride, embarrassment, or maybe just a shrug and a 'who cares'? All thoughts welcome.
PS. If you have Netflix, David Letterman’s recent interview with Barack Obama is well worth an hour (watched it with my wife after the kids were in bed last night). And very much on the topic.
By Bill “Papa” Lee
I grew up hearing the beautiful song, "Amazing Grace", almost every Sunday. It would some times be interchanged with the song, "Just As I Am". Both songs we songs of pleading in an attempt pull at the heart strings of all in attendance and entice members, or visitors to answer the "Altar Call", which was done every Sunday, or for others to "recommit" again to Jesus Christ. It was, while I was growing up, and one room Church. In the early days, no indoor plumbing, only "out houses", and no A/C . It was also a segregated Church, Black people were not allowed to attend. The few times, where a Black man or woman, being new to the area would wonder in, two Deacons, would calmly go back to where they sitting, and politely give then the name of nearby Black congregations, always with a handshake calling them, "Brother and Sister". But such activities would anger my Mother (God bless her soul). She was angry that our Church would do this, and insisted we leave. Knowing my Mother as I do, it was all she could do than to go outside in the hopes of finding them to apologize.
Between the year my Father died, and when my Mother passed away, this tiny Church (after 125+), became two rooms. At the insistence of my Mother, I spoke at my Father's funeral. So when she passed away, she had already told me (the youngest of four children) to speak when she passed away. It was a very difficult burying my last parent. So, I went about praying and reading, and searching for inspiration. I arrived at Church very early, and noticed they had an indoor font for Baptism, (in this large new room) etched in store were the words of "Amazing Grave", written by John Norton, and knowing the story of how it came to be. At that moment I received the inspiration I was seeking.
So so after a few pleasant remarks, I told the Church that everywhere I go, these people and memories I take with me, my experiences and memories of them with me. I turned to the hymnal, find the song and read parts of the song. I then pointed out that John Norton, used to be a "slave trader". I also (since my Mother loves the song and story) spoke of it, and then spoke of his conversion. John Norton, found himself so weighted down with his horrible sins, that he had place else to look, so he "looked up". At look up he did, and received salvation, and that the weight that was crushing him, was being lifted away. I recently found a story about it, and shared (a video) it with every friend and family on FACEBOOK. I received no amens, no replays, not even a rebuke. Usually when I share "Christ like stories", I get many, many, many, Amen's or thank you's.
I am posting this here, because many years ago, while teaching Gospel Doctrine, the next week's lesson addressed the the 2nd Offical Declaration. So I asked two different members who lived in Utah, when the "Priesthood Ban" was lifted, so I wanted their imput. This was two guys who never miss Church, but both did no show. So, I asked and older Sister, what did she think? Her opening comments worried me, but thankfully she brought it home. Be it the song, "Amazing Grace", where so many in Church (as I still teach), often try to over explain what "salvation by Grace" means, out of fear that others don't understand the topic. As we are all saved by Grace, and were it not for God's Amazing Grace, nothing any of us would matter. We are "saved by Grace", we are rewarded and exalted, buy our deeds bs actions, but only because we have "Grace".
Also, living here in the great Southeast, it would seem that few want to the source of the song. Also the life of the man, John Newton, who sold all that he had to build a Church, one in which he preached and wrote Amazing Grace, but also cared for the Church himself. He was also instrumental in help to stop the "slave trade", this was also due to the fact that, William Wilberforce, leader of the House of Commons, and his best friend, James Penn, England's Prime Minister. Both of who worship in John Newton's Church. The song itself was a sermon that Norton wrote.
Anyway, what will it take for us to be mindful and loving of have a more diverse membership? Also, who here on this board, how did you feel about the day the ban was lifted? If there are any, please share.
By Five Solas
The LDS Church has made some strong statements against racism generally--but here are a few things that might still be leaving folks with a reasonable doubt. In no particular order--
1. Insisting that God “established” the U.S. Constitution (complete with its Three Fifths Clause pertaining to African Americans). https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865688778/Protection-of-God-given-moral-agency.html
2. Refusing to condemn the Alt-Right movement, as the Southern Baptist Convention has done (in unflinching, unequivocal terms). See discussion here.
3. Its foremost apologist defending Confederate General Robert E. Lee and pretending the American Civil War was about states rights instead of slavery. (Perhaps we could all chip in & buy Dr. Peterson a ticket to visit the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture—which I’d highly recommend to anyone in or visiting the D.C. area.)
4. And on our own board (and seemingly inspired by President Trump’s deplorable remarks alleging moral equivalency at Charlottesville between avowed Nazis/white supremacists and those who protested them)—we have a writer for the Church-owned Deseret News wringing his hands over the tactics of Antifa, as though that were the real problem.
On that last topic of moral equivalency—it’s interesting to recall the LDS Church’s position during the Second World War, when all of Europe (save Britain) was overrun by the Fascist governments of Germany & Italy and Hitler’s genocidal ambitions were no longer a secret. Five months after Pear Harbor—we get this remarkable statement of position. Against Communism! And against the war generally—but nonetheless arguing citizens must do their duty to their government (and no exception here for the German ones, they have a duty to serve the Fascist regime).
5. One last thought on the topic. I spent 5 years in Glenwood Utah, graduating from Richfield Junior High, class of 1984. (Thereafter my parents moved us to unincorporated Salt Lake County.) Richfield Junior High was the home of the Roadrunners!
But the school hadn’t always been Roadrunners. Consistent with Southern Utah “Dixie” themes—originally it was home of the Rebels. You want to know why they changed it in the 1970s? Do you think it's because they didn’t want to be associated with traitors who fought to persist the institution of slavery? Well, silly you if you thought that! They changed it because they felt the term “rebel” had an association with 1960s counter-culture. I’m not making this up. Hippies are the real problem!
As they might say, "Far out, man."
No politics. No Nazis. No attacks on other posters.
I found this via Daniel Peterson's facebook post which links to his Patheos website. From Slate:
It could not have happened to a nicer person.
Slate article: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/08/18/the_mormon_church_condemned_white_supremacists_and_this_mormon_white_supremacist.html
Dan's Patheos weblink: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2017/08/mormon-church-condemned-white-supremacists-mormon-white-supremacist-mom-mad.html#uLGjjRFZHyVOdhYB.01
By california boy
I have not started a thread in several years. So deciding to do this is not without careful thought. In another thread, I brought this scripture up with several very interesting reactions to it. I felt like I would like to explore this prophecy of Paul, and it should be done in it's own thread. Two things make these verses very interesting. First, Paul clearly states that unlike some of his writings, this is not just his opinion. He starts his point out saying specifically "Now the Spirit speakers". The second important distinction from other writings of Paul is this part. " In the latter times". Paul is not talking about his opinion or his time and issues of his day. He is talking specifically about our time, the latter days under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Growing up, these Bible verses were used to point at "that other church" as proof that they had strayed from the teachings of Christ. Looking back at it now, I see how wrong that belief was. Because while my church teachers were pointing to "that other church" the church itself was forbidding to marry. Perhaps the worse part of the discrimination against blacks was not the denying of the priesthood to them, but the denying families of temple marriage.
At the very core of the gospel is the Plan of Happiness. And at the very core of that Plan of Happiness is the family. You take eternal marriage and the importance of family out of that plan and you have nothing. In fact the whole reason for the gospel collapses. Yet, in these latter days, when the church forbids gay couples from marrying, that is exactly what that policy does to gay members. It takes away from them the Plan of Happiness simply because they are gay. It excludes them from the very fundamental core of the gospel in exactly the same way as past policies took away the Plan of Happiness simply because they were black.
I don't believe there is any other single issue that is dividing faithful members of the church more than this issue. According to the documents posted on Mormon leaks 70% of the young people are leaving the church. Many of them point specifically to the policy concerning gays as the reason they can no long in good consciousness stay involved in the church. On this board we have those serving in leadership positions who reject the church policy of forbidding marriage simply because someone is gay. In just ONE year, the church has seen a drop of 11% opposing gay marriage. Ultimately, where is this policy headed. Why is the Spirit whispering to so many members that something is wrong. in baring someone from core fundamental teachings of the gospel.
Just how easily is it to dismiss this prophecy of Paul "latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;....Forbidding to marry".