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Anakin7

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Thank you Calmoriah for the references and clarification. I have to say though that I was taught that negroes sat on the fence during the war in heaven . This was why they were cursed with a black skin and could not hold the priesthood. It must have been commonly taught otherwise there would have been no need for it to have been addressed as you have shown.

In the early 60's I was given a Bible by an old man I worked with that had something in the Book of Revelations that mentioned something like, "and Satan will persecute the devout, and the Black man will be his henchman". He never told me his religion, though later I concluded he must be something like JW or some other obscure faith. It would be more than 10 years before I would seriously address religion again.

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Well Ellen all I can say is what we were taught. At that time blacks were denied the priesthood and the reason stated before was given for it. However, I am sure someone on the forum can clarify if you need it. Please don't let this be a stumbling block for your faith as I know the position is different now.

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I was taught that as well, looks like it was doctrine, no doubt in my mind and always knew it to be, otherwise that'd make our church racist by opinion only.

How could it be doctrine when church leaders refuted it over and over again starting with Brigham Young?  It was folklore and false doctrine and it was very persistent for some reason...perhaps because it made the whites feel more comfortable about the way they treated blacks or because it justified the denial of the priesthood.  After all we also teach that children will not be punished for the sins of their parents and if blacks weren't personally responsible for 'being black' then there was a heck of a lot of injustice going on....

Edited by calmoriah
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How could it be doctrine when church leaders refuted it over and over again starting with Brigham Young?  It was folklore and false doctrine and it was very persistent for some reason...perhaps because it made the whites feel more comfortable about the way they treated blacks or because it justified the denial of the priesthood.  After all we also teach that children will not be punished for the sins of their parents and if blacks weren't personally responsible for 'being black' then there was a heck of a lot of injustice going on....

You have prompted me to look it up. Bruce McKonkie in his book Mormon Doctrine stated that less valiant spirits in the pre existance were sent to earth through the lineage of Cain where they shared in the curse of a black skin ( my paraphrase) that his line was cursed with through the murder of Abel. Sorry I haven't cut and pasted or whatever but don't know how. He also went on to echo BY who stated that the negro could never hold the priesthood. BY was very straight about it and said that the priesthood could never be held by negroes until all of Adams seed had been redeemed. Once again I am paraphrasing, and it is  quick quote, so did this teaching come from McConkie? I joined the church about 1969 and was taught this, I don't know when he wrote his book, so if it didn't come from him where didi it come from?

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"Less valiant" isn't neutral or "fence sitting".  If one wants to use war imagery, the less valiant---whoever they were---were still out there fighting though perhaps not in the front ranks and maybe they were more concerned with defending themselves than attacking the foe, but they weren't staying at home hiding behind their walls, waiting to see who won the battle before committing which is what 'neutral' parties or fencesitters do (not attacking here true neutral parties that choose for the sake of their principles to stay out of a conflict).

 

I believe that "less valiant" was a compromise position in order to make it acceptable.

 

I believe that BRM was taking the same position as Joseph Fielding Smith, which he did on most things.

 

Personally I believe if there were any "less valiant" in the Preexistence (and I am not sure there were in the sense that we usually talk about it, it seems a conflict that would be all or nothing considering God is present), they would be more likely to be sent to easier places to grow up as the Lord would know they were spiritually weaker and not ask of them to endure hardships that could break them.  Considering the difficult life of so many blacks, the hardships that they have no choice but to endure, I find it quite likely that many of them, even a majority if not a vast majority, were among the noble and great.  I don't see it as likely given the easy life so many BICs have that it is an automatic that being born in the Church or the more advanced nations means one was valiant given that they are often not called upon to deal with intense and crippling obstacles.  I don't see having a life one can coast through as a reward for previous good behaviour if the purpose of existence is to eternally progress.  It is the telestial type of person that tries to get by doing the minimum possible, imo.

Edited by calmoriah
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"Less valiant" isn't neutral or "fence sitting".  If one wants to use war imagery, the less valiant---whoever they were---were still out there fighting though perhaps not in the front ranks and maybe they were more concerned with defending themselves than attacking the foe, but they weren't staying at home hiding behind their walls, waiting to see who won the battle before committing which is what 'neutral' parties or fencesitters do (not attacking here true neutral parties that choose for the sake of their principles to stay out of a conflict).

 

I believe that "less valiant" was a compromise position in order to make it acceptable.

 

I believe that BRM was taking the same position as Joseph Fielding Smith, which he did on most things.

I see what you are saying and I can see how less valiant could become adulterated to fence sitters because it is kind of non specific. Do you mind if I do a bit more reading and come back to you on this? Should a new thread be started?

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This is not a social topic, so it would probably be a good idea to take it to the main forum.

 

I added a bit more to my post if you are interested.

Thankyou, it would be good to discuss as it seems this teaching may have been commonplace

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Thankyou, it would be good to discuss as it seems this teaching may have been commonplace

 

This teaching was pretty commonplace as I remember it also... however, that did not make it right...

I think many factors entered into it, including the social/cultural context of the times beginning with BY.  Bruce R. McConkie's book, Mormon Doctrine, reflected this teaching... but I go to his speech after the ban was lifted where he said that we needed to forget everything on this matter (paraphrasing here also) that we were taught, that BY said, because it was wrong, etc., because we were operating under limited light and understanding... and that new light had been given and hence the priesthood was to be given to all worthy males in the Church... btw, I have difficulty with McConkie's book, Mormon Dictrine, and after reading of the difficulties regarding it, I put it aside and never refer to it because there is so much of his personal opinion that is woven throughout, even after he was asked to revise it... so I wonder the value of discussing this is, other than as a matter of a teaching that has been corrected.

As Calmoriah pointed out previously, this was a teaching that was/has been refuted even in BY's time, but which for some reason persisted.  IMO we should acknowledge it and the correction and move on... what would be the purpose other than to report it as part of our history and concentrate on the additional light received that McConkie referred to... particularly in his very heartfelt talk and testimony... (and no, Tacenda, I'm not suggesting in any way that we "hide" anything... it is my personal opinion that it's important to acknowledge that such was the teaching, but to concentrate more on McConkie's later words and testimony)

 

GG

 

edit to add:  This is another thread that has taken a turn so that if it is to continue, it should be in the Gen Disc forum...

Edited by Garden Girl
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