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The Underlying Principles For Mark E Petersen's Address


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When the Church came into more contact with Africans who wanted admission to the Church, the Brethren rather uncomfortably saw no basis for the ban but felt that Brigham Young, who was now dead, should be respected.

Bob, you should read Paul Reeve's book. It was much more than just respecting BY. It became a messy central part of fighting for LDS to be seen as part of the white establishment in essence. There was even a trend among nonLDS scientists to claim that Mormons were producing a new nonwhite degraded race and politicians and religious leaders were labeling them all over the place in terms of race...save for white, of course, white being the highest form of race and the only ones truly fit for democracy...all others thus would be seen as a threat to the republic. LDS responded, even more as time went on (not through with that part yet) pushing the ideal white family with none of the birth limitations that Teddy Roosevelt was pushing against (in order to keep the nation strong and whites in power). This, with the deaths of the blacks who had been around in the early church prior to the ban) cemented the ban as doctrine.

Very brief and incomplete summary, lacking nuances and balance...but just added to suggest picture wasn't just a tradition that went wrong due to lack of info.

The longer reviews here add some detals:

http://www.amazon.com/Religion-Different-Color-Struggle-Whiteness/dp/0199754071

Edited by calmoriah
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No I always knew you were referencing the PoGP. I looked back and i think you're talking about the series of questions I asked you about my family. The reason I did was less about you and more about Petersen, who made it very explicit that he viewed certain social statuses as indicative of the pre-mortal status as great and noble (or more often, not). You had stated by this time that you believed many of his underlying principles and general thoughts and this was on the list of his major themes in his address. I was seeing exactly what you found in this social sphere as indicative of our premortal sphere. I chose not to be abstract about it, because this isn't a faceless question. It has real-life application as to how, for example, me or my family would be seen, then and now. hope that clarifies things a little.

 

I'm fine answering questions, but I'd like to point out that I haven't actually asked you any questions in this thread for the reason that I want a discussion of ideas moreso than a Q+A session. You answered my 4 main ones and I was willing to just build a discussion around those answers and some of my thoughts about that.  

Bobbie....I'm pretty sure you asked me that one....well at least something pretty close to that:

 

 

My answers to those were:

 

But if you want the answers in a different way time, I believe the accounts that the Lord pronounced curses on varying people (both individually and communally). But I get the feeling that we probably would disagree as to what this means. My full answer is in a study I'm working on that is currently 15 pages long on a word document...so I'll spare you that. The short answer is that I believe most people cursed by God generally brought most of the cursings and the indicators of said cursings on themselves...similar to an excommunication, where the circumstances and causes aren't really punitive but a natural expectation for a specific act. I also think that removal of those curses are relatively more easy and more immediate than most have ascribed to them. 

 

EDIT: you may want to also look at my answer to Jude2 on this thread (post #42) for more thought on this.

 

My only question is how do you see this fitting into what I've stated at the beginning...or at least to your position on things?

 

With luv,

BD

Hi BD, Very busy weekend. Plus, I'm teaching Gospel Doctrine on Sunday and want to do a my best. I'm eager to resume our discussion and will do so when I'm not so distracted. And don't put the finishing touches on your manuscript until our dialogue has played out because there are going to be some challenging points to contemplate you probably haven't before considered. Look for a response to this post on Wednesday (I'm going to be out on the east end of beautiful Long Island, New York on Monday and Tuesday).

All the best...

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"there are going to be some challenging points to contemplate you probably haven't before considered"

Serious question: given the huge amount of discussion on the topic of curses, both specfic to LDS and more general, why do you believe Bluedreams would have never encountered your ideas before?

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How about the BoA that talks about the noble and great ones being for ordained to be prophets,etc?

Pretty clearly that it refers to some being "more intelligent" just as in nature certain members of a species are stronger than others etc.

 

But that has nothing to do with choices made or merit earned

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"there are going to be some challenging points to contemplate you probably haven't before considered"

Serious question: given the huge amount of discussion on the topic of curses, both specfic to LDS and more general, why do you believe Bluedreams would have never encountered your ideas before?

Most of those who are trying to come to grips with this subject haven't thoroughly thought through the serious implications (especially in today's increasingly hostile politically correct environment) of the God of LDS scripture cursing many ongoing generations of innocent children simply for being born within an ethnic group that sprang from a common ancestor.

This will be my last post till Wednesday. In trying to be fair, I've provided enough of a clue in the above statement to make it possible for some to be able to figure out where my arguments are headed before I return to post.

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"Most of those who are trying to come to grips with this subject haven't thoroughly thought through the serious implications (especially in today's increasingly hostile politically correct environment) of the God of LDS scripture cursing many ongoing generations of innocent children simply for being born within an ethnic group that sprang from a common ancestor."

Interesting you would say that because when I read your stuff I do wonder if you have considered the implications of your beliefs because you seem to be missing some significant stuff.

But I will not go into it now on incomplete data.

Edited by calmoriah
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  And don't put the finishing touches on your manuscript until our dialogue has played out because there are going to be some challenging points to contemplate you probably haven't before considered.  

Having had many discussions with BDs, I'm quite sure the reverse is true. 

 

1) Do you believe the scriptural accounts that testify the Lord has pronounced curses -- or threatened to pronounce curses -- on certain individuals, groups, nations, and even blood lineages?

 

Do you believe the New Testament and the words of living prophets?

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Most of those who are trying to come to grips with this subject haven't thoroughly thought through the serious implications (especially in today's increasingly hostile politically correct environment) of the God of LDS scripture cursing many ongoing generations of innocent children simply for being born within an ethnic group that sprang from a common ancestor.

This will be my last post till Wednesday. In trying to be fair, I've provided enough of a clue in the above statement to make it possible for some to be able to figure out where my arguments are headed before I return to post.

 

I'm not most people, Bobbie. I have spent a very long time pondering just that. Still I'm always willing to hear another person's opinion. 

 

But, this weekend has been a little busy for myself as well. Funny thing, I also have the lesson today in about 40 minutes. Unfortunately, I got a headcold on top of my usual work schedule and accepted it a day before the cold decended upon me. So my hopes for it is probably a little different from yours this weekend: I'd like to be able to speak without coughing and for God to carry the rest. Small goals ;). Good luck with your lesson.

 

With luv,

BD

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I am not going to get into the specifics of the questions that have been discussed in this thread. I just do not feel that debating the nuances of something that a prophet had spoken years ago is hardly fruitful. I would like to bring attention to a quote by Bruce R. after the 1978 revelation.

"Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world."

 

That bit of advice I have tried to take. Of course, it is something a prophet has said, now quite a few years in the past, but I was alive and attentive when he first said it.

 

Every time this subject comes up, that McConkie quote gets cited, and I feel the need to point out that Elder McConkie only asked us to "forget" the things that were contrary to the present revelation.  That only applies to the comments about the timing of blacks ever receiving the priesthood, not the the many statement made over the years about the reasons for the ban, or the justifiation for the ban in the first place.

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Every time this subject comes up, that McConkie quote gets cited, and I feel the need to point out that Elder McConkie only asked us to "forget" the things that were contrary to the present revelation.  That only applies to the comments about the timing of blacks ever receiving the priesthood, not the the many statement made over the years about the reasons for the ban, or the justifiation for the ban in the first place.

 

McConkie can't speak for the whole Church, but he can/did apologize for his part in promoting the justifications. OD2 addresses the revelation and "All are alike unto God" addresses the justifications.

Edited by thesometimesaint
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My views, which I think are shared by Armand Mauss, who has written extensively on the subject of race in the church.

 

The entire reason for the priesthood ban was Brigham Young's idea to get Utah admitted to the Union after the Missouri Compromise.  He wanted to appease the south after it appeared that the Mormons were sympathetic with the abolutionists and with runaway slaves.  The reason he wanted Utah to be made a state was to have home rule, which a territory didn't have.  However, when it became apparent the feds and the Republican Party were out to persecute him and possible kill him, he didn't do anything about the bad rule -- probably because there was hardly any pressure for it locally.

 

When the Church came into more contact with Africans who wanted admission to the Church, the Brethren rather uncomfortably saw no basis for the ban but felt that Brigham Young, who was now dead, should be respected.  Then, the sad teaching of valiancy in the pre-existence was developed on the basis of some oblique but correct statements in the Book of Abraham; it it helped some people explain what was looking more and more like a racist doctrine.

 

Unfortunately, the Brethren are human.  Some were racist and when the Civil Rights movement hit, some piled on to help resist the passage of the Civil Rights Act.  At the time of the Civil Rights Act fight, many in the church and elsewhere were convinced that Communists were behind the movement.  The Brethren weren't much at being racists, but they were rabid anti-communist.

 

But, in truth, there is no basis in revelation for the bad in the first place, and the valiancy doctrine in the second place, but there was a revelation opening the church up to all worthy men, just as it was the case when Peter finally received his revelation. 

 

So here we have these human brethren who are alleged to be led by God. How long will God sit back and let these non-perfect humans perpetuate this bad without correcting them? Apparently more than 100 years.

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I am not going to get into the specifics of the questions that have been discussed in this thread. I just do not feel that debating the nuances of something that a prophet had spoken years ago is hardly fruitful. I would like to bring attention to a quote by Bruce R. after the 1978 revelation.

"Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world."

 

Why didn't Brigham Young or other church leaders repent for teaching false doctrine? Why didn't the Holy Ghost tell them to repent? 

 

Remember what Joseph Smith said when he didn't want to practice polygamy? 

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Why didn't Brigham Young or other church leaders repent for teaching false doctrine? Why didn't the Holy Ghost tell them to repent? 

 

Remember what Joseph Smith said when he didn't want to practice polygamy? 

 

That is a standard of perfection that the Church doesn't have.

 

I wasn't born yet so I don't remember it at all. God very seldom uses flaming swords, or large fish to try to get us to do what he says. Thank goodness.

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Why didn't Brigham Young or other church leaders repent for teaching false doctrine? Why didn't the Holy Ghost tell them to repent? 

 

Remember what Joseph Smith said when he didn't want to practice polygamy? 

 

I believe you'd have to ask God for that answer. The official one is we don't know. 

 

Personally it's one of those things that's still a minor question for me. Especially around McKay's time where it's obvious that he would have liked to have ended it. But I do wonder if it has to do with the nature of repentance. For the one you mention with JS, it was a small circle of people who needed to repent. And acceptance of said practice in one's life was still an individual choice/journey. It's more simple to repent for your own individual concerns. Even then, to fully repent or turn to God may take years and may not be fully realized in this lifetime.

 

But this wasn't a sin of one person or even a small group of people (say the 12 or even all the GA's). It was a sin of a society (mormon and non)...not limited to one individual, but carried and maintained by the bulk of society. it wasn't simply Brigham Young's sin or a church leader's sin...it was a mormon sin, a nation's sin, and in many respects a sin of any place touched by colonization. And it seems that societal repentance often does take longer, this change spanning generations and feasibly millenia. We still hold vestiges of said sin. We are still not a healed people, but a healing one. 

 

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
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Every time this subject comes up, that McConkie quote gets cited, and I feel the need to point out that Elder McConkie only asked us to "forget" the things that were contrary to the present revelation.  That only applies to the comments about the timing of blacks ever receiving the priesthood, not the the many statement made over the years about the reasons for the ban, or the justifiation for the ban in the first place.

I know but he did add, which seems quickly forgotten, "It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject."

I mean, he also says what anybody ever said about the Negro matter, which should include everything including the reasons for the ban. Sadly though, as I understand, after this, he also affirmed the reasons for the ban--through his Mormon Doctrine edition in the 80s. Or something.

Either way it's good to use this quote to suggest men called as prophets and apostles have spoken and will probably speak presumptuously on some matters.

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That is a standard of perfection that the Church doesn't have.

 

and I am not saying church leaders have to be perfect, but I simply wonder why they didn't repent.

 

 

I wasn't born yet so I don't remember it at all. God very seldom uses flaming swords, or large fish to try to get us to do what he says.

 

but when a prophet allows slavery? I think God needs to needs to correct him immediatly.

 

 

That is a standard of perfection that the Church doesn't have

 

American Jews were not perfect, some of them were probably racist, but as a group (in the early 1900s) they were better than other groups because they were nice to African Americans. 

Here is an example of an American Jew that was arrested for protesting segregation in public schools in Chicago.

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and I am not saying church leaders have to be perfect, but I simply wonder why they didn't repent.

 

 

 

but when a prophet allows slavery? I think God needs to needs to correct him immediatly.

 

 

 

American Jews were not perfect, some of them were probably racist, but as a group (in the early 1900s) they were better than other groups because they were nice to African Americans. 

Here is an example of an American Jew that was arrested for protesting segregation in public schools in Chicago.

 

That is a mere a guess on your part. There is no satisfactory reason why they must have repented or must have not repented.

 

Why? Christ wasn't condemned for not opposing slavery. The same verses in the Bible were used by slave owners to justify it.

 

And Mormons were/are as a group were abolitionists.

Edited by thesometimesaint
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Why? Christ wasn't condemned for not opposing slavery

 

I am not aware that Jesus approved it

 

 

 The same verses in the Bible were used by slave owners to justify it.

 

and those Bible verses certainly did not come from a loving Heavenly Father.

God in the Old Testament condenmed idolatry but not slavery?

And Mormons were/are as a group were abolitionists.

 

Many, but the prophet Brigham Young did allow church members to have slaves. I still wonder why God did not tell his servants to repent for teaching false doctrine.

 

Did you watch the video about an American Jew that was arrested for protesting segragation in public schools?

Edited by TheSkepticChristian
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No I always knew you were referencing the PoGP. I looked back and i think you're talking about the series of questions I asked you about my family. The reason I did was less about you and more about Petersen, who made it very explicit that he viewed certain social statuses as indicative of the pre-mortal status as great and noble (or more often, not). You had stated by this time that you believed many of his underlying principles and general thoughts and this was on the list of his major themes in his address. I was seeing exactly what you found in this social sphere as indicative of our premortal sphere. I chose not to be abstract about it, because this isn't a faceless question. It has real-life application as to how, for example, me or my family would be seen, then and now. hope that clarifies things a little.

 

I'm fine answering questions, but I'd like to point out that I haven't actually asked you any questions in this thread for the reason that I want a discussion of ideas moreso than a Q+A session. You answered my 4 main ones and I was willing to just build a discussion around those answers and some of my thoughts about that.  

Bobbie....I'm pretty sure you asked me that one....well at least something pretty close to that:

 

 

My answers to those were:

 

But if you want the answers in a different way time, I believe the accounts that the Lord pronounced curses on varying people (both individually and communally). But I get the feeling that we probably would disagree as to what this means. My full answer is in a study I'm working on that is currently 15 pages long on a word document...so I'll spare you that. The short answer is that I believe most people cursed by God generally brought most of the cursings and the indicators of said cursings on themselves...similar to an excommunication, where the circumstances and causes aren't really punitive but a natural expectation for a specific act. I also think that removal of those curses are relatively more easy and more immediate than most have ascribed to them. 

 

EDIT: you may want to also look at my answer to Jude2 on this thread (post #42) for more thought on this.

 

My only question is how do you see this fitting into what I've stated at the beginning...or at least to your position on things?

 

With luv,

BD

First, for many years it has been commonly taught in the Church the majority of the human family will inherit the telestial kingdom of glory. This belief is based primarily on the fact that D&C 76 declares the inhabitants of the telestial world will be as numerous as the stars in the heavens, while we are elsewhere told the inheritors of the celestial glory will be those few who were called but will actually end up being chosen. Do a Google search under terms like "telestial kingdom, majority, inhabitants" and you'll get some hits that will verify my assertion.

Next, I reasked you the same first question of on this thread that I asked you on the previous thread (now locked) because I wanted our discussion HERE to start at the same logical starting point so that readers of this thread (you and I aren't the only here) will be able to follow a clear line of thought as things unfold.

My answer to your question is that as you stay tuned my reason for asking question number one will become clear soon enough. But first my second, and final, introductory question:

2) What is your own definition of the word "racism?"

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First, for many years it has been commonly taught in the Church the majority of the human family will inherit the telestial kingdom of glory. This belief is based primarily on the fact that D&C 76 declares the inhabitants of the telestial world will be as numerous as the stars in the heavens, while we are elsewhere told the inheritors of the celestial glory will be those few who were called but will actually end up being chosen. Do a Google search under terms like "telestial kingdom, majority, inhabitants" and you'll get some hits that will verify my assertion.

Common extrapolation/knoweldge does not mean unequivacal truth. And I can think of another way way to interpret what you mentioned and scriptures that may indicate that the telestial kingdom is not the majority. We don't know the percentage (vague or real) that will inhabit each kingdom.  

 

Next, I reasked you the same first question of on this thread that I asked you on the previous thread (now locked) because I wanted our discussion HERE to start at the same logical starting point so that readers of this thread (you and I aren't the only here) will be able to follow a clear line of thought as things unfold.

My answer to your question is that as you stay tuned my reason for asking question number one will become clear soon enough. But first my second, and final, 

 

 

Next time feel free to copy and paste my answers that you wanted to have from that conversation.

 

introductory question:

2) What is your own definition of the word "racism?"

 

 

Depends. As an overarching definition, I'm good with the basic definition you find by googling it:

"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

 

I'd state that racism in real-time can have many a nuance to it. So, for example, instead of all it may be most members of a race/ethnic group. It can include things like ethnocentrism, where ones customs are seen as normative or the better way of doing things. And I think the inferior/superior can be interpreted differently. It could include more safe/dangerous, spiritual/secular, etc. Basically anything value-laden where one value is more respected than the other.

 

On a religious note, I would state that anything that makes another racial/ethnic group as receiving less from God that is not based on their actual personal righteousness during this life is a form of religious racism.  

 

 

With luv,

BD 

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Common extrapolation/knoweldge does not mean unequivacal truth. And I can think of another way way to interpret what you mentioned and scriptures that may indicate that the telestial kingdom is not the majority. We don't know the percentage (vague or real) that will inhabit each kingdom.

Next time feel free to copy and paste my answers that you wanted to have from that conversation.

Depends. As an overarching definition, I'm good with the basic definition you find by googling it:

"the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races."

I'd state that racism in real-time can have many a nuance to it. So, for example, instead of all it may be most members of a race/ethnic group. It can include things like ethnocentrism, where ones customs are seen as normative or the better way of doing things. And I think the inferior/superior can be interpreted differently. It could include more safe/dangerous, spiritual/secular, etc. Basically anything value-laden where one value is more respected than the other.

On a religious note, I would state that anything that makes another racial/ethnic group as receiving less from God that is not based on their actual personal righteousness during this life is a form of religious racism.

With luv,

BD

Hello BD!

(As it is my way to try and keep an open mind on many of the controversial issues facing the Church, and as I have chosen to reserve my own final judgement on many of these issues until the Lord himself -- as promised in D&C 101 -- reveals all the great mysteries to the faithful at the beginning of the millennium, please understand as I proceed here I am advocating no hard and fast positions but am simply trying to bring some of the aforementioned controversial issues out into the ligjt for discussion.)

Given that there are approximately 46 billion grains of sand in a cubic yard of beach sand, and that there are believed to be more stars in the heavens that all the grains of sand on all the beaches of the world, it's easy to understand why LDS leaders like Joseph Fielding Smith believe the telestial kingdom will have the most inhabitants. But to each his or her own.

I suppose it's one thing to discard as worthless the pre-1978 statements of an Apostle of the Church, but discarding -- or disregarding-- controversial statements found in the Book of Mormom (the most correct book on earth) presents a much more problematic challenge. It causes me to wonder how one goes about explaining away the seeming racialist portions of narrative found in a sacred book of scripture given in purity to the world in these latter-days?

You are surely aware of the fact that the Internet is awash with assertions made by anti-Mormons that the Book of Mormon is a racist document that justifies racism and racial segregation. So, if you're willing, please answer question number 3 as if it is being asked by an anti-Mormon who is giving you the chance to answer the charges that the Book of Mormon justifies racism and segregation based upon a curse pronounced and carried out by God himself:

3) How am I to understand the following verses from the Book of Mormon so as to not conclude they justify a form of racism and racial segregation initiated by God himself, which I believe will be especially difficult to do in light of the fact that Church leaders like Elder Petersen did indeed appear to interpret these verses as a justification for racialism and segregation?

20 Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.

21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. (2 Nephi)

Edited by Bobbieaware
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Why didn't Brigham Young or other church leaders repent for teaching false doctrine? Why didn't the Holy Ghost tell them to repent? 

 

Remember what Joseph Smith said when he didn't want to practice polygamy? 

 

What false doctrine did Brigham Young teach??? Please provide a scriptural reference or a revelation or an official pronouncement from God himself, or a prophet, either current or past the false doctrines that Brigham Young and other prophets taught for which they must repent???

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