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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.
Gina Colvin, Ph.D. (in journalism, that is) has a blog on Patheos. She styles her blog "Kiwimormon," as if her views were typical of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand.
I've tried to point out to her that they are not. However, like most (heh heh) "liberals," her tolerance for dissent is far less than what she demands of the Church.
Therefore, given that I am no longer able to post comments on her blog, I will comment here.
Please refer to this article: Kiwimormon
Dr Colvin seems to think that Mr Angilau was shot for no other reason than being brown in charge of a pen. I have a number of questions about that; perhaps Dr Colvin might know the answers.
Was Mr Angilau the only "Brown Brother" in the courtroom on that day, or were there others? If there were others, is it possible that some of them might likewise have had pens? If they did, is there any distinguising factor between Mr Angilau and the other brown (and white) pen-holders in the courtroom who were not shot? Is it within the realms of possiblity that Mr Angilau was shot, not for his skin colour and/or his possession of a pen, but the fact that he was trying to attack a witness in a courtroom? Some readers may be puzzled by the way Dr Colvin and her quoted source use the word "injustice." As a New Zealander, I believe I can explain it.
When a certain group of people are entitled! to preferential treatment, it is unjust to expect them to submit to the rule of law, as long as those laws apply equally to everyone.
Only laws that recognise -- and privilege -- their uniquely entitled! status are or could possibly be just.
See how that works?
Make no mistake: this event was a tragedy. I am not ridiculing Mr Angilau or his family; I am ridiculing the slipshod thinkers and polemical opportunists who are trying to make this into a racist shooting.
What a pity the shooter was a US marshal! If only he'd been a Utah police officer, Dr Colvin would have had an opportunity to make it even more about Utah (and thus, get that much closer to her real target, the Church of Jesus Christ.)
But we wonder: what if the marshal had failed to act to stop the attack? What if Mr Angilau, a large, strong man with a history of violence, had managed to seriously injure Mr Vaiola Tenifa, the man he was trying to attack, while the marshals dithered about how to restrain him? Wouldn't that, in Dr Colvin's book, simply have made Mr Tenifa the victim of white racism? Wouldn't it prove that they didn't care enough about a "Brown Brother" to do anything decisive to protect him?
Given the circumstances, is there anything the marshals could have done that Dr Colvin would not have interpreted through her Brown Supremacist lens?
The fact Dr Colvin cannot see is that Mr Angilau was not shot for being an innocent brown guy who just happened to pick up a pen. He was shot because he was a gang member trying to intimidate a witness in a criminal trial.
This isn't related to religion.
In a recent comment on a different thread, Canard78 directed readers towards some conclusions that were on his blog. Another commenter thanked Canard78 for his summary of some disturbing historical quotes relative to blacks and the priesthood.
These two comments, along with a recent blog post by Jana Riess about Brigham Young's racism, spurred me to write a rather long blog post about our too-human tendency to climb upon Rameumptoms of our own fashioning. (I see it ALL the time on this and other message boards, and we all are guilty of it, even myself.)
Short story: We effortlessly and harshly judge others who have gone before by the standards of our day.