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emergence of new justifications for the black priesthood and temple ban


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1 hour ago, blueglass said:

Black, White, & Mormon II Conference Panel 2: Getting Past the Racial Past.  
Nancy Tessman Auditorium, Salt Lake Public Library, June 30, 2018.

Dr. Paul Reeve UofU, primary writer of the Race and Priesthood essay.  Book:  Religion of a Different Color Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness.    https://www.amazon.com/Religion-Different-Mormon-Struggle-Whiteness/dp/0199754071

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPWb5xj9jO8&feature=youtu.be&t=23m2s

New justifications for the previous priesthood and temple bans

We should just move forward? 

"Obiously you are talking to an historian and an historian will never believe that we should just move forward without actually understanding our racial past." 
"The LDS church disavowed in 2013 the theories advanced in the past from the 19th century about the curse of cain, fencesitters, less valiant in the war in the heaven, however, what does this mean since 1978? 
What I have seen is a variety of new justifications for the previous priesthood and temple restrictions crop up to replace those that had been disavowed and its like playing whack a mole at the carnival!"
If we don't understand our racial history we will continue to try these kinds of justifications. That's why the history matters.  Let me give you some examples:

New false justifications:
1.  Spread the gospel in stages first jews then gentiles as parallel to first the gospel got go go to the white people and then to black people.  Refutation:  The first documented black person joined the church in 1830 the founding year of the faith.  There was no parallel to jews first then gentile as it was always taken to black people and black people were ordained in the early days of the church.  
2.  God has always discriminated in distributing priesthood power to the tribe of Levi as parallel.  The tribe of levi analogy is a false parallel because none of the other tribes were prevented from partaking of the ordinances necessary for their salvation like temple and priesthood restrictions prevented black people of African descent from doing.  The levites were in essence the old testament equivalent of modern day temple workers, not the equivalent of modern day priesthood holders.  
3.  Giving black people access to temple and priesthood would have brought down the church.  This idea suggests that conforming to American racial norms and prejudices was necessary for the church to survive.  However, the same year 1852 that Brigham Young openly announced the racial priesthood ban the church openly acknowledged that its members believed in and practiced polygamy.  Polygamy brought considerable scorn from the nation and did not end until the federal gov nearly ground the lds church into dust, and yet lds leaders willfully stood against the curse of derision for what they believed was a divine principle.  Why would conforming to racial prejudices be necessary?   standard of truth from wentworth letter:  "the standard of truth has been erected . . so no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing . . . . "  and yet treating black people equally would have? "  
4.  Revelation removed the restriction therefore a revelation must have started it.  This idea suggests that the ending of the restriction explains the beginnings.  I do not have to first tell my children to touch a hot stove before I tell them don't touch that it's hot!"  If there was a revelation to begin the restriction - can we read it?  Will someone show it to us?    can anyone point to it?  Where is it? There is a total of 1 revelation on race and the priesthood in the canon and it came in june 1978 and returned mormonism to its racially universal roots. 
5.  God will not allow the prophet to let the prophet lead the church astray.  Taken within in its proper context this comes out of wilford woodruff in 1890 who was defending the manifesto ending polygamy as a revelation in the face of accusations from fellow mormons that he was a fallen prophet and had merely bowed to political pressure.   Assuming that a prophet is infallible is a violation of the central tenet of agency.  If a prophet has agency a prophet can make mistakes. 
6.  mormon leaders were trapped by historical circumstances - everyone was racist back then.  this idea is based on the premise that we should not judge historical figures by the standards of today, but by the standards of their day.  Presentism as historians define it is superimposing present day values and understandings on the past.  It is not an act of presentism to hold those leaders accountable for their choices because people in the past argued against slavery and for racial equality including eventually joseph smith.  Also joseph smith sanctioned the  ordination of black men to the priesthood, he was not trapped by historical circumstances.  brigham young said, in 1847, we don't care about the color.  therefore when he started to care about color he was not trapped by the views of the time because he had already expressed an open view.  brigham young said we have one of the best elders - an african (Walker Lewis) 
7.  We don't know why
brigham young said he knew why.  5 feb 1852.  If there never was a prophet or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before i tell you this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of cain.  I know that they are.  I know they cannot bear rule in the priesthood in the first sense of the word."  April 2006. Gordon b Hinckley "how can any man [Brigham Young, Joseph F Smith] arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible? "  

In my personal life since I was born just barely after 1978, I have heard all of these at one time or another.  Many in just the last few months.  Question is what can we do to abandon these mistakes and false justifications for the ban proposed >1978?  Who are the primary proponents of these false justifications?  Can we identify the sources of the new justifications and push back?
 

Great post.

Number 5 especially needs to be in mind at all times, and is the grounding for why personal revelation is the rock on which the church was founded.

We are all human, and brothers and sisters, and make mistakes 

If you understand that point alone, all the others disappear as rationalizations to justify errors.

No biggie. It was a mistake. Get on with life in this wonderful church and live by testimony, take human advice for what it is worth and confirm, confirm, confirm by the spirit.

Edited by mfbukowski
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7 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Great post.

Number 5 especially needs to be in mind at all times, and is the grounding for why personal revelation is the rock on which the church was founded.

We are all human, and brothers and sisters, and make mistakes 

If you understand that point alone, all the others disappear as rationalizations to justify errors.

No biggie. It was a mistake. Get on with life in this wonderful church and live by testimony, take human advice for what it is worth and confirm, confirm, confirm by the spirit.

By the way, got more evidence for number 5?

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1 hour ago, blueglass said:

In my personal life since I was born just barely after 1978, I have heard all of these at one time or another.  Many in just the last few months.  Question is what can we do to abandon these mistakes and false justifications for the ban proposed >1978?  Who are the primary proponents of these false justifications?  Can we identify the sources of the new justifications and push back?

8. While the brother of Jared saw the finger of the Lord at a time when such revelation was not anticipated or permitted to be shared until much later, and the faithful woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ robe caught Him off guard, latter-day prophets did not exceed the Lord’s expectations on racial issues. If Adam and Eve had exceeded His expectations on their choices in Eden (and for all I know they did) we would be here anyway.

While appreciating our racial history and the work of historians (I read a lot of history and non-fiction), I think we need to understand more than that on this topic.

I think the first priority is to attain Christlike attributes and seek answers on any subject accordingly. This way these “folk” justifications will take a back seat to what is truly important globally. And I don’t think our prophets are going to play whack-a-mole with them.

So: Question is what can we do to abandon these mistakes and false justifications for the ban proposed >1978? [Become Christlike] Who are the primary proponents of these false justifications?  ["folk"] Can we identify the sources of the new justifications ["folk"] and push back [don't be "folk"]?

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2 hours ago, blueglass said:

In my personal life since I was born just barely after 1978, I have heard all of these at one time or another.  Many in just the last few months.  Question is what can we do to abandon these mistakes and false justifications for the ban proposed >1978?  Who are the primary proponents of these false justifications?  Can we identify the sources of the new justifications and push back?

 

I'm confused by what you mean as "false justification".  As #7 points out, the man who instituted the Ban explained clearly and repeatedly why he was doing it. 

That being the case, we don't need to pretend like it's a mystery where the ban came from.  We can either agree with that reason, or disagree with it.  If we disagree with it, we simply say "Brigham Young did it for XYZ reason, but I believe he was mistaken."

If that's the case, then it was simply a tragic mistake.  Brigham misunderstood the scriptures and history of black people, and no one (including God or 9 subsequent Prophets) dared correct him. 

All the other stuff you mention is a result of that being too mentally painful for some people, and so we feel a need to come up with some psychological spackle to ease our minds.  Cognitive dissonance hurts that way.

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1 hour ago, cinepro said:

......................................

If that's the case, then it was simply a tragic mistake.  Brigham misunderstood the scriptures and history of black people, and no one (including God or 9 subsequent Prophets) dared correct him. 

False.  Orson Pratt directly confronted him on that false position. I consider Brigham to have been a great leader, but he had feet of clay just like all the rest of us.  He just couldn't get around those "twin relics of barbarism," slavery & polygamy.  Humans make mistakes.

1 hour ago, cinepro said:

All the other stuff you mention is a result of that being too mentally painful for some people, and so we feel a need to come up with some psychological spackle to ease our minds.  Cognitive dissonance hurts that way.

True enough, and that means that (despite all the good intentions) there will always be folk-myths floating around as justification for this or that unjustifiable thing.  We can't temporize and let any of that hold us back.  Arriba y adelante!!

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4 hours ago, blueglass said:

Black, White, & Mormon II Conference Panel 2: Getting Past the Racial Past.  
Nancy Tessman Auditorium, Salt Lake Public Library, June 30, 2018.

Dr. Paul Reeve UofU, primary writer of the Race and Priesthood essay.  Book:  Religion of a Different Color Race and the Mormon Struggle for Whiteness.    https://www.amazon.com/Religion-Different-Mormon-Struggle-Whiteness/dp/0199754071

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPWb5xj9jO8&feature=youtu.be&t=23m2s

New justifications for the previous priesthood and temple bans

We should just move forward? 

"Obiously you are talking to an historian and an historian will never believe that we should just move forward without actually understanding our racial past." 
"The LDS church disavowed in 2013 the theories advanced in the past from the 19th century about the curse of cain, fencesitters, less valiant in the war in the heaven, however, what does this mean since 1978? 
What I have seen is a variety of new justifications for the previous priesthood and temple restrictions crop up to replace those that had been disavowed and its like playing whack a mole at the carnival!"
If we don't understand our racial history we will continue to try these kinds of justifications. That's why the history matters.  Let me give you some examples:

New false justifications:
1.  Spread the gospel in stages first jews then gentiles as parallel to first the gospel got go go to the white people and then to black people.  Refutation:  The first documented black person joined the church in 1830 the founding year of the faith.  There was no parallel to jews first then gentile as it was always taken to black people and black people were ordained in the early days of the church.  
2.  God has always discriminated in distributing priesthood power to the tribe of Levi as parallel.  The tribe of levi analogy is a false parallel because none of the other tribes were prevented from partaking of the ordinances necessary for their salvation like temple and priesthood restrictions prevented black people of African descent from doing.  The levites were in essence the old testament equivalent of modern day temple workers, not the equivalent of modern day priesthood holders.  
3.  Giving black people access to temple and priesthood would have brought down the church.  This idea suggests that conforming to American racial norms and prejudices was necessary for the church to survive.  However, the same year 1852 that Brigham Young openly announced the racial priesthood ban the church openly acknowledged that its members believed in and practiced polygamy.  Polygamy brought considerable scorn from the nation and did not end until the federal gov nearly ground the lds church into dust, and yet lds leaders willfully stood against the curse of derision for what they believed was a divine principle.  Why would conforming to racial prejudices be necessary?   standard of truth from wentworth letter:  "the standard of truth has been erected . . so no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing . . . . "  and yet treating black people equally would have? "  
4.  Revelation removed the restriction therefore a revelation must have started it.  This idea suggests that the ending of the restriction explains the beginnings.  I do not have to first tell my children to touch a hot stove before I tell them don't touch that it's hot!"  If there was a revelation to begin the restriction - can we read it?  Will someone show it to us?    can anyone point to it?  Where is it? There is a total of 1 revelation on race and the priesthood in the canon and it came in june 1978 and returned mormonism to its racially universal roots. 
5.  God will not allow the prophet to let the prophet lead the church astray.  Taken within in its proper context this comes out of wilford woodruff in 1890 who was defending the manifesto ending polygamy as a revelation in the face of accusations from fellow mormons that he was a fallen prophet and had merely bowed to political pressure.   Assuming that a prophet is infallible is a violation of the central tenet of agency.  If a prophet has agency a prophet can make mistakes. 
6.  mormon leaders were trapped by historical circumstances - everyone was racist back then.  this idea is based on the premise that we should not judge historical figures by the standards of today, but by the standards of their day.  Presentism as historians define it is superimposing present day values and understandings on the past.  It is not an act of presentism to hold those leaders accountable for their choices because people in the past argued against slavery and for racial equality including eventually joseph smith.  Also joseph smith sanctioned the  ordination of black men to the priesthood, he was not trapped by historical circumstances.  brigham young said, in 1847, we don't care about the color.  therefore when he started to care about color he was not trapped by the views of the time because he had already expressed an open view.  brigham young said we have one of the best elders - an african (Walker Lewis) 
7.  We don't know why
brigham young said he knew why.  5 feb 1852.  If there never was a prophet or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before i tell you this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of cain.  I know that they are.  I know they cannot bear rule in the priesthood in the first sense of the word."  April 2006. Gordon b Hinckley "how can any man [Brigham Young, Joseph F Smith] arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible? "  

In my personal life since I was born just barely after 1978, I have heard all of these at one time or another.  Many in just the last few months.  Question is what can we do to abandon these mistakes and false justifications for the ban proposed >1978?  Who are the primary proponents of these false justifications?  Can we identify the sources of the new justifications and push back?
 

Number 7 above is not a false justification. It is a statement of fact. We indeed do not know why. It is the position the Church takes that we do not know why. 

The author of the above quote is trying to establish as a given that the Lord never approved of the restriction in the first place and it was all a mistake. That is just as much an unproven conjecture or assumption as anything else on this list or any of the now falsified theories that circulated prior to 1978. 

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3 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

By the way, got more evidence for number 5?

Pres Woodruff said "It is not in the mind of God." for the prophet to lead us astray.   Numbers 11 invites us to a higher calling to receive the mind of God.  "would God that all the Lord's people were prophets" We look to Jesus Christ as he emulated this beautifully in his ministry LoF, Lecture 5, "And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit."  That which is true when spoken by the Holy Spirit has permanence, staying power, and that which is a justification by man will be ground to powder over time.  

Edited by blueglass
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2 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Number 7 above is not a false justification. It is a statement of fact. We indeed do not know why. It is the position the Church takes that we do not know why. 

The author of the above quote is trying to establish as a given that the Lord never approved of the restriction in the first place and it was all a mistake. That is just as much an unproven conjecture or assumption as anything else on this list or any of the now falsified theories that circulated prior to 1978. 

Most of us are ignorant of ultimate truth, and a great many conjectures surround us throughout our lives.  However, when considering such issues, it does help to place them in historical context (insofar as possible).  Thus, when we do know that negroes were being ordained during Joseph Smith's presidency, and that he was resolutely opposed to slavery, that may help us to place other, subsequent opinions in proper perspective.  Moreover, when we know that two general authorities directly opposed each other on this matter (Orson Pratt and Brigham Young), that can also be instructive.  When placed in historical context with all the racial folk-myths which pervaded American then, it is not actually surprising that many Mormons would hold racists beliefs -- and act on them.  Human history is replete with such regressive behavior.  I find it normal, not shocking.

The Bible is shot through with backsliding people of God.  Backsliders are always making excuses.  Thing is the Bible doesn't let them get away with it.

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2 hours ago, cinepro said:

I'm confused by what you mean as "false justification".  As #7 points out, the man who instituted the Ban explained clearly and repeatedly why he was doing it. 

That being the case, we don't need to pretend like it's a mystery where the ban came from.  We can either agree with that reason, or disagree with it.  If we disagree with it, we simply say "Brigham Young did it for XYZ reason, but I believe he was mistaken."

If that's the case, then it was simply a tragic mistake.  Brigham misunderstood the scriptures and history of black people, and no one (including God or 9 subsequent Prophets) dared correct him. 

All the other stuff you mention is a result of that being too mentally painful for some people, and so we feel a need to come up with some psychological spackle to ease our minds.  Cognitive dissonance hurts that way.

I see the problem with the wording, "false justification" implies there is a true justification which explains the ban which does not work.  Why would justifications be needed if Brigham Young laid out his reasons?  I suppose if you hold tightly to #5 justification then Brigham Young is a marionette for God and God is pulling the strings to bang up the "good ship zion" for his own purposes?  Not sure.  Well there is such thing as true justification, justification through grace (D&Cov 20:30) and the righteousness imputed on the believer through faith in Christ,  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Edited by blueglass
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There are a number of faithful scholars, which call out the priesthood-temple restriction as a mistake.  For example Terryl Givens in his book Wrestling the angel says, "And so the current church hovers uneasily on the brink of considering the century-long practice a terrible human tragedy."  In this Mormon Interpreter article the author suggests Terryl Givens and Patrick Mason are wrong. 

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/a-lengthening-shadow-is-quality-of-thought-deteriorating-in-lds-scholarly-discourse-regarding-prophets-and-revelation-part-one/

"They [Mason and Givens] seem clear in suggesting that the priesthood-temple restriction was a mistake and that the 1978 revelation was a correction of that error. This is not an uncommon view. However, since each of the leaders mentioned above was intimately involved in apostolic discussions preceding the change, and since each was present when the change was actually made, and since each believed the change was not a correction, Givens and Mason need to supply an argument for why all of them were wrong. Unfortunately, both fail to consider the matter."   One argument is that the 9 prophets including Joseph F. Smith who created the new memory (See Reeve's talk), followed closely to the #4 and #5 justifications and a mix of the bad doctrines which were disavowed officially in the Race and Priesthood essay.  Harold B. Lee overturned the 1968 vote because he held tightly to the #4, which is why he fights hard against historians for bringing up Elijah Abel's ordination.  

Edited by blueglass
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21 minutes ago, blueglass said:

There are a number of faithful scholars, which call out the priesthood-temple restriction as a mistake.  For example Terryl Givens in his book Wrestling the angel says, "And so the current church hovers uneasily on the brink of considering the century-long practice a terrible human tragedy."  In this Mormon Interpreter article the author suggests Terryl Givens and Patrick Mason are wrong. 

https://www.mormoninterpreter.com/a-lengthening-shadow-is-quality-of-thought-deteriorating-in-lds-scholarly-discourse-regarding-prophets-and-revelation-part-one/

"They [Mason and Givens] seem clear in suggesting that the priesthood-temple restriction was a mistake and that the 1978 revelation was a correction of that error. This is not an uncommon view. However, since each of the leaders mentioned above was intimately involved in apostolic discussions preceding the change, and since each was present when the change was actually made, and since each believed the change was not a correction, Givens and Mason need to supply an argument for why all of them were wrong. Unfortunately, both fail to consider the matter."   One argument is that the 9 prophets including Joseph F. Smith who created the new memory (See Reeve's talk), followed closely to the #4 and #5 justifications and a mix of the bad doctrines which were disavowed officially in the Race and Priesthood essay.  Harold B. Lee overturned the 1968 vote because he held tightly to the #4, which is why he fights hard against historians for bringing up Elijah Abel's ordination.  

That Interpreter article taking Givens and Mason to task was widely panned by all but the most conservative of the old-guard scholars.

That doesn't make it right or wrong but it does indicate a trend toward the views of Givens and Mason.

I have never thought that blind obedience has a place in the church, unless it is blind obedience to one's own conscience. Personal revelation is The Rock on which Christ established his church, or at least that is the way the church has consistently interpreted that scripture.

The Rock was not Peter it was Peter's process of receiving personal revelation.

Edited by mfbukowski
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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Number 7 above is not a false justification. It is a statement of fact. We indeed do not know why. It is the position the Church takes that we do not know why. 

The author of the above quote is trying to establish as a given that the Lord never approved of the restriction in the first place and it was all a mistake. That is just as much an unproven conjecture or assumption as anything else on this list or any of the now falsified theories that circulated prior to 1978. 

Three scholars have gone on record backing #7 as well as others  1)  Daniel Peterson which you mentioned in a previous post.  See Peterson's blog post  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2018/06/why-i-cant-simply-dismiss-the-pre-1978-priesthood-ban-as-a-mistake.html    "Church leaders had hoped to rescind it earlier but felt themselves prevented (by the Lord himself) from doing so.  Now, obviously, such an argument will carry little if any weight with those who believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by ordinary mortals (or, even, by less than ordinary mortals) who have no access to the mind of God."  Peterson is using justification #4 revelation must have started it and maintained it for so long.  Holding tightly to the view that the text message received in President McKay's mind of "Not yet" was from the Spirit of the Lord originates from justification #1 and #2.

2)  Robert Millet   Millet, Robert L. book Getting at the truth:  responding to difficult questions about LDS beliefs (2004) pg157 12.  How could a group claiming to be Christian deny blacks the priesthood for so long?  What is the doctrinal basis for such a restriction?  "Acting under divine direction, sometime late in the 1830's the Prophet Joseph Smith established a policy that the blessings of the priesthood should be withheld from black members of the Church of jesus Christ of Latter day saints.  We do not know why the priesthood was withheld from black Latter-day Saints for so long."  Millet's justifications are #2, #4, and #7

This is significant as Millet was Randy Bott's file leader in the religion dept when Bott taught the mission prep class for many years.  

3)  Ronald Esplin  In a recent interview with the Salt Lake Tribune  Ronald Esplin who is the the director of the Joseph Smith Papers project also takes the "we don't know" + Lord inspired the exclusion of blacks from eternal families position.  https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2018/06/10/brigham-young-may-have-started-the-priesthood-ban-on-blacks-but-he-was-no-racist-say-his-descendants-his-mission-was-to-save-the-church/  Young's descendants (handful of those interviewed at least) and Esplin use justifications #3 and #4.  

Edited by blueglass
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14 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

That Interpreter article taking Givens and Mason to task was widely panned by all but the most conservative of the old-guard scholars.

That doesn't make it right or wrong but it does indicate a trend toward the views of Givens and Mason.

I have never thought that blind obedience has a place in the church, unless it is blind obedience to one's own conscience. Personal revelation is The Rock on which Christ established his church, or at least that is the way the church has consistently interpreted that scripture.

The Rock was not Peter it was Peter's process of receiving personal revelation.

There was an outstanding talk by Elder Oaks on revelation at the Worlds of Joseph Smith conference in 2005 I attended.  Will look for a transcript. 

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/news-releases-stories/-the-worlds-of-joseph-smith-conference

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19 minutes ago, blueglass said:

Three scholars have gone on record backing #7 as well as others  1)  Daniel Peterson which you mentioned in a previous post.  See Peterson's blog post  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson/2018/06/why-i-cant-simply-dismiss-the-pre-1978-priesthood-ban-as-a-mistake.html    "Church leaders had hoped to rescind it earlier but felt themselves prevented (by the Lord himself) from doing so.  Now, obviously, such an argument will carry little if any weight with those who believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by ordinary mortals (or, even, by less than ordinary mortals) who have no access to the mind of God."  Peterson is using justification #4 revelation must have started it and maintained it for so long.  Holding tightly to the view that the text message received in President McKay's mind of "Not yet" was from the Spirit of the Lord originates from justification #1 and #2.

2)  Robert Millet   Millet, Robert L. book Getting at the truth:  responding to difficult questions about LDS beliefs pg157 12.  How could a group claiming to be Christian deny blacks the priesthood for so long?  What is the doctrinal basis for such a restriction?  "Acting under divine direction, sometime late in the 1830's the Prophet Joseph Smith established a policy that the blessings of the priesthood should be withheld from black members of the Church of jesus Christ of Latter day saints.  We do not know why the priesthood was withheld from black Latter-day Saints for so long."  Millet's justifications are #2, #4, and #7

This is significant as Millet was Randy Bott's file leader in the religion dept when Bott taught the mission prep class for many years.  

3)  Ronald Esplin  In a recent interview with the Salt Lake Tribune  Ronald Esplin who is the the director of the Joseph Smith Papers project also takes the "we don't know" + Lord inspired the exclusion of blacks from eternal families position.  https://www.sltrib.com/religion/2018/06/10/brigham-young-may-have-started-the-priesthood-ban-on-blacks-but-he-was-no-racist-say-his-descendants-his-mission-was-to-save-the-church/  Young's descendants (handful of those interviewed at least) and Esplin use justifications #3 and #4.  

OK. I hold with the three scholars you quote here consistent with the institutional position of the Church that the reason for the ban is unknown. 

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43 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

That Interpreter article taking Givens and Mason to task was widely panned by all but the most conservative of the old-guard scholars.

That doesn't make it right or wrong but it does indicate a trend toward the views of Givens and Mason.

I have never thought that blind obedience has a place in the church, unless it is blind obedience to one's own conscience. Personal revelation is The Rock on which Christ established his church, or at least that is the way the church has consistently interpreted that scripture.

The Rock was not Peter it was Peter's process of receiving personal revelation.

The Rock has a triple application: Christ Himself; Peter (and his successors as chief apostle) the earthly head of the Church through whom Christ makes known His will; and revelation, the divine process through which Christ makes known His will. It is thus an ingenious triple word play that teaches doctrinal truth. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Most of us are ignorant of ultimate truth, and a great many conjectures surround us throughout our lives.  However, when considering such issues, it does help to place them in historical context (insofar as possible).  Thus, when we do know that negroes were being ordained during Joseph Smith's presidency, and that he was resolutely opposed to slavery, that may help us to place other, subsequent opinions in proper perspective.  Moreover, when we know that two general authorities directly opposed each other on this matter (Orson Pratt and Brigham Young), that can also be instructive.  When placed in historical context with all the racial folk-myths which pervaded American then, it is not actually surprising that many Mormons would hold racists beliefs -- and act on them.  Human history is replete with such regressive behavior.  I find it normal, not shocking.

The Bible is shot through with backsliding people of God.  Backsliders are always making excuses.  Thing is the Bible doesn't let them get away with it.

Not sure I’m following you here. Are you saying the restriction was left in place because Brigham Young and every subsequent president of the Church right down to Spencer W. Kimball until he finally “saw the light,” as it were, were backsliders?

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It was a mistake, nothing more or less. I think if we could get inside Brigham Young's mind, I think we would see some racist attitudes that came from his surrounding culture and affected the mistaken decision to promote the ban. Joseph Smith wanted to send blacks back to africa as part of his platform if memory serves. There were a lot of racist attitudes back then.

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5 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

No biggie. It was a mistake. Get on with life in this wonderful church and live by testimony, take human advice for what it is worth and confirm, confirm, confirm by the spirit.

I did not know that God made mistakes. 

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6 hours ago, blueglass said:

 

In my personal life since I was born just barely after 1978, I have heard all of these at one time or another.  Many in just the last few months.  Question is what can we do to abandon these justifications for the ban proposed >1978?  Who are the primary proponents of these justifications?  Can we identify the sources and push back against further proliferation?  
 

I can't say any of the used justifications are true or false since I don't know the exact reasons for the ban.  I am sure if God appeared to me and asked me why the ban was done I probably would get the reason wrong and he would correct me on the reason.  Best I can say is that it happened and it was changed and whatever issues that came from it are done. 

Edited by carbon dioxide
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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

False.  Orson Pratt directly confronted him on that false position. I consider Brigham to have been a great leader, but he had feet of clay just like all the rest of us.  He just couldn't get around those "twin relics of barbarism," slavery & polygamy.  Humans make mistakes.

I transcribed LaJean Carruth's reading of Elder Orson Pratt's speech.  (Utah Territorial Legislature 27-January 1852),  George Watt shorthand transcribed by LaJean Carruth and presentation given at MHA Conference 2014 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAPtLLMHBoo) I wish I could post or email to friends.  Have not posted publicly as Paul Reeve asked that I not.  

Edited by blueglass
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30 minutes ago, Exiled said:

It was a mistake, nothing more or less. I think if we could get inside Brigham Young's mind, I think we would see some racist attitudes that came from his surrounding culture and affected the mistaken decision to promote the ban. Joseph Smith wanted to send blacks back to africa as part of his platform if memory serves. There were a lot of racist attitudes back then.

He was born in Vermont and his family moved to New York when he was three. What was in his culture there that would make him racist?

And why do you think God made a mistake? As I noted to Mark, I was taught that God did not make mistakes. Am I wrong?

But if it were a mistake on anyone's part, it must have been relatively insignificant in the eyes of God, looking back on the history of how God dealt with errant prophets.

Edited by Glenn101
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