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Racist Doctrine in Come Follow Me Lesson Manual Already Distributed


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30 minutes ago, Islander said:

(also Pacific Islanders,

Pretty sure Pacific Islanders were always allowed the Priesthood, what makes you think they didn't?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Pacific_Islanders

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In 1955, the church began ordaining Melanesians to the priesthood, and on September 26, the Church College of Hawaii was established.

The church had always allowed Pacific Islanders to hold the priesthood, and church president David O. McKay clarified that native Fijians and Australian Aboriginals could also be ordained to the priesthood.

 

Edited by Calm
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55 minutes ago, Calm said:

Pretty sure Pacific Islanders were always allowed the Priesthood, what makes you think they didn't?

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism_and_Pacific_Islanders

 

People from East Timor, Malaku Islands, West Papua, Torres Strait Island, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands did not hold the priesthood although some missionary activity had taken place in the region. Just a historical note.

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16 hours ago, Islander said:

People from East Timor, Malaku Islands, West Papua, Torres Strait Island, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands did not hold the priesthood although some missionary activity had taken place in the region. Just a historical note.

Mate, now you're talking about my world. I have lived in Maluku. I think you'll need to document your claims for each of these locations.

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3 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Every one here with all points of views on this subject should go to the new RFM podcast.

Why?

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13 minutes ago, Calm said:

Why?

Because to be fair and honest in what has happened here on this particular subject, one needs to be open to other points of view.  It is called education or open conversations....or just complete awareness.

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6 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

Because to be fair and honest in what has happened here on this particular subject, one needs to be open to other points of view.  It is called education or open conversations....or just complete awareness.

But sources can vary in quality and I see no reason to invest time in studying low quality resources.  At this point you have not provided any reason for why out of the many sources discussing this topic, RFM should be the one everyone listens to. Is it because they are giving out free tickets to Disneyland perhaps?

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1 hour ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Mate, now you're talking about my world. I have lived in Maluku. I think you'll need to document your claims for each of these locations.

Brother, I doubt you were alive in 1940. We are talking about ancient history, in a sense. I am just saying that it is a verifiable fact that the brethren got the facts about the priesthood wrong. We are just commenting on the extent of it and who was impacted then.

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

We are just commenting on the extent of it and who was impacted then.

Exactly, and you have made a statement of presumed fact that I am asking you to document:

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People from East Timor, Malaku Islands, West Papua, Torres Strait Island, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands did not hold the priesthood although some missionary activity had taken place in the region.

First, we need references from you verifying that Latter-day Saints missionaries were actively preaching in each of these places before 1978. Then we need references from you verifying that male converts existed in each of these locations before 1978 AND were restricted in their access to priesthood office.

As I mentioned, I used to live in Maluku, and I have personal connections to people in Timor Leste, the Torres Strait Islands, Vanuatu and PNG, so I'm keen to see the documentary evidence for your claims.

Quote

I am just saying that it is a verifiable fact that the brethren got the facts about the priesthood wrong.

We can discuss what a 'verifiable fact' actually is after you've satisfied this call for references.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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Like the early explorers, the first Latter-day Saint missionaries visiting Papua New Guinea in the 1960s and 1970s were often met with suspicion. Misinformation about the Church abounds among the country’s largely Christian population, and opposition exists in some areas.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/1995/08/one-talk-in-papua-new-guinea?lang=eng

 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the faith's governing First Presidency, said in October's LDS General Conference said: “To be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine. I suppose the church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and his doctrine is pure. But he works through us — his imperfect children — and imperfect people make mistakes."

https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=57241071&itype=CMSID

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28 minutes ago, Islander said:

 

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the faith's governing First Presidency, said in October's LDS General Conference said: “To be perfectly frank, there have been times when members or leaders in the church have simply made mistakes. There may have been things said or done that were not in harmony with our values, principles or doctrine. I suppose the church would be perfect only if it were run by perfect beings. God is perfect, and his doctrine is pure. But he works through us — his imperfect children — and imperfect people make mistakes."

https://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=57241071&itype=CMSID

I have always liked this quote from Bro. Uchtdorf.  He is a voice of reason and of acceptance and inclusion.  Of course he was removed from his position in the first presidency and replaced by those with the mindset of: its wrong to criticize the leaders even if if the criticism is true, and the church doesn't apologize.  Very different points of view, and a big step backwards in my opinion.

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14 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Exactly, and you have made a statement of presumed fact that I am asking you to document:

First, we need references from you verifying that Latter-day Saints missionaries were actively preaching in each of these places before 1978. Then we need references from you verifying that male converts existed in each of these locations before 1978 AND were restricted in their access to priesthood office.

As I mentioned, I used to live in Maluku, and I have personal connections to people in Timor Leste, the Torres Strait Islands, Vanuatu and PNG, so I'm keen to see the documentary evidence for your claims.

We can discuss what a 'verifiable fact' actually is after you've satisfied this call for references.

I'm not Islander, but here's what I found which appears to be related:

Quote

In 1955, McKay visited the South Pacific, retracing some of the steps of his 1921 world tour. He met with a small group of church members in Fiji, where the church had never done any missionary work because of the Negroid appearance of the Fijians. Noting that the "race problem would be no worse than in South Africa or Brazil," he instructed the president of the adjacent Samoan mission to explore the possibility of beginning proselytizing efforts in Fiji.

David O Mckay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism, by Gregory Prince, page 80.

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14 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

As I mentioned, I used to live in Maluku, and I have personal connections to people in Timor Leste, the Torres Strait Islands, Vanuatu and PNG, so I'm keen to see the documentary evidence for your claims.

Vanuatu, eh?  My sister served her mission there years ago.  She and her husband moved there last year with their three kids.  Quite an adventure.  They love that tiny nation.

Thanks,

-Spencer

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41 minutes ago, katherine the great said:

This link just takes us to wherever we were on the app the last time we closed it.

It took me to an article on Papa New Guinea.  But I'm on a computer and not a phone so maybe that makes a difference?

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10 hours ago, sunstoned said:

I have always liked this quote from Bro. Uchtdorf.  He is a voice of reason and of acceptance and inclusion. 

I've not seen any evidence suggesting that that the other members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve are not also "voice{s} of reason and of acceptance and inclusion."  

10 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Of course he was removed from his position in the first presidency

There is no "of course" warranted.

And he wasn't "removed from his position."  The First Presidency dissolves upon the death of the Presiding High Priest.  The process is automatic, so there was no "removal."

10 hours ago, sunstoned said:

and replaced by those with the mindset of: its wrong to criticize the leaders even if if the criticism is true, and the church doesn't apologize.  Very different points of view, and a big step backwards in my opinion.

So you dislike Elder Oaks.  Got it.

Thanks,

-Smac

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I find the commentary on the Lamanite curse in the Book of Mormon quite disturbing. This, however does not affect my belief in the teachings of Christ as contained in the book. Here a my thoughts (and it's OK if you disagree, and sorry it's a bit long)
From my understanding a curse, as described in several manuals, is the separation of an individual from the Spirit of God. This is brought upon an individual through THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Clearly Laman and Lemuel and all who followed their ways lost the Spirit of the Lord because of the choices they made. 

Nephi mentions that as a result of the curse, the Lord did cause a skin of blackness to come upon Laman and his followers. Several church manuals have tried to distinguish the curse from the sign of the curse which was the dark skin. As a person with dark skin, I find this distinction irrelevant, and rather as equally offensive as calling dark skin a curse. The effect was the anyone who sees and individual with dark skin would conclude, based on the above  mentioned criteria, that the person is cursed. How is that any better? Maybe it's just me? Moreover, Alma 3:6 contradicts the very explanation that the mark was separate from the curse, because it clearly states that the dark skin (mark) of the Lamanites was a curse (maybe I am misinterpreting?)

"And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression …"

In 2 Nephi 5:21, Nephi further mentions that the dark skin was supposed to make the Lamanite unenticing to the Nephites. In other words, Nephi is suggesting that somehow when the Lord decided to set a mark on the Lamanites to distinguish them from the Nephites, He chose one specifically to make them unenticing. Really? So the interpretation is that dark skin is unenticing? And also, the same God who said in 1 Samuel 16: 7 that He doesn't see as man seeth, and doesn't look on outward appearance, is now encourage the Nephites to do just the opposite? How am I not to be disturbed by such a reading?

Another observation is that it seemed that the mark of the curse was not necessarily linked to rejecting the Gospel. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the Nephites had their own share of wickedness, and yet nowhere it is mentioned that they got a mark of dark skin. The chapter that addresses this the closest is Alma 3, where the Amlicites defected from the Nephites, and marked themselves in the forehead. This, however, is not the same as receiving a divine mark (dark skin) set on the Lamanites. Was God being inconsistent in applying the mark of the curse, and targeting only a specific group?

Later in the Book of Mormon, we read that the Lamanites who had accepted the Gospel and joined the Nephites, had their dark skin removed from them, and they became white like unto the Nephites (3 Nephi 2:16-17). Think about that for a moment, and the message it portrays - White skin equals having the Spirit of God, and dark skin is the absence of the Spirit. Imagine someone picking up the Book of Mormon for the first time and reading these passages. Would you blame the person for coming to such a conclusion? By the way, President Joseph Fielding Smith expressed the same view in Answers to Gospel Questions, the same quote that was edited and quoted in the printed Come Follow Me manual. Yes, know Church Leaders today disavow such explanations, but this is what is exactly written in the Book of Mormon. 

Although we tout the plainness and easy to understand nature of the Book of Mormon, the new explanation in the Come Follow Me manual now mentions that the nature and appearance of the mark of the curse is not well understood. This contradicts all explanations on this topic up to date, which clearly mentioned that it was literally a dark skin. 

So those are a few of my thoughts. But whether you agree with me or not, I am sure we can all agree that the interpretation of dark skin being a curse is wrong and false doctrine. But until church leaders take a forceful approach to address it to the entire church, this controversial issue will be coming back from time to time to potentially cast the modern church in a bad light. Thoughts?

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7 minutes ago, LongJohn said:

I find the commentary on the Lamanite curse in the Book of Mormon quite disturbing. This, however does not affect my belief in the teachings of Christ as contained in the book. Here a my thoughts (and it's OK if you disagree, and sorry it's a bit long)
From my understanding a curse, as described in several manuals, is the separation of an individual from the Spirit of God. This is brought upon an individual through THEIR OWN ACTIONS. Clearly Laman and Lemuel and all who followed their ways lost the Spirit of the Lord because of the choices they made. 

Nephi mentions that as a result of the curse, the Lord did cause a skin of blackness to come upon Laman and his followers. Several church manuals have tried to distinguish the curse from the sign of the curse which was the dark skin. As a person with dark skin, I find this distinction irrelevant, and rather as equally offensive as calling dark skin a curse. The effect was the anyone who sees and individual with dark skin would conclude, based on the above  mentioned criteria, that the person is cursed. How is that any better? Maybe it's just me? Moreover, Alma 3:6 contradicts the very explanation that the mark was separate from the curse, because it clearly states that the dark skin (mark) of the Lamanites was a curse (maybe I am misinterpreting?)

"And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression …"

In 2 Nephi 5:21, Nephi further mentions that the dark skin was supposed to make the Lamanite unenticing to the Nephites. In other words, Nephi is suggesting that somehow when the Lord decided to set a mark on the Lamanites to distinguish them from the Nephites, He chose one specifically to make them unenticing. Really? So the interpretation is that dark skin is unenticing? And also, the same God who said in 1 Samuel 16: 7 that He doesn't see as man seeth, and doesn't look on outward appearance, is now encourage the Nephites to do just the opposite? How am I not to be disturbed by such a reading?

Another observation is that it seemed that the mark of the curse was not necessarily linked to rejecting the Gospel. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the Nephites had their own share of wickedness, and yet nowhere it is mentioned that they got a mark of dark skin. The chapter that addresses this the closest is Alma 3, where the Amlicites defected from the Nephites, and marked themselves in the forehead. This, however, is not the same as receiving a divine mark (dark skin) set on the Lamanites. Was God being inconsistent in applying the mark of the curse, and targeting only a specific group?

Later in the Book of Mormon, we read that the Lamanites who had accepted the Gospel and joined the Nephites, had their dark skin removed from them, and they became white like unto the Nephites (3 Nephi 2:16-17). Think about that for a moment, and the message it portrays - White skin equals having the Spirit of God, and dark skin is the absence of the Spirit. Imagine someone picking up the Book of Mormon for the first time and reading these passages. Would you blame the person for coming to such a conclusion? By the way, President Joseph Fielding Smith expressed the same view in Answers to Gospel Questions, the same quote that was edited and quoted in the printed Come Follow Me manual. Yes, know Church Leaders today disavow such explanations, but this is what is exactly written in the Book of Mormon. 

Although we tout the plainness and easy to understand nature of the Book of Mormon, the new explanation in the Come Follow Me manual now mentions that the nature and appearance of the mark of the curse is not well understood. This contradicts all explanations on this topic up to date, which clearly mentioned that it was literally a dark skin. 

So those are a few of my thoughts. But whether you agree with me or not, I am sure we can all agree that the interpretation of dark skin being a curse is wrong and false doctrine. But until church leaders take a forceful approach to address it to the entire church, this controversial issue will be coming back from time to time to potentially cast the modern church in a bad light. Thoughts?

That's what's needed, but if the church says it like you say, it's pretty much debunking the whole belief in the BoM being the most correct book.

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On 2/1/2020 at 8:05 PM, LongJohn said:

that dark skin is unenticing

That is imo a valid interpretation. However, I think another one is that “otherness” is what makes them unenticing. The Nephites can tell who the Lamanites are due to a mark (I don’t believe the manuals are correct, thatcher it is not actual skin color, but is rather a symbolic labeling).  
 

Maybe Nephi was clueless about such things, but the Lord would surely be familiar with the weaknesses of mankind and the reality imo is exoticness is very enticing even if you might not bring them home to meet mom and dad who want you to settle down with a nice kid from their community.  Boredom, same old thing, is what is not visually enticing. Something different, curiosity kicks in. 

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On 1/29/2020 at 9:49 PM, Islander said:

I believe that a public retraction or an attempt to address publicly the issue will throw fuel to the fire. Critics are and continue to raise questions about LDS doctrine that seems at odd with other biblical texts. It is not far fetch to  pose the question then: "what else could possibly be wrong in the BoM doctrine then?" It is indeed a delicate issue. Thus the impasse. 

I agree with you that church leaders are likely reluctant to make a more public retraction.  Yet from my perspective, this is exactly what is needed to move the church more positively forward on this issue.  Let me share my personal experience on this topic.  

Yesterday at church, after I had shared this issue with my Bishop and he had discussed it in ward council and with the SP, he agreed that they would publicly announce the retraction at the beginning of Sunday School class.  I wanted him to go further, and felt like Sunday School wouldn't get the message to everyone because so many people don't attend adult SS.  Well, I was also feeling like I should share my testimony yesterday, and in the course of it I felt inspired to mention just a little bit about this topic of diversity and how thankful I was for the church meeting with the NAACP and the position that they expressed that all are alike unto God, condemning past racism and disavowing some teaching from the past.  I didn't share the whole retraction from the manual story in my testimony however.  

Much to my great delight at the end of sacrament meeting the 2nd counselor in our ward, who is a person of color himself, got up and thanked me for my testimony and expressed that the Bishop had decided to share this statement with the entire ward instead of just at the beginning of SS class, and he read the Elder Stevenson statements and explained the correction to the manual.  It was an amazing moment for our ward, and I'm so grateful that I was able to play a part in helping it happen.  

But then Sunday School came, and unfortunately our teacher who is a much more old school conservative, gave the lesson which this week was Nephi's vision, and he shared so many old school ideas about Columbus and the great and abominable church and American exceptionalism including colonialist ideas.  He of course had not idea just how out of tune these ideas are with the current stance the church has on race. 

On reflection after church, what this showed me is that we need to preach the new position of the church, from the roof tops.  Until all the of old ideas are eradicated from our collective cultural consciousness.  Racism, colonialism, treatment of the indigenous peoples, American exceptionalism, these are all intertwined.  We can't just put a statement in an essay and let it sit there and pretend everything is good now.  There is so much more that must be done to repent of the evils perpetuated in the past, as we see the ghosts of these doctrines continue to haunt our present day, and do damage to so many people everywhere.  

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13 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I agree with you that church leaders are likely reluctant to make a more public retraction.  Yet from my perspective, this is exactly what is needed to move the church more positively forward on this issue.  Let me share my personal experience on this topic.  

Yesterday at church, after I had shared this issue with my Bishop and he had discussed it in ward council and with the SP, he agreed that they would publicly announce the retraction at the beginning of Sunday School class.  I wanted him to go further, and felt like Sunday School wouldn't get the message to everyone because so many people don't attend adult SS.  Well, I was also feeling like I should share my testimony yesterday, and in the course of it I felt inspired to mention just a little bit about this topic of diversity and how thankful I was for the church meeting with the NAACP and the position that they expressed that all are alike unto God, condemning past racism and disavowing some teaching from the past.  I didn't share the whole retraction from the manual story in my testimony however.  

Much to my great delight at the end of sacrament meeting the 2nd counselor in our ward, who is a person of color himself, got up and thanked me for my testimony and expressed that the Bishop had decided to share this statement with the entire ward instead of just at the beginning of SS class, and he read the Elder Stevenson statements and explained the correction to the manual.  It was an amazing moment for our ward, and I'm so grateful that I was able to play a part in helping it happen.  

But then Sunday School came, and unfortunately our teacher who is a much more old school conservative, gave the lesson which this week was Nephi's vision, and he shared so many old school ideas about Columbus and the great and abominable church and American exceptionalism including colonialist ideas.  He of course had not idea just how out of tune these ideas are with the current stance the church has on race. 

On reflection after chiurch, what this showed me is that we need to preach the new position of the church, from the roof tops.  Until all the of old ideas are eradicated from our collective cultural consciousness.  Racism, colonialism, treatment of the indigenous peoples, American exceptionalism, these are all intertwined.  We can't just put a statement in an essay and let it sit there and pretend everything is good now.  There is so much more that must be done to repent of the evils perpetuated in the past, as we see the ghosts of these doctrines continue to haunt our present day, and do damage to so many people everywhere.  

From one on the outside, I appreciate that you have found ways to build a bridge and better understanding for your church members in many areas.  This conversation needs to extend all if for no other reason than the divisive ages in a congregation and what it means to each generation.  I thank you.

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1 minute ago, Jeanne said:

From one on the outside, I appreciate that you have found ways to build a bridge and better understanding for your church members in many areas.  This conversation needs to extend all if for no other reason than the divisive ages in a congregation and what it means to each generation.  I thank you.

Thanks Jeanne, that means a lot.  I'm trying to make a positive difference at church these days.  The church means a lot to me and I don't know why exactly, but much of the emotional angst I've had through my faith journey in recent years has been softened and I've been able to approach my Mormonism in a way that feels authentic, good and uplifting.  And I feel more welcomed and wanted at church, and even though I strongly believe that this feeling doesn't come from any supernatural deity, its still a very real feeling and it has value and meaning for me personally. 

I also feel like I'm making a difference in my ward by being there.  I feel like I'm taking Elder Uchdorf's invitation seriously, that if people like him appreciate and want me to participate, then thats enough of an opening to get me to participate.  And I'm going to do it my way.  And my way is the way I have to live with and feel good about when I go to sleep at night.  So I can't run roughshod over people, and offend them in the process, but I also can't be inauthentic and hide myself because I'm always bowing to the perspectives of others.  So its kind of like a relationship with my spouse and kids.  I can't just run around correcting everything they do that I see differently or I'm going to do long-term damage to that relationship.  What matters most to me is the relationship.  So the way I approach my interactions at church is through a similar lens.  Relationships matter.  That is the gospel to me, in a nut shell, and I can tell you that this feels right to me.  

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