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Activism toward the Church; talk by Ahmad S. Corbitt of YM General Presidency


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42 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

It would seem that many today reject these sentiments. I wonder what they offer instead.

So we should just trust our leaders when they say that blacks were cursed with the curse of Cain/Ham, that slavery is ordained of God, that Adam is our God, and that the blood atonement doctrine is divine...among many other false teachings given in the "name of God"?  

What I, and the gospel, offers is the Holy Ghost.  Personal revelation with prophets as one source of direction.  I always side with the Holy Ghost/personal revelation which confirms that the following statement by David O McKay is true:

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In our worship there are two elements: One is spiritual communion arising from our own meditation; the other, instruction from others, particularly from those who have authority to guide and instruct us. Of the two, the more profitable introspectively is the meditation. Meditation is the language of the soul. It is defined as “a form of private devotion, or spiritual exercise, consisting in deep, continued reflection on some religious theme.” Meditation is a form of prayer. …

Meditation is one of the most secret, most sacred doors through which we pass into the presence of the Lord. Jesus set the example for us.

 

 

Yes, only the prophets can receive revelation for the church, but that is not to say that we can always trust them.  We will no be judged by how perfectly we follow prophets (as they are human/fallible), but by how perfectly we follow the spirit.

Edited by pogi
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7 hours ago, pogi said:

If he was confused about when the priesthood would be given to blacks, perhaps he was confused if it should have been taken away in the first place -  yes, I said TAKEN AWAY

What seals it for me is not long before he first presents the idea of the ban before the legislature (not the Church), he is praising a black man as one of our best elders (after Joseph’s death).  If there was  a revelation from Joseph***, why would Brigham be not only okay with, but praising a black man exercising the duties of the Priesthood.  If he received a revelation that changed how Joseph did things, given his adoration of Joseph, I believe 1) he would have made the revelation public….especially given the continuing appeals to receive temple blessings by worthy blacks in the community and yet he didn’t and 2) he would not have allowed Ables to retain his priesthood and pass it on to his sons and he would have made it clear that Ables should not be acting in priesthood capacity (and yet Ables is sent on a third mission years after the ban is announced, even after he’s appealed to get his temple blessings, so it’s not like they had forgotten to tell him or didn’t have the chance to deal with the issue).  They had chance after chance after chance.  Anyone making a decision about the ban needs to read all the documentation that has been found on these meetings (as well as everything Brigham said on the matter).  3) What need would there be of multiple meetings to decide what to do about Ables and Manning and other blacks’ requests?  Can anyone imagine the First Presidency holding a meeting in the 1940’s to discuss a black man’s request to enter the temple?  Isn’t it much more likely a kind, but firm letter telling them it was not to be would have been sent?  Instead we have meeting after meeting.

Why would it take so many years after Joseph is dead to solidify a ban if he received a revelation on it?  Why years after Brigham died if he received one?

The Church:  

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There is no reliable evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/history/topics/priesthood-and-temple-restriction?lang=eng

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

I noted that too, but we must acknowledge that the the foundations of the issue did not originate with BY. I believe the priesthood became an issue as the hostilities increased and culminated in chaos and war. By that time, the Saints were long gone. Joseph did not have to deal with that. Brigham did.

What he had to deal with was black men marrying white women.

Please show anything Brigham said that shows concern about giving the Priesthood to blacks because of potential war/persecution of the Saints, etc. in Utah.  Official CFR  (I recognize it was a massive issue in the past back East for the Church and it is possible in my view that this history inflated any current difficulties in the view of BY and others about potential persecution of the Church and I am even open to the idea they repeated behaviour that occurred there trying to deflate the persecution, but I think documentation is needed to show this was actually part of the thought process on the ban if it is going to be claimed as the reason.)

I will provide the issue of marriage (added:  actually it was having children that was the issue, I tend to equate them and get sloppy) likely being a major, if not the major issue documentation later tonight.  The other issue that contributed imo was Southern converts who brought slaves with them to Utah and didn’t want to lose their “property”.   Doubt anyone wants to defend that as an appropriate reason for the ban, correct?

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William McCary was a runaway slave, a brilliant musician, very persuasive, very charismatic, knew how to pull in an audience, and he was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and ordained an elder at Council Bluffs, Iowa in February 1846.[2]

McCary went to Winter Quarters, Nebraska in the spring of 1847 and he promptly married a Caucasian girl by the name of Lucy Stanton who was the daughter of a former stake president. This was a great example of playing with fire. William McCary, by being so willing to walk around with his white spouse, was asking for criticism at the very least. In several instances it was not at all uncommon for an African-American man to lose his life over such an indiscretion. McCary also began claiming powers of prophecy and transfiguration. He claimed to have the power to appear as various biblical and Book of Mormon figures.

McCary made a comment upon arriving in the Winter Quarters community and marrying Lucy. He says, of the Latter-day Saints, “Some say 'there go the old n—– [N-word] and his white wife'” with clear disdain. People remembered Joseph Smith and they remembered that he had authorized the ordination of Elijah Ables. Further, they knew that Joseph Smith had a deep and abiding affection for Elijah Ables. This was the type of friendship that endured for generations. They talked about it even long after Elijah’s death – how good of a friend Elijah was to Joseph Smith and vice versa. The Latter-day Saints remembered this and they said, “Well, Joseph Smith was OK. He’s passed on now; but we are really, really uneasy with this situation.”

McCary approached Brigham Young with complaints that racial discrimination was a motive behind other Mormon leaders questioning his strange teachings. President Young satisfied McCary that ideally race should not be the issue. Praising Kwaku Walker Lewis as an example, Young suggested "Its nothing to do with the blood for [from] one blood has God made all flesh" and later added "we don't care about the color." [3] Mid-April, Brigham Young leaves Winter Quarters for the Great Basin leaving William McCary and his white wife to their own devices. McCary immediately began to marry a series of other white women, practicing his own form of interracial polygamy. He succeeded in pushing the discomfort of Latter-day Saints over the edge. He was excommunicated and expelled from Winter Quarters– as one man recalled – “to Missouri on a fast trot." His wife Lucy followed close behind. Shortly after his expulsion, Orson Hyde preached a sermon against McCary and his claims…

Brigham Young returned to Winter’s Quarters in December of 1847. At this time he had said, “[this is the place],” in Utah. He’s had the great experience of starting up the Mormon experiment in the West and he is coming to see how matters are in Winter Quarters. One of the first things he hears about is the William McCary incident. When Brigham Young was telling William McCary that he supported McCary’s involvement in the community (in fact he even supported McCary holding the priesthood – which he did – he had been ordained by Orson Hyde himself), he still had a line that he didn't believe McCary should cross. He believed that as much as it was acceptable for McCary to be a member of the community and even as acceptable as it was for him to have a white wife, he didn’t believe that there should ever be interracial offspring. It’s one thing if two people want to get married but once you start having children, then that is something that has an impact on the human family and ultimately eternity, not to mention the priesthood.

Also awaiting Brigham was William Appleby, the president over eastern branches of the Church. He had encountered Kwaku Lewis and his wife and suspected that William Smith (Joseph Smith's brother) had acted improperly by ordaining a black elder. He was also alarmed that Enoch Lewis (Kwaku's son) had married a white wife and had a child. Brigham responded to this news in a manner that is, by modern sensitivities, quite disturbing. He was adamantly against interracial marriages having children (see Brigham Young on race mixing for more context)

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/answers/Mormonism_and_racial_issues/Blacks_and_the_priesthood/Origin_of_the_priesthood_ban

I have Russell’s book which has all the documentation we had up until it was published, which pretty much convinced me to hold my current position.  Here is a 2014 talk he gave that includes a lot of his documentation, including the quote of Brigham praising a black elder prior to doing an about face on the subject of priesthood (I say about face because he explicitly says blood doesn’t matter.

https://www.fairlatterdaysaints.org/conference/august-2014/shouldering-the-cross

racism7.png
 

and

racism8.png

So as long as they had no children even a married black man and white woman could enter the temple and be sealed, but have children and death is deserved.  With strong beliefs and feelings like that, it does not surprise me Brigham moves for a ban that has the effect of preventing intermixing as well as removing any possibility of appearance that the Territory or the Church approves of such.

Edited by Calm
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9 hours ago, JAHS said:

The Church did not sponsor black congregations because blacks were not segregated into separated congregations. They worshipped together with the white members. 
That sounds less racist to me rather than "sponsoring" black congregations.

Blacks were bared from the temple.  There is no getting around that.  For almost 150 years they were discriminated against.  And, lo and behold, there was no revelation on this.  Just a racist policy.  The church needs to do the right thing and own their mistakes and apologize.  The Presbyterians did, and it didn't seem to hurt their standing at all. 

 

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1 hour ago, sunstoned said:

Blacks were bared from the temple.  There is no getting around that.  For almost 150 years they were discriminated against.  And, lo and behold, there was no revelation on this.  Just a racist policy.  The church needs to do the right thing and own their mistakes and apologize.  The Presbyterians did, and it didn't seem to hurt their standing at all. 

 

It’s never going to happen because President Kimball and the other General Authorities of that day all testified that the lifting of the ban came by way of revelation, in fulfillment of a previously prophesied day of revelation that assured the members one day God himself would give the commandment to lift the ban. To imagine that the leaders of today’s Church, or the leaders of the Church at any time in the future, are ever going to say that the original reasons given for the lifting of the ban we’re all lies is more than wishful thinking on your part, it’s downright delusional — the kind of extremely unrealistic flight of fancy that only an uninformed unbeliever could ever allow himself to indulge.

Edited by teddyaware
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9 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Blacks were bared from the temple.  There is no getting around that.  For almost 150 years they were discriminated against.  And, lo and behold, there was no revelation on this.  Just a racist policy.  The church needs to do the right thing and own their mistakes and apologize.  The Presbyterians did, and it didn't seem to hurt their standing at all. 

 

While another topic and the elephant in the room, the lack of equality for women in the church that needs to be addressed too.

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7 hours ago, teddyaware said:

It’s never going to happen because President Kimball and the other General Authorities of that day all testified that the lifting of the ban came by way of revelation, in fulfillment of a previously prophesied day of revelation that assured the members one day God himself would give the commandment to lift the ban. To imagine that the leaders of today’s Church, or the leaders of the Church at any time in the future, are ever going to say that the original reasons given for the lifting of the ban we’re all lies is more than wishful thinking on your part, it’s downright delusional — the kind of extremely unrealistic flight of fancy that only an uninformed unbeliever could ever allow himself to indulge.

Have you read the Gospel Topic Essay on this lately, really read it?

Edited by Tacenda
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32 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Have you read the Gospel Topic Essay on this lately, really read it?

I think you are confusing the lifting of the ban with its creation. The essay (and the Church) are pretty clear that revelation was the basis for lifting it. On the other hand, the essay is pretty clear that revelation was not the reason why the ban was implemented.

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8 hours ago, teddyaware said:

It’s never going to happen because President Kimball and the other General Authorities of that day all testified that the lifting of the ban came by way of revelation, in fulfillment of a previously prophesied day of revelation that assured the members one day God himself would give the commandment to lift the ban. To imagine that the leaders of today’s Church, or the leaders of the Church at any time in the future, are ever going to say that the original reasons given for the lifting of the ban we’re all lies is more than wishful thinking on your part, it’s downright delusional — the kind of extremely unrealistic flight of fancy that only an uninformed unbeliever could ever allow himself to indulge.

Presentism - "uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts."
A person has to actually have lived in and experienced what happened in the past to rightfully be able to pass judgment on what people did back then.
People call it racism and maybe it was, but it reflects the conditions and attitudes of the people in the past and so therefore back then was not considered something that was as wrong as we think it is now.

Edited by JAHS
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26 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Have you read the Gospel Topic Essay on this lately, really read it?

Yes, I’ve read the essay and it does not assert that President Kimball didn’t receive a revelation from God to end a legitimate priesthood ban in fulfillment of prophesy. The essay was carefully crafted in an attempt to placate and pacify critics of the Church and does not take precedence over nor supersede a revelation from God that is now canonized in the scriptures. 
 

Special Declaration 2:

“As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.

We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.”

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16 hours ago, pogi said:

only the prophets can receive revelation for the church, but that is not to say that we can always trust them.  We will no be judged by how perfectly we follow prophets (as they are human/fallible), but by how perfectly we follow the spirit.

This sounds like a doctrine of confusion. 

Again, from Sister McConkie:

Concerning the living prophet, the Lord commands the people of His Church:

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”3

To be in harmony with heaven’s divine purposes, we sustain the prophet and choose to live according to his words.

We also sustain President Monson’s counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. “They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of [the Lord] … , subject to … the President of the Church.”4 They speak in the name of Christ. They prophesy in the name of Christ. They do all things in the name of Jesus Christ. In their words we hear the voice of the Lord and we feel the Savior’s love. “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture … and the power of God unto salvation.”5 The Lord Himself has spoken: “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”6

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/10/live-according-to-the-words-of-the-prophets?lang=eng

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1 hour ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

On the other hand, the essay is pretty clear that revelation was not the reason why the ban was implemented.

From my read of the essay, it seems to be silent on the issue of whether or not revelation began the ban.  As in, the church doesn't seem to know if it was revelation of not because there is no record of where the ban came from, and doesn't really seem to answer that question with the essay but leaves it open.

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4 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

This sounds like a doctrine of confusion. 

Again, from Sister McConkie:

Concerning the living prophet, the Lord commands the people of His Church:

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”3

To be in harmony with heaven’s divine purposes, we sustain the prophet and choose to live according to his words.

We also sustain President Monson’s counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. “They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of [the Lord] … , subject to … the President of the Church.”4 They speak in the name of Christ. They prophesy in the name of Christ. They do all things in the name of Jesus Christ. In their words we hear the voice of the Lord and we feel the Savior’s love. “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture … and the power of God unto salvation.”5 The Lord Himself has spoken: “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”6

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/10/live-according-to-the-words-of-the-prophets?lang=eng

Elder McKonkie also taught over the pulpit that he and many other prophets were wrong and that we needed to forget everything that they had said previously on the subject though, right?

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9 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Elder McKonkie also taught over the pulpit that he and many other prophets were wrong and that we needed to forget everything that they had said previously on the subject though, right?

He was speaking about the explanations that had been given for the ban.  He said nothing about D&C 21:4-6 being revoked.

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”3

 

"in all patience and faith" is and interesting phrase for the Lord to use.  It invites some contemplation.

Edited by ksfisher
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1 hour ago, ksfisher said:

This sounds like a doctrine of confusion. 

Again, from Sister McConkie:

Concerning the living prophet, the Lord commands the people of His Church:

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”3

To be in harmony with heaven’s divine purposes, we sustain the prophet and choose to live according to his words.

We also sustain President Monson’s counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators. “They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of [the Lord] … , subject to … the President of the Church.”4 They speak in the name of Christ. They prophesy in the name of Christ. They do all things in the name of Jesus Christ. In their words we hear the voice of the Lord and we feel the Savior’s love. “And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by the Holy Ghost shall be scripture … and the power of God unto salvation.”5 The Lord Himself has spoken: “Whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.”6

 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2014/10/live-according-to-the-words-of-the-prophets?lang=eng

It will be interesting to see how today’s prophets are cancelled by tomorrow’s members [edit]. I will have to view it from afar.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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3 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

It will be interesting to see how today’s prophets are cancelled by tomorrow’s Saints. I will have to view it from afar.

I wish you hadn't used the word "saints" above.  True saints are those striving to follow Christ and follow His word as revealed by His prophets.  This group seems separate and distinct from the activists refereed to in the OP.

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7 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

He was speaking about the explanations that had been given for the ban.  He said nothing about D&C 21:4-6 being revoked.

“Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

“For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

“For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.”3

 

"in all patience and faith" is and interesting phrase for the Lord to use.  It invites some contemplation.

I'm not really addressing the specifics of what he was talking about.  I'm addressing the idea that everything a prophet teaches is truth and comes from God.  Clearly that's not true.  What is wrong with acknowledging that?

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2 hours ago, JAHS said:

Presentism - "uncritical adherence to present-day attitudes, especially the tendency to interpret past events in terms of modern values and concepts."
A person has to actually have lived in and experienced what happened in the past to rightfully be able to pass judgment on what people did back then.
People call it racism and maybe it was, but it reflects the conditions and attitudes of the people in the past and so therefore back then was not considered something that was as wrong as we think it is now.

I strongly believe it would be wrong for me today to condemn those on both sides who did not approve of my sister’s marriage to a Latin American in 1952 as racists. At that time it created problems for her new little family which eventually were mostly rectified. One had to be there to understand. But even with today’s understanding, there are still those who stoke the old fires, but in their new ways.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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5 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

I wish you hadn't used the word "saints" above.  True saints are those striving to follow Christ and follow His word as revealed by His prophets.  This group seems separate and distinct from the activists refereed to in the OP.

I debated about that, but you are right. “Members” might be more accurate? I reckon the Family Declaration will come under attack.

Edited by Bernard Gui
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8 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm not really addressing the specifics of what he was talking about.  I'm addressing the idea that everything a prophet teaches is truth and comes from God.  Clearly that's not true.  What is wrong with acknowledging that?

That would seem to be where the phrase "in all patience and faith" comes into play.

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12 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Blacks were bared from the temple.  There is no getting around that.  For almost 150 years they were discriminated against.  And, lo and behold, there was no revelation on this.  Just a racist policy.  The church needs to do the right thing and own their mistakes and apologize.  The Presbyterians did, and it didn't seem to hurt their standing at all. 

 

Yet those blessings were promised to come, and they did come at the right time. 
 

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