Comments about ‘LDS Church condemns past racism 'inside and outside the church'’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 29 2012 2:00 p.m. MST

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LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT


...and I get harassed for simply not being a card-carrying Republican?!

Bountiful, Utah

I don't even have the right words to express how sad this article makes me .. not that the church is condemning racism, but for the justifications given by the church in this article. Based on what I have just read, I suppose that I should accept the fact that at any time the church may recant something that has been taught to its members in the past, using similar justifications. Sad sad day.


Why 1978? Because President Kimball asked. Probably should have asked a long long time ago.


If they'd just fess up about past prophets either lying or putting their own thoughts into a prophecy or two ... the church would be past ALL questionable acts. Then the church could move on and stop going back on these topics.

Zola South
Oakland, CA

I sometimes wonder why people of color are LDS members when people like Bott continue to have such beliefs. I glad the LDS has taken a stance to root out racism.

Orem, UT

It's about time Randy Bott realizes he doesn't speak for the LDS Church, and that some of his personal opinions are out of step with today's doctrine. As a counselor in our stake presidency he used to also give uninformed speeches condemning organic evolution--a long-proven field of science taught at Church Universities, and an area where the LDS Church (unlike Randy Bott) has never taken a position.

Bountiful, UT

On this earth you are not going to get perfection. Not from individuals, and not from ANY Church. The Pope has been wrong, the LDS church has been wrong. This is something Catholics and LDS need to recognise.

However what we can expect from good people and good organizations is that they will recognise past mistakes, feel sorry for them, acknowledge them and do better in the future.

The LDS church being an imperfect, but a good organization, has done just that.

Leesburg, VA

I appreciate and am encouraged by the efforts made by the church to acknowledge and clarity of its history.

I hope that soon these words will become true:
"The church's position is clear," LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy said. "We believe all people are God's children and are equal in His eyes and in the church. We do not tolerate racism in any form."

Inequality is born not only out of racism.

Akiachak, AK

This is a timely and well written article describing race in the LDS church. For me there are lingering concerns. One, I was taught many times over many years in many wards growing up, that the reason blacks could not hold the priesthood was because they were descendants of Cain (somehow as if this explained it.) Now if that is brought it is dismissed as not scripture-based. There is no basis put forth by the church for withholding the priesthood from African Americans that I have ever heard. For a church with a claim of divine guidance through prophets as in the church of the Old Testament, I find this disturbing. Second, given the forthrightness of the quote by President Hinckley, condemning discrimination, it is disconcerting to look back to the 1950's and 1960's and not be able to come up with one memory of the church backing the civil rights effort, which was, at its core, a fight against racial discrimination.

Eureka, UT

I'm glad the church has come out with a statement against racism. What is sad is that there has been a justification for or a toleration of racism for so long. Utah when it was organized as a territory in 1850 chose to enter the union as a slave territory because Brigham Young felt that slavery was justified in the Bible. The other territory, New Mexico, which was admitted at the same time chose to be a free territory. The KKK existed in Utah, blacks were not allowed to stay at the Hotel Utah or even eat there (they could perform but had to stay elsewhere), and there were a number of lynchings in the state including one in Eureka where I live now and that person was found after he was hung and died, to have not even been involved in the alleged act that got people worked up enough to have him lynched.

So there is a lot of history where Utah was on the wrong side, seemed to justify it by their religious beliefs, and have not truly repented of today. Still I'm glad it's finally getting addressed and hope the church looks at other issues as well.

Kearns, UT

Kami, you unfortunately do not have a clue. The premise of the church is, that the church is governed by revelation, and at any time through revelation anything can change. Think Polygamy. I was on my mission when the revelation was announced. I had one of the most intense spiritual experiences that I have had in my entire life when I heard that announcement confirming to me, and I'm sure to many others, that this revelation came from God. If you are a Mormon, you should consider reading D&C chapters 8 and 9. May shed some light on how things work.


I am not a young person and remember well the announcement in 1978. One very distinct feeling I recall was that finally Whites (me included) were well enough adjusted that they could welcome blacks. It requires little research to recognize the politically charged atmosphere in Illinois about Blacks and slavery.
Certainly the American political atmosphere had an effect on the early church. Now we can get beyond the kinds of pressures and biases that helped spark civil war in our great nation. Furthermore, it does no good to prejudice the future based on actions of the past.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

You know...this is going to send numerous senior citizens into a twisting tornado of confusion and unhappiness.

Provo, UT

This is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel to show the LDS church's doctrine that fair skinned peoples are God's people and that dark skinned folks are evil.

See 2 Nephi 5, Book of Moses 7, Abraham 1, to name just a few.

Oh and don't forget to read Journal of Discourses where Brother Brigham as the sitting President and Prophet of the LDS Church said how the black man (aka Negro) was inferior to the white man and forever will be. Remember, the Journal of Discourses was considered at one time as the teachings of the prophets and on the same level as a Conference Report.

The LDS church leadership today in my mind isn't racist, but it is very difficult and disingenuous to say that it didn't have racist doctrine and that its current scriptures don't espouse racial doctrines.

Blackshear, GA

ThereÂs not a church on earth that has not at some time or other, practiced racist policies toward other races, including blacks; not said to excuse it, but to say singling out any one church for criticism, is as bigoted as racism, itself.

Mormons were one of the first groups in America, to suffer persecution because of favoritism toward black people.

Although Joseph Smith consented to the owning of slaves (Church History Vol. II, p. 436-40), he afterwards claimed inspiration to the contrary and published throughout the U.S. in 1844, the following:

ÂPetition, also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850¦Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves¦Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings; for an hour of virtuous liberty is worth a whole eternity of bondage. (Church History Vol.III, p. XXVI)

Belief that slaves should be freed, was one of the reasons Mormons were killed, driven from their homes, and homes burned; with many other injustices heaped on them because of their belief (ironically in a nation established by those seeking freedom of religion and escape from tyranny), and eventually they had to flee West, to find peace to live their own lives and worship God as they chose. You might say it was an early Civil Rights movement, with a less happy ending, than the present.

To say that Mormons look down on black Americans is to speak wrongly. ItÂs no more the truth than to say Jesus looked down on Canaanites when he refused to help the woman from Canaan, because He was sent only to the House of Israel. (Matthew 15: 22-28).

Durham, NC

I can't even begin to express how glad I am to see the church take this strongly worded stand. Let there be no more questions with this regard. I hope that when the church sends young men to this part of the world that they ensure they understand the policy. This is indeed a good and clear statement from the church.

American Fork, UT

You'd think that someone with an exclusive hotline to an infallible almighty would get it right first time, every time.

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

This is one hole the church will never dig itself out of. If they defend the past policies, that's bad. If they decry the past policies, they're undermining the actions of men who are proclaimed prophets, seers, and revelators. What to do?
I don't know about everyone else, but I expect a little more.
I expect a little more from God (if there is in fact a god) than to appoint people who are racist to do his bidding.
I expect a little more from leaders than racism. Humanity notwithstanding. I'm sure that with all the people who were on the planet at the time, a large number of them were not racist. Of course, we all know that being human covers all manner of sins. But really, if we're going to start talking about how the prophets and seers and revelators and other brethren are "only human after all", then please understand how this liberates me to take their anti-gay sentiments and other proclamations with a grain of salt.
I actually decided to take that license over 8 years ago. And it was pretty liberating to realize that I was pretty good at making well thought out decisions for myself; decisions on moral issues that didn't hurt or degrade others. And best of all, I don't anticipate ever having to apologize again to any gay or black human being for the attitudes I held toward them because I was just following orders.

Quiet Neighborhood, UT

Sorry detractors, women do not currently hold the priesthood, but that does not mean that the church sees them as lesser people. As most active members know, having the priesthood just means that it is your duty to help people move when they sell or buy a home. Women can take this duty anytime they please. Active LDS members will get this joke.

no fit in SG
St.George, Utah

My first visit to Utah was a real eye opener, and a very sad one. The LDS grandparents openly and loudly expressed their racism and prejudices in front of the young children. How will this every be changed when this is continuing?

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