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

If we can just get someone to recant some of Ezra T. Benson's off comments...

Newport Beach, CA

Sounds like Bott is more willing to defend the priesthood color bar than I would be, but I'd bet dollars to donuts he was misquoted. I don't trust journalists farther than I can kick 'em. Not because they're malicious, necessarily, but because they're generally knuckleheads.

I read Bott's comment as saying not so much that black people weren't ready to receive the Priesthood and temple blessings until 1978, but that being denied the LDS priesthood is actually a good thing, because it keeps you from being held to a higher standard (and having to help people move and put away chairs).

Of course this is condescending tripe -- the whole point of the gospel is to stretch people to reach for their divine potential, not to keep them safely infantile -- but it's not necessarily *racist* condescending tripe. And it would not surprise me in the least that a Post reporter with a narrative to reinforce would put the quote in a context that served the narrative more than the truth.


The Prof sounds pretty spot on in what the mormon church teaches. Not sure what all the damage control is about.



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."

- Whites were standing by blacks side in the 60's during the marches. They were ready for it ... so much that in 1964 the civil rights movement was passed. Whites were ready for it .... some weren't until 1978. But don't say generally that whites weren't well enough adjusted for it.

"[I]t does no good to prejudice the future based on actions of the past.""

- I agree. The problem is nobody's taken responsibility for it yet. I'll say again, 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.

What makes it worse is the flagship educational structures that are all named after Brigham Young, one of the first to set the precedent.

America regrets slavery but doesn't deny fault. Germany regrets the Nazi movement but doesn't deny fault. This is how you move forward ... you come out with it and move on.

Salt Lake City, UT

It's easy for us to denounce Jim Crow laws but when it comes to something like the priesthood ban everyone outside the church is "okay just condemn the policy and move on" but doing so in effect is saying that the prophets can steer the church astray and takes away from the first half of the idea that "the church is true but the people aren't". This leaves some LDS members stuck in some sort of position where they feel they need an explanation for why things were the way they were. Another tough thing is the idea that revelation can change and that some things aren't doctrine... but I'm sure they were considered doctrine by most members 100 years ago. So... does that mean there's some things in place now that people think are doctrine that maybe 50 years from now will be considered "that was just an apostle sharing their opinion of something, it's not considered doctrine"?

I guess my point is... religion is complex.


Long past time for the church to set the record straight, just as they did with the Mountain Meadows Massacre. An Ensign article on Joseph Smith's views of slavery, the story of Elijah Abel etc. needs to be written so the mythological history that continues to be circulated by well-meaning church members and teachers can stop.

one old man
Ogden, UT

All I can say is that there is a huge difference in talk about racial things now and when I joined the church in 1967.

Up until some time after Pres. Kimball's revelation, there were few Sundays that passed without some comments about the Mark of Cain, or in which the Catholic church was mentioned as the "Whore of the Earth."

It has been very interesting to watch the changes occur.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Sorry, I pushed the button too soon.

Although the church has long disowned blatant racism as a doctrine, it's still alive and well in some wards at least. There have been times when I've had to get up and leave our High Priests meetings and have thought seriously about simply not returning.

You should hear some of the almost weekly comments about our black President of the United States.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Those of you who stand against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for the statements made in this article either don't understand what revelation is, don't want to understand it, can care less and have your own agenda.

Fact as stated in the article many times a revelation is received without all the answers as to why. The article pretty much spelled this out. It also states as Elder Holland stated that opinions attributed to President Young and others were just that their own opinion as to what was said. The Journal of Discourses were at one time yes supposed to be scripture. However, as the information became more and more clearer it has not stood the scruitiny that the General Conference talks today can take. First and foremost the Journal of Discourses are SECOND to THIRD hand reports. The General Conference talks are FIRST HAND, a huge difference.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Thinkman and others: What does it mean to have a curse that changes a man's skin to blackness. That is a description, nothing more, nothing less. As you read through out the Book of Mormon it talks of changing the garments to white, a sign of purity. The biggest is a description of white as the driven snow. It is white in its purity but as it ages it becomes black like the earth. It is no longer pure. That is what I take from the scripture. A description.

There is no hole as some of you put it to dig out of. The article pretty spelled it out that no one knows why as the reason was never given. We can all speculate why but that is all it will be.

However, the Bible and the scriptures are clear that Homosexuality is a grievous sin. The Bible is also clear that marriage is between man and woman, not the other way around so the Family Proclamation is just a clear as the scriptures are on this matter. Sodom and Gommorah found this out. To put it any other way is taking your own eternal progression at risk.

Durham, NC

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

Actually, I have lived with my wife for 30 years now, know her pretty dang good, have direct communications, and still manage to interpret what she wants wrong....

"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."

Yeah, I think God should have waited until people were perfect before calling them to do his work..... but after nearly 2,000 years, no one showed up that met that profile. And the last one he did have that matched to job description wasn't treated all that well.

It is a catch 22 - there are those who like to pretend there is such thing as prophetic infalability, that every utterance is a direct communication from God. And there are others who think they don't need any guidance, and should be the only arbiter of what is right and wrong responsible only to ones own judgement. More times than not the answer resides in the middle, hence why we are endowed with the right of personal revelation. You should always do the right thing because you believe it to be so, never just because someone told you so.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "LDS Liberal" why are you so angry and bitter? Are you or are you not an LDS member?

The things you have stated here make you sound like an angry bitter anti-Mormon.

Sanpete, UT

LDS Liberal

May I ask what "off comments" did Ezra T. Benson make?
How can you say that about a prophet of God?

Somewhere in Time, UT

Dear Bill in Nebraska: You are right on target!

KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

Just a couple of points here. First lets keep in mind that whenever the policy began preventing blacks from holding the priesthood it was after the death of Joseph Smith while the Church was in transition both in leadership and in location. It is understandable why some records would not be around. Second lets also remember that we must look at statements from the past not in the context of 2012 but in the context of the time. An opinion that is very offensive today was very liberal in 1850.

Colorado Springs, CO

Every single person (Mormon) knows exactly why blacks were given the preisthood. I believe it would have happened eventually no matter what, but we all know why it did happen. Same goes for polygamy!


Sanpete, UT
LDS Liberal

May I ask what "off comments" did Ezra T. Benson make?
How can you say that about a prophet of God?"

TOO, use you cognitive ability, critical thinking, and search engine queries to find Ezra T Benson quotes regarding race or blacks. We can't say them on this board.


so for 148 years the blacks couldnt have the priesthood as a matter of official policy, and in that 148 years there was never any official reason given for that policy? and nobody ever asked? whoah.

Salt Lake City, UT

To Professor Bott: A man of your level of education and position should be in a position to exercise more prudence in how you express your personal opinions in public forums. By perception being at BYU you reprsent the Church to a degree in the minds of some. What I find most disturbing is the notion that God might somehow want to protect some from themselves by not granting to them the priveledge to hold the Priesthood. This is difficult to understand when I see so many (such as I) who in our imperfections are permitted to receive and represent this Priesthood. If exactitude in righteousness is the minimum requisite to holding the Pristhood I don't know anyone who totally qualifies. I know some who exude the sense that they believe they have some sort of monopoly on goodness however. Let us be humble and tolerant as we walk impefectly. I can forgive Professor Bott for his indiscretion. Let us all try to learn from it and do better. There is much honesty and forthrightness in this article. Kudos DN for reporting this.


this article reads as nothing more then a sad attempt to displace a systemic pattern of racism by the LDS church as just a bunch of rouge individuals within the church. The fact are what they are the church did not allow blacks the priesthood until 1978, it is a fact. We can look at it through the lens of history for context but it is what it is.

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