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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sandy, ut

Bill in Nebraska - stop the excuses regarding the journal of discourses. They are not 2nd and 3rd party statements. The discourses were recorded at the time the talks were given, much as they are today. There is no possible way that each talk, date, time, location could be recorded and put in 26 volumes if they weren't recorded at the time. They are too complete. They are all in order. They didn't compile 26 volumes with thousands of pages based on "oh so and so said this" and so on. Go read them yourself - you can tell they were recorded exactly as the talks were given and not just fabricated out of a third party as you claim. Do the research. Another attempt of yours to distort the truth and decieve.

sandy, ut

Bill - this quote comes directly from John A. Widtsoe. Unless you think he was lying.

"Brigham Young secured stenographic reports of his addresses. As he traveled among the people, reporters accompanied him. All that he said was recorded. Practically all of these discourses (from December 16, 1851 to August 19, 1877) were published in the Journal of Discourses, which was widely distributed. The public utterances of few great historical figures have been so faithfully and fully preserved." Discourses of Brigham Young

Stenographic reports, Bill. That is not a 3rd party. Yes it is a 2nd party, but recording it AT THE TIME IT WAS SAID. Apparantly you do not understand revelation very well. Nor do you understand what the journal of discourses actually are and how they were very accurately recorded.

Stop trying to justify and make excuses for the journal of discourses. These statements were made.

Christmas Carole

P.S."The last be first and first shall be last"...!!(hope I haven't misquoted that!)

Salt Lake City, UT

If the church has changed its viewpoint on this one item, I wonder what new revelations the Saints are culturally ready for?

Provo, UT

The problem so many have in the LDS is faith (I'm LDS), is that they BELIEVE that nobody is perfect (except God and Jesus), but they EXPECT perfection from church leaders....the REALITY is that, in my opinion, the LDS Church had racism in it's past; and contrary to God's will, restrictions created based on the racism....mistakes were made by mistake-prone humans.

However, with EVERY mistake made in the past, you have thousands of "church scholars" out there looking for justifications and reasoning to support the mistakes made.

Clearly, mistakes have lasting effects....and until we're perfect, we'll keep making them....so the best that we can do is be as close to God as possible.... I've ALWAYS felt, since the age of reason, that inhibiting blacks to receive the priesthood was wrong, and an incorrect principle...that God is the same today, and forever, and furthermore he never "allowed" this to happen...."people" allowed it happen. It was wrong then.... just as wrong as it is now.

Tyler Ray
Taylorsville, UT

I feel that God didn't issue Priesthood authority to blacks until 1978 because the world wasn't ready to accept blacks yet. It's not that the the church didn't feel blacks were ready. Whites weren't ready.

I served my mission in South Africa where I taught thousands of blacks and met some who were not even let in the doors of the chapel because of apartheid and the laws of the country when they first heard of the church. But I also never ever heard any african complain about not bring able to have full church blessings. It's was because they understood that the Lord is about patience and timing. God knows exactly what he is doing when it comes to spreading his gospel. (refer to Joseph Sithati's talk in the october 2009 conference.)

also. Revelation for the church only becomes revelation when it is consistently mentioned and supported by prophets and apostles. Not just one man.

USS Enterprise, UT

Reading the comments here, it is obvious that people have a hard time putting themselves in a position to view things in context of history.

All of the people who are condemning slavery forget that the Bible states that slavery is ok. What isn't ok is the mistreatment of slaves.

The statements by Joseph Smith and Brigham Young about the treatment of slaves mirrors the more recent statements about how Gays should be treated. Did the Church support slavery, not really, but they did condemn any action that would harm a slave.

It is shameful when people assume that the current viewpoints on social issues are the same as they were 100 years ago.

Sandy, UT

Prof. Bott's comments illustrate just how persistent and pervasive those old notions (of valiancy, superiority, etc.) are in the church. The poor man claims that his comments were taken out of context--why perpetuate such nonsense in the first place? Kudos for the Church for speaking out strongly and swiftly. Let's hope the lay membership gets on board.

Buena Vista, VA

T very concerned,
It wasn't that African Americans weren't given the priesthood, it was blacks who weren't. Not all blacks are Americans, of course, and the problem was bigger in Africa (and Brazil to a lesser extent) than in the US. While the church could still exist in the USA before June 1978, it really couldn't in most of Africa.

West Valley City, 00

I took a missionary preparation class from Brother Bott right before I went on my mission. I loved the class and his perspective as a recently returned Mission President. I believe that he was misquoted. I will share with you why. He said that during his tenure as the San Jose Mission President, he had two Elders who were teaching a black woman. The woman wanted to be baptized and asked the Elders to explain to her why blacks could not hold the priesthood. They related to her the LDS folklore from an outdated copy of Mormon Doctrine. The woman that wanted to be baptized was happy with the explanation and wrote to then President Hinkley and asked for further information to relay to a concerned friend. President Hinkley wrote to President Bott to tell him that the explanation regarding blacks and the priesthood is false and to never use that and to tell his missionaries to never us that explanation. He told President Bott to explain, we don't know why it was withheld. However it is no longer to be withheld from any worth male and they were to simply state that. I'm not sure what the complete discussion with the Washington Post writer was. I am confident that statements were taken out of context.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT


"...I'm shocked there has only been 67 comments posted about this topic. This is probably the most significant announcement the Mormon Church has made since June, 1978, when the Church overturned their long-standing ban on Blacks being allowed to hold the priesthood, officiate in positions of leadership and marry in the LDS Temple. Either potential posters are being blocked or folks are nervous about taking a position, not wanting to walk on eggshells...".

I made a comment last night around 9:00 PM.
The comment was denied by the moderator.
The comment was within the bounds set by the DN.
The moderator has the option of denying any comment for whatever reason they choose.
I appreciate the DN for making this forum possible.

KC Mormon
Edgerton, KS

Brahmabull and Bill in Nebraska
Perhapps I can shed some light on the topic of the JOD.
First Bill yes they were recorded at the time of the discourses in short hand. This was done for the purpose of sending the words of the leaders of the Church to the Saints in England.
Second Brahmabull have you ever given a deposition in court? The JOD is basically same thing. A stenographer takes shorthand of the discourse then later writes it out long hand. Now anyone who has ever given a deposition knows that today you are sent a copy of the long hand and told to read it over and make sure it is correct. Everyone I have ever seen has had mistakes made in it some minor some major. Now you must go back and remember EXACTLY what you said often times weeks later. Most people will not be able to do this. In the case of the JOD while some were given to the person for review most were not. This means that we can not be certain that they were copied exactly word for word. Some words may have inadvertently been left of or put in, others may have been misunderstood. This is part of why the leaders of the Church have said IT IS NOT SCRIPTURAL.

The Utah Republican
Alpine, UT

The church has never claimed infallible leadership. From Joseph Smith on the leaders of the church have publicly documented their own errors, sometimes in scripture. Search the D&C and you'll read several times Joseph screwed up and was rebuked by the Lord. More recently I remember President Hinckley saying, "I hope I didn't get this wrong, but I think ..."

What we claim is that every person can ask the Lord for direct revelation and that the prophet who presides can ask for revelation for everyone. We also believe that truth is revealed "here a little and there a little," sometimes by trial and error.

We also believe that the prophet can't lead the church astray. But, there's a difference between going astray and making an error. What we don't claim is that every prophet, or anyone else, asks the Lord about every little thing. Prophets, Apostles, Seventies and Stake Presidents are guys with callings. Most of the time they all do their best.

The issue of Blacks and the Priesthood is complicated. People think they know more than they do. Very few people know that President David O'Mackay started the discussion to ordain every man back in the late 50's, but it's documented.

My personal (not doctrinal) opinion is that the church wasn't ready for growth in Africa until the 80's. It was barely prepared for growth in South America in the 70's, or Asia in the 60's. The old people who believed in their cultural mythologies were corrected half a century ago. They need to get over their false doctrine, and that professor should probably retire.

Washington, UT

The LDS Church is nothing, if not predictable. If a policy keeps them out of the mainstream, hurts the missionary effort and makes the power base less stable, it will inevitably change. With Romney poised to become the Republican presidential nominee, every effort will be made to play down the Church's racist past. The Church's homophobic efforts will likely be unplugged until after the election as well.


Good for the Mormons. If people of faith could join with them to condemn the secular humanism of the Obama led Dems nation wide, the nation would be better in two ways immediately: unity of our American traditional Judeo-Christian heritage, history and values and a defeat of the worse Prez in our history.

Saint George, UT

I was always taught that it was God's will that Blacks didn't have the priesthood. Just like Polygamy was God's will and I didn't understand that one either. I didn't have to understand the reasons just that it is God's will so you accept it.

But the statement coming out of Salt Lake today says they don't know the "Why and How" of the old policy. Are you kidding me?!?! So know I am to believe that the old policy was put in place because of cultural folk beliefs by Brigham Young? Blacks were given the priesthood during Joseph Smith's lifetime so it must have started with Brigham.

the hawk
Sandy, UT

What I find interesting is that Joseph Smith granted the preisthood to black men but after him no other prophet would. Did god change his mind from one prophet to another. The reason this bugs me is because when the whole gay rights thing came up a lot of you same posters said god said it's wrong and god doesn't just change his mind. Which is it. Polygamy dropped at the drop of a hat, blacks were originally given the preisthood then denied, all at gods bidding too. I would love some explanation on why you guys were so ardent in your prior statements. Especially the poster with the screenname cats.

Powell, OH

Nice to see. Will these great leaders next condemn Joseph Smith for marrying 14 year olds and the wives of other men?

Salt Lake City, UT


"...I'm shocked there has only been 67 comments posted about this topic. This is probably the most significant announcement the Mormon Church has made since June, 1978, when the Church overturned their long-standing ban on Blacks being allowed to hold the priesthood, officiate in positions of leadership and marry in the LDS Temple. Either potential posters are being blocked or folks are nervous about taking a position, not wanting to walk on eggshells...".

Is it significant? What did this consist of?
1. No condemnation of the priesthood ban. So that's nothing new.
2. Condemnation of the racist claims made by some to explain the ban. This isn't new since there's been plenty here who have quoted previous statements on that matter.
3. Condemnation of racism. Well... I would hope none of us would consider condemnation of racism to be a new policy.

So, and anyone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think there's actually anything new here in this statement.


I keep reading comments trying to justify or put forth a reason for the ban, overlooking the Church's statement:

"It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church."

Get it?

The Church is no longer trying to justify the ban. There is no justification for the ban. None. So stop. Stop trying to explain it. Stop trying to justify it. Especially offensive are suggestions that it was done to protect Blacks.

It should be an uncomfortable piece of LDS history, as was the internment of Japanese citizens, the denial of civil rights to women and blacks in U.S. history.

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