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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Phillip M Hotchkiss
Malta, Mt

What if the case was,that it was not that the Afercan people were not ready to recive
The Priesthood until1978 .but that the church as a whole was not ready for them to recive it?
Their was a lot of raceiest ideas back then more so then now.When we as a whole was ready we became stronger
Line upon line precept upon precept.I for one fells tbe world would be a better place, if all were color blind
I think we need to look at people rather than look at groups of people. Then we will learn we are all diferent.
I for one suport the church in were it stands for, then ,now, and in the future. When we are ready to grow more will
will be given too us.

Layton, UT

Anyone who adheres faithfully to a religion must throughout their lifetime make many quasi-doctrinal shifts in their beliefs and understanding as further light and knowledge is revealed to them through their circumstances, personal insights, and spiritual inspiration. This is the very nature of the strait and narrow. Walking the path does not mean every step is perfectly centered on it--but that when we discover we're off path, we get back on.

The "seed of cain" concept was a protestant belief even before Joseph Smith was around. It is based on interpretation of scriptures in the Old Testament, and does not require new scripture to get there. God has apparently been rather selective with his people in ancient days, as was clear when Peter was commanded to take the Gospel to the Gentiles (who were excluded from it, prior to Peter's vision).

That gave LDS converts justification to embrace a policy that was politically attractive when the saints were doing everything to survive and remain neutral in any conflicts that might heap more violence against them. When it was not clear whether the LDS would survive the next few decades, and embattled by a government steeped in religious bigotry, Brigham Young scattered colonies of Mormon settlers all over the west in the hopes that some would survive. There was even a colony set up in Alabama (of all places). No doubt many of these colonies attempted to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

It's my opinion that the ban was a historic relic based upon pragmatic expediency of the day. As society has become more enlightened, so too have the LDS benefitted from that enlightenment. LDS have not always been on the forefront of that, but when we believe in honest self-reflection and when we find we're off the path of truth, we do our darndest to change--and we do it together as a body of saints. I'm grateful for the many ways we receive greater light and truth. Always seeking Divine confirmation.

We are fortunate to live in a time when God continues to inspire many people, including courageous modern day heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and heroes who fought for civil rights.

No doubt we see through a glass darkly, even today. I look forward to more light and truth as we humans put aside contention and hate and try harder to get along and love.

layton, UT

lds4gaymarriage The bottom line is that unless a statement comes from the scriptures.

And he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and a free, male and female; and he remebereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both; Jew and Gentile.(2 Nephi 26:33).

Then Peter began to speak: I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.(Acts 10:34-35)
Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called the black man), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul.(Acts 13:1 NLT)
For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, the same Lord is Lord of All and richly blesses All who call on him, for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.(Roman 10:10-12) Scripture is clear God is no respecter of persons.

Bountiful, Utah

Just to make it clear during an election year while a mormon is trying to run for President, his church is not racist and apparently has no idea WHY it discriminated against people of color for so many years. So for all of you African Americans, don't let this keep you from voting for Romney. How very timely for this public announcement to have been made. LOL


@Phillip H and others making the argument that the Lord withheld the priesthood from blacks until 1978 because the church as a whole was not ready for them to recive it.

I reject that theory completely because it supposes that (1) the church membership was full of racists and (2) God chose to appease those racists in his church and not "rock the boat".

I believe the restriction on blacks holding the priesthood was an overall detriment to the church and suppressed growth during its existence. The God I know and worship would not encourage or abide by racisim in his church for a minute, and certainly would not turn a blind eye to it to appease current members while turning off prospective members.


I grew up in part-member family. My father refused to join the church for several reasons beyond the scope of today's topic. But one reason he always cited was the church's refusal to grant priesthood to blacks. He felt there couldn't be a good reason for it and the leaders probably didn't know why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but were perpetuating it out of blind obedience to past custom.

And guess what? He was wrong about many things, but on this particular point he was dead-on correct.


This story misses the most important elements of the issue. The policy of denying people of African ancestry access to the priesthood and temple is what people specifically object to as racism. For LDS to say "we condemn any past racism, but the thing you think was racism actually wasn't racism," is never going to be accepted outside of the church (or by some within). If practicing racial segregation is always wrong, this recent generic condemnation does not appear sincere. The ongoing belief that temporary segregation is right when approved by God will continue to be perceived as a current racism by the church.

The problem now is that the policy and the history are baked into the loaf. For non-Mormons, LDS seems to be inextricably linked with racism. There is no way now to say the only words that can free LDS from the outside judgment of ongoing racism. To say, "Ok, that policy was racism and it was wrong and we are sorry," would be to admit that Prophets are fallible. Prophets have committed to the explanation that God had His reasons for the policy and though He did not convey them, there was ongoing dialog about the duration of the policy. God never said, "You have been getting it wrong." Rather, the latest communication was "The time has finally come to change the policy."

There can be no apology now without destroying the very foundation of the church. It can't be wrong to do what God told you to do, so an apology would mean that God did not mandate the policy and Prophets cannot be trusted to tell the truth. That crack would have no logical limit and would ultimately destroy faith in the church. Yet without the apology and the repudiation of the past, the place of LDS in American culture will be based on the perception that Mormons insist on maintaining a moral flaw. Does anyone see a solution to this dilemma?

Ghost Writer

@ Hutterite -- Straw Man fallacy (look it up)

Heber City, UT

"Does anyone see a solution to this dilemma?"
Maybe not, but there is certainly a lesson to be learned from this (and polygamy). If you adopt a position or culturally popular proclamation as doctrine, it will be decades -- even a century -- before you can disassociate yourself from it.

Cambria, 00

...I think that there needs to be a concerted effort by Church members - if it would be the case (but I've not encountered it in Church at all) - that if somebody was to expound something as doctrine which is not doctrine that people should speak up (and maybe most do, I don't know)...yes, freedom of speech is important but some things need to be set straight. I have to comment that (correct me if I'm wrong) that Deseret News is owned by a Church owned company...well, I'm really impressed with the freedom of speech here - well done LDS Church and Deseret News! I've seen some awfully racist people, but not inside the Church (really!) - I think that with some Church members, if they say something, it's brought about by being naive - not as a result of a burning racism. I remember that my wife, who had joined the Church, has innocently (a while ago) asked in a Sunday School class about the reason for Priesthood and 'Blacks'...the thing is, nobody came up with an explanation - not even a false one. It's as if people were not comfortable with the question (that's a positive, don't you think?) and wanted to quickly move on. My Wife did not get an answer - because, I think, nobody felt comfortable with it...

Bakersfield, CA

@HotGlove- Of course there's an answer to the dilemma. It won't get posted here, but it has to fo with sticking to God's Truth. That way you don't have to have revelations and doctrinal reversals.

If you really want to have your head spin, read the Journal of Discourses or any valid construct of the SLC Tab talks by the General Authorities. They were absolutely convinced that the doctrine was from God because His prophet said so. They waxed eloquent on the subject and there is no shortage of documentation on it prior to 1978. My folks precious library has all the out-print books. I grew up in the '60's and we knew exactly what the doctrine was and the explanations on the "why" flowed freely in church meetings.

The dilemma exists today because embarrassed leaders didn't deal with it then either.

Potsdam, 00

Verse 3 : "... for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding."

There is no way this subject will have lack of explaining. All you need to do is look at what is said in the scriptures and what your personal view of the gospel tells you to compare it with. If the chuch says it does not know the beginning or whereabouts of this issue, then be careful not to judge, it could mean the origin of any approved revelation is not known to make it church doctrine, since Apostles and Prophets are concerned about the heavenly origin and the approval of its people.Records don't mean doctrine.

African people are loving people and fun to be with, they do not lack that sense of humor as most white do. Am I racial now, no way. It is what you see inside, instead of pointing fingers to the outside of the vessel.

Having denied the priesthood is stupid talking, since priesthood is hard work, not priestcraft to stand above others.

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