Yes Vai,As educated people, we realize that your blogs are just your
opinions. We were merely stating ours: namely, that your logic regarding Norm
Chow being a coaching branch of Kyle Whittingham was illogical and that you seem
to have an ax to grind when it comes to Bronco Mendenhall. Most of the comments
you received were to that effect. Perhaps then, it would be wise for you to
think about those comments and question what it is in your blogs that have led
so many of your readers to see it that way, rather than to simply dismiss us.
It seems like Vai spent a lot of effort touting his credentials to us as a
"journalist" when he first started writing for the DN. So why he should
be surprised that folks hold him to that is baffling. Whether a journalist or
just an opinionated blogger, the logic flaws were pointed out by his readers.
Regardless of which banner he chooses to write under, journalist or blogger, his
"arguments" were simply and ridiculously flawed.
I actually took a class before I went on my mission from Bro. Bott. He taught
the exact opposite in his class from what he is quoted as saying. He shared
experiences of why it didn't work to justify or make excuses. He even recieved a
letter from Pres. Hinkley who told him not to allow his Elders to make excuses
or use Mormon Doctrine. I don't know what happened during the interview. I'm
sure he was recorded. He always told us to apologize and say we don't know, then
to share pure testimony of what we did know. I did exactly that during my
mission and the spirit did the rest. I'm not making excuses for him, but I do
think that there is more to this story. I loved Bro. Bott and his class. There's
a reason he has been at BYU for so long. He gives amazing lectures. If these
were truly his thoughts I am sure the University would have already corrected
I feel it is time that people stop calling the ban a mistake. To see why many
of you should read President Hickley's TEACHINGS and gain an understanding of
what President Kimball and the Quorum of the Twelve went through to open the
Priesthood to all worthy male members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints. How many of you realize that racial tensions were still high in
this country in 1971, just three years after the assassination of Martin Luther
King in Tennessee? Did you know that all new recruits had to go to racial
classes during boot camp? Check your records to see when the FIRST African
American was promoted to a General/Admiral in the armed forces. Ten years after
the assassination in June of 1978 is when the revelation was given to President
Kimball. His predecessors all sought the same answer but received nothing
compared to what happened in June 1978. As Elder Holland stated, "We don't
know when it was instituted or why, but we know when it ended". It was
commanded by the Lord for whatever reason. It was then reversed by the Lord for
whatever reason. It is the Priesthood of God, not man therefore it is up to him
who is allowed to hold that priesthood. I think this story brings this out
Why the consternation of Brother Bott? He said absolutely nothing that hasn't
been taught to us from day one of our existence. So you are suggesting he, and
by extenssion, the rest of us hide behind a rock? Shame on you. If we taught
it, and we did, and it appeared in manuals then for heaven's sake we must own up
to it. But this pussyfootin' around the subject really makes us look like
country bumpkins. If it's embarrassing, then it is what it is. What is more so
is the wiggling around trying to get our from under the rock while maintaining a
smile on our faces.
One thing I wanted to point out was the fact that the column is called
"Vai's View"Whether he is a "journalist" according
to some, or not--it is refreshing that he states what he does as his opinion and
his "view".In huge contrast to so many other so-called
"journalists" who unendingly, in this "Mormon Moment" promote,
pass off, or insist that what are merely their views--are actually the
"facts" about Mormons.
Having followed the progression of the quest for land/and ground breaking in
Philly for a Temple the past few years, I was already familiar somewhat with
President Ahmad S. Corbitt.I had read up on him and was very
heartened by what I learned, and grateful for his efforts and voice for the
Church. And is now very interesting to read more about him and to read Vai's
impression of him.Thanks Vai for a great story--and more
importantly, the message behind it.
@ Heater: Nice post. Agreed. Especially the part about the Philly Cheese. Come
out here and I'll buy the fry sauce!@ Henry Drummond: Well said.
Let's tell the stories of how we're doing now, not the stories that try to
rationalize our past mistakes. We made them, we corrected them, and now we're
trying to avoid the potential pitfalls that face us now. And we're making fine
I don't know if Vai is a journalist or a blogger, but he is a fine and
fair-minded writer. The think the civil rights era is a great story.
It is a story of a generation that inherited racial attitudes that were very
deeply ingrained and managed to change. Only the most closed-minded individual
would fail to see the progress of the last fifty years. Mormons were part of
that story and we should not run away form it. Many of my students come from
war-torn parts of the world where people continue to fight racial battles that
started thousands of years ago. One young man pointed out to me how remarkable
it is that America is capable of changing and resolving these issues rather than
perpetuating them generation after generation. That is the story we should be
Old Coug - I referred to him as a journalist because he happens to be a
journalist who is writing a blog. It's probably to Vai's credit that you
consider his blogs journalism - but just because the DN runs it on their web
page, doesn't automatically "morph" his opinions, musings, journal
entries... into "journalism." Vai is a journalist in Philly, but by
definition, his blogs and any other blogs, even if on a major newspaper's
website, wouldn't be considered "journalism" in a court of law or even
by reasonable standards. I ask again, do readers and the DN hold Carmen
Rasmussen to the same journalistic standards they hold Lee Benson? The answer
would be NO. That said, the first missive was yours when you called him
"prideful." I don't always agree with Vai either but I like that he's
willing to express his sometimes unpopular opinions. Like you, I do enjoy a
vigorous debate and I must say, this one between us is respectable. If you came
to Philly, I'd buy you a cheese steak at Pat's or Geno's. Cheers.
@ Heater: Even old people know what a blog is. But a blog published in a
newspaper morphs into a newspaper article and the author is a journalist (you
rightfully referred to Vai as a journalist in your response). "If it walks
like a duck...." Vai is a big boy and can defend himself. To your point
about respecting his opinion: Of course I respect his opinion and his right to
have one. I very much respect Vai Sikahema, the man. But I don't always agree
with him. So, welcome to the open forum of ideas where honest, ethical, caring
folks can disagree and do so vigorously, but not disrespectfully. To disagree is
not the same as to disrespect. But calling people names? Well, "If it walks
like a duck...."
The first I thought of when I heard about the BYU article was 'Bad Idea' for two
reasons. Number one; he's White. Number two, he's at BYU- a WHITE school. Blacks in the priesthood and polygamy History are hot topics that will
stir the pot. Issues about the African Americans and the Church will always be
better tolerated from a African American who is a representative from the
Vai is right. Randy Bott is a good man. But, he used incredibly bad judgment
in even getting involved in this article. He should have NEVER issued any
opinions about the history or the reasons for the priesthood ban. These
subjects are only to be addressed by the leadership and should NEVER be
addressed by ANY member--even a religion professor. This is really too bad
because Randy Bott was named the most popular professor in the United States a
couple of years ago. Now, he has taken a hard fall. It's really too bad.
Vai, I agree with all aspects of this column: your recognition of being nothing
more than a blogger. You're a good man, and even though there have been things
you've written about that I haven't agreed with, that's what I keep in mind--
you're doing nothing more than offering your personal opinion based on your vast
and varied life experience. I agree with your assessment of Bro. Bott's comments
& your thoughts of Pres. Corbitt, who I met years ago at Aspen Grove and was
impressed with him humble nature back then. Keep your blogs and your opinions
coming. YouÂre more than offer fresh perspectives to DN readers.
Old Cougar - you must be OLD, because you don't understand what a
"blogger" is. Derived from "weblog" - which is to say, it's a
journal written specifically for the web. Doesn't matter if it's Carmen
Rasmussen writing about pop culture, the Eyers writing about parenting or Vai
writing about sports and the LDS priesthood. You really think the DN holds
Carmen Rasmussen to the same journalistic standards they hold Lee Benson? I
watch Vai on TV in Philly and he's a respected journalist in our city and you
might appreciate he's even more respected for his standards and people know he's
Mormon. His first paragraph merely points out it's his opinion - not that he's
right. I don't always think he's right, but he's opinionated and I respect that
as should you.
That WaPo article certainly wasn't a hatchet job. They've been consistently fair
in how they've treated Mormonism lately.The fact of the matter is
that Bott's views aren't rare, it's just very embarrassing to have them
expressed publicly. Of course, the Church could easily remedy this situation if
it wanted. I suspect that Thursday's press release, while a great step in the
right direction, won't be enough. Bott was merely parroting ideas that have been
clearly taught in the past by the highest ranks of church leadership--ideas
which have not been specifically recanted.
We just need to acknowledge that Pres. Kimball, like many in the church who love
all of God's children, was uncomfortable with the "blacks and the
priesthood" policy. Because of his discomfort, he sought God's guidance. As
a prophet, he received it: Withholding the priesthood from any worthy male was
wrong. So, as a prophet, he removed the restriction and the church has been
blessed abundantly since then. However, we Mormons will still take
the heat for a policy that appears wrong to the world...and was wrong. I served
my mission in Brazil from 1969 to 1971. June 8, 1978 is one of the happiest days
of my life. I shed tears of joy when I heard the announcement of the revelation.
I knew the growth of the church in Brazil would be dynamic following Pres.
Kimball's revelation and I have thanked Heavenly Father abundantly since then
for Pres. Kimball's courage and inspiration. Let's not make excuses or elaborate
doctrinal explanation's about the former policy. Let's just acknowledge it was
wrong, but now it's fixed and move on.Peace, Vai. Good
article...except for the first paragraph! :) Go Cougs!
The fact remains that many people are not going to be fine with just
condemnation of racism and condemnation of the racist reasons people give for
the priesthood ban being in place. They want one more thing... condemnation of
the ban itself. They want the church to say that it was wrong and a bigoted
thing for the church to ever have had that ban in place. The church hasn't done
that, they only assert that they don't know the reasons that the ban was in
place, not that the ban was wrong to have. So as long as the church tries to
walk the line between condemning racism and not condemning the priesthood ban
itself, there's going to be people left unsatisfied.
Translation of first paragraph: I'm right, you're not. I know what I'm talking
about, you don't. Now on to a different point: A blogger, whose blog is
published in a major newspaper, must be held by his readers to high journalistic
standards...because such a blogger IS a journalist. Someone's pride
I"ve read the Washington's Post article... Now why was it a hatchet job??
It's a relevant issue as the LDS church was one of the last to respond to the
Civil Rights Movement. The possible President of the United States is of that
faith. The only official explanations on it were at that time or earlier as
everything since that time frame is not clear from the LDS authorities (which is
fine). They quote a prominent BYU religious professor from the Church's school
but his pretty clear statements are "out of context"?? It
is what it is. No cunning plan to trick Bott was employed. Time to understand
why many outside the faith have criticisms of the policy that was official until
2 stories on LDS priesthood stand in contrast to each other.By
1978, Brazil was one of the strongest reasons why the ban was lifted. The
opening of its new temple in Sao Paulo, the LDS Church was ordaining hundreds of
Brazilians to its priesthood. Did the LDS Church ignore Brazilian history?
Between 1538 and Brazil's abolition of slavery in 1888, about five million
African slaves were brought to that country. Through mixed marriages, Mulattos
make up a substantial portion of the Brazilian population. How would the LDS
Church possibly know whether or not those being ordained were qualified? With
the dedication of this temple only a few months away, it would seem imperative
that the church either lift the ban or face the possibility of a public
Another great article. Vai takes a lot of heat for telling the truth. Byu fans
have been especially hard on Vai because he has the courage to point out a few
of the numerous problems with byu athletics and its current leadership.Vai, don't let the byu fans bring you down. Keep telling the truth.
Yo Economeister, this "guy" is enormously successful in two careers -
football and TV - and judging by the number of people who read him on DN, is
probably one of the most successful contributers to DN. Don't know what you do,
maybe you're Warren Buffett, but I doubt you've had the success Vai has had in
your field, much less TWO. But if you are, then submit something to DN so we
can also benefit from your ramblings. Until then, zip it.
does this guy actually have a point or he's just paid to ramble...
If I could pick and choose, Vai would be my go-to guy.
One of the great moments of my marriage was a very were years after the 1978
change in the church's allowing blacks in the priesthood. My daughter had dated
a youn fellow a couple of times and his mother came to tell us he had a black
father. My wife's immediate reaction was: He's a member of the church.That was more imprtant than his racial heritage.
Got to love Vai!!
"It's a subject at which the media love to poke and prod, especially if it
can weaken a possible Republican nominee." Spooken like an LDS GOP
partisan. How on earth do you know that the purpose of the piece was to slam
your beloved Republican Party?
It can't be a hatchet job when he put the same thing on his blog.