Comments about ‘Genesis members, others respond to LDS racism statement’

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Published: Tuesday, March 6 2012 7:34 p.m. MST

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RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

"By the time they were singing the song's fourth and final stanza, the congregation  consisting mostly of black Latter-day Saints  was standing and swaying as the spirit of the moment moved them."

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That would have been interesting to see and quite unlike the normal boring LDS meeting.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

It is indeed a welcome trend, one long in coming. But today the attitudes of past generations die hard, and live often in their kids. Having my child referred to an Oreo in Sunday school class, and if you understand the significance of that statement, still boggles the mind. And while visiting a ward in Utah, having all the small children in the pews ahead of us turned around staring at my family as though they had never seen something like so odd, you can tell that much of the church isn't used to a diverse congregation. Fortunately my kids are used to it, and find it almost funny.... as a parent I find it less so.

But hopefully, inside the church and out, we will get to the point where we judge people based on their charter, and understand that this is driven by far more than ones skin color, this will all become a moot point. But this is all headed in the right direction.

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

A lot of wisdom in Tamu's quotes. I am thankful that most people are like her and appreciate other's mistakes and are able to forgive and look beyond. Unfortunately many don't. Having lived in the south and northeast I have had the opportunity to have many close black friends. They truly are no different than anyone else and I am grateful for those that accept the Gospel and it's teachings. Good article.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "UtahBlueDevil" unfortunately the US in their efforts to eliminate racism have made us hyper sensitive to it.

If you go to South America the people don't care about being called something that a person in the US would find derogitory.

It is good to see that your kids can laugh it off, and hopefully they won't fall into the trap of allowing their race to define them.

A1994
Centerville, UT

@atl134

"Here's the sticking point. Forgiveness for the LDS priesthood ban will not be extended by many until the LDS church explicitly condemns the priesthood ban which they haven't done."

The condemnation that you seek will never come because for people, like yourself, it would never be enough. The church could issue whatever proclamation or condemnation one could think of, and it would never satisfy the feelings of vengeance and retribution on the part of those calling for it. For people like LValfre, nothing less than rubbing the churches collective nose in it will ever do. And even then, he wouldn't forgive.

The announcement ending the ban on blacks holding the priesthood cam 34 years ago this June. The church has several operating temples in Africa with African priesthood holders helping to run those temples. What, exactly, would you hope to accomplish by tearing open the past and having the church condemn its past presidents? Nobody is arguing that there weren't racist attitudes among members of the church. But either you believe the President of the Church is called and inspired by God, or you don't. It's not both ways.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:atl134

Bingo

You hit the nail on the head, except is the Church really saying it was the right policy for the time? I guess since the Church isn't explicit in that regard then it is up to interpretation. Therein lies the problem. Continued confusion. Continued confusion whether the practice was a policy or doctrine. Whether the Church considers it a unfortunate practice that got institutionalized for a time or whether we are to believe it is what God intended communicated in some manner to his prophets.

The reason this issue persists is the Church continues to communicate in unclear terms. My guess is this will continue to be debated. Some members will believe it a policy that mistakenly become institutionalized, and others will believe it doctrine communicated to prophets without an explanation.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

One more thing.

This is all being discussed on Deseret News and in other sources but there are many people/church members who will remain in the dark on this issue. There will still be people who will continue to hold onto past beliefs, teaching them to their family members or in classroom settings, unaware. The Church needs to make sure the record is set straight whether a statement read in General Conference or disseminated via local leaders to congregations. The statement needs to be absolutely clear ie this was a policy, not doctrine, without interviewing those who put it into place, we believe it probably wasn't correct but at least we know any attempt to justify or explain it is wrong.

Shuzzie53
HAYWARD, CA

BlueDevil, in my ward your family would not be stared at except for people approaching you to welcome you. My ward is very diverse, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@A1994
"The church could issue whatever proclamation or condemnation one could think of, and it would never satisfy the feelings of vengeance and retribution on the part of those calling for it."

You are definitely speculating about what kind of person I am. I'm not after vengeance or retribution. Sure I left the church but I don't hate it. I'm just saying that as long as the church claims that the priesthood ban came from God (albeit for unknown reasons) there's going to be problems because to many people this suggests that the LDS view is that God was endorsing something along the lines of Jim Crow laws for whatever reason. If the church were to say that the policy was instituted by man, not God, and that it was a result of bigotry... then I'd be plenty happy and satisfied, but I don't think the church will do that since it would also mean admitting that Prophets can lead the church astray.

"would you hope to accomplish by tearing open the past and having the church condemn its past presidents?"

Closure on the issue.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Truthseeker
SLO, CA
Re:atl134

Some members will believe it a policy that mistakenly become institutionalized, and others will believe it doctrine communicated to prophets without an explanation.

=====================

I believe it was policy morphed into practice.

"We Believe a man will be punished for his own sins, and not for Adam's [or anyone else's] transgression."

Declaration 2 was just making it absolutely clear .
Some members - even with a Prophet, Pulpit, and Prayer - couldn't accept it.

Mc
West Jordan, UT

For a greater understanding of this I recommend reading Keith Hamilton's book, "Last Laborer- Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon." Great book with great perspective!

awsomeron1
Oahu, HI

I live in Hawaii and we simply do not put up with that sort of stuff.

A1994
Centerville, UT

@atl134

I suppose we could debate doctrine and scripture, but we wouldn't come to agreement. The Old Testament is rife with stories of what we call racism at God's command. Israel taking over Canaan comes to mind.

It is important to remember that racism and bigotry happened and still happen. But demanding an official condemnation of the church against itself will do nothing to improve race relations. It happened. It ended. And now all races not only can hold the priesthood, but are encouraged to.

The church was driven by government sanctioned mob from Missouri and Illinois. Property was stolen. People were murdered and jailed on false charges. But the church doesn't, today, demand reparations. It's counter productive. Why go and tear open old wounds? It only serves to stir people up against each other all over again. Why go there? Is it not enough that everyone is welcome and encouraged to pursue the priesthood?

CougarBlue
Heber City, UT

Dear ATL 134 was Moses a racist? Only, the male Levites were to hold the priesthood. There was no explanation as to this reasoning other than it came from God. Quit reading between the lines something that simply does not exist. God's ways are not our ways and our ways are not Gods ways. I assume you feel it is bigotry because women do not hold the priesthood.

annewandering
oakley, idaho

How can the church leaders tell us why it was a ban when we havent been told why? Should they just make something up to make everyone happy? What we do know is that the ban was lifted and it was lifted because God said to lift it. Sounds like a great idea to be happy for that.
Maybe the thing to do now is to get past it. It is no longer there. It is mote. Whatever the reasons were they are not in effect anymore. Celebrate!
Personally, and yes its just my opinion, I think it means God has decided we have grown up a bit in our understanding. How about if we follow through and show Him we have. ^^

CAAZFR
MESA, AZ

I am a U.S. citizen presently living in France where my wife and I are active in the LDS church. It is such a joy to be with our brothers and sisters from Guyana, France, Africa, Portugal, French Polynesia, Venezuela, Cambodia, Mexico, Austria, the U.S.A. and Belgium. We are all different shades here. It is such a blessing to be in a non-homogenous ward. Not that our previous wards in the States were not special in their own way, but this is very fulfilling!!!

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@A1994
"Why go there? Is it not enough that everyone is welcome and encouraged to pursue the priesthood?"

Sometimes festering wounds need to be opened so that they can drain and heal. As I've said before, the problem is that there's no condemnation of the racist past. We look at history and say that slavery was wrong, Jim Crow was wrong, chasing the saints out of Missouri was wrong... but as long as there's no condemnation of the priesthood ban, then the church's position still includes the idea that the ban was correct. That's why this differs from all those other things. I should not and will not hold the actions of LDS members a century ago against LDS members today, but if you're going to hold a position that says "yes, that action to restrict the priesthood for a period of time was correct" then I can and will hold THAT against you.

Last Stand
Farmington, UT

UtahBlueDevil,

I served a mission in Mexico and I was constantly stared at by children who were not used to seeing a Gringo amongst them. Little kids would sit next to me during discussions and feel my arms to see if my skin felt different than their own. I was stared at all the time during sacrament meetings and I stuck out like a sore thumb wherever I went. I didn't mind and I certainly didn't think it a result of any racist feelings towards me or any sort of "attitudes of past generations". My guess is in the church today, any feelings of racism are more caused by the beholder than any real intent. My opinion is we would all be better off if we'd just let these things go and not let hurt feelings perpetuate where no malice was intended.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

One thing I know I'll have to clarify, I know there was condemnation of racism in the past in that statement by the church. I mean that there was no condemnation of the priesthood ban itself which I consider to be a racist policy.

giantfan
Farmington, UT

atl134,

You're free to believe what and how you want but for the Church Leadership to condemn this of the past is essentially to condemn God, since it's been stated over and over again by the same Church Leadership that the revelation from God to give the priesthood to blacks had not been given. Who are we to question God and his timing and reasons? I'm afraid that those out there that only seek to hurt the Church would have a field day with such a statement of condemnation that you are seeking. Hypocricy and sacrilege would be the key constituents of the mudslinging that would ensue.

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