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

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Published: Tuesday, March 6 2012 9:00 a.m. MST

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Mcallen, TX

We live in a time of entitlement. Therefore many groups of people make martyrs of themselves for some kind of benefit. Over coming challenges has been replaced by whining and begging.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

I very much appreciated this article. I think Christopher Rich's comments are well thought out, although I doubt they would change many views.

Even though I will be the first to denounce Bott's statements as false and misguided, I hope we can turn this into a teachable moment that allows us to move to a better future.

Durham, NC

LastStand, I appreciate your comments, but if you understood the context of calling someone an Oreo, you would understand that it goes way beyond anecdotal curiosity about someone who is new to the scene. In the South, black people are not a curiosity, or something new. Inferring that someone is something more than their skin color would indicate.... along the lines of "you are doing good for a black person" can only be taken in so many ways. In the context of a school ground, you would expect such language. in the context of a church setting, you would expect a little more tact.

As far as being stared at, that is nothing new. I travel the world regularly, including latin America and Asia. I am more than used to being the odd American. But in Utah, really? The fact that a mixed race family shows up to church should not be something that sends small children scurrying to the safety of their mothers. We have attended church in many corners of the world as my family gets to travel with me often, and no where is the reaction as strong as it is in my old home state.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

I think there are two important things to remember:

1) Mormons in times past held views about blacks that seem astonishingly bigoted by today's standards.

2) So did everyone else.

In the 1950s most states had laws preventing blacks from owning property in certain neighborhoods. Discrimination was widely practiced if not always legally sanctioned. Violence against blacks who tried to change these conditions was all too common.

These attitudes were inherited from the past. Yet blacks and whites together altered society to the point that the rising generation can scarcely believe the actions and attitudes of the recent past could have ever happened. We should not run from our history. It teaches us that we can change. It affirms the hymn "We Shall Overcome" continues to be modern-day challenge and attainable goal.


"Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA
I think there are two important things to remember:

1) Mormons in times past held views about blacks that seem astonishingly bigoted by today's standards.

2) So did everyone else.

Henry I completely agree. However, this wasn't about men being racist ... this was about God's discrimination against blacks getting the priesthood. If this is the only true church and only it's people are able to be sealed and have eternal life with their spouse and family ... then this is the most important thing in the world to every human being. Why would God not give that to blacks?

We know how people thought .... but this was supposed to be God's word and was followed wholeheartedly for a very long time. If it wasn't God's word then the repeal of the ban could have happened sooner, perhaps before even the Civil Rights movement, due to the Mormon members own conscious about what's right and wrong.

When you make something God's word to a group of followers of the faith ... they take it full stride and don't question it. After all it's God's word.

I don't blame the members ... ever.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I don't judge or generalize people based on their skin color.

Please don't judge me based on my religious beliefs.

The LDS Church never stated that its policies were to punish or to do anything wrong.

Please don't put words in the Church's mouth. The church isn't putting words in yours.

The best arguments are often the simplest ones.

metamora, IL

I know Thom Reed. Swell guy with central Illinois roots!

metamora, IL

LValfre: As you may or may not be aware, God has a history of limiting those who hold priesthood authority. For example, in the Old testament only the Levites were allowed to hold the Aaronic priesthood. Was he biased against the rest of the House of Israel? Mmm . . . I doubt it, but I know he had his reasons which are at present not known.

Salida, CO

Scott Gordon of FAIR stated this:

Myth #3: The best example to explain blacks not having the priesthood comes from the Levites. The Levites were able to hold the priesthood, while others were not. This shows how God restricts people of certain lineages from receiving the priesthood just like he did with blacks.

While it may be true that Levites could hold the priesthood while others could not, it has little to do with this issue. The ancient practice where only one group is able to exercise the priesthood and work in the temple has little in common with modern times when everyone is able to hold the priesthood except for one group. Repeating this claim as an explanation doesnÂt provide adequate support for the argument, and the claim completely falls apart when we recognize that Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, William Smith, and Orson Hyde all ordained blacks to the priesthood in the 1830s and 1840s. The explanation is not helpful and can be hurtful.

metamora, IL

Callmecrazy: The point is that God had his reasons for choosing to do what he did and more importantly I'm not privy to them.

Rugeley, Staffs

What a welcome statement this week. For the life of me I have never understood how people in our day, and especially in the Church, can judge any person by the colour of their skin, their nation of birth, their sexual orientation, their physical stature or any other external features. I have always chosen my friends by the way they make me feel when I am around them. If they were purple and green, and came from Mars I would want them as friends if they make me feel good to be around them.

For me, the Lord said it all in 1 Samuel 16:7.

"7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

If that is how the Lord looks at folks, and we are told in Alma 7:48, "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever;" surely we should look upon each other with that same love that the Saviour has for each of us.

Oahu, HI

I am a Member of this group by E-Mail, They are in my Fav Web Sites and I check in at least Monthly. If for some unknown reason I leave my rock and go to SLC and its meeting time I will go to a meeting.

Living in Hawaii we don't put up with that stuff, The Islanders had the Priesthood the Micronesian sometimes did not.

I do not think this is so much about Racism in the Church as much as it is to bring attention in a Negative way to Mitt's Faith Group in General.

There is some Racism in all faith groups, this is why you have the AME and other Black Churches and the lift up their hands and sing Gospel Songs and the Whites go ah
and point their finger and make comments. instead of just enjoying the music.

My Institute Professor told me in 1990 that the Church was right then and it is right now. I accepted that answer.

The problem is that we talk to people who do not understand or have even a concept of Revelation. There was one I head it and I believe the people who told me.

Roanoke, VA

When we try to decide the ways and reasons of God, we're trying to measure infinity with a yardstick. A fairly presumptuous endeavor. There are some things we just aren't going to understand this side of Heaven. We should accept that fact and concern ourselves with the present, with things we can indeed understand.

Want to know if the Church is racist? Go visit a ward meeting. Chances are you'll find a more diverse congregation than you'll find in any protestant church, and I was a protestant for 44 years.

What announcement from the Church would satisfy anti-or-ex Mormons? None. Whatever the Church said about pre/post 1978 would be picked apart and criticized, because their agenda goes way deeper than concern for the treatment of minorities, if such concern really exists, which is highly doubtful. I find soap-boxers are generally more concerned with being heard than helping.

The Church spends millions of dollars helping people without regard to race, and many minorities are recipients of that assistance. This speaks louder than crocodile tears over the past.

Ogden, UT

I see people commenting that the Church needs to come out and state whether the ban was right or not, or explain it in sacrament meetings across the world so that every member understands the doctrine. But where would it stop? What other doctrines would the Church need to clarify for everyone over the pulpit?

We don't come to church each week and discuss the deep doctrines of the gospel, or try to interpret God's reasoning behind HIS decisions. And why is that? Because not everyone is on the same level spiritually, and while some people would have no trouble understanding certain doctrines/concepts, others would not be able to comprehend them, which would lead to confusion.

The Church teaches correct doctrines and principles that are essential for salvation, and then asks for members to apply those doctrines CORRECTLY in their own lives so that we can work out our own salvation. We should definitely gain all the knowledge we can in this life, but trying to hash out deep doctrines during our 3-hour block on Sundays with everyone will not lead to greater clarity on these issues.

layton, UT

To : John Pack Lambert , I will be the first to denounce Bott's statements as false and misguided. Are they?
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).
God is ¦ the King eternal, immortal, INVISIBLE, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1Tim 1:17). Skin color is not an issue.
(Genesis 7:10 JST), And there was a blackness came upon all the children of Cainan, that they were despised among all people. And (Genesis 7:22 JST) ,..all the seed of Adam save it were the seed of Cain; for the seed of Cain were black and had not a place among them. Now, Pharoah being of that lineage by which could not have the right of Priesthood¦(Abraham 1:27).

Orem, UT

The issue of blacks and the priesthood has long been a "PR" problem for the church. George Albert Smith thought that LDS primacy ought to be readily apparent; it was not sufficient to appear "as good as" everyone else. However, to the outsider, this historical question has the appearance of plain-old bigotry.

Speculation will always be problematic so long as the official answer is "we don't know." This is what the outsider hears: "We don't know why blacks couldn't hold the priesthood at a time when blacks were also denied many other things in this country, but be assured that _our_ reasons came from God and were therefore righteous, unbigoted, and beyond questioning."

We suffered it, now we ought to know the reason for it. We are here for a purpose, not for the mysterious whims of a capricious God. Why don't we ask Him and find out? Then we can answer our critics. Oh, but the fear is that we are "unprepared" to accept the answer. Why? In the realm of possible answers, we can't conceive of any that don't sound like plain-old bigotry. Simple fact: something related to race once disqualified blacks from the priesthood.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT


God was the one who put the ban in place, not us. So if you have an issue with it, take it up with Him, not us. A1994 is right; you either believe and trust in God, or you don't. It seems in this case that you believe God and the LDS church to be liars.


"Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

"God was the one who put the ban in place, not us."

That's if you believe every prophet, including BY, ONLY spoke God's words and never let any of their own beliefs slip in.

Buena Park, CA


The LDS Church released a statement the day after BottÂs comments were published that they Âabsolutely do not reflect the ChurchÂs doctrine. To ask whether his comments were wrong is to ask whether the Church is wrong to denounce them.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

annewandering: 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?

Moontan: There are some things we just aren't going to understand this side of Heaven.

Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Moroni 10:5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

Measuring eternity with a yardstick or not, these promises have been made. If Brigham Young asked God why the priesthood restriction was put in place, then we have the answer (he was quite vocal). If the current prophet wants to know the reason, he only needs to ask. Or do I misunderstand these verses?

James 1: 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

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