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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Southern California
Redondo Beach, CA

Much ado about nothing.

Cebterville, Utah

to annewandering - do you really think the ban was lifted due to a commandment from God - or a law of the people? Open your eyes and ears. And I do agree, it would have been great to have had that singing like took place today, in a ward meeting. We need it. Even when the Tabernacle Choir tries singing a black gospel song, it just isn't moving. The African American soloists they use are great and moving and sing the songs like they were meant to be sung.

What in Tucket?
Provo, UT

I have been a member since 1959. I have never heard a racist statement from the pulpit in ward meeting, stake meeting, general conference or for that matter in the various ward meetings. In 1963 there was one black family in Utah Co. Now we have two mixed families in our ward and they are well loved. Isn't it time we tried to get over this stuff and keep harping on it. These black members in the article are absolutely wonderful.

Mark Calkins
Orem, UT

BYU leaders need to crack down on professors giving their own opinions like Randy Bott did to the media. He clearly is NOT a spokesperson for the LDS church.. If it were my decision, professor Bott would be fired over his incredibly rascist comments which give an extremely poor perception of Church.

Provo, UT

And we still don't know how or why the LDS church banned blacks from getting the priesthood?

Provo, UT


How do you know that "Church Leadership" speaks for God? Who says so? You?

What about the Pope? What about Billy Graham? What about Joel Osteen, what about other preachers and church and religious leaders?

See that is the whole point of this argument. Every one believes their respective church's leaders speak for God.

It is clear to me that the policy to ban blacks from having the priesthood was in fact DOCTRINE of the LDS church that was followed very closely and taught even in Sunday School classes and seminary and institute classes as DOCTRINE and not as a policy.

Whether it was a policy or doctrine however doesn't matter. The fact is, the LDS church banning blacks from the priesthood was bonafide racism.

Provo, UT

So God put the ban in place and not men who run the church?

Or was it men who put the ban in place and blame God for putting it in place?

Either way, it is a racist doctrine (or policy if you want to make it seem less inspired).

Roanoke, VA

@Searching ... Good reply. Challenging. I'm not sure the quotes you refer to promise complete knowledge of anything asked, else we'd have the potential to know everything in totality, all at once, which is neither possible nor desirable.

God's ways are not our ways. He reserves the right to forgive anyone He chooses, for example, but demands that we forgive everyone. I don't know why He can but I can't, but practicing that admonition takes most of my time when the subject is forgiveness.

No, you don't misunderstand the quotes at all, it seems to me. But maybe a bit more context is required. I'm not certain. Your post requires more thought still. Bravo.

Buena Park, CA

@ Riverton Cougar, please consider two statements:

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

vs. the LDS Church last week,
"At some point the Church stopped ordaining male members of African descent, although there were a few exceptions. It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended."

You claim to know why the ban came: from God. GodÂs Church says thatÂs not known. What are we to do about your disagreement with the ChurchÂs statement?

Sarah Nichole
West Jordan, UT

@ Searching . . .

Since we're sharing scriptures, try this one: D&C 58:3. "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things..."

There are a great many things that we don't know yet. Heavenly Father always answers our prayers, but sometimes that answer is "not yet." Sometimes we have to wait for the answer or explanation to come on the Lord's time. His ways are not our ways, and judging His ways by 21st Century standards is not fair. We do not have a perfect knowledge of all things.

And when He doesn't see fit to give us answers yet, all we can do is pray for increased understanding, so that eventually we can be ready to know the truth, and for increased patience and acceptance, so that we can endure the wait.

I don't know the origins of the priesthood ban or the reasons behind it, but I know that I'll find out eventually. I trust in the Lord, and that's all I need right now.

Searching . . .
Orem, UT

Sarah Nichole, your quote strikes me as a dodge.

The problem here is that the Church leaders admittedly don't know either. My first quote alluded to that, God reveals his will. Joseph Smith directed the ordination of Bro. Abel, an African American. However, at that time there was no formal revelation about racial restrictions to the priesthood. Brigham Young made it clear that there are restrictions in place, yet there is no formal revelation published for that either. After Young's death, the subsequent administration faced the question again. They researched where the ban came from, but like the current administration, came up empty. Again, no revelation was recorded that directed their decision. (See "MormonismÂs Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview" by Lester Bush in Dialogue Magazine)

Amos's promise about prophets, coupled with the latter-day promise that the prophet won't lead the church astray, makes me scratch my head on this issue. Even if the ban was merely policy, it led the Church down a racist path that deprived a large portion of his children from the blessings of service and participation. How is that not leading the Church astray?

Larry Lawton
Wan Chai, Hong Kong

May I join the speculation? I've sometimes wondered if the ban on blacks holding the priesthood was a matter of God waiting until we were ready to live up to our own teachings about race. I am old enough to remember how racist our society really was even as recently as the 1970s. In those days, we owned a home that should not have been sold to us, for the restrictive covenants banned ownership to anyone but "white members of the Protestant faith." We were white, but no one would think Mormons were Protestant! Of course, court decisions made the ban unenforcable, but the subdivision was not that old, and located in the Rocky Mountain west, not the deep south.If God is not in the business of embarrassing His earthly leadership, He might have thought it prudent to wait 'til the accusations of racism died down. As one who lived through those times, by 1978, the church could change policy with only the silliest critics shouting that we were caving in to political correctness.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

I am a life long believing member of The LDS Church. Everyone of my ancestors on both sides of the family came to the Salt Lake Valley in either handcarts or covered wagons. I do not believe that the priesthood ban was inspired by God. One of the tenets of our faith is found in the 9th article of faith of our church, ÂWe believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things. God's work with the Church is an ongoing thing. The priesthood ban was an unfortunate thing. I believe it was repudiated by the official statement the church released that says Âwe condemn all racism both within and without of the church. That may not be enough for some, but I believe in a living church and being up to date and that many things should be relegated to history due to the fact that we had less understanding in the past. That does not excuses anyone but there is always a trial of faith. I apologize to my brothers of African decent for the past of my ancestors.


"I had the promise, years ago, that I never should apostatize and bring an evil upon this people. God revealed that through Joseph, long before he died; and if I am not doing right, you may calculate that the lord is going to take me home." -Brigham Young

If any prophet would lead His church astray, He would take them before they could. There is no way for us to know why the ban was put in place. But hey, if you believe you're intelligent enough to question and/or judge a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being, have at it! I hope it works out for you.


Perhaps allowing blacks to hold the Priesthood at that time would have brought considerable damage or destruction upon His church by the considerable number of actual racists in the country? Wasn't one of the reasons the early saints were driven from Nauvoo because they accepted and treated blacks as equals? Food for thought.

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