Comments about ‘LDS Church enhances web pages on its history, doctrine’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 9 2013 6:40 p.m. MST

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Provo, UT

I hope my Stake President and other leaders don't mind if I use my paper scriptures. I like them, find them easier to mark, and can see them better. I'm noticing a little bit of arrogance among some Church members who seem to think one is a Neanderthal if one isn't up on buying and using the latest digital gadget. It's rather amusing sometimes to watch these people stumbling around on their phones trying to find some spot in their manuals or when their devices run out of battery power.

Aurora, CO

I think one word describes my feelings on this matter: Huzzah!

1.96 Standard Deviations

Very impressive! I am glad we can now point church members and other individuals with sincere questions to official sources to help explain these sensitive topics in a condensed and simplified fashion. I imagine the church will address more sensitive topics as time goes on.

American Fork, UT

Nothing enables an evolving reality like the internet. Gone are the days when you have to be held to so called truths issued in the past.

Cedar City, UT


I use my paper scriptures as well. I feel it is something I can pass on to my children.

Sparks, NV

As the church continues to come out of obscurity and out of darkness and shown to the world as a light upon a hill that cannot be hid, we now have a wonderful resource to show the world the facts regarding certain things that some thought were being kept a secret. I am impressed that the leadership has taken this added stance and given the membership something to share with others what is official.

Of course the detractors will still make their claims but I long for the day when all will be revealed and nothing will be hidden as God opens His history to all to view. There will be some rather shocked faces as he shows the truth of what happened in the past and that, for example, he really did appear to Joseph Smith and, he really did reveal the Book of Abraham through revelation to him (among a LOT of other things).

It will be then that those who have fought against the church will wish they wouldn't have and will regret all they have done to try and ruin The Lord's true church upon the earth.

Al Thepal
Salt Lake City, UT

I am thrilled the the LDS Church is taking the time to put some of the tougher issues on the website. I just read the one on Race and the Priesthood and it doesn't gloss over the topic or try to sugar coat the Church's history on this point. Having the ability to go to the website of the Church and get the full story directly from the Church will be great for this and a few other "hard" topics. I look forward to the Church putting more of these on the website.

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

I'd like a few more answers please:
Are illegal aliens allowed to serve missions without returning home first?
How do they obtain temple recommends?
Is tax fraud still considered a sin?

Dave D
Spring Creek, NV

"Church members are cheering the enhanced pages, especially the one on race and the priesthood, which plainly "disavows" theories some critics have claimed were church doctrine and the basis for a ban on blacks holding the priesthood, a ban lifted by revelation in 1978."

Let's not take a step backward with this paragraph. Let's call it like it is. The Church is disavowing things that WERE taught as DOCTRINE by church leaders, often in general conference. I am not a critic, I just want my church to be open and honest about its history, and that includes you, Church-owned Deseret News. The Church's statement was a huge step in the right direction. Please, don't muddle things up by presenting things the way you did in this paragraph. Sure, some critics claimed these theories were doctrine, but so did many Church leaders through the years, and surely Church leaders are not critics.


Some very important commentary on the new church statement comes from LDS historian Richard Bushman. According to the SL Tribune, Bushman says that the church statement "is written as a historian might tell the story ... not as a theological piece, trying to justify the practice." Bushman goes on to say that the new statement "drains the ban of revelatory significance, makes it something that just grew up and, in time, had to be eliminated." In other words, the statement repudiates not just the rationales, but the ban itself.


I thought the issue of blacks and the priesthood was handled sensitively in the book not published by Deseret entitled "David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism." Based on notes and diaries of Clare Middlemiss, Pres. McKay's personal secretary from his time of ordination as an apostle until his death. At the time of publication, though only a few years ago, the chances of the book's frank approach being allowed by Deseret Book were probably still quite slim.

The point was made that Brigham Young established a policy - not a doctrine - about the issue. He wanted Utah to be a state; we are approaching the Civil War. Later custom afterward logically required revelation since the church was growing worldwide and during McKay's time, the civil rights era, restoring priesthood to blacks would probably have blown a hole in a church with such an insular membership heretofore.

The sad part is the human need to know WHY an issue exists and so we begin making up our "truth." Pity for this. Lots of damage has happened because we require answers rather than relying on the Lord for our guidance when it's time.

Bakersfield, CA

Seriously...?! Oh, my. Words cannot describe how long overdue this is. The website continues to be underwhelmingly non-transparent and incomplete. Thank goodness for my parents awesome library, I have access to all doctrines taught. You still won't even allow posts here of a factual nature on certain controversies.

It should be obvious and embarrassing that it is still impossible to get accurate and full documentation on certain controversial topics. All I have to do is ask three questions about the MMMassacre, BoM changes and the evolution of the temple ceremony to get my posts denied here.

So yes, thank goodness for technology that still documents the reticence and non-full disclosure of Mormon history to this date.

Too little, too late.

Casey See

To Say No To Bo

I understand that people see illegal immigrants as part of the United States problems. In many cases, illegals do create many issues. But we must also judge as Christ would judge. I love Les Miserables because Victor Hugo shows how the letter of the law can be harsh and very Unchristian. The young man or young woman whose parents carried across the border had no say in the matter. The parent whose children are starving will take desperate actions to care for his / her family. As we all would.

If by paying taxes or trying to make ammends for breaking a law, we imperile our family, would we do it?

These are the issues bishops must grapple with when an otherwise law abidding, stalwart young man, woman, or family comes to him for a temple recommend or request to serve a mission. Does the bishop / stake president instead throw them under bus sort to speak? To report them would be to destroy that family or person.

I am glad I don't have to judge.


Count me among the members who are cheering these new church statements. That said, it is incorrect for the DN to suggest that only "critics" are claiming the now repudiated theories were taught as doctrine. In reality, the curse of cain, lack of premortal valiancy, and other teachings that are now rejected were all officially taught as doctrine by prophets, apostles, seventies, and local leaders. As one example, the 1949 First Presidency statement on the priesthood ban said the ban was doctrine, revealed by God, and due to several of the racist theories the church now rejects.

I am very grateful that we live in a time of greater light (to paraphrase Elder McConkie). But in our zeal to put down the mistakes of our ancestors, let us not make new mistakes by whitewashing who exactly is responsible for those teachings. That is our burden to wrestle with. We should not push it off for our children to stumble upon in the future.

1.96 Standard Deviations


Here is one very important detail to keep in mind regarding the ban: President McKay prayed about lifting the ban and didn't feel impressed to at that time. This is very significant because it strongly implies there were divine reasons for maintaining the ban for whatever reason. One day we will have all the answers, but this important detail should not be overlooked.

Third try screen name
Mapleton, UT

Of course, such revelations about revelations creates a new set of problems.
In the 60s the family of a friend of mine left the church over the position on the priesthood.
What do we say to them?
What do we say to all those missionaries (myself included) who taught that doctrine as coming from the Lord?
Going forward, will we be more skeptical about direction from the general authorities? And what other "doctrines" will be subject to scrutiny?
Looking for loopholes will become a hobby and rationalizing behavior now has a new ally.

1.96 Standard Deviations

Say No to BO-

Tax fraud: Handbook 1 in the church (available to Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies) answers this question to leave no doubts whatsoever. Ask a bishopric member to read to you section 17.1.23 (Income Taxes) from Handbook 1 for an answer.

Emmigration/Immigration: Also ask a bishopric member to read to you section 17.1.18 (Emigration of Members) in Handbook 1. This does not directly answer your questions about illegal aliens, but will serve as very strong foundation and you can probably come to a conclusion yourself.

Ankeny, IA

I don't believe that simply linking to another church-based website or article answers the underlying issues addressed. The difficult history and doctrines espoused by those outside the church are rooted in historical fact and are proven through original LDS sources. Truth, where ever it is found, is truth. Spinning history and ignoring long taught and difficult historical doctrines doesn't dismiss the fact that the church as a very checkered past. If you read or question a doctrine seen on an outside website, in an article, or in a tract, don't just dismiss it as false, research it. Follow the cited references, most from LDS sources. Study it out for yourself and don't allow the church to direct your path. Many times, the references will generate more questions, follow those to their conclusion. If you allow only the church sponsored and faith promoting history to stand without proof, are you seeking the personal truth that the church promotes? Don't be afraid to question. When your personal eternal life, and that of your family, is at stake, it is important to understand and seek the truth, where ever that truth lies or where it may lead.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

Say No,

You're questions, while direct are still leading.

Our bishops aren't perfect people, neither are our members. But we don't require anyone to be perfect in order to obtain a temple recommend. Temple recommends aren't trivial, nor a matter of judgement. They are a matter of worthiness to obtain certain blessings.

Instead, I have one questions for you.

A man and woman are in love and want their marriage to be united by God for eternity, and unbreakable. Because of his past mistakes, he still owes a debt to society. He may not even be welcome to society.

Would you deny their desire, perhaps even God's, to unite them?

Personally, I do believe in sustaining the law. But I also don't see the relevance of someone's desire to enforce justice, with our desire to worship and attend the temple. To what end should justice exclude allowing families to be happy? Are the two mutually exclusive? It's more worth examining the rules critics are introducing into this situation than it is to examine our own beliefs... why? Because the rules are the criteria we are being held against.

Coach Biff
Lehi, UT

Just read the page on the ordination of black men to the priesthood. Well done.

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