Comments about ‘Ask Angela: Teaching about the priesthood revelation on MLK Jr.'s birthday’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 20 2014 11:35 a.m. MST

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Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

I agree with Angela, let them bring it up when they are ready.

Las Vegas, NV

Make the night about you, your spouse, kids, and how family home evening brings happiness to your family. Let them watch how you interact with each other- this is more powerful than any lesson you can prepare. Angela is right, discussing controversial subject at the first meeting is not a good idea, unless they bring it up.

John Marx
Layton, UT

This advice could easily backfire. If they are already aware of the priesthood ban and the history of blacks then the topic could become an elephant in the room. Additionally they might not be willing to bring it up themselves because of how awkward it can be to discuss. On top of that, if you wait and then they find out themselves via Google (in this era I'd be surprised if they weren't researching online) or some other means, they may feel like you were not completely upfront and honest with them.
I say be upfront and honest with them and let them decide for themselves.

American Fork, UT

Just say 'when it became politically necessary, a revelation was forthcoming'. As for the past, well, uh......

Daniel Leifker
San Francisco, CA

You could begin the discussion by asking them what they already know or have heard about the Church. If they talk about misconceptions, gently correct them. If they talk about good things, focus on them. If they bring up the priesthood thing, talk about it. If they don't, let it wait for another day. The key is focus on them and their interests at first, and to use your own personal experiences as a way of teaching. The goal for the 1st meeting is to make them want to come back for a 2nd.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

My suggestion: Tell them to go google it.

Read what all the LDS prophets and apostles have said on the subject over the years.

After all, Mormons believe that Mormon apostles and prophets speak for God, so what better way to teach them than to send them directly to what the LDS prophets and apostles have said.

just do a google search and read it all.

That's what I have done and I learned a lot.

sandy, ut

I am not sure they would want to read what previous apostles and prophets have said about them... I don't think that would help.

layton, UT

RE: Chris B. After all, Mormons believe that Mormon apostles and prophets speak for God, so what better way to teach them than to send them directly to what the LDS prophets and apostles have said. just do a google search and read it all.

@History of the Church, Volume 5, pages 218-219.

Potsdam, 00

The first basic approach should be always toward their feelings for God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. That is what most black people like very much, they love this since most of them are raised with some christian background.

For the other stuff like priesthood and 1978 etc. I would make the following suggestion :

Mark some topics from which they can choose, and then make it a fun game to answer any questions. That way there will be a lot to talk about and next time they want to meet.

Remember if the 1978 would come up, to replace the issue with Heavenly Father's issue that He loves each one of them so much, that it will be a great loss for them not knowing more about it. But never assume any racial differences of any kind. In Fact there are none, we just perceive them as such. Heavenly Father cannot see colors as we do.

Most important to let them ask anything they want, and feel free to find the good intentions of this church at any angle of approach. They are in good hands with you.
You might want to introduce them to geneology.

City, Ut

Super advise Angela.
Giving them the opportunity to feel the Spirit is the first and most important thing you can do...

Lethbridge, 00

"Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.

We get our truth and our light line upon line and precept upon precept. We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness and all the views and all the thoughts of the past. They don’t matter any more.

It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject." -Bruce R. McConkie

There is only one principle, and that is to be obedient to the promptings and direction of the Holy Ghost. That's it. I'd say any other advice falls secondary to that.

Lethbridge, 00

You could direct them to the new Race and the Priesthood page on lds.org as well. The fact of the matter is, a ban like this is not unique to this dispensation. In the Old Testament, only Levites could hold the priesthood. That was the only group who were allowed. People from other tribes could have been just as worthy, just as ready, but for whatever reason, the Lord said that only Levites could hold it. Same thing with the New Testament and preaching the gospel to the Gentiles. At the beginning of the apostles ministry, the gospel was not taken to the gentiles. As time went on, a revelatory experience came to Peter, the chief apostle, that that restriction had now lifted, and that now was the time to take the gospel to them as well. The fact of the matter is, that this topic has scriptural precedent. On that race and the priesthood page, it mentions that President McKay prayed sincerely about this subject, and that the impression that came to him was to wait. To wait! President McKay's heart was just a pure and worthy as was President Kimball's.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

"It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year, 1978. "

What a convenient response every time something that was said by a past apostle or prophet(presumable speaking for God) is called into question.

my response is this: If God said it(through apostles and prophets) why the need to hide it pretend it wasn't said? And if God wasn't speaking through those apostles or prophets who said things the church now doesn't claim to support, how is anyone to know when a prophet or apostle is speaking for God or not?

Are people to always assume a prophet/apostle is speaking for God, only to retain the right and backtrack and scratch whatever we want at any point with the all too helpful "He was speaking as a man"?

Lethbridge, 00

This is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and Christ himself is the one who directs it. His prophets are not perfect, but when they speak under the inspiration of the Almighty, the word of the Lord is unrestrained and untainted by the imperfections of the instrument. The question is often asked, how do you know when they are speaking for the Lord? Simple. Act on it. Find out for yourself. The witness comes by the power of the Holy Ghost, as we act in accordance with God's will. I have mentioned this before several times on this site, yet still the same people ask the same questions. This is the answer. It's simple, and clear, and because it is simple it is easily overlooked.

"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things;...wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

Act on it, pray about it, and find out for yourself. Otherwise we remain in the dark and never learn anything.

sandy, ut


You can't use that quote... Who is to say that later on there will be another apostle discrediting what McConkie said in that quote. Plus, it was only his opinion. If he was wrong before, maybe he was wrong again.

Potsdam, 00

@ michael.jensen369

On the one hand we live in an open society with access to all kind of informations,
on the other hand if they have not yet read our comments, we should keep in mind that they need spiritual milk first before they can eat spiritual meat.

They are invited to have a spiritual supper, and we cannot explain to them obidience versus Holy Ghost, that would be spiritual meat, and very very hard to chew.

The most important thing of the first gospel is simple and easy for everyone, enjoy the spirit testifying of them being factual children of our Father in Heaven.
They need to learn to rule themselves, not by us !

Teachings is not our bussiness, only to show a way to find happiness.
They need to find. We need to watch and enjoy the process.

Lethbridge, 00


The Lord does not work against himself. Read the answer I gave in my previous post. This is the last post I can make on this article, so I'll try to make it a good one! How do you know it was his opinion? How do you know that he wasn't speaking by inspiration at that time? Because he was wrong before? Simple answer. Petition the Lord for an answer. Exercise faith. Read the scriptures. Keep the commandments. Find out for yourself. If you never exercise any faith, you will never arrive at any heaven-given answer. If we sow the seeds of our own logic and wisdom, with doubt, and dead-end reasoning, then we will reap the dulling, and unsatisfying fruit of it. If we sow the seeds of belief, and of trust in God, with faith and a realization that we do not know the whole situation, then what will we reap? The fruit, our answer, in God's timing. If we never exercise any faith in God, then we will never understand how He works. Go study the words of Paul in the New Testament.

South Jordan, UT

Sharing Mormonism is never about convincing someone to believe something. If you can argue them into the church, somebody can argue them out. Being exposed to the gospel of Jesus Christ should be equivalent to being exposed to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost. Without that, they will not stick.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Michael Jensen,

What if two people "act on it" and come to two different conclusions?

Isn't that the point of prophets and apostles?

South Jordan, UT

Chris B. I absolutely believe that can and does happen.

Sometimes there may be a valid reason for it. For example, some of the Church's best friends were not members but held key political or social positions. As Mormons, they would not have had the credibility among non-Mormons to accomplish what they did for the church.

Often people misunderstand how the process works. "Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart." It takes work and humility to hear God's answer over our own.

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