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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Christopher B
Ogden, UT

joe5, I appreciate the response, but I'm not sure your comment answers anything. I believe that some friends of the church weren't members, but I'm not sure how that has to do with my question.

I still haven't heard how LDS members know when a prophet is for God and when he isn't?

If prophets/apostles always speak for God, then the LDS church would never need to disagree with something a past prophet/apostle said, unless God changed his mind back and forth.

And if the church doesn't claim that everything said by a prophet/apostle is from God, then how can anyone ever know when it comes from God and when it doesn't?

pray? Ok, and when two people pray and get two different answers? Again, we're back to thats what a prophet is for right?

It just seems all to convenient for Mormons to say that their prophets speak for God, but then retain the right to go back and say "he was speaking as a man" whenever something doesn't turn out well.

1.96 Standard Deviations

Cali Family:

I don't think your plan is a good idea -- addressing this first won't help plant a seed of faith regarding what the church is really about. A more meaningful lesson is that the priesthood is on the Earth (again) and it is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

You should consider giving the first lesson taught by missionaries, which is about the restoration of Christ's gospel and church. This lesson includes an explanation about the priesthood, why it is necessary and why it is only found in the LDS church. You can review the principles of the first lesson in the Preach My Gospel manual (pages 31-46).

If the topic of the past priesthood restriction comes up, just keep it simple. We don't know all the reasons because of the lack of historical records. But, God directed the prophet in 1978 to extend the priesthood to every worth male. It may also be helpful to indicate there were priesthood restrictions in the Old Testament, and even a time when Christ directed the preaching of the gospel to Jews only.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I think it's about sharing your space. They will be in your home, make it friendly. You not selling Amway. Your making friends.

Eldersburg, MD

Chris B

I respectfully submit that your comments below perpetuates the same rumors and propaganda that have been around since the days of Jesus Smith (minus technology) as stated in the below quote:

"My suggestion: Tell them to go google it...just do a google search and read it all. That's what I have done and I learned a lot."

To all those who choose to put down something they cannot understand except by the means of sufficient firsthand investigation, immersion, and time to possess enough understanding, such knowledge believed is merely academic and likely to be a rehash of information already said by someone else.

If truth is to be known of anything, be it religion or science or whatever, one cannot merely delve in leading theories exposed by vicarious reading for what can only be known for certain with sustained firsthand experience. Truth is not found by condemning something before such a personal experiment is conducted.

Such is not only contrary to science, but it is subjective and has no basis in truth or fact beyond the strength of purity in the material of copied rhetoric. All it does is spread contention.

South Jordan, UT

ChrisB: The concept of a living church and living God is strange to most non-members. Mormons believe God provides revelation appropriate for the time and circumstances.

Jehovah commanded ancient Israel to not eat pork. Why? I don't know (see Isaiah 55:8). Perhaps no safe method of curing pork existed. Perhaps it was just to test their faith.

Today's word of wisdom offers health benefits but, even more, I believe it discriminates faithful members from others. One of their first questions any member faces is about coffee, tea, alcohol and tobacco.

Who knows why the priesthood was withheld for 150 years? Maybe social circumstances were not right. Even today in the south, black preachers preach primarily to black congregations. Maybe it was a test of faith. I heard Spencer W Kimball say, 9 days after the 1978 announcement, that he had never seen such faith as those black members of the church who kept faithful and worthy to enter the temple despite not holding callings or having the priesthood in their homes. I don't know His reasons.

The past is a foreign country. Please don't judge them based on today's morality.

Potsdam, 00

Still too much heavy stuff circulating here.
Remember giving the gospel to others his high responsibility, a failure on your part may cause generations to lack the saving ordinances of the gospel.

The fact that this family will come and listen some is prove enough that they are ready.
Let it go (no complicated stuff) be happy and enjoy them. By the time you have said all of your prayers and discussed all of the deep issues on DN, they will be ready to meet the missionaries.

We must remember our responsibilty not to put a stumbling block into their way.
Most of the conversion is an ongoing bussiness between them and God.
They will celebrate you as their best friends some day.

Louisville, KY

For all who think this was simply a politically expedient change. Search for "Spencer W. Kimball and
the Revelation on Priesthood" by Edward Kimball (his son and a historian). It is available at BYU Studies.

This gives very personal insight into the issue and puts to rest the issue of whether President Kimball was simply bowing to societal pressure.

layton, UT

RE: Semi-Strong,.. this was simply a politically expedient change.

In 1978 Brazil, was one of the strongest reasons why the ban was lifted. The opening of its new temple in Sao Paulo, the LDS Church was ordaining hundreds of Brazilians to its priesthood. Did the LDS Church ignore Brazilian history? Between 1538 and Brazil's abolition of slavery in 1888, about five million African slaves were brought to that country. Through mixed marriages, Mulattos make up a substantial portion of the Brazilian population. How would the LDS Church possibly know whether or not those being ordained were qualified? With the dedication of this temple only a few months away, it would seem imperative that the church either lift the ban or face the possibility of a public relations nightmare.

RE: 1.96 Standard Deviations , Christ directed the preaching of the gospel to Jews only.
Other sheep,(John 10:16) Therefore I want you to know that God's salvation has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen!"(Acts 28:28).

Isaiah... "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."(Romans 10;20) Neither the Lamanites nor the Nephites meet this qualification

Louisville, KY


Please read the article by Edward Kimball. It talks about Brazil throughout.

1.96 Standard Deviations


Lifting the ban was not based on political expediency or social pressure. As evidence, how do you explain why thousands of Nigerians, demanding to be baptized, were declined by the church for many years (at least since 1961)? It makes no sense for a missionary-minded church to refuse to baptize thousands of converts if the church was bowing to social pressure.

From the report Semi-Strong mentioned:

"LaMar Williams, who as secretary to the Church Missionary Committee answered letters that came from Africa, was sent to Nigeria in 1961. He was met at the airport by ten pastors he had been corresponding with and discovered that they were unaware of one another. Williams returned with the names of fifteen thousand unbaptized converts who were waiting for the Church to come to them."

"[In] 1962, when newly ordained Apostle N. Eldon Tanner spent two weeks in the Lagos area, visiting three groups using the Church's name, one of which claimed four thousand baptized adherents. When he reminded them that they did not have authority to baptize, their leader said he understood that, but he wanted the people to feel they belonged to the Church while they waited for the proper authority."

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

joe, Again I appreciate the response but you're not at all addressing the questions I ask, so I'm not sure why you refer to me in your comment.

If Mormons believe that prophets/apostles speak for God, then there would never be a need to distance the LDS church from past comments made by apostles/prophets, as they were speaking for God. And if God said it, why try to pretend it wasn't said or that it was incorrect?

And if the all too convenient "he was speaking as a man" excuse can always be made whenever its needed, how is one in the LDS church to know when a prophet/apostle is speaking for God?

Pray about it? Ok, and when 2 people get opposite answers as to the answer to a doctrinal question, which is the correct one? isn't that the whole point of claiming prophets/apostles speak for God in the first place?

The LDS church is now trying to claim that the ban was not doctrinal, but that is NOT supported by what many past lds prophets/apostles(speaking for God presumably) have said.

Far East USA, SC

To those who say "disregard the things in the past. Just pray and you will find the true answer".

Would not Warren Jeffs say the same thing and some would perceive their "answer" to follow him?

Far East USA, SC

"Lifting the ban was not based on political expediency or social pressure."

Logic and timing would indicate differently.

Same with polygamy.

It is just the most logical answer. Now if polygamy or the priesthood issue had been changed with no outside pressure and come completely out of the blue, they would have looked to be much more "prophetic"


Deuteronomy 18:22

Wanda B. Rich
Provo, UT

Before you say anything about blacks and the priesthood, please read Ed Kimball's article in BYU Studies about his father's 1978 revelation. It will likely prevent you from giving any faulty explanations (which still tend to get too much play in Mormondom). The title is "Spencer W. Kimball and the Revelation on Priesthood," by Edward L. Kimball. Search for it on the BYU Studies website under either the title or the author. It's free for download.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

Since the beginning of time, ecclesiastical policies change with the times but doctrines are eternal and never change. For example, Peter received a vision after Christ's crucifixion changing the policy of proselyting gentiles. The priesthood is doctrine, who holds it is policy as it was in Jesus' day when only descendants of Israel held the priesthood. I wept for joy when the revelation changing the policy was received!

Morgan Hill, CA

Additional informative reading may be found in "Last Laborer- Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon," (Keith Hamilton, c2011, Ammon Works), as well as the Edward kimball Article mentioned earlier (BYU Studies 47, no. 2, 2008).

We learn from Gen. 12: 1-3 that through Abraham, all of the families and kindreds of the earth will be blessed. This same promise is repeated more than once in the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 13: 30, & 3 Nephi 20: 25-27). No exception is made pertaining to any one race or area of the world. Other verses of interest are: 1 Nephi 17: 35 (all flesh is esteemed as one),1 Nephi 22: 3-5, and 2 Ne 25:15 regarding the Jews being scattered among all nations. Altogether, at least 20 specific verses in the Book of Mormon speak of all nations hearing the gospel, all needing repentance, all being judged by their works,and all being welcomed whomever will come.

The Doctrine and Covenants contains some 78 references to the gospel going forth among all nations and people. A half-dozen such references are in Section One alone. Again, no exception is made for any one race, continent, or nation.

Morgan Hill, CA

Some additional items which may be helpful here are as follows: Revelation 14: 6 relates John's vision of another angel flying "in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on earth, and to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." Mormons, of course, believe that this vision began to be fulfilled with the visitations of Moroni. Moroni told Joseph (P of GP, History, V. 33) that Joseph's name would be had for both good and evil among all nations, kindreds, and tongues.

Joseph told some of the brethren in Kirtland that they "knew no more than a babe on its mother's lap" concerning the destiny of the church - that it would be established in the Americas and throughout the world. Later in the Wentworth Letter (1842) Joseph stated that the truth would go forth "boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear." Again, there is no hint of exceptions pertaining to any particular area of the world, or continent, race, or nation of people.

sandy, ut


Again, those quotes you gave were only Joseph Smith's opinion, they were not doctrine.

G L W8

Many of these comments remind me of the old axiom "Don't confuse me with the facts. My mind's made up." For example:
"They [the prophets] were just speaking as a man." Only somebody's opinion, and IMHO, has never been officially stated by the LDS Church;also lacks an understanding on the part of critics about how prophecy functions from time to time.
"Not logical" or "contradictory" or "a whimsical God"--reflects a lack of knowledge about how God reveals his current will.
"Politically expedient" Ditto--and shows an unawareness of how God expects His Church and His children to grow and progress, largely on their own while exercising faith in Him. And so forth.

But to get back to the subject: If and only if the subject comes up, you may wish to be prepared with testimonies of other black LDS. Thurl Bailey's conversion story is excellent!

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