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Faith

Ask Angela: He dumped me because of my race

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  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    June 25, 2014 6:35 p.m.

    I really, really hope that the boyfriend’s family were not members of the Church. I really, really, REALLY hope that that is not the case. This is beyond ignorant, shameful, tragic and infuriating.

  • Open and honest Manchester, 00
    June 13, 2014 3:50 a.m.

    From the current canon of LDS scripture:
    21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity.
    For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
    2nd Nephi 5:21

    Is the problem the boyfriends family, or is it what they have been/are being taught?

    "We recommend that people marry those who are of the same racial background generally, and of somewhat the same economic and social and educational background (some of those are not an absolute necessity, but preferred), and above all, the same religious background, without question” (Marriage and Divorce; in 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year [Provo: Brigham Young University Press, 1977], p. 144).
    Taken from "Choosing An Eternal Companion" Aaronic Priesthood Manual 3

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    June 12, 2014 9:44 p.m.

    Flashback

    Wilford Woodruff once said that if a white person marries a colored person then both of their blood must be spilled. That isn't just a 'suggestion' as you claim.

  • donn layton, UT
    June 11, 2014 7:54 a.m.

    RE: Crimendelsiglo ... Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and (JESUS) said, For this cause shall a MAN leave FATHER and MOTHER. True,

    Ephesians 6:2,3. Honor your Father and Mother”[not Mothers/ploygamy],which is the first commandment(Not a suggestion) with a promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God..

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 11, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    Hey Chris B, read up on what Spencer W. Kimball said about it. It might enlighten you. By the way there has never been a ban against interacial marriage in the Mormon Church. It was just discouraged for possible cultural effects on children.

    My daughter is married to a Tongan. He's a great guy and I love him and his family. I also have the cutest grandchildren around.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:56 a.m.

    I think that your boy friend betrayed you from the beginning. He knew from the start what to expect from his parents. he was a lien to you all along than let his parents blow you off so he could be their little boy. He'll always be a young thing and cannot leave his mother.

  • Maleficent Waterville , ME
    June 10, 2014 9:01 p.m.

    43 years ago, my fiance and I, with a shared faith, met his parents. I left for bed. Then his parents expressed grave concerns: "she is from a divorced family". As he tentatively responded I realized I couldn't marry someone unable or unwilling to be true in the face of parental displeasure. Nor could I marry into a family that was unable or unwilling to see me as a distinct human being, but only as the damaged product of divorce. I believe he and his family learned a valuable lesson from that experience. Within 5 months he married my best friend and roommate, a remarkably brave young woman who left her deeply troubled divorced family and chose a new faith. 8 years later I married a wonderful divorced man whose family did not share values that we based our relationship on. Over the years, we have often reflected that we raised one another, leaving the traditions of our fathers to become more like the One we choose to follow. Take comfort that things will work out as you look for the good and keep your own side of the street clean.

  • Aunt Sue SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 10, 2014 6:59 p.m.

    Quite frankly, our Irish and English inbred genes could use new genes from somewhere else in the world!
    What I told my six children was to marry people with strong faith that they loved, from families where they liked both parents. I loved my husband, his mother and his siblings. His father? Nobody liked him. As my husband got older, he became more and more like his father. And his siblings? Their spouses all had to deal with the damages of the emotional abuse of this father.
    My oldest daughter had her heart broken by a faithful young man. His family did not like my daughter. She waited more years than she wanted to, but the man she married is so totally right for her. And her in-laws all love her.

  • BnBGobo99 Odenton, MD
    June 10, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    My wife and I had a similar situation--but we married anyways. 15 years later and the siblings all accept us, our friends accept us, and we've both learned a lot about living with each other's culture and background.

    Parents who don't accept a healthy relationship like Broken Heart are like family members who don't accept the Gospel when we become converts. We still love them, give them their space when they need it, pray that they come around in time, and welcome them with no bitterness or grudges when they finally do accept the Gospel.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    June 10, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    My wife and I are both Caucasian, but there was still so much culture clash between life as she was used to it and life as I was used to it, that the first year we were married we were both thinking of divorce. We didn't; we stayed together; and we found ways to make things work. Still, a biracial marriage would have the potential for YET MORE culture clash; that may be why some people avoid it. I personally didn't care; the first woman I fell in love with and wanted to marry was black; unfortunately for me, she had decided she would only marry a black man, so I lost out.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 10, 2014 12:06 p.m.

    To "Chris B" the LDS leaders have warned the church about cross-cultural marriages. Not because of any racial issues, but because the stress and difficulties of merging 2 cultures at the same time 2 people are learning to live with eachother.

  • crimendelsiglo Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    Angela asks a very important question: AGES
    i keep wondering what is going on in this "relationship"

    who are these people: "machure kids" or adults ?

    "girlfriend" ? or fiance ?

    you believe YOU love him

    you believe HE loves you

    or is it a "long-term" friendship between a boy and a girl that began in "kindergarten" ?

    the "boy-man" said a mouthful; HARKen to his words

  • Mexican_Vanilla_Love Centralia, WA
    June 10, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    I write on my blog Mexican Vanilla Love my experiences being in a biracial, bicultural, and bilingual marriage. My marriage has universal aspects, unique challenges, and great benefits that others don’t have the privilege to experience. It is my wish that others wouldn’t talk about how my marriage is more doomed to fail because I’m white and my husband is Mexican. In my opinion it is more likely to succeed because our cultural differences have strengthened us and made us a better team.

    As members of Christ’s church we should love all of God’s children but I have seen many instances where LDS families have rejected the idea of having someone of a different race or culture marry into their family. This disappoints me deeply. Clearly, the young man in the letter above does not have enough character to marry this young black woman. I would advise her to move on and find someone who will not only love her but stand up for her and their union together.

  • crimendelsiglo Spanish Fork, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    The Pharisees ... came unto him (Jesus), ... And he (Jesus) answered and said ..., Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and (JESUS) said, For this cause shall a MAN leave FATHER and MOTHER, and shall cleave to his WIFE: and they twain shall be one flesh? Therefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man (mother or father) put asunder.

    this isn't abt race or culture, rather being adult, responsibility for one's actions, beliefs, thoughts, feelings

    move to chile for job, health, or adventure in creating your own life, and see if their opinions are still important at 10K miles distance

    have an ADULT son or daughter? let him/her be an adult exercising responsibility for his/her choices. fiance-fiancee are not accountable to mommy-daddy, pappa-granny, etc. parent should advise, but NO Guilt Trips allowed

    Count Yourself Blessed in this circumstance
    hoping for your happiness but not necessarily with him

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    June 10, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    You have only two choices dear heart! Because you cannot choose to not be black - I'm so sad you feel that way. Heavenly Father made Black Orchids so we wouldn't have to only look at white orchids. But your only two choices as I see it: 1) The boyfriend will have to stand up to his family and if necessary get them and their racist attutudes out of your lives. 2) Find a different boyfriend who loves you for who you are. Racist don't get better, it usually gets worse! Don't be made to feel "less than"

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 10, 2014 9:34 a.m.

    Dear Broken Heart: Your boyfriend did NOT break up with you because of your race--but because he valued his parents' approval more than his own judgment. Parents will pressure an adult child to forsake their sweetheart if they don't judge said person to meet their expectations. The excuse can be race or age or religion or job or which side of the tracks the family grew up on.

    If you had married this guy, you would be constantly subject to the inlaws' meddling. Where you two lived. If you were "allowed" to work, and at what job. If you were "allowed" to go to college or to get an advance degree. If you were "allowed" to make more money than him. Whether or not you chose to have children or how many of them or whether you would breast feed or how you potty trained or if you wanted to send them to preschool or homeschool (or not).

    You dodged a bullet. Please don't ever look back.

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    June 10, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    I would recommend the movie "Belle" to this girl for a beautiful portrayal of a girl faced with a similar situation centuries ago. It's based on a true story, very touching and thought provoking.

  • BlakeR St Joseph, MI
    June 10, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Chris B, I am always cautious when some one says "go see what past prophets have said about that". Although not a terrible thing to do, but be cautious. First, they are dead, and that status means what they said is less relevant to what those who are living are saying today. Second, if what those who are dead taught is relevant and stands the test of time, you will find those prophets who are living quoting from them and promoting those same positions today. I am not aware of any teaching from living prophets that would suggest that one should not date or marry outside of our own race. So, it begs the question: Why aren't living prophets teaching that? With regard to some issues of our day, it is good advise to let dead prophets die and pay attention to the teaching of living prophets. And the living prophets will introduce us to the most relevant and helpful teachings of dead prophets and, conversely, will shield us from some the more extreme teachings of dead prophets by not repeating them (and admittedly, there is some of that in our history).

  • BlakeR St Joseph, MI
    June 10, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    Angela, I love your column –don’t let anyone discourage you in it! This question and your response is particularly helpful. Too many, particularly in our LDS culture and faith, quickly say and assume of themselves (in words) that they are not racist or bigoted in any way. In my experience, racism and bigotry are always rooted in, and thrive in ignorance. And ignorance, more than anything else, is a factor of our experience. It would be rare for one with limited experience (limited exposure or interaction with others of different races and backgrounds)to not have some measure of bias --just by virtue of their ignorance. This young man's parents probably do not see themselves as racist (even after this experience)but this experience (perhaps their first time ever having to deal with such an issue) clearly exposes both their ignorance and the racism that has grown there. Angela, your sharing this is helpful to all to consider just how they would handle this situation and explore just how deep our personal ignorance goes before painful personal experience, like this one, exposes that for us. Loved your response! Thanks for that!

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    June 10, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    Cultural issues more than race issues are a big factor in interracial relationships. If a person of one race is raised in the culture and race of another, I think they would have less of an issue than if they married someone from the race / culture that they were raised in verses one that more closely aligned with their race / color. (I hope this makes sense).

    I do know that there are issues that many have with interracial marriages. I have cousins that adopted children of other races and our grandmother expressed some concern about this in private. I corrected her that this wasn't what Jesus taught or the LDS church teaches today. I think she was a little shocked that I had no issues with the adoptions and the children growing up and marrying with in the community.

    I have daughters and I would be very concerned about them marrying someone from different races if not raised in the Gospel, not because of different races per se, but what we have seen as a prevalent attitude among many of different races in the US to women and morals. Still I would be supportive.

  • Br. Jones East Coast, MD
    June 10, 2014 7:25 a.m.

    MJF: there's a difference between parents saying, "Make sure you understand the challenges you might face in a marriage like this," and saying, "What will people think at family reunions?" The first is a reasonable point, and not necessarily tied to race or color (as Bifftacular also discussed). The second is naked racism, and shameful.

  • caveguy Sequim, WA
    June 10, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    Race may be the excuse this family is using, but this sort of thing is not always race-based. I married the girl of my dreams 43 years ago, against the wishes of my mother (who never liked the girl I loved). We moved away from the family and created out own family in an environment of total commitment to each other and genuine love. My advice, if this guy is so tied to his mama's apron strings that he would allow this to happen, he isn't worth a second glance. Would he stand up and defend you no matter what happens in life? I suspect not. I'm inclined to give him a chance to reconsider his position, but I'm not sure he's strong enough to make a decision and then stick to it forever without glancing back toward his family and having second thoughts somewhere down the road. I think it's best to leave him looking at your taillights.

  • Casey See FLOWER MOUND, TX
    June 10, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    Donn,

    I think that you are commenting on a different article.

  • MJF Somewhere in Time, UT
    June 9, 2014 11:36 p.m.

    Marriage is difficult enough without additional pressures. I think everyone here is being very politically correct about this subject, but I have seen many interracial couples that have had many more struggles than they would have otherwise. Many have said that if they had it to do over, they wouldn't do it. I wish this woman all the best, but anyone who goes into this realm is setting him/herself for a lot of hurt.

  • donn layton, UT
    June 9, 2014 9:36 p.m.

    RE: Sports Are Great, Even if they are legit - it seems that the "shock factor":

    I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.(1 Nephi 11:13), and he did smile upon them again; and behold they were white, even as Jesus.(3Nephi 19:30)
    The Doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith…we all it is due to his teaching that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood. The Way to perfection, pp 110-111, Joseph Fielding Smith. Yet,
    ,
    “ behold, a(black Christian) man of Ethiopia,(Acts 8:27) Ethiopians are mentioned 40 times in the Bible, a Jeremiah asked, "Can the Ethiopian change his skin ..." (Jer 13:23).
    "Simeon” a black Christian man( Acts 13:1).

  • Scott H Ogden, UT
    June 9, 2014 7:34 p.m.

    When you marry your spouse you also marry your spouse's family. I remember when a close friend broke up with his fiancee. He felt that he loved her, but the more he interacted with her family the more he realized that he could not bring himself to have them as in-laws. Another friend married despite the disapproval of her in-laws-to-be. Now, years later it has all worked out. But she has always felt less than full approval from her in-laws.

    A family member had some of his children marry spouses that he felt were less than ideal. But he told me that once a child has made a decision, the parents' only options are to either seek to improve the relationship or else to make it worse.

    I'm as dubious about the comments against inter-cultural marriage as I am about opposition to interracial marriage. My parents came from dramatically different cultures, countries, and languages. Yet they have provided a wonderful life for me and my siblings.

  • fani wj, UT
    June 9, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    If he can't face up to his own family, he ain't worth your time

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 9, 2014 5:44 p.m.

    I've heard a very similar story, about a beautiful girl of African ancestry that all the guys in a student ward thought was gorgeous, but they wouldn't date her because of what their parents might think. This was in the past five years.

    I thought that stuff was behind us.

    My own experience has been fascinating. I left the LDS church in the 70s primarily because of the racial issues, married an African American woman in the late 80s, and we have four wonderful children. One of our sons decided to become LDS, which I wasn't crazy about, but I supported him and continue to support him.

    The LDS Stake President at the time tearfully told me I had no idea how much healing my son would do within the Church *because* of his skin color.

    I was dumbfounded by that remark, but I suppose it makes sense, given the history, perhaps some collective and individual misgivings, etc.

    Progress is definitely uneven.

    Angela - I think your column is great. Keep up the good work.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 9, 2014 5:17 p.m.

    This girls "race" is none of the families business. If they don't love their son enough to embrace and love the wife of his choosing it's their problem. They have no business even sharing their opinion as narrow and bigoted as it may seem.
    I feel sorry for anyone that marries and conducts their lives on the wants and wishes of "mom and dad".

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    June 9, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    Someone needs to watch "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." It's a dreadful shame that almost 50 years later this is still an issue.

  • Shane333 Cedar Hills, UT
    June 9, 2014 3:05 p.m.

    Skin color itself shouldn't matter. Now, there might be cases where cultural differences could cause or exacerbate relationship issues, but ethnic DNA or skin color shouldn't be a stumbling block. Cultural differences could happen even between people of the same skin color.

    I can understand how some families might have strong feelings about interracial marriage. Hopefully they will move past such things and learn to value people for their character more than the color of their skin.

    In regards to the girl dumped by her boyfriend because of race, it isn't a reflection on her personal character or qualities. Move on and find someone else who values your character and isn't hung up on skin-deep issues.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    June 9, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    I dont' have a problem with race at all but I honestly might have a problem with my child marrying someone of another culture. Not because I think I'm better than anyone else- not at all. Simply because there are a lot of inherent issues to overcome in a marriage as it is between people of the same culture (religion, economics, philosophies on child raising, etc etc) without also trying to deal with the differences (that can be mild to stark) between cultures such as sense of humor, language barriers, food differences, what family time means, how free time is spent, food differences, etc etc. The list is endless. By the way, different cultures can be and often are between people of the same skin color. Can people make those differences work? Sure. Some can but I wouldn't recommend it for my own child. No doubt some will be quick to say I'm a racist and if they do, they didn't read or understand what I'm saying. I've travelled to many other countries and cultures and anyone who says we are all alike has their head in the sand.

  • let's roll LEHI, UT
    June 9, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    Not sure why anyone would question the authenticity of the advice sought in this column. I think someone got up on the wrong side of the bed. Can't say that I've seen every one, but I've seen quite a few and each one has raised an issue that I think is fairly common-place.

    As for his one, family hand-wringing about interracial relationships has been going on forever.

    Thirty-five years ago both of my parents counseled me not to enter into an interracial marriage, emphasizing that it would cause me, my wife and any children from the marriage unnecessary hardship because of what others thought and how we might be treated.

    Didn't seem like a very good reason at the time (after all I'd grown up in areas of the country where Mormons were a small minority, so wasn't much concerned about others who chose to "look down" at me).

    Thirty-five years, four children and six grandchildren later, I'm happy to report all's well. I know my parents are glad I didn't choose to take their advice.

    We all need to have experiences that help us grow.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    Well, haven't Mormons been taught to marry within their race?

    And before anyone attempt to deny it, I'd suggest you go study what some of your past "prophets" have said.

  • Br. Jones East Coast, MD
    June 9, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    For what it's worth, I dated an LDS girl whose parents had a similar reaction to my own ethnicity. Her brother briefly dated a woman of color: same reaction. Decades later, gotta tell you: we dodged a bullet by not marrying into that family. Thank goodness.

    The letter writer doesn't even need to swear off interracial relationships: just understand that you still find people like this, and you should not let their opinions reflect on your worth as a person or an LDS woman. Plenty of other level headed folks out there.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    June 9, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    I find it funny that Angela might not think that one's family's opinion about one's future spouse might matter. The family's clearly wrong, but the approval of parents is a HUGE factor in serious dating.

    Usually among the LDS it's not the race, but their activity in the church that is the distinguishing factor as to whether the family gets behind their child's choices.

    Personally I think great things can happen by breaking down preconceptions and standing up for the ones we love, and also tolerating our family's odd predelictions as well.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    June 9, 2014 1:21 p.m.

    Evidently these so-called traditional family values folks don't know their European genealogy or their own DNA too well. In European Royal circles, it was quite common to marry off your third or fourth son or any daughter to the Royalty in adjacent Countries. If one traces British Royalty from the Middle ages one line at least ends up in the Islamic Sultanate in Majorca in the 800s. Who I would imagine were only a generation removed from North Africa. The Roman Empire were also masters of enslaving nations and carrying them off to some place or another in their Empire. Whose to say there weren't African servants in Londinium after the Roman Legions overran most of England after Julius Caesar and their descenadants DNA resides in the UK still. The Black Irish? Dear LW, I recommend you catch the movie, "Belle", whose future husband values her as a equal if not a superior. That is the type of guy you want to marry.

  • Sports Are Great Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2014 1:12 p.m.

    Angela,

    I have to say these columns are some of the poorest "Ask" columns I've ever read. I doubt the authenticity of some of the questions and even if they are real, I've never seen such cherry picking of the most bizarre questions from any sort of "ask" columns in my entire life. I know you really want the viewership, but there is a way to do that through quality advice and thought provoking questions, rather than pick these outrageous questions I call into question for real in the first place. Even if they are legit - it seems that the "shock factor" is really all this column has going for it.

    Anyone can copy and paste shocking titles like that.

    Just some food for thought Angela

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 9, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    "I’m ashamed to admit that right now I wish I wasn’t black. I hate being deemed “not good enough” because of it."

    ------------------

    You got it backward. If he would do that to you, he's not good enough for you. You deserve a REAL man, not someone like him.