Vai's View: 2 stories on LDS priesthood stand in contrast to each other

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  • Katiebugg Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2012 10:23 p.m.

    Yes Vai,

    As educated people, we realize that your blogs are just your opinions. We were merely stating ours: namely, that your logic regarding Norm Chow being a coaching branch of Kyle Whittingham was illogical and that you seem to have an ax to grind when it comes to Bronco Mendenhall. Most of the comments you received were to that effect. Perhaps then, it would be wise for you to think about those comments and question what it is in your blogs that have led so many of your readers to see it that way, rather than to simply dismiss us.

  • Deep Thoughts Salt Lake City, UT
    March 5, 2012 3:58 p.m.

    It seems like Vai spent a lot of effort touting his credentials to us as a "journalist" when he first started writing for the DN. So why he should be surprised that folks hold him to that is baffling. Whether a journalist or just an opinionated blogger, the logic flaws were pointed out by his readers. Regardless of which banner he chooses to write under, journalist or blogger, his "arguments" were simply and ridiculously flawed.

  • hmataele West Valley City, 00
    March 5, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    I actually took a class before I went on my mission from Bro. Bott. He taught the exact opposite in his class from what he is quoted as saying. He shared experiences of why it didn't work to justify or make excuses. He even recieved a letter from Pres. Hinkley who told him not to allow his Elders to make excuses or use Mormon Doctrine. I don't know what happened during the interview. I'm sure he was recorded. He always told us to apologize and say we don't know, then to share pure testimony of what we did know. I did exactly that during my mission and the spirit did the rest. I'm not making excuses for him, but I do think that there is more to this story. I loved Bro. Bott and his class. There's a reason he has been at BYU for so long. He gives amazing lectures. If these were truly his thoughts I am sure the University would have already corrected him.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    March 4, 2012 8:03 p.m.

    I feel it is time that people stop calling the ban a mistake. To see why many of you should read President Hickley's TEACHINGS and gain an understanding of what President Kimball and the Quorum of the Twelve went through to open the Priesthood to all worthy male members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How many of you realize that racial tensions were still high in this country in 1971, just three years after the assassination of Martin Luther King in Tennessee? Did you know that all new recruits had to go to racial classes during boot camp? Check your records to see when the FIRST African American was promoted to a General/Admiral in the armed forces. Ten years after the assassination in June of 1978 is when the revelation was given to President Kimball. His predecessors all sought the same answer but received nothing compared to what happened in June 1978. As Elder Holland stated, "We don't know when it was instituted or why, but we know when it ended". It was commanded by the Lord for whatever reason. It was then reversed by the Lord for whatever reason. It is the Priesthood of God, not man therefore it is up to him who is allowed to hold that priesthood. I think this story brings this out quite well.

  • Cougar Blue N. Las Vegas, NV
    March 4, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    Why the consternation of Brother Bott? He said absolutely nothing that hasn't been taught to us from day one of our existence. So you are suggesting he, and by extenssion, the rest of us hide behind a rock? Shame on you. If we taught it, and we did, and it appeared in manuals then for heaven's sake we must own up to it. But this pussyfootin' around the subject really makes us look like country bumpkins. If it's embarrassing, then it is what it is. What is more so is the wiggling around trying to get our from under the rock while maintaining a smile on our faces.

  • Yorkshire City, Ut
    March 4, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    One thing I wanted to point out was the fact that the column is called "Vai's View"

    Whether he is a "journalist" according to some, or not--it is refreshing that he states what he does as his opinion and his "view".

    In huge contrast to so many other so-called "journalists" who unendingly, in this "Mormon Moment" promote, pass off, or insist that what are merely their views--are actually the "facts" about Mormons.

  • Mayfair City, Ut
    March 4, 2012 5:56 a.m.

    Having followed the progression of the quest for land/and ground breaking in Philly for a Temple the past few years, I was already familiar somewhat with President Ahmad S. Corbitt.

    I had read up on him and was very heartened by what I learned, and grateful for his efforts and voice for the Church. And is now very interesting to read more about him and to read Vai's impression of him.

    Thanks Vai for a great story--and more importantly, the message behind it.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    March 3, 2012 5:55 p.m.

    @ Heater: Nice post. Agreed. Especially the part about the Philly Cheese. Come out here and I'll buy the fry sauce!

    @ Henry Drummond: Well said. Let's tell the stories of how we're doing now, not the stories that try to rationalize our past mistakes. We made them, we corrected them, and now we're trying to avoid the potential pitfalls that face us now. And we're making fine progress!

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 3, 2012 4:36 p.m.

    I don't know if Vai is a journalist or a blogger, but he is a fine and fair-minded writer.

    The think the civil rights era is a great story. It is a story of a generation that inherited racial attitudes that were very deeply ingrained and managed to change. Only the most closed-minded individual would fail to see the progress of the last fifty years. Mormons were part of that story and we should not run away form it. Many of my students come from war-torn parts of the world where people continue to fight racial battles that started thousands of years ago. One young man pointed out to me how remarkable it is that America is capable of changing and resolving these issues rather than perpetuating them generation after generation. That is the story we should be telling.

  • Heater BALA CYNWYD, PA
    March 3, 2012 2:28 p.m.

    Old Coug - I referred to him as a journalist because he happens to be a journalist who is writing a blog. It's probably to Vai's credit that you consider his blogs journalism - but just because the DN runs it on their web page, doesn't automatically "morph" his opinions, musings, journal entries... into "journalism." Vai is a journalist in Philly, but by definition, his blogs and any other blogs, even if on a major newspaper's website, wouldn't be considered "journalism" in a court of law or even by reasonable standards. I ask again, do readers and the DN hold Carmen Rasmussen to the same journalistic standards they hold Lee Benson? The answer would be NO. That said, the first missive was yours when you called him "prideful." I don't always agree with Vai either but I like that he's willing to express his sometimes unpopular opinions. Like you, I do enjoy a vigorous debate and I must say, this one between us is respectable. If you came to Philly, I'd buy you a cheese steak at Pat's or Geno's. Cheers.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    March 3, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    @ Heater: Even old people know what a blog is. But a blog published in a newspaper morphs into a newspaper article and the author is a journalist (you rightfully referred to Vai as a journalist in your response). "If it walks like a duck...." Vai is a big boy and can defend himself. To your point about respecting his opinion: Of course I respect his opinion and his right to have one. I very much respect Vai Sikahema, the man. But I don't always agree with him. So, welcome to the open forum of ideas where honest, ethical, caring folks can disagree and do so vigorously, but not disrespectfully. To disagree is not the same as to disrespect. But calling people names? Well, "If it walks like a duck...."

  • Aloha Saint George Saint George, Utah
    March 3, 2012 1:06 p.m.

    The first I thought of when I heard about the BYU article was 'Bad Idea' for two reasons. Number one; he's White. Number two, he's at BYU- a WHITE school.

    Blacks in the priesthood and polygamy History are hot topics that will stir the pot. Issues about the African Americans and the Church will always be better tolerated from a African American who is a representative from the Church.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    March 3, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    Vai is right. Randy Bott is a good man. But, he used incredibly bad judgment in even getting involved in this article. He should have NEVER issued any opinions about the history or the reasons for the priesthood ban. These subjects are only to be addressed by the leadership and should NEVER be addressed by ANY member--even a religion professor. This is really too bad because Randy Bott was named the most popular professor in the United States a couple of years ago. Now, he has taken a hard fall. It's really too bad.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    March 3, 2012 11:35 a.m.

    Vai, I agree with all aspects of this column: your recognition of being nothing more than a blogger. You're a good man, and even though there have been things you've written about that I haven't agreed with, that's what I keep in mind-- you're doing nothing more than offering your personal opinion based on your vast and varied life experience. I agree with your assessment of Bro. Bott's comments & your thoughts of Pres. Corbitt, who I met years ago at Aspen Grove and was impressed with him humble nature back then. Keep your blogs and your opinions coming. YouÂre more than offer fresh perspectives to DN readers.

  • Heater BALA CYNWYD, PA
    March 3, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Old Cougar - you must be OLD, because you don't understand what a "blogger" is. Derived from "weblog" - which is to say, it's a journal written specifically for the web. Doesn't matter if it's Carmen Rasmussen writing about pop culture, the Eyers writing about parenting or Vai writing about sports and the LDS priesthood. You really think the DN holds Carmen Rasmussen to the same journalistic standards they hold Lee Benson? I watch Vai on TV in Philly and he's a respected journalist in our city and you might appreciate he's even more respected for his standards and people know he's Mormon. His first paragraph merely points out it's his opinion - not that he's right. I don't always think he's right, but he's opinionated and I respect that as should you.

  • Vin Harrisville, UT
    March 3, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    That WaPo article certainly wasn't a hatchet job. They've been consistently fair in how they've treated Mormonism lately.

    The fact of the matter is that Bott's views aren't rare, it's just very embarrassing to have them expressed publicly. Of course, the Church could easily remedy this situation if it wanted. I suspect that Thursday's press release, while a great step in the right direction, won't be enough. Bott was merely parroting ideas that have been clearly taught in the past by the highest ranks of church leadership--ideas which have not been specifically recanted.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    March 3, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    We just need to acknowledge that Pres. Kimball, like many in the church who love all of God's children, was uncomfortable with the "blacks and the priesthood" policy. Because of his discomfort, he sought God's guidance. As a prophet, he received it: Withholding the priesthood from any worthy male was wrong. So, as a prophet, he removed the restriction and the church has been blessed abundantly since then.

    However, we Mormons will still take the heat for a policy that appears wrong to the world...and was wrong. I served my mission in Brazil from 1969 to 1971. June 8, 1978 is one of the happiest days of my life. I shed tears of joy when I heard the announcement of the revelation. I knew the growth of the church in Brazil would be dynamic following Pres. Kimball's revelation and I have thanked Heavenly Father abundantly since then for Pres. Kimball's courage and inspiration. Let's not make excuses or elaborate doctrinal explanation's about the former policy. Let's just acknowledge it was wrong, but now it's fixed and move on.

    Peace, Vai. Good article...except for the first paragraph! :) Go Cougs!

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 3, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    The fact remains that many people are not going to be fine with just condemnation of racism and condemnation of the racist reasons people give for the priesthood ban being in place. They want one more thing... condemnation of the ban itself. They want the church to say that it was wrong and a bigoted thing for the church to ever have had that ban in place. The church hasn't done that, they only assert that they don't know the reasons that the ban was in place, not that the ban was wrong to have. So as long as the church tries to walk the line between condemning racism and not condemning the priesthood ban itself, there's going to be people left unsatisfied.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    March 3, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    Translation of first paragraph: I'm right, you're not. I know what I'm talking about, you don't. Now on to a different point: A blogger, whose blog is published in a major newspaper, must be held by his readers to high journalistic standards...because such a blogger IS a journalist.

    Someone's pride is showing.

  • Timp South Jordan, UT
    March 3, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    I"ve read the Washington's Post article... Now why was it a hatchet job?? It's a relevant issue as the LDS church was one of the last to respond to the Civil Rights Movement. The possible President of the United States is of that faith. The only official explanations on it were at that time or earlier as everything since that time frame is not clear from the LDS authorities (which is fine). They quote a prominent BYU religious professor from the Church's school but his pretty clear statements are "out of context"??

    It is what it is. No cunning plan to trick Bott was employed. Time to understand why many outside the faith have criticisms of the policy that was official until nearly 1980.

  • donn layton, UT
    March 3, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    2[3] stories on LDS priesthood stand in contrast to each other.

    By 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.

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    March 3, 2012 8:59 a.m.

    Another great article. Vai takes a lot of heat for telling the truth. Byu fans have been especially hard on Vai because he has the courage to point out a few of the numerous problems with byu athletics and its current leadership.

    Vai, don't let the byu fans bring you down. Keep telling the truth.

  • Heater BALA CYNWYD, PA
    March 2, 2012 11:06 p.m.

    Yo Economeister, this "guy" is enormously successful in two careers - football and TV - and judging by the number of people who read him on DN, is probably one of the most successful contributers to DN. Don't know what you do, maybe you're Warren Buffett, but I doubt you've had the success Vai has had in your field, much less TWO. But if you are, then submit something to DN so we can also benefit from your ramblings. Until then, zip it.

  • Economist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2012 10:05 p.m.

    does this guy actually have a point or he's just paid to ramble...

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    March 2, 2012 9:15 p.m.

    If I could pick and choose, Vai would be my go-to guy.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    March 2, 2012 8:57 p.m.

    One of the great moments of my marriage was a very were years after the 1978 change in the church's allowing blacks in the priesthood. My daughter had dated a youn fellow a couple of times and his mother came to tell us he had a black father. My wife's immediate reaction was: He's a member of the church.

    That was more imprtant than his racial heritage.

  • Zona Zone Mesa, AZ
    March 2, 2012 8:12 p.m.

    Got to love Vai!!

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    March 2, 2012 6:46 p.m.

    "It's a subject at which the media love to poke and prod, especially if it can weaken a possible Republican nominee." Spooken like an LDS GOP partisan. How on earth do you know that the purpose of the piece was to slam your beloved Republican Party?

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    March 2, 2012 6:41 p.m.

    It can't be a hatchet job when he put the same thing on his blog.