Genesis members, others respond to LDS racism statement

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    March 16, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    "I had the promise, years ago, that I never should apostatize and bring an evil upon this people. God revealed that through Joseph, long before he died; and if I am not doing right, you may calculate that the lord is going to take me home." -Brigham Young

    If any prophet would lead His church astray, He would take them before they could. There is no way for us to know why the ban was put in place. But hey, if you believe you're intelligent enough to question and/or judge a perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being, have at it! I hope it works out for you.


    Perhaps allowing blacks to hold the Priesthood at that time would have brought considerable damage or destruction upon His church by the considerable number of actual racists in the country? Wasn't one of the reasons the early saints were driven from Nauvoo because they accepted and treated blacks as equals? Food for thought.

  • Tom Cottonwood Heights, UT
    March 16, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    I am a life long believing member of The LDS Church. Everyone of my ancestors on both sides of the family came to the Salt Lake Valley in either handcarts or covered wagons. I do not believe that the priesthood ban was inspired by God. One of the tenets of our faith is found in the 9th article of faith of our church, ÂWe believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things. God's work with the Church is an ongoing thing. The priesthood ban was an unfortunate thing. I believe it was repudiated by the official statement the church released that says Âwe condemn all racism both within and without of the church. That may not be enough for some, but I believe in a living church and being up to date and that many things should be relegated to history due to the fact that we had less understanding in the past. That does not excuses anyone but there is always a trial of faith. I apologize to my brothers of African decent for the past of my ancestors.

  • Larry Lawton Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    March 9, 2012 12:22 a.m.

    May I join the speculation? I've sometimes wondered if the ban on blacks holding the priesthood was a matter of God waiting until we were ready to live up to our own teachings about race. I am old enough to remember how racist our society really was even as recently as the 1970s. In those days, we owned a home that should not have been sold to us, for the restrictive covenants banned ownership to anyone but "white members of the Protestant faith." We were white, but no one would think Mormons were Protestant! Of course, court decisions made the ban unenforcable, but the subdivision was not that old, and located in the Rocky Mountain west, not the deep south.If God is not in the business of embarrassing His earthly leadership, He might have thought it prudent to wait 'til the accusations of racism died down. As one who lived through those times, by 1978, the church could change policy with only the silliest critics shouting that we were caving in to political correctness.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    March 8, 2012 1:02 p.m.

    Sarah Nichole, your quote strikes me as a dodge.

    The problem here is that the Church leaders admittedly don't know either. My first quote alluded to that, God reveals his will. Joseph Smith directed the ordination of Bro. Abel, an African American. However, at that time there was no formal revelation about racial restrictions to the priesthood. Brigham Young made it clear that there are restrictions in place, yet there is no formal revelation published for that either. After Young's death, the subsequent administration faced the question again. They researched where the ban came from, but like the current administration, came up empty. Again, no revelation was recorded that directed their decision. (See "MormonismÂs Negro Doctrine: An Historical Overview" by Lester Bush in Dialogue Magazine)

    Amos's promise about prophets, coupled with the latter-day promise that the prophet won't lead the church astray, makes me scratch my head on this issue. Even if the ban was merely policy, it led the Church down a racist path that deprived a large portion of his children from the blessings of service and participation. How is that not leading the Church astray?

  • Sarah Nichole West Jordan, UT
    March 8, 2012 11:49 a.m.

    @ Searching . . .

    Since we're sharing scriptures, try this one: D&C 58:3. "Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things..."

    There are a great many things that we don't know yet. Heavenly Father always answers our prayers, but sometimes that answer is "not yet." Sometimes we have to wait for the answer or explanation to come on the Lord's time. His ways are not our ways, and judging His ways by 21st Century standards is not fair. We do not have a perfect knowledge of all things.

    And when He doesn't see fit to give us answers yet, all we can do is pray for increased understanding, so that eventually we can be ready to know the truth, and for increased patience and acceptance, so that we can endure the wait.

    I don't know the origins of the priesthood ban or the reasons behind it, but I know that I'll find out eventually. I trust in the Lord, and that's all I need right now.

  • manaen Buena Park, CA
    March 8, 2012 11:21 a.m.

    @ Riverton Cougar, please consider two statements:

    Your affirmative,
    "God was the one who put the ban in place, not us. So if you have an issue with it, take it up with Him, not us. God was the one who put the ban in place, not us."

    vs. the LDS Church last week,
    "At some point the Church stopped ordaining male members of African descent, although there were a few exceptions. It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended."

    You claim to know why the ban came: from God. GodÂs Church says thatÂs not known. What are we to do about your disagreement with the ChurchÂs statement?

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    March 8, 2012 12:46 a.m.

    @Searching ... Good reply. Challenging. I'm not sure the quotes you refer to promise complete knowledge of anything asked, else we'd have the potential to know everything in totality, all at once, which is neither possible nor desirable.

    God's ways are not our ways. He reserves the right to forgive anyone He chooses, for example, but demands that we forgive everyone. I don't know why He can but I can't, but practicing that admonition takes most of my time when the subject is forgiveness.

    No, you don't misunderstand the quotes at all, it seems to me. But maybe a bit more context is required. I'm not certain. Your post requires more thought still. Bravo.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    March 7, 2012 7:57 p.m.

    So God put the ban in place and not men who run the church?

    Or was it men who put the ban in place and blame God for putting it in place?

    Either way, it is a racist doctrine (or policy if you want to make it seem less inspired).

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    March 7, 2012 7:52 p.m.


    How do you know that "Church Leadership" speaks for God? Who says so? You?

    What about the Pope? What about Billy Graham? What about Joel Osteen, what about other preachers and church and religious leaders?

    See that is the whole point of this argument. Every one believes their respective church's leaders speak for God.

    It is clear to me that the policy to ban blacks from having the priesthood was in fact DOCTRINE of the LDS church that was followed very closely and taught even in Sunday School classes and seminary and institute classes as DOCTRINE and not as a policy.

    Whether it was a policy or doctrine however doesn't matter. The fact is, the LDS church banning blacks from the priesthood was bonafide racism.

  • Thinkman Provo, UT
    March 7, 2012 7:24 p.m.

    And we still don't know how or why the LDS church banned blacks from getting the priesthood?

  • Mark Calkins Orem, UT
    March 7, 2012 6:50 p.m.

    BYU leaders need to crack down on professors giving their own opinions like Randy Bott did to the media. He clearly is NOT a spokesperson for the LDS church.. If it were my decision, professor Bott would be fired over his incredibly rascist comments which give an extremely poor perception of Church.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    March 7, 2012 6:26 p.m.

    I have been a member since 1959. I have never heard a racist statement from the pulpit in ward meeting, stake meeting, general conference or for that matter in the various ward meetings. In 1963 there was one black family in Utah Co. Now we have two mixed families in our ward and they are well loved. Isn't it time we tried to get over this stuff and keep harping on it. These black members in the article are absolutely wonderful.

  • guswetrust Cebterville, Utah
    March 7, 2012 5:04 p.m.

    to annewandering - do you really think the ban was lifted due to a commandment from God - or a law of the people? Open your eyes and ears. And I do agree, it would have been great to have had that singing like took place today, in a ward meeting. We need it. Even when the Tabernacle Choir tries singing a black gospel song, it just isn't moving. The African American soloists they use are great and moving and sing the songs like they were meant to be sung.

  • Southern California Redondo Beach, CA
    March 7, 2012 2:45 p.m.

    Much ado about nothing.

  • Searching . . . Orem, UT
    March 7, 2012 1:40 p.m.

    annewandering: How can the church leaders tell us why it was a ban when we havent been told why? Should they just make something up to make everyone happy?

    Moontan: There are some things we just aren't going to understand this side of Heaven.

    Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

    Matthew 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

    Moroni 10:5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

    Measuring eternity with a yardstick or not, these promises have been made. If Brigham Young asked God why the priesthood restriction was put in place, then we have the answer (he was quite vocal). If the current prophet wants to know the reason, he only needs to ask. Or do I misunderstand these verses?

    James 1: 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

  • manaen Buena Park, CA
    March 7, 2012 1:33 p.m.


    The LDS Church released a statement the day after BottÂs comments were published that they Âabsolutely do not reflect the ChurchÂs doctrine. To ask whether his comments were wrong is to ask whether the Church is wrong to denounce them.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 7, 2012 12:33 p.m.

    "Riverton Cougar
    Riverton, UT

    "God was the one who put the ban in place, not us."

    That's if you believe every prophet, including BY, ONLY spoke God's words and never let any of their own beliefs slip in.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    March 7, 2012 9:47 a.m.


    God was the one who put the ban in place, not us. So if you have an issue with it, take it up with Him, not us. A1994 is right; you either believe and trust in God, or you don't. It seems in this case that you believe God and the LDS church to be liars.

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    March 7, 2012 9:02 a.m.

    The issue of blacks and the priesthood has long been a "PR" problem for the church. George Albert Smith thought that LDS primacy ought to be readily apparent; it was not sufficient to appear "as good as" everyone else. However, to the outsider, this historical question has the appearance of plain-old bigotry.

    Speculation will always be problematic so long as the official answer is "we don't know." This is what the outsider hears: "We don't know why blacks couldn't hold the priesthood at a time when blacks were also denied many other things in this country, but be assured that _our_ reasons came from God and were therefore righteous, unbigoted, and beyond questioning."

    We suffered it, now we ought to know the reason for it. We are here for a purpose, not for the mysterious whims of a capricious God. Why don't we ask Him and find out? Then we can answer our critics. Oh, but the fear is that we are "unprepared" to accept the answer. Why? In the realm of possible answers, we can't conceive of any that don't sound like plain-old bigotry. Simple fact: something related to race once disqualified blacks from the priesthood.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    March 7, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    To : John Pack Lambert , I will be the first to denounce Bott's statements as false and misguided. Are they?
    Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called the black man), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul.(Acts 13:1 NLT)
    For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile, the same Lord is Lord of All and richly blesses All who call on him, for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord WILL BE SAVED(Roman 10: 10-12).
    God is ¦ the King eternal, immortal, INVISIBLE, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1Tim 1:17). Skin color is not an issue.
    (Genesis 7:10 JST), And there was a blackness came upon all the children of Cainan, that they were despised among all people. And (Genesis 7:22 JST) ,..all the seed of Adam save it were the seed of Cain; for the seed of Cain were black and had not a place among them. Now, Pharoah being of that lineage by which could not have the right of Priesthood¦(Abraham 1:27).

  • zer28 Ogden, UT
    March 7, 2012 8:06 a.m.

    I see people commenting that the Church needs to come out and state whether the ban was right or not, or explain it in sacrament meetings across the world so that every member understands the doctrine. But where would it stop? What other doctrines would the Church need to clarify for everyone over the pulpit?

    We don't come to church each week and discuss the deep doctrines of the gospel, or try to interpret God's reasoning behind HIS decisions. And why is that? Because not everyone is on the same level spiritually, and while some people would have no trouble understanding certain doctrines/concepts, others would not be able to comprehend them, which would lead to confusion.

    The Church teaches correct doctrines and principles that are essential for salvation, and then asks for members to apply those doctrines CORRECTLY in their own lives so that we can work out our own salvation. We should definitely gain all the knowledge we can in this life, but trying to hash out deep doctrines during our 3-hour block on Sundays with everyone will not lead to greater clarity on these issues.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    March 7, 2012 6:12 a.m.

    When we try to decide the ways and reasons of God, we're trying to measure infinity with a yardstick. A fairly presumptuous endeavor. There are some things we just aren't going to understand this side of Heaven. We should accept that fact and concern ourselves with the present, with things we can indeed understand.

    Want to know if the Church is racist? Go visit a ward meeting. Chances are you'll find a more diverse congregation than you'll find in any protestant church, and I was a protestant for 44 years.

    What announcement from the Church would satisfy anti-or-ex Mormons? None. Whatever the Church said about pre/post 1978 would be picked apart and criticized, because their agenda goes way deeper than concern for the treatment of minorities, if such concern really exists, which is highly doubtful. I find soap-boxers are generally more concerned with being heard than helping.

    The Church spends millions of dollars helping people without regard to race, and many minorities are recipients of that assistance. This speaks louder than crocodile tears over the past.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    March 7, 2012 2:37 a.m.

    I am a Member of this group by E-Mail, They are in my Fav Web Sites and I check in at least Monthly. If for some unknown reason I leave my rock and go to SLC and its meeting time I will go to a meeting.

    Living in Hawaii we don't put up with that stuff, The Islanders had the Priesthood the Micronesian sometimes did not.

    I do not think this is so much about Racism in the Church as much as it is to bring attention in a Negative way to Mitt's Faith Group in General.

    There is some Racism in all faith groups, this is why you have the AME and other Black Churches and the lift up their hands and sing Gospel Songs and the Whites go ah
    and point their finger and make comments. instead of just enjoying the music.

    My Institute Professor told me in 1990 that the Church was right then and it is right now. I accepted that answer.

    The problem is that we talk to people who do not understand or have even a concept of Revelation. There was one I head it and I believe the people who told me.

  • EnglishAlan Rugeley, Staffs
    March 7, 2012 1:27 a.m.

    What a welcome statement this week. For the life of me I have never understood how people in our day, and especially in the Church, can judge any person by the colour of their skin, their nation of birth, their sexual orientation, their physical stature or any other external features. I have always chosen my friends by the way they make me feel when I am around them. If they were purple and green, and came from Mars I would want them as friends if they make me feel good to be around them.

    For me, the Lord said it all in 1 Samuel 16:7.

    "7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

    If that is how the Lord looks at folks, and we are told in Alma 7:48, "But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever;" surely we should look upon each other with that same love that the Saviour has for each of us.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    March 6, 2012 8:18 p.m.

    Callmecrazy: The point is that God had his reasons for choosing to do what he did and more importantly I'm not privy to them.

  • Callmecrazy Salida, CO
    March 6, 2012 6:17 p.m.

    Scott Gordon of FAIR stated this:

    Myth #3: The best example to explain blacks not having the priesthood comes from the Levites. The Levites were able to hold the priesthood, while others were not. This shows how God restricts people of certain lineages from receiving the priesthood just like he did with blacks.

    While it may be true that Levites could hold the priesthood while others could not, it has little to do with this issue. The ancient practice where only one group is able to exercise the priesthood and work in the temple has little in common with modern times when everyone is able to hold the priesthood except for one group. Repeating this claim as an explanation doesnÂt provide adequate support for the argument, and the claim completely falls apart when we recognize that Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, William Smith, and Orson Hyde all ordained blacks to the priesthood in the 1830s and 1840s. The explanation is not helpful and can be hurtful.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    March 6, 2012 5:56 p.m.

    LValfre: As you may or may not be aware, God has a history of limiting those who hold priesthood authority. For example, in the Old testament only the Levites were allowed to hold the Aaronic priesthood. Was he biased against the rest of the House of Israel? Mmm . . . I doubt it, but I know he had his reasons which are at present not known.

  • metamoracoug metamora, IL
    March 6, 2012 5:20 p.m.

    I know Thom Reed. Swell guy with central Illinois roots!

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    I don't judge or generalize people based on their skin color.

    Please don't judge me based on my religious beliefs.

    The LDS Church never stated that its policies were to punish or to do anything wrong.

    Please don't put words in the Church's mouth. The church isn't putting words in yours.

    The best arguments are often the simplest ones.

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    March 6, 2012 4:39 p.m.

    "Henry Drummond
    San Jose, CA
    I think there are two important things to remember:

    1) Mormons in times past held views about blacks that seem astonishingly bigoted by today's standards.

    2) So did everyone else.

    Henry I completely agree. However, this wasn't about men being racist ... this was about God's discrimination against blacks getting the priesthood. If this is the only true church and only it's people are able to be sealed and have eternal life with their spouse and family ... then this is the most important thing in the world to every human being. Why would God not give that to blacks?

    We know how people thought .... but this was supposed to be God's word and was followed wholeheartedly for a very long time. If it wasn't God's word then the repeal of the ban could have happened sooner, perhaps before even the Civil Rights movement, due to the Mormon members own conscious about what's right and wrong.

    When you make something God's word to a group of followers of the faith ... they take it full stride and don't question it. After all it's God's word.

    I don't blame the members ... ever.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 6, 2012 4:07 p.m.

    I think there are two important things to remember:

    1) Mormons in times past held views about blacks that seem astonishingly bigoted by today's standards.

    2) So did everyone else.

    In the 1950s most states had laws preventing blacks from owning property in certain neighborhoods. Discrimination was widely practiced if not always legally sanctioned. Violence against blacks who tried to change these conditions was all too common.

    These attitudes were inherited from the past. Yet blacks and whites together altered society to the point that the rising generation can scarcely believe the actions and attitudes of the recent past could have ever happened. We should not run from our history. It teaches us that we can change. It affirms the hymn "We Shall Overcome" continues to be modern-day challenge and attainable goal.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 6, 2012 3:35 p.m.

    LastStand, I appreciate your comments, but if you understood the context of calling someone an Oreo, you would understand that it goes way beyond anecdotal curiosity about someone who is new to the scene. In the South, black people are not a curiosity, or something new. Inferring that someone is something more than their skin color would indicate.... along the lines of "you are doing good for a black person" can only be taken in so many ways. In the context of a school ground, you would expect such language. in the context of a church setting, you would expect a little more tact.

    As far as being stared at, that is nothing new. I travel the world regularly, including latin America and Asia. I am more than used to being the odd American. But in Utah, really? The fact that a mixed race family shows up to church should not be something that sends small children scurrying to the safety of their mothers. We have attended church in many corners of the world as my family gets to travel with me often, and no where is the reaction as strong as it is in my old home state.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    March 6, 2012 3:27 p.m.

    I very much appreciated this article. I think Christopher Rich's comments are well thought out, although I doubt they would change many views.

    Even though I will be the first to denounce Bott's statements as false and misguided, I hope we can turn this into a teachable moment that allows us to move to a better future.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 6, 2012 3:24 p.m.

    We live in a time of entitlement. Therefore many groups of people make martyrs of themselves for some kind of benefit. Over coming challenges has been replaced by whining and begging.

  • giantfan Farmington, UT
    March 6, 2012 3:10 p.m.


    You're free to believe what and how you want but for the Church Leadership to condemn this of the past is essentially to condemn God, since it's been stated over and over again by the same Church Leadership that the revelation from God to give the priesthood to blacks had not been given. Who are we to question God and his timing and reasons? I'm afraid that those out there that only seek to hurt the Church would have a field day with such a statement of condemnation that you are seeking. Hypocricy and sacrilege would be the key constituents of the mudslinging that would ensue.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 3:02 p.m.

    One thing I know I'll have to clarify, I know there was condemnation of racism in the past in that statement by the church. I mean that there was no condemnation of the priesthood ban itself which I consider to be a racist policy.

  • Last Stand Farmington, UT
    March 6, 2012 3:01 p.m.


    I served a mission in Mexico and I was constantly stared at by children who were not used to seeing a Gringo amongst them. Little kids would sit next to me during discussions and feel my arms to see if my skin felt different than their own. I was stared at all the time during sacrament meetings and I stuck out like a sore thumb wherever I went. I didn't mind and I certainly didn't think it a result of any racist feelings towards me or any sort of "attitudes of past generations". My guess is in the church today, any feelings of racism are more caused by the beholder than any real intent. My opinion is we would all be better off if we'd just let these things go and not let hurt feelings perpetuate where no malice was intended.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 2:55 p.m.

    "Why go there? Is it not enough that everyone is welcome and encouraged to pursue the priesthood?"

    Sometimes festering wounds need to be opened so that they can drain and heal. As I've said before, the problem is that there's no condemnation of the racist past. We look at history and say that slavery was wrong, Jim Crow was wrong, chasing the saints out of Missouri was wrong... but as long as there's no condemnation of the priesthood ban, then the church's position still includes the idea that the ban was correct. That's why this differs from all those other things. I should not and will not hold the actions of LDS members a century ago against LDS members today, but if you're going to hold a position that says "yes, that action to restrict the priesthood for a period of time was correct" then I can and will hold THAT against you.

    March 6, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    I am a U.S. citizen presently living in France where my wife and I are active in the LDS church. It is such a joy to be with our brothers and sisters from Guyana, France, Africa, Portugal, French Polynesia, Venezuela, Cambodia, Mexico, Austria, the U.S.A. and Belgium. We are all different shades here. It is such a blessing to be in a non-homogenous ward. Not that our previous wards in the States were not special in their own way, but this is very fulfilling!!!

  • annewandering oakley, idaho
    March 6, 2012 2:48 p.m.

    How can the church leaders tell us why it was a ban when we havent been told why? Should they just make something up to make everyone happy? What we do know is that the ban was lifted and it was lifted because God said to lift it. Sounds like a great idea to be happy for that.
    Maybe the thing to do now is to get past it. It is no longer there. It is mote. Whatever the reasons were they are not in effect anymore. Celebrate!
    Personally, and yes its just my opinion, I think it means God has decided we have grown up a bit in our understanding. How about if we follow through and show Him we have. ^^

  • CougarBlue Heber City, UT
    March 6, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    Dear ATL 134 was Moses a racist? Only, the male Levites were to hold the priesthood. There was no explanation as to this reasoning other than it came from God. Quit reading between the lines something that simply does not exist. God's ways are not our ways and our ways are not Gods ways. I assume you feel it is bigotry because women do not hold the priesthood.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    March 6, 2012 2:19 p.m.


    I suppose we could debate doctrine and scripture, but we wouldn't come to agreement. The Old Testament is rife with stories of what we call racism at God's command. Israel taking over Canaan comes to mind.

    It is important to remember that racism and bigotry happened and still happen. But demanding an official condemnation of the church against itself will do nothing to improve race relations. It happened. It ended. And now all races not only can hold the priesthood, but are encouraged to.

    The church was driven by government sanctioned mob from Missouri and Illinois. Property was stolen. People were murdered and jailed on false charges. But the church doesn't, today, demand reparations. It's counter productive. Why go and tear open old wounds? It only serves to stir people up against each other all over again. Why go there? Is it not enough that everyone is welcome and encouraged to pursue the priesthood?

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    March 6, 2012 1:22 p.m.

    I live in Hawaii and we simply do not put up with that sort of stuff.

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    March 6, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    For a greater understanding of this I recommend reading Keith Hamilton's book, "Last Laborer- Thoughts and Reflections of a Black Mormon." Great book with great perspective!

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 6, 2012 1:03 p.m.

    SLO, CA

    Some members will believe it a policy that mistakenly become institutionalized, and others will believe it doctrine communicated to prophets without an explanation.


    I believe it was policy morphed into practice.

    "We Believe a man will be punished for his own sins, and not for Adam's [or anyone else's] transgression."

    Declaration 2 was just making it absolutely clear .
    Some members - even with a Prophet, Pulpit, and Prayer - couldn't accept it.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 6, 2012 12:59 p.m.

    "The church could issue whatever proclamation or condemnation one could think of, and it would never satisfy the feelings of vengeance and retribution on the part of those calling for it."

    You are definitely speculating about what kind of person I am. I'm not after vengeance or retribution. Sure I left the church but I don't hate it. I'm just saying that as long as the church claims that the priesthood ban came from God (albeit for unknown reasons) there's going to be problems because to many people this suggests that the LDS view is that God was endorsing something along the lines of Jim Crow laws for whatever reason. If the church were to say that the policy was instituted by man, not God, and that it was a result of bigotry... then I'd be plenty happy and satisfied, but I don't think the church will do that since it would also mean admitting that Prophets can lead the church astray.

    "would you hope to accomplish by tearing open the past and having the church condemn its past presidents?"

    Closure on the issue.

  • Shuzzie53 HAYWARD, CA
    March 6, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    BlueDevil, in my ward your family would not be stared at except for people approaching you to welcome you. My ward is very diverse, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 6, 2012 12:54 p.m.

    One more thing.

    This is all being discussed on Deseret News and in other sources but there are many people/church members who will remain in the dark on this issue. There will still be people who will continue to hold onto past beliefs, teaching them to their family members or in classroom settings, unaware. The Church needs to make sure the record is set straight whether a statement read in General Conference or disseminated via local leaders to congregations. The statement needs to be absolutely clear ie this was a policy, not doctrine, without interviewing those who put it into place, we believe it probably wasn't correct but at least we know any attempt to justify or explain it is wrong.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 6, 2012 12:41 p.m.



    You hit the nail on the head, except is the Church really saying it was the right policy for the time? I guess since the Church isn't explicit in that regard then it is up to interpretation. Therein lies the problem. Continued confusion. Continued confusion whether the practice was a policy or doctrine. Whether the Church considers it a unfortunate practice that got institutionalized for a time or whether we are to believe it is what God intended communicated in some manner to his prophets.

    The reason this issue persists is the Church continues to communicate in unclear terms. My guess is this will continue to be debated. Some members will believe it a policy that mistakenly become institutionalized, and others will believe it doctrine communicated to prophets without an explanation.

  • A1994 Centerville, UT
    March 6, 2012 12:41 p.m.


    "Here's the sticking point. Forgiveness for the LDS priesthood ban will not be extended by many until the LDS church explicitly condemns the priesthood ban which they haven't done."

    The condemnation that you seek will never come because for people, like yourself, it would never be enough. The church could issue whatever proclamation or condemnation one could think of, and it would never satisfy the feelings of vengeance and retribution on the part of those calling for it. For people like LValfre, nothing less than rubbing the churches collective nose in it will ever do. And even then, he wouldn't forgive.

    The announcement ending the ban on blacks holding the priesthood cam 34 years ago this June. The church has several operating temples in Africa with African priesthood holders helping to run those temples. What, exactly, would you hope to accomplish by tearing open the past and having the church condemn its past presidents? Nobody is arguing that there weren't racist attitudes among members of the church. But either you believe the President of the Church is called and inspired by God, or you don't. It's not both ways.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    March 6, 2012 11:47 a.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" unfortunately the US in their efforts to eliminate racism have made us hyper sensitive to it.

    If you go to South America the people don't care about being called something that a person in the US would find derogitory.

    It is good to see that your kids can laugh it off, and hopefully they won't fall into the trap of allowing their race to define them.

  • ute alumni Tengoku, UT
    March 6, 2012 11:00 a.m.

    A lot of wisdom in Tamu's quotes. I am thankful that most people are like her and appreciate other's mistakes and are able to forgive and look beyond. Unfortunately many don't. Having lived in the south and northeast I have had the opportunity to have many close black friends. They truly are no different than anyone else and I am grateful for those that accept the Gospel and it's teachings. Good article.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    March 6, 2012 10:54 a.m.

    It is indeed a welcome trend, one long in coming. But today the attitudes of past generations die hard, and live often in their kids. Having my child referred to an Oreo in Sunday school class, and if you understand the significance of that statement, still boggles the mind. And while visiting a ward in Utah, having all the small children in the pews ahead of us turned around staring at my family as though they had never seen something like so odd, you can tell that much of the church isn't used to a diverse congregation. Fortunately my kids are used to it, and find it almost funny.... as a parent I find it less so.

    But hopefully, inside the church and out, we will get to the point where we judge people based on their charter, and understand that this is driven by far more than ones skin color, this will all become a moot point. But this is all headed in the right direction.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 6, 2012 9:52 a.m.

    "By the time they were singing the song's fourth and final stanza, the congregation  consisting mostly of black Latter-day Saints  was standing and swaying as the spirit of the moment moved them."


    That would have been interesting to see and quite unlike the normal boring LDS meeting.