This is not complicated as certain folks are trying to make it. It is very
simple. No need to bash or politicize the efforts of the LDS Church. Very basis
Christian principle going on here. Loving and helping and reaching out to others
who can benefit by what we have to offer. Reminds me of "teach a man to
fish" ....unlike many government programs giving a family their food etc.
Lots of people are totally unaware that when LDS Charities or any LDS
Humanitarian aid is rendered, there are ABSOLUTELY NO STRINGS ATTACHED! In fact
the Church is trying hard to avoid publicity....some may not believe that to be
the case but I have heard those exact words right from the mouth of Sharon
Eubank who is the Director of LDS Charities. Like so many LDS members, I
have donned the yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" T-shirt and given service
with no restriction regarding ethnicity or color or religion. In this
case where the NAACP is involved I see the same service offered with no strings
attached. The NAACP seems willing to allow LDS efforts without casting suspicion
as to motive.
I read the entire transcript on the Newsroom site.Elder Gerard went
to great lengths to show that we are like-minded and have a common cause. He
spoke of shared vision.He did not testify of Jesus Christ, and
explain His role in the self-reliance program. Surely the NAACP is still a
Christian organization at its core. The spiritual element of self-improvement is
sorely needed in our society today.
Now if the NAACP could admit Rachael Dole-sol back into the fold and help her
with struggle to raise her children would go a long way in promoting self
reliance and equality. Acceptance on both side goes a long way in promoting
"Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income... but,
perhaps more importantly, equality of influence." If one
understands that the minority voice is just that - a barely heard and often
ignored legitimate plea for fair access to education, employment and housing -
then Elder Gerard's statement makes perfect sense. If you
don't understand this, you will continue to miss the mark with regard to
the great commandment. To have compassion means to "suffer with", not to
pity from afar.
Yuge Opportunity, I agree that our church has much to offer to the Black and
other minority communities (especially in the inner cities) because of our
emphasis on the family. These teachings (family, education, and self-reliance)
all work together and complement eachother. The partnership between the LDS
church and the NAACP is certainly one good place to start. It will take time,
but I believe that the time will come when the LDS Church will be a major force
for good and constructive change on our inner cities. This is beginning to
happen already in Detroit, Atlanta, and various other places around the country.
I am disgusted that at least 3 people "like" banliberals' comment
about the church meeting with the "NAAWP." If you were trying to be
funny, you're not. If you seriously think you are discriminated against
because you're white, you're delusional.
Real Ute - You certainly say some troubling things but are uninformed. As
another pointed out there are 22 missions now east of the Mississippi where once
10 years ago there were 23. Nothing significant like you claimed. It is also
very possible to attract members in countries that have the Internet and running
water. And in places where they don't have running water, the Church
builds wells for the people. The Church is actually very technological.
Missionaries literally use the internet to contact their members and
investigators. They even use FaceBook.
I scanned the story, looking for words like family, husband and marriage, but my
search came up empty.Here we are, the Church of eternal families,
reaching out to black leaders where 70% of their children grow up without a
father in the home, and we don't talk about the family structure?I think we missed a golden opportunity.
This is the right approach. Providing constructive solutions for today's
societal problems is better than demonstrations or riots.
>>Just how many LDS missions are there east of the Mississippi River in
the deep south as of today? Very few in fact! The Utah church keeps closing them
and has been for decades.>>go look it up. Since the
internet, things are getting really grim sir.*sigh* Okay, I looked
it up. Of the 117 US missions, 22 missions cover "the South"
east of the Mississippi (compared to just one fifty-ish years ago--the Southern
States Mission, which didn't cover LA or AK BTW). The same region is home
to ~29% of the US population. 22 is about 19% of US missions. So a bit low
relative to population; but I dispute that a 10% disparity is a serious problem
given that we're talking about the Evangelical Bible Belt.As
for "keeps closing them," the only changes to Southern missions since
2009 are: 2011: consolidated GA Macon with surrounding missions2013: reopened GA Macon as a separate mission2018: merged Mississippi
Jackson with LA Baton-Rouge and TX DallasSo there are now 22
missions in the Bible Belt where there was 1, and the Church has closed 2 and
reopened 1 in the region in the last decade. This does not sound like a mission
network implosion to me.
I think I have the answer. I don't think Elder Gerard really meant equality
of income. I think he should have said, "Equal pay for equal work."There is great danger and disservice to African-Americans when we allow
them to wallow in victimhood, so we need to pave the way for employment
opportunities. That is especially true for that "first job," entry-level
work for low skilled people.As for education, much work needs to be
done in K-12 systems in metropolitan areas. I wish the Brethren luck in
unraveling that political mess.As for "equality of
influence"...Elder Gerard is on his own there.
This is exactly the kind of organized cooperative effort the Church needs to be
involved in. It doesn’t mean the Church embraces everything
the NAACP does not vice versa. The Church works with all good organizations
where we have common interests. The NAACP brings a huge wide-ranging network
among African-Americans to this effort. Sure, this effort is long
overdue for the Church. But, it takes time to build trust between organizations.
Time to let the past go, and go forward and do lots of good for members and
non-members alike. Just the way Christ would do if he were here today. I am looking forward to do whatever I can to support this inspired new
collaboration between the Church and the NAACP.
Better late than never...
@bass679.The Law of Consecration is the voluntary giving of property,
time, and talents to a religion-based authority with property then redistributed
as a stewardship and as private property. It is closely associated with the Law
of Tithing and the principles underpinning Fast Offerings. Socialism
is the legal seizure and redistribution of excess property as defined by
government officials. It assumes that all property is owned by the government
or the people collectively. It is a form of communism, and close cousin of
Marxism. The Law of Consecration (and Tithing and Fast Offerings)
inspires Christ-like love and unity in a society, and enriches materially and
spiritually. Socialism divides communities into tribes that fight for
increasingly scarce resources. The Law of Consecration builds
self-reliance, industry, work and peaceful communities. Socialism fosters
dependence, resentment and contention across all classes and groups. So, no, socialism is not even the world’s poor attempt at the Law of
Consecration. It is, at best, a counterfeit.
"Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income," Elder
Gerard told the Deseret News, "but, perhaps more importantly, equality of
influence."I do not read this as a call for socialism or other
guaranteed equality of outcome. I read this as a rhetorical device that
acknowledges others' typical goals, and then expands on them. We
don't merely want to strive for equality of opportunity in income and
education (typical areas of focus) but also when it comes to social and
political influence. In other words, out goal is absolute legal equality, social
equality, etc. In yet other words, a society where skin color, national origin,
or ethnic heritage have no effect on a person's opportunities."Bonner hoped the new LDS/NAACP collaboration will make LDS Church members
more aware of ongoing struggles experienced by black Americans and more
sensitive."A potential win-win that educates everyone with
valuable information.A real shame a few folks always look to sow
discord rather than simply admitting the increasing good.
@variousYou can trust the prophet and church leaders or not. It's
really up to you. But it's worth remembering that at one time we would
have been expected to live under the United Order and give all of our excess to
the common good. Socialism is a worldly attempt to replicate (often
poorly) the Law of Consecration. If anything we should applaud the Church trying
to follow a divine principle and do it right.
Glad to see this happen.....When is the Church scheduled to meet
with a the NAAWP to form a stronger bond?
@IJ, go look it up. Since the internet, things are getting really grim sir. The
Utah church publishes where missions are. Good luck my friend.
It sounds like a wonderful thing on paper, but a close look at Elder
Gerard's statement reveals that his statement is not in harmony with the
principles of the self reliance program as it has traditionally been
implemented."Equality of income." So are the members of the
church supposed to all convert to socialism now? Another disturbing piece of
news coming from the church that I didn't need to hear today.
Real Ute - statistics please. I think you are saying things of which you know
not. The Church is doing just fine in our mission to share the Gospel of Jesus
Christ with the world, including those who have the internet and running water.
It is not the availability of earthly wealth but sensitivity to the Spirit that
attracts people to the Church.
Just how many LDS missions are there east of the Mississippi River in the deep
south as of today? Very few in fact! The Utah church keeps closing them and has
been for decades, so I suspect they are trying to finally make friends with the
NAACP now............oh my goodess?
What other choice does the LDS Church have in the 21st century? None, as it
stands today. It is impossible to attract new members in countries that have
internet access or running water.
@HSTuckerAgree 100% that equal opportunity is not the same as equal
result. Elder Gerrard is suggesting equal opportunity which is how it should
@Third Try. Far be it from me to criticize a leader like Elder Gerard.
But, you have a point. The term “Equality of Income” is
being hijacked in behalf of efforts to dramatically increase the minimum wage,
cap executive and professional salaries, and dramatically raise income taxes on
so-called “high income individuals.” These efforts will punish
achievement and excellence in the workplace, and reward mediocrity and minimal
effort. Additionally, minimum wage increases would punish the poorest of the
poor among us, and limit opportunities for youth and young adults to gain
valuable work experience. I am sure that that is not the message
Elder Gerard intended to give.
@Vermonter"The equality mentioned by Elder Gerard is an equality
in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and other factors, where people are rewarded
for the content of their character, their skills and abilities, rather than the
color of their skin. "I don't think that's what Elder
Gerard is talking about if they are teaming up with the NAACP. The NAACP takes
millions from George Soros and supports Black Lives Matter and other Social
Justice groups. They have long supported equal-outcome, Socialist-style
economics. Look it up yourself.This is scary stuff.
@VermonterYou are right about the self reliance program, but that's
NOT what Elder Gerard said. He specifically called equality of income a vision
for the Church.The self reliance program presupposes and exploits
the idea of a free market economy. It is as American as apple pie. Work hard;
take some initiative; get an education; reap the rewards of your extra work.Elder Gerard said something very different.
@A Scientist. LDS Self-Reliance Programs are hardly Marxist or Socialist.
They are in fact, what most conservative Republicans have advocated for years
and years. The LDS programs are about taking control of and
responsibility for your own life. This is the ultimate “pull
yourself up by your bootstraps” program, where the individual is shown
that not only do they have bootstraps, but they also are given in-depth
instruction and encouragement about how the world works and how they can
succeed, excel, and become fully self-reliant. The equality
mentioned by Elder Gerard is an equality in terms of race, ethnicity, gender and
other factors, where people are rewarded for the content of their character,
their skills and abilities, rather than the color of their skin. You know, kind
of like the Declaration of Independence. Don’t know too many conservatives
that disagree with that.
@A Scientist is absolutely correct.Equality of income is a serious problem
for us in America. It sounds great rolling off the tongue, but in practice you
get the $15 an hour nonsense and start calculating how many times more income
the CEO gets over the janitor.It is an astounding statement coming
from a general authority, speaking for the Church. Whenever they make speeches
like that, they are NEVER off the cuff. Each word is carefully measured. And
Elder Gerard is the PR director. He was not ad libbing.The LDS view
of equality has been rooted in self-reliance with no expectation that everyone
gets the same paycheck. C S Lewis made some wonderful statements about the
corruption of the word "democracy," in Screwtape Proposes a Toast
(1959). We have the Self Reliance program ready to go. The NAACP
might have some modifications to make.I am concerned about the
phrase "equality of income." It's right up there with the sin of
nationalism. Words matter.
A Scientist"That's Marxism and socialism! How will the
conservative, Republican LDS core in Utah swallow that?"Always
with the labels. Your name-calling is lacking the civility this article
advocates. May I suggest that you embrace civility and find common ground upon
which you can build understanding and work together towards the great good for
all? A good start is to quit name calling and ridiculing of others. You can
accomplish much once to end the labels. Thanks!
"That's Marxism and socialism!"You appear to have
confused equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. Promising and
enforcing equality of outcome leads to human misery, because it is a deception.
"Our unified vision is not only equality of education and income," Elder
Gerard told the Deseret News..."That's Marxism and
socialism! How will the conservative, Republican LDS core in Utah swallow that?
The church's SRS programs are absolutely outstanding. They are the polar
opposite of dependency, and instead encourage and develop (as the name implies)
agency and self-reliance. What an incredible gift we have to offer to the world,
and kudos to the NAACP for its courage and forward-thinking to partner with
Latter-day Saints.We live in amazing times, led by a remarkable
prophet, a man uniquely prepared by God to shoulder the mantle of leadership.
God bless President Russell M. Nelson.
Seems a perfect partnership. The LDS Church isn't exactly a Trump loving
group at the top, and the NAACP has been quite vocal with anti-Trump rhetoric.
Meanwhile, black pastors are liking that Trump's efforts are employing
plenty of black people. Mark Burns is a good example of the conservative black
pastors out there.
"'Our unified vision is not only equality of education and
income,' Elder Gerard told the Deseret News"Equality of
income is Marxism. Many, many past LDS prophets have strongly warned against
supporting this ideology in many talks and even formal proclamations.The NAACP has a long history of corruption, statements, and actions which
fundamentally conflict with the LDS Church's values. For example, at one
of its state conference meetings last year, the NAACP passed a resolution
attacking the "Star Spangled Banner" and calling it "one of the most
racist, pro-slavery, anti-black songs in the American lexicon."The NAACP is heavily funded by the George Soros Foundation, including a
$1,000,000 pledge to the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund in March
2013; $100,000 in 2009; $200,000 in 2008; two grants of $208,000 and $300,000 in
2011; and $350,000 in 2012. They've aggressively supported and
even funded Black Lives Matters and protested against police at many rallies
around the country.Supporting the NAACP in anything is 180 degrees
from right. It is as wrong as wrong can be and we should all be sickened by
this support coming from the LDS Church. This needs to stop.
I hope this new program shows its value and thus can be expanded to other
Can't wait to see where this specific initiative goes and this partnership
In addition to preaching eternal salvation and exaltation, the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, as understood by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
includes a gospel of temporal salvation. Not a church of the Gospel of
Prosperity, but of a practical self reliance based on prudent living in harmony
with Gospel standards of hard work, service to others, and duty to God.I hope this program brings temporal relief and increased self reliance and
self respect to many who have suffered through intergenetational poverty.We thank the oh God for a prophet to lead us in these latter days...