Skip to comments.Mormon church explains past ban on black priests
Posted on 12/09/2013 7:46:04 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
More than three decades after reversing its prohibition of black priests, the Mormon church has disavowed the ban, saying it was put into place during an era of great racial divide that influenced early teachings of the church.
The nearly 2,000-word statement posted on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website was the church's most comprehensive explanation of why it previously had barred men of African descent from the lay clergy. In the article, the church pinned the ban on an announcement from church president Brigham Young in 1852.
The ban ended in 1978, but in the 35 years since then, the church had never given an official explanation for the reasons behind the ban or addressed the once widely held notion that blacks were spiritually inferior, said Matthew Bowman, an author and assistant professor of religion at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia.
In the article, posted Friday, the church addressed what has become a sensitive topic for current leaders and the 15 million members around the world.
"The Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else," the statement read. "Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form."
Mormon church officials declined comment on the article but said it is part of a series of new online postings to explain or expand on certain gospel topics for its members. Other topics include, "Are Mormons Christian?" and one about founder Joseph Smith's first visions.
Armand Mauss, a retired professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at Washington State University, said the article is the most comprehensive explanation yet about the past exclusion of blacks from the priesthood and marks the first time the church has explicitly disavowed its previous teachings on the topic.
Mormon scholars over the years have written much of what is in the posting, but it is noteworthy coming from church headquarters in Salt Lake City, he said. He and other scholars were interviewed several months ago by staff from LDS Public Affairs in preparation for the new article, Mauss said, adding that it reflects a "new Church commitment to greater transparency about its history, doctrines, and policies."
Don Harwell, a black Mormon, called the article a great moment.
"History and changes all happen due to time. This is way past due," said Harwell, 67, of Cottonwood Heights, who converted to Mormonism in 1983. "These are the statements they should have made in 1978, but better late than never."
Harwell is the president of Utah's Genesis Group, a support organization founded in 1971 for black Mormons. While he noted that he doesn't speak for the church, he said he believes the next step is getting more black Mormons into church leadership positions. He serves as counselor to the bishop in his local congregation and can see how that is helping young church members change their perceptions.
Margaret Blair Young, an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University who made a documentary about the untold stories of black Mormons, called the new article a miracle.
"I'm thrilled," Young said. "It went so much further than anything before has done."
The official explanation is that the lds god(s) change their minds on a frequent basis.
>>, saying it was put into place during an era of great racial divide that influenced early teachings of the church.<<
Not to be confused with magical gold pieces pulled from a top hat that influenced early teachings...
Women’s ordination and gay marriage will be next.
One thing I don’t understand is how you can become a black mormon? Isn’t that like a Jew joining the SS? Does he remember the founder Joseph Smith said the best people of color could expect was to become the servants/slaves of white gods in the afterlife? An eternal “plantation”? Isn’t that what he told a black servant who converted and followed him all her life? Correct me if I’m wrong.
Xenu had a really good chauffeur who just happened to be black, and it made him think twice about banning black priests.
That doesn't sound very white or delightsome!
So, the LDS Prophets, and by Extension, the LDS god is fallible, right?
This appears to be an admission that heretofore claimed infallible pronouncements of the founders of the Mormon Church were not infallible. Perhaps, the other doctrines of the Mormon Church considered to be strange by mainstream Christianity will also be re-cast as something less than infallible. I have always been very impressed by the actual Mormons I have met. I like their devotion to family and church life, their embrace of private charity and of a free market economy.
Next up for revision: Jewish Indians.
These verses below talk about how the "skin of blackness" is a "cursing" based upon their "iniquity" (2 Nephi 5:21; Alma 3:6; Jacob 3:5) and how when the curse would be removed, they would again become "white" (3 Nephi 2:15), which the Book of Mormon says is a "delightsome" color (2 Nephi 5:21; cf. older version of the one verse they DID alter without any explanation: 2 Nephi 30:6):
The Mormon "prophets" Nephi, Alma and the Mormon Jacob are racists! (As are the Mormon gods)
* "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 exceeding 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." (2 Nephi 5:21)
* "...many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people." (2 Nephi 30:6, pre-1981 versions...changed from unknown reasons in 1981 to "fair and delightsome"...It's not like the Mormon church has the supposed gold plates to go back and look to interpret a word differently)
* "And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against the their brethren..." (Alma 3:6)
* "Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins..." (Jacob 3:5) [Note: The "Lamanites" per Mormonism are Native Americans...so their skin color, says Mormon "scripture" is based upon a supposed curse]
* "And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites." (3 Nephi 2:15) [Note: So...to be "uncursed" is to have your skin turn white...per white-and-delightsome Mormonism, that is!]
There, fixed it!
Well, there goes the ENTIRE Mormon "revelation" system ... that Joseph Smith "revealed" what He supposedly "heard" the Mormon gods tell him.
Take, for example, his mid-1835 "revelation."
At that point, Smith was churning out new Scripture. Smith was taking aim at new converts. But in that time, did he believe the Mormon gospel to be aimed at slaves? (No, not unless express permission was granted by their owners).
Could you imagine a verse still applicable todayone similar to the Mormon scripture of Doctrine & Covenants 134:12which would tell you in effect that yes, the gospel was for women who are sexually trafficked--but only if their Pimp-owner says "Yes?".
I mean, imagine if you will, for a moment, that you are the God of the universe; God of every planet; God of the earth; Creator of every person. Imagine for a moment you are speaking forth universal eternal truth. And then imagine that someone claims you (as God) made the following Scriptural statement:
Doctrine & Covenants 134:12:
We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruption of the world; but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters, nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men; such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude.
D&C 134:12 is LDS Doctrine that has never been removed or rescinded!!! Until TODAY!!!
Now, the Mormon Church leadership has said that it's ENTIRE revelation process is simply based upon Joseph Smith's theories.
This passage makes it quite clear in contrast to the apostle Paul who vied for the religious freedom of Onesimus while treating him as a full Christian brother and encouraged Philemon to do the same--that somehow, Joseph Smith thought that "religious freedom" applied to everyone except slaves!
And the Mormon Church has just gone on record (generically speaking)...repudiating Joseph Smith himself!!!!
And here we thought -- with passages like D&C 134:12... written in 1835 pro-slavery America-- had made it quite clear that instead of the Mormons having a universal god who issued eternal truth applicable to all cultures, he is instead an American-sounding god who speaks only in King James English & was beholden to the American slavery industry.
Up until today, D&C 134:12 "settled" the issue for the Mormon: Are slaves & trafficking victims worthy of the "gospel?" LDS past answer? Nope! "neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them..." says LDS "Scripture.
And why not? Well, says D&C 134:12: We don't want ya ta meddle with the Mastuhs' business property, or to say it as precisely as LDS "scripture" says it: nor to meddle with or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situations in this life...
(Nah. We can't have unhappy slaves or trafficking victims now, can we? Too disturbing to their "stations" of life, eh?)
But now...............as of Dec. 9, 2013...
Just as Obama can pick & choose which parts of ObamaCare to enforce (or not), Mormons are NOW allowed to pick & choose which "scriptures" they want to believe are relevant! And which originated in sheer man-made theory! Many Mormon standard works are simply "theory"...as admitted to by the Lds General Authorities!
ALL: Mormon Teppe is trying to equivocate the Mormon priesthood with Protestant clergy.
Hey...even 12-year-old white boys were part of the broad "Mormon priesthood."
12-year-old white boys could go inside Mormon temples; but not blacks. (They couldn't even make it inside in early 1978!!!)
Discuss the issues all you want, but do not make it personal.
(I'll interpret a silent response on that to be "yes")