Bishop Joshua Wallace

Bishop Wallace is currently serving as the bishop of the Medford 4th Ward, Central Point, Oregon Stake. He is a high school Spanish teacher and is the high school cross country coach.

Race and Priesthood – A Lesson by a Mormon Bishop

Race and The Priesthood by Bishop Joshua Wallace Lesson Topic: Race and the Priesthood Note: This lesson was given Sunday, December 30th to the Medford 4th Ward, Central Point Oregon Stake of Zion in a combined Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society meeting.   Here you will find the outline and notes for the lesson.  Parts of the Church’s statment on race are included in the outline to help add some context. The parts that are in BOLD AND ITALICS are the editorial commentary I offered while giving the lesson. I deeply respect the spiritual laws of receiving inspiration and revelation for individuals and wards. In mid December our ward council had a 60-70 min discussion about this topic and unanimously sustained me in teaching the topic to the adults of our ward. This lesson plan was developed for the Medford 4th Ward and may or may not be what is right for other wards. Objectives and Invitation: 1) To inform a. Some past theories and teachings of the church and its members have now been disavowed. All members should be aware. b. We have the responsibility to not teach the theories of the past as if they are true and to correct them if we hear them. 2) To gain empathy a. “Empathy is the process of placing oneself in the framework of another, perceiving the world as the other perceives it, sharing his or her world imaginatively” ( Thomas Oden, an American United Methodist theologian and religious author). 3) To build faith a. By looking at the extraordinary examples of Black members who remained faithful despite not being able to receive saving ordinances. b. By looking at the example of a latter-day prophet who would not give up the wrestle (Genesis 32: 24-26). 4) Invitation: To evaluate the traditions of our Fathers, as The Book of Mormon so frequently teaches, and to be willing to repent of those that take away light and truth. Receiving revelation is a form of repentance, which “denotes a change of mind, a fresh view...

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“For the Body is Not One Member, But Many” – 1 Corinthians 1:14

Aug 22, 12 “For the Body is Not One Member, But Many” – 1 Corinthians 1:14

Posted by in Faith, Featured

When I was the young men’s secretary, I approached my previous two young men’s presidents and bishop as well as my current bishop about approaching some of the more “sticky” historical issues regarding our LDS past.   My previous bishop seemed open to the idea, but the two young men’s presidents were either hesitant to approach these issues at church or didn’t answer the question altogether. About six months ago I was asked by my current bishop to be the young men’s president in my ward.  At that time, he gave me  his blessing to approach some of the more difficult historical issues with our faith that are almost never discussed at church, with the encouragement to teach with the spirit.   Prior to my call, I had sent him a copy of the Open Stories Foundation’s “Why Mormon’s Question” survey.   We spoke about the results of the survey and discussed the risks and benefits of “inoculating” our young men regarding some of these tough issues.  It was a good meeting. I have had other meetings and interactions with my bishop that have led me to love him for his unique leadership style.  Women are included in important   decision-making discussions in our ward councils;  he leads less like a CEO and more like a Pastor. I have a dear friend in my ward that sent me this message about a month ago, ” I could easily walk away from the church and feel no guilt or shame in doing that, but I don’t know if that is what I want.”   We spoke that night for an hour or two.  I affirmed  that what he saw as a struggle were legitimate concerns. Sometime later he spoke with our bishop.  My friend later said the following regarding their meeting: “He expressed to me his love and encouraged me to keep looking for my answers…whatever those answers might be.”  How liberating it was for him to not be treated as a heretic! Following a recent conversation...

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