We Know Why – New Changes to the LDS Scripture

Mar 01, 13 We Know Why – New Changes to the LDS Scripture

The Church just released the 2013 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Changes were made in the introduction as well as in a number of chapter headings (you can view the changes here). The Church hasn’t made any major changes to the scriptures since 1981, so, in the words of Joe Biden, “This is a big effn deal!” Let’s take a look at the new introduction that was added to the Official Declaration 2 (found on page 86 of the linked document above). If you are not familiar with the Official Declaration 2, it is the declaration that was made in 1978 announcing that “every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood.” I recently wrote about the history leading up to this change here.

Here is the new introduction:

“The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood.”

First, the positive: “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Beautiful! And to think – this has been in our canon since the beginning!!

Now for the downer : “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.” But there are clear insights! For example, the first recorded statement on the priesthood ban was by Parley P. Pratt in 1847 who said of a black Church member he “was a black man with the blood of Ham in him which linege was cursed as regards the priesthood”. (This Is My Doctrine, pg 388) Like I said in my previous post on this topic, not telling this story correctly and/or sweeping it under the rug disgraces those who fought and sacrificed for change. This could have been an ideal time for us to acknowledge our past mistakes and apologize for the damage that was done.

***Revision 1/3/13***
Maybe we could replace this line: “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.” with this line by Derek Lee: “The historical record makes it clear that racial prejudice affected American society generally as well as members of the Church, including leaders, at the time this practice originated, and that this practice grew out of said prejudice. Many incorrectly assumed that this racial prejudice was inspired by the Lord, which allowed the persistence of this practice until 1978, when it was overturned.”

Born and raised in Northern California, Paul received his education at Ricks College and BYU with a BA in Spanish, minor in PE Coaching. Paul served his LDS mission during the years 94-96 in Rosario, Argentina. He now runs his own businesses from home in Utah County. He's married and has 4 boys. He is currently the ward cub master.

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57 Comments

  1. John Burton /

    Shall we all say a big “Thank you, Armand Mauss” for the new OD2 intro? By the way, it’s a shame the new OD1 intro gives the impression that post-manifesto polygamy didn’t happen, that the declaration of 1890 was accepted as a final and conclusive church-wide moratorium on the practice. Henry B Eyring’s grandfather married his polygamous second wife in 1903 in Mexico. It’s not as if they don’t know that this happened.

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    • Good point John – there are some very interesting changes. I’ll have to dive into it to analyze the rest. This one in the OD 2 just gets me crazy.

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  2. Garrett /

    I agree with your assessment. It is a positive step, however the inability to actuall apologize for it, and just sweep it under the rug is very disconcerting to me.

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  3. Melody /

    Amen and amen. (The veil o’er the earth isn’t bursting quite as robustly as some of us might hope.)

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  4. spencer peacock /

    wow and to think it only took God’s favorite messengers 50 years.

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  5. Paul /

    The explanation of the 1978 pronouncement is a step in the right direction. What I really liked about it was acknowledging that there were several black men that did receive the priesthood. As far as I know that is the first time that the church has openly stated that. I could be wrong on that but I know I never heard about it before I started digging myself. However, what is extremely frustrating is what Paul brings up when they say “Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice.” Sorry but I am calling BS on this one. Maybe there are no official revelations that started this racist practice but there are plenty of statements made over the years that backed up the practice. What are they claiming are church records? For decades they have taught that blacks were less valiant in heaven and were cursed. Brigham Young and many others have said horrible, vile things about blacks. Is the church not counting these statements because they were not in “official” church records-whatever that even means? Like Garrett said above they just cannot man up and admit they were wrong and apologize for the church’s racism.

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  6. Samuel Vijarro /

    For several years, I was a devout and active member of the LDS church. But it was this type of dishonesty, on the part of LDS leaders, which served to lead me right out of the church. Whether they’re speaking to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Mark Hofmann ordeal, Adam-God Doctrine, Blacks and the Priesthood or Polygamy/Polyandry, they have always, and continue to, say whatever they must to maintain they have not been “wrong” in their leading of the LDS church. Remember, these are self-professing Prophets, Apostles, Seers and Revelators of JESUS CHRIST. As such, they should have no business with false doctrine, false practices, then the dishonesty of having falsifying the church’s history. Yes, black Mormons do deserve full acknowledgement and apology, by the Brethren, for their abhorrent past teachings concerning the African race and it’s relationship to the Pre-Existence and lack of valiance with God, etc…But I believe black Mormons will never receive what they so seek and deserve, and that, because LDS leaders must always save face. In the grand scheme of things and in this late hour, it sure is a shame to see the continued faulty maneuvering of the facts by the LDS leaders.

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  7. Robin /

    Samuel Vijarro’s comment was right on. The Mormon church will do or say anything to save face and hide true history and practices. Their existence depends upon faithful membership. The income the tithe brings fortifies this highly successful business venture.

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  8. Jason W /

    Interesting note – the church announcement refers to church records, yet you combat it using non-church records, but personal records. I’ve seen the happen many times, with church records being attacked by personal sayings. Mormon Doctrine is a common favorite, but is NOT official Church doctrine. Just making that clarification.

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    • Paul /

      What are church records then?

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    • Samuel Vijarro /

      Jason (or anyone else), What is “Official Doctrine”. I ask because, in my humble opinion, it doesn’t really matter what source is quoted. Even if a Prophet is quoted, even though he may be speaking in a General Conference, calling an item “Doctrine”, the defense will say, “He was not speaking as a Prophet…” or “That’s his own opinion…” or “He’s only a man and entitled to mistakes…” I spent years attempting to go, for solace, to “authoritative” sources and quotes and when I found non-faith-promoting excerpts, one of these above defenses was used without fail. I ask again: What is “Official Doctrine”?

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    • Jason you shifted the argument to what is church doctrine which can be very hard to grasp, because our doctrine is so liquid. I recommend the book “This is my Doctrine” – it is a fascinating book that talks about the development of our beliefs. Good luck with that read. You will love it. So in order for this to be legit you want me to quote something that is recorded? How about this:

      During a February 1849 council meeting, Lorenzo Snow – brother of Young’s wife Eliza Snow – suggested that the church should ‘unlock the door’ to the African race so that its members would have ‘a chance of redemption.’ …Young in response explained it very lucidly that the curse remains on them because Cain cut off the wives of Abel to hedge up his way and take the lead but the Lord has given them blackness, so as to give the children of Abel an opportunity to keep the place with his descendants in the eternal worlds.” (Turner, John G. Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet pg. 221-222)

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    • Here is another good one – Brigham Young thought slavery was a divine institution. He said: “Ham will continue to be servant of servants, as the Lord decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands…. “Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.”
      (Millennial Star, Vol. 25, page 787; also published in Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, page 250)

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      • I’m not willing to go to the effort to find it, but old Sunday School manuals taught that blacks weren’t allowed the priesthood because “God said”. Marking of Cain. My YW leaders read quotes from the manuals about why interracial marriage was wrong. I’m not that old… and it’s “crazy making” for them to try to pretend that what they taught me just forty years ago didn’t happen.

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        • There are plenty and I mean PLENTY of terrible hurtful racist quotes our there. A real historian simply has to do his/her job to find out why and how this happened. The church needs to fire any historian that says we can’t find anything that show the roots of this racist teaching.

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          • Jeannie /

            I understand where you are coming from. There are plenty of “racist” comments throughout church history. The new introduction to the Official Declaration neither denies nor admits such. What it does say, is ” Church records offer no clear insights into the ORIGINS of this practice.” I, therefore, think the underlying criticism that they are denying it or sweeping it under the rug is without merit. Also, the church did admit that racism did exist in the church when they wrote, “The Church unequivocally condemns racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church.” Further, they said, “The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.” http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church In other words, racism did exist within the church, there are plenty of racist quotes that one can attribute to many (even leaders) of the church that entered official church records, but WHY and under what doctrinal aspect these statements arose is still unclear. Yes, individuals had their opinions and when those opinions were spoken the people accepted them as if they were doctrine. I am sure that the leaders themselves probably considered them doctrine and so they were fine with others perceiving the same. These “doctrines” were propagated throughout time and are an ugly part of our history. I am probably much older than most others commenting on this blog and therefore, one thing that you younger people miss is that racisms was prominent throughout the country. Although it would have been wonderful if the church would have been absent of it, the truth is that they were as prone to its ugly head sneaking in as any other institution. People live and learn–and so does the Church.

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          • Newsroom: The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear.
            Newsroom: It is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began in the Church
            Scripture: Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice
            Nothing to say here but how crazy the similarities are.

            “The new introduction to the Official Declaration neither denies nor admits such” – This sounds like a lawyer, not wanting to admit any wrong doing and therefore no need to give a better more complete picture, nor apologize for any wrong doing. We know A LOT. Joseph ordained blacks, Brigham didn’t and Brigham preached that they were the seed of Cain. So when did it start again? We don’t know the exact time of day, or the exact day, but we could have said it began under Pres. Young’s administration. Why not replace that sentence of us not knowing about our history and being unapologetic with this statement: “The historical record makes it clear that racial prejudice affected American society generally as well as members of the Church, including leaders, at the time this practice originated, and that this practice grew out of said prejudice. Many incorrectly assumed that this racial prejudice was inspired by the Lord, which allowed the persistence of this practice until 1978, when it was overturned.” It doesn’t state it origins, or throw any prophets under the bus, but it is more truthful AND let’s people know that this was wrong AND we really do want to stomp out racism. The issue is that people won’t look into the real history and they will repeat the “We don’t know for sure” line in teaching their lessons, investigators and their children. As a church we have now repeated this line three times. By doing this we sweep the pain and sacrifice under the rug and that is terrible. WE CAN DO BETTER!!

            I’m going to do another post just for you.

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          • Jeannie /

            I am honored. A post just for me. Unfortunately, I don’t subscribe to your blog and therefore will miss it. I returned here through the link on my e-mail informing me of your comment.

            Well, I sound like a lawyer, but you sound like my son when he was a teenager. I had to spell out for him detail by detail every little thing he was to do. If I left anything out, he would reply, “Well, I didn’t know you meant that.” “Clean the Kitchen before I get home.” He clears plates off of the table, doesn’t wipe off the counters, doesn’t throw trash in trash can, leaves pots on the stove–this is after we have been over what it means to clean the kitchen many, many times. There are some things that are obvious. Everything you stated that should have been included in the statement to me is just a given. However, to you, if they do not say it exactly how YOU think they should have, they are in error. There was racism in the church. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. The church has acknowledged it, but again, they didn’t do exactly what you wanted them to. Shame on them!

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          • I love being compared to a teenager. I thought I sounded a little bit more articulate than that! Can we not admit wrong doing if we did something wrong? It seems like everyone already knows it was racist. I’ll send you an email when it is published.

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  9. Paul, your criticism of the church’s amended introduction seems a bit off to me. First, your quote from Parley P. was simply one man’s opinion; you could probably get differing quotes and opinions on this subject from all the prophets, apostles from that period in history. Thus, the church’s general statement (especially since it really is impossible to point to any absolute reason) is the only sensible and accurate one.

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    • Yes, certainly you could get quotes from a variety of leaders during this time period, but all of them likely would be consistent in substance with the Pratt statement.

      I am not aware of any prophet or apostle of that time period that ever contested the racist and widely repeated “blood o’ Ham” theory. I would certainly like to see it, if it exists.

      I simply don’t buy the it-was-just-the-guy’s-personal-opinion escape hatch. These folks were church leaders, making statements in church meetings about doctrinal issues. If that is not a “record of the church,” what is?

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      • Hope this is official enough: During a February 1849 council meeting, Lorenzo Snow – brother of Young’s wife Eliza Snow – suggested that the church should ‘unlock the door’ to the African race so that its members would have ‘a chance of redemption.’ …Young in response explained it very lucidly that the curse remains on them because Cain cut off the wives of Abel to hedge up his way and take the lead but the Lord has given them blackness, so as to give the children of Abel an opportunity to keep the place with his descendants in the eternal worlds.” (Turner, John G. Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet pg. 221-222)

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    • Paul /

      Different prophets, apostles, and leaders “opinions” seemed to have enough authority behind them to make later leaders think that a revelation was needed to change the policy. And it wasn’t just the early leaders who were talking about and giving reasons for the priesthood ban. This has been taught for decades from the top all the way down to your ward Sunday School teacher. I think it is irrelevant that there was never any “official” revelation recorded to ban blacks from receiving the priesthood. It was a very ugly policy that went on for way too long. Even after 1978 the reasons behind the ban (less valiant, curse of Cain etc.) continued to be taught and are still taught. As I said in my original comment I think it is a step in the right direction but just not enough yet. We are told that the leaders are just men and are fallible. Well they need to acknowledge that fallibility themselves and just admit they were wrong and are sorry. Why is that so hard to do? I think many members would have more respect for them if they did that. I know I would.

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      • TDE, Paul – your points are well taken but I know 50 others that disagree with you for a whole host of reasons. Trust me, if the Church were to issue the type of statement both of you would want it to make, there’d be plenty of criticism too. Why the need to nitpick? I never understand the nitpicking – this isn’t the church of TDE or Paul. The fact that the new statement indicates that Joseph Smith ordained blacks to the priesthood implies the obvious to me. I think the message was clear yet it was general enough to cover variations of opinion. I loved it.

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        • Paul /

          I’m sure it would be very easy to find at least 50 people who would disagree with me. Many more than that in fact. I have no problem at all with people having a different take on things than I do. Nitpicking? Sorry but I feel that denying the priesthood (for males) and temple ordinances (for males and females) of an entire race of people is a little more than nitpicking.

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          • Paul, you’re completely misunderstanding my beef. Racism isn’t the nitpick – it’s posting a blog on how you think the church should’ve worded a statement. It’s simply an enormous waste of time.

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          • What if that statement is racist?

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        • Paul /

          JTS-You loved how the church worded their statement. I thought they could have been more forthcoming and honest. Is my opinion on the matter going to make the leaders go back and change their statement?-Of course not. However, having a discussion about a topic is never an enormous waste of time.

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      • Paul, I pretty much agree with your opinion on all of this – my only beef is airing your opinions publicly. I just don’t see what good comes from that. For you, this is your beef. For another, it’s no females passing the sacrament, for another its the cost of temples, for another it’s no males in relief society. The list is endless.

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        • I would say by airing his opinion publicly he is standing up to what he sees as injustice. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

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          • Trust me Paul, most of those criticizing on this link are not friends to the church – just the opposite (you excluded).

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          • If it is a valid argument or beef, I’ll listen to it regardless if it comes from someone outside of the church. If the argument has nothing to stand on, then we can pull it apart.

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        • Paul /

          This blog has the option of leaving comments in regards to what is posted. I have an opinion on the post so I posted it. That is typically the point of allowing comments so that people can discuss the issue. I appreciate that Paul Barker allows this on his blog.

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          • In my opinion, airing an opinion is NEVER a waste of time. I’m feeling incredibly grateful that I live in an age when we CAN have discussions on blogs. I can hear ideas and opinions and complaints and grievances of all kinds of people all over the world.

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          • It is nice to hear different opinions. I think anytime a group of people are seen as less than another group we need to speak up no matter who the groups are.

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  10. Samuel Vijarro /

    I recommend three out of print books which shed a whole lot of light on this topic. These are all usually still available on Ebay and such sites.: “The Church and the Negro”, “Mormonism and the Negro” and “Mormonism’s Negro Policy: Historical Origins” Authors are John L Lund, Stephen Taggart and John J. Stewart. All are by faithful LDS authors, from the 1960s, each attempting, in his own context, to shed historical and doctrinal light upon this very difficult issue. These authors all use First Presidency, Prophet’s and Apostle’s statements to defend the church. And they are unanimous that the church knew exactly WHY it denied blacks the Priesthood. Back then, there was never any questions as to the why of it. The church was bold and unashamed of its racism, in that era. Now, it is bold and unashamed of its lying claims that they have never been a racist church nor ever endorsed racism of any kind. If I have a high contempt, it is not for the general rank-and-file Mormon, but for the LDS Leader who knows better and yet perpetuates the lies. Shame on them. But God will be their judge and for all those whom have known better but abide the lie over the Truth.

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    • I’ve read them all – all excellent publications – especially the Lund publication. The first presidency handled this perfectly by stating that Joseph Smith ordained blacks. The conclusion is clear. There was no need to publish a book of the history like Lund or the other authors did. Each of us can come up with a sentence or two we may have added to their statement; but why nitpick? That’s my point.

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      • P.S. to Samuel: Assuming, arguendo, that the Church did issue the type of statement you’d want them to make, would you then become a tithe-paying member? Of course not – you’d find something else to nitpick about.

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        • Samuel Vijarro /

          JTS, my point is that your LDS leaders will not make any apology statement because they are do HONESTLY handle their history nor their doctrines. Whether or not I would be a member if they did is irrelevant. They and what they do is relevant. Nitpicking? If this were an isolated instance, you might have a point. But no, it is not by a very long shot, an isolated incident. The Brethren have approached many items of LDS history and doctrine this same way. They misrepresent history, falsify information, then blame it on the “folklore” of church members when they quote their “prophets”, and the list goes on. The mountain of evidence speaks against you. By the way, what is your real name. I’m willing to go on the record as I speak; How about you do the same as this conversation carries on. What think ye?

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  11. Rand /

    I’m around 50 yrs old and was a teen when the 1978 “revelation” occurred. We were taught for years, before and after correlation was instituted, exactly why blacks had been denied the priesthood and that yes, it was official doctrine. The church was much plainer and a lot less wishy washy about this, as well as other things, back then. Brigham Young said many derogatory things about blacks from the pulpit. I read about them in the JoD. These days JoD has become “not official doctrine”. Back then it very much was considered official doctrine. There were other GAs who spoke from the pulpit about why blacks were denied the priesthood. Mark E. Peterson was one of those GAs, I believe.

    Saying it was never official doctrine just doesn’t fly. If it wasn’t official doctrine, why did they think they needed a special revelation to change it? There have been many policy changes over the years. HQ didn’t feel a need to present those as revelations. And to say that denying an entire race of people something as vitally important to the faith as the priesthood and temple blessings was just a policy and not doctrine? Wow, what cowardice.

    And what of the Mormon god? He was ok to just sit back and let this discrimination that he didn’t sanction happen? He could have easily let a whole slew of church leaders know at any time that he was fine with blacks getting the priesthood. Saying it was just a bad policy instituted by man allowed to perpetuate for around 130 years makes the Mormon god sound very apathetic as well as cruel.

    This is why I don’t buy the “speaking as a man” excuse either. What’s the point of having living prophets if you can’t trust what they say, especially from the pulpit? “Speaking as a man” might apply at a backyard bbq, for example, I could give them that. But, when they’re speaking from the pulpit members should absolutely be able to trust that the GAs are saying what their god wants them to know, hear, and believe. Because either the Mormon god cares enough to make sure his official leaders give out correct information that he approves of, or he doesn’t care. If he doesn’t care enough to make sure his representatives are giving out correct information, then is he really someone worth devoting your life too?

    Actually, what it really says is that the Mormon church is just another man made organization with no more leadership or revelation from God than any other church. The Mormon leaders make mistakes in guiding the church just like the leaders of the Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Pentacostals, Evangelicals, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, and so forth because they are all just human leaders making decisions based on their own feelings and opinions with none of them experiencing any more divine guidance than the next guy. And if that’s the case, then the LDS aren’t the one true church.

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    • If that’s how you feel, then why waste your time going on LDS blogs nitpicking the church?

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    • Samuel Vijarro /

      Amen, Rand. JTS says we’re “nit-picking” for our criticism of the LDS church’s handling of this issue over the decades. Some LDS simply cannot handle the truth of these matters. They cannot understand why we say anything at all. They say, “Why not just leave the church alone”. My answer to JTS and others of this view, is this: Why do thousands upon thousands of LDS missionaries go out every day to tell others that their beliefs and churches are wrong and that they must convert to Mormonism? Are they not “nit-picking” their Christian neighbors? One could be as devout and dedicated to Jesus Christ as a Mother Theresa and a young LDS missionary will tell that Christian that she/he must convert to Mormonism to receive God’s best blessings. But that’s perfectly fine with Mormons. Well, it indeed does work both ways. Some of us know that the Latter-Day Saints need to hear the Truth. And, in the above missionary spirit, we pipe in to speak the Truth. I have better things to do than “nit-pick”. The Truth is ALWAYS worth telling and must be told. So JTS, you may as well stop trying to guilt people into ceasing to speak out. Some of us have come full circle with the Church and see her realities. And this world today is far beyond those days where Mormon leaders controlled the dissemination of LDS information, pertinent dialogue and the message. The internet has changed who has the info (anyone and everyone). But the new message is coming clear: Mormon leaders want to be revered as Prophets/Apostles of Jesus Christ. They demand perfect obedience from church members while not wanting to be held accountable for what they have said, say now, nor will say, even when completely wrong. This luxury is one which is gone with their control of their information. I rejoice that God has ushered in this age where the falsehoods of false Prophets can be laid out there, for the world to see, and those “prophets” cannot stop it. That’s where we are…

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  12. Korihor /

    The same reason the philosopher goes back into the cave.

    JTS:
    If that’s how you feel, then why waste your time going on LDS blogs nitpicking the church?

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  13. Thanks Paul for your analysis. This was a great discussion, though I’m perplexed by JTS’s criticism of it as nitpicking. How could sincere and open discussion about the church’s position on a topic of foundational significance–the equal value and potential of all God’s children–be described as nitpicking?

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    • Some people don’t like any criticism of our church and/or our leaders. Some take it as a personal attack. I try to bring these things about in a good tone so that those people might see things in a different light. My motives are to improve what we have.

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      • Paul /

        Paul I really appreciate that level headed blogs like yours exist. I think it is so important that people are able to discuss issues within the church on a forum such as this. Opinions run the gamut but that is what is so great about this medium. There can be frustration with other peoples opinions but hey that is life.

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  14. Korihor /

    For the record, I actually found your comments refreshing, more articulate than the average teenager, and accurate.

    I feel like Jeannie’s comments aren’t contributing to the discussion, she sounds as if she’s just complaining that she doesn’t like your opinion that the LDS church didn’t respond perfectly.

    If the LDS church did something wrong, which I believe we, or at least most, can agree on, then they need to lead with an apology, not a shifty declaration trying to justify their actions.

    Paul Barker:
    I love being compared to a teenager. I thought I sounded a little bit more articulate than that! Can we not admit wrong doing if we did something wrong? It seems like everyone already knows it was racist. I’ll send you an email when it is published.

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    • Jeannie /

      That’s fine, Korihor. You don’t have to feel like my comments are adding to the discussion, but the fact is that I just offered a disagreement from the stated opinion. Does it only add to the discussion if one agrees? Further, I think both of you know that I am not implying that Paul’s comments are not articulate, but rather the reasoning sounds like my teenager in that he wants every detail laid out. Nevertheless, I am one who is constantly fighting for apologies to be made by the church and church members alike. Nothing bothers me more than when a person goes inactive because of offense and that person is criticized rather than looking at the cause of said offense. I believe the gospel to be true. I believe the church to be true, but I do know that there are many offensive people who belong to it. I am one of those who received GREAT offense wherein many told me that it was the kind of thing that causes people to go inactive, so yes, I do know what it feels like. I just feel that this particular issue has been addressed by the church many times. If people still want to be offended, I don’t necessarily blame them; I just don’t see where there is a whole lot more that we can do other than just make sure we do better in the future than we did in the past. You certainly have the right to disagree, but that is my contribution to the discussion whether it is liked or not.

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      • Yes it has been discussed a lot. But no apology has ever been offered ever or notion of any wrong doing. This vague statement that doesn’t admit to any wrong doing adds to the pile of not apologizing. I really like this statement: “The historical record makes it clear that racial prejudice affected American society generally as well as members of the Church, including leaders, at the time this practice originated, and that this practice grew out of said prejudice. Many incorrectly assumed that this racial prejudice was inspired by the Lord, which allowed the persistence of this practice until 1978, when it was overturned.” It doesn’t throw anybody under the bus, but yet says “hey we messed up” and gives a reason why we messed up. Jeannie, I think you can agree with me when I say we can do better!

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        • Jeannie /

          The truth is that I have always said we can do better–in many things. And, yes I do think your statement sounds very good. Ideally, that would have been great, I just don’t necessarily think that the actual statement is bad. Fair enough?

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          • Common ground! I knew we could find it! Thank you for being fair! I just hope your teenager does a better job cleaning the kitchen next time!

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        • Paul /

          The no apology aspect of this issue is what bothers me the most. When we are asked to repent for something we have done wrong we are told we must recognize the offense and be sorry about it and try to not repeat it again. I think the church obviously recognizes the offense, knows it was wrong and made changes so it would not continue but where is the “We are sorry this happened”?. They can try to put it in context with regards to the time and talk about leaders only expressing opinions and not doctrine and all that but why can’t they say they are sorry?

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  15. So we have some common ground then JTS! ;)

    JTS:
    I’m solidly in Jeannie’s camp on this issue.

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  16. The church has been plagued by the false doctrines that triggered OD1 and OD2. Those cancers are still malignant and yet the church continues to adjust the band-aids on it instead of undergoing full chemo to cure the problem.

    1. Joseph Smith was not the source of the gross discrimination against blacks. That worked its way into practice years after his death.
    2. Joseph Smith repeatedly publicly denounced polygamy and accusations of his having anything to do with it in any form, but allegedly taught and practiced it in private if you believe the church’s account in the post-Joseph era.

    If the saints had only been faithful to Joseph Smith these cancers would have never cursed the church. They still refuse to repent as they still do not confess their folly. Instead, the saints exercise blind deference to those in the leadership who claimed allegiance to Joseph Smith and purported to speak for him and to relay doctrines never preached by him.

    The saints received spirits they did not understand, but receiving them to be of God. Are they justified in this? They continue to answer this themselves.

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