ITS ALL IN BLACK AND WHITE
The Mormon church has been in the news quite often lately and not all is good publicity, much of it they could do without.(article after news story)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Mormon leaders are secretly considering a plan to disavow church doctrines once used to support claims that blacks are inferior, the Los Angeles Times reported today.
The teachings purport to link black skin color to curses from God recounted in Hebrew and Mormon Scriptures.
The plan under review by the church's Committee on Public Affairs may result in a statement as early as next month, the Times reported.
In 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to admit all worthy men to the priesthood, regardless of race or color, and church leaders now proclaim racial equality as a ``fundamental teaching.''
But the officials are seeking a way to retract certain statements without undermining the faith of believers or the credibility of church figures revered as prophets and whose pronouncements Mormons believe were inspired by God.
The 10 million-member church is growing in Africa and other developing countries. Church president and prophet Gordon Hinckley recently wrapped up a five-nation tour of Africa.
But black members and some Mormon scholars warn that the ``racist legacy'' contained in Mormon documents and authoritative statements may undermine the church's mission unless they are disavowed, the Times reported.
May 18, 1998 SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) FN_ARTICLE>SALT LAKE CITY ; The Mormon church said Monday its priesthood was open to "all worthy males" and it was surprised by a report it was considering the repudiation of a doctrine used to bolster claims that blacks were inferior.
"We have read the story ... and are surprised at its contents," the church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Times reported Monday the move to repudiate previous church policy came 20 years after the church dropped its ban against African Americans in the priesthood.
"The 1978 official declaration continues to speak for itself," the church said, noting that the 1978 declaration granted the priesthood to "all worthy males." The paper quoted sources close to the secret deliberations as saying they hoped a statement would be issued next month.
The proposal to disavow the teaching, which purports to link skin color to curses from God recounted in Hebrew and Mormon Scriptures, is under review by the church's Committee on Public Affairs, the paper said.
But the church statement said the matter had not been discussed by its top governing body, the First Presidency, nor its Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Although the church now proclaims racial equality as "fundamental teaching," the leaders are searching for a formula that would repudiate the old teachings without undermining the credibility of previous church figures who preached the black inferiority doctrine and whom the Mormons revere as prophets inspired by God, the Times said.
David Jackson, an African American Mormon who is among those calling for the doctrines to be repudiated, told the Times current church leaders faced a dilemma. "They feel like a lot of people may not believe the church is true because a lot of these things were said by previous prophets and a true prophet of God shouldn't make mistakes." Bingo amazing that he realizes this and continues to remain
Jackson said many African Americans felt the 1978 proclamation allowing blacks to serve in the priesthood did not go far enough. "What (the proclamation) doesn't say is we're no longer of the lineage of Cain, that we no longer did these things in preexistence. It does not say we are not cursed with black skin," he added.
Mormons say there's no need to change race policy
This is not new before they did a reform of their priesthood pressure was mounting inside . In 1970."Some 3,000 students, led by the BSU, paraded peacefully on the school's campus in Seattle over the issue of alleged racism at BYU." The demonstration was one of many in a series of protests against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) because the church bars Negroes from its priesthood." (Deseret News, Jan. 10, 1970.)
Mormons Plan No Statement on Blacks By MIKE CARTER
Associated Press Writer AP/Deseret News, Kristan Jacobsen
``Since the 1978 revelation granting the priesthood to all worthy males, millions of people of all races have embraced the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. ... The 1978 official declaration continues to speak for itself,'' the statement said.
The report comes as church membership is blossoming in Africa and other developing nations. In February, Hinckley completed a five-country tour of Africa, where the church boasts more than 110,000 converts.
More recently, Hinckley addressed a regional conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People -- a first for a Mormon leader.
D. Michael Quinn, a Mormon historian and author of seminal works on early Mormon leaders, said for the church to disavow the teaching would be surprising ``but it might be easier than you think.''
That's because church founder Joseph Smith was a nonracist who in the 1840s ordained a black man. Smith insisted that blacks were not inferior, despite the contrary and overwhelming opinions of the times.
But the church's second president, the famed pioneer leader Brigham Young, said in 1852 that blacks were inferior and that slavery was a divine necessity."
Well he is certainly right on Brigham Young, the second prophet of the church who really was the catalyst for the churches growth, asserted: "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly without the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind... "Cain slew his brother.... and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is a flat nose and black skin. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, pp. 290-291)
"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man...mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (B. Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, 110)
We need to remember that Brigham young stated that when his discourses are copied and approved they are as good as scripture is in the bible, this is from the Journal of Discourses vol.13 p.262 and p.95
President Brigham Young went so far as to proclaim that if the church gave "all the blessings of God" to the blacks prematurely, the priesthood would be taken away and the Mormon Church would go to destruction. Here is a extract from Brigham Young's speech.
"...the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the priesthood nor his seed, until the last of the posterity ofAbel had received the priesthood, until the redemption of the earth.... Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; [say] we will summons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick, and all the elders of Israel, suppose we summons them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction, - we should receive the curse which was placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed." The fact is Brigham Young University was a name given in honor of a hero who held the lowest standard of humanity. Consider a mere mortal who stated that men may become Gods except those of a different color.
But was the founder Joseph Smith a non racist? If not, then maybe the blame can be put on their God who certainly is. Now remember this God of theirs was once a man, who seems to have not become so gracious on his beliefs. Considering that Adam was from the middle east and was probably dark skin none of this makes any sense.
Since its beginning the Mormon Church has taught that a dark skin is a sign of God's displeasure. This teaching comes directly from Joseph Smith's Book of Mormon -The -Book of Mormon teaches that about 600 B.C. a prophet named Lehi brought his family ( Jewish people) to America. Those who were righteous the good people (the Nephites) had a white skin, but those who rebelled against God who were evil(the Lamanites) were cursed with a dark skin. The Lamanites eventually destroyed the Nephites; therefore, the Indians living today are referred to as Lamanites.
Why would Brigham Youngs teaching replace Smiths ?Was J. Smith neutral in his teaching, was he not prejudice toward blacks? Did he promote equality as they claim?
The following verses are found in the Book of Mormon explain the curse on the Lamanites. In the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 5:21 we read about the Lamanites being cursed with a black skin: "And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing because of their iniquity wherefore. as they were white, and exceeding fair. and delightsome, that they , might not be inticing unto my people the Lord God cause a skin of blackness to come upon them."
Also Alma 3:6 we read "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... "
The prophet Joseph Smith taught that the Lamanites eventually destroyed the white skinned people (Nephites) and that the American Indians are the descendants of the ancient Lamanites.
Joseph Smith himself taught that "Negroes" are the "sons of Cain, this is exactly where Brigham Young got his opinion from." (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 501) Mormon leaders also taught that "As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skirt; he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born through his lineage." (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, page 102)
In his Book of Moses, Joseph Smith wrote about a group of people in the Old World who were cursed with a black skin: "For behold the Lord shall curse the land with much heat... and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. " (Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses 7:8) which is one of 3 of the official publications of the church.
" And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled ,In unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations." (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:23)
"And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity.-..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)
In the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 7:8, ..."Blackness came upon all the children of Canaan " (turned into the black race) "...despised among all people." The Canaanite problem was not their skin but their sin, just like everyone else!
In Smiths own opinion he said, "Had I anything to do with the Negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species, and put them on a national equalization" (History of the Church, Volume 5, pp.218-219). This was not any different of a view held by the American culture of the time.But this certainly was not Gods opinion from the Holy Scripture at any time.Real Scripture,( the Bible) knows no prejudice due to the shading of skin, but the writings held sacred by the Mormon church which they claim are from God are.
Here is where we see the bigotry of their churchs revelation that certainly was influenced by the culture not God. The Book of Mormon stated that when the Lamanites repented of their sins "their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites" (3 Nephi 2:15). The Book of Mormon also promised that in the last days the Lamanites, the Indians- will repent and "many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a white and delightsome people." (2 Nephi 30:6).
But the Indians did not find themselves transforming to be "white" as the Book of Mormon prophesied. Critic of Mormonism writer Gordon H. Fraser claims that the "skin color" of the Indians converted to Mormonism "has not been altered in the least because of their adherence to the Mormon doctrines" (What Does The Book of Mormon Teach? p. 46).
In the 1981 printing of the "triplet" which contains the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. This new publication contains a very important change. The Previous editions of the Book of Mormon hid said that in the last days the Indians "shall be a white and delightsome people." (2 Nephi 30:6) In the new edition this has been altered to read that the Indians "shall be a pure and delightsome people." And has stayed the same since. So the only thing that has changed is their printed revelation.
The official Church magazine, The Ensign in a weak but revealing apologetic tried to justify this change by stating: "Most students of latter-day scriptures are aware that from the very first printing typographical errors have crept Into the Book of Mormon".... "I (Joseph Smith) told the Brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth,.." (History of the Church, Volume 4, Page 461)
Errors in the most perfect book, that was written under the power of God translated by the Urim and Thummim! Time is the enemy of a false prophet ,certainly is a true statement, B.McConkie in his book Mormon Doctrine states of the Urim and thummim From time to time..the Lord personally or through the ministry of appointed angels, delivers to chosen prophets a Urim and Thummim to be used in receiving revelations and translating ancient records from unknown tongues. " He goes on to say these are seer stone or interpreters. which means light and perfections. while this does mean light and perfections , we find it was the high priest Aaron who wore it and it as with many things in the tabernacle were typology of Christ who was perfect and was the light of the world. In other words whatever function it was used in today that tabernacle is gone and Christ replaced it all.there are many theories of what they stones were how many or their function. One thing for sure is they didnt end up on the American continent and they were no longer needed since the tabernacle was gone. McConkie claims they were used before the flood which is pure assumption since we find Ex.28 god instructing them how to make the breastplate. Admittingly Joseph feilding Smith says "we have no record of the prophet having the Urim and thummim after the organization of the church."(p.818 Mormon doctrine) How convenient neither these nor the plates are around for inspection.
Theories- Some think the Urim and Thummim to have been identical with the twelve stones on the breastplate. Josephus (Ant. 3.8.9) identifies them with the sardonyxes on the shoulders of the ephod and says that they were bright before a victory or when the sacrifice was acceptable, dark when any disaster was impending. "Another theory is that in the middle of the ephod, or within its folds, there was a stone or plate of gold, on which was engraved the sacred name of Jehovah; and that by virtue of this, fixing his gaze on it, or reading an invocation which was also engraved with the name, or standing in his ephod before the mercy seat, or at least before the veil of the sanctuary, he became capable of prophesying, hearing the divine voice within, or listening to it as it proceeded in articulate sounds from the glory of the Shekinah." (from New Unger's Bible Dictionary)
Without any proof otherwise It is the LDS contention that the Bible is the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly, that there were many Plain and Precious Things were removed from the Bible .How do they know this, when truth is always subjective . Ask 3 Mormons and youll be lucky to get 3 different opinions of which and where something was removed or changed. Ask about their own books and they claim nothing was altered. it looks like they have to answer to some of the things changed and removed from theirs, like about 4,000 of them.
The Ensign goes on to say "The Prophet himself attempted to correct some of these kinds of errors, but his many duties prevented him from completing the project; and even so, some of his corrections seem to have disappeared again in later editions. For example, the 1830 and 1837 printings of the Book of Mormon contained a prophecy that the Lamanites would one day become "a white and delightsome people" (2 Nephi. 30:6). In the 1840 printing, which the Prophet edited, this passage was changed to read 'a pure and delightsome people,' but for some reason later printings reverted to the original wording." (The Ensign, October 1981, pages 17-18) he didnt have time to change mistakes is a grandiose excuse.
Yet with this cover-up statement about the most perfect book ever written they are unable to produce any proof, where even Mormon scholar Stanley R. Larson states that this manuscript "does not exist for this section of the text..."
In 1831 Joseph Smith had a revelation commanding Mormons to marry Indians to make them "white" which was suppressed, even in modern times leaders continued to teach the Book of Mormon doctrine of Indians becoming white when they turn to Mormonism. Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th President of the Church in 1973, had strongly endorsed that teaching. In the LDS General Conference, October 1960, Mr. Kimball stated: "I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today ... they are fast becoming a white and delightsome people .... For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised.... The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters (in the hogans) on the reservation.
They were so convinced of this removal of the curse that "At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl - sixteen - sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents-on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather .... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope- that the process might be accelerated." (Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-23)
The doctrine which Mormon leaders used to teach concerning blacks was clearly set forth in a letter written by the First Presidency of the church in 1947: "From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel. " (Letter from the First Presidency of the Mormon Church, July 17, 1947, as cited in Mormonism and the Negro, by John J. Stewart, 1960, pages 46-47)
Bruce R. McConkie, who served as an apostle in the LDS Church, said in 1958: "Negroes in this life are denied the preisthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty ... The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them...
"The Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the lord's doing... " (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, page 477)
During the 1960s and 1970s a great deal of pressure was put on the Mormon Church to abandon the anti-black doctrine. This pressure came from both members and non members of the church. Serious protests were mounted against the church's Brigham Young University and even the church itself. Mormon leaders, however, claimed that since the ban on blacks was doctrine of the church there was no way it could be changed except through revelation from God.
Finally the pressure not only from without but from within became so evident that the church was forced to reverse it's position. The claim by the Mormon prophets that while "time endures," the ban on blacks holding the priesthood could never be changed, was. History repeated itself just as It did about 100 years before when polygamy (another essential doctrine) was changed.
On June 9, 1978, the church's Deseret News carried the announcement that was never expected. The First Presidency , prophet Spencer W. Kimball had received a "new revelation " that blacks could now hold the priesthood,have temple marriages and finally receive the same privileges as all the other member of the church. He announced ... we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the upper room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance. "He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the holy priesthood... including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.
The revocation the ban on blacks from holding the priesthood was the most significant doctrinal change the church has made in the 20th century. The other was the polygamy issue which god also change his mind in the 1800s. It seems their God comes through by changing his mind just in time when the culture changes and pressure is put on their church. Just like polygamy which was essential for salvation ,the church would cease to exist off the earth before god would change this eternal teaching, once again God the former man, changed it. One can only wonder whos in charge ? The God who was once a man or the men who will one day be a God?
Many faithful Mormons also joined in criticizing this doctrine. It seems some members of the church received the revelation before their prophet. It will be interesting to see whether they will change the book of Mormons revelation and recall all their books that disagree or ignore it . One thing we can be sure of, the course charted by the leaders can change at any time. Their reasoning for taking blacks into the priesthood may not have been due to a spiritual revelation from the Lord. Then, whose idea was it and why? It appears this coincided when Mormon missionaries were sent to Africa and a Mormon temple had just been built in Brazil where many people are of mixed blood. For further expansion, and profit, some blacks were given "privileges" in 1978 to promote the Church in third world countries who are of different color.
While the teaching seems to change it did not just roll over and die. Mormon officials continued to put down interracial marriage. Mormon apostle Legrand Richards said, "The Japanese ought to marry Japanese; the Chinese ought to marry Chinese; the Hawaiians ought to marry Hawaiians; and the colored people ought to marry coloreds" (Interview with Mormon Apostle LeGrand Richards concerning the 1978 Negro "Revelation," Ex- Mormons for Jesus Visitor's Center, P.O. Box 3947, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670).
The Scripture is clear The black Shulamite woman, in the Song of Solomon is blessed and praised as the "fairest among women!" Moses Married a Negroe so why have they made an issue of this?
A true prophet in the Bible said, "Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously, every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?" (Malachi 2:10).
Gen.9 tells us the whole new world after the flood was populated by the 3 sons of Noah. Paul states in acts 17:2 God has made from one blood every nation on earth.
It is in Christ we are one , whether slave or free , man or woman, every race every color are brought together in and through the cross. As in Rev.5:9 tells us by his blood he took out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation a people unto himself.
The Mormons by their own doctrines prove they do not have the God of the Bible. They color the issue while God uncolors it.
They may enjoy the control they have here on earth now but it will not always be that way.
One day they will have to explain to the true God their teaching of equality with him as well as their divisiveness toward man. Until then its up to each one of us to do our part to bring the truth and the light to the people in this Church.