Gospel Topics Essays: Race and the Priesthood

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Re: Gospel Topics Essays: Race and the Priesthood

Post by Heber13 » 12 Jan 2018, 20:01

First, welcome. Glad you're here.

2nd...I am not sure there were any policies on this topic before Brigham Young. And I'm not sure BY's was a revelation from God but it did take a revelation to reverse it, but it may have been based on tradition and not Revelation.

3rd...I think we can learn to let go of trying to make modern church try to be exactly what ancient church was understood to be. It can be new, different, and what works for us. If you believe God changes his mind...that is one way to put it. Another way is that God doesn't care how the brother of Jared figures out the boat and needs of people...any idea will do...he will bless the most recent prophet submitting any acceptable idea. Having said that...I think prophets are sometimes wrong and don't get a blessing from God on all their ideas...but they run with it anyway at times. I believe more change is coming. On many issues. As the need arises, and as further light and knowledge is given.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Re: Gospel Topics Essays: Race and the Priesthood

Post by LookingHard » 13 Jan 2018, 16:45


I saw this and it reminded of me of what you said.

The online site for “The New Republic” titled its piece “Mormonism’s Crisis of Faith”: https://newrepublic.com/article/146589/ ... isis-faith

The final paragraph includes these words:
So now church leaders must constantly contend with the words of previous prophets, or risk throwing the entire enterprise into question. And to complicate things even more, the church’s membership has been conditioned to defend a crystallized dogma at all cost. If the church doesn’t find some way to free itself from the burden of its own theology, it will be left behind, and the remaining stalwarts will be forever destined to complain about obituaries in The New York Times.
While not the EXACT words you typed, the point is very close.

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Re: Gospel Topics Essays: Race and the Priesthood

Post by Roy » 14 Jan 2018, 11:31

Welcome sjsrsee,

My own faith crisis catalyst was the stillbirth of my daughter. I came across a talk by SWK entitled "Tragedy or Destiny" in which SWK said that he did not know whether bad stuff happened just randomly or whether God caused it for some higher purpose. Another hardness was that the church does not know if a stillborn person counts as a person for the purpose of eternal families and progression and is not listed in church records. These "I don't knows" really shocked me. Shouldn't the prophet know? Or if he doesn't know couldn't he just ask God to clarify?

When I came here I was in deep emotional pain.

Over time I have come to understand that Prophets are not all that different than us in the way that they receive revelation/inspiration and make decisions for their stewardship responsibilities. Where I once craved certainty, I am now much more comfortable with uncertainty (imagine a world where the prophet declared that all things that happened in your life - from who you marry to what you eat for breakfast - was part of God's plan. I much prefer the "I don't know.").

However, that does not mean that God is not directing this church. Perhaps He is coaxing it much more gently with loving persuasion than we had imagined. He does not force us to move faster than we have strength and He knows that we are a slow and stubborn people. The Children of Israel in Exodus wandered in the desert for 40 years before they came to the promised land and all the older generation had to die out first. We are similar. God teaches us line upon line, precept on precept, but often God has to wait 40 years and until all the older generation die out that are still loyal defenders of the last precept before he can teach us the new precept. There are also good metaphors for this process in the Olive trees that must be pruned and the "continuing restoration."
President Uchdorf wrote:
12 Jan 2018, 14:56
Sometimes we think of the Restoration of the gospel as something that is complete, already behind us—Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, he received priesthood keys, the Church was organized. In reality, the Restoration is an ongoing process; we are living in it right now. It includes “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal,” and the “many great and important things” that “He will yet reveal.”2 Brethren, the exciting developments of today are part of that long-foretold period of preparation that will culminate in the glorious Second Coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
SamBee wrote:
12 Jan 2018, 14:56
The best way to deal with this is to think it is part of our past and not our future.
Long story short, the church is not yet what God wants it to be. But He has not given up on it - even when it "kicks against the pricks". He continues to push and prod and slowly, ever so slowly the church moves in a positive direction and closer to what God has in mind. In this way, polygamy and racism and many other things can legitimately be part of our past. Perhaps they were growing pains or phases of development but we do not need to hold onto them or defend them. I believe that God wants us to move forward - not backward.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13

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Re: Gospel Topics Essays: Race and the Priesthood

Post by gospeltangents » 22 Jan 2018, 20:17

I talked to Paul Reeve, and he was the source for the Race Essay, although it was HEAVILY edited by the brethren. The brethren don't want to throw prophets under the bus, and the fact that they sort of threw Brigham under the bus was a major concession. Still, the essay equivocates a lot more than Paul Reeve would have if he had written the essay. I questioned him on whether the essay went too far, or not far enough. I think most would say not far enough, but it was pretty groundbreaking what the essay admits. Here's the whole interview if you would like to hear Paul's perspective on it: https://gospeltangents.com/2017/02/27/p ... ace-essay/ (We hit a few other hot-button topics as well.)
See my latest interviews on Mormon History, Science & Theology at www.gospeltangents.com

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