Race and The Priesthood

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
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SamBee
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by SamBee » 11 Dec 2013, 15:24

The good thing about continuous revelation is we can discard unpleasant doctrine.

I suppose each doctrine should be explored by each member rather than just accepted lemming fashion.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Sheldon
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by Sheldon » 11 Dec 2013, 15:33

SilentDawning wrote:Not sure what you mean by this portion " was only showing that even in the steps they took to put this behind them, they still couldn’t get the whole truth. They still wobbled on the truth to preserve Joseph Smith’s reputation. That’s all I was pointing out."
Yes, I was less than clear. In an effort by the FP and Q12 to put this whole race issue behind them, and issue the statement on LDS.org, they still couldn’t tell the whole truth. The LDS.org statement says it was not doctrine, was made up by BY, and was a mistake (my paraphrasing). My post was only to show that it was instituted by JS, it was considered doctrine. They take one step forward (posting the issue on LDS.org) and two steps backward by not being complete truthful about what happened.

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mom3
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by mom3 » 11 Dec 2013, 15:39

Sheldon - Forgive my boldness, but I see that my response was not as complete as I would like. My Mormonism has been tipped on it's head a bit, in the process I have chosen to seek Jesus Christs teachings as my guide point for now. In word and deed he taught us to forgive all men. To be his disciple in full form you had to forgive even the ones whose injustice was sincere. I have a long way to go to achieve discipleship in this area, but if I and others of us don't begin now, the healing that needs to happen will never happen.

I didn't live in 1830 or 1950 - I don't know what the world felt like - all I have is what I know and feel now. And if I read holy writ correctly - I need to forgive and quit pulling off the scab. It's God's job to deal with the other party. How and when he will do that is none of my business. How and what I will do is very much mine.

There are a lot of apologies I would like in life, there are probably many I should give to others, too. Both are unlikely to happen. You may be able to wait for an apology, but I can't, too many people are hurting now in other areas. I am taking the lessons I've learned from this history and going onward - Boldly in defense of Children of God.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Dec 2013, 15:49

Sheldon, I rarely do this, but I personally think your last comment is objectively wrong - for the reasons I stated in my last comment. I will address one point in your last comment and then I will let it go, since I really don't want to have this thread turn into an argument between the two of us.
My post was only to show that it was instituted by JS.


No, it wasn't. There is no way to say correctly that the ban was instituted by Joseph Smith. He ordained black men to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and black men participated in temple ordinances during his lifetime. That is indisputable.

I'm not going to continue to stress all of this. I meant it when I said I don't want to turn this into an argument. That is not consistent with our mission, and I've gone as far as I feel good going in that regard. I understand problems with the explanation, but I disagree strongly with the idea that Joseph instituted the ban. That simply makes no sense whatsoever to me.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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Sheldon
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by Sheldon » 11 Dec 2013, 15:56

Ray Degraw wrote: Joseph, himself, had nothing to do with the ban, and his actions had to be ignored in order to justify it.
That is not what the FP and Q12 said in 1968.
From the beginning of this dispensation, Joseph Smith and all succeeding presidents of the Church have taught that Negroes, while spirit children of a common Father, and the progeny of our earthly parents Adam and Eve, were not yet to receive the priesthood, for reasons which we believe are known to God, but which He has not made fully known to man.

Who do we believe, a undated and unattributed posting on lds.org , or a signed and dated FP letter?

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Sheldon
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by Sheldon » 11 Dec 2013, 16:05

I enjoy a good debate, something I can’t do at church or in my home with my wife. So I get it all out on the internet. This helps me “Stay LDS”.
This is the last I’ll say on this subject

"President George Q. Cannon remarked that the Prophet [Joseph] taught this doctrine: That the seed of Cain could not receive the Priesthood, nor act in any of the offices of the Priesthood until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain's offspring."

(22 August 1895, Minutes of Meeting of General Authorities, in Joseph Fielding Smith, "The Way to Perfection" (1931), p. 110.)
_____


"President [George Q.] Cannon remarked upon this subject, as he said, he had on a prior occasion when this subject was under consideration, that he had understood that the Prophet Joseph [Smith] had said during this lifetime, that there would be a great wrong perpetrated if the seed of Cain were allowed to have the Priesthood before Abel should have posterity to receive it, and this curse therefore was to remain upon the seed of Cain until the time should come that Abel should have posterity. He understood that that time could not come until Abel should beget spirits in the eternal worlds and those spirits obtain tabernacles."

(George Albert Smith Papers, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah)
_____


"President Young held to the doctrine that no man tainted with Negro blood was eligible to have the Priesthood; that President Taylor held to the same doctrine, claiming to have been taught it by the Prophet Joseph Smith."

(George Q. Cannon, Council Minutes, 22 August 1900.)
_____


"It is true that the Negro race is barred from holding the Priesthood, and this has always been the case. the Prophet Joseph Smith taught this doctrine.

(Joseph F. Smith, "Improvement Era," [1924], 27, p. 564,)
_____


"I say the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will it be until it is affected by as great power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him; and those that are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good.

(Joseph Smith, "Messenger & Advocate," 2, p. 290; "History of the Church," 2, p. 438.)
_____


"The Prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by God to withdraw the Priesthood from Elijah Abel, and revoke the ordination. ...
"Although there is no official Church record as to the revocation, Elijah Abel affirmed the fact to my father, Thomas A. Shreeve, when both were living in the Salt Lake 10th Ward, during 1872-77. At the time, Brother Abel told young Thomas, who baptised Abel's grandchildren that the Prophet Joseph 'came to him with tears in his eyes one day, and told him that he had been commanded by the Lord to withdraw the holy Priesthood from him.'"

(Caleb A. Shreeve, Sr,, "Salt Lake Tribune," "Forum", 26 October 1970)
_____


"Brother Coltrin further said Brother Abel was ordained a Seventy . . . and when the Prophet Joseph learned of his lineage he was dropped from the Quorum, and another was put in his place.

(Meeting, 31 May 1879, as related by Willian E. Berrett, "Mormonism and the Negro")

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mom3
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by mom3 » 11 Dec 2013, 16:19

Thanks for the clarification - it was feeling a little heated, though I like debate I sour when debate becomes war. Everyone loses on those. I hope you are walking with lighter step now.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by Curt Sunshine » 11 Dec 2013, 16:41

[This is an administrator comment - and it will be the end of this sub-discussion]:

Everything after 1978 has said that the justifications for the ban prior to that time were wrong. Every quote in the last comment was prior to 1978.

There is absolutely NO objective evidence that Joseph taught that black men couldn't receive the Priesthood, and he ordained multiple black men to the Priesthood. He also authorized black members to participate in temple ordinances in Nauvoo. Those are indisputable facts. Joseph did not institute the ban, no matter what subsequent people believed, based on what they were told and believed as a result.
Who do we believe, an undated and unattributed posting on lds.org , or a signed and dated FP letter?


I can't say what "we" believe. Period. I have expressed what I believe. You have expressed what you believe. That is enough.

Finally, this explanation is not an "unattributed posting" (It was authorized and approved by the top leadership, as explained by the Church Historian in the video linked in the Gospel Topics section.) vs. a signed and dated FP letter. It's a mountain of historical evidence and combined statements from modern apostles and at least two clear explanations in the past two years vs. a mountain of statements based on incorrect understanding of previous leaders (fueled by incorrect information given to Pres. Taylor, who, by the way, appears in documentation to have been willing to overturn the ban if he was told Joseph didn't institute or teach it). Each person can make their own determination, but characterizing it as an unattributed posting vs. a pre-1978 FP statement and implying one correct conclusion as a result is not legitimate, especially here.

It now is time to end this. The thread will stay open for further comments, if people want to comment, but the questions of whether the ban was instituted by Joseph Smith and who to believe in that regard is closed. We simply don't do "debate" here, and this has been too much of a debate already.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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cwald
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by cwald » 11 Dec 2013, 18:37

Well, it's pretty obvious, to me anyway. Either Sheldon is right, or President George Q Canon, Joseph Fielding Smith, George Albert Smith, John Taylor, Brigham Young, Joseph F Smith, Caleb A. Shreeve, Sr, Willian E. Berrett and Brother Coltrin were less than honest about this topic?

I'm not debating it. I'm just applying Occam's Razer.
Sheldon wrote:...
This is the last I’ll say on this subject

"President George Q. Cannon remarked that the Prophet [Joseph] taught this doctrine: That the seed of Cain could not receive the Priesthood, nor act in any of the offices of the Priesthood until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain's offspring."

(22 August 1895, Minutes of Meeting of General Authorities, in Joseph Fielding Smith, "The Way to Perfection" (1931), p. 110.)
_____


"President [George Q.] Cannon remarked upon this subject, as he said, he had on a prior occasion when this subject was under consideration, that he had understood that the Prophet Joseph [Smith] had said during this lifetime, that there would be a great wrong perpetrated if the seed of Cain were allowed to have the Priesthood before Abel should have posterity to receive it, and this curse therefore was to remain upon the seed of Cain until the time should come that Abel should have posterity. He understood that that time could not come until Abel should beget spirits in the eternal worlds and those spirits obtain tabernacles."

(George Albert Smith Papers, Manuscripts Division, Marriott Library, University of Utah)
_____


"President Young held to the doctrine that no man tainted with Negro blood was eligible to have the Priesthood; that President Taylor held to the same doctrine, claiming to have been taught it by the Prophet Joseph Smith."

(George Q. Cannon, Council Minutes, 22 August 1900.)
_____


"It is true that the Negro race is barred from holding the Priesthood, and this has always been the case. the Prophet Joseph Smith taught this doctrine.

(Joseph F. Smith, "Improvement Era," [1924], 27, p. 564,)
_____


"I say the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will it be until it is affected by as great power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him; and those that are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good.

(Joseph Smith, "Messenger & Advocate," 2, p. 290; "History of the Church," 2, p. 438.)
_____


"The Prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by God to withdraw the Priesthood from Elijah Abel, and revoke the ordination. ...
"Although there is no official Church record as to the revocation, Elijah Abel affirmed the fact to my father, Thomas A. Shreeve, when both were living in the Salt Lake 10th Ward, during 1872-77. At the time, Brother Abel told young Thomas, who baptised Abel's grandchildren that the Prophet Joseph 'came to him with tears in his eyes one day, and told him that he had been commanded by the Lord to withdraw the holy Priesthood from him.'"

(Caleb A. Shreeve, Sr,, "Salt Lake Tribune," "Forum", 26 October 1970)
_____


"Brother Coltrin further said Brother Abel was ordained a Seventy . . . and when the Prophet Joseph learned of his lineage he was dropped from the Quorum, and another was put in his place.

(Meeting, 31 May 1879, as related by Willian E. Berrett, "Mormonism and the Negro")
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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cwald
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Re: Race and The Priesthood

Post by cwald » 11 Dec 2013, 18:43

I've thought about this for awhile. I really do think the church deserves some credit for making this comment.

When I got pushed out...the statement made to me by the SP coucnilor, and I quote, "Chad, I feel like you believe you can pick and choose which parts of the prophets council to believe and follow."

My response. "You're damn I right I do. And you should too."

This recent statement about the priesthood ban, really, is validating my position...the position that cost me my standing within my family and church. Sure, TBM's are not going to see it that way...but it's there and eventually it will start to seep in. There is going to be some pain and more bleeding. It took the church 180 years of "obedience and prophet worship" doctrines to dig themselves into this mess. They can't and will not be able to dig themselves out of this hole overnight.

But kudos church, it's start. And you have to start somewhere.
Last edited by Anonymous on 11 Dec 2013, 20:22, edited 1 time in total.
  Jesus gave us the gospel, but Satan invented church. It takes serious evil to formalize faith into something tedious and then pile guilt on anyone who doesn't participate enthusiastically. - Robert Kirby

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