The Daily Universe, the student paper at BYU, published a very topical article this week entitled “Racism continues to surface in the Church and at BYU”
A quote from Paul Reeve, a professor of Mormon history at the University of Utah pretty much sums up the article:
The Gospel Topics essay on race and the priesthood says the Church doesn’t stand by these teachings and leaders now condemn all forms of racism both in the present and the past.
“‘We taught that. We practiced, produced, created racism, and it was wrong.’ That’s what the church needs to say,” Reeve said. Until then, he said, members will continue to think racist teachings like dark skin being a curse could be true.
“Until the Church actively teaches anti-racism, we’ll be stuck with our racism,” Reeves said.
“These Teachings” referenced by Reeve are the teaching that were taught by church leaders that a dark skin was a curse, due to being less valiant in the pre-earth life.
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.First Presidency Statement, August 17, 1949
Do some of our current church leaders still believe this? They did at one time, but have never come out as individuals and said “I was wrong, the church was wrong” We do NOT have a First Presidency statement repudiating the above statement, we have an unsigned essay.
On this topic, a friend of mine said:
It does still seem like a perverse game of historical “telephone” though. (The game where one whispers a saying to the next person, etc., down the line until the end person repeats what they heard, and it’s changed drastically from the start.) Joseph Smith said some things, Brigham Young said Joseph Smith said some things, and then said MORE things, and so later prophets follow this precedent without questioning the sources or later additions.
The way the game of telephone ends is that the person that began the game speaks up, and says “this is the original message”. Then everybody can see what the original message was, and were they went wrong. Since Joseph Smith can’t speak up and correct the church, the Lord, or his prophets need to do it. They need to state, over the pulpit in General Conference, that they got the message wrong, and the current message, non-withstanding the printed Come Follow Me manual, is that the racist teaching of the past, including the justification for withholding the priesthood was wrong.
Do you think that the church will ever get to a point that it can say is was wrong to deny blacks the priesthood and temple ordinances? Can we ever move past the racism taught years ago until the church does ?
When I was a child in the 70s I discovered a book on my grandparents‘ shelf called „The Church and the Negro“
It was published in the 60s and is a vast historical compilation of all manner of false doctrine associated with this issue.
I remember browsing through it and thinking- „this doesn‘t sound right.“ I few years later I took it with me, but never shared it or discussed it with anyone.
Now many years later I realize it was the seed of doubt that grew over the years to become the fundamental issue of my faith conversion away from „The Church“: which is that our leaders are not really prophets who speak with or receive revelation from God in any literal sense.
I don‘t think they will issue any more statements, official or otherwise, about past doctrinal errors. Elder Oaks has made it clear – the Church doesn‘t apologize anyway.
I don’t think we need to wonder though, as the post suggests, what the Church’s official position really is on the issue now. But The Church saying anything more official or forceful than what they have already just erodes belief in the idea that Jesus is literally leading The Church. Because if He really were, such gravely false doctrine could not have existed for so long.
My wife is from Latin America. She has always felt inferior at church. The Mormon Pioneer stalk women type have rarely included her. The racism within the LDS culture runs deeper than many realize. Soooo deep. When you are part of the group you do not see the problem, until you are not part of the group. One of many examples, only the Black and Latino sisters are called into Nursery in our Stake. How do they not see that? You tend our kids while we go to class and learn.
Like every other topic, the LDS church is 30 years behind and then will take another 30 years to get rid of it culturally. Actually, could be longer. Look how LDS are still dealing with polygamy. It was officially renounced, but then practiced within the official organization for another 30 years. Until “pretend renounced” again and again. Then that issue alone caused splintering of the many groups to this day.
Last night I finished reading Joanna Brooks’ new book, Mormonism and White Supremacy. If you think this is a story you know already, believe me, you probably don’t. I highly recommend it.
The basic idea that some people were more valiant in the pre-existence is still being taught. The doctrine is taken from the scripture where God tells Abraham that he knew him before he was born and selected the most valiant spirits to be world leaders and prophets. Until we stop teaching that the most noble and great ones were selected to be born into the LDS church, in America, in these last days, we are still teaching that people deserve, because of their behavior before earth life, to be born into bad situations as well as good situations. So, born to starving parents in war torn Africa, you must not have been very valiant in the pre-existence. Born to black parents in America? Not near as valiant as those of us born into the one true church to white parents in high positions in the church. It is all part of the same package.
It needs to be turned upside down, so that children born into difficult situations are seen as the most valiant. They are the ones given difficult assignments instead of cushy soft lives. They are more loved of God because God trusted this child to be born to abusive parents and still stay kind and loving.
The single most important thing I learned and taught during a 30-year career in PR/Crisis Communication Is that when you hurt people (by their definition of “hurt”) you apologize quickly and sincerely. It’s been amazing to me since 1978, that the original revelation didn’t include an apology. We will never move past the issue or have any cred discussing it until the words “We apologize and continue to repent for the hurt caused by our past racist doctrines and actions” come from the mouth of the living prophet/president during GC.
I wish Church leaders would apologize for past racism, as well as for policies that have been harmful to LGBTQ+ and women.
But President Dallin H: Oaks explained, “I know that the history of the church is not to seek apologies or to give them. We sometimes look back on issues and say, ‘Maybe that was counterproductive for what we wish to achieve,’ but we look forward and not backward.” The church doesn’t “seek apologies,” he said, “and we don’t give them.”
Oaks statement has always bothered me, because we are taught otherwise. So he is saying “do as we say, not as we do.”
The church keeps stumbling over itself.
Anna makes a good point about Abraham 3:22-23. I have come to think of those verses as a poison flower, like oleander: enticing, but toxic if we do more than admire them from a distance. As soon as we say, “Yeah, the noble and great ones, that sounds like us,” we’re trapped in pride and hypocrisy. There is no way to think of oneself, much less proclaim oneself, as noble and great without being the opposite.
We have cursed ourselves by relying on this scripture to teach our children about their duty and using it to motivate ourselves in church service. There are better ways. Instead of teaching our children to be “one of the noble and great ones,” we should teach them to love. Divine leadership in no way requires aspirations to nobility or greatness.
Are there really noble and great ones? Yes, I suppose so. That’s what the scripture says. But none of them got that way by trying to be noble and great. If our aspiration to “greatness” is polluting the Church’s attitudes about race–and I think it is–then we ought to repudiate the whole, awful tradition of rhapsodizing about that passage in the Book of Abraham.
I love your comments and agree with so much of what you say and have learned so much from your comments. And we are all thinking aloud, sorting through a sometimes challenging legacy. But I think it’s better not to teach anything about a person’s lived experiences reflecting anything about a person’s premortal life character.
What about the person with abusive parents who does not stay kind and loving? That person still has strengths which can be built on to effect change within. But that person has experienced trauma and we must be so careful about judging in any way a person who has experienced trauma.
Jesus said blessed are the poor. That’s all. And the Book of Mormon says all are alike unto God.
It just seems dicey to judge a person in any way based on the difficulties they experience in life.
I love the rest of what you said. Thanks for your insights.
The 1949 1st Presidency statement nicely puts a pin in the thinking/theology up to that point. Almost a century of preceding GC talks explicitly described “no matter what the handicap may be” to include race, religion, family, economic circumstances, nationality, as well as mental and physical handicaps. Pro-mortal valiancy determined it all. When it’s all YOUR fault, then it’s not at all OUR fault. And it’s your responsibility to overcome those deficiencies in this estate (to the extent we’ll allow you to).
Of course, this is not unique to Mormonism, Christianity in general, or any political party, etc. Some have carried that worldview to extremes. My father was born in 1935 in Germany. Under the prevailing philosophy then-and-there, four of my children could have been put to death: Down syndrome, Down syndrome, Gay, and Black.
Personally, I don’t want to be anywhere on that spectrum. That’s not to say that I have it all figured out – I don’t. But I have also come a long way by first seeing the pain of marginalized groups, seeking out and learning from affected individuals, and evaluating what I should change. I try to withhold judgments for as long as possible before reaching a tentative conclusion on which to experiment – lather, rinse, repeat.
Sometimes you have to make some noise. How many times have you heard “let there be no contention”, “be of one heart and one mind”, “God’s house is a house of order”, “some things we have to take on faith”, “God’s ways are higher than ours”, “stay away from the mysteries”, and other such don’t-rock-the-boat, don’t ask sticky questions type of stuff?
That is almost always the way Authority maintains its authority – by having nice, reverent, quiet followers. Good people that perhaps aren’t looking very far out of their insular communities.
When your reason, conscience, and inspiration are not aligned with the party, you have to determine if your relationship with God is enhanced by staying quiet and perpetuating the status quo by your silence, or by encouraging others to think about their unexamined notions. Your call.
By the time my son with Down syndrome was born, the dominant narrative was just the opposite of the 1949 Official Statement: his intellectual “handicap” was a shield to protect an extra valiant spirit from the influence of satan – perpetually innocent and assured of Celestial glory.
Narratives can change. When accompanied by some humility and an apology, the new narratives just might be believed. Then the here-and-now experience of millions becomes richer, less fearful, and more hopeful. Who among us wouldn’t mind feeling more loved?
I have been reflecting on my experience with racism and the race riots of the 1969-70 era when I was in high school in Las Vegas. And…now it is 50 years later, and I am beginning to understand that change comes slowly for humans and even slower for organized institutions. Hope is an enabling virtue that that we can choose to help empower ourselves. It is truly an empowering vehicle to hold on to hope. However, it is not a vehicle institutions use when affecting its agenda. So, I guess what I am thinking is we should always hope that the church will offer or apologize for early history, policy, doctine…whatever..BUT…the only change we will most likely see is going to come from within each individual ‘s heart.
The church leaders like to shove outdated or embarrassing doctrines under the rug and pretend they don’t exist, hoping that someday they will go away. It doesn’t work well. I still hear people speak against birth control, the ERA, face cards, etc.
Just a few years ago I was reading in the online materials, maybe the marriage and family relations manual, and saw a leader quoted speaking against interracial marriage. This isn’t something you usually hear about, but It reminded me and confirmed what I was told years before by a seminary teacher and bishop, that while the church doesn’t actually oppose interracial marriage, a bishop might take dating couple aside and remind them, nudge nudge, that their children or grandchildren might turn out to be various shades, wink wink, as if that is some kind of problem. Or something.
The church set up correlation a long time ago with the goal of unifying church doctrine in preparation for a global, worldwide church. It’s time for the correlation department to embark on a massive anti-racism effort to annotate disavowal to the quotes and materials, everything availability in the app or website from years past that have racist sentiments. Within a few years, they could make it so that we no longer stumble on a racist quote without also seeing some kind of correction.
This is from the Southern Baptist Convention of 1995: “We apologize to all African Americans for condoning and/or perpetuating individual and systemic racism in our lifetime, and we genuinely repent of racism of which we have been guilty, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
The LDS church needs to issue a statement like this and stop claiming, “we don’t know why,” about its racist past.
Black lives matter. I denounce all racism whether past, present or future.
The Apologetic defense for past church leaders’ racism is:
Prophets in all dispensations have been “men of their times,” who were raised with certain beliefs and interacted all their lives with others who shared those beliefs.
Brigham Young declared that the penalty for interracial reproduction between whites and blacks was death in 1863 during a sermon criticizing the federal government. This slant was shared by the Utah Territory which passed an anti-miscegenation law in 1888 prohibiting marriages between a “negro” or “mongolian” (i.e. Asian person) and a “white person.”
But Elder Peter M. Johnson is a general authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who was called in April 2019. He is African-American, and his wife Stephanie Lyn Chadwick is white.
Matty, don’t worry, I use the idea that we should turn the doctrine on it head as a thought experiment, because so many of us were taught that we having been born in these latter days bla bla bla are the noble and great ones saved for these last days. But turning it upside down, OMG, what if I am one of the less valiant ones, the ones given a cushy life because God though I was not capable of finding the truth about God on my own, or because he knew I was a wimp and wouldn’t survive that starving family in war torn Africa? What if God doesn’t send his noble and great ones to the Mormon church but sends his greatest spirits to be Mother Teresa or the Dali Lama?
But if I say it is just a thought experiment, people usually don’t think it through.
I personally think we pick our life experience. I think I picked being born into an abusive family with abuse going back to at least pioneer stock, just to see what I could learn from such an experience. The church of course taught me that it meant I was one of the undeserving children of God to be born into such a family, which is part of what taught me that the doctrine is bunk. It is not true that noble and great ones are born into the families of general authorities, so they will become the future prophet they were meant to be, nope, just nepotism and arrogance.
Prophets may be men of their times, but racist cultural myths persist for the duration. Randy Bott told that Washington Post that “God has always been discriminatory” and compared, without an apparent hint of shame or self-consciousness, giving African Americans the priesthood to handing a young child the keys to the family car. That was in 2012 during the Romney presidential campaign, which says a lot about whether the church has grown beyond the institutionalized bigotry of the mid-20th century.
I expect that Joanna Brooks’s new book is going to ruffle some feathers. It’s about time some feathers were ruffled over the legacy of racism in a church that employs obtuse as a communications strategy in all things, but on this subject in particular.
At this time it should be appearent that America is not that great an example of anything God would find special. There are many more Zion like countries. Look up the world happiness report. USA is 19 th behind much of Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Happiness_Report
The countries that are better are because the citizens vote for/ value different freedoms than enough Americans do. Perhaps the pandemic, the protests, and Trump will cause a change of heart?
I realise Americans may be struggling to come to terms with reality, but there is so much about civic and daily life that is done better by other countries, even before Trump destroyed your reputation abroard.
Most of the countries above America on the happiness index have had, and probably half presently have female leaders.
There are a group of young female leaders who not only do fiscall budgets, but related also wellness budgets, where other considerations re the well being of the population, and especially the less wealthy are taken into account, and funding allocated to improve particular problems.
What might such a leader need to look at in America? Would the country need to be more united, or could it unite the country, to work together to make life better?
I have been disturbed how the dow in America has not been affected by either the virus, or the protests. How the wealthy are not concerned, or affected by lesser mortals.
Perhaps when you realise that even being a white american, let alone a black one is so far below what is possible, it will be easier to accept that being born in america is a middle of the road outcome, if you were born where you were by you previous performance.
Change in this church happens one funeral at a time. “No apologies” Oaks is probably the biggest obstacle right now.
But even the youngest apostles of today were serving missions back when the racial restrictions were in place, and probably taught those insidious doctrines to their investigators. Forcing them to apologize for the whole Church means forcing them to reckon with their individual past racist behaviors. Regardless, we are still paying the price, as our African American membership is nowhere near representative levels. My own ward, in a west coast university town, has zero black people—no way reflective of the community.
We are taught that our leaders receive revelation from Heavenly Father. So, many people believe that it was God’s will that the priesthood was denied to black male members–though we might not know the exact reason. So, if the Church apologizes, or acknowledges it was “wrong” then isn’t the corollary that oops–sometimes there is a “miscommunication” between leaders and God? Or?
I think there exists strong nationalism in America such that many believe, hands down, that we are the greatest country ever. (I do not agree with that view)
In my experience of traveling to different countries, I can see that there are some pretty great countries and some countries with significant problems/challenges.
But one factor we might want to consider, when looking at happiness, is how ethnically diverse a particular country is. Is it easier to have a higher level of happiness where there is less diversity?
Yes, Lois, the corollary is mis- or lack of communication, as sometimes acknowledged by Church leaders, even though most of our people don’t want to hear it. See:
“Revelations from God—the teachings and directions of the Spirit—are not constant. We believe in continuing revelation, not continuous revelation. We are often left to work out problems without the dictation or specific direction of the Spirit. That is part of the experience we must have in mortality.” “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit” by Elder Dallin H. Oaks, March 1977, https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1997/03/teaching-and-learning-by-the-spirit?lang=eng
“There have been rare occasions when even the President of the Church in his preaching and teaching has not been ‘moved upon by the Holy Ghost.’ You will recall the Prophet Joseph declared that a prophet is not always a prophet. …” “When are the Writings or Sermons of Church Leaders Entitled to the Claim of Scripture?” President J. Reuben Clark, Mr., speech delivered July 7, 1954, published in the Church News, July 31, 1954. https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V12N02_70.pdf
“I think it is a reasonable conclusion to say that constant, never-varying inspiration is not a factor in the administration of the affairs even of the Church; not even good men, no, not though they be prophets or other high officials of the Church, are at all times and in all things inspired of God.” B.H. Roberts” “Relation of Inspiration and Revelation to Church Government” in the “Improvement Era,” March 1905, at 365-66.
“Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that has now come into the world.” Bruce R. McConkie, BYU Devotional speech, August 18, 1978, https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/bruce-r-mcconkie/alike-unto-god/
I love the Paul Reeves books, but I would say that just clearly (as in general conference declaration) that past racism and theories of race were wrong will not be that the church as a whole will start being anti-racist. My understanding of anti-racist doesn’t just mean you never tell a racists joke, it is that you see the unequal systems and you work to get the system to level the playing field – even if it isn’t in your best interest.
I still struggle with the “fake” renouncement of race in the church a few years ago. It is what I oh so want to see the church say. I get to some extent it raised people’s hopes and then smashed them on the ground hard. As much as I don’t understand the extent of the pain, I realize given what I heard others say about how this hurt – I don’t yet understand. But I keep trying to.
I agree that Dallin Oaks is a stumbling block to an apology from the LDS church. His talk at the “Be One Celebration”—commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the priesthood revelation—implied that he still believes that the Priesthood ban for people of African descent came from God; he only disagreed with the justifications for the ban:
“I studied the reasons then being given and could not feel confirmation of the truth of any of them. As part of my prayerful study, I learned that, in general, the Lord rarely gives reasons for the commandments and directions He gives to His servants. I determined to be loyal to our prophetic leaders and to pray—as promised from the beginning of these restrictions—that the day would come when all would enjoy the blessings of priesthood and temple.” https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/president-oaks-remarks-worldwide-priesthood-celebration
As long as Oaks and others parse history—and think—this way, there is no hope for an apology in the near future. But I also know that things can change. I am praying for that apology.
I love those quotes and the dozens of others in a similar vein. They have given me immeasurable comfort at times. I wish I had copied them when they were listed on the Sunstone website several years ago. I noted then that those that speak most powerfully to this subject are the oldest – late nineteenth to the early twentieth century. As time has passed, the open tone seems to have become more constricted. The BRM quote is a favorite – and it is nearing 22 years old.
It seems that “doubt your doubts” and “seek confirmation of what we tell you – if you get a different answer, it’s likely coming from the wrong source” is much more the tone we hear lately.
Much of the discussion on this post has centered around how much credibility we should give the current Church narrative on racism versus the teachings and policies of yesteryear. When I am reminded of how much the expansive nature of LDS truth-seeking at its beginnings has narrowed in our day, I wonder how much credibility we should give the current “stay on the boat/where will you go” messages we hear so often now.
Mitt Romney just marched with DC protesters on Sunday to “make sure that people understand that black lives matter.”
President Nelson abound have been more forthright with his condemnation of the police brutality against George Floyd (say his name at least). His statement was a little weak compared with those of other churches.
Mitt Romney was on the news here, seen as showing leadership lacking from the whitehouse.
I think/hope there will come a time when a prophet will stand up in conference and state that he is the prophet but that most of the time he speaks as himself. That he will make it clear when he is speaking as a prophet. That he finds people saying they love him problematic if it is more than we love the rest of our fellows, and apologizes for the false teachings of the past, especially, racism, homophobia, and sexism. And that he wants it made clear that he is not a republican and there is no connection between the church and republicanism. That he in fact finds much of the conservative ideology the opposite of the Gospel of Christ. No plausable deniability, no waffling.
Lois, I am aware that many Americans believe that America is the greatest. There may have been a time? I am also aware American news is very self centered, so you are often not aware of the rest of the world. Part of the reason I put things up that I hope will inform.
I live in a proudly multicultural country. I can watch the nightly news in English 4 chanels, also Arabic, Vietnamese, Tamil. (recent immigrant groups)
We do have a problem with racism toward our first nation people, with police deaths in custody, and imprisonment rates.
I am amazed that Americans accept 110,000 unnecessary deaths from the virus. Do you realise there are places doing much much better, Because of better leadership, and healthcare.
Utah with population of 3 million, has 4834 active cases, 121 deaths, test 2750/day getting 250 to 500 positives a day.
Queensland with 5 million have 3 active cases all caught overseas, 6 deaths, 4500 tests a day no positives for 6 days, the border to neighbouring states is closed, our international border is closed, except to Australians coming home, and they are put in a hotel for 2 weeks at gov expense. Locally opening up, 50 in restraunt this week. We have no one prostesting the closures, it is seen as community uniting to fight the virus.
I don’t want to sound preachy, I am aware you get very little news from outside America. When I lived in Idaho we got very little from outside the mountain area.
Two thoughts. One, the excuse that previous prophets were just men of their times doesn’t fly in a church that claims to be led by direct revelation through a prophet who is the Lord’s mouthpiece. In Joseph Smith’s day, the sentiment of the day was to be appalled by polygamy and God supposedly revealed otherwise. I see no reason why He couldn’t have done similarly in regards to racist doctrines and policies.
Second, while an apology for the past would be meaningful and is necessary, I don’t think it’s enough. As long as racist passages remain in the LDS canon, racism’s ugly ghost will remain and be a reality for the church. Namely, ugly passages from the BoM and also Abraham need to be either removed or unambiguously altered. And I don’t see that ever happening.
At the very least, the prophet needs to make an official statement clearly interpreting what those verses are to mean and renouncing racist interpretations of the past. Sure, they’ve renounced racist theories of the past, but the scriptures that supported those theories remain with no official non-racist interpretation being given. It’s time to scrub or officially interpret those ugly verses.
It would be one thing if the Church was just neutral about the topic of race. Imagine for a minute a church organization that focuses entirely on Christ and the Atonement and does not get into topics like race, gender, sexuality. That would be frustrating to those who want the Church to lead the world in areas like racial equality, gender equality, etc. But at least you could justify the Church’s silence in that scenario by falling back on the argument that the Church is about Christ and Christianity, not “social issues”.
But unfortunately, that is not the scenario we face. The Church has not been silent or neutral on these topics. The Church has been on the wrong side of history with respect to all of these topics. And that is indeed driving folks away. When you’ve discriminated against minorities, continue to discriminate against women and gays, you’re never going to capture the next generation. They care too much about these issues the these people. I’m reminded of a conversation I once had with my 20-something old daughter. I was telling her how the country was more morally stable before the 60s. Her response: let’s compare how my generation, in and out of the Church, treats blacks, gays, women compared to how they did it in the 50s and then let’s decide who is more moral.
NAACP would like to see the LDS Church do more.
there seems to be “no willingness on the part of the church,” Colom said, “to do anything material.”
He looks forward “to their deeds matching their words,” he said. “It’s time now for more than sweet talk.”
Hopefully outside groups will embarrass the church enough and create the change. The church will not listen to its own members. It takes the New York Times to promote the revelations.
I would like to see the church exert the same amount of energy and resources towards scrubbing the racism out of our curriculum that it spent scrubbing out the word “Mormon”. I imagine that Christ is more grieved by our inability to do that than He is by our use of the word “Mormon”.
Might want to read this before you mislead others (and yourself) who aren’t willing to research your claims from a VALID source, which is churchofjesuschrist.org
For those of you who aren’t willing to research your information from a VALID source (churchofjesuschrist.org) before blindly accepting the opinion of others, please take the time to do so.
djljejm, mine is but one experience, but after my formative years in the church and a mission served, I came to find that much of church history had been whitewashed, much of the doctrine made little sense and was not grounded in Christ’s ministry, and that the only leader who pretended to actual prophetic power was Joseph Smith. So much of what the church has said and taught is now demonstrably false. That experience has left me with the feeling that the official church line is the last perspective I trust. If President Nelson’s words bring you comfort, you’re probably in the right place.
The LDS church often attempts to justify it’s racist past, including the many racist comments and dictatorial s by church leaders, as somehow being justified, due to the culture in which they lived. For example , when asked about many of the racist statements made by Brigham Young., the church is quick to point out that Brigham lived during the middle 19t century, when such racist attitudes were prevalent. This is totally nonsense and goes against God’s Word, as depicted in Biblical scripture. God is timeless, He is not culture bound nor bound by what year it is. God does not change (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8) , neither is God a respecter of persons. (Romans 2:11) God loves the negro the same as he does people of any race .
If early church leaders had immersed themselves in the Bible, they would not have had time to make up false revelations and alleged messages from God. The Book of Mormon is as much from God as the Book of Abraham or the Kindehook plates.