Is it heretical to claim that the ban on blacks holding the Priesthood was a mistake?
This will be a brief post, because I honestly am not sure of the answer. There are clear indicators from scripture leading towards infallibility, if not of our leaders, then of the Church as an institution. For example:
The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme. It is not in the mind of God. If I were to attempt that, the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty. (Sixty-first Semiannual General Conference of the Church, Monday, October 6, 1890, Salt Lake City, Utah. Reported in Deseret Evening News, October 11, 1890, p. 2.)
It matters not who lives or who dies, or who is called to lead this Church, they have got to lead it by the inspiration of Almighty God. If they do not do it that way, they cannot do it at all. . . .
(quoted in Official Declaration 1)
Assuming that active church leadership was involved as part of the priesthood ban (and I think there’s ample evidence that there was), then do we need to assume that the administration of the priesthood ban was done “by the inspiration of Almighty God?”
I am not convinced that every step and every policy administered by this Church has been and always will be the right step and the right policy. I don’t know that our doctrine requires this belief. This may no doubt strike some as heresy, but somehow I don’t think it is. I can have full belief in the leadership, give my loyalty as I sustain the Brethren, view the Prophet as the only one with all the keys, etc., while at the same time recognizing that we are a community of human beings in a world of human beings.
Or perhaps I am a heretic. I prefer to be a heretic than to walk down the dark paths of theodicy that otherwise await.