Hallelujah, Amen!

The Church has posted an update to its statement on the white supremacist mob in Charlottesville. It is unequivocal in its condemnation of members who support this movement:

UPDATE: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Church has released the following statement:

It has been called to our attention that there are some among the various pro-white and white supremacy communities who assert that the Church is neutral toward or in support of their views. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39). The Book of Mormon teaches “all are alike unto God” (2 Nephi 26:33).

White supremacist attitudes are morally wrong and sinful, and we condemn them. Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement Sunday, August 13, 2017:

It is with great sadness and deep concern that we view the violence, conflict and tragedy of recent days in Charlottesville, Virginia. People of any faith, or of no faith at all, should be troubled by the increase of intolerance in both words and actions that we see everywhere.

More than a decade ago, the late Church President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910-2008) addressed the topic of racism when speaking to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He powerfully and clearly taught this principle: “No man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ.” For members of the Church, we reaffirm that teaching today and the Savior’s admonition to love our neighbor.

Our prayers are with those who are suffering because of this intolerance and hatred. We pray for peace and for understanding. Above all, we pray that we may treat one another with greater kindness, compassion and goodness.

Comments

  1. Absolutely amen. And hallelujah.

  2. Hallelujah is absolutely right. This is an important milestone.

  3. Amanda in France says:

    Hallelujah, indeed!

  4. Really wonderful and important update. Far too many people integral in far too many wards and stakes all across the country still harbor ideas they consider “doctrinal” about the supposed inherent inferiority of non-white races. This addresses them as much as it addresses the vocal neo-Nazis and radical white nationalist Christianist terrorists and their sympathizers on social media.

  5. Woo Hoo!

  6. Thanks Kristine. Amen and amen.

  7. This is great. I said I wouldn’t find fault with the first statement, but this is even better!

  8. This removes all (purposeful?) ambiguity from the first statement in terms of the behavior of members. Fantastic news!

  9. FWIW, I don’t think the ambiguity was purposeful.

  10. I’m not a lawyer (boy am I not a lawyer), but I deal with regulations and contracts all the time, and one thing I’m asked to do is find loopholes in their language–however improbable. I’m not sure that Public Affairs really recognized until now that there are people who look for loopholes in every policy pronouncement.

  11. Ryan Mullen says:

    I don’t even care if John Kelly had to twist arms to get this statement updated, I’m just glad that it was.

  12. Whew! (sets down confederate flag, walks away)

  13. This is excellent!

  14. Bro. Jones says:

    Excellent news.

    Angela C: hah :)

  15. Its a strong solid statement. White supremacy is clearly a sinful path full of hate. It leads me to the next logical question though. It mentions not to pursue “white culture”. How is this defined?

    Is my anglo/scandanavian lds white culture now sinful?

    Thoughts from the bcc folks or was this statement just unartful on this point?

  16. I like Ben Park’s description of “white culture”:

    “Elements of whiteness are everywhere in Mormon culture: our artistic depictions of divine beings (with a caucasian Godhead), our methods of cultural performance (like dress and grooming standards), or even our religious rhetoric (and its devotion to ‘whiteness’). These are outward manifestations of systematic cultural institutions.”

    So it has to do with not including those of races and ethnicities, maybe unconsciously and usually unknowingly, in all aspects of our worship and theology.

  17. Bbell, that statement was specific because there are those in the Alt Right who are using “white culture” as a means for attempting to normalize aspects of white supremacist ideology. They claim they only want to defend their white culture but this stems directly from the 14 Words of white supremacy that claim: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” If you speak about being proud of your British culture, your Scandinavian culture, even your American culture then that is something completely different. And that is not what is being discussed in that statement.

  18. I am making a distinction between white supremacy and white culture.

    White supremacy…. evil.. ok bbell will agree.
    My multi generation lds family has by definition a white culture. We are white and do white people things.

    White culture….. also evil? Or was this misspoke. You cant get any more white than white american lds families. If white culture is now evil then which culture should be adopted?

  19. Alain that is even more problematic. I have white children in my household. I am really trying to secure their future. Like sending them to school etc. I hope that they can find jobs in a culture that is growing hostile to white children.

  20. Bbell, our culture is not even remotely hostile to white individuals; our government, our financial system, even our entertainment is dominated by white people. Worrying about the future of your white children in the U.S. is at best disingenuous.

    Meanwhile, “white culture” is a term of art that has been developed by racists to give them (im)plausible deniability when they’re accused of racism.

    The church did well to include the idea of both a white supremacist and a white culture agenda in its condemnation. That eliminates the wiggle-room and ambiguity that racists in the church tried to exploit to justify their racism.

  21. Bbell,
    There is no such thing as white culture. There is American culture (baseball, hot dogs, and so forth). There is Scandinavian culture (pancakes, lutefisk, and so forth). There is German culture (pretzels, beer, and so forth). There are many cultures that you can happily celebrate in an effort to give your children a sense of self, history, and authenticity. There is no need to consider any of it white or to make some sort of reference to white culture, which really isn’t a thing.

  22. After having tried lutefisk I am ashamed of my ancestry. I dont think you should ever hold out an ethnic or racial culture as being evil. I do not consider white culture to be evil. I think that its a mistake to leave that phrase in an otherwise strong statement.

  23. The use of the phrase “white culture” in the church’s statement shows how thoughtfully the statement was prepared. It is the precise phrase necessary to disavow the brand of racism advanced by people like Ayla Stewart. If the statement had not said “white culture” it would have fallen short.

    Bbell’s comments are interesting and helpful. They illustrate why these racists chose that phrase. To many people, “white culture” sounds like it might be a plausible thing worth protecting. However, like it or not, the phrase does not mean what you might want it to mean. It has been appropriated and poisoned by racists.

  24. Bbell, please help me understand what you mean by “a culture that is growing hostile to white children?” I want to understand what threats you feel exist that would prevent them from succeeding in society? This is a sincere question.

    I live in the midwest and the school district my children – who are also of European descent – attend in an admittedly upper middle class neighborhood is highly diverse. Last check 35% of their classmates in elementary school are Indian and Pakistani. Probably 10% are Asian (Chinese, Korean, Japanese), 10-15% are Latino, 2% are African American and the Principal tells me that we have 26 different native languages that are spoken in the homes of his students. But 20% of the students are on Federal Free Lunch program so it is not just a bunch of rich kids. This may be my anecdotal experience but in the midst of this environment where my 1st grader – who is white – is by far a minority in her class I sense no hostility or exclusion. Nor do I see as I look forward to college and the job market any sense that the economy and employers will for some reason discriminate against my children as they look to make their mark in society.

  25. Please also note that in the church’s statement, “white culture” appears in quotation marks. The phrase is used as a term of art in the context of white supremacist ideology.

    I don’t think that it’s an especially helpful concept in any context, for the reasons explained by other commenters, but the authors of the church statement are using the phrase with a precise meaning here.

  26. There is most definitely a “white culture” in America that is distinct from various ethic European cultures. But the origins and history of whiteness (invented almost entirely as a means to oppress non-whites) means that it is not on equal footing with other racial cultures. So attempted equivalencies do not generally apply.

    But as people have pointed out, use of the term “white culture” in this context is clearly a deliberate rejection by Salt Lake of the ideology of white supremacists like Ayla.

  27. Happy day! Thanks for posting this.

  28. Joshua G H. Smith says:

    Glad to see this, especially the inclusion of the seemingly innocuous term “white culture”. I spent 5 mins on the A Purposeful Wife twitter feed yesterday (5 mins too long). She’s co-opting “white culture” basically as white supremacy lite. It’s a bad deal. It’s wrong. It’s counterfeit. Not sure how she thinks this is remotely ok. Hope she is held to account.

    It’s a stretch but I can sort of see what Bbell is saying, but it don’t matter man. The term has been stolen as a dog whistle. That train left the station. +1 to Loursat’s remarks above for putting it much better than I have.

  29. Hooray! Glad to see the statement and update. I think sometimes the church is a little like JRR Tolkien’s ‘Ents’, maybe a little late to the battle, but a powerful ally nonetheless.

    The statement certainly carries the gravitas of coming from the body of the church, but I would also like to see the First Presidency (you know, the one specifically charged with being our living and concurrent leaders) make a contemporaneous statement. I’m glad the GBH said what he said in his day, that Nephi said what he said in his day (2Ne 26:33), but we need a current and personified voice of warning. I don’t think we can assume that everything that the PR dept spits out has received a “papal bull” from the Prophet or FP. It certainly hasn’t always been that way. One way to marry the PR department with a visible approval of the FP would be to include a specific statement dated from our current FP the same day. I don’t know about you, but I raise my hand to sustain the brethren individually by name in General Conference, not some unknown- un-named PR team that may or may not be LDS. (I know most are- but they do outsource some PR work and I have no idea whether employees have callings as well. I frankly don’t care.)

    Right now, it’s important to focus on the fact that we received this statement. Good. Let’s just be grateful for it. But I hope that we can take efforts in the church to increase the transparency of our announcements. We live in an era of false news and conflicting information. The boldest thing the church could do to burn a brighter torch would be to clarify its message so that anyone who wishes to evaluate it has clear information on the authorship, the date, and the context.

  30. JKC, I’m pretty sure dclorenzen’s reference to “purposeful” didn’t refer to the newsroom statement so much as it did to the relevant Twitterer. There is no ambiguity for her to hide in now.

    I join the general celebration.

  31. Mark Clark says:

    Ayla Stewart, Racist Wife with a Racist Purpose, is none too pleased with the announcement, too. I really hope that her local leadership decides to ex her. Her dalliance with white supremacist and neo-Nazi thought and rhetoric has gone on for too long. She may insist that she is not a racist and the victim of racism against whites, but don’t be fooled. She tweeted “let your let so shine” under a picture of the Charlottesville Confederate and neo-Nazi march to the Robert E. Lee statue. She adores Richard Spencer, who, in spite of insisting that he is not a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, gave a speech before a group of neo-Nazis making Sieg Heils saying, “Hail Trump.” Spencer is an unabashed white nationalist, too, who proposed a peaceful ethnic cleansing to increase the population of whites in the US. Time to ex Ayla! She does not belong in the multinational, multicultural, and multiracial LDS church.

  32. it is time to tear down the statues of Brigham Young. right? since he was a racist.

  33. Where was the statement on the Black Lives Matter march in Dallas? Remember the 5 dead police officers?

  34. @EW, people aren’t going around tearing down statues of people who don’t hold modern values, they’re tearing down statues of people who actively fought for and are predominately known for racist ideologues.
    If you were to ask random people, off the top of their head, what Brigham Young is known for, I doubt you’d get the answer “He fought for racism.”
    There is a difference; I hope you can see it.

  35. C’mon, EW, let’s not grease the slippery slope with specious arguments.

  36. MC,
    There is a reason that the church is considered “true and living” and that reason is that it seeks continuing revelation and changes as a result of further light and knowledge. I suppose you are welcome to cling to older statements by church leaders in less enlightened times, but there is no need to do. Certainly the Church still has a long way to go in reckoning with its racist past, but it is clear from yesterday’s statement that the church rejects those old teachings and is trying to move forward. If you are a believer, you should allow it to do so.

    Finally, regarding the causes of the civil war, you are dead wrong. Just so you know. And it would not be inherently justified for a citizen to defend themselves against the US army. Because that’s not an invasion if they are the US army. Calm down, dude.

  37. This is plain for any one conducting a Temple Recommend interview, the phrase ‘not in harmony with the teachings of the Church’ would disqualify any one who ‘supports, affiliates or agrees with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church.

  38. God himself is a racist. He created at least two dark skinned races as a curse to seperate them from the fair skinned righteous.

    See, the problem with taking the scriptures at face value (i.e the Christian fundamentalist and evangelical view of Biblical literalism and inerrancy) despite everything we do and do not know about how they were written, including what the scriptures say about themselves, is that it paints you into corners like the one above.

  39. “We also know that on at least two occasions God caused a skin of blackness to come upon an entire race as a curse (Lamanites and Canaanites/descendents of Cain).”

    We know no such thing. Read more carefully.

  40. Good point, Ardis.

  41. MC, I join Kristine and others in rejecting the idea that God cursed an entire race in two instances (Lamanites and Canaanites/descendants of Cain). As for the Lamanite story, I discussed this some in the comments in my recent post. As for the Cain/Canaanite story (notice that equating Cain and the Canaanites is itself based on false linguistics) Lester Bush and others have written extensively on it. It’s not scriptural. It’s based on apostate doctrines of white protestant slaveholder churches who wanted to justify their sins.

    And more importantly, the witness of the Holy Ghost and the light of Christ powerfully testify that God does not curse people with particular skin color.

  42. Couple if quick points.

    News coverage of a prominent alt right lds person getting exed is good coverage. I have a feeling this will happen.

    I have an lds friend who is a member of La Raza. Based on La Raza positions I would say they are on par with the alt right.

    Thoughts?

  43. Bro. Jones says:

    I strongly doubt we’ll see any excommunications over this. As tumultuous as the response over the gay policy was and has been, nobody I know of has been excommunicated solely for their political disagreement about the policy. We may see high profile racists announcing their resignation, but that’s not the same thing.

    As to your second point: kindly provide me to examples of La Raza co-opting the symbols and language of a fascist state that committed war crimes and acts of genocide, and we’ll have a conversation.

  44. Michael H says:

    If Ignacio Garcia still reads this blog, he may be able to share a more nuanced approach regarding La Raza.

  45. Shy Saint says:

    1) What does it mean that there’s no name of The Brethren on this statement? And 2) what does it say that at such a significant time Heavenly Father has left the church without the strong voice of its President?

  46. Shy Saint,

    Nothing.

  47. MC, what are you up to? It’s just as easy, and more charitable, to cite lots of prophets and scriptures that refute racism. Do you really think the scriptures are inerrant and contain no contradictions? Do you totally discount modern revelation? Are you trying to bait others into being racist? You think your skin color means something about your own worthiness? God looks on the heart. And baiting others into racism is not acceptable in Mormonism, and acceptable in this forum. Time to move along.

  48. Nor acceptable in this forum.

  49. Brian, I’m curious how I’m baiting others into racism. Please enlighten me.

    I’ll tell you what I’m up to. I’m providing concrete irrefutable evidence that President Hinckley’s statement and the church’s current politically correct statements are in direct opposition to the word of God as contained in the scriptures. Last time I checked the scriptures are the standard by which we are to measure the doctrines of men, including those who lead the church. If our leaders can ignore the scriptures, then what is the point to having scriptures? Against what can we measure what they say to see if it is of God or not?

    I have no problem with modern revelation. I absolutely believe that we received modern revelation through Joseph Smith. Are we not to follow and accept what the Lord revealed through him, over the statements of his successors, not one of which has ever claimed to have a revelation, let alone anything like what Joseph received from God time and time again.

    Sorry the warm fuzzy “the church is a living church” and is led by “modern revelation” doesn’t cut it for me.

  50. Brian, Furthermore I never said that a person’s skin color determines their worthiness. You are redirecting what I said.

  51. We got it, MC, you don’t belong to the current strand of Mormonism. Last I checked, we believed current leaders received revelation that we should follow. Somewhere along the line, you decided that didn’t work for you. You want to hang onto racism. And you want others to return to racism as well, because, you know, those prophets both old and new who were against just don’t have it right like you do. So we should see the logic and rightness of why we should also be racist like you. But, you see, racism doesn’t cut for the Church and neither does your warm, fuzzy “older prophets were right don’t give me one now.”

    Thanks for outing yourself. It’s quite frankly much easier to dismiss your claims. Though, in all sincerity, I’m sad you have to live your life with the burden of racism.

  52. Brian,

    Yes you are right we do believe that current leaders receive revelation that we should follow. However where is that revelation? Please show me a revelation in the last 100 years. Do I believe that the brethren receive inspiration? Absolutely, but for me what they say has to square with the scriptures. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the scriptures warn us about the danger of blindly following church leaders without verifying that what they are teaching is from God. The church has forgotten that in the past half century or so. Now we are just to blindly nod along.

    Also for the record I am kind to all people regardless of their race. Don’t try to label me as some bigoted racist. The scriptures and the statements of church Presidents from Joseph Smith through Spencer W. Kimball tell me that interracial marriage is taboo though and that God has different rules for different races (such as who gets to have the priesthood and who doesn’t regardless of worthiness). But yeah I guess I better just forget about what has been taught in the scriptures and at church from the days of Adam up to 1978 and just get with current politically correct agenda of the church, because what is taught today can’t possibly be wrong no matter how much it contradicts the very standards by which we are to judge if it’s wrong or not.

  53. MC, I don’t have to paint you a racist, you’ve done it well enough yourself. It’s painted on this thread plain as day–as well as your estrangement from the Church. I have nothing more to say besides, again, I’m sorry you carry this burden.

  54. Brian, I guess there really is nothing more to say. Neither you nor anyone will be able to refute what I have laid out in my comments. It can’t be done. My statements are 100% backed by truth and the word of God, where as the current church statements regarding racial equality and approving of interracial marriage is not. The church’s policies prior to 1978 are uncomfortable today. The current teachings make us feel warm and fuzzy inside and are accepted by society, but that doesn’t make them right or approved by God.

    I honestly don’t know why God the Father, Jesus Christ, and past scriptural and modern prophets were/are racists. It does seem very strange and even wrong in our current society. Nevertheless this is all true. Like I said I treat all races with kindness and respect and have friends and acquaintances of from many races.

  55. MC, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU. You are a racist! You are at odds with God. Get yourself right. Until then you are not welcome here. Are you INSANE??? Get out of here with your repugnant, evil, STUPID racist opinions.

  56. Looks like my reply to Steven was moderated and removed. That’s fine. Go ahead and let Steven have the last word by verbally attacking me and completely misrepresenting what I’m saying. If it makes you feel better to not have to answer or address the plain contradiction between the what the scriptures say and past prophets have said compared to the statement and views of the church today that’s fine. Go ahead and put your head in the sand and pretend that those very real contradictions don’t exist.

    For the record I totally get it. It’s very hard to come to grips with truth that rocks one’s own beliefs and world views. I used to be just like the individuals who jumped all over me on this thread. I actually wasn’t even born when the priesthood ban was lifted in 1978 and interracial marriages slowly began to be accepted. I have reached my current understanding from intense study of the scriptures and past church teachings. I wasn’t trying to attack anyone or condone racially motivated hate and hate crimes. I denounce these things. They are evil.

    Maybe someday you’ll be able to take off the blinders and study issues like these out for yourself. Holding fast to the iron rod in the scriptures is the only way not to be led astray. Trusting in men (even the brethren) and one’s own emotions is not holding fast to the iron rod. The iron rod is the word of God, not warm and fuzzy doctrines that make us feel good and accepted by society.

  57. Your intense study of the scriptures and past church teachings has failed you (to date; I suppose there’s the possibility that this need not remain the case).

  58. Ok Peter, care to show me where I’m wrong or interpreting the scriptures incorrectly?

    Everyone that has responded to me on this thread has done so with emotional appeals and sweeping statements. Can you or anyone show me how I am in error, preferably from the standard works?

    Even if I’m wrong about Blacks being decendents of Cain and anciently cursed, where does that leave us in regards to the scriptures I quoted and the statements by previous church presidents including Joseph Smith who said that he would “strictly regulate the Negro to their own species.” Surely a man as spiritually enlightened as he was would not make such a statement out of bigotry. If he were the only one I could see that perhaps he was mistaken, but this was official church doctrine for nearly 150 years. Let’s say this was all wrong, including the priesthood and temple ban on Blacks, what do we do with those scriptures from the Pearl of Great Price? Do we just ignore them and pretend they aren’t there?

    Maybe that works for you, but it doesn’t for me. Not with the many other examples of racism in the scriptures, including from Christ himself.

  59. MC your route to apostasy is the same well worn footpath trodden by so many in history. You delve into the writings and teachings of historical prophets, especially Joseph in his nascent era, and much fruit is also found in Brigham’s discourses and soon you find a sweet taste that appeals to you. How clearly the current leadership, especially the modern prophets have gone astray. Especially because no new additions have been made to the Doctrine & Covenants while policies and declarations are made under the inspiration of God. You look upon Peter as a heretic just as his Jewish compatriots probably did as he declared gentiles were welcome to join what they all thought was a Jewish offshoot.

    You don’t want to go down this road. Only misery awaits. Ask William Tucker where such activities led him.

  60. MC,
    What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. Suck it up, buttercup. God doesn’t want his church to be racist anymore.

  61. Ok Peter, care to show me where I’m wrong or interpreting the scriptures incorrectly?

    Sure, the part where you insist “God himself is a racist”. I mean, ok, that’s an interpretation many others share, but the scriptures themselves are not internally consistent on this point.

    Do we just ignore them and pretend they aren’t there?

    No, I don’t think we should whitewash our own checkered past.

  62. The scriptural injunctions against racism are well-known, as are the justifications and rationalizations. Arguing over scripture isn’t profitable. Fortunately, we have the witness of the Holy Spirit and the light of Christ. If you pay attention to your conscience and seek the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, the arguments that racism is justifiable based on scriptural precedent vaporize like frost in the sun. So I’m not going to get into a discussion about where you’re interpreting the scriptures wrong if justify racism, but I will tell you that the impulse to justify stands condemned by the unmistakable witness of the Holy Ghost.

  63. There is a really great article posted this morning at Meridian Magazine about white privilege. Bbell and others who are condemning of racism but having trouble understanding why “white culture” advocates are different from La Raza or BLM I recommend it. http://ldsmag.com/white-privilege-one-latter-day-saints-perspective/

  64. Greg Jakubowski says:

    Some 10 years ago, I lived in a stake where the new presidency included a black man from Ghana married to a white woman. They have 5 children. Sustaining vote, conducted by a member of the Q12 was unanimous.

    Our lives were personally and spiritually enriched by him and his family. A man of God in the truest sense.

  65. Don’t worry Kristine I won’t comment anymore since it’s obvious you’re trying to deceive your readers by keeping them in ignorance.

    Don’t you see how lame it is to just delete my past comments, especially the one were I almost solely quoted modern revelation from the standard works?

    Are you afraid of the truth? Why not address the scriptures I quoted and explain to your readers why I’m wrong if you’re so sure that I am?

    I’ll tell you why, it’s because deep down you know you can’t twist those passages to fit what your peddling here. You also won’t be able to find a single scripture or statement by any church leader supporting interracial marriage between Blacks and Whites.

    Since you’d rather delete my comments, which have been quite civil compared to the readers who have restorted to calling me names and misinterpreting my words, would you please delete all of my comments. It’s pretty messed up to let everyone else bash me without giving me a chance to respond back. This isn’t right. So please either restore my comments and let me reply to those who have attacked me, or remove my comments entirely. Better yet, remove all of the dialog between me and those who have attacked me. That would be a win win. I’ll be won’t be a defensless punching bag and you’ll be able to hide the truth and keep your readers blindly nodding along.

  66. MC:

    I cannot speak for others on this thread, but here is my musing on your thoughtful question:

    I will forever stand with President Hinckley before I stand with Nephi, for a lot of reasons, namely:

    1. I met President Hinckley; I got to observe him first hand in the public sphere for the first 28 years of my life. I know his fruits, and they were wonderful to me. He really was a kind, positive, uplifting person. I remember when he visited my mission, I didn’t get to meet him that time, but some of my investigators did. While they didn’t eventually convert, they told me that they found him to be the kindest, most genuine person they ever met. They were uplifted by this man. So when he declares that racism is not of God, I feel compelled to believe him.

    2. Nephi, on the other hand, is a hot mess. Firstly, I cannot personally vouch for him, because I never met him. I only have his words about how things played out, which I question greatly. Firstly, his brothers hated him. Now, we can justify that due to their wickedness, but the fact that these grown adults followed their father into the desert means they wanted to believe. I think Nephi’s lack of tact in addressing their doubts was extremely aggravating. Nephi’s decision to decapitate an otherwise incapacitated individual is very troubling to me. I suppose God could have told him to kill, but he did break a commandment, and I’m frustrated at how Mormons give him a pass at that. So given Nephi’s flawed character as I see it, I find his description that God uses race and color to separate his children dubious.

    3. This is where it gets personal, but for me, loving all God’s children is more important than believing in a biblical God that says otherwise. It doesn’t feel right to me. Perhaps it feels right to you. But there’s the rub; you can’t question my personal revelations anymore than I can question yours. If you are going to question my personal revelations on the subject, then you are also required to question Nephi’s personal revelation to kill, to break the commandments. So regardless of what we say to one another, we are left wanting, because you just can’t question another’s lived experiences on a blog without drawing a lot of criticism for being a jerk for Jesus (not calling you a jerk, just saying that’s how social media interactions work).

    I’m sure you will have a well thought out reply; that’s your prerogative. I can’t promise I’ll read it. Just trying to answer your question as to why I stand by the current church words over historic words.

  67. It really is true that it’s so much easier to believe ancient dead prophets than living or recently-dead ones.

  68. I am a “person of color.”
    But I like MC’s comments.

    They reveal a sad truth for me.
    The BOM plainly says (despite you kind people who have tried to say otherwise) that God marked people with a darker skin to punish them.

    I reject that part, and I reject other past church teachings I find repulsive.

    But so far the Church hasn’t removed or apologized for them.

    MC represents a group of believers, following their leaders, quite literally.

  69. glasscluster, “The BOM plainly says…that God marked people with a darker skin to punish them.” It has seemed to me, instead, that the BOM records certain prophets plainly saying “that God marked people with a darker skin to punish them” and that those prophets can be just as wrong about that as other prophets have been about various things like miscegnation and when Priesthood may become available to men previously excluded, etc. I struggle to find a reason to take the words of old prophets as delivered to us any more seriously than the words of current prophets in General Conference. (Which is not to say that I do not take them seriously, but I don’t feel bound by them in the absence of a witness of the Spirit.) Even JS writing as if in God’s first person cannot have been acting as a stenographer or he wouldn’t have felt so free to change, add, and delete from his own revelations.

  70. JR–exactly. This is important listening for people who want to understand this better: https://www.dialoguejournal.com/2016/dialogue-podcast-28-wjared-hickman/

  71. @MC, perhaps this is a line upon line principle, and a few decades ago we received the “racism is bad” line. So now, regardless of what was said in the past, we have new lines to go upon the old lines.

  72. it's a series of tubes says:

    Jacob 5:65-66 is being fulfilled right before our eyes.

  73. The church teaches that we should put our unwavering trust in the current first presidency and quorum of the twelve than in past prophets and apostles.

    That makes sense because the words of the current prophets should always trump past ones. We should trust in what God is telling his prophets today, not in the past.

    I do wonder though, how reliable the words of the current prophets are, if what the past prophets have said has been wrong so often? Past prophets taught some really messed up things that are just unacceptable today.

    I mean shoot God would never curse anyone, for any reason. God is all about inconditional love. It doesn’t matter what race we are or what we do. God only sees the good in people and all he wants is for us to love everyone.