Sunday, May 6, 2012

34 Years of Ignorance – Really?

More than three decades later, the church says it still doesn’t know where the ban came from.

     The title above, the subject of this newsletter, is a line from a February 28, 2012 article in the Washington Post titled: The Genesis of a church’s stand on race. This article has sent shock waves through BYU University and the Mormon Church. The article discusses the Mormon Church’s stand on those with pigmentation in their skin and links Mormon Church teachings to racism and Mitt Romney.
     This June the 8th will mark 34 years since the “Revelation” of 1978 that allowed those of African descent to hold the Mormon Priesthood. The last two “Revelations” given by Mormon Prophets have been more like “Non-Revelations.” The last two “Revelations” of Mormonism were to stop practicing polygamy and to allow those of African descent to hold the Mormon Priesthood. The previous revelations of Mormonism were decisive statements “Thus saith the Lord” or “The Spirit of the Lord rested upon me,” however these last two “Revelations – Non-revelations” start out with “To Whom It May Concern.” Quite the emphatic statement of God to his people, don’t you think? In my opinion, these last two “Non-Revelations” were politically expedient “Revelations,” one to gain statehood (ending the practice of polygamy), and secondly to end the protests of Mormon racism by not allowing blacks to hold the Mormon Priesthood.

BYU religion prof Bott retiring in June

     A  March 22, 2012 article in the Provo, Utah, Daily Herald, announced the retirement of  BYU Professor Randy Bott, after much criticism for his quoted remarks in the Washington Post article of February 28th.

     “The popular BYU religion professor who last month ignited a public controversy over the views of the LDS Church in regard to blacks and its priesthood -- drawing a sharp rebuke from the church -- is retiring in June with plans to serve a mission.

     Randy Bott’s son confirmed to the Herald on Wednesday that Bott was retiring and planned to serve. This has been his father’s plan for at least the last year, he said.”

     Quite frankly, I do not the believe the “confirmation” by Randy Bott’s son concerning his father’s “planned” retirement. Oh, I believe Randy Bott is going to retire in June alright, I just don’t believe it was a planned event; more like, a retirement initiated by the fact that Randy Bott was thrown under the bus by the Mormon Church for daring to express what he had been taught in Mormonism during his 67 years as a member of the Mormon Church.
     A paragraph in the Washington Post article of February 28th states the following:

     “It’s not clear whether Joseph Smith, the religion’s founder, who ordained at least one black priest, supported the ban. But his successor, Brigham Young, enforced it enthusiastically as the word of God., supporting slavery in Utah and decreeing that the ‘mark’ on Cain was ‘the flat nose and black skin.’ Young subsequently urged immediate death to any participant in mixing of the races. As recently as 1949, church leaders suggested that the ban on blacks resulted from the consequences of the ‘conduct of spirits in the pre-mortal existence.’ As a result, many Mormons believed that blacks were less valiant in the pre-Earth life, or fence sitters in the war between God and Satan. That view has fallen out of favor in recent decades.” (emphasis added)

The controversial quote

The most controversial part of the article is a quote from BYU Professor Randy Bott:

     “God has always been discriminatory” when it comes to whom he grants the authority of the priesthood, says Bott, the BYU theologian. He quotes Mormon scripture that states that the Lord gives to people “all that he seeth fit.” Bott compares blacks with a young child prematurely asking for the keys to her father’s car, and explains that similarly until 1978, the Lord determined that blacks were not yet ready for the priesthood.
     “What is discrimination?” Bott asks. “I think that is keeping something from somebody that would be a benefit for them, right? But what if it wouldn’t have been a benefit to them?” Bott says that the denial of the priesthood to blacks on Earth – although not in the afterlife –protected them from the lowest rungs of hell reserved for people who abuse their priesthood powers. “You couldn’t fall off the top of the ladder, because you weren’t on the top of the ladder. So, in reality the blacks not having the priesthood was the greatest blessing God could give them.”

Running away from a well documented past

     The controversial quote, that is nothing more than a derivative of Professor Bott’s 67 years in Mormonism, caused him to be dismissed from his teaching position and sent the Mormon Church scrambling to try and cover-up its true teachings that must be hidden from public view. “That view has fallen out of favor in recent decades,” This sentence from the Washington Post article of February 28th really speaks to the fallacy of Divine Leadership in the Mormon Church. The very reason touted by the Mormon Church for its own existence is that the “Priesthood” – “priesthood is the power and authority of God delegated to man on earth to act in all things for the salvation of men” (Mormon Doctrine, 16th printing, 1975, pg 594) – had been taken from the earth do to apostasy. Hence, Mormonism says God the Father and Jesus Christ (two different distinct individuals of flesh and blood) appeared to Joseph Smith (the founding Prophet of Mormonism) in the spring of 1820 and restored God’s one and only true church to the earth through him. Through this “restoration,” the “Priesthood” was restored to the earth.
     Mormonism teaches that its Prophet is God’s direct spokesman on earth as well as his two counselors and the Twelve Apostles, who are the governing body of the church and all of which are sustained twice each year at its General Conference as “prophets, seers, and revelators,” all acting under Divine Priesthood Power. In the Washington Post article of February 28th, a female BYU student reflects on the apparent contradiction of the priesthood ban to blacks by “God’s Divine Spokesman, the Mormon Prophet”:
     “It kind of surprised me,” said Volcy. “There’s a class here where they talk about Brigham Young having feelings that colored people were inferior. How can you be a prophet and commune with God and think that?”

They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and will of God to his people

     Miss Volcy, I couldn’t agree with you more about the contradiction. If Mormon leaders have “God’s Priesthood,” and are the only men on earth to hold it and therefore have the “authority” to speak and act in His name, how could they perpetuate an incorrect doctrinal teaching for over one hundred and thirty years?
     As I’ve previously stated, the Mormon Prophet, his two Counselors, and the Twelve Apostles are sustained twice a year by the entire Mormon membership as “prophets, seers, and revelators.” To really grasp the Mormon belief here, I’ll quote from The  Student Manual 333, used for a religion course at BYU:

     “It should be in mind that some of the General Authorities have had assigned to them a special calling; they possess a special gift; they are sustained as prophets, seers, and revelators, which gives them a special spiritual endowment in connection with their teaching the people. They have the right, the power, and authority to declare the mind and the will of God to his people…” (Teachings of the Living Prophets, 1982, pg 9) (emphasis added)

Feelings that colored people were inferior

     Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith taught that negroes were the “sons of Cain”:
“In the evening debated with John C. Bennett and others to show that the Indians have greater cause to complain of the treatment of the whites, than the negroes, or sons of Cain.” (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol 4, pg 501). (emphasis added)

     Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie teaches how negroes received their black skin:

     “Those who were less valiant in the pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel being a black skin.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pg 527) (italics in original, emphasis added)

     The 10th Mormon Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith taught that not only were blacks the sons of Cain, but that they were an inferior race:

     “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning. Enoch saw the people of Canaan, descendants of Cain, and he says ‘and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people.’” (The Way to Perfection, 1943, pp. 101-102). (emphasis added)

Blatant Prejudice!

     Brigham Young, 2nd Mormon Prophet said:

     Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, pg 110). (emphasis added)

     Brigham Young also said:

     You see come classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, pg 290) (emphasis added)

     John Taylor, 3rd Mormon Prophet said:

     “And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham’s wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the Devil should have a representative upon the earth as well as God.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 22, pg 304) (emphasis added)

     10th Mormon Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith said:

     “I would not want you to believe that we bear any animosity toward the Negro. ‘Darkies’ are wonderful people, and have their place in our church.” (Mormonism 101, pg 233) (emphasis added)

     Mormon Apostle, Alvin R. Dyer, tells us: Why a Negro is a Negro?:

     “I suppose, and you may have often heard missionaries say it or have asked the question: Why is a Negro a Negro?...The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence. This is the reason why you have Negroes on the earth.” (Mormons and Negroes, by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, Utah Lighthouse Ministry, pg 6) 

You can’t hide the truth!

Rocky Hulse

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Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine