Thursday, December 12, 2013

on the LDS Church Statement - Blacks and the Priesthood Ban

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints official statement at - link   and points a finger at Brigham Young as responsible in 1852 for initiating the ban which lasted over several Church Presidencies until 1978 when the ban was lifted in the Spencer W. Kimball church presidency.   That's a lot of years that a segment of the population was prohibited from the very blessings the Church promotes as necessary to the eternal well-being in being able to go to the Temple and be Sealed.

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.

In two speeches delivered before the Utah territorial legislature in January and February 1852, Brigham Young announced a policy restricting men of black African descent from priesthood ordination. At the same time, President Young said that at some future day, black Church members would “have [all] the privilege and more” enjoyed by other members.

I'm particularly pleased to see the Church moving in what I consider a forward progression in making the statement as I view it as a part of the repentance process. Many believe the Church needs to officially apologize as necessary part of the repentance, and while I agree it is healing to make an official apology for wrong or harm done, the fact that the Church IS taking action in the usual and normative way I have come to understand how this Church works denotes it as a powerful step forward in the evolution of the Church in this 21st century.

Keeping it brief, I will post a link to  broadcast at Radio West, KUER, titled  Revisiting Blacks and the Priesthood that does a fine job of discussing the statement.

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