Push-back in Africa

left4good Sep. 2013

A black former bishop posted a very interesting on-line piece regarding Blacks and the priesthood.
"The peculiar assertion that the Mormon Church itself does not know the details of its very own race-based policy of restricting the Blacks from holding the Priesthood is tremendously embarrassing for all Mormons and exceptionally degrading for anyone who actually believes it."


Some of it:

"Not unique to Africa, has been the Mormon Church’s training of young Missionaries to strictly avoid any discussion of several of the more embarrassing, yet true, teachings of the 183 year old Church. Chief among these subjects has been Polygamy and Blacks and the Priesthood."

"With the smooth talent of a skilled politician, the Mormon Church has ended its Official Statement with the following hypocritical and deceitful, but technically accurate quote:

'The origins of priesthood availability are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.'

Re: Push-back in Africa
I hope everyone who reads this post also reads the linked article.

I am in awe of the objectivity the author of the article, a former black Mormon bishop, is able to bring to this painful subject.

Were I in his personal position, I doubt that I would have been able to write on this subject with his factual frankness, blended with his obvious, still-existing, (and probably very bewildered) sympathy.

There is here a great deal of human hurt and spiritual hurt, as well as the awareness of his own betrayal, yet his actual presentation is both factual and amazingly restrained.

I feel very much for him. This man was very intentionally tricked, and underneath his calm words are unhealed wounds which still pulse.

Stray Mutt
Re: Push-back in Africa
So people who were exed prior to 1978 for ordaining men of African descent were disciplined only because of some unspecified persons' opinions? And the whole system that was in place to keep black men out of the priesthood was never official?

Re: Push-back in Africa
Today's dishonesty by LDS, Inc., is appalling. When I was a missionary (before 1978), we were required to run a disclaimer by all people who were being prepped and interviewed for baptism. We were required to tell them that Blacks couldn't hold the priesthood, offering them the doctrine of the day as explanation. Today, they do not even acknowledge it as having been doctrine, for one thing. And when I served in Africa, I once asked a senior missionary if the were up-front with the members, and he said that they were not allowed to tell them about the previous prohibitions for Blacks.

I have to comment on this article when I have time.

Re: Push-back in Africa
The comments are so inane and infuriating. Pray and fast? Focusing on the wrong things? The prophets weren't perfect? Really? Really?

charles, not logged in
Re: Push-back in Africa
"“It is not known precisely why, how or when this restriction began in the Church, but it has ended.”"

And he blasts away this trite, dismissive and non-chalant reply with historic, ecclesiastical and personal explanations.

Re: Push-back in Africa
Which begs the questions, what other statements have been made in the absence of direct revelation? Or more importantly, what is being preadched now in the mormon chapels as counsel from the beloved prophets and apostles that will be dismised in the future because it is wrong?

Maybe in retrospect the now mormon leaders can claim there was no revelation, however when this was happening the then current prophet was speaking as it was. So what it is, was it revelation from a prophet then but is now is not direct revelation from a man?

Nice article.

Edited to add: I posted on the comments section.

Re: Push-back in Africa
Didn't we just have a thread where those that remember revealed their personal experiences about this subject, particularly around 1978? We should link to it in the comments section. How real it was! It wasn't that long ago, you daft Mormons!

Re: Push-back in Africa
I'm not sure if its internet access or what, but its shocking to me that there could be so much success in Africa due to the terribly racist past of Mormonism. Can you imagine if just a few "disgruntled" Mormons started passing around copies (via email or hard copy) of the following to the members out there?


You'd think it would spread like wildfire and cause massive apostasy over there.

Re: Push-back in Africa
You could take that quote and replace it with the gays:

'The origins of previous teachings and policies on homosexuality are not entirely clear. Some explanations with respect to this matter were made in the absence of direct revelation and references to these explanations are sometimes cited in publications. These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.'

Some people think it so inconceivable that the church would change on the gays. That somehow it is ingrained as stone as a doctrine and that it somehow goes against long established teachings etc. Haha, yeah right.

So the 2 First Presidency statements specifically stating
the ban was from God (1951 and 1969) are just personal statements?Hmm. Who knew?

Likewise is the 1949/52 statement where it specifically refers to the Curse of Cain and pre-mortal performance as the reason behind blacks being cursed just a personal statement????

The Church's new "we don't know where this came from" statement is bullshit, plain and simple. The official documents clearly show it and I'm shocked that LDS inc isn't more embarrassed to being saying what they are?

ETA: http://www.angelfire.com/mo2/blackmormon/FP.html

Chicken N. Backpacks
Re: Push-back in Africa
I have always been disturbed by the 1978 "revelation", because the higher-ups want people to believe it actually was a revelation; after reading a lot of the story behind it, even though the 15 used the word "revelation", I don't think it technically passes as an official TSCC revelation, and theoretically, in the future it could be rescinded and the church could say was "never doctrine"--theoretically. Much like the 1890 Manifesto about polygamy in which the church wants people to believe was a revelation from God banning polygamy...no...

Thoughts? Am I full of it?

Re: Push-back in Africa
You can talk to any African about religion, and he or she will be very interested. The more miracles and buried treasure stories, the better. It's so easy to convert people who think in magical terms. Problem is, someone else comes along and converts them into some other church. The numbers of people baptized are amazing, but in the end, the retention is no better than anywhere else. However, 30% of tens of thousands is better than 30% of a few; things look pretty good there. But they are left with an LDS population who were not allowed to be informed about the black prohibition that used to exist, and so may not have joined had they known that. Also, the church is left with a bunch of LDS people who believe in witchcraft and sorcery, that albinos and small children have evil and magical powers, and that you can go to a local shaman to buy a "fetish" to do something bad to your offensive neighbor.

Re: Push-back in Africa
If revelation means reading the writing on the wall— meaning the push back on polygamy or the priesthood ban— and then make the same polically expedient decision any savvy corporation would make, the sure this could be called revelation.

Hold Your Tapirs
Re: Push-back in Africa
left4good Wrote:
> These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.

Even though such statements were made by the current prophet at the time.

Re: Push-back in Africa
Revelation by committee. If they "felt" it was the right decision, it must've been "revelation".

Once More
Re: Push-back in Africa
"Offensively juvenile." That was Former Mormon Bishop's apt indictment of the LDS Church's official statement regarding barring blacks from the priesthood.

This Former Mormon Bishop comes across as an intelligent adult, in contrast to the LDS Church, which comes across as ill-informed, offensively juvenile, and sneaky as all hell.

Re: Push-back in Africa
This makes me very curious about the BoM translations in African languages. According to Wiki, of the 91 languages the BoM has been translated into in its entirety, 11 (or 12%) are African languages:


Sections of the BoM have been translated into Efik and Kiisi.

So what does 2 Ne 5:21 say in these translations? Does it translate into "wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them"? Or does it say something else entirely?

Re: Push-back in Africa
I was a Peace Corps volunteer in a southern Africa country. It seemed that people signed up for whatever new church moved into the village, whether it was the Zionist Christian Church, 7th Day Adventists, Pentecostals, or Jehovah Witnesses. People knew very little about the history of these churches and writings of their early leaders. Many local people believed in witches and spells and magical thinking. They found Christianity and its sects compatible with their very entrenched, cultural beliefs and practices--must to the chagrin of the foreign missionaries.

It was not surprised to see people "go with the Mormons" when they opened up a district or whatever in the area. Sure, they baptized people, but retention rates were terrible. And the Mormons vastly trailed the converts the Methodists, 7th Day Adventists, Pentecostal, Jehovah Witness, and etc. racked up. None of the African Mormons I talked to knew about polygamy, the black priesthood ban, and etc. Granted, this is anecdotal. But data show that the Mormons are behind in the latest effort of American evangelicals to carve up Africa.

Re: Push-back in Africa
I think it ought to be pointed out that in many/most African tribes polygamy is traditional (and expected of leaders).

Plus: traditional beliefs in magic, the special powers of certain people (whether for good or for evil), fetishes, etc. all fit in perfectly with the LDS priesthood powers.

To someone who is traditionally African in their personal beliefs, Mormonism "offers" a great deal which is not only in sync with that culture but might well appear to be a "new and improved" way to accomplish the "same ends."

"...These previous personal statements do not represent Church doctrine.'
The Official 1stPresidency statements said this was doctrine and not just a policy.

Of course, only one statement can be true, and since the first was from the heads of the church, we can safely scoff at the PR statement.

Or, we can safely assume that the 1st Presidency was just saying it was doctrine because 1- they truly felt that way about their darker skinned brothers and sisters, or 2- they were too cowardly to dismiss Brighams statements for fear of their own eternal well-being.

Re: Push-back in Africa
That was really well said. We should put that to memory so when people ask us why we left, we can recite this. Perfectly done.

Re: Push-back in Africa
Wow, this man is a great writer. He explained so clearly and concisely the incredibly hypocrisy elemental to Mormonism, very impressive. Fantastic article, thanks so much for sharing, left4good!

Re: Push-back in Africa
No, they wouldn't need to change anything. If a Mormon hands you a steaming pile of horseshit, they have no problem telling you (and believing in their heart of hearts) that it's not really horseshit, that it doesn't in fact think, and that it's delightfully good for you.

Re: Push-back in Africa
If it is in Lingala, that is brand new. I wasn't there that long ago, and all they had was Afrikaans (basically a white language) and Swahili (widely spoken). There were not enough Ethiopian Mormons to merit Amharic, although I have no idea whether the BoM exists in that language or not; at least it's a national language, and not just a regional-tribal language.

Re: Push-back in Africa
Folks here should comment at the end of the article.

Re: Push-back in Africa
I find the official declaration granting the priesthood to blacks so ridiculous, specifically the part where it states that, "our prayers were answered."

What were their prayers to god asking for?

"Please god, Tell us, Should we remain racist bigots for another hundred plus years or has the time come?"

It just seems idiotic to me that it appeared that the whole function was them trying to get god on board, like a whole cat and mouse game.

Then, it's like he acquiesces, but at the same time, make it seems that the ignorant humans should of known all along.

Playing with humanity. Isn't god fun?

Re: Push-back in Africa
I LOVE that one of the posters tell him (from utah I am sure):

1) That he really (a black african bishop) does not really understand.

2) that he jst needs to study and pray more. Beucase then the racism will dissapear.

Re: Push-back in Africa
anonough Wrote:

I can not find one single instance of a GA having said before the change how very much he would like to see a change in policy. Not one.

And when a certain LDS political candidate said that when the change was announced, he pulled over the car he was driving and wept, I did not believe him.

Re: Push-back in Africa
TSCC's statement is enormously damaging. To admit that for over 100 years they had a (racist) policy about who can and cannot qualify for the PH, the temple, and godhood in the CK, and they don't know where it came from, is insane.

How could anyone possibly trust an organization like that, much less one that claims to be doing what it does in God's name, on direct command from Him? If their God is a god of order and not chaos, He's sure not showing it very well.

Well, in all fairness, people cry for joy and sorrow!
I bet my racist grandparents sure cried that day, but they weren't tears of joy.

"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"