Friday, December 13, 2013

The Mormon Church Makes a New Statement About Past Restrictions on its Black Members

http://www.lds.org/topics/race-and-the-priesthood

(For the record:  I never believed that God favored white people over people of any sort of color, because I'm not the matron of a plantation home in 1800's Louisiana.) 

So, okay...the church leaders of yore were racist. Okay. Sure. They were human beings. Got it.  

Next, it'll be a statement about women not having the priesthood because of sexism and not really revelation or anything pertinent to your testimony of the 'True Church'.  Then they'll take care of all the issues with the gays. Then...what? Will the church start retracting its claim to revelation on coffee and tea? Could it ever be?! 

This very recent statement on the blacks and the priesthood, or the Mitt Romney-inspired statement on diet coke (caffeinated sodas) that was a few decades too late, or the "Oh, but we DO love the gays, even though we've been disowning them in our family units generation after generation, and don't forget the part about how we don't want them to get married,"...it's all so ...embarrassing. 

Here's a story that shook me up once upon a time: 

I remember hearing about this really great guy I knew who was Mormon. Devout. He'd had an affair. "Was he excommunicated?" I asked. This had been- and still can be, depending on the leader said adulterer has to deal with- the common repercussion to a member who commits adultery. "No. Just disfellowshipped," my friend told me. Being disfellowshipped in the Mormon church means you cannot partake of the sacrament on Sundays, or give a talk, teach a lesson or pray in a church meeting for a certain amount of time, but you still have member status. (I was disfellowshipped a few times in college for too much touchy-time with a boy or two.) 

"Just disfellowshipped?!" I asked incredulously. I relayed this story to other members over the next few days, emphasizing my confusion that this dude wasn't exed. What I learned was that the church was having to ex waaaayyyy too many members for adultery over the years. 

Yeah. They were losing members. 

Which brings me full circle...

Could the church be trying to keep members? 

You might ask "Would that be such a bad thing?" Perhaps not, but these are hot button issues for members- active, semi-active, and inactive members alike. These are issues that have truly tried the faith of many for generations and in that trial of faith, we had to trust with all our zeal that the church's stance was inspired of God or, just simply, look the other way. Otherwise, our testimonies would no doubt be in jeopardy. 

Which is what happened to mine.  If I disagree with the church on homosexuality, what else do I disagree with? I asked myself that question 6 years before I offically considered myself done. 

These defining, sometimes unfortunately so, Mormon dogmas and principles that are now either being retracted/reworded and apologized for were once based on and vehemently defended by the idea that they were revealed from God, whether or not they really were...apparently. 

Do you know how many times the mantra 'the prophet is the mouthpiece of God' is repeated and repeated and REPEATED within the walls of a Mormon church building or inside a Mormon home or in a conversation between members at Outback? This is a major tenet of Mormonism that I have never heard followed by the clause "as far as the prophet is interpretating God's words correctly". How can anyone possibly build a testimony of the True Church if we don't take a prophet's words at 100% face value? And now, to be told that the treatment of black members was just due to the racism of another time... It feels like a betrayal. 

You have to understand that this church doesn't change its mind on things because of cultural change. No freakin' way. 

Or does it? 

I know, I know. If you're Mormon and you're reading this, one of the thoughts you're having is But revelation can change if the change itself is a revelation. Or The church is run by imperfect men. 

In essence these thoughts tell me that each and every statement and/or revelation in the Mormon church leaves PLENTY of room for doubt. You can either just wait a few years for it to change, or you can cherry-pick your way through your testimony of The One True Church on the Earth Today. 

I couldn't stomach it anymore. 

One last note on the church and its statement on former restrictions on black members:  The bans were lifted 35 years ago; Brigham Young has been dead for 135.  Why is this explanation coming so late? So very, very late... 

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhhhhh........breezy, smiley, happy! How wonderful to find someone who not only understands my heart, but can put my tangle of emotions and frustrations into WORDS.

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