Monday, January 13, 2014
Why Mormons Cannot Trust Their Own Church Anymore -- by Matty Jacobson
THE SKEWED REVIEW | HEADLINES
In response to the recent court battles over equal rights and the outpouring of calls for marriage equality, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a statement Jan. 10 bolstering its doctrine that marriage is between one man and one woman. No exceptions. According to the statement:
"Marriage between a man and a woman was instituted by God and is central to His plan for His children and for the well-being of society. Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation. Changes in the civil law do not, indeed cannot, change the moral law that God has established."
It's a proclamation from the headquarters of the prophet himself. And, as all faithful LDS members know, the prophet communes with God himself, so this news might as well have come from the Lord Almighty. And we'll return to that in a moment.
In the meantime, let's take a look at another proclamation released from the church in 2013. This one tackles the scandalous topic of race and the priesthood. According to that statement:
"[In 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. ... The curse of Cain was often put forward as justification for the priesthood and temple restrictions."
This information, found on the official LDS website, goes on to say that "... Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter the policy and they made ongoing efforts to understand what should be done. After praying for guidance, President (David) McKay did not feel impressed to lift the ban."
So, in black and white (pun intended) on the Church's website, we see that a prophet of God prayed and was, essentially, told not to allow black men to have the priesthood.
The statement continues and tells us that the prophet Spencer Kimball received a revelation in 1978 that God was finally cool with the descendants of Cain receiving the priesthood.
What's interesting is what follows in the statement:
"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."
What the LDS Church is saying here is that the proclamation to exclude black men from the priesthood was not an act of God, but an act of man. Furthermore, when a so-called prophet of God prayed on the matter decades later, he was "not impressed to lift the ban."
Should God have not related to the very men who are his mouthpiece on earth sometime between the rein of Brigham Young and Spencer Kimball that this was not his word, but merely the bigotry of a racist man?
Interesting. And today, the LDS church acknowledges that this was not an act of God. Yet, for nearly a century, it was treated as such. The faithful members were left to speculate as to why God would deny black men the priesthood. And the church itself never stepped in to denounce any of those speculations until just last year.
So, how many other proclamations that come from the mouths of LDS prophets are actually rooted in the biases of the prophet himself and not of God? How can any critically-thinking Latter-day Saint not look at the proclamation that family is only reserved for a man and woman and not think, "God supposedly told the prophet black men weren't allowed to hold the priesthood, either, but we now know it wasn't God."
And for men who profess to speak on behalf of God, it sure is interesting how it took nearly 100 years for God's voice to actually come through. So what's stopping the current LDS leaders from professing to speak on behalf of God, but only speak their own bigotry?
The answer: not much.
Faithful LDS members may say they pray and have a testimony that what the prophet says is true. Well, prayers and testimonies were also "true" from the time blacks were denied the priesthood up until last year.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proven itself. It presents doctrine based on the feelings of a single man, and woe be unto those who fall under the bigoted biases of that man.
More importantly, and sadly, woe be unto those who follow blindly without question. They are the ones who are hurting their fellow humans, destroying live and tearing apart families.
God gave them reason. Maybe He did that so they could save themselves from being conned at such a grand level.