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Gospel Topics Chapter 10 Harris Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 8, 2021 9:37 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 10 Harris Part 3

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 8, 2021 9:37 pm

This week Bill and Eric take a look at the chapter written by Matthew L. Harris titled “Whiteness Theology and the Evolution of Mormon Racial Teachings,” which deal with the Race and the Priesthood essay. This series along with links to the original articles can be found at


When one examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism.

Our thanks to Adams Road band for that musical introduction welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.

I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM and we continue our look at the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. It's a book that has several authors and each chapter critiques one of the gospel topics essays that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints published on their official website. Between the end of 2013 and the end of 2015. Why is this so important to us as Christians, one to better understand our LDS friends as well as wanting to share our faith and challenge our latter-day St. friends regarding their faith well because there's a lot of information in these essays that can be very valuable to a Christian who wants to do just that. Today we continue looking at chapter 10 a chapter that was written by one of the editors of this book, Matthew L.

Harris, and it deals with the race and the priesthood essay that was published on the official website of the church on December 6, 2013 were looking at page 249, where Mr. Harris goes on to say that the essay acknowledges that the priesthood and temple band made it difficult to fulfill the church's overarching mission to take the LDS gospel to every nation, kindred tongue and people and that course you would think it would because the priesthood ban would certainly affect a lot of people living in certain countries, primarily the continent of Africa because they would not be allowed to have the same kind of priesthood benefits that other people would have from other countries so what's the point of going into those countries. It would be kind of a waste of time if you're spreading the gospel to a people who can't really benefit totally from the message that you have. He goes on page 249 and writes further complicating LDS expansion in Brazil were black Brazilian Mormons who donated their time and money to build the church is San Pablo Temple in the early 1970s, then church Pres. Spencer W.

Kimball agonized over the stark reality that they could not attend the temple. The essay explains that this is one of many factors, prompting Kimball to lift the ban, leading to the June 1978 priesthood revelation in the Salt Lake Temple. Let's talk about that for second because it's an interesting way that Mr. Harris words this when he says then church Pres. Spencer Kimball agonized over the stark reality that they could not attend the temple and of course, these are people at earlier. He says in that paragraph had given their time and their money to build the So Paulo Temple in Brazil back in the early 70s so we really supposed to think that because a church, Pres. agonizes over a situation that is a part of their doctrine and that's already been established. This is doctrine that he can all of a sudden override all the things that were said in all the things that were done up until that point. So does that kind of hip to the fact that if we get a an LDS church Pres. that agonizes over the fact that his daughter can't hold the priesthood that he can just come up with revelation or come up with a statement, an impression that God wants to change that and now we have to jettison everything that was said or done regarding the topic. Up until that particular point in time. Why is it that the God of Mormonism can't seem to see these things way down the road. It just boggles my mind that the God of Mormonism tends to use cultural shifts to institute or repeal doctrines you have to also wonder.

Spencer W. Kimball did he know that this was going to be overruled that the priesthood ban for those with black skin because he institutes this temple to be built in 1975 and its opens in 1978, but it would not have been able to serve very many people because most Brazilians have some type of black blood in their bodies and so with that constitutes black skin so he had to have known something I think Bill I would think that he did but Mr. Harris goes on to say, the essay closes on an optimistic note reminding readers that the LDS church teaches that quote all are alike to God and as we mentioned in previous broadcasts this week. This essay starts off with citing second Nephi 2633. All are alike, under God, and it ends with that same passage and as Mr. Harris states it affirms that God is no respecter of persons, and emphatically declares that anyone who is righteous, regardless of race is favored of him, and I think it should be mentioned again second Nephi 26, 33, was a part of Mormon scripture while the band was in effect, as well as after it was repealed. So why didn't that verse have that kind of meaning to the leaders of the LDS church prior to 1978.

It was always there. It wasn't something that was added after 1978 he goes on page 249 at the bottom under weaknesses and/or exclusions and writes the universalist message.

Notwithstanding the race and priesthood essay is problematic both for what it says. And for what it does not say it offers neither an apology nor recognition of pain caused by the ban echoing of a refrain from LDS apostle Delaunay chokes, who noted in 2015. That quote the church doesn't seek apologies and we don't give them." Boy does that not ring also true when it came to the Mountain Meadows massacre. There was a lot of controversy when the hundred and 50th anniversary of the Mountain Meadows massacre came and there was no apology issued by the church. There was only a statement of regret and that caused a lot of hard feelings, especially you would think for the family members of those who were killed at the Mountain Meadows on September 11, 1857. He continues on page 250 and writes that race and priesthood essay also fails to acknowledge LDS racial teachings as established doctrine identifying them instead as theories and opinions to buttress this claim. The essay sites and unpublished previously unknown 1907 letter from Joseph Fielding Smith, then assistant church historian, explaining that the curse and less valiant positions were not the official positions of the church. They were theories.

The opinions of earlier leaders. The essay also incorrectly implies that Smith was in a possibly wrote the letter, when in fact he was not ordained to the Council of the 12 until 1910 most problematic. The essay ignores Smith's later writings, both published and unpublished in which he affirms LDS racial theories as essential doctrine.

Indeed, for much of the 20th century.

Smith was the chief purveyor of LDS racial teachings through authoritative books and articles that this is an important paragraph, because I think this is something that cannot be overlooked. They bring up this letter that was from Joseph Fielding Smith and Harris correctly notes at the time he really didn't have any authoritative position in the church.

It incorrectly states he was an apostle, but we know that he didn't become an apostle until April 7, 1910. So in 19 seven when this letter is written Joseph Fielding Smith who was an assistant church historian really has no authority in the church to speak on doctrinal issues.

In fact, it's just his own opinion when he says that the reasons for the band were just theories and opinions, but he makes an excellent point, Mr. Hearst makes an excellent point when he says that the essay ignores Smith's later writings, both published and unpublished in which he affirms LDS racial theories as essential doctrine I have in front of me. The first volume of theories of salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith. Excuse me if doctrines of salvation by Joseph Fielding Smith were at the bottom of page 65.

It reads no neutrals in heaven. There were no neutrals in the war in heaven all took sides, either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there.

Just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro evidently is receiving the reward, he merits now this essay denounces that idea. But here we have Joseph Fielding Smith confirming that teaching in his book, doctrines of salvation volume 1, pages 65 and 66.

I know you were joking when you said theories of salvation. Now it is called doctrines of salvation to show you how important this three volume set of books were the LDS church decided to put this together in a Christmas downed issue and took selections from the three volumes is called selections from doctrines of salvation, sermons and writings of Joseph Fielding Smith, so this was a book given away by the first presidency to church employees. We don't know how many church employees.

Leather bound in beautiful paper we cover this in a previous show week we talked about all the different quotes there so I think there's some kind of authority with that book but the quote from 1907 E. 30 years all these an assistant church historian, why did they bring that quote up and nothing else that he said I think that's an excellent point. The next page goes on to say that Joseph Fielding Smith most influential book the way to perfection, which was published in 1931 exerted a profound influence on Latter Day Saints when inquisitive members queried him about quote the Negro and the priesthood." Smith recommended. Chapters 15 the seed of Cain in 16 the seed of Cain after the flood of his book to answer their questions. The first presidency and the quorum of the 12 apostles also recommended these chapters. When asked about the priesthood in temple band bill. I just want to point out the footnote given by Harris number five heats a very long footnote but this is what he says about Smith born in the patricians LDS stock. Smith's father was an LDS church president and his great grandfather was a brother to Joseph Smith, the eldest founder, the oft quoted Joseph Fielding Smith was widely recognized as the face for most Victorian, the LDS church news remarked that it would be difficult to find the subject of church doctrine or history that Pres. Smith has not written extensively upon a magazine articles, pamphlets and books. Historian Matthew Bowman notes that Smith was one of Mormonism's most respected religious thinkers in the decades after World War II. It goes on but I'm just saying this man is not a slouch and Mr. Harris notes also on the same page 251 even more controversy old Joseph Fielding Smith declared that Cain became the father of an inferior race an assertion he would later deny and characterize black skin is emblematic goal of eternal darkness less dramatic but no less significant. Smith ever heard that the priesthood and temple restrictions. Quote did not originate with Pres. Brigham Young but was taught by the prophet Joseph Smith. Tomorrow we continue looking at chapter 10. In the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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