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November 3, 2020 8:54 pm
Movies 101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective woman is a 101 for teens is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or MRM.org is the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint when Mormonism is 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 welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director of Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we are looking at the book Saints. No unhallowed hand. It covers the time period from 1846 to 1893 and today were going to be looking at chapter 5. As we mentioned were not going to be going through this book, a chapter at a time and not even planning to be all that exhaustive, but there are some topics within the book that I think are worthy of of looking at more closely.
One thing I will say about this new history book.
Unlike a lot of books that are been put out over the past several years regarding Mormon history, this one does seem to follow the pattern of the first volume, which was Saints. The standard of truth in being much more transparent than we've seen in other books, and this is going to be one of those cases, when it talks about the very touchy subject of race in chapter 5 title bow down to the grave. It says on page 69 in the summer of 1847 Jane Manning James traveled west with her husband Isaac and two sons Sylvester and Silas in a large caravan of about 1500 Saint Way goes on and says after being denied passage on a canal boat in 1843, likely because of the color of their skin. She and a small group of black Latter Day Saints had walked almost 800 miles from Western New York to Naboo, though there's no doubt that the story of Jane Manning. James is a story of heartfelt dedication when you do read about this lady she certainly did give up a lot to be a faithful latter-day sake which I think makes her story all the more tragic but the book goes on page 70 to talk about Jane, Isaac, and their children were the only black Saints in their company of almost 190 people.
Yet there were some other black Saints living in wards and branches throughout the church. Elijah Abel is 70 who had served a mission to New York and Canada attended a Midwestern branch with his wife Marianne, another man, Walker Lewis, whom Brigham Young had described as one of his best elders in the church attended a branch on the East Coast with his family many church members oppose slavery and Joseph Smith had run for United States president on a platform that included a plan to end the institution.
The Church's missionary efforts, however, had led to the baptisms of some slaveholders and some slaves now. I think we need to stop here because when it says that the church missionary efforts have led to the baptisms of some slaveholders and some slaves. One slaveholder in particular that is gotten a lot of notice, especially in recent months is Abraham Smoot, the administration building at Brigham Young University is named after Abraham Smoot now Smoot converted to Mormonism in 1835 at the age of 24's.
We know he had three slaves that he owned. But let's look at this first sentence in that paragraph.
Many church members opposed slavery and Joseph Smith had run for United States president on a platform that included a plant in the institution now technically both statements are true. Many church members did oppose slavery, but what it doesn't bring out in this paragraph is the fact that Brigham Young certainly was not against slavery and I think it needs to be mentioned that in 1852 when Brigham Young spoke to the Utah legislature. He made it very clear that he was in favor of slavery. Let me read you some remarks from that speech that he gave on January 23, 1852. Brigham Young said I will remark with regard to slavery inasmuch as we believe in the Bible, inasmuch as we believe in the ordinances of God in the priesthood and order and decrees of God. Notice he's not only attributing his views to the Bible, and of course many people look to the Bible. Unfortunately, before our American Civil War for proof tax that they thought supported the institution of slavery because slavery was a part of the ancient world, and they interpreted that to mean that because there isn't any direct condemnation of slavery that somehow it was okay certainly goes against the golden rule in my opinion, but some people did hold that view. We do know that. But look at what Brigham Young does he not only says that he was in favor of slavery because it's in the Bible. He says it's an ordinance of God and in the priesthood and the order and decrees of God and because of that he says we must believe in slavery.
The colored race has been subjected to severe curses, which they have in their families and their classes and in their various capacities brought upon themselves and until the curses removed by him and him is capitalized or speaking of God, who placed it upon them so notice he's giving credit to God for placing this curse upon them. Brigham Young said they must suffer under its consequences. I am not authorized to remove it. He said then he says I am a firm believer in slavery that's Brigham Young speaking to the Utah legislature January 23, 1852 now in the book says at the bottom of page 70 that many church members oppose slavery, you could technically say. Of course that's true a lot of members of the church were from the northern states. Naturally, they were opposed to slavery, but I find it awfully interesting that there is no mention of Brigham Young or anyone like Abraham O. Smoot, who certainly did believe in it, especially when you look at what Brigham Young said in 1852 to the legislature in Utah. Now you would think of Brigham Young said that, how many members of the church would go along with what Brigham Young said just because he was the prophet's ear and rebel leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that's a good point built because Brigham Young is the as you mention the prophet's ear and rebel later. Maybe there were many church members who oppose slavery, but who is more important, the president of the church or just the average member yeah and then the book goes on to say on page 71 in 1833 the Lord had declared that it was not right that any man should be in bondage one to another. Now that citing doctrine and covenants section 101 verse 79. My question is as if this is in fact in the doctrine and covenants, and we know it is in the doctrine and covenants is Scripture to the Latter Day Saints including Brigham Young. Why did Brigham Young go along with that.
I just find that very confusing Brigham Young I know is always a type of contradiction. You might say but you would think on this kind of an issue that seems pretty clear. If man should not be in bondage to any other person, then why does Brigham Young support the bondage of one person to another. It just doesn't make sense at the end of that paragraph assists slavery was one of the most intensely debated issues the United States at the time and for many years it had divided churches as well as the country well you mention Abraham O. Smoot and and you mention the administration building a BYU that's caused a lot of angst amongst Mormons as to whether or not a building should be named after a slave owner and yet this is a very prominent Latter Day Saints of slavery does have a role in the early LDS church. The book goes on page 71 to say, like other groups of Christians at this time. However, many white Saints wrongly viewed black people as inferior, believing that black skin was the result of God's curse on the biblical figures cane and ham.
Some had even begun to teach the false idea that black skin was evidence of a person's unrighteous actions in the pre-mortal life. Let me just say the proof tax that Mormon leaders used.
To support this idea that black should not be allowed to hold the priesthood and that this was the result of God's curse on biblical figures, cane and ham that goes right to Abraham 125 and 26 and the pearl of great price that is still a part of their Scriptures.
Now the Mormon church may want to ignore that Scripture is there, but it is in fact still therein.
Abraham 125 and 26 and David O. McKay, president of the Mormon church in responding to a student who was concerned about the doctrine that the church had at that time. During his administration said that that was the verse that supports the position that the church had at that time preventing those of African heritage from holding the Mormon priesthood builder definitely opinions from LDS leaders that the preexistence does play a role in the way that a person would be born. For instance, we have 10 Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith. This is what he said in doctors of salvation volume on page 61. There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here and were obedient more or less to the laws that were given us their those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here and those who were not faithful receive glass. Another citation is from Melvin J. Ballard and apostle the church in a book called sermons and missionary service of Melvin J. Ballard on page 248, he said, why is it in this church. We do not grant the priesthood to the Negroes. It is alleged that the prophet Joseph said and I have no reason to dispute it, that it is because of some act committed by them before they came into this life. It is alleged that they were neutral standing neither for Christ nor the devil. But I am convinced it is because of some things they did before they came into this life that they had been denied the privilege the races of today are very largely reaping the consequences of a previous life. One more apostle George F Richards in a general conference talk he gave in October 1947, page 57 the Negro race have been forbidden the priesthood and the higher Temple blessings, presumably because of their not having been valiant while in the spirit it does not pay to be anything but valiant and yet those quotations seem to go in direct conflict to what is written on page 71.
Some had even begun to teach the false idea that black skin was evidence of a person's unrighteous actions in the pre-mortal life. I guess you pretty well demonstrated Eric that we have at least three men in leadership of the Mormon church who were teaching false doctrine.
Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research.
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