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Gospel Topics Chapter 10 Harris Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
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June 9, 2021 9:47 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 10 Harris Part 4

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 9, 2021 9:47 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

Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever
Viewpoint on Mormonism
Bill McKeever

Mormonism 101 is research ministries Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson has helped many more to understand what separates Mormonism from the Christian faith. Mormonism 101 is what your favorite Christian bookstore .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism 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. So glad you could be with us for this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson my colleague MRM we continue looking at chapter 10 of the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. A chapter titled whiteness, theology, and the evolution of Mormon racial teachings.

It was written by Matthew L. Harris, who is one of two editors of the block, along with G Bringhurst. It's discussing the gospel topics essay titled race in the priesthood, which was published on the official website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on December 6, 2013, and yesterday show. We were talking about what Mr. Harris had to say about 10th Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith today were going to look at what he has to say regarding Joseph Fielding Smith's son-in-law, Bruce R.

McConkie. He says on 252 that race and priesthood essay also distorts the work of apostle Bruce are McConkie's own statements on black priesthood denial are neither acknowledged nor explained in the gospel topics essay and I think we should explain what he means by distort.

He uses the phrase all or alike unto God, which of course comes from the book of Mormon second Nephi 2633 and Bruce McConkie was the one who gave a talk with that verse as the title of his message so it gives the impression by citing his talk in the gospel topics essay that this was a position that Bruce McConkie always held, perhaps, but we certainly know that isn't true when you look in his book Mormon doctrine, and as Harris notes, this book 1st came out in 1958 it went through 40 printings and ultimately was put out to pasture if you will. In 2010. This was a very influential book in that book has a lot of harsh things to say about those of African heritage.

But what Bruce McConkie said in 1958 and in his second edition. About a decade later, there were changes made and yet it was called.

As we talked about yesterday.

Joseph Fielding Smith book doctrines of salvation.

This was called Mormon doctrine so these are written by people who have authoritative status in the church to be able to say what it is and yet they still change their minds down the road. What did McConkie say in Mormon doctrine that Mr. Harris notes on 253 Harris rights McConkie asserted in Mormon doctrine that Kane was the father of the Negroes and that cane ham and the whole Negro race had been cursed with the black skin so they can be identified as a cast apart to keep Blacks and whites from marrying in another passage, McConkie ever did that quote Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings or concern, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom." This inequality is not a man's origin, he added, but is the Lord's doing and is based on his eternal laws of justice notice McConkie credits the Lord for this doctrine.

So a latter-day St. really can't use the excuse what we don't know why began. We don't know who put it in the place really, other than perhaps as the essay admits Brigham Young but McConkie doesn't credit Brigham Young with that. He credits the Lord for bringing about this teaching and he says this inequality is not of man's origin, but is the Lord's doing, and based on his eternal laws of justice. So the Lord put this in place and those of African heritage violated what God had put in place. It goes on to say on page 253 that the essay cites the apostles sermon all or alike unto God. Now this is getting back to why I think he uses the word distort in which McConkie explained that church leaders spoke with a limited understanding during the 126 year old band enough. Think about the complications with that phrase. We have members in the church basically being punished based on the color of their skin for doing something they can't remember doing in the preexistence men that were being told by Bruce McConkie that these leaders who did that with a limited understanding will doesn't seem to open that Pandora's box that there could be other topics they might have a limited understanding on who's to say that another change could be down the road. Regarding other things, that now are considered doctrine.

You can see that this becomes quite complicated, quite confusing, and you could even say even threatening to the so-called authority of these leaders who are claiming to speak on behalf of God himself was of course God doesn't know what's going on down the road and he has to change his mind. Ultimately, as well. At the bottom, up to 53. He writes more troubling the essay selective reading of McConkie causes readers to assume incorrectly that he was progressive on racial matters when he was not in published writings after the all or alike on the God sermon McConkie continue teaching about the hierarchy of lineages and the divine curse. Now he's going to leave McConkie for a bit but cookie comes up again in his chapter on page 265 when he is discussing a teaching that was put forth by the third president of the LDS church. A man by the name of John Taylor, one of the clearest examples of LDS racial tropes came from John Taylor the third president of the LDS church who taught quote that the devil should have a representation upon the earth." Through the lineage of Cain and him let me stop you there Eric because Mr. Harris does not cite exactly what John Taylor said. Along those lines. So let me read for you what he said and this is found in the Journal of discourses, volume 22, page 304.

A statement that John Taylor made on August 28, 1881, Taylor said, and after the flood. We are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was committed through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed and why did it pass through the flood, because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth, as well as God.

Now Taylor didn't say that, just once. He said it twice in October 29, 1882, and this can be found in the Journal of discourses, volume 23, page 336. Taylor said why is it in fact that we should have a devil, why did not the Lord kill him long ago because he could not do without him. He needed the devil and a great many of those who do his bidding, just to keep men straight that we may learn to place our dependence upon God and trust in him and to observe his laws and his commandments when he destroyed the inhabitants of the enter the alluvion world.

He suffered a descendent of King to come through the flood, in order that he might be properly represented upon the earth. Now Harris uses what John Taylor says regarding the lineage of Cain and him to bring up what Bruce McConkie wrote in his book Mormon doctrine, and he writes likewise. Bruce R. McConkie link Negroes with the devil in Mormon doctrine and promise that God would change their black skin after converting to Mormonism Negro blood. He insisted will be purged out of a human soul by baptism facilitated by the receipt of the Holy Ghost and personal righteousness no less controversial in 1969, church officials sought a dark skinned person to represent Satan in the temple ceremony while at the same time, invited a white man with Caucasian features to represent Jesus, we should explain that for years. The temple endowment ceremony was performed with live actors. They did not have the benefit of video, of course, in the early years and that's basically how it's all done now.

Even the last bastions of life performances, such as in the Salt Lake Temple and the man type temple after the renovation. The Salt Lake Temple's going through right now and the man type temple. It's going to begin in October of this year there will be no more live actors so what Harris is bringing out and he gets this from David John Berger's book the mystery of godliness. The history of Mormon Temple worship, which came out in 1994 he, citing page 169. If you want to look it up but this is where he gets this statement that church officials sought a dark skinned person to represent Satan in the temple ceremony while at the same time, invited a white man with Caucasian features to represent Jesus, Eric, let me ask you, do you think a latter-day St. going through the endowment ceremony and seeing that could be bothered by what they see or do you think because of what they've been told.

Up until this time it probably really didn't mean much of anything to them. That's a great question. We can answer for every single person but I believe as you just said in the second part of that many would have just accepted that because Blacks were cursed with the mark of Cain and therefore it seems to be a natural progression on page 254 Harris talks about the book of Mormon.

I've heard a lot of Christians who misunderstand the connection between the book of Mormon and the seed of Cain doctrine there really not the same over what were talking about two different races. Harris notes on page 254. The book of Mormon recounts the story of the Lamanites, whom God cursed with a dark skin for their wickedness. This would not be the seed of Cain those of African heritage. So we need to keep in mind that were not talking about the same people group in vivid detail the neophyte prophets discuss how their rivals became quote a dark filthy and loathsome people full of idleness and all manner of abominations."

Harris goes on to say, to maintain racial purity. The book of Mormon prophets instructed the white and the lights of neophytes not to mix seed with the sinful Lamanites, lest they bring the same curse upon their seed.

Doesn't that sound very similar to what Mormon apostle Mark E Peterson said in his speech titled race problems as they affect the church yet.

He said this August 27, 1954. If I were to marry a Negro woman and have children by her. My children would all be cursed as to the priesthood.

Do I want my children curses of the priesthood. If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children as I read to you they receive the curse.

There isn't any argument. Therefore S intermarriage with the Negro is there tomorrow were going to finish our series on this particular chapter whiteness theology in the evolution of Mormon racial teachings. Thank you for listening you would like more information when guarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is as with most Christian organizations is a research ministry depends on the generous financial support of friends like you.

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