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Gospel Topics Chapter 10 Harris Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
June 10, 2021 9:48 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 10 Harris Part 5

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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June 10, 2021 9:48 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 https://www.mrm.org/gospel-topics-essays.

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.1 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 hoping you're having a very pleasant Friday. Welcome to 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 at MRM today we wrap up our look at chapter 10. In the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement, Matthew L. Harris, one of the editors of the book tackles the gospel topics essay titled race in the priesthood in the past couple of days we were talking about Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president of the church and some of the comments that he made regarding race as well as comments made by his son-in-law. Mormon apostle Bruce R.

McConkey, it's easy to see quotes like that and draw the conclusion that well that seems so long ago. But today we want to talk about a comment that was made by Thomas S. Monson. He was the 16th president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and he passed away on January 2, 2018 in 1985 Thomas S. Monson wrote a book titled on the Lord's errand memoirs of Thomas S. Monson, the reason why we want to cite from this book is to show that here we have a person who at this time is not a general authority in the church. He recently served as a bishop, but at this point in time he's not an apostle, he certainly did not become the president two years later, but you can see how this doctrine that was a part of Mormon thought obviously played a role in this comment that Thomas S. Monson records on page 184 of his book on the Lord's errand. Monson writes in about 1956 we recognize that our neighborhood was deteriorating.

We observe this one Halloween by the nature of the people who came in the guise of trick-or-treat the minority elements were moving into the area where we lived, and many of the old-time families had long since moved away seeking counsel. I visited with Mark E.

Peterson, who for many years had been the general manager of the desert retinues. Oh, Preston Robinson, my former professor of marketing at the University of Utah has succeeded brother Peterson at as a general manager at the news. As I mentioned to Mark my dilemma. Wondering if it would be unfair for me to move. He said simply. Your obligation to that area is concluded. Why don't you build a house in my ward don't notice how he refers to this question was his dilemma. But, of course, is the dilemma will, as he says he observed on one Halloween evening, by the nature of the people who came in the guise of trick-or-treat that the quote minority elements were moving into the area where we lived in many of the old-time families had long since moved away. No good.

We conclude that the old-time families that is referring to are probably white members of the church. This is Thomas Monson's dilemma. But what's fascinating about this story and quite honestly Eric, I don't know why he includes this story in his book on the Lord's errand. You would think you would be embarrassed by what he's thinking and what he's saying and by how he was answered when he talked to Mark E Peterson apostle in the church. You only a couple years earlier gave that infamous speech called race problems as the affect the church, which we cited in yesterday show he goes on, and he says I visited with Mark E. Peterson, who for many years had been the general manager of the desert retinues. That's where Thomas S. Monson worked at one time before he became a general authority in the church. But it's interesting the guidance that Peterson gives him that you would think. Normally, the answer might be something like will you know Tom you might want to get over those feelings because those feelings seem to smack of prejudice to a certain degree. Maybe you need to talk to the Lord about that.

But no, that's not the guidance that Mark Peterson gives them what is he say he says your obligation of that area is concluded. Why don't you build a house my ward.

So in other words, your dilemma is your scene, the minority elements moving into your neighborhood and the apostle that you seek guidance from says your obligation to that area is concluded. I didn't know he had an obligation to a certain area that what Mormons think that because they live in a certain neighborhood that that's their obligation to live there.

Well Peterson somehow maybe through revelation. I don't know, he doesn't say what he tells him that his obligation to that area is concluded and says why don't you build a house in my ward now I can guarantee you at this time that it's probably a pretty good bet that Mark E Peterson isn't living in downtown Salt Lake City where Thomas Monson is noticing the minority elements are moving in probably lived in the avenues a Nicer Pl. in Salt Lake City but now I am thinking about this. How much do you think that the culture played in what it really is a racist statement that minority elements were moving in the area or do you think that because of the ban on Blacks and the priesthood that that could've also played a role in making a man like Thomas S. Monson with racist attitudes because he believes this. Not only did he believe it in 1956 but so did so many others, including Peterson and then for him to repeat this story in 1985 well after racism is already been acknowledged through the 60s and 70s and 1985. He doesn't say this in a way that he's trying to apologize for the doll that he doesn't seem embarrassed by the comment that he made were the thoughts that he was having at that particular time so it does seem, because he is not embarrassed by that that it's part of his thinking perhaps it's hard to say because Monson has been dead. As I said since January 2, 2018, but this is a man who didn't die in the 20th century. He's died on the 21st century is not that long ago when this man passed away and he of course was the 16th president of the church in the chapter that Matthew L.

Harris wrote he writes of distinguished LDS scholar Richard L. Bushman, who was the author of the book. Rough Stone rolling on a claimed biography of Joseph Smith.

He says how bushman also weighed in on the implications of the document.

The document being the gospel topics essay race in the priesthood. He continues, he characterized it as written as a historian might tell the story and not as a theological piece trying to justify the practice by depicting the priesthood ban as fitting the common practices of the day. Bushman commented that it was something that just grew up and in time had to be eliminated, but accepting that bushman added requires a deep reorientation of Mormon thinking, noting that Mormons believe that their leaders are in regular communication with God.

So if you say Brigham Young could make a serious air it brings in the question all of the prophets inspiration. Let me stop you there because I think he makes an excellent point, and I'm glad that that Mr. Harris cited this statement from Richard O. Bushman, he's right and I think it plays into the same dilemma that many Latter Day Saints probably would've had when they lived during the time of the manifesto in 1890. Let's not forget folks that up until the time the manifesto went into effect. Mormon leaders were saying that they would never give up the practice of plural marriage because God instituted this to give up the practice of plural marriage was like giving up their Mormonism.

You just could not do that.

So there was a lot of bravado going on when it comes to the sayings and teachings of the LDS leadership at that time including we should say Wilford Woodruff himself, who signs the manifesto and has to deliver it to his people because in 1890 he is the prophet's ear and revel later of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's a huge contradiction and no doubt it caused a lot of confusion among the membership.

So much so that later on after the manifesto is made public you would find decades down the road. People who were once faithful to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints now breaking away from the church and starting their own splinter groups known as fundamentalist Mormons who still believed in that practice espoused by Joseph Smith Brigham Young John Taylor and we could even say Wilford Woodruff but they felt that they were teaching the correct doctrine as it came forth from God because that's what they were told they saw Wilford Woodruff is really betraying.

You might say the legacy of Joseph Smith Brigham Young and John Taylor and felt that they had to separate themselves from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Bill let me give you the final thoughts of Mr. Harris on page 279 and he says the race and priesthood gospel topics essay is the best official expression a day concerning LDS racial teachings.

The essay should be priced even celebrated but it stops short of full disclosure in his defense, the LDS hierarchy had to walk a delicate line acknowledging past teachings while protecting earlier leaders from charges of doctrinal air. Thus the race and priesthood essay offers neither a full disclosure of LDS racial teachings nor provides an avenue for healing by offering an apology and recognition of the pain caused by the church as institutionalized racism. The essay does not acknowledge or attempt to explain the continuing presence of whiteness teachings in LDS scripture and discourse I think is accurate and it tends to bring to the surface.

The fact that the leadership in dealing with the subject come off as acting pretty cold. They seem to have no heart towards those who were mostly affected by this teaching and you would think. Even if you're not a member of color. The fact that this doctrine would taint your thinking as a white individual.

Nothing is said about that and I and I think Mr. Harris is absolutely correct. The LDS hierarchy did have to walk a delicate line acknowledging past teachings while protecting earlier leaders from charges of doctrinal error in others of footnote. Their number 87 and at the bottom of 279. It cites Richard bushman who we just quoted historian Richard bushman noted the precariousness of the position when he observed Mormons believe that their leaders are in regular communication with God. So if you say Brigham Young could make a serious error.

It brings into question all of the prophets, inspiration, and we wouldn't agree that's a as very smart statement because if he's wrong here. Where else could he be wrong and obviously when you look at the teachings of Brigham Young. He's wrong a lot of areas and you would think that all those mistakes I would say it's even more serious than mistake this guy is claiming to be a prophet who never said anything that wasn't something that they could take away is Scripture here. You have Brigham Young making horrible comments regarding race and then terrible comments regarding other issues as well. Why would anybody want to claim Brigham Young as being a true prophet of God, much less the second president of your church. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information we guarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is


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