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KeithLBrown

Panel Discussion on 1978 Revelation

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I have been assigned by my Stake to moderate a panel discussion on 22 February 2009. The discussion will be based on the 1978 Revelation that allowed all worthy males regardless of race to hold the Priesthood and the effect that it has had on Church growth worldwide. This is indeed an answer to prayer as I have had a desire to do a panel discussion/fireside on this subject or about Black Mormon Pioneers for some time.

This is my question: If you were moderating a panel discussion of this type what would be some of the things that you would include as part of the discussion, or even as a participant, what would be some of the questions that you would like to addressed during the discussion?

The thing to keep in mind is that this will be a discussion panel. I am under strict guidance by the Stake that they do not want any speeches. Therefore, any help and suggestions that you want to offer are welcomed.

I am also interested in knowing if there are any returned missionaries or Mission Presidents that have served in Africa that can give some insight as to how the Church is progressing in that area. Thank you one and all in advance for your input. I will take all input under advisement.

Edited by KeithLBrown
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I'll ask my dad. He served his mission in South Africa in 1950.

In discussions I've particiated in at firesides, etc. the moderator presented the subject and then just asked questions. Having a lot a questions will help. But once the subject gets going and participants warm up its just a matter of keeping everyone on track, through more questions.

Good Luck, I'm not sure I could do it.

applepansy

P.S. We have again been asked to follow the prophet on a socially hot topic. The 1978 Revelation was a socially hot topic too. Maybe you could discuss how the two differ.

Edited by applepansy

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My guess is that it would be most pleasing to the Stake Presidency to tow the party line in discussion items. However, it is hard to know exactly what the party line is in this instance. There has been past reasons, apologetic reasons and even a school of though that says, let's come clean and admit past mistakes. It think it would be best if you steered clear of the last one if the audience is not ready for it.

Best of luck with this worthwhile project.

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Moksha,

Surprisingly enough when I was given this assignment at our recent YSA/SA meeting, one of the main concerns was how to address this issue especially in light of the recent election and with Inaguration Day being one month prior to this panel discussion taking place. Our Stake President specializes in Civil Rights law and we are considering asking him to join the panel discussion that evening if his schedule permits. It can be a very touchy subject to say the least and prayer will definitely be a major part in preparing to execute this assignment.

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I have been assigned by my Stake to moderate a panel discussion on 22 February 2009. The discussion will be based on the 1978 Revelation that allowed all worthy males regardless of race to hold the Priesthood and the effect that it has had on Church growth worldwide. This is indeed an answer to prayer as I have had a desire to do a panel discussion/fireside on this subject or about Black Mormon Pioneers for some time.

This is my question: If you were moderating a panel discussion of this type what would be some of the things that you would include as part of the discussion, or even as a participant, what would be some of the questions that you would like to addressed during the discussion?

The thing to keep in mind is that this will be a discussion panel. I am under strict guidance by the Stake that they do not want any speeches. Therefore, any help and suggestions that you want to offer are welcomed.

I am also interested in knowing if there are any returned missionaries or Mission Presidents that have served in Africa that can give some insight as to how the Church is progressing in that area. Thank you one and all in advance for your input. I will take all input under advisement.

I know I had in the past beat-up this topic several times, but my friend Scott, who is white, was also denied the priesthood due to his father-side genology. It is not just about skin pigmentation but of birth-right that was denied.

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FunkyTown,

The panel discussion will be held at one of the Annapolis Maryland Ward member's homes. I will see if it can be videotaped. I had not thought about that. I am excited about the assignment and a little aprehensive at the same time if that makes sense. Thank you for your compliments and encouragement.

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I would take a lot of my thoughts and views from Black LDS Mormons, which is maintained by FAIR.

The current view for the Church is that there was no curse of Cain. Rather, Brigham Young used his Protestant understanding of Cainan and Cain's curses and extended them to applying to the priesthood. I would use comments from Prince's book on David O. McKay to show that Pres McKay did not believe there was ever a curse, and that it was something the Lord allowed because neither the Church nor the world were ready for the priesthood power to go to blacks at that time.

Can you imagine what would have happened to the Church in the 19th century if it added this to its list of reasons for Americans to exterminate them? Missourians fear of anti-slavery Mormons helped lead to their expulsion and persecution. Imagine how few white people would have joined the Church, knowing that blacks were considered equal! The reality is, as ugly as it is, this point of BY's racism may have helped save the Church and allowed it to grow strong enough to survive.

When the Brazilian temple was prepared to be dedicated, the issue arose as to what to do with the members there. Mixed races are very common, and how would one know who was/wasn't eligible for the temple, at least without first receiving a patriarchal blessing - something uncommon in many areas of Brazil and South America in the 1970s-80s. It was incumbent upon Pres Kimball to receive an answer. By then, Civil Rights had moved forward enough to no longer be as much an issue. The Church had also moved forward from being a Utah Church, to a global religion, powerful enough to withstand modern attacks.

The Lord, therefore, rescinded the ban by revelation. This revelation was powerful enough for Elder Haight (then a recently called apostle) to speak about it frequently in General Conference talks for the next two decades. To us missionaries in Bolivia in 1979, he called it a sublime revelation. Elder McConkie also came to Bolivia that year and mentioned that the revelation was more powerful than the witness of the Son.

I spent 16 years in the military service in Montgomery, Alabama (1986-2002). I was ward mission leader or in the stake mission presidency for 9 of those years, bishopric for 2 more of those years. We began actively sending the missionaries into the black areas of town in 1987. It was tough on the members, who were not used to seeing so many blacks enter the Church. Many refused to go home/visit teaching in the poor areas of town. Others complained when a black sister was called into the Primary, because they didn't feel she should be teaching the kids. Time and again, we saw issues of racism jump up at us. Eventually, the center wards began to accept and embrace the concept of mixed race wards - then we had to deal with it in the branches, where racism was often still very strong.

I was blessed with the opportunity to open up Tuskegee and prepare it to be a branch. The members there are very special to me, particularly the Oryang family from Uganda. I called Eva Oryang as the first Relief Society president there, and her conversion was truly a miracle. She didn't know why, when she fled Uganda, that the Lord called her to Tuskegee. But the Lord knew he wanted her there for a specific purpose in joining the Church and helping to establish the branch. She also became the branch's first full time missionary. Her son, David, became the third branch president, serving for almost a decade. As it is, I believe David lives in the DC area now. Perhaps you could look him up and have him share his experience at Tuskegee?

There still is room for improvement. However, when I consider where the Montgomery stake is today, and compare it with other Christian churches - most of which are still segregated, I'm very proud of how our church has moved forward on this.

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There is one thing that comes up quite often in these forum discussions. That being that those having darker skin were ones that were cursed in the pre-existence. I think that is a point many like to bring up. Might be a good time to dispel any urban legends.

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Wow, Keith. I would love to attend this, but unfortunately I'm too far away. If you can get video/audio, would you also check into posting that on the internet? I'm sure there are many of us who would love to hear more.

And there is a brother in my ward who is black and has been a faithful member of the church before 1978 and since. He's been an activist of sorts regarding blacks and the priesthood. I'll ask him this Sunday if he would be willing to contact you regarding this. I'm sure this is right up his alley. If he is willing, I'll email to provide particulars.

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This is where I have to disagree. That is not correct.

Though FAIR does a wonderful job in researching and making a conclusionary assumption from what is being interrupted, it is better to ask GOD for the right answer. If FAIR was right, knowing President Spencer W. Kimball, he would acknowledge the mistake and made a conference topic of it. He simply didn’t. He was prompted it was time to allow all to receive the priesthood. Prior prophets could have made the same attempt but it was clearly noted, it was the Lord will and not man. Even the attempts to rectify a perceived wrong by a prophet, when it was the Lord own doing is not what He desired. If He had that desire to change it, do not think one minute He would told any of those prophets to change it immediately. You will also noted, the Prophet Joseph Smith did not make any further attempt in baptizing anyone of that lineage [nothing to with skin pigmentation] after translating both the Book of Moses [received by revelation] and Abraham. As I know, others did baptized afterwards and were told not too later by President Young. Again, I have to ask, is this, the ‘gospel according to FAIR’ or, is this the gospel according to Jesus Christ? Which one do we follow here? We simply do not make any attempt to the world in seeking appeasement for truths but allow them and allow the Holy Ghost to be manifested by the Savior to the world.

Even in the case Noah, thoroughly research for one simple answer on “what had happen to the Fresh Water Fish”? I was asked this question and stumped. After searching out the scholars of several science fields, going back in researching every known documentation, article, and what others had teach. 18-months later, one morning I was given the answer by the Spirit. What I had learned, stumped my own perception of the Deluge. Later, I went back to those scholars and told them, they need to correct their statement. What we perceive is the answer is not always what had happened. 

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This is where I have to disagree. That is not correct.

Though FAIR does a wonderful job in researching and making a conclusionary assumption from what is being interrupted, it is better to ask GOD for the right answer. If FAIR was right, knowing President Spencer W. Kimball, he would acknowledge the mistake and made a conference topic of it. He simply didn’t. He was prompted it was time to allow all to receive the priesthood. Prior prophets could have made the same attempt but it was clearly noted, it was the Lord will and not man. Even the attempts to rectify a perceived wrong by a prophet, when it was the Lord own doing is not what He desired. If He had that desire to change it, do not think one minute He would told any of those prophets to change it immediately. You will also noted, the Prophet Joseph Smith did not make any further attempt in baptizing anyone of that lineage [nothing to with skin pigmentation] after translating both the Book of Moses [received by revelation] and Abraham. As I know, others did baptized afterwards and were told not too later by President Young. Again, I have to ask, is this, the ‘gospel according to FAIR’ or, is this the gospel according to Jesus Christ? Which one do we follow here? We simply do not make any attempt to the world in seeking appeasement for truths but allow them and allow the Holy Ghost to be manifested by the Savior to the world.

Even in the case Noah, thoroughly research for one simple answer on “what had happen to the Fresh Water Fish”? I was asked this question and stumped. After searching out the scholars of several science fields, going back in researching every known documentation, article, and what others had teach. 18-months later, one morning I was given the answer by the Spirit. What I had learned, stumped my own perception of the Deluge. Later, I went back to those scholars and told them, they need to correct their statement. What we perceive is the answer is not always what had happened. 

I agree with you Hemi.

applepansy

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Hemi,

How do you know that I haven't received a personal revelation on this? While you may expound frequently on your personal revelatory insights, perhaps others of us try not so hard to push our personal revelations as just that. It is kinder for me to share them as personal views.

On that note, however, since you brought it up, I have received personal inspiration regarding what FAIR has taught on the priesthood ban. And I have found that their version is correct. I received this in regards to a calling I had for 9 years in Montgomery, Alabama. I was in the stake mission presidency/ward mission leader. In 1987, we intentionally initiated missionary work in the inner city among the blacks. Lots of members fought it, including some leaders. But the Lord revealed to me that it was their time to receive the gospel, and showed me that there never was a curse of Cain/Cainan, but that this ban was allowed for other reasons.

That being said, my personal revelations are not binding on any here, and if anyone wishes to disagree that is fine by me. You are not under my direct revelatory guidance. As you would say, each must gain their own revelation on it, if they so choose. Still, one of the gifts of the Spirit is to believe on those who have received a witness, and so perhaps it may come from my testimony to you.

Pres Kimball did not apologize, because that was not his focus. Elder McConkie noted that all of the things taught and spoken about concerning the ban are to be forgotten, as we now have a new revelation which makes everything else before it of no importance.

As for asking forgiveness, the Church has had a problem with apologizing in the past. It took a century for them to begin apologizing for MMM and creating a responsible action towards it. Only this year was a very decent, Church sponsored book written on the topic. Before the past decade, the Church kept its head in the sand on many issues. This is also true in regards to events in Joseph Smith's life, as Bushman's Rough Stone Rolling and now the Joseph Smith Papers finally come to light. Prior to these, most books on Joseph Smith were all fluff, and downplayed, ignored or denied his struggles and weaknesses.

The Church is finally coming to an age where it is putting all cards on the table, and is beginning to let them fall where they may. This does not make the Church false. It does make the Church leaders human and occasionally fallible. But that's how they are supposed to be.

Ten years ago, the Church said almost nothing about the priesthood ban. Now, things are moving forward. Darius Gray and Margaret Blair Young, who have authored several books and a film on LDS Blacks, received permission from the First Presidency to state: we do not know how the ban was started, but we do know it ended via revelation. I wholeheartedly agree with the First Presidency and my friends on that concept.

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How do you know that I haven't received a personal revelation on this?

If you did, we would be in agreement. I am not here to push my own personal insight but is there a matter of personal revelation or instruction beyond the veil of the indifference on what is being discussed, the course to have others rethink the topic at hand, research it again for further clarification, and then with your own conclusions, ask in faith, having hope it will be answered.

Our quest for truth is to be one in unison and not be divided.

LATE EDIT: And yes, I do believe leaders of the church are infallible as men or women.

Edited by Hemidakota

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That was a little painful, Hemi. You are discounting my revelation on it, because it disagrees with yours????

Don't you realize that people receive revelation/inspiration based upon their readiness to receive it?

How do you know that your revelation tops the one I received? I find it somewhat insulting that you would say such a thing. I have never said anything before about your telling people to find a revelation on things, as I agree with that. But how can you then tell me that the revelation I've received is wrong, simply because you do not agree with it?

I suggest you may also want to recheck your own priorities when it comes to revealed things. Perhaps we are both receiving revelations from the wrong source.

And if you think the leaders are infallible men and women, then you must worship another God than I do. The Book of Mormon, D&C and the writings of the prophets all state they are fallible. What is infallible are the core doctrines, authorities, powers and teachings we receive from God through them.

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It should not be painful Ram. :lol: Neither can I discount on what is given to you versus what I have received since you did not disclose it publicly. Going back to my last statement, we should be in unison here but that is not the case reading your first posting on what FAIRS research. If you receive something that is contrary to what President Young or others stated, I would be glad to listen.

I am sure if something is being presented here and it is not correct, now would you sit idling by and allow it to happen? Not what I have been seeing from some of your previous postings, I do applaud you for doing so. If there was a priority Ram, if there is something that I do know is wrong, I would state the case and have that person go back and ask again. Now, that is not to hard to accomplish. As my last example, in the case of the great deluge.

The word should read 'FALLIBLE' and not 'INFALLIBLE.' You should know me by now. I will be the first to stand up and declare it to the world.

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What if you do not believe the 1978 revelation was not a revelation but rather a choice for the Church to be more politically correct?

I do...

I would suggest that it was both politically expedient and morally correct. While this could have happened through administrative fiat, I think most Mormons believe that this enlightenment came via revelation. That sounds fine to me.

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I just want to thank everyone for their comments and helpful insights thus far. This is going to be somewhat of a challenging topic to discuss and will definitely take a considerable amount of prayer and preparation in putting this all together. I am also friends with Margaret Blair Young (via email) and will be contacting her and also seeing if I can contact Darius Gray (if anyone knows how to contact Darius directly I would greatly appreciate it or I can also ask Margaret) to get some input from them as they have done an enormous amount of work with the Genesis Organization, have co-authored books about Black Mormons and co-authored movies about Black Mormons, including a new documentary which is already on DVD and will be released soon. I know that it is probably a far stretch, but I am also planning to see if Margaret Blair Young or Darius Gray (if I can get in touch with him), know how I might be able to contact Brother Joseph Freeman who was the first Black to receive the Priesthood after the 1978 Revelation. It is also interesting to note that President Monson (then Elder Monson) performed the sealing ordinances for Brother Joseph Freeman and his family in the Salt Lake Temple.

Now my main question is, if you were sitting in the audience during this panel discussion, what are some of the questions that you would ask and have this discussion focus on? Please keep in mind that this will be a orderly discussion and not a debate.

Edited by KeithLBrown

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