Dear Ex-Mormon Community,
Hoping you are well.
A group of active Mormons & ex-Mormons in the UK have prepared a public media statement distancing ourselves from the Church's dishonest & disingenuous News Statement made recently about the historic position of the Church in relation to African Americans.
We feel very strongly that an apology from the Church was in order.
If you feel likewise could you help our cause by posting it on your Facebook wall & other social media & Internet sites.
Our goal also includes eventually encouraging Mitt Romney to counter-sign, as we believe this will gain the maximum public inducement for the Church to consider a more honourable treatment of the truth in relation to its own history & the treatment of its current members, of every colour.
If you have any media contacts would you be able to promote it?
A PUBLIC APOLOGY
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
So runs the justifiably much celebrated introduction to the Declaration of Independence, which in 1776 marked the birth of the American nation, and a significant step forward in human enlightenment.
In 2012, we the undersigned, as a matter of conscience, make the following formal declaration, independent of the church with which we are or were formerly associated, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or “Mormon Church”), that we in no way subscribe to that church’s historical stance towards our brothers and sisters of the black community.
We do so because in the 34 years since 1978, when our church, (for political and logistical reasons which are now becoming more apparent), permitted the same rights to all races, there has been no formal apology forthcoming from it to that race; this, despite the fact that blacks had been disparaged by it, frequently in the meanest terms, for over a century. We consider that the time is now long overdue for that regrettable deficiency to be redressed, if not by the institution which created it, then by the individual members, whose tacit support has enabled an injurious silence to prevail.
Specifically, we denounce the teachings of former spokespersons for the church, sustained by us or by our predecessors, as prophets, seers and revelators, which taught that blacks were:
“uncouth, un-comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290-291, )
“placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits… it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, : Short Discourses on Gospel Themes, 43. )
“not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from…. It is the Lord's doing.” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 527-528, )
And we further denounce deliberate attempts to cover up and misrepresent these facts to the present generation, especially as those misrepresentations relate to the many thousands of black converts who are currently members of the church. There are recent statements such as:
“I don’t know what the reason was.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, church president, when asked in a Compass interview in 1997 what the reason had been for the pre-1978 inequality).
“It is not known precisely why, how, or when this restriction began but what is clear is that it ended decades ago.” (Formal church response to article on racism, run by The Washington Post, 2012.)
In our view such statements are calculated to misrepresent the historical reality, and are an affront to decency, impugning the reputations of all whose names, even by inference, may be associated with them. We unequivocally denounce this pretended institutional amnesia as politically motivated, and immoral.
We further denounce the racist verses contained in The Book of Abraham, which, despite having been thoroughly discredited by Egyptologists in the 20th Century, remain to this day an integral part of church canon. The verses in question, (Abraham 1:21-24,27), support the teaching that blacks were cursed, and were always inferior in their rights. We find no value in them, and reject them.
We apologize without reserve as individuals who, having been misled by such misguided teachings, unintentionally gave support to the view that the blacks were in some way inferior to others. Lest there be any misunderstanding, we now therefore invoke the spirit of the American Declaration of Independence, and proclaim it to be self-evident that all men, and women, are created to enjoy equal rights and privileges. In so doing, we distance ourselves for all time from the opinions of any who may believe this was ever otherwise, and beg forgiveness for our tardiness in standing up as individuals for this vital truth.
We the undersigned ask you, our black brothers and sisters, to accept our hand in apology, with your forgiveness and friendship, sharing together in the hope and vision of Dr Martin Luther King, that together “we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our [world] into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood [and sisterhood]. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day”.
To all the foregoing, we freely subscribe our names:
is the term negro not racist itself i prefer the black community or just people of black origin. maybe its because im in uk.?? but why i joined this church learning that people were treated this wayjust because of the colour of there skin and not thought of as being equal is quite frankly discusting. im ashamed i joined the mormon church. for this reason and many others. i pray i will be forgiven if i havnt been already for taking part in temple ordances and believeing in the church. theyb place more credance in made up notions than they do the bible. im so glad im out .
i do feel sad though that so many are still blinded by things within the church that are not of God.
we must always pray for them x
I see the church is still blaming individuals and not the church, even though Brigham Young preached hatred for blacks and god never corrected him.
It's disturbing to know that people are rooting for a hypocrite like Mitt Romney who subscribes to a religion with such dogmas. His true feelings are aligned with the mormon values and doctrines-rascism,sexism and false claims on books with distorted and non-existing historical evidence.It's good to be awake folks!!
I don't know if there is a formal petition site to gather signatures. One of the people involved with getting this going posted it to my Facebook wall and asked me to repost.
I think this is a wonderful idea. Could there be an open discussion about the contents of the letter first?
I think this is wonderful idea and I second the motion for a discussion about the contents. However noble this attempt is I am not sure, if it will be effective. Since the church has been denying the fact that it is doctrinal or has ever been taught. We should provide scriptural and doctrinal evidence to the media to catch them in their deceit.
I'm know I'm going to sound radical here but this letter sent my blood pressure through the roof! The LDS apology is along the lines of, "I don't know that we believe that", on Larry King. But while the demand letter is important, I believe it falls short. The church has a lot of other house cleaning to do in this regard:
Who's left? White, hetero Mormon men.
I'll sign anything that keeps Mormonism under public scrutiny but I doubt a proper apology will change anything, and in fact, it may obscure the depth and breadth of their crimes.
I agree Cora. I feel especially angered and sad for the innocent Morg children.
I've also had the thought that this and other attempts to get the Morg to change "may obscure the depth and breadth of their crimes."
Thanks - I should have sat on that reply an hour or two before hammering it out like that!! I think my underlying thought was that the church doesn't have an apology that can undo the mess it made for me. But it is a step in the right direction so I'll happily sign on if they put up a petition. You, too?
Well put, Cora. I would add onto that:
Making men, women, teens, and children feel like bad people for having a sex drive, using shame and guilt to turn sex into an addictive drug that perpetuates the guilt cycle.
Thanks for posting this!
Is there any way you could change this to "of African decent" or "Black?" I would LOVE to share it with that word change. Many people in the U.S. do not like the use of "negro."