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:
I edited the doc to reflect our western approach to blacks.
I was thinking about this aspect of it all day. I think it would be better if it just stated racist or racism instead of referencing racial distinctions at all. That way it acknowledges all people that this mentality has offended without accidentally offending anyone. Because the church's attitude and elitism offends everyone!
I would like to add that this is one of the reasons why I left the church. They were teaching the curse of Cain in Sunday school when it shocked and hurt a beautiful woman which this teaching was affecting directly.
She timidly, with the utmost politeness raised her hand asking "Are you sure you read that right?" Before the teacher could even answer a portly older man quickly turned to the scripture belligerently reading it. I have never seen such tenacity all he cared about was being right .
The woman crumpled, back into her chair defeated the pain and hurt etched across her face. I had heard and silently condoned this teaching numerous times before. But never realized the full ramifications because it didn't affect me, until I saw how devastated she was. Suddenly every alarm was sounding inside me this is horribly wrong!
But I sat there until the end of class like a deer in the headlights too shocked to even move. I regret not speaking up not reaching out to comfort her.
As an African in America and an ex-missionary, it's good to hear honesty and a move closer to truth. I'm actually not bitter about the churches racism.It's Indicative of larger "white" societies white supremacy. I would rather have my enemy known and exposed to me, than seething in secret. Western society is based on european supremacy, and there have been many tools used. Color bias is just one. I only ask that those of you who are "white" (european) to make it a point to be aware of how you benefit from white supremacy, and others are put upon,marginalized, and unfairly treated in the justice system,hiring practices and socially. We have all been inculcated with subtle forms of white supremacy. I know Africans in America who don't think they come from Africa! I know Africans in America who's image of beauty looks nothing like themselves. Racism doesn't bother me.No one has to like me, and I could care less. But when an entire system has been built to keep me from improving myself and limiting my access to commerce and justice, I stand against it. Again I applaud the effort to move closer to truth and justice, but ultimately the church has no power to affect me and doesn't improve or worsen my life one iota! Thanks for letting me post.
Beau-ex mormon, ex-missionary.
p.s. may i suggest everyone you tube Tim Wise.
i just read your post and just wanted to say its really honest what you wrote and as a white person myself i have seen too much of what the Black community esp being held back whites are no better than any other race in society just liked /likes to think they are lol.
i hope i didnt sound patronising to you in anyway and i agree that the churches stance on this racist thing in there history should not be forgotton its there and the very church was founded on such things. this was always a bug bare for me i didnt know till i joined the church. i even questionec about it but never really got a true responce.
why do black people and other races even join this church???
nice top chat to you.
Hi moomoo, I was 12 when I joined the church. The main way they get Africans in America & abroad , is to only tell you their propaganda, and keep the conversation on your "feeling". The Holy Spirit they say is about how you "feel inside"
i hate that the whole " feel it in your bosom" thing they always say to prove what there saying is right and of the spirit. thats is not what the bible says it encourages us to actually use our brains and examine. which is not what the mormon church encourages.
i was 23-24 when i joined the church im 33 now i recently officially had my bit of paper saying im no longer a member. i went through the temple and was the only member ever in my family.
its so bad how the mormon church operates they sold me on there happy smiles and saying they are christians you dont really find out there not till your firmly in it.
im disabled and the so called love i thought people in the church had for me soon faded out and noone reaklly contacted me unless now and again id get the christmas visiting teaching thing. i live about an hour away from nearest meeting so wasnt really well enough to do that all the time.
i just feel cheated and ashamed i believed and followed that church.
they blatently lie even poor missionarys who are so young are brain washed into the things that are clearly not right and not of God esp the issue with blacks and saying in one of there books they are or were cursed with black skin this is evil. i always used to look at the general council picture in the ensign and wonder why they were all white .... cant believe i joined x
if any mormon tries the whole spirit/feelings approach just inform them of the LDS church's registered trademark product called "heartsell":
Our unique strength is the ability to touch the hearts and minds of our audiences, evoking first feeling, then thought and, finally, action. We call this uniquely powerful brand of creative "HeartSell"® - strategic emotional advertising that stimulates response.
the "holy ghost" is simply *strategically applied* principles of psychology, and the church's PR company Bonneville sells their services to anyone, even competing religions like the salvation army.
"you can buy anything in this world with money"
--satan, mormon temple endowment video
This is totally new info to me - is Bonneville responsible for the 'I'm a Mormon' campaign?
according to this article, yes:
Thank you for posting this. Its interesting to think about.
All white and wealthy! I've never known a bishop, stake president, mission pres, 70, or any other "higher up" who wasn't wealthy. Few Africans in America stay with the church for long. Eventually the truth seems out, either in doctrine or the practice of it's members. Vapid sacrament meetings, with the obligatory "dry cry" testimonies. I left the church on my mission, not physically, but mentally.I haven't removed my name from the rolls yet, but it's on the way. What scares me is how fast the church is colonizing Africa.I will be fighting against this in every way I can think of. Yet again the magnanimous white man has to save the poor dark savage from himself. Eeeck.
Thanks for the heads up!