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:
It's interesting that you bring up the fact that those in leadership positions are typically well off. I was told that a member's spirituality is partially based on how much tithing they give (straight from the mouth of an ex-stake president). The wealthier you are, the more spiritual you must be, and the more you'll give to tithing. I'm extremely curious to know if some of the older leaders still believe that by teaching the blacks in Africa they will lift the curse of cain forever and turn the blacks white. Of course, this is now part of mormon doctirine that never existed. lol, I can only image the types of conversations missionaries have in Africa - "Hi, we're missionaries and we're here to turn you white!" Can't believe that I ever fell for this stuff... the supposed Jesus wasn't even white himself!!
I can only imagine the mealy mouth intro to an "investigator". How can you BRT (build relationships of trust) While whitewashing (no pun intended) church history.
Most people don't do their homework on Christianity let alone the Mormon church. Paul was a liar, and said so in the bible! Joshua Chrystos is simply Serapis in new clothes. The entire doctrine and history of the church was simply perverted paganism from the Roman Catholic church.
Beau, I think the last point you make is actually a fundamental flaw in Mormon teachings; they teach you NOT to do your homework unless it is the history they want you to read. And although there are many articles and books published by church leaders that talk about controversal issues in church history, the truely condemming pieices of Mormon history are being burried. There are a thousand things I didn't know before researching church topics outside of church channels, and am told by other members of my family that I should stay away from anti mormon articles, even though "anti mormon" knowledge typically references church history itself. I'm told, "That's not true and we don't believe that" or "that never happened" and are shocked when I reference their own church history books, or the book of mormon itself.
A paralysis of analysis. Abdication of mental faculties, pushed by the "leaders" of the church.The real shame is the leaders of the church know this information. I wonder how many secretly believe and agree with BY and the other past presidents of the church.To me that is more pernicious.Talk about the Invisible Empire of the Klan!! To me there is no excuse, and no quarter will be given by me, as I do my best to make sure all members of African decent are aware of this info.
This petition really sums it up more adequately than I could find the words. I was never told about this racist policy until after I had already been committed to the insanity called Mormonism. I don't know if I would have rejected membership if I had been told this prior to making the commitment, but it took me a long while to come to terms with it. I guess all the BS 'explanations' seemed to make sense, but I was a bit racist myself so I wanted to believe it. No longer!! I posted this on my facebook page and I don't care whom sees it! Am I offended?! You can take that to the bank! Thus one of many reasons I called it quits. So, that proves the TBM argument! Someone or something offended me and that's why I left!
That's my thinking, Nick.