http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/200 ... tml?page=1
"An equally problematic part of Mormon history has been hammered by pundits like Christopher Hitchens, who has called my church "an officially racist organization."
It's true that, prior to 1978, blacks could not be ordained to the Mormon priesthood. But here, too, a more nuanced view is helpful. Joseph Smith is now known to have ordained African-American men in the 1830s and 1840s. The prohibition evolved in later decades, propped up by a series of racist folk doctrines. Mormons were relieved when those teachings were repudiated. (It adds context but little comfort to note that other major U.S. denominations had racist and segregationist dogma on their books until the 1970s as well.)"
"Racist folk doctrines"? As opposed to the official statements on the matter made by the leadership of the LDS church?
[url =http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/ne ... .htm#black]
Neither White nor Black[/url], a work written by "Mormon Scholars" affiliated with
Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and published by Signature Books, lists three "Authoritative Statements" by the LDS church on the matter of race. The third is the 1978 statement ending the ban on Black males receiving the LDS priesthood. The first was issued in 1949 by the First Presidency of the LDS church. It states:
The statement of the First Priesthood of the LDS church, sustained by its members as prophets, seers, as revelators, clearly explains that Blacks were denied the priesthood on the grounds that they were "cursed" collectively as descendants of Cain, and implicitly Ham through whom this supposed curse was continued after the Biblical flood in LDS beliefs. Moreover, the statements affirms LDS beliefs that Blacks were denied the priesthood because they were cursed individually as consequence of having been less valiant than other races in a premortal existence.The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."
President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have."
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.
The First Presidency
The second statement, made in 1969 after Hugh B. Brown of the First Presidency tried to end the LDS priesthood ban following the decision of Stanford University to refuse to schedule athletic events with Brigham Young University because of the LDS church's racist policies and beliefs, was addressed to all leaders and congregations of the church and said in part:
thus affirming LDS doctrine that its discrimination against Blacks was commanded by God, predates this existence, and contrary to the assertion of some ( ) was taught by every previous president of the LDS church including Joseph Smith (Although Smith did ordain some African-Americans such as Elijah Abel, he also produced the LDS scriptural justification for the priesthood ban of Blacks as descendants of Cain and Ham contained in the Books of Abraham and Moses in the Pearl of Great Price.).A word of explanation concerning the position of the Church.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owes its origin, its existence, and its hope for the future to the principle of continuous revelation. "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."
From the beginning of this dispensation, Joseph Smith and all succeeding presidents of the Church have taught that Negroes, while spirit children of a common Father, and the progeny of our earthly parents Adam and Eve, were not yet to receive the priesthood, for reasons which we believe are known to God, but which He has not made fully known to man.
Our living prophet, President David O. McKay, has said, "The seeming discrimination by the Church toward the Negro is not something which originated with man; but goes back into the beginning with God....
These official statements of the LDS church have never been rescinded or repudiated. Instead, apologists for this organization pretend that this organization did not present formal justifications for its discrimination, ascribing the many statements made by church leaders, many of which were much more racist and offensive than these official statements, as the personal beliefs of these men or more dishonestly, "folklore." Perhaps one can deem the statements of church presidents and apostles, all of whom are considered to be prophets, seers, and revelators, in the General Conferences of the church or in books and magazines published by the church as informal statements or personal opinion (Apostle Ezra Taft Benson for example, previously US Secretary of Agriculture and a future president of the LDS church taught in General Conference addresses delivered to all church members in the late 1960s that the civil rights movement was a communist conspiracy to overthrow US society using supposed concern for the well-being of African Americans as a pretense for fomenting civil strife), but one cannot construe these official statements as anything other than the doctrines taught by the LDS church.
Why does NAQT persist in condoning white supremacy?