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In the June 2018 Ensign magazine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we read:

fartingapostleFrom the mid-1800s, the Church did not ordain men of black African descent to the priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple endowment or sealing ordinances. Over the years, a variety of theories were advanced to justify the restriction. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has emphasized that those theories given in an attempt to explain the restrictions are “folklore that must never be perpetuated: “However well-intended the explanations were, I think almost all of them were inadequate and/or wrong. … We simply do not know why that practice … was in place.”

 

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I went to the footnote for this quote, and it said:

In “The Mormons” (interview with Jeffrey R. Holland, Mar. 4, 2006), pbs.org/mormons/interviews; see also Dallin H. Oaks, in “Apostles Talk about Reasons for Lifting Ban,” Daily Herald,June 5, 1988, 21.

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So I found the pertinent portion of the PBS interview:

INTERVIEWER:
I’ve talked to many blacks and many whites as well about the lingering folklore [about why blacks couldn’t have the priesthood]. These are faithful Mormons who are delighted about this revelation, and yet who feel something more should be said about the folklore and even possibly about the mysterious reasons for the ban itself, which was not a revelation; it was a practice. So if you could, briefly address the concerns Mormons have about this folklore and what should be done.

HOLLAND:
One clear-cut position is that the folklore must never be perpetuated. … I have to concede to my earlier colleagues. … They, I’m sure, in their own way, were doing the best they knew to fartingapostlegive shape to [the policy], to give context for it, to give even history to it. All I can say is however well intended the explanations were, I think almost all of them were inadequate and/or wrong. …

It probably would have been advantageous to say nothing, to say we just don’t know, and, [as] with many religious matters, whatever was being done was done on the basis of faith at that time. But some explanations were given and had been given for a lot of years. … At the very least, there should be no effort to perpetuate those efforts to explain why that doctrine existed. I think, to the extent that I know anything about it, as one of the newer and younger ones to come along, … we simply do not know why that practice, that policy, that doctrine was in place.

INTERVIEWER
What is the folklore, quite specifically?

HOLLAND:
Well, some of the folklore that you must be referring to are suggestions that there were decisions made in the pre-mortal councils where someone had not been as decisive in their loyalty to a Gospel plan or the procedures on earth or what was to unfold in mortality, and fartingapostlethat therefore that opportunity and mortality was compromised. I really don’t know a lot of the details of those, because fortunately I’ve been able to live in the period where we’re not expressing or teaching them, but I think that’s the one I grew up hearing the most, was that it was something to do with the pre-mortal councils. … But I think that’s the part that must never be taught until anybody knows a lot more than I know. … We just don’t know, in the historical context of the time, why it was practiced. … That’s my principal [concern], is that we don’t perpetuate explanations about things we don’t know. …

We don’t pretend that something wasn’t taught or practice wasn’t pursued for whatever reason. But I think we can be unequivocal and we can be declarative in our current literature, in books that we reproduce, in teachings that go forward, whatever, that from this time forward, from 1978 forward, we can make sure that nothing of that is declared. That may be where we still need to make sure that we’re absolutely dutiful, that we put [a] careful eye of scrutiny on anything from earlier writings and teachings, just [to] make sure that that’s not perpetuated in the present. That’s the least, I think, of our current responsibilities on that topic. …


FOLKLORE?

FOLKLORE?!

FFFFFFFOLKLORE?!!!

 

What an audacious affront to my intelligence.

What unabashed, in-your-face gaslighting.

That this man, standing in the office of an Apostle of Jesus Christ, could call the past teachings of the Church itself…

the teachings given over the podium…

he teachings  spoken by called, ordained and sustained apostles and prophets…

the teachings which were parroted by seventies and trickled-down through the hierarchy of Church officers all the way to my local unit leader…

the same teachings which the Church published in the manuals my teachers used to instruct me in the auxiliary organizations… and in the manuals my parents used in Family Home Evening lessons… and in the books my parents purchased and poured over, written by your apostles and prophets then taught to me…

these self-righteously racist teachings that I have been taught all my life to revere as revelation from God Himself because of the official podiums where they were delivered by the specific mouths they came from, because of the authorized servants who spoke them… THESE ARE ALL NOW MERE FOLKLORE?!

And you still expect me to believe, after saying something like this, that 40 years from now something that you’ve taught, Elder Holland, won’t be relegated to folklore by the then-exigency of some other LDS Church apostle or prophet?

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Elder Holland’s use of that one word, folklore,

was an insult to me and to millions of other endowed believers who literally took to heart and honestly believed what was being taught by LDS prophets and apostles because you were so-called “true messengers from the Father”,

fartingapostleWhat, exactly, do you expect us to do now, with that folklore assertion, Elder Holland? Revelation, doctrine, dogma, policy or whatever label you don’t want to slap on it now, what else can I assume from this point on, what other conclusion can I draw from your very obvious verbal PC gymnastics than this one:

If it came from the Church, it’s fffffffolklore

… and if there’s anything you don’t like now, wait 40 years and it will become fffffffffolklore too.

 

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tasteslikevaticanYes, Church, you gave us quite a bone to chew with that insult. In fact, my husband and I have been discussing this folklore thing for over a year now. We were always raised to believe that somehow there was this holy unity among the top 15. We both imagined scenarios where there was a question and everyone simply went home or to a private temple room to pray. They would then return to the next meeting with their Brethren to the great joy of unison: all obviously having the same answer given to each of them from the same God that they all worshiped. That it was so NOT like any other church in it’s politics, ass-kissing, squabbling, office-seeking, bickering, backstabbing and unrighteous dominion . But then I came across an interview with Dr. Mark Harris, conducted by Gospel Tangents‘ Rick Bennett, which swiftly and permanently removed that illusion:


[Video: How Kimball Persuaded Apostles to Agree on Lifting the Ban]

fartingapostleConclusion: You guys are just a group of men managing an institutional organization, just like any other organization on earth. Just as one of your many legal names says, you are, indeed and in fact a legally recognized corporation. The unity is a myth. Being the one true church on earth is a myth.  Black smoke doesn’t have to rise from anywhere, anymore, for me to realize that you’re just as political, just as flawed a human creation as any other church on earth. Because that is what folklore, essentially, boils down to: a human creation. 

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Still, my husband and I kept talking, kept chewing on this FOLKLORE bone. One Sabbath morning late last month my husband finally asked the fateful question, “If Spencer Kimball became the prophet in 1973, but still could not change things FOR FIVE YEARS, until 1978, WHO DIED? Who was so powerful and so racist in the upper leadership that his death finally opened the doors for the policy change?”

It didn’t take me long to find that answer: Alvin R Dyer. It’s my belief that Dyer was some kind of extra-organizational handler, because the history of his position is very odd, very strange for a man ordained to the LDS apostleship. According to Wikipedia,

fartingapostleAlvin Rulon Dyer (January 1, 1903 – March 6, 1977) was an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and served as a member of the church’s First Presidency from 1968-1970… In 1926, he was married to May Elizabeth Jackson in the Salt Lake Temple.

Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dyer was ordained as an apostle on October 5, 1967, (but was not added as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles [um, why the heck not?]) and subsequently was set apart as a counselor in the First Presidency to church president David O. McKay [ without the knowledge or agreement of his other counselors, Brown or Tanner, hence my belief that Dyer may have been a handler]. After McKay’s death in 1970, Dyer was returned to a position as an Assistant to the Twelve Apostles [removing the handler as far away from the other Apostles as possible, and denying Dyer any position of ascendancy which would risk him actually becoming Church prophet], and later [appointed] to the First Quorum of the Seventy [this appears to be as severe a further demotion as Kimball dared] when it was reconstituted in 1976. Dyer is the only person in the history of the LDS Church to serve in the First Quorum of Seventy after having been ordained to the office of Apostle. 

 

I kept on digging and came up with the motherlode. According to some sources, this talk was also published, for a time, by the Church in pamphlet form.

But now it’s just Folklore, Folklore, FFFFFFolklore… right?

 

For What Purpose

by Alvin R. Dyer

Talk given: March 18, 1961
Oslo, Norway
Missionary Conferencealvindyer

The following is a talk given by Mission President Alvin R. Dyer
at the missionary conference in Oslo, Norway, March 18, 1961.
It is recommended that each missionary should read this message several times
in order to get a better understanding of the purpose of the restored Gospel.

——————–

We have talked a lot about missionary work and heard the testimonies of those who have spoken.  I want to talk to you a little bit now about something that is not missionary work and what I say is not to be given to your investigators by any matter or means.

In the Korean War there was a thing that took place that, I don’t know as it brought disgrace upon our country, but it tends to prove the fact that so many of the young men of America didn’t have the concept of liberty and freedom as sponsored by our own beloved country.  This was such a shock to our leaders that a program was instituted throughout the country, which still carries on, to better prepare our young people to meet the future, both physically and mentally.  I was disillusioned at what took place.

Always in my life I have thought that a “Yankee” or an American was just about the greatest of everything in the world.  I have always been a kind of hero-worshipper anyway, and a great football player or a great baseball player or something like that has been more or less my ideal.  Anything American was the best.  I still feel that way when it comes to my personal inward feelings.  I still have an affinity for that.

There was an episode that took place in the Korean War that was very hard for me to take, and hard for me to understand.  I am sure that it was much harder for those who were in it, who were called upon to endure the privations of that war, or any war for that matter.  After the war was over, the information concerning the behavior of our young men who had been captured by the Koreans (Communist Koreans) revealed the fact that they behaved most ashamedly and with almost cowardice.  In the interrogations that were made of our young men, there was less than 5% of them that even knew why they were fighting and what was meant by liberty and freedom and the America way of life.  Less than 5% of them were reactionary to the point that they wanted to fight to live, though they had been prisoners, and I know that they must not have had a very easy life.  But the official records also reveal that 38% of the American soldiers that were taken prisoners by the Koreans, who died in prison camps, didn’t die from starvation or from any punishment.  They simply quit and laid down and died because they did not have the moral stability to fight.  This was the disgraceful thing about it all.  Nearly 4 out of 10 of the American prisoners died because they didn’t have the will to live.  They did not have any reason or rhyme for what they were there for.

When this became known to our leaders, they immediately called into conference a great body of men and established in America what they called a physical fitness program.  Ezra Taft Benson and Marion D. Hanks and several others from the Church were called upon and they are still serving on it.  I was glad to see that President Kennedy has reinstated this program among our young people.

You might say, “What has that to do with us?” It doesn’t have a great deal to do with us except that I would feel rather embarrassed, as a leader of the Church, if any one of our missionaries did not know why he was in the mission field, and all you could say is, “I am here preaching the Gospel and I have been sent out here. I know the Gospel is true and I have a testimony of it.”  If that is all you could say, you don’t have the full meaning for the purpose of missionary work.

I have always felt that if you would place in the minds of anybody the reason for doing things and the purpose behind it, you wouldn’t have to worry about what that person would do.  If you young men and women know why you are here and why the Lord is so anxious for us to preach the Gospel today, and then would ask yourselves a number of questions connected with that, such as:  Why is it that you are born today instead of 2,000 years ago?  Why is it that you are sitting in this room today and were for some reason, not born in the day of Moses or in the day when Christ was upon the earth?  Or do you think that is just something haphazard – that it just happened that way – that nobody had anything to do with it?

You would ask another question maybe:  Why is it that you are white and not colored?  Have you ever asked yourself that question?  Who had anything to do with your being born into the Church?  Why not born a Chinese or a Hindu or a Negro?  Is God such an unjust person that he would make you white and free and make a Negro cursed under the cursing of Cain, that he could not hold the Priesthood of God?  Who do you think decided and what is the reason behind it?  Then maybe you would ask yourselves another question:  Why is it that you were kept in the Spirit World until the last dispensation to come forth among the children of men?  Was there any reason for that, and who  decided it?

When you begin to get the answers to these questions, then perhaps you will begin to understand why the Gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached in the world today, and why the plan of salvation is taking its affect upon people.  I think that every missionary ought to know the answers to those questions.  When he does know the answers, he stands before the Lord without excuse to go forth and labor with all his strength to serve the Lord.

There isn’t anyone in this room that would have the fantastic notion that this life is of any great duration.  This life is merely a pinpoint or speck on the eternity of man’s existence.  It is over so fast that it is merely a short period of time in the existence of eternal life of man here upon the earth – just a few short hours of the Lord’s time.  To us it is many thousands of years.

I want to talk with you just briefly about this, not with any information that you would convey to your investigators, but that you, yourselves, may have a better understanding of what we are doing in the mission field today, and why it is that we come to you with encouragement to work with all your strength to get the people into the Church and why we set goals.  It isn’t for the purpose of a goal.  That is just a kind of game between us to become physically motivated to go out and to do our best and work as a team and as a mission.  The real purpose behind this is more far reaching than that.

I will read to your from the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price, “And the Lord said unto me,” speaking to Abraham, “These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they,” indicating that in the pre-existence there are three divisions of spirits.  “These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.”

This statement of Abraham’s is directly connected with the degrees of glory because we taught that when people die, all shall be resurrected who are born in this life – sons of perdition and all.  They are then, after the Spirit World, assigned into one of these three degrees of glory – the Celestial, the Terrestrial, and the Telestial.  Others who were spun off who can no longer repent, and because they can no longer repent, they can become Sons of Perdition and are not worthy to go into a degree of glory.  The consequence of this is that they shall go with Lucifer and the disembodied spirits who never were permitted to take upon themselves a body of flesh and bones.

You recall the scripture that missionaries very often use in Corinthians when Paul is speaking of the three divisions of people.  We often use that scripture as a resurrection scripture but we do not apply it properly. If you will read it carefully it says, “Such are they in the resurrection,” which means that Paul is calling to the attention of those who listen to him, that there are three degrees of glory of people who are in preparation on the earth while they live here.  Now let’s suppose, to make this more plain, that the earth would end at this instant; that there would be no one upon the earth; that life would cease and that judgment was immediate.  Obviously the people who had been living on the earth would be assigned to one of these three places.  Therefore, the people are the embryos of these three kingdoms.

The suggestion here by Abraham is that they were born into this life with the same degree of division.  There were three divisions of mankind in the pre-existence, and when you are born into this life, you are born into one of three divisions of people.  There is an imposed judgment placed upon everyone who leaves the Spirit World, just as there will be when they leave this life and go into one of the three places.  When they left the Spirit World, they had already been judged by what they had done in the Spirit World and in their previous life.  When you understand that, you know then that God is not unjust to cause a righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black race, or to be cursed as one of the other people of the earth who has been cursed.  Everything is in order.  The procreation of man is orderly and is in accordance with the plan of life and salvation.

In keeping with this thought, when Noah went into the ark, here again he took with him his three sons – one representing the chosen lineage, the second representing the lineage of adoption, and the third representing the cursed lineage.  Thereafter, when men began to be born again into this life, they were born through one of these three sons of Noah, either through the lineage of Shem, Japheth or Ham.  Those who have been cursed in the pre-existence were born through the lineage of Ham.

I suppose you often may have heard missionaries say it, or have asked the question:  Why is a Negro a Negro?  And you have heard the answer:  “Well, they must have been neutral in the pre-existence or they must have straddled the fence.”  That is the most common saying – they were neither hot nor cold, so the Lord made them Negros.  This, of course, is not true.  The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence.  This is the reason why you have Negros upon the earth.

You will observe that when Cain was influenced by the power of Lucifer to follow him to fall down and worship him in the beginning, it was then that the Lord came to him and said, “Cain, if you will abide the law – if you will keep the commandments, you too can be acceptable to me.”  But Cain rejected the counsel of God.  He rejected again the Priesthood as his forebearers had done in the preexistence.  Therefore, the curse of the pre-existence was made institute through the loins of Cain.  Consequently you have then, the beginning of the race of men and women into which would be born those in the pre-existence who had rejected the Priesthood of God.

There was another division in the pre-existence – those who were not valiant in the acceptance of the Gospel.  You see, there is a great difference between one who accepts and one who accepts and does something about it.  We had a division in the pre-existence who did not reject the Priesthood, neither did they fully accept the plan of salvation that was advanced by the Christ.  They, therefore, in accordance to the plan of the Gospel, became those of the lineage of adoption.

I want to read to you a very important scripture in the Old Testament.  We talk about studying books and reading manuscripts to prepare ourselves to teach the Gospel, but there are very few missionaries who ever study they Old Testament.  The 10th chapter of Genesis, according to my information, has had at least 2,000 volumes written about it – just about this one chapter.  It is so important because the whole plan and purpose of life was understood by the ancient people of Israel and they knew and understood what was meant by the teachings of the Old Testament here given to us by Moses.  I want to read something to you and make an explanation. “And Ham, the father of Canaan,” this is in the 9th chapter of Genesis, “saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brethren without.  And Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and went backward and they saw not their father’s nakedness.”  Now, that is a Jewish story – that is a Hebrew story, in legend form, that merely implicates the fact that Ham reinstated the curse of the pre-existence when he rejected the Priesthood of Noah, and in consequence of that, he preserves the curse of the earth.  Therefore, the Negros to be born thereafter or those who were to become Negros were to be born through the loins of Ham.

All of this is according to a well worked out plan, that these millions and billions of spirits awaiting in the pre-existence would be born through a channel of race of people.  Consequently the cursed were to be born through Ham.  We cannot accept this story literally because, in order to understand that, you have to read the Pearl of Great Price very carefully.  Because, in the early days when the Egyptian government was established under its first rulers, the Pharaohs, they set up a system that was exactly like the Priesthood of God.  It was exactly like the Patriarchal Order, but they said, knowing that they could not have the birthright, they thought to capitalize on the form, or the order of administration.  The Pearl of Great Price tells us specifically that they knew that they could not hold the Priesthood, yet they used the type of organization.  Gradually the sons of Pharaoh began to denounce that concept and assumed unto themselves that they were the princes and not the descendants of Shem.  There is a great deal more to it than that, but I wanted to point this out to you that all of this that we talk about with people is not just merely a little message that we proclaim to them; but all that we are doing is part of a great plan that was inaugurated under the same direction of the Christ in the pre-existence.

Listen to what Noah said to his other two brethren:  “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.  And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”  And he said, “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, and Canaan shall be his servant.”  Who is Shem?  Shem is who is known as the father of the Shemitics or the Semitics.  He became the father of the children of Israel.  Through the loins of Shem’s descendants, were born Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and then twelve sons of the twelve princes of Israel.  Therefore, Shem became the father or the progenitor of those who were to be born into this life who were the noblest of the intelligences who Abraham speaks of here when he said, “Notwithstanding that these two spirits are intelligent and one is more intelligent than the other – there is still another spirit or another division that is more intelligent than both of them.”  Then the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; and the Lord saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them and said:  These I will make my rulers, for he saw that they were good, and he said unto me; Abraham, thou art one of them:  thou wast chosen before thou wast born.”  This is true with everyone who fits into the category of Israel.  This is a part of the plan the world does not know anything about.  The Christian churches never mention it.  They never teach it because they know nothing about it.

Noah made another promise at this point and he said, “God shall enlarge Japheth, who was the eldest son, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem.”  (tent or house).  In those days that is the only thing they lived in.  “God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the house of Shem.”  What is the house of Shem?  The House of Israel.  Therefore, the descendants of Japheth shall be enlarged and they shall be permitted to dwell in the House of Israel.  Therefore, we call the descendants of Japheth the children of the adoption.  Now, who are the descendants of Japheth?  The descendants of Japheth are in all of Europe.  They are in America; they are in Japan and Korea.  They are in India and all these people can be traced.  For example, we have here the generations of Shem as the Lord gives it to us in the tenth chapter of the book of Genesis.  Those ancient prophets were careful to preserve those generations, and those genealogies, knowing their full meaning which the world does not understand but which we know by revelation from the Lord.

“Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth:  and unto them were sons born after the flood.  The sons of Japheth; Gomer” they are the French; “and Magog,” they are the Slavs; “and Madai,” they are the Hindu, the Korean, the Indian, the Japanese and the Phillipenos.  We know who the people are who migrated eastward through India in the area of the Tungus and then into Korea and Japan.  This is the reason today why we are having such tremendous success among the Koreans and the Japanese, because it is the day the Gospel is to be preached to them.  Then he goes on to say, “Javan” the people of Greece and Italy and of Turkey, “and Meschech”, the Meshechites, the Russians, “and Tiras,” the Siberians.  These are the descendants of Japheth.

The day was to come, according to Noah, that these people and their descendants would come in and dwell in the tent, or the house, of Shem, or the House of Israel.  You have to know what the Lord is doing today in preaching the Gospel unto the Gentiles, because this is the day of the Gentile.  They are the people of Europe.  They are the people of America.  This is the time of the Gentile.  Only one portion of the House of Israel is being called, and they are the children of Ephraim.

Everyone of you here, I assume, has had a Patriarchal Blessing.  Is there anyone here who is not of the lineage of Joseph?  You know what I mean?  They are the only ones of the House of Israel that are being called – the lineage of Joseph, through Ephraim, and there is a reason for that.

I want to mention again, the teaching of Christ unto the Nephites.  You will find this in the 21st chapter of 3rd Nephi; the sign of the Father’s work, the glorious destiny of the repentant Gentiles, the condemnation predicted for the impenitent and the coming of the New Jerusalem or the city of Zion.  And the Lord himself, speaking unto the Nephites said this:  “And verily I say unto you, I give unto you a sign that ye may know the time when these things shall be about to take place – that I shall gather in, from their long dispersion, my people, O House of Israel, and shall establish again among them my Zion.”  Then he goes on to tell that the first of this day shall be the day of the Gentiles, and you read that entire chapter.  I won’t take the time to do it, but he says, “in that day, for my sake shall the Father work a work, which shall be a great and a marvelous work among them; and there shall be among them those who will not believe it, although a man shall declare it unto them.”  (The Prophet Joseph Smith).  “But behold, the life of my servant shall be in my hand; therefore they shall not hurt him, although he shall be marred because of them.  Yet I will heal him, for I will show unto them that my wisdom is greater than the cunning of the devil.”  The Prophet Joseph Smith suffered martyrdom but he was not harmed, and he said to his brother in Carthage prison, just before he was shot:  “Fear not, brethren.  They may take our lives and destroy the body, but they cannot kill us.”  This is what the Lord was saying here.  If you read the rest of the chapter, you will read how the Gospel is to be taken to the Gentiles.  The Lord said in verse 22:  “But behold if the Gentiles will repent,” meaning who”?  The French, the German, the Norwegian, the Yiddish, the Finlander, the people of Denmark and the people all over the countries of Europe.  “If they will repent and hearken unto my words, and harden not their hearts, I will establish my church among them, and they shall come in unto the covenant and be numbered among this the remnant of Jacob, unto whom I have given this land for their inheritance.”  This was spoken of before by Nephi, and you will read it in the 13th and 14th chapters of the Book of Mormon, where the Lord makes plain that the day will come when the Gentiles will receive the gospel and will come in and be numbered among the Children of Israel.

I will just read one of these scriptures, although there are many found in 1st Nephi, the 14th chapter, starting with the first verse:  “And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles;” let me explain now again who the Gentiles are.  In the eyes of the Jew, anyone who is not a Jew is a Gentile.  But correctly speaking, the Gentiles are the descendants of the House of Japheth, the oldest son of Noah.  The cursed people are the descendants of Ham.  The chosen people are the descendants of Shem the second of the three sons of Noah.  Through these lineages the spirits that compare with their station are born in this life.  This is why you have colored people, why you have dark people and why you have white people.  The Lord is speaking of the Gentiles. “And it shall come to pass, that if the Gentiles,” the descendants of Japheth, “shall hearken unto the Lamb of God in that day that he shall manifest himself unto them in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of their stumbling blocks.”

In other words, where they have resisted the church, resisted conversion, the Lord will remove the stumbling blocks, “And if they harden not their hearts against the Lamb of God, they shall be numbered among the seed of thy father; yea, they shall be a blessed people.”  You see, this is the promise that was made anciently by Noah when he blessed Japheth. Because why?  Because he did not rebel against the Priesthood that Noah held, like Ham did, neither did Shem.

We have a fulfillment of this scripture.  When the Kirtland Temple was finished, there were a number of ancient prophets that made their appearances in the temple.  The Christ was the first to come and receive the temple, and gave instructions to Joseph Smith many of which we have never been privileged to know about.  Following this, there appeared unto them, Moses, and then came Elias and then came Elijah, each of them committing the keys of their specific work.  Let me call your attention to the key of Elias.  In the first place, who is Elias?  Elias is Noah.  Here we have the same one who gave the covenant unto Japheth anciently, that he would be blessed and that he would come in and dwell in the house of Shem.  He returned to the earth to give the key unto the prophet Joseph Smith, to fulfill the promise to Abraham, that through the loins of Abraham, or the chosen seed, all of the children of the earth would be blessed.

Soon after 1836 the Lord gave the revelation to send missionaries and commence work among the Gentiles in England, and labor in 1850 in France, and then in northern Italy and then these other countries.  This was not done, however, until Noah returned the “key.”

You see, as in Elias the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be preached unto the Gentiles.  Don’t you see that what we are doing is a great deal more important than just filling a two and one-half year period as a missionary and then going home?  We are working out the plan which the Father laid in the beginning as to what would transpire.  What has actually happened?  The Lord is preparing men and women today to become heirs of the Celestial Kingdom.  This is the only work that is being done.  The work for the Terrestrial Kingdom has not even been started yet.  It will not start until the work for the Celestial Kingdom is finished.  Then all who are to go into the Telestial Kingdom, will continue until all have made covenant and have received the promise to go into that Kingdom.  All of these things will be done in their proper order.

Why is the work being done for the Celestial Kingdom first?  Why is that in your patriarchal blessing it says that you will come forth in the morning of the First Resurrection.  Because only those who come forth in the morning of the First Resurrection will go into the Celestial Kingdom.  Those who come forth in the evening of the First Resurrection will go into the Terrestrial Kingdom, and this will be the end of the First Resurrection.  The Second Resurrection will be for those who go into the Telestial Kingdom and those who eventually become Son of Perdition.

All of this is in accordance with a well-worked out plan of procreation and judgment until the final work that the Lord has intended for men is over.

There is another thing that you must understand for yourselves, to understand this whole thing, and that is that this life, or the day of this life, so far as the Gospel is concerned, begins the day you were born and ends after the period of the Spirit World – not when you die in this life.  So the day of this life, so far as the plan of life is concerned is from the day you were born until the end of your period in the Spirit World.  For this reason then, we can function and carry on the program than the Lord has intended in the Spirit World, so that they can be preached to, and have work done for them here upon the earth and that work will be binding in the worlds that are to come.

Now I want to go back again to the statement of Abraham and to emphasize here the importance of what we are doing.  “Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers.”  All right, what did the Lord mean by that?  I call to your attention now, the washing and anointing that you received in the temple.  All of you have been through the temple, I assume.  When you went into the washing an anointing room where you were washed and anointed with water and oil, you were given a new name, and you were promised that some day you would be called up to be a King and a Priest or Queen and Priestess.  Don’t ever suppose that it is for this life.  It is not.  It is for the next life, and the Lord is preparing today, the rulers that will be the administrators of these degrees of glory after the Spirit World.  The consequence of this is that the Celestial Kingdom must be peopled first because it becomes the kingdom of administration; so all of it becomes a part of the plan.

The Terrestrial Kingdom will receive its administration through the Christ and the Melchizedek Priesthood, and there will be a system of government established upon that kingdom.  The Telestial Kingdom will receive its administration through the ministering angels of the Terrestrial Kingdom, and they will have their form of government, but they will exist and live under a government.  They will be controlled by laws and regulations of advancement and development and growth all in accordance with the plan of the Lord – the same in the Terrestrial and Celestial Kingdoms.

Now let us suppose that we were a board of directors here today and we were going to establish a vast corporation that would hire millions of men and women.  Would we go out and hire all these men and women right at the outset, or would we first build an administrative building and hire our executives or administrators, and then place them over to control and govern?  It is the same thing in the plan of life.  The Celestial Kingdom must be founded first because it becomes the kingdom of administration.  The Lord has revealed these things to us.  They are very plain, and what we are striving for today is to find those whom the Lord wants to make His rulers.

You like to think, I know, and I do too, that the Gospel is going to be received by everyone, but it isn’t.  I call to your attention to the statements of Christ when He said, “Straight is the way and narrow the gate, and few there be that find it.”  There won’t be many but these the Lord has chosen in the preexistence.  If they are worthy and prove their worthiness in this life and this probation, then they receive the endowment.  When they get the endowment, they are promised that they will be leaders.  We call them Kings and Priests, but the correct word in our terminology would be administrators, a leader, an executive who will have power to govern and control the millions and millions of people who will go into these other degrees of glory.

Now you see how the plan opens up, and there is purpose and meaning as to what we are doing.  I have often said this, “It is a frightening thought but it is undoubtedly true, that only those who are worthy of leadership will enter the Celestial Kingdom because that is the Kingdom of administration.  Others who are less valiant, who do not have the qualities of leadership and direction, will necessarily have to settle for the Terrestrial Kingdom.

I don’t know whether the knowledge or the revelation of these things will have an effect upon you as a missionary, but I know that it has an effect upon me because, if I am to fulfill my destiny and my purpose here in this mission (life), as has been given to me, and proven to me by my pre-existent identity, then I would do everything in my power to measure up to what I was in the pre-existence because if we could this day, by some miraculous means be permitted to see who we were, I wouldn’t be President Dyer up there, or you wouldn’t be Elder Smith or Brown or President Gunderson.  Oh, no.  You would be someone else, and the day will come when you will know who you are, because you are a person of nobility.  You may not fully know that now but you were a person of nobility in the preexistence.  If you were not, you would have been born into one of these other channels, and you would not have been born in this day and age because the Lord has withheld the choice spirits of the preexistence to come forth in this, the last dispensation and the reason for this is obvious.  Why?  Because in the world will be just that many righteous spirits who supported and sustained Him, and who accepted Him in the pre-existence.  That is why today I am telling you now to preach the Gospel to the people.  They do not need to have long teaching.  These people today who are accepting the Gospel know all about it because they have been selected to know.  That is why they recognize it when they feel the charge and the impact of testimony and spirit.  Then it all unfolds to them and many of them are even more brilliant than we are because of the place which they had.

This is not like any other day in the history of the world.  The Lord now is preparing to establish His Kingdom – the kingdom that will govern the earth for 1000 years before we go into the judgment period that leads into the establishment of the degrees of glory.  In consequence of that, He has wisely chosen the ones that are to come into the world in this day and age.  It is a battle.  He fought the power of Lucifer, in the pre-existence.  He had to use His best spirits to defend Him, and here again He will have to do the same thing and He knows that. Now what does that mean in a probation?

In the wisdom of our Heavenly Father, He has made this life a probation which means that a person who is born in a lower division can accelerate through this life to a higher division.  For example, if a colored person, being born into the Telestial division, will receive and accept the Gospel he can be elevated to the Celestial division or the Terrestrial division.  That is the purpose of a probation.  That is why the Lord set the plan of the Gospel, so that those who had not merited it in the pre-existence, may merit it here through this life of probation.  Don’t you see that?  Don’t you see the purpose of the probation, the planning of the Gospel, to provide even this last opportunity in this life while men are taking upon themselves the element of a body, to have another chance to improve their place over what they had done in the pre-existence?

Now I want to read to you from the Book of Mormon on that.  This scripture will have new meaning to you, I am sure, as you understand the things that I have spoken.  The prophet Alma understood this very plainly, and I want you to pay particular attention to what he says.  This is found in the 24th chapter, beginning with the 31st verse.  I am sure you have read it, but let’s read it now for this concept. “Yea, I would that you would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer, for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation.  And therefore if you will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.”  Don’t you see?

All a man has to do is repent and open his heart to the Lord and immediately the plan will be made known to him.  That doesn’t say the missionary will make it known to him.  The power of the Holy Ghost will make it known unto him.  He already knows it, because he stood in the councils of heaven and supported and sustained this plan.  He recognizes Christ.  He recognized the prophets, etc.  “For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God.”

If life did not extend beyond the grave, then why did Christ go to the Spirit World, undoubtedly where Elder Wheat went.  Isn’t it something that he was driving on the highway doing missionary work, and in the twinkling of an eye he was doing missionary work in the Spirit World.  He had changed from life to death still a missionary.  It came upon him and he will never know what happened.  I know as well as I know anything that he is preaching the Gospel there.

Many of the people in the world like the descendants of Meschech who are living in Russia, live and die without hearing the Gospel and go to the Spirit World, because their government won’t let us do it here.  Then the descendants hear of it and they themselves wield a great influence.  In this way the Gospel is preached to all nations, kindreds and tongues.

“Now behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meed God; behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.”  Now listen closely:  “And now as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end.”  What is the end?  The end of the Spirit World in this life.

“For after this day of life,” or from birth until the end of the Spirit World, “which is given us to prepare for eternity,” meaning if we do not improve our time while in this life, “then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”  Do you see how plain this is?  If we do not improve ourselves from one division to another, born into the world in a lower division, improving to one of the higher, then we can do nothing about it.

“If we do not improve our time and our place in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.”  It is just as plain and simple as anything can be simple.

I wanted to talk to you about that today because I want you to know the reason why you are preaching the Gospel.  There is a purpose behind it and, knowing of your nobility, what kind of a missionary are you going to be from this day to the end of your mission?  I know what kind you want to be.  There will be no more wasted time because it is imposed upon you – the necessity of continuing your nobility, that you may prove your place.  That you may be a ruler and a king and a queen and a priestess, as you were promised in the temple of God, if you are faithful in the fulfilling of you obligations.

I have always thought and have proven the point many times, that if you will place into the mind of a boy or a girl, firmly that they are noble persons born of noble heritage in the pre-existence, they will never stoop to anything that is sordid.  They just won’t do it. You don’t need the preaching and the harassments of young people.  All you need to do is accept that as your ideology, and what you do from now on will be the important thing, that you may not have known before, but you know them now, because the Spirit bears record. I bear record of their truthfulness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

they didn't

The First Presidency has issued only three official letters on “the Negro Question” (a term used by them in regards to the Church and the priesthood-ban on ordaining men of black African lineage). These letters reflect the “official” doctrine and policy of the Church. One can see by reading the three official First Presidency Letters that:

*Official Church doctrine [belief] said that Negroes are the descendants of Cain, and because of that they (Cainites) could not hold the Priesthood until the Abelites [descendants of Abel who was killed by Cain] first had the opportunity.
Folklore, folklore, folklore

*Official Church policy [practice] was that the Priesthood-ban was “of the Lord” and was instituted because Negroes were considered to be the descendants of Cain and under his curse; which included a ban on the Priesthood. Folklore, folklore, folklore

*One day the curse would be removed and “the Negro” would receive all the blessings of the Temple and Priesthood [NOTE: the term “Negro” was considered the respectful term when these statements were issued]. Folklore, folklore, folklore

*The last official statement (Official Declaration 2 in the Doctrine & Covenants) does not repudiate the Curse of Cain doctrine nor the Priesthood-ban policy, but merely says the “time has come” that the restriction should be removed. Folklore, folklore, folklore

Folklore, Folklore, FFFFFFolklore

 

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1835 version of  Doctrine & Covenants 134:12

Original wording adopted at a general assembly of the Church, Kirtland, Ohio, August 17, 1835. (See also Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 2:249)

fartingapostleWe have taken no part for or against slavery, but are opposed to the abolitionists, and consider that men have a right to hold slaves or not according to law. We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruptions of the world, but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond servants nor preach the gospel to, nor mettle with, or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situation in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men. Such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude.

Folklore, Folklore, FFFFFFFFFFFolklore

folklore05

1949 Official First Presidency Statement On Blacks And The Priesthood

 
(17 August 1949)1

The attitude of the Church with reference to the 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 fartingapostlethey 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.

Folklore, Folklore, FFFFFFFFFolklore

folklore06

 

1969 Official First Presidency Statement on Blacks And The Priesthood
(15 December 1969)1


To General Authorities, Regional Representatives of the Twelve, Stake Presidents, Mission Presidents, and Bishops.

Dear Brethren:

In view of confusion that has arisen, it was decided at a meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to restate the position of the Church with regard to the Negro both in society and in the Church.

First, may we say that we know something of the sufferings of those who are discriminated against in a denial of their civil rights and Constitutional privileges. Our early history as a church is a tragic story of persecution and oppression. Our people repeatedly were denied the protection of the law. They were driven and plundered, robbed and murdered by mobs, who in many instances were aided and abetted by those sworn to uphold the law. We as a people have experienced the bitter fruits of civil discrimination and mob violence.

We believe that the Constitution of the United States was divinely inspired, that it was produced by “wise men” whom God raised up for this “very purpose,” and that the principles embodied in the Constitution are so fundamental and important that, if possible, they should be extended “for the rights and protection” of all mankind.

In revelations received by the first prophet of the Church in this dispensation, Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the Lord made it clear that it is “not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.” These words were spoken prior to the Civil War. From these and other revelations have sprung the Church’s deep and historic concern with man’s free agency and our commitment to the sacred principles of the Constitution.

It follows, therefore, that we believe the Negro, as well as those of other races, should have his full Constitutional privileges as a member of society, and we hope that members of the Church everywhere will do their part as citizens to see that these rights are held inviolate. Each citizen must have equal opportunities and protection under the law with reference to civil rights.

fartingapostleHowever, matters of faith, conscience, and theology are not within the purview of the civil law. The first amendment to the Constitution specifically provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

The position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints affecting those of the Negro race who choose to join the Church falls wholly within the category of religion. It has no bearing upon matters of civil rights. In no case or degree does it deny to the Negro his full privileges as a citizen of the nation.

This position has no relevancy whatever to those who do not wish to join the Church. Those individuals, we suppose, do not believe in the divine origin and nature of the church, nor that we have the priesthood of God. Therefore, if they feel we have no priesthood, they should have no concern with any aspect of our theology on priesthood so long as that theology does not deny any man his Constitutional privileges.

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….

“Revelation assures us that this plan antedates man’s mortal existence, extending back to man’s pre-existent state.”

President McKay has also said, “Sometime in God’s eternal plan, the Negro will be given the right to hold the priesthood.”

Until God reveals His will in this matter, to him whom we sustain as a prophet, we are bound by that same will. Priesthood, when it is conferred on any man comes as a blessing from God, not of men.

We feel nothing but love, compassion, and the deepest appreciation for the rich talents, endowments, and the earnest strivings of our Negro brothers and sisters. We are eager to share with men of all races the blessings of the Gospel. We have no racially-segregated congregations.

Were we the leaders of an enterprise created by ourselves and operated only according to our own earthly wisdom, it would be a simple thing to act according to popular will. But we believe that this work is directed by God and that the conferring of the priesthood must await His revelation. To do otherwise would be to deny the very premise on which the Church is established.

[It would be to admit that it is, in actuality, all folklore, folklore, folklore!!!]

We recognize that those who do not accept the principle of modern revelation may oppose our point of view. We repeat that such would not wish for membership in the Church, and therefore the question of priesthood should hold no interest for them. Without prejudice they should grant us the privilege afforded under the Constitution to exercise our chosen form of religion just as we must grant all others a similar privilege. They must recognize that the question of bestowing or withholding priesthood in the Church is a matter of religion and not a matter of Constitutional right.

[In other words, we have the religious right to be religious racists. This same argument is being used right now in U.S. courts in regard to LDS clerical involvement in child sexual abuse: we have the religious right to be religious perverts, predators and pedophiles; religious groomers; religious sex therapists; religious mental health workers, etc. Everything is sanctimoniously wrapped in the mantle of the 1st Amendment, thereby abusing even that amendment ]

We extend the hand of friendship to men everywhere and the hand of fellowship to all who wish to join the Church and partake of the many rewarding opportunities to be found therein.

We join with those throughout the world who pray that all of the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ may in due time of the Lord become available to men of faith everywhere. Until that time comes we must trust in God, in His wisdom and in His tender mercy.

Meanwhile we must strive harder to emulate His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, whose new commandment it was that we should love one another. In developing that love and concern for one another, while awaiting revelations yet to come, let us hope that with respect to these religious differences, we may gain reinforcement for understanding and appreciation for such differences. They challenge our common similarities, as children of one Father, to enlarge the out-reachings of our divine souls.

Faithfully your brethren,

The First Presidency
By Hugh B. Brown
N. Eldon Tanner

Folklore, Folklore, FFFFFFFFFolklore

 

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1978 Official Declaration 2

To Whom It May Concern:

On September 30, 1978, at the 148th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following was presented by President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church:

In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously.

President Kimball has asked that I now read this letter:

June 8, 1978

To All General and Local Priesthood Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Throughout the World

Dear Brethren:

As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

fartingapostleHe has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.

We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known His will for the blessing of all His children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of His authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.

 

Sincerely yours,

Spencer W. Kimball
N. Eldon Tanner
Marion G. Romney

The First Presidency

Recognizing Spencer W. Kimball as the prophet, seer, and revelator, and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is proposed that we as a constituent assembly accept this revelation as the word and will of the Lord. All in favor please signify by raising your right hand. Any opposed by the same sign.

The vote to sustain the foregoing motion was unanimous in the affirmative.
Salt Lake City, Utah, September 30, 1978.

 

FFFFFFOLKLORE:

free

piu

 

 

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