Friday, December 4, 2009

Interesting Idea

If you read much of this blog in the beginning you know that although I fully sustain and believe in the prophet, I do not believe in the infallibility of our prophets. That is why I feel comfortable in thinking that BY started the priesthood ban incorrectly, JMHO. Here is a very interesting article at BCC that sounds like a plausible reason for my own only concern with the issue...if it was an error on BY's part, why didn't it get corrected earlier when David O McKay and others wanted to correct it.

Enjoy! David O. McKay and the Priesthood Ban


Cody said...

Although this is a plausible explanation, I feel like it only leads to more questions and more speculation. My number one issue with this explanation that I have a difficult time with is this: Doesn't Heavenly Father love all of His children equally, and if so why would He allow 100+ years of bigotry inspired policy to exist within His established church at the detriment of hundreds of millions of His black children? If it truly was inspired by bigotry, why wouldn't God instruct and inspire us as His imperfect children to a better path?
Many of the explanations provided in the comments seem to be rationalizations just as those of church members that try to rationalize why God didn't allow it. My own personal take on this whole topic, although hardly academic (and not dismissive), is best described from Thurl Bailey's conversion to the gospel.
At the time that Thurl Bailey was investigating the gospel he was living in Italy. His only obstacle to joining the church was the priesthood ban for the blacks until 1978. The two Elders who were teaching him the discussions couldn't provide an answer that he felt good with. They attempted every explanation that members of the church used to rationalize why they weren't allowed the priesthood during that early span of the church. Reasons like, "decendants of cain", etc. just didn't sit well with Thurl.
Finally the mission president made a personal visit to Thurl Bailey and they had a wonderful conversation about this topic. The mission president told Thurl Bailey that quite honestly, WE DON'T KNOW WHY the Lord didn't allow blacks to hold the priesthood and that it just wasn't time. That answer settled on Thurl so powerfully and was confirmed to him through the spirit so clearly, that he decided to join the church and be baptized.
I did enjoy the post and the reading material provided, but I still believe that we don't know why.
On a side note, I did really enjoy the comment provided by one of the posters about President Hinckley's take on the sticky points, "No . . . . I don’t think they will in my time. I can’t speak much beyond the next year. I’m careful about buying bananas!"

Carson Calderwood said...

Be careful when you quote TB, I went to his basketball camp and know him personally ;-)

Anyway, his actual story fits in more with my explanation...

"Through the missionaries and the mission president of the Italy Milan Mission, Thurl found the teachers, friends, and inspiration he was looking for. To his recurring question of why blacks had been denied the Priesthood until the Revelation of 1978 restored it to all worthy black males, President Halvor Clegg responded simply, “It wasn’t time.” In those few words, Thurl could finally see wisdom. It made sense to him as he considered the relative “readiness” of both whites and blacks to deal with change over the years. This was the spiritual yet practical answer that Thurl had been seeking, and on December 31, 1995, his father-in-law baptized him into the Church. "

I've seen a longer explanation in other places saying how he felt that the church wasn't ready, and that made him feel better because he realized that it wasn't because the blacks weren't ready.

There are a myriad of other cases where you could say, "Doesn't Heavenly Father love all of His children equally, and if so why would He allow..." There are two parts to my answer to this and I know you agree with the first. God gives us free agency so we can act on our own. He also gives the church their free agency to a certain extent. There are many things that the church has corrected and still does over time, though most are much, much smaller than this issue.

Again, I don't see this as doctrine, JMHO that leaves me with less questions and speculation.

Loyd said...

SWK was open to the possibility of the ban being a mistake. Whether or not he ever came to that conclusion we may never know.

In case you haven't read it yet, you can find Lester Bush's important essay here.

Shelley said...

heresy! Ha ha! Obviously I'm okay with your opinion either way, since I'm totally apostate, I'm just surprised by it. I actually don't read much of this blog (no offense, I'm sure it is amazing), so maybe you've already answered the question I'm about to ask. If you believe the prophets can make leadership mistakes, what would you see the individual church member's responsibility as being? If a prophet makes a wrong command, not just a benign command, but actually commands something which is wrong, should a church member follow or not, in your opinion?

Also the reason I was posting here in the first place was because I wanted to ask you whether you read The Shack and if so, what you thought of it.

Carson Calderwood said...

Shelly, I wouldn't call you "totally apostate" since I'm not aware of you going around trying to bring down the church and you are a good person.

As to your question, I mostly answered it in a previous post but that is a hard one.

There are two sides to this question when discussing leaders 1-the prophet, 2-any other leader. In my opinion, there hasn't been a prophet that has made us do something as a church that we shouldn't. (BY and the priesthood ban was not allowing something.) I also don't think that will ever happen, so until such I don't have an answer for that.

I have not read that book. I'll put it on my list.

Loyd said...

"BY and the priesthood ban was not allowing something"

Isn't that just semantics?

Carson Calderwood said...


And, what I've detailed out in my previous comment could be erroneous. I kind of hastily wrote that without thinking it out, and to be honest it is kind of difficult to sort out.

I believe that the Lord won't let the Prophet lead the church astray. What astray means is up for debate I guess. To me that means that he won't be able to do anything that makes us as a church unworthy of using the priesthood power. I also think that he will not micromanage us to the extent that we will be a perfect church.

Back to the post's original example. Because of the general ideas of many people I do not believe that BY's policy change was crossing the line. On the other hand, if the church were to start in today's climate or were the prophet to make the change back to limited holders, I think that would be crossing the line and therefore something like that wouldn't occur.

Loyd said...

So cultural norms dictate the mortality of a prophet's teachings, and not vice versa?

Carson Calderwood said...

Of course! Unless that prophet is Jesus. Do you think everything the prophet teaches at any level of teaching is 100% in compliance with God?

Loyd said...

I think I may have misread your previous comment. I thought you were saying that while BY may have done something immoral in our eyes, given the cultural norms of the 19th century, what he did was not necessarily deemed immoral then.