Paul A. Douglas
23. Can it not be argued that changes made to core doctrines of the Church were in direct response to American political pressure – the ending of polygamy, Blacks in the priesthood?
Can it not be argued that changes made to core doctrines of the Church were in direct response to American political pressure – the ending of polygamy, Blacks in the priesthood?
While the tone of the following letter to the editor is somewhat mocking, it nevertheless summarizes the view that many people have about the Church’s about-face when President Carter made it clear they would not allow the Church’s tax-free status to continue if they did not change their racist policies.
“What’s done is done. There no longer is any prejudice against blacks in the Mormon church, the power of money took care of that. Back in 1978, the federal government informed the LDS Church that unless it allowed blacks full membership (including the priesthood,) they would have to cease calling themselves a non-profit organization and start paying income taxes. On $16.5 million a day in tithing alone, that’s a lot of tax monies that could be better used in building up the Kingdom of God.
The church immediately saw the error of its ways, and the brethren appealed to God for a revelation; it came quickly. God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform, and today The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has nothing but love for all races of people on Earth.” 1
The apologist at FairMormon has nothing here. The best they can do is quote the opinion of a ‘Methodist scholar.’
A revelation in Mormondom rarely comes as a bolt from the blue; the process involves asking questions and getting answers. The occasion of questioning has to be considered, and it must be recalled that while questions about priesthood and the black man may have been asked, an answer was not forthcoming in the ‘60s when the church was under pressure about the matter from without. Nor did it come in the early ‘70s when liberal Latter-day Saints agitated the issue from within. The inspiration which led President Kimball and his counselors to spend many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple pleading long and earnestly for divine guidance did not stem from a messy situation with blacks picketing the church’s annual conference in Salt Lake City, but was “the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth.”
1 Kathy Erickson, letter to the Salt Lake Tribune, 11 March 11, 2001.