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View Diary: Willard "Jim Crow" Romney - A Conversation I Overheard at the Local Cafe (144 comments)

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  •  No, it's *not* "official doctrine." (22+ / 0-)

    Jos. Fielding Smith's book and Bruce McConkie's book (Mormon Doctrine) were both fairly popular tomes in their day, but they are not authoritative nor are they canon.

    The current official church position does make any claim re: blacks = seed of Cain. (It should denounce the doctrine, per below.) But I can certainly affirm that this was a widespread — but always unofficial— notion when I was growing up. Folk-doctrine all the way, with its racist roots in Brigham Young's bigotry (along with the bigotry present in the general milieu of America at the time — mormons were not at all the only ones to believe that blacks were Cain's descendants).

    This all said, I know plenty of mormons who still believe the idea that blacks were "less valiant" (or "fence-sitters") in the War in Heaven prior to earth life.

    What I find shameful is that the mormon church still hasn't come out and strongly condemned this lingering folk-doctrine. Might be because too many of the gerontocracy believe it in their heart of hearts (if hearts they have). It'll be a long time before there will be a black member of the Quorum of the 12. (There have been a couple of token black members of the second-tier top leadership thus far. And of course no women of any color.)

    •  One of the famous ones (5+ / 0-)

      The caffeine issue.  

      I heard from a friend that it really was a ban on hot drinks, because it was in Utah...  It just eventually ended up being "folk doctrine" that it was about caffeine, because the most common hot drinks are generally caffeinated.

      •  Interesting. There's a plant called 'Mormon Tea', (12+ / 0-)

        that was used to brew a hot beverage by Mormon pioneers. The latin name is Ephedra, the basis of ephedrine, a stimulant more powerful than caffeine. Of course, they didn't know that then.

        Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

        by FarWestGirl on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 03:36:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Except for Chocolate (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fumie, page394, MrJersey, otto

        Mormons might ban caffeinated beverages, but they consume chocolate like it will be extinct tomorrow.  When I was working out in Provo Valley a number of years ago I was shocked to see three premium chocolate shops located in the mall serving the Provo metro area.  That would be at least one more that I would have expected from my experience with any mall back East which had twice the population density.  None of those shops lacked for customers and they generally were swamped with buyers.  Somehow the ban on caffeine had not been extended to any and all products which might contain it.  Just another example of mythology triumphing over common sense.

        "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

        by PrahaPartizan on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 09:07:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Brigham Young was speaking as The Prophet (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nellgwen, MA Liberal, pyegar

      when he wrote -

      "No, they were not, there were no neutral [spirits] in Heaven at the time of the rebellion, all took sides"

      You're right about that.

      He was also speaking as The Prophet when he wrote -

       "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind …. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the ‘servant of servants’; and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree."

      Either Prophecy is bogus, or it isn't.

      Mormonism taught a doctrine of pure and unadulterated racial superiority for 130 years.  If was it wrong, (and it was) the entire belief that God speaks through The Prophet is patently proven foolish.

      All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

      by JesseCW on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 08:13:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The official church response to BY (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        is that unless his words were officially canonized — that is, voted by the church at large for inclusion in the Doctrine & Covenants, the modern church does not regard them as prophetic, period. Only one section of the D&C contains that kind of official statement from Brigham Young. (Mostly a pep talk to the mormons as they started heading west.)

        Very conveeenient, yes. There's also the convenience that the Journal of Discourses is based on stenographic transcriptions, not on actual writings of BY and others. So there's also the lame excuse that he was misquoted (making it easy for the church to dismiss all the embarrassing stuff in this multi-volume account of high-level speeches).

        This said, it is true that BY proclaimed that his words were  divinely inspired and were regarded as such by the mormons in his day. They've been thoroughly disavowed for more years than I've been alive, however.

        You've already got the right answer about whether mormon prophets really are god's spokespersons. :-)

        •  The Journal of Discourses was widely considered (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot, MrJersey

          a Standard Work right up until 1978.

          Then, well, it became extremely questionable and obviously was just a collection of old sayings and recipes or something, which people shouldn't put much faith in.

          All Cretans are sockpuppets. -- Epimenides the Cretan

          by JesseCW on Thu Aug 02, 2012 at 04:29:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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