Monday, February 05, 2007

Why Negroes didn't get the Priesthood

I was asked to explain this situation in my questions site (the link being at the top of the page). And having done so, I felt it important enough to be presented here. Even though what I am about to say was given to me by inspiration, I can demonstrate it to be true, from scripture and church doctrine.

Having stated that, I must declare that the things I say are purely as a church member, not an authority of the church. And I have never heard or read a general authority of the church, living or past, make these comments. Or any other member. So I must declare them as only those things of which I have been informed by the Holy Ghost as one person. Not established church doctrine.

My purpose in placing this here was primarily in consideration of any negro who may be searching for understanding. Secondly for any other seeker of truth.

In the pre-existence Satan presented a plan that was impossible, but appealed to many. One third of all spirits present, in fact. Of the other two thirds many were not certain who to go with. They had concerns. Being loving, Heavenly Father made a deal with them that if they went down he would make sure that they couldn't go to outer darkness - which, apparently councerned them. To go there requires the priesthood. So he promised them that a mark would be put on them that no one would put them in the position they feared. In his love God placed a dark skin upon them to distinguish them from those wishing the priesthood. He made sure that these spirits were born to negro parents. Of more recent years there seems to have been reached a point where these have all come down already, or aren't in a position to receive that which concerned them. Consequently the priesthood has also been given to negros since that time.

33 comments:

Rob Osborn said...

Doug,

I don't know, that seems out there pretty far. It sounds more like a doctrine of predestination rather than the doctrine of consequences.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

I haven't stated that Negroes had no choice. And they can change their mind at some point. It gets down to that question of set choices. I believe the Scriptures propose that people set a final course at some point. From there they will not change. God gives us all every opportunity to change our minds. Whether some will evenually change their minds in this regard I have no idea. But our future choices are always affected, to some degree, by our present choices. I wouldn't regard that as a predestination (even in the sense Paul was using) for the rest of our lives, as we still have choices.

Rob Osborn said...

It just seems that you are making a rationalization for why blacks did not have the priesthood. Were blacks also black in the pre-existance? What would be the actual criteria for being born black? A lack of diligence in the premortal life? Man, I think that is pretty far out there.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

There is being racially prejudiced, and then there is being racially aware. These 2 are not the same. My brother married a woman from a particular culture. This culture presented problems that placed additional stress upon the marriage. I have absolutely nothing against people of that culture. But I am aware of the flaws within that culture that can create problems.

People can become so over zealous trying to prove to themselves and others that they are not racially prejudiced, that they fail to become racially aware. Be wary not to let fear blur your reasoning. The negro race has clearly had more problems throughout history than white peoples. Look at the Aftrican continent today, and then look at the European continent. Consider how many have died TODAY from war in each. Consider how many have died from starvation TODAY in each continent. This is called racial awareness. Racial prejudice is when you don't like people because of their race. Do you catch the difference?

If you believe what I am saying is just rationalisation, I would ask how you would explain the existence of these problems? The Scriptures support my statements, in my opinion.

Rob Osborn said...

You make it sound as if blacks are fence sitters- can't decide whether to follow god or satan. It is an old "mormon tradition" to think that blacks are black because of their lack of valiance in the pre-existance. It is what I call racial prejudice.

To believe in it I think takes into account that God foreordained Cain to fall so that his less devoted children could receive bodies also. It just doesn't seem natural for this to be the case.

Is there any scriptural proof you can show for your position?

Doug Towers said...

Rob

I don't believe God foreordained Cain to fall. But I know that God realised Cain would fall, and chose an appropriate place in history for him to do so.

You ask for Scriptural proof. But as there are several aspects to this I'm not quite sure which aspect you want proof for.

There is the concept that God didn't condemn negroes for not being fully committed to the idea. But was assisting them to make the best decision.

Then there is the concept that negroes weren't to receive the priesthood.

Then there is the concept that their reasoning for not wanting the priesthood was concern that they could go to outer-darkness.

Then there is the concept that negroes are now given the priesthood because there are no more of the spirits who thus chose.

Your claim of prejudice can only be true if I treated negroes any differently from anyone else. The fact that I honour their decision doesn't make me prejudiced.

Rob Osborn said...

I guess what I am specifically looking for as far as scriptures go is where is the support that negros were somehow a lesser people in the pre-existance? And, how can you confirm that it somehow had to do with not wanting the priesthood?

Doug Towers said...

Rob

I don't exactly see negroes as a "lesser people". Heavenly Father presented a plan. It was a choice to follow or not. Even Satan and followers I wouldn't classify as lesser beings. They chose to not come here. If they then do evil, that lessens them by their actions. As they continue to do evil they continue to suffer the consequences of what they are doing, and miss out on the good that comes from what good things they aren't doing. I don't quite see anyone as a lesser spirit.

As to them and priesthood. Abr 1:21-27 mentions that the curse continued relative to negroes not getting priesthood.

Talk about God condemning them is a bit John and Betty (first grade reader). God isn't petty. So the question then becomes, why would someone come down here, but not want the priesthood? There is only one possible flaw in having the priesthood. Only those with priesthood can go to outer-darkness. No priesthood - no outer-darkness. A simple solution to the concern.

Kurt said...

Doug,

Bruce R. McConkie is the one who popularized the general idea you are purporting concerning Blacks and the Priesthood in his first edition of _Mormon Doctrine_. That doctrine was labeled "speculative" by the First Presidency review board for _Mormon Doctrine_ and was later removed from subsequent editions when it went back into publication.

BRM later repudiated the doctrine himself publicly in a talk given at BYU, available here.

Rob Osborn said...

Doug,

I would tend to disagree with your belief that only those who receive the priesthood can go to outer darkness. Did all of Satan's followers receive the priesthood?

The scriptures speak quite boldly that all that is required for one to be cast out into outer darkness is a lack of repentance. No repentance- no glory- plain and simple.

Doug Towers said...

Kurt

Thanks for your input. I read the talk. Let me quote from it.

"And the other underlying principle is that in the eternal providences of the Lord, the time had come for extending the gospel to a race and a culture to whom it had previously been denied, at least as far as all of its blessings are concerned. So it was a matter of faith and righteousness and seeking on the one hand, and it was a matter of the divine timetable on the other hand. The time had arrived when the gospel, with all its blessings and obligations, should go to the Negro."

And again from the talk.

"The result was that President Kimball knew, and each one of us knew, independent of any other person, by direct and personal revelation to us, that the time had now come to extend the gospel and all its blessings and all its obligations, including the priesthood and the blessings of the house of the Lord, to those of every nation, culture, and race, including the black race."

These comments don't seem to contradict anything I have said. Is there something you feel I haven't seen?

Rob

Naturally Satan and his cohorts had already rejected following God with full understanding. The concept that having the priesthood puts you in position to become a son of Perdition, isn't so much just obtaining priesthood. It is the whole thing of temple knowledge revealed, communicating with heaven etc. And the non-member down the road can't fit into this catagory. He will suffer the pains of the hell that he has created by his conscience because of his evil works. And all non-repentant will suffer this. But outer-darkness requires having full understanding and following God, and then turning against it. It must be the dog returning to its vomit. Telestials have no such understanding.

But you are right that those who go into outer darkness will be unrepentant.

Rob Osborn said...

doug,

I disagree that one must be a member of the church and have the priesthood or equivalent knowledge in order to be cast out. The scriptures are quite clear that all men are on the path that leads to eternal death (second death). The only way off of this path is to become "born again" through the atonement becoming a saint- pure and spotless, and unless this be the case- one must be cast off.

Sure, those who have the priesthood and then turn altogether from it will be cast off, but so will those who never accept Christ and repent. They remain in their filthy (sinful) states and cannot be redeemed from those wages that they have earned by being an enemy to god. God cannot possibly save those types of people with glory.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

I still feel you are takiing simple statements and making absolute doctrine from them. Many things in scripture are kept simple in order to keep the focus on the main subject. It is like the statements of prophets that ALL Israel has gone astray. But then who was the prophet? Wasn't he an Israelite? And at the time of Elijah there were 7,000 others who had not turned to Baal, so we later find out. When you find a generalisation that is in conflict with a scripture being specific, it is the scripture being specific that you use for doctrine. It happens all throughout the Scriptures. We'd end up with all sorts of false doctrines if we make absolutes out of generalisations. The Scriptures MUST be read as a whole. Protestantism is a testimony to that.

I can testify to you that God will NOT condemn people forever for not accepting the atonement. God is a person. Christ says that this is so true that we can understand him as surely as we can understand ourselves. So I ask you as a father, if your son rejected you, spat in your face, killed your wife, the dog and the cat, and squashed your car, do you believe that you would make him suffer FOREVER, never ever deciding that perhaps he had suffered enough?

You are turning God into an ugly monster in your mind. God is a God of LOVE, charity, compassion etc. Not some hateful, spiteful, vengeful, egotistical, ratbag out there. Nor is he schizophrenic.

Rob Osborn said...

doug,

You make it seem as if I think God is a pretty poor sport- such is not the case. You seem to think that God will somehow support his children for not accepting the atonement- such is also not the case. I do not make generalizations from scriptures. I make detailed maps of the scriptures so that I can know for sure the details of his plan to save us. Show me one scripture where it states that god will save the unrepentant from the devil and I will show you a 100 that says he won't save the unrepentant from their doom. The scriptures are VERY CLEAR that Christ will ONLY take upon the sins of those who believe in him and repent!

Doug Towers said...

Rob

I know you are sincere in your studies. Please don't think that I am questioning that.

Christ can only atone for repentant sinners, yes, I agree. That isn't in dispute.

Christ explained the suffering he went through, for our sins, in the garden in limited detail. And stated that if we didn't accept him suffering on our behalf we would have to suffer instead. But this suffering will be concluded at some point, as surely as his was. Sins only require so much suffering each. Once this is concluded the suffering is over - finished. The only way we can continue to suffer is if we continue to live an existence in opposition to the laws of nature. Like continually punching your hand into a brick wall and refusing to accept that you are in pain or that hitting the brick wall is causing it. This is a life dedicated to the dark side - outer (away from God) darkness (an absence of the light that truth produces in us). Many will not turn to the fulness of light but won't turn away from all light either. And what I am saying is that God doesn't wave his hand and say, "behold you are to be in pain". Pain is a natural consequence of sin that God, infact, is putting in every effort to save us from. Sin is the transgression of the law. Eternal laws exist that even God must obey. If he acted in conflict to them he'd be in pain too. But he loves those laws and loves to do good. So he is in harmony with eternal laws. Unity with those laws = happiness. Conflict with those laws = suffering. If I am in conflict with some laws then there is some suffering.

Then there is another aspect to this. Doing things that are advised by those laws brings blessings. Not doing those good things doesn't bring the blessings. Between all this is where a great many people do and will exist.

You are making an exact interpretation of many scriptures. And normally I'd be right behind you in doing so. But in this case you are taking the Scriptures and making them absolute in spite of others not reflecting this idea, and life not reflecting it either. Truth must be demonstratable in all ways. If something existing opposes an idea then there is a need for further examination. All our examination of eternity demonstrates that more than 2 extreme choices have always existed. What is hot and what is cold? How hot? How cold? And we are the same in spiritual drive. All we know seem to suggest that there will never be a time when absoulutely everyone will either have total spiritual drive or zero drive.

Rob Osborn said...

The suffering that is passed upon the unrepentant is never ending until they repent. There is not some penalty exacted without repentance. Why would we need a savior if we could just suffer ourselves for a time and be saved? Section 19 in the D&C is quite clear that if you remain unrepentant at the last day (after millennium) you will be cast out to suffer an endless punishment. This comes upon the SOP only. Everyone has a father, either we are sons of God, or we are sons of perdition. The unrepentant including those who do not accept Christ's atonement in their behalf will be cast out.

I also have another question regarding blacks and the priesthood. What about all of the black people who go to the temple to do the work for their ancestors? Will they never enjoy those blessings?

Doug Towers said...

Rob

The Scriptures tell us that those who do many sins will be beaten with many stripes and those who do few sins will be beaten with few stripes. In other words there is a relationship between the amount of suffering and the amount of evil done. Note that the Scripture doesn't say, "some will be beaten with heavy stripes, and some with light stripes". But it states "MANY stripes" and "FEW stripes". In other words there is a point where the striping will be completed. Christ said that one of us has to pay for the sins, either us or him (D&C 19:16-17). His suffering the stripes of our sins, we don't have to suffer the stripes ourselves. But his suffering had an end. So there is an end of suffering again stated in Scripture.

Where would be the eternal law of cause and effect if everyone who suffers, suffers the same regardless of how much evil they did?

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life it will rise with us in the resurrection. And whatever degree of sin also, fits the same concept.

The difference with accepting Christ's atonement as to suffering ourselves is the ability to then go on and become sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Which can't happen if we have sins. If there be some additional issue, I am unaware. But that certainly is one reason.

D&C 19 establishes endless punishment as merely refering to God's punishment, not never ending punishment. Verse 6 states, "it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment.."

In regard the negro race, they are now as anyone else. Temple work is being done, and therefore it must be able to be accepted by their spirits.

Rob Osborn said...

doug,

heart to heart, how would you suppose someone can be forgiven their sins after suffering if they are still in a state of constant rebellion? In other words- If you are always an enemy of god by not changing from your carnal state, how could god allow that person to suffer a finite amount without repentance?

Doug Towers said...

Rob

It isn't a question of whether God will forgive you of your sins. He never didn't forgive you. He always loves every child. He causes his sun to rise on the evil as well as the just. It is you who demand justice in your heart. You are the one that makes you suffer hell, by your sense of fairness. You don't like what you did. You feel it is unfair that you did this thing. So you suffer until you are satisfied that you have suffered enough. I have experienced this already in a sin I committed and suffered for. One day my heart within me said, "I have suffered enough for that". I have felt no guilt for that since. I had suffered my stripes, and was satisfied.

Note Mosiah 2:38 "Therefore if that man repenteth not, and remaineth and dieth an enemy to God, the demands of divine justice do awaken his immortal soul to a lively sense of his own guilt, which doth cause him to shrink from the presence of the Lord, and doth fill his breast with guilt, and pain and anguish, which is like an unquenchable fire, whose flame ascendeth up forever and ever."

In other words it is our own "immortal soul" that is awakened to a sense of our own guilt. This guilt creates what is like an unquenchable fire.

But, equally, our own sense of justice will tell us one day, that we have paid enough. Would you make yourself suffer forever for a mistake? Would you regard that as justice?

But by not putting off evil we not only continue to gather more to eventually suffer for, but also aren't obtaining the blessings that come from actually doing good. Then there are those who actively fight against God after having full knowlegde. These are in full darkness. For they not only sin, but do no good either.

Rob Osborn said...

Ya so what you are saying is exactly what I am saying- namely that the suffering whether great or small stops when one has paid sufficiently and has a change of heart. Having the change of heart is what I am after. A change of heart equals obedience. And obedience equals satisfying the demands of the law through the mercy of Christ's atonement. It is for this reason that man even has the possibility to not suffer forever- only and through the atonement. I believe in all my heart that everyone suffers to some degree for their own sins. But the reason why they do not have to suffer forever is only made possible in and through the atonement. But, if one decides not to accept the atonement then according to the scriptures they are cast out forever. YOU MUST accept the atonement in order for redemption both physically AND spiritually. Without acceptance you remain an enemy to god and his laws will not save you from suffering forever.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

The part where we are divided is in the heart of people. There are people who aren't interested in attacking God, but choose their own pleasures above others.

Take a person who goes out to get sex at clubs. He may spend his days breaking and entering houses and stealing household goods. He loves his mother. Hates his brother. Doesn't mind his sister, and a few mates. He hears the gospel and rejects it. When he is dead or resurrected he can no longer steal or have sex. He can't kill, mame, rape or wound. Yet his disposition isn't toward his fellow man. But he lives in relative harmony with those around him. He is not interested in opposing God and all good things. From the time of his death he can't sin any more. But his thoughts aren't righteous. So he isn't repentant. But he isn't outright evil either. He will spend eternity in that blissful Telestial Kingdom that Joseph Smith saw in vision, after he has appeased his conscience. Christ CANNOT atone for this person because he won't let Christ in to suffer the pain on his behalf. To let Christ in requires humility to accept that we have sinned and need forgiveness: A broken heart and contrite spirit.

So where you say,
"that the suffering whether great or small stops when one has paid sufficiently and has a change of heart."

I would say that the change of heart doesn't happen with those who suffer, otherwise Christ could suffer their pain instead.

Rob Osborn said...

ersI think it is fundamentally flawed to believe that a sinful man cannot sin once he is dead or resurrected. How does that stop a man?

That person you described is the type spoken of in the scriptures who gets damned instead of being saved. Joseph Smith even taught that a man in spirit prison must continue to abide without salvation until he accepts the gospel.

No repentance- No forgiveness.
No Forgiveness- No salvation.
No salvation- No glory!

Doug Towers said...

Rob

When I have talked of not sinning anymore I am speaking in a Scriptural sense of the terminology. However I would agree with you that using that absolute terminology is a bit extreme for the discussion. I was half of that mind after writing it actually. I think it would have been better to have said that because of the fact that he has no physical needs his need for poor activites will be seriously reduced. And because of this general situation there will be only minor problems among these people.

You've said_
"Joseph Smith even taught that a man in spirit prison must continue to abide without salvation until he accepts the gospel.
No repentance- No forgiveness.
No Forgiveness- No salvation.
No salvation- No glory!"


I am not saying these people are saved. I am saying they will suffer for their sins until they are satisfied that they have suffered enough. This doesn't make them saved into the Celestial Kingdom. It just makes their hell ended.

Rob Osborn said...

The only way their hell ends is to accept Christ and repent though, that is the condition. All men will have the gospel preached to them. All will have the opportunity to accept or reject Christ. Those who stand in defiance to Christ will forever be in hell until they accept Christ.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

YOu've stated_
"Those who stand in defiance to Christ will forever be in hell until they accept Christ."

The Scriptures inform us that every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus is the Christ. The only ones standing in actual defiance to Christ will be those few who go to outer darkness with Satan and the third that went with him originally.

Christ's atonement doesn't have to be accepted for forgiveness of sins committed. We suffer instead.

What of all the Scriptural references to sin having conclusion?

Rob Osborn said...

doug,

the penalty of suffering stops only when one has a change of heart and repents. Those who die the second death will be the only ones who end up not repenting and turning to Christ to accept the atonement. All others will repent and accept the atonement. Look at Helaman -

17 But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemeth mankind, yea, even all mankind, and bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord.
18 Yea, and it bringeth to pass the condition of repentance, that whosoever repenteth the same is not hewn down and cast into the fire; but whosoever repenteth not is hewn down and cast into the fire; and there cometh upon them again a spiritual death, yea, a second death, for they are cut off again as to things pertaining to righteousness.
19 Therefore repent ye, repent ye, lest by knowing these things and not doing them ye shall suffer yourselves to come under condemnation, and ye are brought down unto this second death.

(Book of Mormon | Helaman 14:17 - 19)

The words are very clear that if one does not hearken to the lord and repent they will die the second death. This factually states that all men that are saved from the second death are those who turn to god and repent of their sins.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

The Scriptures are loaded with inaccurate generalisations. It is just a way of speaking. Our speaking to friends demonstrates it all the time, if you think about it. "I'm never going down there again" means I won't be going there unless I can help it, or it means, I'm not going down there too often from now on.

Let me demonstrate this from Scripture

John 1:18 _ "No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him."

1 Timothy 6:16 _ "Who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honour and everlasting power. Amen."

1 John 4:12 _ "No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us."

And I could go on and on. So what about Joseph Smith? And all the others who saw him? I have seen him myself. So how does that fit?

You are making generalisations into absolutes, that the Scriptures oppose. The Scriptures completely disagree with your absolute interpretation, in many places. You can quote me these generalisations that are disputed in the same sets of books you are quoting. You MUST look at the whole thing and work out why each person is saying the things they are.

If you use the Holy Ghost in your studies he will sew it all up for you.

Listen to michelle. She has the Spirit with her. I can feel it in her writings. She comes up with brilliant insights.

Rob Osborn said...

doug,

The scriptures do not dispute that one must repent to be saved.

So according to your view then-

1. All of the scriptures that state baptism or damnation is inaccurate.
2. The path of eternal life or eternal death as portrayed in the scriptures is inaccurate.
3. The command to repent so that man may not be brought down to the second death is inaccurate.
4. Saved in the kingdom of god or cast out to the kingdom of the devil is inaccurate.
5. The sheep on the right hand to recieve eternal life while all the rest which are found on the left hand are cast out is an inaccurate doctrine.
6. Believe and recieve everlasting life or believe not and be damned is inaccurate.
7. All mankind may be saved by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel is inaccurate.


I could go on and on. All of these things I mentioned are found in the scriptures. All of them are also found in the BoM which according to Joseph Smith himself is the most accurate book on the face of the earth. Many of the above doctrines came from the Lord's lips himself. He didn't speak in generalizations, he spoke absolute truths.

The problems we have in regards to all of this is our own superficial understanding of section 76 in the D&C. The temple and our current understanding of section 76 are out of harmony with each other. Shouldn't that be clue enough that maybe the scriptures really are true and they don't just speak of generalizations but of actual absolute truths?

The propblem we have in general in the church is that we shouldn't worry about most individuals because after they spend some time in hell they too can be saved from the devil without strict obedience to the gospel. That teaching makes a complete mockery of the Lords gospel- He cannot and will not save those who do not show obedience to his commandment to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

All these points you are quoting don't point to extremes. Salvation is more than being saved from outer darkness.

The sheep and goats etc have different values depending on who is talking and about what.

Joseph Smith declared the BofM the most correct book BEFORE the D&C was written.

The D&C contains specific instructions on this topic rather than the brief indirect statements you are quoting.

Rob Osborn said...

Doug,

The D&C for the most part continues the same theme. Look at 29:27-28, 43-45. Look also at 68:9, 112:29, 138:58-59.

I think it is quite safe to assume that the D&C makes it quite clear that there are but two paths- that of eternal life, or that of eternal death, take your pick.

And yes, salvation very much is being saved from outer darkness. He who abides without salvation will always remain in outer darkness. They cannot bring themselves out of that darkness without the atonement.

Doug Towers said...

Rob

As an old Protestant friend of mine used to say, "I think we will have to agree to disagree on this one". But I find your thoughts interesting.

Zeadman said...

the officeal church stance on this is found in the holy bible.

it is that
1. the curse was originaly only ment for cain. but it trickeled down to his decendence (we dont know why god made this happen but we do know how. threw DNA)
and
2.that we dont know (for shure) what god had intended for theam.

my theory is that thay "like the wight people " had to go threw a phase of "geting ready" for the preasthood. your theory is a good one but personaly i do not belive it. becuse in the pre existence the proghets have said this. that all of those so called 'fence siters' or people that could not make a desition whare cast into outer darkness with saten. so i see your stand point but your may have just over looked this doctorin or just didnt know about it. look it up its quit cool. and scary.....

Doug Towers said...

Zeadman

It isn't possible (as you are saying) to sit on the fence. After all you either come or you don't. But there were those with concerns.

I see your point that with regard to Cain he was cursed and it really says nothing more there. Also your point that they needed more preparation time doesn't really disagree with what I am saying. All I've expressed is that they weren't prepared to accept the danger that priesthood acceptance creates. Your idea is more focused on them taking time for preparation. You are saying they are ignorant. I am saying they are scared. I guess it comes down to opinion. Time will tell.

Good thoughts, and thanks for your input.