“Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
A new article, “Race and the Priesthood”, has been published on the Church’s website, the most candid and carefully researched statement on origin, endurance, and ending of the priesthood restriction ever issued by the Church. Perhaps the most important sentences are these:
Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.
I am so glad to see those points spelled out. I think all of us are prone to condemn the concept without realizing, sometimes, how casually racism and discrimination crops up; the Church needed to enumerate those repudiated points.
While racism is most often discussed with regard to blacks, it does occur, of course, in other contexts. I have two examples of that, one reflecting a late 19th century attitude toward Polynesians, and the other, to be posted in a few days, an early 20th century attitude toward Latinos.
From the Relief Society Magazine, 1956 –
by Shirley Sargent
“What do you want for Christmas?” Neal Hendrickson asked casually on the morning of December eighth, as he watched his wife brush her dark hair. He prided himself on being thoughtful, and last year this foresightedness had paid off in the form of a mink stole Nan had admired extravagantly.
Her reply so disconcerted him that he dropped a cuff link. “Me? You mean you want me to troop downstairs Christmas morning and have the children discover me in a stocking?”
“That’s about the size of it.” Nan’s voice was low, grave, and definitely unamused.
Takume, Aug 8 & 9 1917
Felt much better, not having to sleep in the damp & cold wind. Attended to two little girls who were covered with nasty sores. Held a splendid priesthood meeting of the Elders at our house at 3: pm & set the following day apart as a day of fasting & prayer, that the natives would be successful in their diving, for up until now they had found very little shell & were becoming discouraged & complaining.
For supper Pres. & I ate some fish that had been given to us, & in the night I was awakened by severe pain, all over my body, & I realized that I had eaten poisonous [fish?] of which there are a great many in these islands. By morning the pain was so intense that I asked Pres. to get up & get me some medicine, but I kept getting worse all the time, it seemed that my whole body had the chill blains & every bone was throbbing & aching with pain. I couldn’t move a limb, not even a finger, for with the slightest movement the pain was doubly increased. (more…)
From the Children’s Friend, January 1924 –
By Elsie Chamberlain Carroll
“Mother – it’s – it’s still – just seven dollars. I thought – O, I thought sure it would be ten this week. They raised Jim’s wages and Harry Patterson’s and I do try Mother to do my best.” Davie Graham held out the brown envelope apologetically – his serious blue eyes full of disappointment and chagrin blurred with the tears his sixteen years forbade him to let fall.
Molly Graham gathered his lanky form into her arms. Her thirty-five years were not enough to hold back the tears that rained over the boy’s brown head.
Two Keepa’ninnies have written privately to tell me that Keepa is not allowing them to post comments. That suggests that others’ comments have been rejected but some haven’t taken the time or found the address to let me know.
If you’ve had trouble, or wonder if you’ll have trouble (or just want a crack a joke — I know you!), please post a test comment here. If it doesn’t appear, then please write to me at AEParshall at aol dott com and let me know. Then I’ll have an idea of how big the problem is before I go looking for help.
If you ever do have trouble commenting, you’re always welcome to send me a note through email (the address is linked in the sidebar as “About/Contact”) and I’ll post it as a comment under your own name. Believe me, I want to hear from you and encourage conversation among commenters.
Not a Chance
“Johnny,” said the teacher, “this is the third time I have had to punish you this week. Why are you so naughty?”
“Because,” answered the incorrigible youngster, “Grandpa says the good die young, and I ain’t taking any chances.”
From the Relief Society Magazine, April 1960 –
Uncle Matt and the China Doll
by Sylvia Probst Young
Night was stealing down the mountains when Elizabeth, carrying a supper tray, crossed the barren field toward Matt’s place. At her side the wind moaned ominously. A now wind, maybe. How late the snow comes this year, she thought resentfully. They were to be gone “when snow flies,” Hank had said.
At the far end of the field the light from a lantern glowed eerily through the barn window. Hank was milking. This was the life he loved – life on the land. He was willing to keep on trying year after year to make this raw country into a thing of beauty. He would make the farm pay, he said. Young, strong, and dauntless, he had cleared the sage from acre after acre with his own two hands and a grubbing hoe.
It was she whose courage had failed after three years with no crop. Hank had finally agreed after a July hailstorm had lashed the golden turning wheat into the ground and left the fields looking devastated.
The New Day
by Hazel K. Todd
Synopsis: Lynn Marlow, a dress designer, who lives in Chicago and is engaged to David Talbot, returns to Springdale, her home town, to visit her Aunt Polly, and to find out if she has really forgotten her love for Johnny Spencer. Johnny had married a Southern girl who had died, leaving two children. After her arrival in Springdale, on her way to her aunt’s home, Lynn meets Johnny’s children.
By the time Lynn reached the turn in the trail where she must leave the path along the stream, and climb the little hill which led to the small brown house where she had grown from childhood, she was very much ashamed for allowing herself to be so disturbed. She had mostly replaced the pounding of her heart at seeing Johnny’s children, for the new excitement of meeting Aunt Polly. And again the dread arose in her of finding something wrong.
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