The structure and organization of the Church encourage racial integration. By definition, this means that the racial, economic, and demographic composition of Mormon congregations generally mirrors that of the wider local community. Note the lack of ethnic diversity.
Reeve and Thomas A. Wayment, "Discussing Difficult Topics: Race and the Priesthood," Religious Educator 17, no. Race and the Priesthood Paul W. There is no need to defend past statements on race because this generation of leaders condemns all racism, past and present. That includes racism within the Church.
Paul, tell us a little bit about your background on race and Mormonism. What brings you to this discussion? I started research for the book Religion of a Different Color: Oxford University Press, in I was familiar with some of the existing historiography in the field of whiteness studies.
The whiteness historiography has largely revolved around immigration and labor history. There have been studies of Irish immigrants who were racialized as not white or not white enough. The histories of Irish immigrants trace the ways in which the Irish attempted to claim whiteness for themselves and thereby become fully Americanized or assimilated.
The same thing was true for Italian immigrants at the turn of the century and other immigrant groups coming into America.
I was familiar with some preliminary evidence that suggested that the same thing was happening to Mormons. I wanted to do some research to see if that was true. And you noted two predominantly Catholic groups; is there anything there as far as religion and race?
The existing historiography does not pay significant attention to the Catholic religion of the Italian and Irish immigrants, a gap that I believed needed to be addressed. I started paying attention to that.
I made a file, and started collecting sources, and decided that I could situate the Mormon experience within this bigger whiteness historiography and made the case that whiteness historians had largely ignored the religious component to this racialization that took place in the nineteenth century.
There are a couple of studies of Jewish immigrants which do pay attention to religion, and one of them, I think, is really quite nicely done—The Price of Whiteness is a Jewish whiteness study. So, I started the research.
I had colleagues at the University of Utah who said I might get a nice journal article out of my research, but there certainly is not a book there. I started the research, and it just sort of snowballed. Friends and colleagues became aware of the project, and I would regularly get emails containing sources that fellow historians had come across.
Once people became aware, they started paying attention to it.
It seems to permeate interactions with Mormons in the nineteenth century. And the categories for the book started to emerge from the sources. Yes, I mean the Book of Mormon obviously has passages that are charged with race and can certainly be read in very racist ways, and Mormons have read them in those kinds of ways.
I think, perhaps, Mormons sometimes struggle to know exactly what is going on there. The narrative of the Book of Mormon especially revolves around a notion of the fallen Lamanites being redeemed into white and delightsome people, and obviously nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint leaders latched onto that and believed that their mission was to help redeem Native Americans, whom they understood as racially different from Euro-American Latter-day Saints.
Nearly every marginalized group in nineteenth-century America was used as a comparison with the Mormons.
There was a narrative of guilt by association: Mormons were missionaries amongst Native Americans, so outsiders concluded that Mormons were conspiring with Native Americans to wipe out true, white Americans.
Like the events that took place in Missouri, or later in the Nauvoo period? It happened every time. It was one of the rationalizations used to justify a Mormon expulsion. The accusations took three key forms: Outsiders suggested that Mormons were conspiring with Indians to wipe out white Americans.So, what I see for the “Race and the Priesthood” essay is an effort to try to help Latter-day Saints understand that context.
In the first couple of decades of Mormonism, there was an open racial attitude in terms of priesthood and temple admission. A Personal Essay on Race and the Priesthood, Part 1 Ahmad Corbitt 13 October Ahmad Corbitt is currently serving as president of the Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Oct 06, · For instance, this post was originally titled “caninariojana.com recently updated the “Race and the Priesthood” gospel topic essay, and it’s still pretty great,” but I received a tip that the changes weren’t all that recent, so I edited the title to reflect it. The Church’s Essay, Race and the Priesthood.
And my evaluation of it with special attention to the sources referenced. Because they are the true eternal principals the Lord Almighty has ordained, and who can help it, men cannot.
the angels cannot, and all the powers of earth and hell cannot take it off, but thus saith the Eternal I am. Gospel Topics “Race and the Priesthood” Essay Familiarizing ourselves with the Church’s essay “ Race and the Priesthood ” can give us the assurance we need to speak up about incorrect theories we and others may have learned before.
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