Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Mormon Church is Either True or it is a Fraud: Blacks and the Priesthood

"Each of us has to face the matter—either the Church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is the Church and kingdom of God, or it is nothing"
That is what Gordon B. Hinckley, a living prophet said in 2003. Either the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church on this Earth or it is not. It is really that simple. Why? Well that answer is biblical.

Jesus taught in the sermon on the mount, as recorded by Luke in chapter 16 verse 13: "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

Gordon B. Hinckely was teaching exactly what Jesus Christ taught roughly 2,000 years earlier. There is no half way, no in between. If the church is all true, you are serving God. If one part of the church's doctrine is false the entire church is false, because it would then be a fraud, answering only to the devil or mammon. Let us make one point clear, however, this is not the people of the church, this is the official doctrine, people are entirely fallible, as all humans can, will, and do error, even prophets.

This statement by President Hinckley came to my mind as I was thinking about the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the blessings of the Priesthood being extended to Blacks through revelation to the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball. It is true that many church leaders prior to 1978 said some harsh things towards blacks concerning their banishment from the Priesthood. Some of these statements sound even more harsh when read today because some of the common vernacular of that day is seen today as exceptionally inflammatory.

One Apostle in particular that I quote often, Bruce R. McConkie, was well-known to have made many harsh-sounding statements, and is where the church either being true or not true becomes part of this discussion. In 1978 Elder McConkie said:

"There are statements in our literature by the early Brethren that we have interpreted to mean that the Negroes would not receive the priesthood in mortality. I have said the same things, and people write me letters and say, "You said such and such, and how is it now that we do such and such?" All I can say is that it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or George Q. Cannon or whoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.

It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them. We now do what meridian Israel did when the Lord said the gospel should go to the Gentiles. We forget all the statements that limited the gospel to the house of Israel, and we start going to the Gentiles (qtd. from "All Are Alike unto God," an address to a Book of Mormon Symposium for Seminary and Institute teachers, Brigham Young University, 18 August 1978, as quoted in Jessie L. Embry, Black Saints in a White Church (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1994), 34. [New Mormon Studies CD-ROM (Smith Research Associates, 1999)]."
I do not believe it can be said any more directly than this. Either you believe the church is completely true, led by Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, who continuously receive revelation for the church from Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ or you reject living Prophets and believe this church is completely false. If you believe some revelations are true and others are not, then you believe the church is completely false, for God would not allow his Prophets to lead the church astray. As Elder McConkie described how the policy changed and the gospel was no longer only taught to the Israelites, but also to the Gentiles in ancient days, God does at times changes things within his church. But again, it comes down to do you believe in modern revelation or do you not? Then you can easily accepted the Lord's will when he presents changes to the membership through his leadership.

If you are not sure and would like to find out, Jesus taught us how, as recorded in John 16:23-24: "Verily,
verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full."

I testify that when you do ask with a sincere heart, will real intent, the Lord will make the truth known unto you through the Holy Ghost. If you will allow it to penetrate your soul, you will feel the truth in your heart and know it in you mind. I share my testimony of this with you in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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