Early in 1964 Mormon Apostle Delbert L. Stapley wrote a letter to his friend, Michigan Governor George W. Romney. Mr. Stapley wrote the letter due to concerns he had after hearing a pro-Civil Rights talk given by Governor Romney. Mr. Stapley wrote that what he heard did not “altogether harmonize with my own understandings regarding this subject.” Upon making it clear that he was not writing in his official Church position (although the letter was written on Church letterhead), and he was not speaking in behalf of the Mormon Church (“Only President McKay can speak for the Church”), Apostle Stapley asked Governor Romney to read and reflect on Joseph Smith’s teachings on the matter (i.e., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 269-270 “giving particular attention to the closing sentence on page 270,” and History of the Church 2:436-440 “[coming] back to the last paragraph on page 438”).
Mr. Stapley wrote,
“When I reflect upon the Prophet’s statements and remember what happened to three of our nation’s presidents who were very active in the Negro cause, I am sobered by their demise. They went contrary to the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith – unwittingly, no doubt, but nevertheless, the prophecy of Joseph Smith [quoting from History of the Church 2:438], ‘…those who are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do His own work, without the aid of those who are not dictated by His counsel,’ has and will continue to be fulfilled.”
The Mormon Apostle continued, sharing a personal experience with Governor Romney:
“A friend of mine in Arizona—not a Church member—a great champion of the colored race—came to me after my call into the Twelve, and acknowledged President McKay to be a Prophet of God. He wanted me to ask President McKay to inquire of the Lord to see if the Lord would not lift the curse from the colored race and give them the privileges of the Priesthood. I explained to him that the Lord had placed the curse upon the Negro, which denied him the Priesthood; therefore, it was the Lord’s responsibility—not man’s—to change His decision. This friend of mine met a very tragic end by drowning. He was a most enthusiastic advocate of the colored cause and went about promoting for them all the privileges, social opportunities, and participation enjoyed by the Whites.”
As Mr. Stapley’s letter continued, he expressed his own “understandings regarding the Negro” as influenced by the statements of Joseph Smith. He wrote,
“I do not have any objection to recognizing the Negro in his place and giving him every opportunity for education, for employment, for whatever contribution he can make to the society of men… Yet all these things, in my judgment, should accord with the expressions of the Prophet Joseph Smith.”
Since the Civil Rights Act then before Congress did not accord with Joseph Smith’s views, Mr. Stapley judged it to be “vicious legislation” and apparently feared for Governor Romney’s life if he were to persist in supporting it.
Despite the pointed but kindly-motivated warning from Apostle Stapley, Governor Romney continued to work for and champion Civil Rights. A little more than 30 years later George Romney died of a heart attack. He was 88 years old.
Download a PDF file of Apostle Stapley’s letter, courtesy of the Boston Globe.
Shem, I not surprised at your reply to my comments because you love to say someone’s
points are “illogical” when you disagree with them . Interestingly enough , it is your reasoning
that does’nt make sense on this issue of certain church offices . I think what is logical and right
is to leave the Bible alone instead of trying to insert into it a doctrine that was created 1700
years later by a prophet . The following statement from Mormon leader Charles Penrose
aptly describes this problem , I guess he never heard of the saying ,” if the shoe fits ” . He says:
” They are walking in the ways that men have invented….” [ JofD v25 p44]
That sums up the Mormon belief that they are Jesus’ true church because they have one man
at the top who alone is God’s sole mouthpiece on earth.
I am not surprised that all you can do is return to your old standby of “Well, you have false prophets anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.” You say my reasoning doesn’t make sense, but do nothing to show why. I wonder why that is?
Again, please keep the accusation out of your comments. I have read the Bible, and I understand it perfectly well. Let me point out a few problems with what you said.
First, the Law Paul speaks of in Galatians 3 is the Law of Moses. He is not telling us to ignore the commands of God, or to even think that they are not necessary. He is specifically telling us that the Law of Moses was never designed to bring Salvation in and of itself, and thus without the Faith of Abraham it will profit nothing. This we learn in verse 17 of that chapter: “the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.”
Second, in 1 Corinthians 7, you are very correct that it was a rule given by Paul, but it was not a revelation. He states this in verse 6 “But I speak this by permission, and not of commandment.” He does, for a brief moment go back to giving the commands of God, as he states in verse 10 “unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord.” But he goes back to giving his rules in verse 12 “But to the rest speak I, not the Lord.” No, this was not a rule given by Peter, but it was not a revelation from God either. It was Paul speaking his own thoughts, having received permission to do so. I would ask, permission from who? It seems obvious that it was permission from the Leaders, the Apostles and the Elders of the church.
Third, in Galatians 2: 6-9, when Paul speaks of the Gospel of the Circumcision, and the Gospel of the Uncircumcision, he is using these terms to denote the Jews and the Gentiles. Paul was called to be the leader of the missionary work to the gentile nations. James, Peter and John recognized this and sent them back to continue the work. It does not mean that Paul received the revelation on circumcision, but that he was called to preach to the uncircumcized.
Now, I am in perfect agreement with you that it was the whole church that accepted James proposal to send the letters, as is recorded in Acts 15. However, look at the order of events and you will see that it was indeed Peter who pronounced the doctrine that circumcision was no longer required. After he pronounced this James proposed to send the letter, which proposal was submitted to the Elders, and then to the body of the church for ratification. It was not the whole church that received the revelation; but it was the whole church that ratified it and sent it out.
This is a perfect example of how things are done in the LDS church. The President receives revelation, which is presented to the apostles and then the Elders (the seventies). Once they have sustained it, it is presented to the church and accepted by them. In the days before mass communication it was first sustained where the church was located, and then a letter was drafted to be sent to the rest of the saints, approved by the main body.
You can spout out accusations and claim that I have not read the Bible, but the fact remains that I know it just as well as you. You can argue all you want, but you have failed to prove anything. You have given the quotes, and then stated your opinion as to why things were said, and what they meant. But your opinion is not better than mine.
The very first thing you said to me a few days ago, after I nicely commented on something you said, was that I had “joined the masses of the ignorant” and that I “didn’t have a clue”. That was the very first thing you ever said to me. From there on, you have been duplicitous, you’ve lied, and acted like you know it all, when I’ve shown that you know very little about your own church. I’ve simply been calling you on all of it. Perhaps Shem, if your attitude was better, mine would be. You then said,
You obviously didn’t read far enough Shem. You must put things in their proper context. That is why I claim that you don’t really read the Bible and comprehend what it says, you read it to try and prove your own interpretation, which is faulty as a rebuttal to my real argument (not your straw man about “the commandments”)
You may think you are being slick with your wording (that the Law of Moses wasn’t meant to bring salvation in and of itself) and that is a part of what Paul meant. But he goes further, and this is what I was talking about in terms of circumcision and tithing and the word of wisdom (eating regulations):
Now, verses 18-21:
Paul is stating here that the law of Moses, or for that matter ANY REGULATIONS were only added because of transgressions until Christ had come. The inheritance (eternal life) does not depend on law. RIGHTEOUSNESS does NOT come by the Law. That is why Mormonism’s exaltation by works is false. Here is Paul in Chapter 5:2-6:
It is the same with tithing, the word of wisdom, temple marriage, (which is why Paul states that if you want to be married go ahead, but he would rather that all were like him, single) serving a mission, or whatever else you regulate by the whim of men. This is not Faith expressing itself through love, it is forcing people to heaven by WORKS. Paul actually says that the law/regulations brings DEATH.
Do you understand? Do you get it yet? And Again, in Romans 3:19-31:
Why do we uphold the law? He continues in Romans 4:1-3:
Grace is a GIFT. Works are an OBLIGATION, therefore your works are not credited, because you paid as you went, and it only covers you for the letter of the law, not for the spirit of the law, which states that ALL SIN AND THAT NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED BEFORE GOD. Paul states that yes, Abraham was justified by works, but not before God. His BELIEF/FAITH is what was credited to him as righteousness, not petty regulations that bring DEATH. No one who claims Christ, lives by regulations. If you let yourself be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all. If you are forced to pay 10% of your income, Christ will be of no value to you at all. If you are forced to be married in the temple, Christ will be of no value to you at all. If you let yourself be forced into obeying food regulations (the word of wisdom), Christ will be of no value to you at all. Etc., etc.
Actually, Paul doesn’t say just “unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord,” Paul was actually saying, “To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.” He was not saying that the Lord commanded people to be married, (that is another Mormon fantasy) but that if you ARE married, that the Lord says you must not divorce, and a wife must not separate.
And, it (Paul’s teaching that the Gentiles did not need to be circumcised) was a revelation and there was also a rule. That is what Paul explicitly states:
He states here that not even Titus could be COMPELLED BY THOSE BRETHREN IN JERUSALEM TO BE CIRCUMSIZED! There you see the REVELATION – the matter of CIRCUMCISION, and Paul’s RULE that I spoke of was this:
Paul’s revelation was that it was not necessary for the Gentiles to be circumcised. That is why he went to Jerusalem. He SAYS SO. Peter’s revelation was that the gospel would be preached to all, both Jew and Gentile. Where does it say ANYWHERE that Paul needed “permission” to speak his own thoughts? Name one scripture, ANYWHERE. This is another one of your fantasies.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Again, it may seem “obvious” to you, but it’s not in the New Testament. ANYWHERE. Please quote me the scriptures. But you can’t. In fact does this sound like Paul was asking permission:
We know who is lying here, and it isn’t me, nor Paul. Paul didn’t need Peter’s “permission” because he was called DIRECTLY by JESUS. He was taught by NO MAN. He was taught BY REVELATION. He was not ordained an apostle by ANYONE, he was set apart from HIS MOTHER’S WOMB, and CALLED BY GRACE. He did not CONSULT ANY HUMAN BEING when he was called to preach. He DIDN’T ASK PERMISSION FROM ANYONE. He even says that he didn’t go to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before he was! HE DID NOT NEED TO. He didn’t need some mystical priesthood. He had THE GRACE OF CHRIST. In fact Paul told Peter that HE was WRONG:
You continue with your stories,
That is NOT what he says. He says that “I went in response to a revelation and, meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders, I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles.”
He then lays out the revelation, and then confronts Peter and tells him he was wrong and CONDEMNED before God. This is what Galatians actually says. I don’t know where you are getting your version from, but it’s not the same Bible that everyone else is reading.
I will look at what Paul ACTUALLY said, as I quoted above. He said,
Right there is says Shem that GOD DOES NOT SHOW FAVORITISM. He is not speaking about the Jews and Gentiles, he is speaking about those “that were held in high esteem.” He says specifically THEY ADDED NOTHING TO MY MESSAGE. And then Paul states that instead of getting upset, “ON THE CONTRARY THEY RECOGNIZED THAT I [PAUL] HAD BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH THE TASK OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE UNCIRCUMSICED.” Then we have the letter itself which DOES NOT EVEN MENTION CIRCUMCISION!!! So how could it be a REVELATION FROM PETER on CIRCUMCISION? It isn’t. It says, again,
Where does it say this is from Peter alone? NOWHERE. It says WE have heard…. Went out from US, without OUR authorization, and it is signed by THE APOSTLES AND ELDERS, YOUR BROTHERS!!!!!
Then you say,
The only problem here, is that it wasn’t done this way in the days of the Apostles. You are reading a different Bible obviously, because it just doesn’t say what you said it does. You then add,
What I have proven, is that you really can’t comprehend what you read. What you have said, isn’t there. And I’m not spouting accusations, I’m accurately portraying what you are doing, making it up as you go along. What I quoted above is not my “opinion”. It is actually what the Bible says happened.
Shem, in all honesty your last few comments have been weak , not convincing at all , and your
statement to Grindael to keep accusations out of the conversation was a good example of the pot
calling the kettle black. Your leaders have made the claim that the Mormon church conforms to
the N.T. pattern of Jesus’ church , that it is organized according to the pattern that we have
recorded in the N.T. , that ” ALL THE OFFICES ” of the church in the days of Jesus are present
in Mormon church today. However this is simply false advertising . The N.T. does not
reflect that Peter was the one man at the top of the church type arrangement , it simply teaches
that he was an apostle, and those that knew him never referred to him above that . Finding where
he was asked to do certain tasks or where he is mentioned with James and John in no way gives
us license to try and create offices/titles for him that are absent from the N.T. record. Such is
the fallacy that Mormons leaders have created with him as” the president ” who along with two
other apostles are a ” first presidency” . There is no evidence in the N.T. where there were 12
apostles acting under the direction of 3 other separate apostles who constituted the supreme
decision makers of the law of the church . Jesus’ N.T. church had no such office/ arrangement.
But Mormon prophets supposedly been directed by Jesus to restore His church , and they have
to find any kind of evidence in the N.T. where they might use to try and convince people that
they are His same church today and base this on their having all the same offices as His
original church in the N.T. , unfortunately this tactic fools a lot of people .
Now when you said to Grindael in your post above that, ” this is a perfect example of how things
are done in the LDS church” i.e. the President receives revelation which is presented to the
apostles/elders and then presented to the church body for ratification , etc .I’m sure this is also
the steps B.Y. and his church took concerning Blacks , the example they followed, right ?
Bottom line here is that you have failed to present a convincing case with Peter , and you have
refused to address why there was any need for the conversation between Stapley and Romney
in the first place .
That’s all I will say on this thread it’s getting time to move on to newer ones .
Again, you give no reason as to why my arguments are weak. It seems that you think that simply calling them that is sufficient to prove such, and it isn’t.
As to church offices, again your only argument is “The New Testament doesn’t specifically mention this and so it didn’t exist. This is a fallacious argument, and yet you are content to stand by it.
Honestly, I can’t remember the first thing I ever said to you, but I highly doubt it is what you claim. Maybe an actual link would help.
However, concerning all the rest I still see major problems in everything you say, mainly because you are interjecting your doctrine into the text when it is not there.
You quote Galatians 3: 18-21 and then claim “Paul is stating here that the law of Moses, or for that matter ANY REGULATIONS were only added because of transgressions until Christ had come.” This is wrong. In these verse Paul is discussing the law that was added 430 years after the Covenant was made to Abraham. He is not including anything else, and for you to try and force this to include everything is so grossly twisting his words that in doing you prove yourself to be guilty of the very thing you accuse me.
Paul cannot be including all regulations for the simple fact that the Covenant of Abraham was instituted with regulations; the specific one being circumcision. Genesis 17: 9-10 “And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.”
Just previous to this, in verse one God gives these regulations: “walk before me, and be thou perfect.”
The Law of Moses, with its many sacrifices and restriction, was added to the Covenant of Abraham 430 years later, and it is those regulation, and only those regulations, that Paul is talking about in Galatians.
Seeing as how you have so obviously added your own meaning to the words of Paul why should anyone trust what you say concerning the Bible?
I am not going to take the time to go through every passage you quote. You seem to think that by throwing more quotes and references around you can prove your point by sheer volume, and that never really works.
Paul never once said that we have no need to obey the commandments of God, despite the many interpretative acrobatics you use. He even calls faith a law in Romans. Now, I have never once said, nor has the church ever taught, that a man is saved by his own actions. That is not the case, and never has been. What saves us in the grace of God through the Atonement of Christ. However, while we are not saved by our works, it is also true that we are not saved without them either.
And just one final note: Just because something is required does not make it an obligation. When I was in the air force their were certain physical standards that had to be met. For example, to pass the test one had to do 45 push-ups in 2 minutes. While these requirements existed, most of the trainees that passed did not meet these requirements because they had to. They met their requirements because they came to admire and love their drill sergeants. The same can be said of many students who graduate from High School or college. They do so not out of obligation, but out of love for those who made that graduation possible. Truly, those who seek these things solely for themselves are not as successful in their endeavors as those who seek them to please others.
The path to salvation is the same way. There is a standard to be met, but we will never make it unless we do it out of love for God. If we do it for ourselves we will eventually fall from that path, for such is not sufficient to keep us focused. As the Bible tells us “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4: 19) and because we love him we keep his commandments (John 14: 15). Nothing else really matters.
Shem, your reasoning concerning my comments is rather silly, you can’t see how fallacious
of an argument your leaders have created with their position on church offices . I have said
that certain church offices in the Mormon church today were not a part of the original church
as recorded in the N.T., but your leadership has claimed otherwise , thus their attempt to cite
these offices as a major point to Mormonism being the true church of Jesus Christ amounts to
false advertising . It’s that simple , and you have failed to give a satisfactory answer to this . I
briefly stated why I feel my point is valid despite your comment that I have not. Now it’s
apparent that just as you have opted to not give a reasonable answer as to why Stapley and
Romney even had to have their correspondance in the first place , likewise you have chosen
not to give a reasonable answer to my comments I made about certain church offices etc.
Now you can ramble on further if you choose but I need to move on to newer threads .
I understand you completely. Your have given nothing to prove that such offices didn’t exist, but have insisted that since they are not directly mentioned we should all assume they didn’t exist. I have seen nothing more than this in any of your posts, and this is a fallacious argument.
Now, I have given a reasonable answer to all this. The problem is not that my answer was not reasonable, but that since you do not believe the offices existed nothing to the contrary will ever sound reasonable to you.
(I don’t recall any questions regarding Romney.)