Mormon Church Essay on Priesthood Ban Banned From Church Classroom

ClassroomAn interesting thing happened to Mormon Sunday school teacher Brian Dawson. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that a student in Mr. Dawson’s youth Sunday school class asked him why his Nigerian wife joined a church that had at one time excluded blacks from the priesthood and Mormon temples. The student wondered where the priesthood ban came from so Mr. Dawson agreed to discuss it with the class:

“You know, he began, we could rely on the personal witness of believing black members, but there is also a church-approved document the class could read together. It’s called ‘Race and the Priesthood’ and was published in December 2013 on the faith’s own website.

“The students eagerly agreed, so the following week Dawson arrived, armed with the essay and several articles from the church’s official Ensign magazine about early black Mormons, including Elijah Abel, Jane Manning James and Green Flake…

“The essay noted the priesthood ban was rooted more in earthly racism during Brigham Young’s era than heavenly revelation.

“Pointing that out — and that future missionaries should understand this history — was where Dawson’s troubles began.” (Peggy Fletcher Stack, “This Mormon Sunday school teacher was dismissed for using church’s own race essay in lesson,” May 5, 2015)

Mr. Dawson was later contacted by his bishop and told, “Anything regarding black history before 1978 is irrelevant and a moot point,” according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The bishop “insisted that Dawson agree never again to bring up the essay or discuss ‘black Mormon history’ in the class.” Mr. Dawson countered,

“‘If the [Holy] Spirit guides me in a way that involves these multitude of documents,’ he asked the bishop, ‘who am I to resist the enticing of the Spirit?’

“The bishop replied, according to Dawson, ‘The Spirit is telling me to tell you not to use those documents.’”

wagging_fingerIt’s natural to wonder why the Spirit would tell Mr. Dawson one thing while giving his bishop an opposite message. I don’t know if Mr. Dawson entertained this question, but he chose not to submit to his bishop’s demands and was released from his position as teacher.

The Dawsons then appealed to a higher authority in the Church. The Salt Lake Tribune says,

“Eventually, their local LDS leaders agreed that Dawson’s materials were legitimate but decided he shouldn’t teach them anyway.

“It was too much for the kids, they argued, and church was not the right venue for the discussion.”

The Dawsons are reportedly baffled by all of this. The point of the Mormon Church essays on controversial aspects of Mormon history was explained in 2014 to journalist Laurie Goodstein:

“There is so much out there on the Internet that we felt we owed our members a safe place where they could go to get reliable, faith-promoting information that was true about some of these more difficult aspects of our history.” (Steven E. Snow, quoted in The New York Times, “It’s Official: Mormon Founder Had Up to 40 Wives,” November 10, 2014)

On its website, the Mormon Church urges all people to “read the essays as written” and “encourages members to study” them (“Gospel Topics” introduction).

But don’t talk about them at church. Don’t teach them at church. Don’t confuse teenage LDS members with the “reliable, faith-promoting information” they contain.

In her interview for this Salt Lake Tribune article, Mormon author Tamu Smith notes that even though the LDS Church essay on Race and the Priesthood has been announced to church leadership and is included in the newest curriculum for high school and college students,

“‘many seminary teachers [for high school], institute [college] teachers, and even some people teaching at Brigham Young University are blind to it — even when you point things out to them.’

“It’s ‘great’ that the essay is on the church website, Smith says, ‘but people don’t believe it.’”

I almost think the Mormon Church would like it to stay that way.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in Authority and Doctrine, LDS Church, Mormon History and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Mormon Church Essay on Priesthood Ban Banned From Church Classroom

  1. falcon says:

    I love this. It’s so Mormon. On another thread I talked about how Mormons reason and process information differently than non-Mormons when it comes to their religion. In this case it’s the idea that anything on this topic before 1978 is not fair game for discussion. Isn’t that the epitome of Mormon thinking? To me, that’s the heart of Sharon’s article. And Mormons wonder why we say they are deceitful and dishonest when it comes to their religion.
    The LDS church of course will say that the information on these controversial topics has been there all along so they are not being dishonest. Maybe so, but look what happens when a teacher uses the church approved materials in a discussion. He gets shut down, end of discussion and the “no talk rule” is invoked.
    Bottom line? Mormonism can’t stand-up to scrutiny. The only testimony saver there is is to continually repeat the canned five points of the LDS approved testimony. I am wondering what this episode will do to the students and the teachers in regards to their faith in the LDS church? What happens when the kids access to information can’t be controlled? Come to think of it, it can’t be controlled now.
    So these students are destined to become like two-thirds of those on the rolls of the LDS church, inactive.

  2. falcon says:

    Once these kids can separate Jesus from the LDS church and realize that it’s through faith in Him they are saved and not through some maze of church dogma, rules, regulations and rituals, they will be set free to worship God in Spirit and in truth.
    Jesus is the truth, the way and the life. No one gets to the Father accept through Him. A faux religion with some man-made created system isn’t going to serve anyone in coming to the Savior. We come to Jesus in faith. The leaders of the LDS church are not going to be able to provide a pathway to the Father.
    God’s Word shows us the way. The episode presented in this article is one more reason why LDS are losing faith in the religious system they thought had the answers. Instead of being a stepping stone to eternal life, these false purveyors of a false religious system, are a stumbling block.
    It doesn’t matter if they are sincere. Sincerity doesn’t make a lie the truth no matter how well intentioned someone may be.

  3. falcon says:

    This has all of the characteristics of an autocratic, top-down organization. That is: 1. the no-talk rule 2. everything must look good on the outside 3. if you point out a problem, you become the problem.
    The worst thing an LDS member can do is question the leadership and/or the organization. It’s a lock-step type of sect. How a person dresses on Sunday, does the male have facial hair, what kind of dress does a woman wear, how are the kids acting, and there can be no problems with anything mentioned out loud. Everything has to be perfect.
    What this teacher did was violate all sorts of rules of the LDS culture. He has to get his mind right and fast. It doesn’t matter if the information brought forth is part of a recent campaign with the essays.

  4. Mike R says:

    falcon said , ” Once these kids can separate Jesus from the LDS Church and realize that’s it’s through faith in Him they are saved an not through some maze of church dogma , rules, regulations and rituals they will set free to worship God in Spirit and truth . ”

    BINGO ! Well said .

    The Mormon people are being used . Their leaders won’t do the honorable thing and admit they taught false doctrine about Blacks for such a long long time . This issue will never go away until they step up and take responsibility for having fed their flock rancid spiritual food packaged as ” gospel instruction ” . To the Mormon people what was taught all those years was not unimportant ,
    they accepted it how it was given them — reliable ,accurate, instruction and defense of a Mormon belief . Mormons were giving shelter to false prophets for such a long time , and since their current leaders will not publically admit their colleagues error in explicit terms instead of using cleverly crafted words to downplay it , rank and file Mormons still are giving submission to men who don’t deserve their time or money .

    The Mormon people deserve better .
    A right relationship with God for receiving eternal life is available outside of Mormonism . That’s good news .

  5. historybuff says:

    Some readers — especially non-Mormons — may question how it could be wrong for Mormons to teach something that Mormon leaders have announced as true. The simple fact is that although the LDS Church may feel compelled to concede that something is true, this does not give members permission to discuss it.

    Granted, this is a difficult concept to understand. Perhaps it is best understood by re-visiting the admonition of Boyd K. Packer, current President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles and next in line of succession to become Prophet. President Packer explained the concept this way:

    “That historian or scholar who delights in pointing out the weakness and frailties of present or past leaders destroys faith. A destroyer of faith—particularly one within the Church…places himself in great spiritual jeopardy. He is serving the wrong master, and unless he repents, he will not be among the faithful in the eternities. One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession [for example, accurately describing Church doctrines or history], regardless of how they may injure the Church or destroy the faith of those not ready for “advanced history,” is himself in spiritual jeopardy. If that one is a member of the Church, he has broken his covenants and will be accountable. … I think you can see the point I am making. [Y]ou … have a special responsibility to build faith, not destroy it. If you do not do that, but in fact accommodate the enemy, who is the destroyer of faith, you become in that sense a traitor to the cause you have made covenants to protect.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect”, 1981, BYU Studies, Vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 259-271)

    To simplify further, just because the Church has felt the need to acknowledge a fact does not give Church members license to repeat it. This arcane policy even has a name: “Lying for the Lord”, a term historically used to describe the LDS practice of concealing “advanced” Church history and doctrines from its own members and from the public, in order to protect the Church and the fragile testimonies of some of its members. In the words of Apostle Dallin Oaks:

    “Some have suggested that it is morally permissible to lie to promote a good cause. For example, some Mormons have taught or implied that lying is okay if you are Lying for the Lord. As far as concerns our own church and culture, the most common allegations of lying for the Lord swirl around the initiation, practice, and discontinuance of polygamy….”

    This policy has also been applied frequently to the subject of African Americans and the Mormon priesthood. Although this concept of “coerced silence” may seem foreign to some, it is all too real to the LDS. They disregard it at their peril, as the Dawsons discovered.

  6. falcon says:

    “………although the LDS Church may feel compelled to concede that something is true, this does not give members permission to discuss it.”

    It’s a form of the “no talk rule” favored by organizations with a cult like culture. True believers can construct their thinking in a manner that appears to make sense to them. It allows them to continue to believe in the cult dogma and to live a false testimony. It’s a form of spiritual abuse practiced by the organization. Some of the folks in these groups may claim to be happy in their devotion to the autocratic heavy handedness of the system and leaders.
    It does take time and space to get a perspective that sheds light upon what the cult did to a person’s thinking process. Ask any former LDS member and they’ll tell you they were happy being a Mormon. And then you will get the “but” as they contrast their thinking post cult as compared to when they were in the group.

  7. Pingback: Banned from the Mormon Classroom | Effectual Grace

  8. falcon says:

    What are those new trends that we hear a lot about these days when it comes to organizational and personal relationships? I believe the terms are open, honest, transparent and authentic. It’s said that when these things are operational, trust is built.
    I think the essays that the LDS church put out was an attempt to try and incorporate these features in their top-down, autocratic, controlling organization. But in typical LDS ham-handed fashion, they then do something like tell a Sunday school teacher not to discuss what they have put out as a means of what (?) building trust, being open, transparent and authentic.
    What was happening was that the LDS church is losing members at an alarming rate. So they thought they’d head things off and try and inoculate members from the malady that is ravaging the church, “shaken faith syndrome”.
    The “testimony” is what holds the LDS member in the church; that along with fear of loss. When people get to the point where they just don’t care any more, they leave.

  9. MJP says:

    Interesting story. Its as if the LDS leadership has said “We gave you the essay, what else do you want? You’re not getting anything, and don’t think too much about the issues. We’ve told you what to think, and that’s it!”

  10. historybuff says:

    As you may have already guessed, John 8:32 is not a scripture popular with Mormons….

  11. MJP says:

    I’ve seen that concept a lot recently brought up here: ‘lying for the lord’. Is this a creation of those not in the church, or is it something Mormons are actively aware of?

  12. Mike R says:

    According to the Salt Lake Tribune Mr Dawson’s Bishop told him : ” Anything regarding Black history before 1978 is irrelevant and a moot point . ”

    ” Irrelevant ” ? Wow . That ‘s a clever excuse that we would expect any false prophet to use in order to deny or dodge his being exposed as such . No accountability is what Mormon leaders exhibit because rank and file members are intimidated by them . Mormon leader Harold B. Lee reminded everyone :

    ” …. those who criticize the leaders of this church are showing signs of a spiritual sickness , which unless curbed , will bring about eventually spiritual death .” [ Conf report Oct 1947 ] .

    The Mormon people have been detoured by latter days false prophets into submitting to them for salvation . But Mormons can be free from such men by coming to God by His way alone –Jn 14:6.
    Sounds simple but it’s not . It will take a strength that Mormons do not possess . That’s why they can ask God for the strength to walk away from a false prophet led organization to freedom . He will meet them right where they are and help them to freedom .

  13. LMCoffren says:

    Hi Mike R.,

    What do you mean when you say this:

    “Sounds simple but it’s not. It will take a strength that Mormons do not possess.”

    Mormons (as a whole or a majority of the whole) may not possess such strength, but individuals can and do possess it. 🙂 Just wondering what sort of strength you are referring to here.


  14. falcon says:

    I’ll answer for Mike. He loves it when I do that!
    We have to appreciate the mind-set that an LDS member has. I’ve talked quite a bit lately about how they think differently, by training. Add to that the pressure of thinking they are in the “one true church”, that “when the leaders speak the thinking has been done, the threat of going to Mormon hell if you leave the sect and just for added measure losing your friends, family and perhaps even employment.
    The apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter six writes that we should be strong in the Lord and the power of His strength. That we don’t war against flesh and blood. The war is a spiritual war dealing with all sorts of spiritual powers and dominions in the heavenlies.
    As Christians, we are to put on the full armor of God. An LDS person does not have access to that armor because if they embraced it, they wouldn’t be Mormons any longer.

  15. Rhythm Of The Tides says:

    Church looks more and more like a Circus with each passing day and every brain dead decision made.

  16. Mike R says:

    Lynn, thanks for asking . Sometimes I may not be as articulate as I should have been . My point is simply that for Mormons to leave the Mormon church , dismiss their leaders as authorities in their lives , and come to Jesus alone for salvation , may sound like an easy venture . But considering how most LDS have invested all their mind and emotions into submitting to these men and adding the potential loss of family , friends and employment , this can make it extremely difficult to walk away .
    I believe Mormons need God to give them the strength to be free . I would not want to see anyone have their family relationship fractured but this is a very real possibility for Mormons who leave . God cares for the Mormon people , and what false prophets have damaged God can heal .

    Thanks falcon .

  17. historybuff says:

    MJP —

    You asked, “I’ve seen that concept a lot recently brought up here: ‘lying for the lord’. Is this a creation of those not in the church, or is it something Mormons are actively aware of ?”

    Mormons are well aware of the term “Lying for the Lord”, which is the generic term used by many to describe the LDS predilection for placing loyalty to LDS leaders and protection of the Church in general above the need to be honest. Mormons themselves invented the term to explain why they need to be dishonest with the public and even with their own members. For example, Elder Dallin Oaks is a member of the LDS Council of the Twelve Apostles, and he used the term publicly to describe the many and frequent lies used by LDS leaders and members concerning the practice of polygamy.

    A typical example, mentioned before on this blog, is Joseph Smith’s issuance of a “scripture” denying the existence of polygamy:
    “Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again.” 1835 edition of the Doctrine & Covenants, Section 101 (also in the 1844 edition as Section 109); deleted from the Doctrine & Covenants by the Church in 1876.

    (Quite few of us have commented that when you lie, and then lie publicly, and then state that your lie is a scripture from God, you have pretty much forfeited your claim to be a true prophet.)

    There were many other areas where “lying for the Lord” was the standard practice, although faithful LDS will have a feigned memory lapse on the subject. For example, it was – and is — practiced by the LDS when discussing the Mountain Meadow Massacre, the Book of Abraham, African Americans and the Priesthood (see this blog), the translation of the Book of Mormon, and the First Vision accounts, to name but a few. (For additional documentation, please refer to Wikipedia under these titles and review the cited source materials.)

    “Lying for the Lord” is often mentioned in describing the sworn testimony of the Prophet Joseph F. Smith before Congress, when he made many false statements about the practice – or non-practice – of polygamy. In his defense, it was noted by LDS apologists, he was “lying for the Lord.”
    A much more comprehensive description of Lying for the Lord can be found at “Lying for the Lord: An Essay”,

  18. LMCoffren says:

    Hi everybody,

    Thanks for the clarifications for Mike R’s comments. I thought that’s what you all meant but wanted to be sure. Actually I agree with you. My opinion is that Mormon’s do have access to that armor, they just opt not to use it and go with whatever the leaders say. I’ve decided to leave the LDS but for me it’s easier since I left the JWs and they have been told repeatedly not to speak to those who leave to the point that even considering simply saying hello terrifies them. I’d guess it’s the same with Mormons and since I’ve gone through it with the JWs it wouldn’t be anything new – I’ll live through it.

    Thanks again for explaining. I don’t ask to be confrontational, just to learn. 🙂


  19. Mike R says:

    Lynn, we don’t find you confrontational at all . If you’ve experienced the Jw shunning policy and survived it then you can survive any Mormon treating you like that as well I’m sure .

  20. falcon says:

    You were a JW and a Mormon? You certainly bring a unique life experience to this blog. Please stick around and share your story as you feel led. I think it would be tremendously helpful to those folks who are in one or another of those groups and may be looking for a way out………whether they realize it or not.
    God bless you!

  21. LMCoffren says:

    Thanks everyone – yes I’ve been both. I’ve also been a Catholic, a Southern Baptist, Plymouth Brethren, and Wiccan (10 years). The JWs and LDS came after all that, LOL!!! So now you know. *giggle*

    Have a great day!

  22. falcon says:

    OK my head just exploded! I’m trying to figure out how you did that. It sounds like a sociology of religion research project. Very interesting I might add. Plymouth Brethren, I’ve heard about them some where……I think it was in some material I had from Dr. Walter Martin. I’m trying to recall. Weren’t they the sect that a young woman had a vision and it became the foundation for dispensational theology. The concept regarding end times theology that ended by in Schofield’s study Bible. That’s where the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine came from…….I think. I’m blue skying it… flow of consciousness.
    Anyway, now you really have to stick around here and share your experiences.
    I’m curious. Where are you at now spiritually?

  23. falcon says:

    I couldn’t resist the challenge even though I’m heading out the door and I can hear my wife tapping her foot. Here’s what my quick search found:

    Born in Westminster of an Anglo-Irish landowning family and christened at St Margaret’s on 3 March 1801, Darby was educated at Westminster School and Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated Classical Gold Medallist in 1819. He was called to the Irish bar, but gave up a promising legal career ‘lest he should sell his talents to defeat justice’. After a period of deep spiritual crisis he was ordained deacon of the established Church of Ireland in 1825 and priest the following year. It was when he was serving a curacy at Calary-not far from Powerscourt-and active in the Home Mission that a riding accident in 1827 brought him into touch with the Dublin groups.

    From that moment forward, Darby’s ascendancy within the movement was undoubted. More than any other leader, he stamped it with his masterful will and magnetic mind. His energy was tireless, and would carry him from continent to continent. Beginning with Considerations on the Nature anil Unity of the Church of Christ (1828), his voluminous writings – devotional, doctrinal or polemical-influenced a wide circle of Christians beyond the Brethren, as did his later translations of the Bible into English, French and German. He excelled as an interpreter of Scripture; the prophetic system known as ‘Dispensationalism’ (since popularized by the Scofield Reference Bible) was largely his brain-child. His hymns enshrine the depth of his spiritual experience. When in 1830 he visited Oxford, Cambridge and Plymouth, the expansion of the Brethren movement worldwide was underway.

  24. LMCoffren says:

    Hi Falcon,

    Yep, that’s the one! I’ve been all over the map, but now I’m “just me” and devoted to Jesus Christ (yes, the one in the Bible). LOL!!! I know it’s all confusing, but in the end I just keep going back to my “born again” experience when I was about 13 and made that choice on my own in private. I “publicly” accepted Christ at 15. I think all the ins and outs and joining one and leaving something else was just me trying to figure ME out. Naturally, Christ as always been exactly who He is. It’s all been me having issues with me.

    There is a lot of Pentacostalism in that mix too (pretty much all during my Baptist years; I visited a lot of Pentacostal churches during that time).

    I hope your exploding head has recovered from the trauma, LOL!!!


  25. LMCoffren says:

    I’ll be telling more stories eventually on my own blog (I’m building it right now). It’s hard to sum up an entire lifetime worth of spiritual experience in the comments section of someone else’s blog. 🙂

  26. falcon says:

    I’d like to read your blog. Do you have any of this of facebook. Perhaps I will send you a “friend” request. My real name isn’t “falcon” but I think you’ll know who I am.
    OK, I was doing a quick run-down in my mind regarding all of the different “doctrines” you were exposed to in your journey, most interesting to me, the doctrine of God. Being in Wicca, that’s a whole other trip entirely. Catholic, Baptist, Plymouth Brethren and most Pentecostals, with the exception of the Oneness Pentecostals, share enough of the basic orthodox beliefs to be in the Christian family of faith. The others won’t come even close.
    It’s good to hear you are clinging to faith in Jesus. Not to probe too much, but is your view of Jesus orthodox?

  27. falcon says:

    For me, it all starts with the doctrine of God. I think folks can save themselves a lot of time and trouble if they learn what the orthodox Christian doctrine of God is and then compare it to whatever group they have encountered. One of the best books I have, a simple little tome, is Dr. Walter Martin’s “Essential Christianity”. It’s my catechism.
    Next to that is having some historical appreciation of the first four hundred years of the Christian Church. When a Mormon starts babbling about the “lost gospel”, they can be shut down immediately. All a person has to do is to ask them to provide some documentation that what the LDS church believes, teaches and practices ever existed in the early primitive Christian Church. So then they’ll go into the Council of Nicea, which they know absolutely nothing about, repeating what they’ve been told by Mormon apologists. Eventually they paint themselves into a corner, throw up their hands, give their testimony and run away.
    But with any of these aberrant or heretical groups it’s all about “revelation” and “emotions”. They don’t want to be bothered with facts.

  28. LMCoffren says:

    Hi Falcon,

    I don’ t have the info on Facebook, it makes my family freak out. LOL! I’m fairly sure my core beliefs are orthodox, yes, even though people kept trying to get me believe otherwise. The Wicca thing was part of my own rebellion, not towards God – no matter what I did, I could never rid myself of that belief – but towards organized religion. Obviously it didn’t do much for me, since I left it. 🙂


  29. falcon says:

    There’s a reason why the Mormon religion is based on the “burning in the bosom” experience. First of all it goes back to Joseph Smith’s own time in history with the Enlightenment and the Methodist revivals. It was a common part of the culture as was going off to the woods alone to seek God.
    Secondly, who can judge another person’s subjective experience? What I mean by that is that the person believes that God has impressed upon them some portion of spiritual truth. That becomes reality even though it might not check-out in a rational manner.
    The cult leaders or those in aberrant groups sell their program on subjective experience. Mormonism can’t stand-up to scrutiny. That’s why Mormonism has to sell its followers on the idea of a corrupted Biblical text. Once someone buys into that, the leader has free reign. Isn’t it funny that the leadership in the article above don’t want things discussed that have been written about in their own essays? It’s basically a “We’ve answered that now move on. Nothing to see here folks. Once the leaders have spoken blah blah blah….”
    The internet is strangling the LDS church and (the church) is making a feeble attempt to stem the flow of members, but it’s just beginning. I’m guessing it’s becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and retain prospects if they join.

  30. falcon says:

    So if we were to go down the list of the essay topics, are they all out-of-bounds for discussion in LDS Sunday School classes? I think what the powers-that-be in the LDS church are hoping is that if they do their little LDS jig and invoke the “no talk rule”, the “when the leaders have spoken the thinking has been done” rule or possibly the “that’s already been answered” rule and its twin “that was answered a long time ago” rule maybe they can get through this unscathed.
    For true believers, the essays don’t have to even be read and they probably won’t. Why read something that makes you feel bad or conflicted. With the LDS emphasis on the idea that emotions equate with truth or the “spirit” speaking to the individual, there’s not much of a chance that a TBM will take this very far.
    But in looking at the LDS statistics, the church is in trouble. Even before the essays the LDS church was dealing with a two-thirds inactive membership number. That is not good. We might ask why such a huge number on the rolls aren’t that into Mormonism. The LDS church would probably be better culling their membership list to get down to a more realistic view of where their church is at. But no organization wants to do that.
    The last thing the LDS church wants is a repeat of the “Swedish rescue” debacle. A couple of more of those and it will be very difficult to hold back the gusher of those leaving the church.

  31. falcon says:

    From the MRM article cited above:

    “When fellow believers in Sweden first began coming to him with information from the Internet that contradicted the church’s history and teachings, he dismissed it as ‘anti-Mormon propaganda,’ the whisperings of Lucifer. He asked his superiors for help in responding to the members’ doubts, and when they seemed to only sidestep the questions, Mr. Mattsson began his own investigation.”

    “Around the world and in the United States, where the faith was founded, the Mormon Church is grappling with a wave of doubt and disillusionment among members who encountered information on the Internet that sabotaged what they were taught about their faith, according to interviews with dozens of Mormons and those who study the church.”

    “I felt like I had an earthquake under my feet,” said Mr. Mattsson, now an emeritus area authority. “Everything I’d been taught, everything I’d been proud to preach about and witness about just crumbled under my feet. It was such a terrible psychological and nearly physical disturbance.”

    Mattsson began his own research, including reading Richard Lyman Bushman’s book Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, a work that provides plenty of information unknown by many Latter-day Saints, as such information is not considered “faith promoting.”

    According to the article, when Mattsson started to share his new information with other believers,

    “the stake president (who oversees a cluster of congregations) told him not to talk about it to any members, even his wife and children. He did not obey: ‘I said to them, why are you afraid for the truth?’ He organized a discussion group in Sweden, and more than 600 participated, he said. In 2010, the church sent two of its top historians, Elder Marlin K. Jensen and Richard E. Turley Jr. to allay the Swedes’ concerns. They had a remarkably frank and sometimes testy exchange, especially about Smith and polygamy.”

    So the directive was to not talk about any of what he was finding with other members including his own family. One thing I’ll say about the Community of Christ Mormon sect, at least they’ve made an honest attempt to come to grips with their history. The problem is, when it’s all said and done, if you own the history, you have to change the religion. Nibbling around the edges won’t save the LDS church. It will become a shadow of its former self with recruitment stagnating and the numbers of those born into the religion leaving.

  32. Mike R says:

    The reason why Mormon leaders don’t want Mormon youth to know the full story about Negroes being denied the full blessings of Eternal life for so long is because of what these youths will find out , it’s a record of teachings that are product of men instead of coming from God . In Mormonism this behavior is described to non Mormon religious leaders by saying ” they teach for doctrine the commandments of men ” . In short it’s packaging up man made teachings and preaching them as
    ” gospel truths ” ; ” spiritual instruction” . But Mormon leaders have done the same thing , and their belief concerning people being born with black skin as a curse because of being not valiant in the pre mortal life is a example of Mormon leaders behavior as gospel preachers .

    Mormon youth will discover that their leaders together with other influential adults have preached teachings used to defend the Mormon priesthood ban but which are now admitted to be mere folklore , and therefore not authentic gospel teaching . In short , Mormons were misled by those they trusted to teach them correctly .

    The Mormon hierarchy has dragged their feet at officially making enough information about this issue available to their flock . Finally they have admitted more on it recently ( late 2013 ) because of so many LDS have found out about this repugnant doctrine created by their leaders and wanted answers . Sadly , enough of an answer will probably never be given them from those that rule over them .

  33. historybuff says:

    The Mormon Church has a major credibility problem that is inherent in its doctrinal foundations. It is one thing for church leaders to be proven wrong when they are offering their own opinions. It is quite another thing for them to be proven wrong when they claim to be speaking for Jesus Christ. In the former case, a church can survive. In the latter, it crumbles.

  34. falcon says:

    The sad thing for me is that people don’t look things up. Maybe that’s changing now with the internet but even at that a person has to be able to evaluate information. I’m speaking specifically about the claims of Mormonism and the gospel leaving the earth after the death of the apostles. And added to this is the whole idea of modern day LDS practice and belief being that of first century Christianity. It’s so bogus that it’s hard to believe anyone would even consider such a thing.

  35. historybuff says:

    I have had LDS members tell me in all sincerity that they don’t really care about doctrine because it doesn’t affect their lives, and they don’t care about Mormon history because that’s in the past. They compare it to slavery in America: it happened, it’s history, it’s over; let’s go play basketball.

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