Over time, church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church. The Church in an American Racial Culture. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints was restored amidst a highly contentious racial culture in which whites were afforded great privilege. In 1790, the. Congress limited citizenship to free white persons. 5, over the next half century, issues of race divided the country—while slave labor was legal in the more agrarian south, it was eventually banned in the more urbanized North.
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From the beginnings of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity could be baptized and received as members. Toward the end of his life, church founder. Joseph Smith openly opposed slavery. There has never been a churchwide policy of segregated congregations. 3, during the first two decades of the Churchs existence, business a few black men were ordained to the priesthood. One of these men, Elijah Abel, also participated in temple ceremonies in Kirtland, Ohio, and was later baptized as proxy for deceased relatives in nauvoo, illinois. There is no reliable evidence that any black men were denied the priesthood during Joseph Smiths lifetime. In a private Church council three years after Joseph Smiths death, Brigham young praised. Walker Lewis, a black man who had been ordained to the priesthood, saying, we have one of the best Elders, an African. 4, in 1852, President Brigham young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple.
By definition, this means that the racial, economic, and demographic composition of Mormon congregations generally mirrors that of the wider local community. 2, the Churchs plan lay ministry also tends to facilitate integration: a black bishop may preside over a mostly white congregation; a hispanic woman may be paired with an Asian woman to visit the homes of a racially diverse membership. Church members of different races and ethnicities regularly minister in one anothers homes and serve alongside one another as teachers, as youth leaders, and in myriad other assignments in their local congregations. Such practices make the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints a thoroughly integrated faith. Despite this modern reality, for much of its history—from the mid-1800s until 1978—the Church did not ordain men of black African descent to its priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple endowment or sealing ordinances. The Church was established in 1830, during an era of great racial division in the United States. At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans. Those realities, though unfamiliar and disturbing today, influenced all aspects of peoples lives, including their religion. Many Christian churches of that era, for instance, were segregated along racial lines.
Laugh with God, our loving Father. In theology and practice, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints embraces the universal human family. Latter-day saint scripture and teachings affirm that God roles loves all of His children and makes salvation available to all. God created the many diverse races and ethnicities and esteems them all equally. Book of Mormon puts it, all are alike unto god. 1, the structure and organization of the Church encourage racial integration. Latter-day saints attend Church services according to the geographical boundaries of their local ward, or congregation.
There is tragedy, of course, in the bible as well as in human life. Sometimes there is very great tragedy, as in the world today. But there is also god. God who loves us, as only he can, not for our possessions, not for our achievements, but for ourselves. For ourselves, not as we could be or should be, but as we really are with all the physical warts, psychological quirks and spiritual infidelities. And he loves us with a love we cannot merit or ever be worthy. And in the unconditional love of a father he can laugh at the human foibles of His children. And he can change human tragedy into divine comedy. All we can do is to believe and laugh.
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Those who lose their lives find. You add by subtracting and multiply by dividing. The foolish confound the resume wise and the weak conquer the strong. The stone rejected by the builders becomes the cornerstone supporting all the rest. The bible seems to be telling us that the only reasonable response to god is faith and laughter.
Yet I have seen many people read the bible, very devoutly and prayerfully, but I have yet to see someone read the bible and laugh. Gods sense of humor is most obvious in theology. Theology speaks glibly and eloquently about God and then says that God is incomprehensible. I remember the theology class about the Trinity. We spent one hour a day, five days a week for one semester studying the Trinity only to learn at the end that if we understand it, we dont understand it, because it is unintelligible.
1:27) Anyone who creates sex must have a great sense of humor. Nothing has made a bigger fool out of more people than sex. Then there is Abraham and Sarah. Abraham, 99 years old, and his wife sarah, 90 years old and barren, are promised that their descendents will be more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore and the stars in the sky. On hearing this Sarah laughs. And God must have been laughing with her, because she does conceive and bears a son, whom they name Isaac, which in Hebrew means laughter.
Years later, Isaacs younger son, jacob, tricks his older brother Esau out of his birthright. Then Jacobs youngest and best loved son, joseph, is sold into slavery by his brothers only to become the chief executive officer of Egypt. Then a mere youth, david, slays the giant Goliath with a slingshot. But Gods sense of humor reaches its climax in the new Testament. What is more unexpected, incongruous and preposterous than the gospels? The king of Kings is born in a stable and dies as a criminal on a cross. The first are last and the last are first.
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We have not here a lasting city. And we do not have it all together. We are a bundle of contradictions. The good we will we do not and the evil we will not that. We are proud as devils and act like jackasses. The bible which contains Gods most intimate about revelation of Himself also gives eloquent testimony to his sense of humor. From Genesis to revelation God is constantly doing the unexpected, the incongruous, the preposterous, doing impossible things with the most unlikely people. The very first chapter of Genesis contains what is perhaps the greatest proof of the divine sense of humor.male and female he created them.
Consider the giraffe, the kangaroo, the zebra, the ostrich, the hyena and the baboon. Could a serious, humorless old man even conceive of such creations? And what about us? Man has been called an angelic animal. What an unexpected, incongruous and preposterous combination! Angels are perfectly at home, wherever they are. Animals are perfectly at home in this world. But we are not. We are like displaced persons.
a sense of the humorous. So what is humorous? The humorous is that which is unexpected, incongruous and preposterous. At the circus, for example, it is the incongruity of the clown with the baggy pants, bulbous nose, long shoes, and painted face that is humorous. At the movies we laugh at the Three stooges because they are always doing the unexpected, the incongruous and the preposterous. A sense of humor then is simply a sense of truth, a sense of reality that enables us to discern the untrue, the unreal, the incongruous and the preposterous. God has a perfect sense of humor then because god is All-Truth and God is the really real, the source of all reality. Creation is filled with the humor of God.
Neither is he young. It is the passing of time that makes one young and then old. God exists outside of time. God exists in word eternity, in an eternal now. And God is not serious, at least in the sense of being burdened with a task that is too big for Him. Is it more difficult to manage the universe than to create it out of nothing? And most of all God is not sad.
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T he attribute of salon God that is most forgotten and most relevant for today is Gods sense of humor. In the story of Creation the book of Genesis"s God as saying, let us make man in our own image. And so he did. And he saw that it was good, very good. Since that time man has been making God in his own image. And that is not good at all. Most of these man-made images of God are caricatures. We often picture god as a serious old man, burdened with the incredible task of managing this vast, complex universe and providing adequately for all of His creatures, especially for the fickle, fallible, unpredictable human beings. But God is not old.