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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bott, Blacks and the Priesthood

The fact that African-Americans and Africans were not permitted to be ordained as priests in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, until 1978, is controversial, to say the absolute least, even among members of the church.

In an absolutely absurd interview which I was ashamed to read, this idea was brought to light once again when Prof. Randy Bott, of BYU, was interviewed regarding the ban by the Washington Post. Basically, nothing Bott says in the interview is doctrine.

In one particularly shameful section, he says:
“God has always been discriminatory” when it comes to whom he grants the authority of the priesthood, says Bott, the BYU theologian. He quotes Mormon scripture that states that the Lord gives to people “all that he seeth fit.” Bott compares blacks with a young child prematurely asking for the keys to her father’s car, and explains that similarly until 1978, the Lord determined that blacks were not yet ready for the priesthood... So, in reality the blacks not having the priesthood was the greatest blessing God could give them.”
The LDS church quickly, and rightfully, condemned Bott's comments, saying:
" The Church’s position is clear—we believe all people are God’s children and are equal in His eyes and in the Church. We do not tolerate racism in any form... We condemn racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church."
Professor Bott told The Daily Universe that he wasn't available for comment, but he did release a statement affirming the Church’s view of the article in the Washington Post. However, his students said he discussed the interview in class and said he felt he was misrepresented.

Quinn Rice, a freshman in one of Bott's classes, said, “He said they had a nice long interview, like two hours long. He said that he was misquoted, and misrepresented... He wouldn’t go against the Church’s principles.”


jenheadjen said...

Interesting. Last week I listened to a podcast interview done on mormonstories.org with Denver Snuffer, recorded back in January. He talked a little about the issue of blacks and the priesthood, and basically pointed out that Joseph Smith reportedly had no stipulations against blacks holding the Priesthood. I have no sources for that, but according to him, it seemed to be a restriction that came about after his death.

Have you ever read Snuffer's books?

Cristofer Urlaub said...

I have not, but I have heard that it was something that about after he was killed. In fact, Joseph Smith personally ordained a few African-Americans to the priesthood.

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