Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Likening the Scriptures

Let's say, in 1977, you disagreed with the Priesthood ban. You thought Blacks should be ordained to the Priesthood. Were you right or wrong? As I see it, from the perspective of 2011, there are three options:

1. You are right, because the Priesthood ban was "the wisdom of man," specifically racist man of the 19th century.
2. You are right, because God Himself said so a year later.
3. You are wrong because the time isn't right yet, and God will do all things in his time, not yours. This means you'd be wrong to believe in the Priesthood ban after 1978.

I'm not going to judge between these answers, because I think good, believing Mormons can go with any of these three. I think it would be pretty harsh, though, to just say "You're wrong," since President Kimball himself was not all that jazzed about the ban.

Okay. So, if you disagree with the Priesthood ban in 1977, what are your options? You can:
1. leave the church.
2. bury your feelings and live with the cognitive dissonance.
3. speak loudly and often about how wrong the church is.
4. pray. You can pray to understand the ban, or for God and His leaders to change it. Or both.

I think for most Mormons, the obvious "right" answer is #4. You pray. That's what President Kimball did, too. He prayed a lot for God to change the ban. And his prayers were answered pretty definitively in 1978, when the ban was rescinded and all worthy males were allowed to hold the Priesthood. I think it's important, though, that there were many Saints praying for the end of the ban, not just the Prophet.

Here's the "likening" part. If you don't like that women don't pray in General Conference, or *gasp* don't have the Priesthood, or some other thing in the church, you may be wrong. I think God will let you know. Or, our descendants or future selves may go back to my first three points at the beginning of this post. Maybe we're only wrong from our time-bound perspective, one which God does not share, or maybe we're right. So, whatcha gonna do? Leave the church? Speak up loudly and apostately? Speak up quietly and lovingly? Pray? Honestly, I don't think anything is going to change until we, as a church, are ready. So, if you think something needs to change, go back to the Primary answers. Pray, and see what God tells you.

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