We could talk about how gay marriage is now grounds for apostasy (even though adultery isn’t?). We could talk about how gay kids can’t get baptized just because their parents don’t keep the commandments (wait, I thought it was “men will be punished for their own sins, and not Adam’s transgression?). We could talk about about the hypocrisy of the Church defining the traditional family when their history with marriage has been anything but traditional (looking at you young teen brides and polygamy).

But I want to talk about something else. It is common knowledge the Church bends to public pressure. It bent on polygamy. It bent on blacks and the priesthood. It bent on temple ordinances. And do you know why it bent?

Because people said something.

I don’t care if you are a true believing Mormon or complete liberal communist atheist, you must recognize that something needs to be said. Something needs to be done. The arguments members make defending the Church’s actions are the same arguments that were made to defend keeping the blacks out the temple and away from the priesthood. It is an argument that stems from the leadership is always right.

Guess what. They aren’t.

Of course, some people will refuse to see that. To them, Church leadership are bravely taking a stand for God’s eternal doctrine on the family (which has a habit of changing). They will justify anything the brethren do in order to maintain the paradigm the brethren are inspired. I know this because I used to think the same way. Before the Church admitted it screwed up with blacks and the priesthood, I would tell people that God really was behind the priesthood ban. The leadership of the Church were just reluctantly enforcing his will. And that wasn’t true. Just read this letter from the First Presidency to Lowry Nelson in 1947:

“From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel. Furthermore, your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and the White races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal-minded people from the ancient patriarchs till now… We are not unmindful of the fact that there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine. 

Faithfully Yours,
Geo. Albert Smith
J. Reuben Clark, jr.
David O. McKay

At times I’ve wondered what I would do if I lived during the priesthood ban. Would I have had the courage to say something? Would I have been willing to be called anti-Mormon, faithless, foolish, prideful, and an apostate in order to advocate for equal treatment of blacks? I would hope that I would have had the courage to stand up and say something rather than perpetuate the racism. Or the polygamy. Or blood atonement. And the homophobia.

Do you really believe that Jesus Christ is behind this policy or any similar ones?

Matthew 19:14: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Article of Faith 2: We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

2 Nephi 26:33: For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

Luke 18:15-17: And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

He wouldn’t. And I am sick of members pretending Jesus put His stamp of approval on this. Too many people see something like this, disagree with it, and then perform some sort of mental gymnastics to justify the brethren’s actions. You do not need to do that.

Do not let fear overcome your moral conscience. “When you smell something, say something.” Remember, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

People will find a way to justify this. You do not need to do that. And nor should you. Your personal moral compass is more accurate than that.

If you sustain the brethren, I must ask: what would it take? What would it take for you recognize these men aren’t prophets? They are already acting contradictory to scripture, and show no more fruit of being a prophet than an average pastor. What would it take for you to stop justifying their wickedness? What would it take for you to realize that these men shouldn’t be given “a break”, but held to the standard they have given themselves?

What would it take for you to understand that it isn’t about handbooks and ordinances and realize that it’s about love?

“Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Whenever there is a choice between faith and charity, I will always choose charity.

Do what is right. Let the consequence follow.

Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until he was excommunicated for adultery. During his disciplinary court, Elder Carrington tried to argue that he had only committed "a little folly in Israel!", but the current brethren couldn't be bothered to give him a break. Learn more about Elder Carrington here.
  • Austin Beckstrom

    One of the reasons Christianity has lived so long is one can use its scriptures to justify nearly any position.

    I believe Jesus WOULD be ok with this new ruling of the Mormon church, and present this scripture as evidence:

    Luke 14:26
    “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

    Hating your parents is just ONE requirement to get into super special mormon VIP heaven.

    (full-disclosure: I am an ex-mormon former-christian atheist who strongly disagrees with the new mormon ruling, but I also disagree with calling it un-Christian. It IS Christian. And that’s the problem.)

    • Jonathan Joseph Reddoch

      Well, sure if you read the bible it says whatever you want it to. That’s why Jesus wrote the Handbook (winky face).

  • Arwen Undomiel

    Excellent article. It all comes down to love. I have thinking about this myself for the past few days. We have many religions with different sets of rules and doctrines. We have leaders that come up with different ideas or morals, but to be sure something is right or wrong, we need to ask ourselves if there is love there.

    If a new policy or commandments doesn’t bring benefits to all, if it doesn’t make me feel I am a better person, if I am not serving others with this new policy, if I am not giving love through a new polciy or action, then it’s not right. It’s not of God. Love shpuld rule our lives. We should always choose love above any church, laws or doctrines of men. Suffering will continue until we learn to do this.

  • JoeH42

    why did you edit the letter? Why cut out the part where it explains that just like how ancient Israel was commanded to remain separate from other races, so modern Israel had been commanded to do so. And why don’t you explain that this was a letter from them to a specific individual and was not an official declaration of church policy? Why act like this was an official announcement when it wasn’t?

    Oh, because posting everything said in the letter and explaining it was just a letter to an individual wouldn’t help your argument 🙁 You might as well quote the Songs of Solomon for how valid it would be to the subject. Your whole post is just a collection of logical fallacies and half truths.

    • Zelph on the Shelf

      Just because the letter wasn’t read over the pulpit, doesn’t dismiss its importance – we take plenty of off-hand quotes from Joseph Smith and use them. There were plenty of equally racist things said by church leaders in more public capacities. But to dismiss this letter is disingenuous: this was an official letter with these men speaking from their positions of authority.

      And as far as Israel is concerned, there is nothing about mixing race, only tribe and differing beliefs. I think you should remember this verse of scripture in the Book of Mormon which you claim to believe is the most correct book on earth but seem quick to dismiss its doctrine:

      “He inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.” – 2 Nephi 22:33

      • JoeH42

        Really? What “off hand quotes” from Joseph Smith are used to establish church policy? There is a world of difference between the validity of a letter to a single individual vs. an official statement made by the church at General Conference or a similar setting. If you don’t understand that, that’s your problem. Hilarious to see YOU accuse me of being disingenuous after you edited the letter to suit your needs.

        So you think that blacks and same-sex marriage is the same but you don’t think Israel being kept separate from other tribes is similar to being kept separate from other races. Wow. Well I can see why you’re so confused about all this with that kind of skill at logic. Btw, what races do you think Israel was around at that time? Being kept separate from other tribes and religions accomplished the same thing.

        As for the verse in the Book of Mormon where is anyone being denied the chance to come to God? It’s chapter 26 btw, I’d hate to see you taking things out of context again. You couldn’t even quote that entire verse. I’m beginning to suspect that only telling part of the story is a common technique you use to muddy the waters and make it seem like things are saying something other than what they are. The verse before it is a nice list of commandments and states that those who do them will perish. That seems worse than being denied baptism until you’re 18. So it’s clear that while God invites all men to come to Him He does not excuse or ignore their sins and neither does the church. Try again but this time try and quote the entire verse and get the reference right.

        • JoeH42

          but to be honest, do whatever you like. I’m not going to waste further time arguing with you. You’ve got your agenda and will use whatever dishonest tactics you can to try and achieve it. I’ve proved that twice now and that should be plenty for anyone with an open mind that stumbles across your little blog here.

          • Zelph on the Shelf

            I corrected my typo for the reference.

            Quoting small portions that are relevant is common practice. It’s especially common in LDS manuals (one example here: The quotes I provided don’t leave out anything that discredits them.

            The relation to blacks and the priesthood and same sex marriage is simply this: leaders have been wrong before, and they will be wrong again.

            You are grasping at straws. God should treat everyone equally. You are implying that He doesn’t. Do you really believe God treats the sinless children of gays differently than mixed faith families, non-member families, or faithful families?

            I think the Old Testament is full of nonsense. I don’t believe in racism, just like I don’t believe in stoning to death or genocide. If you are trying to argue that the Old Testament way of living is a good way to live now, you are advocating for society to regress, not progress.

            I haven’t been dishonest. I didn’t lie. I only selectively quoted to provide relevant info, not to ignore other information (unlike Sunday School manuals).

            I am sorry if I have offended, and I am willing to be corrected when I make a mistake. So far, I don’t think you have really pointed anything out that seems to warrant a change. You can disagree with me, that’s fine. But I think I have been very honest.

          • Zelph on the Shelf

            And one more thing for you and any open minds that attempt to justify the priesthood ban to consider:

          • Jonathan Joseph Reddoch

            You seriously trying to defend denying blacks the priesthood right now? That ship has sailed my friend and it’s not one you want to be on.

        • order66

          I don’t feel like looking it up right now, but wasn’t Blood Atonement taught by Brigham Young at General Conference? What context should we read that in?

  • Cathy den Boer

    “The Gods who dwell in the Heaven…have been redeemed
    from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this earth
    were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a
    fallen state….they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods to
    inhabit their Heaven forever and ever.” (Apostle Orson Pratt in The Seer,
    page 23)

    Would you think
    fallen means sinner In the 1844 LDS publication, Times and Seasons, volume 5,
    pages 613-614,… Joseph Smith reiterated that God was an exalted man and that
    Mormon men could also become Gods. This teaching is well documented, as is
    their claim that God is not a spirit being, but that he has a body of flesh and

    “God is a perfected,
    saved soul enjoying eternal life.” (Second Counselor in the First Presidency,
    Marion G. Romney, as per Salt Lake Tribune, April 3, 1977.)

    It appears ridiculous
    to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once
    been a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communion with him as
    many have supposed. He has passed on, and is exalted far beyond what we can now
    comprehend. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 334

    The Book of Mormon even contradicts the Mormon god and
    agrees with the Tradition Christian view.

    2 Nephi 26:12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of
    the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be
    convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;

    Mosiah 3:5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far
    distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is
    from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the
    children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth
    amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the
    dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf
    to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

    Sounds like Mormons
    worship a fallen, saved ,finite creature rather than the SELF-EXISTENT GOD of

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