On March 8, Russell Stevenson, along with Blacks in the Scriptures and Northstar, sponsored a special event devoted to discussing how the LGBT/SSA/transgender and African-American communities have endeavored to uphold their faith in the face of systemic marginalization. Participants included Nick Gregory, an active transgender Latter-day Saint, Rod Olson, an active gay Mormon living in Los Angeles, and Marvin Perkins, an African-American Latter-day Saint man and producer of Blacks in the Scriptures. You will also hear stunning musical performances from Catherine Papworth, Rashida Jordan, and Cherie Call.
The story of white Mormon racism gives me heartburn. It makes me sad, tragically so. And tragedies are only possible when there’s something–something big–to lose. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel observed, though “few are guilty…all are responsible.” Deflection and projection will not do. To paraphrase the haunting language of poet Jeremy Loveday, “the culture of violence [though I would say, “racism”] touches us all. And by dismissing perpetrators as monsters, it allows us not to analyze our own actions.” It is the simple and sincere question asked of Jesus: “What lack [we] yet?” Jesus did not coddle the inquirer but directed him to give up the things he valued the most in order to follow him. The young man walked away glumly; he never had considered the kind of sacrifice that Jesus’ kingdom required. Continue reading
To use Official Declaration #2 to show class members how the Lord continues to guide his Church through revelation.
Since this material draws from documents in a forthcoming volume, most citations will not be included
It’s a topic that’s gaining steam in the press these days: is it appropriate for women to mobilize a public demonstration to show their discontent with current gender discourse? Margaret Young has weighed in, suggesting that the proper way to address this is through personal conversations with leaders in power. Tristan Call has kindly responded, arguing that she has failed to take into account the role of social movements and protest.
For my book, Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables, click here
Official Declaration #2 is often cast–in its most generous light–as the Church’s efforts to usher in a new era of racial pluralism and globalization. President Kimball had long dreamed of “when all the world will be converted,” and this was merely the next step. It speaks to what I call the dispensational interpretation of Official Declaration #2. Because Peter received a vision to “take the gospel to the Gentiles,” we assume that Official Declaration #2 was merely another incarnation of that. The interpretation has become almost axiomatic. Continue reading