Podcast #2: Race and the Priesthood

In this podcast, Kate Kelly Harline takes on the role of interviewer and discusses Russell Stevenson (author of Black Mormon: The Story of Elijah Ables and author of the forthcoming, For the Cause of Righteousness: A Documentary History of Blacks and Mormonism,  1830-2013). We discuss the meaning and ramifications of the LDS Church’s new statement on “Race and the Priesthood.”  Obviously, we present this perspective from the perspective of historical analysis.  Towards the end of my recent interview on RadioWest, one of my co-hosts specifically distanced himself from that perspective, and I respect his right to do so.  However, as the statement was an historical statement, we have little choice but to employ historical methods in assessing it–even if it does not fit neatly into talking points or agendas. We trace the origins, course, and trajectory of the Saints’ relationship with the black community and racial exclusion. Tune in for the conversation at the Mormon History Guy podcast.

A Cacophony of Events: Heroes, Villains, and Official Declaration #2

Margaret Young’s latest piece on Official Declaration #2 gives us a taste of the sheer complexity that (ought to) undergird any conversation on race in Mormonism. I have earlier noted that Young had ascribed change in Mormonism to the relationship activists had with church leadership.  Yesterday, she (quite rightly) responded by pointing out that for every voice on the inside of the Church hierarchy (and there were plenty), there were two voices for change on the outside. Continue reading

On Restrictions and Races: A Response

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.

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Elijah Ables and Gay Marriage

In the wake of the Supreme Court rulings which, for all intents and purposes, ensure that gay unions will be a part of America’s marriage culture, I am less interested in the politics and more interested in the souls of those who have had to teach themselves to stay in a faith where their friends uphold a dangerous system of subtle persecution—the kind that keeps them just close enough to be destructive.

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