Mormon News Podcast Episode 2 – 5.24.18
Sarah Newcomb (host) along with Julienna Viegas, Darron Smith, and John Dehlin discuss:
Thank you for this podcast! I am a white woman who joined the Church in California at age 14. At 16 years old in 1980 (two years after Spencer Kimball’s “revelation”) I remember hearing from the pulpit a bishopric member in sacrament meeting say, “We were more righteous in the pre-existence, and that is why we have white skin.” I was dumbfounded! I remember sitting on that pew, thinking to myself, THAT’S NOT TRUE! GOD WOULD NEVER DO THAT! That man’s words were definitely at odds with what my mother had taught me and modeled for me as a child. Being caught up in new LDS friends and my all-important teenage social life, I quickly dismissed that comment thinking it was just a one-off from some old guy who must have been mistaken. :/
Although I was constantly told from the pulpit over the next 35 years (and even said it in my own testimony, hoping one day I’d really know) that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God’s one and only true church upon the face of the earth, I witnessed many other displays of racism, sexist and homophobia by Church leaders and members. I realized that the sick, gut feeling I got in sacrament meeting that day when I was 16 was truth speaking to me – GOD WOULD NEVER DO THAT! The basic beliefs that were instilled in me as a child by my mother, that we treat everyone as Christ would treat them, with kindness and love, was in stark contrast to what I witnessed and learned as an observer within the Church. This realization (along with finding out the truth about Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s sordid history) led me to resign my membership in 2015. I had many wonderful experiences as a member of the Church, but my mind and gut could not continue to hold the cognitive dissonance necessary to belong. My life is so much happier! Today, I was taught by you that I have white privilege (totally denied that in the past) and some of the things I can do/not do to make peace with and understand my neighbors better. I want to be the kind, loving girl my mama raised! Thanks so much!!! :)
A couple of comments:
To Sarah: You mentioned that Jonathan Streeter background is [being from Texas] of Mexican ascendancy. The moniker denotes a culture not a race or better yet…an understanding of race issues. His Mexican ascendancy is not Jonathan’s problem. His education in Texas may be a more likely source of his lack of insight or tact for lack of a better word. A real Mexican understands the nuances of race from the viewpoint of his or her birth place. In Veracruz or Guerrero being dark is absolutely no issue. That will not be the case in the Center or some parts of the North. But overall if the brother o sister fits the bill, we’ll marry them regardless.
I hope Streeter be addressed as Mexican American or just simply leave the moniker off the table. After all…were we not all brothers and sisters once in the faith?
I’ve followed Dr. Smith for a little while. All I can say is that he should stick to sellin’ books and do conferences besides his academic work. He should have been the FIRST ONE to point to his fellow ex-mo the snake pit he’d be falling into. If I was Jonathan I’d keep Doc Smith always at my 12:00 and never at my 6:00. Just sayin’.
To John: Is not a financial sin to voice your opinion bro. What are a few engagements lost between frenemies?
To Julianna: I have the pleasure of hear some of your podcast appearances. U made the right decision. Being in a place where one personally does not feel welcomed is nuts. Instead of becoming a Larsenite u moved on like lightning. My kudos to you.
To Myself. Learn how to count cuz those were 4 comments.
Those guilty of promulgating hoaxes should apologize immediately. I suggest the church begin by apologizing for the “book of abraham”.
LOL. Thank you.
Lots of good discussion. I really feel for everybody on all sides of the discussion. How sad, though, that the point that an apology is long overdue even has to be made; regardless of how that point is made.
As I watched the news clips of the big celebration, I couldn’t help but hearing Brother Jake’s voice: “See? Not racist!”
I disagree with Sarah that because Steeter’s satire apology page focused on the Church’s negro policy that is served as a data point that he doesn’t understand their broader racism problem of systemic across the organization and its scriptures. Jonathan was targeting a specific African American event that was conducted as a component of a specific PR initiative that the Church was conducting relative to the 40 year anniversary of the negro policy change. It’s called good marketing.
Enjoyed the podcast. The GA’s lied for the Lord. I guess it’s OK to lie for the cause with a well done hoax. I believe Oaks is wrong. The church should apologize.
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