29 Comments

Rehabbing Elder McConkie

Bruce R. McConkie

I took a break from the Kimball biography to discuss the recent Sunstone and FAIR conferences, but now it is time to get back to Lengthen Your Stride by Edward Kimball, and I wanted to discuss Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s role in the events leading up to the 1978 revelation.  Elder McConkie has been much maligned in the bloggernacle for his book Mormon Doctrine, which has often been cited as “Bruce’s Doctrine”, or known to have many errors (even by me.)  However, many often fail to mention Elder McConkie’s contributions to Mormonism: he put together much of the Bible Dictionary (of which few people complain), as well as many of the chapter headings in the LDS scriptures.  President Kimball also singled out Elder McConkie for his part as to whether the priesthood/temple ban on black church members had any basis in scripture.

The information in blue comes from the longer “Working Draft” version. From page 344 of the longer version (Chapter 22),

In June 1977, Spencer invited at least three General Authorities to give him memos on the implications of the subject.11 Elder McConkie wrote a long memorandum concluding that there was no scriptural barrier to a change in policy that would give priesthood to Black men.12 Considering Elder McConkie’s extremely traditional approach to the topic during the Lee administration, this conclusion explains why, according to Elder Packer, “President Kimball spoke in public of his gratitude to Elder McConkie for some special support he received in the days leading up to the revelation.”13

Elder McConkie is often quoted as saying in a 1979 talk to Seminary and Institute teachers (from page 377)

Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whosoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation.  We spoke with limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.

…It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June 1978.  It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation….25

What is surprising about Elder McConkie is that he created an updated version of Mormon Doctrine in 1979, but he did not revise his teachings in the book.  In the footnote 25, Edward Kimball states,

Despite this sweeping language, Elder McConkie may have changes his views only about when the curse should be lifted. In the 1979 revision of his second edition of Mormon Doctrine, he continued to express the view that those of black African lineage descend from Cain and at least those who lived before 1978 come to earth under a curse related to their pre-mortal lives.  McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, sv. Cain (108-9) Caste System (114), Egyptus (214), Ham (342), Negroes (526-28), Races of Men (616)/  And he said in McConkie, “New Revelation,” “The ancient curse is no more. The seed of Cain and Ham and Canaan and Egyptus and Pharaoh–all these now have power to rise up and bless Abraham as their father” (128).  But he also said, “[W]e can only suppose and reason that it [the restriction on Blacks] is on the basis of preexistence and of our premortal devotion and faith.” [pages 130-31].  Dennis B. Horne, Bruce R. McConkie: Highlights from His Life and Teachings (Roy, Utah: Eborn Books, 2000), 151-52, attributes to Elder McConkie unchanged views as to the basis for the policy. (emphasis in original)

I think this paradox between McConkie’s speech and his updated book Mormon Doctrine is especially intriguing.  I admit that I like his speech better than his book, and if I have to choose between the two, I choose the speech as the more inspired message.  But I was also fascinated to find out President McKay’s thoughts on the topic as well.  In a previous post, I discussed McKay’s conversation with Sterling McMurrin where McKay agreed with McMurrin that the ban was not doctrinal, but merely policy.  Yet, McKay felt the even though it was policy, it still required a revelation to remove the ban.  In Kimball’s book, the author expanded on McKay’s thoughts a bit (which seem similar to McConkie’s thoughts).  From page 314, McKay wrote in a 1947 letter,

I know of no other basis for denying the priesthood to Negroes other than one verse in the book of Abraham [1:26]; however, I believe, the real reason dates back to our pre-existent life.19

Edward Kimball goes on to state that

Men reasoned that if there were “noble and great” spirits before mortality (Abraham 3:22-26), there must also be spirits of all degrees of lesser quality.  But if, in the long run, men and women of all races would be blessed in accordance with their desserts, race is seen to be essentially irrelevant, except perhaps as a test.19

It seems then that Elder McConkie’s thought were in line with President McKay’s, especially in regard to the non-scriptural idea that the ban was a result of pre-mortal behavior.  It is worthy to note that President McKay did pray to have the ban removed several times.  Edward Kimball states that McKay

told Elder Marion D. Hanks that “he had pleaded with the Lord but had not had the answer he sought.”57 Leonard Arrington reported a statement by Elder Adam S. Bennion in 1954 that President McKay had prayed for change “without result and finally concluded the time was not yet ripe.”58

What are your thoughts about Elder McConkie’s role in this?  Do you have any thoughts regarding why McKay didn’t receive an answer because the time wasn’t right, yet the time was right for President Kimball?

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29 comments on “Rehabbing Elder McConkie

  1. Bruce R. McConkie did that was forbidden in the Doctrine and Covenants, tell more than preparatory gospel which is mentioned below

    Section 19:31 And of tenets thou shalt not talk, but thou shalt declare repentance and faith on the Savior, and remission of sins by baptism, and by fire, yea, even the Holy Ghost.

  2. He told the public the Fullness of the Gospel

    Our revelations say that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of Gospel. { D&C 20:9, 27:5. 42:12, 135:3 } This is true in the sense that Book of Mormon is a record of God’s dealings with a people who had the fulness of the gospel and therefore the laws and priciples leading to the highest salvation are found recorded in that book.
    The fullness consists in those laws, doctrines, ordnances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fullness of salvation. Mormon Doctrine page 333

  3. Bruce also said God was omniscience which was wrong according to leadership

    God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end.” Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses Vol. 6:120

    Excerpted from “The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power” by D. Michael Quinn
    “Jan 7-8, 1960 – First Presidency decides that Bruce R. McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine “must not be re-published, as it is full of errors and misstatements, and it is most unfortunate that it has received such wide circulation.” They are exasperated that McConkie and his publisher released the book without pre-publication publicity or notifying First Presidency. Even his father-in-law, senior apostle, Joseph Fielding Smith, “did not know anything about it until it was published.” This is McConkie’s way to avoid repetition of Presidency’s stopping his pre-announced Sound Doctrine three years earlier.

    Committee of two apostles (Mark E Petersen and Marion G Romney) reports that McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine contains 1,067 doctrinal errors. For example, page 493 said: “Those who falsely and erroneously suppose that God is progressing in knowledge and gaining new truths cannot exercise sufficient faith in him to gain salvation until they divest themselves of their false beliefs.” However, McConkie is affirming doctrine of omniscience officially condemned by previous First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1865.”

  4. Pearl Of Great Price
    34 He said there was a abook deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the bfulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants;

    The Fullness found in the Book Of Mormon

    One of the answers might be the Fullness of the Gospel means the ones mentioned in articles of faith, however Bruce McConkie says that’s called the preparatory gospel of repentance and of baptism and the remission of sin, and the law of carnal commandments. D&C 84:27

    COUNSEL GIVEN BY PRESIDENT CHARLES W. PENROSE

    Now, some of our brethren have taken up quite a discussion as to the fulness of the everlasting gospel. We are told that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, that those who like to get up a dispute, say that the Book of Mormon does not contain any reference to the work of salvation for the dead and that there are many other things pertaining to the gospel that are not developed in that book, and yet we are told that the book contains “the fulness of the everlasting gospel.” Well, what is the fulness of the gospel? You read carefully the revelation in regard to the three glories, Section 76, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and you find there defined what the gospel is. There God, the Eternal Father, and Jesus Christ, his Son, and the Holy Ghost, are held up as the three Persons in the Trinity—the one God, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, all three being one God. When people believe in that doctrine and obey the ordinances which are spoken of in the same list of principles, you get the fulness of the gospel for this reason: If you really believe so as to have faith in our Eternal Father and in his Son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, and will hear him, you will learn ail about what is needed to be done for the salvation of the living and redemption of the dead.

    When people believe and repent and are baptized by divine authority, and the Holy Ghost is conferred upon them as a gift, they receive the everlasting gospel. We used to call it, and it is now called in the revelations, the “gift of the Holy Ghost,” the Holy Spirit that proceeds from the Father through the immensity of space, which guides, directs, enlightens, which is light in and of itself, which is the Spirit of intelligence, the light of truth. (General Conference Report, April 1922, pp. 27-28.)

    These teachings and doctrines are in accord with the statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith that the principles of the gospel are “according to the Holy Scriptures, and the Book of Mormon; and the only way that man can enter into the celestial kingdom.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 16.) The fulness of the gospel as contained in the Book of Mormon means that it contains those instructions a person needs to observe in order to be worthy to enter the presence of God in the celestial kingdom.
    The Ensign 09/1985

  5. Ivan, thanks for commenting. But rather that simply paste a bunch of stuff with no explanation, can you simply state your issues with Elder McConkie in a more concise way? Are you saying you don’t think McConkie’s image should be rehabbed? Should we burn his image in effigy? Is there no good in the man at all?

  6. I like McConkie to speak for himself, thats why the Quotes

    1. He was worshiped as God by the angels. Heb. 1:6
    2. He was worshiped as God by the shepherds. Luke 2:15
    3. He was worshiped as God by the wise men. Matt. 2:2, 11
    4. He was worshiped as God by a leper. Matt. 8:2
    5. He was worshiped as God by a ruler. Matt. 9:18
    6. He was worshiped as God by a Canaanite woman. Matt. 15:25
    7. He was worshiped as God by a mother. Matt. 20:20
    8. He was worshiped as God by a maniac. Mark 5:6
    9. He was worshiped as God by a man born blind. John 9:38
    10. He was worshiped as God by Thomas. John 20:28
    11. He was worshiped as God by the Greeks. John 12:20-21
    12. He was worshiped as God by His Apostles. Matt. 14:33; 28:9
    13. He is worshiped as God by all creation. Rev 5:11-14
    14. He was worshiped as God by Isaiah. Isaiah 6:1-6. John 12:41
    15. He was worshiped as God by the women. Matt 28:9
    16. He was worshiped by His Disciples. Luke 24:52

    Our Relationship with the Lord
    BRUCE R. MCCONKIE

    Now, it is no secret that many false and vain and foolish things are being taught in the sectarian world and even among us about our need to gain a special relationship with the Lord Jesus. I shall summarize the true doctrine in this field and invite erring teachers and beguiled students to repent and believe the accepted gospel verities as I shall set them forth.
    We worship the Father and him only and no one else.

    We do not worship the Son, and we do not worship the Holy Ghost. I know perfectly well what the scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense–the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator.

    Christ worked out his own salvation by worshiping the Father.
    After the Firstborn of the Father, while yet a spirit being, had gained power and
    intelligence that made him like unto God; after he had become, under the Father, the Creator of worlds without number; after he had reigned on the throne of eternal power as the Lord Omnipotent–after all this he yet had to gain a mortal and then an immortal body.

    http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=6843

  7. Rather than paste stuff with no explanation, can you please explain? Letting Bruce speak for himself doesn’t tell me what YOU think of him. Sorry I’m so dense here, but I don’t think “He” refers to Bruce since Bruce wasn’t alive in the Book of Matthew. Bruce certainly wasn’t worshiped as God.

    Just curious, are you an evangelical? If you are (as I suspect), I think we have a language gap, because I’m clearly not getting what you’re pasting. Would you prefer we burn Bruce in effigy?

  8. All the Quotes our about Worshipping Jesus who Bruce says is forbidden to worship

    BROTAB disagrees

  9. I don’t think that Apostle McKonkie needs any “rehabbing” from us. Some of us may need to have our thoughts and judgements rehabbed. Apostle McKonkie had formed opinions based upon his reading of the scriptures and statements by former apostles and presidents of the church. He was willing to keep his mind and spirit open to “additional light” and accept it when such light illuminated him.

    Glenn

  10. Bruce R. McConkie did get his thought and theology from past leadership since his books contained a lot of quotes from past Presidents of his religion

  11. As I get older, my mind has changed about what things are important in our faith. Once I thought that policies, doctrines, and organization were the most important aspects of the gospel. Now I find myself believing that what happens personally and internally is the most important, and attitude (whether of pride or humility, openness or closed self-assurance, submission or railing, commitment or the appearance of it) is preeminent of the important variables. I’ve had my growth curve with appreciating the development of the kingdom and its management, and the growing pains that went with that, and for this point in my life, I see the (what appears to be) late revelation expanding priesthood blessings as evidence of the Lord’s tutleage of both prophets and members, both a protection of the more narrow-minded, a test of prophets, and a reflection of the general people. I’ve come to respect the deep and burning desire that grows within us on certain issues as a spark of the spirit, and an indication of the Lord’s will. While we may sometimes plead for things we emotionally or intellectually desire, it seems more common that a yearning so profound as to disturb us daily is an indication of the *Lord’s* will in a given issue. I may continue to change my mind about that, but that is what I think about it now.

  12. Songs like this give me the greatest inspiration along with rest of this Utube account in Worship section

  13. Ivan, I’m not a big fan of cut and paste comments. This isn’t Jim Rome of the Jungle where monologues are welcome. I welcome dialogue. If you’ve read my blog over the past few months, you’ll notice that Glenn and I often disagree on the issue of the priesthood/temple restriction, and that’s great. Neither GLenn nor I post monolgues, but engage in thoughtful dialogue. I appreciate that you are starting to give a little bit of dialogue, but, as Jim Rome would say, “Have a take and don’t suck.” It would be nice if you would be more forthcoming with your take and participate in a question and answer a bit more.

    Glenn, I know I’ve been pretty hard on Elder McConkie in the past, but I think you are right. It isn’t so much McConkie that needs rehabbing, but the perceptions of him need rehabbing. Few people seem to recognize his contributions, and overemphasize Mormon Doctrine. That’s just one piece of his life, and it is good to look at multiple perspectives. This is my contribution to that end.

    Bonnie, my mind keeps changing as I learn new information too. I hope that shows as my views evolves.

  14. My purpose was to point out Bruce R McConkie goes against Evangelic Christianity when it comes to Worship since Evangelic Christians Worship is primarly to Jesus

  15. @Glenn Thigpen

    To late for Bruce since he’s dead, no rehab for him

  16. Ivan, if you put too many links in a comment, it goes to the SPAM filter. I removed the links and approved your comment. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not evangelicals here. My issues with McConkie are VERY different than yours. In fact, I’d say that wherever Bruce disagrees with Evangelical Christianity, then I’d probably side with Bruce. Mormons never claimed to follow “historic” Christianity, we follow “restored” Christianity.

    I can see you have zeal for your beliefs. That’s great-I have zeal for mine too. But if you’re going to convert anyone here, you’re going to have to work on your powers of persuasion. Monologues and claiming “Bruce R McConkie goes against Evangelic Christianity” will prompt a “no duh” from pretty much any Mormon.

    So, my post is not really for you, and I seriously doubt you’ll persuade any Mormon to become an evangelical based on the monologues posted here.

    To your comment that it’s “To late for Bruce since he’s dead, no rehab for him”, well at least a Mormon can respond that it’s never too late for rehab for you Ivan. After you die, Christ may preach to you in the spirit world as it says in 1 Peter 3:8-9, and perhaps you’ll accept the true gospel and allow baptisms for the dead spoken of in 1 Cor 15:29.

    Come to think of it, that’s really what I like about Bruce and Mormonism. It’s never too late to follow Christ. I think there’s a lot more grace in Mormonism, than there is in evangelicalism.

    But I digress. I don’t want to turn this into a debate about evangelicalism vs mormonism. I’d rather talk about whether Internet Mormons are too harsh on Elder McConkie.

    Ivan, I wish you well. May God be with you in your desire to bring others to Christ. I hope you can improve your powers of persuasion.

    Glenn, I wonder if you have any answers to my final 2 questions in the OP. “What are your thoughts about Elder McConkie’s role in this? Do you have any thoughts regarding why McKay didn’t receive an answer because the time wasn’t right, yet the time was right for President Kimball?”

  17. I don’t think we need to rehab Elder McConkie (a little reactionary, no?), but it irritates me that he becomes some people’s beating stick to prove their point. McConkie, Packer, Young, Dunn, Fielding Smith, and maybe a couple others typically get far worse attention than they really deserve.

    The thing is, these men are great examples to demonstrate the error in accepting prophetic infallibility. Nobody believes in it, theoretically, but so many members actually do. So they are great examples to use, but this effort can backfire.

    For example, I’ve met a couple members who were willing to defend any statement by any GA, but when it came to a McConkie quote, they would say, “Well that’s McConkie doctrine.” Somehow, using him as the example for fallibility turned into him being the only fallible leader. I couldn’t quite figure that out, but it clued me in to the fact that McConkie gets it worse than he really should. Especially when we’ve got this whole religious thing about not judging.

  18. DavidF, I agree completely.

  19. MH, I do not have any answers. The only thing I can give you is speculation. It does seem that Apostle McKonkie was open to the workings of the spirit and when asked by President Kimball to offer his opinion on the subject, McKonkie did his research, both scriptural and spiritual with an open mind and sincere heart. I also believe that Apostle McKonkie was one to sustain the first presidency of the church fully and was not so set in his ways and beliefs that he could not change them. I do not believe that President Kimball would have continued if not for the support of Apostle McKonkie and others.
    As to the time not being right for President McKay and being right for President Kimball, I can only offer my perspective. I grew up in the south, eastern North Carolina, to be more exact. It was rife with prejudice and I grew up prejudiced. I remember playing with a young colored boy in a cotton field before I ever started going to school. My mother noticed and made stop and then I had to stay close to her while she picked cotton. She was a wonderful woman, my mother, and a deeply religious member of the church. Yet she was deeply prejudiced and I picked up my early prejudices from her. They were only more deeply ingrained as I began my education, both by peers and my teachers. This was in the fifties. David O. McKay was the first president of the church that I can remember.

    There were many good people in the local branches that I attended as I grew up. And to a man or woman, they were as prejudiced as my mother.

    With the sixties came the civil rights protests. And the ensuing ugly white backlash. It was not pretty to read about nor otherwise hear about. It too years for the turbulence to calm down. And that was the environment in which President MacKay and the others after him worked in.

    This sort of hearkens back to an earlier blog you did on the timing of the 1978 revelation, i.e. was the timing right. At this point in my existence, I feel that it was. I feel that the church growth as a whole would have been impeded the ban had been lifted during the time that President Mackay was in office. I think that there would have been a lot of people excommunicated because they would not have accepted that revelation. I am not talking about a relative number, but a large percentage of the members during that time.

    And I remember something that Marguerite said during the podcast. Something about God loving His children and not wanting to see them be abused and spit on…… by members of His own church on this earth. Maybe she had something there.

    I don’t really have the time nor space to develop that fully. There are other questions that this viewpoint brings into play that would need to be answered. I don’t have any answers, just speculation. But I have tried to speculate from a reasoned perspective.

    Glenn

  20. The “time was not right” for McKay because he didn’t have the votes in the Quorum of the 12 to pull it off. Mark Peterson, Harold Lee, et al. were definitely in the “not until the Millenium” and “over my dead body” camp regarding priesthood ordinations for Africans. The latter was literally accurate: it occurred after their deaths.

  21. Glenn, thanks for your thoughtful responses. I really enjoyed Marguerite’s perspectives, but I also think that Brad Kramer in that interview held an interesting speculation as to why McKay didn’t get the revelation.

    Senile, I don’t think it can be explained away as votes. Mark E. Peterson was still alive in 1978. You might want to review my previous post on the non-verbal revelation. Loyalty is a big deal to the Q12. If McKay did receive a revelation, I have a hard time believing that the Q12 would have vetoed McKay.

  22. I appreciate the post, MH, and the sentiment cited in the comments that maybe it’s we who need the rehab rather than Elder McConkie.

    I still remember clearly an experience I had on my mission when, with all the wisdom of a 19-year old I dismissed something from Mormon Doctrine. My greenie companion simply said, “Well, he is an apostle.” I don’t think he meant to suggest I should accept everything Elder M. said without thought (though maybe he did), but rather that I should give Elder M. and his thoughts enough respect to consider that he likely had a unique viewpoint as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a good lesson then and it’s still a good lesson for me.

    MH, I agree with your comment back to Senile. I doubt very much this was a matter of votes in the quorum. I trust President McKay when he reports that he simply did not receive the answer he sought. Far be it from me to explain why the Lord times things as he does.

  23. It seems I remember reading somewhere (personal journals of Spencer W. Kimball, Deseret News article, or Edward Kimball’s biography perhaps?) about an urgency Pres. Kimball felt to reverse the Priesthood ban due to resistance from fellow apostles, particularly Ezra Taft Benson. The phrase I remember, and I paraphrase, is that if he (Kimball) did not do it, there was no way Pres. Benson would once Spencer passed away. Recall how sickly Pres. Kimball was in the last several years of his life. Is it possible that other factors were involved in the reversal besides the revelation in the temple? In other words, do you think Pres. Kimball was determined to have the ban lifted in his lifetime, with or without a revelation? Given these personal feelings and sense of urgency, I can definitely see how some may have viewed the timing of the revelation as “convenient.” I would appreciate any further insight on this

  24. Jake, that was my feeling as I took this issue to the Lord in prayer back in January and February. I won’t go into my experience because it was just for me, but I felt that the profound intensity that Pres. Kimball felt was from the Lord and that it did involve the long-held feelings of the brethren with which he served. He approached this ever so carefully, and pleaded for the others to feel the verification as well, I think because they would have to carry it forward and have a profound reason to stand behind him. It had to be from God, not just from the prophet precisely because they were not one in their intensity about the issue. I have felt a kinship with him as I’ve considered the sweetness of his extended pleading and the fulfillment of the Lord’s answer to him.

  25. Jake, as I read Lengthen Your Stride, Edward makes the case that Spencer was willing to do whatever the Lord wanted. I’ve got a follow up post planned, where Spencer makes the case that external pressures weren’t helpful to getting the ban overturned (though I’m not sure I agree with that sentiment.) I don’t think the evidence is there that “Pres. Kimball was determined to have the ban lifted in his lifetime, with or without a revelation”. That doesn’t seem to be corroborated in the book, though I think it is speculated quite highly in the bloggernacle. Spencer prayed for 15 years about the ban, so that puts it back at 1963, during the height of the Civil Rights protests, as well as the Nigerian mission. It does seem to me that Kimball did get the revelation first, but wanted to make sure that it was unanimous among the apostles, so he went the extra mile to make sure there was unanimity, unlike what happened at the end of the McKay presidency in which there were sharp divisions between Brown, Lee, and Dyer.

  26. Thanks for the comments, Bonnie and MH. I think regardless of the specifics on what factors played into getting the ban reversed, it cannot be argued that the matter was not taken lightly, and by all accounts Pres Kimball and his predecessors spent considerable time in earnest supplication and meditation to receive God’s will as they understood it.

    Perhaps the best answer as to why the revelation came when it came is simply, “It was time.”

    Getting back to Elder McConkie, even though his teachings and personal beliefs often came across as blunt and unyielding, I have always respected him for being humble enough to confess his limited understanding on an issue (i.e Blacks and the Priesthood) when a prophet of the Lord had spoken.

  27. “It was time”?

    How can it not have been way past time?

    I suppose that one can readily make the case that some Mormons (or maybe a lot of Mormons) would have let their learned prejudiuces be on display and have rankled at an earlier change (–I can certainly remember ugly, vicious things said about blacks in quorum meetings), but when was acceptance by consensus the governing principle for something as basic as to whether blacks could have been accepted into full fellowship and be permitted to marry each other in the temple? Issues as momentous as plural marriage or as petty as the definition of a “hot drink” certianly didn’t have their revelations’ timing governed by the likelihood of acceptance.

    What really has to eat at some of us is that God’s oracles only beat George Wallace himself by a year in recanting previous racial positions.

    One wishes that one could believe in the prophetic mantle of the Church’s leadership. How does one look at this history and not view them as well-meaning mortals with no more insight than any other collection of retirement age executives?

    I apologize if my tone is emotional. But the implications of this line of thought are personally significant—

  28. Roger, Marguerite Driessen makes the case that she prefers 1978 because it avoided violent conflict that was associated with the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. See http://www.mormonheretic.org/2012/05/06/was-1978-the-right-year/

  29. Thanks, MH. I’ve actually read her piece. I think there is greater explanatory power in Delbert Stapely’s letter to George Romney. Unfortunately.

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