I attended the “Be One” celebration last night at the Conference Center. It was truly an amazing service. I encourage you all to watch it. Gladys Knight, the Bonner Family, the Be One Choir, and all the performers were amazing. I got a little emotional as I listened to these wonderful black performers discuss the First Vision, and highlighted black history. Some of these stories I had heard, some of them I had not. I encourage you all to watch it if you haven’t. The link is below. Just skip ahead of the countdown timer. The meeting starts about 1 hour in.
I hate to point out anything negative, but there was one fly in the ointment. You can read Elder Oaks entire address here, and it was mostly good. He encouraged us to abandon all personal prejudices, but it seems he can’t help himself with regards to one certain prejudice:
Even as we unite to abandon all attitudes and practices of prejudice, we should remember that it is not prejudice for the Church to insist on certain rules in furtherance of the Lord’s requirement of worthiness to enter a temple. The Lord has declared that obedience to covenants and commandments is an essential requirement to enjoy sacred blessings. Any attempt to erase divine requirements for eternal life and eternal families would be like trying to establish Satan’s plan that “all would be saved.” We mortals already rejected Satan’s plan in our premortal lives. We chose the plan of our Heavenly Father, which provides the freedom to choose and keep the eternal covenants and commandments that apply equally to all. The equality of God is not equal outcomes for all, but equal opportunity for all.
This seems like a veiled reference to gay marriage. I was disappointed in this one paragraph, and wish Elder Oaks would have a vision like Peter in Acts 10:15 “What God has cleansed, that call not common.” The NIV translation reads, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Please Elder Oaks, abandon ALL prejudice. Don’t pick and choose. Abandon the PoX. It is wrong, and your application of it with regards to children of gay parents is not only prejudice, but un-christian, and violates Mormon theology. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of lifting the ban, don’t perpetuate and justify prejudice of any kind. (If you had left out that one paragraph, I wouldn’t have written this post.)
But thank you to everyone who put together this wonderful program last night. It was amazing.