Racism: I Hope for an Upcoming Discussion within the LDS Church and the larger Mormon Culture

Bagley Fascist quotient

Pat Bagley is one of my favorite cartoonists and loves to poke at Utah, Mormon, National, and International issues. His cartoon above is pretty good. It deals with racism and fascism. Here is the link to the above cartoon so you can read the comments section if you’d like.

Racism is an issue for Mormonism. Honestly, its an issue for every religion and for every religious person, but it is an issue that has taken a long time to find a voice here in Utah and in the church. In 2010, then President Gordon B. Hinkley said:

Now I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ.

President Hinckley is stating racism is wrong. This comment also appears in this years Sunday School manual. I hope it is talked about at conference this fall.

The church has made two official statements and I have read three great articles about Black Experience in the church, listed below:

When I was a kid (freshly moved from Oklahoma City where my neighbor proudly proclaimed her membership in the KKK with a large placardKKK-seal-1918-300x287 on her porch similar to the image on the right), I did not experience overt racism like I did in Oklahoma. Later, after I married a woman from Seoul, South Korea, blatant, direct racism was everywhere. Even at church. To avoid this, we started attending the BYU Asian Ward where most people were Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and Polynesian. I worked for the most part, but I did end up getting into two fistfights with bigots (one in the Provo, Smiths and the other at BYU). We were discriminated against by landlords, employers, and a few small businesses. After my then wife deserted us and I moved temporarily in with my parents, I heard racism against “mud-people” from my dad’s neighbor, a member of the bishopric, and his wife, the ward librarian. She would never let my kids check out materials for their classes during church.

At first I was shocked. I never shied away from confronting racism directly, but I was always alone. Now that my kids have moved out, I don’t hear it anymore.

During the 2016 Republican caucuses were I was my precinct’s vice chair, I spoke long against Donald Trump. I was a strong supporter of Gov. Kasich. My precinct went heavy for Ted Cruz during the caucus, but during the election, our precinct went for Evan McMullan who I voted for. After Trump won, I resigned from my precinct position and reregistered as an independent. Trump’s racism, and many other -isms, upset me greatly. There is no way I can support a bigot.

It is long since time for all forms of racism to disappear.

I oppose racism. I recognize my privilege as a white man. I am committed to working against racism (and other -isms). This doesn’t mean I reject my Scots and Jewish ancestry, but it does mean I will do everything I can to oppose the notion, my heritage makes me superior to anyone else.

We as Latter-day Saints need to work long and hard on this issue and I look forward to the discussions that will be happening within the church about it.

Boyd K. Packer; Marriage & the Atonement: Day 22

Provo City Center Temple Utah Marriage LDS MormonsFat Mo here and sorry for not posting what day I’m on in my WordPress posting history and the title definitely does not mean this is my twenty-second post, just that I’ve now been blogging and researching Boyd K. Packer (BKP) for twenty-two days simultaneously. Slight clarification.

I’ve been focusing on BKP’s last year speaking and publishing articles. I only have three examples: a General Conference talk and two Ensign Magazine articles. BKP’s talk and one of the articles are similar. Both examples discuss the Atonement and marriage. One of BKP’s statements at conference caught my eye:

“The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed together for time and all eternity” (Packer. pg 26).

BKP says the church’s program’s purpose is establishing strong families under LDS parameters. The sermon gives a little biographical information about the Packers and then delves into the nitty-gritties of LDS courtship, marriage, children, exceptions to doctrine, trials & tribulations, sin & transgression, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the Atonement’s role in all marriages (LDS or not).

This is BKP’s last talk before he dies that summer.

It is a great talk. Better to read, then listen to, because BKP was quite old and ill and gave his talk from his seat. His voice is rough and course sounding and lacking a lot of the strength of his past addresses. I highly recommend reading it (here).

I’ve completed the physical examination and a tight reading of the text and I’m working over the data now and tomorrow, I’ll create the content index. Next, I am going to combine the three text samples and then look for parallels in the texts.

Boyd K. Packer. Ensign; May 2015 Conference Addresses. “The Plan of Happiness.” R. Val Johnson, ed. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, 2015

Boyd K. Packer & the Atonement

Fat Mo here & I’m at church. Early. For the last three days I’ve been working through an article in April 2015’s Ensign called, “The Savior’s Selfless and Sacred Sacrifice”. The article is based on Boyd K. Packer’s (BKP) understanding of the Atonement. The article is long, approximately 2400 words and I focused on 1137 of those words as most of the others were words of no special mark (for now).

The pattern I’ve noticed the most is the article, in part, reads like a list poem. Obviously, BKP loves the Atonement & what it does for all humanity. I am examining his last conference talk before his death this week also. It isn’t nearly as long, but has much the same feel to it where BKP focuses on what he considers is the most important aspect of the church’s entire program: marriage in the temple and the miracle of the Atonement as it applies to married people.

 

New Book

This is way short. I drove all over the place today, but while at Deseret Industries today, I bought a new Boyd K. Packer book, The Holy Temple.
I haven't started reading it yet, but I did read & itemized another chapter in BKP's Teach Ye Diligently & worked some more in The Things of the Soul.

Hi.

Fat Mo here, and I'm still working on my Boyd K. Packer research. I'm writing this from 500 North Provo in front of the Mighty Baker where my son works as a pastry chef. I'm waiting to pick him up & take him up to the Restaurant Depot in Salt Lake.
Tonight & for the next couple days, I want to go over a few insights in how BKP defines LDS concepts differently than what I'm accustomed to. These subtle differences are what I'm looking for.
Thanks for being patient. Fat Mo.

Two Questions for Boyd K. Packer: Day Eleven

Fat Mo here and I didn’t post yesterday. Things happen, but I did do some reading when I could. Yesterday was so busy, I never got a chance to see who won the final Tour de France stage race. I didn’t see who won or how Chris Froome did. I do have Google, so I know the results, but it’s not the same.

I thought of two questions yesterday:

  • Why does Boyd K. Packer (BKP) write in passive voice so often?
  • Is BKP the wheat thresher, winnower, or the watcher of the wheat field? Or, which role does he play most often?
The Things of the Soul chapter two we believe all that God has revealed Boyd K Packer Book 1996
Chapter 2 of The Things of the Soul by Boyd K. Packer, 1996.

I slept in this morning ’cause I can on Saturday mornings for a little bit and ’cause I watched Star Wars; Rogue One on Netflix way into the night. When I woke up, I read some more into The Things of the Soul (BKP, 1996) and while doing so, I thought of the second question set a bit more. While I have my suspicions of which role BKP plays for the LDS Church as a leader and speaker, I need to verify this role through more research.

New Page: Day Nine

Fat Mo here and above are my grandchildren. They are beginning to settle down for the night after a busy day.
If you look to the right, you'll see a new page: "books." I'll be updating the page each time I finish gathering data on a chapter of which ever book I'm studying. Each page will include the data I showed yesterday.
Today, I made the page & finished the indexing on chapter one of The Things of the Soul by Boyd K. Packer. I'm refining my process, so things should start speeding up. As I complete more Ensign articles, I'll make a page for Ensign articles & General Conference talks.
Thanks for reading. Please like, comment, & follow.
Blog on!!!

Week One Complete; Leave It Alone by Boyd K. Packer: Day Eight

Fat Mo here and today was busy with just the daily type of busy work one normally does: oil change, aquarium water change, baby sitting, chauffeuring family, watching the Tour de France etc..

forgive forget it leave it alone Boyd K Packer art
I found this on Pinterest

I did work on an Ensign article written by Boyd K. Packer (BKP), appearing in the June 2015 issue called “Leave it Alone.” This article was about a friend of BKP’s, John, and some personal tragedy that befell him. BKP originally told the story in the October 1987 LDS General Conference.

When I am examining work by BKP, I am correlating keywords, frequently used words & phrases, index appropriate words, and extra-textual citations. Here is what I gleaned from this article:

  • Keywords: Tribulations, Crisis, Prayer, Obedience, Spiritual Leaders, Spiritual Healing, Suffering.
  • Frequently used words & phrases (antecedents in parenthesis): he (John) x15, it (assumed) x8, I (John) x5, he (doctor) x4, John x4, his (John) x4, leave x4, the doctor x3, you (John) x3, me (BKP) x2, himself (John) x2, baby x2, Daddy x2, leader, spiritual x2, old man x2, a patient x2, grief x2, struggled x2, counsel x2, infection x2, crisis x2.
  • Citations: none.

I’m not including a list of index appropriate words. That’d just be ridiculous at this time, but as time goes, I’ll start providing those words and concepts.

Here is the information from yesterday as a comparison:

  • Keywords: Boyd K. Packer, Teach Ye Diligently (book), Hobbies/Interests, Family, Teaching, Language, Career.
  • Frequently used words & phrases (antecedents in parenthesis): he (BKP) x36, his (BKP) x22, home x8, Elder Packer x7, children x6, book (TYD) x6, she (Packer, Donna) x5, I (BKP) x5, I (A. Theodore Tuttle) x5, him (BKP) x5, family x5, bird(s) x5, teaching, a x4, you (reader), x3, teacher(s) x3, parents x3, cat(s) x3, think(s) x2, teach(s) x2, Savior, the x2, paint(s,d) x2, Donna Packer x2, love(s) x2, love (familial) x2, learn(s,d) x2, interest(s) x2, gospel x2, father x2, draw(s) x2.
  • Citations: D&C 88:77-78

This is what I meant yesterday by “Am I doing too much?” I was just tired last night. I think I should be fine, but I am starting to see a clearer picture of BKP’s work.

Teach Ye Diligently: Day Eight

Boyd K Packer A Theodore Tuttle BrazilFat Mo here. I just finished working on the introduction to President Packer’s book, Teach Ye Diligently, written by his friend and associate, A. Theodore Tuttle.

I think I’m going into too much detail, but then again, I’m not sure. I correlated four categories of information: keywords, frequently used words and phrases, an index, and a citation list.

I’m going to keep pressing on, but I think for Packer’s talks and Ensign articles, I’m going to wait until I have physical copies of each document (if possible).

The picture above is of Packer and Tuttle traveling to Brazil.