Monday, January 9, 2012

Can Black Sisters enter the Temple?

Brothers and Sisters sometimes even Stake President’s have a hard time getting through to people.  I have always maintained that stubbornness will prevent more people from entering the kingdom of heaven than any other sin.

Today’s scenario touches on a meeting I recently had with Sister Nguessan, a 63 year old single sister, about going through the temple for her own endowments.  Bishop Madden mentioned to me that her health was failing and that he couldn’t convince her to go, and asked that I meet with her.  Sister Nguessan has lived the gospel faithfully since her baptism at age 10.  She is quite unique in that she is the only black member in our stake, her father being from West Africa and her mother being Irish.

When we met I expressed my confidence in her being ready to go through the temple and she spoke to me of how in 1977 when she was just 29, she had literally begged her leaders to allow her to go to the temple to be sealed to Aaron Winters who was white, but in accordance with inspired Church policy was denied access.  She explained that she couldn’t enter the temple because she was black and that months later Brother Winters married a sister that he could take to the temple, Hanh Wong, and that they were sealed for time and all eternity. 

I explained to her that these events took place a long time ago and that our loving Saviour and Redeemer now allowed all sisters, even black ones, to enter the temple.  She asked if she could see this in writing.  I showed her the link on *lds.org where it explains that “In June 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball received a revelation extending priesthood ordination to all worthy males of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Official Declaration 2). Before that time only worthy male members who were not of black African descent were ordained to the priesthood.”
The article goes on to explain how this proves the Church is true because “Ever since biblical times, the Lord has designated through His prophets who could receive the priesthood and other blessings of the gospel. Among the tribes of Israel, for example, only men of the tribe of Levi were given the priesthood and allowed to officiate in certain ordinances. Likewise, during the Savior’s earthly ministry, gospel blessings were restricted to the Jews. Only after a revelation to the Apostle Peter were the gospel and priesthood extended to others (see Acts 10:1–33; 14:23; 15:6–8).”

Sister Nguessan reminded me that she had asked where it states that black sisters could enter the temple not that black brothers could hold the priesthood. 

We turned together to the **Official Declaration in the scriptures where it clearly states that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church.  I explained to Sister Nguessan that this was an inspiring move by the Church and that I remembered as if it were yesterday this revelation coming forth. 

“That’s all very interesting” said Sister Nguessan, “but where does it state in revelation that black sisters can now enter the temple?” Before I could respond she spoke on saying “I am not concerned with revelations that only mention black men.  Are black Sisters just an afterthought to the Lord? Are we not worthy of mention?”  She continued asking “Does God even care about how this temple restriction might have had a devastating impact on the lives of black women? All we ever talk about is the men and how it affected them and how wonderful it is that their restriction has been lifted.”

She went on to explain that since it took an actual revelation from the almighty God of heaven and earth to grant black men access to the temple she expected the same process to occur for women. And until such a revelation came forth and could be seen in writing from a prophet she would consider herself under the same curse of Cain that her leaders told her she was under in 1977 when at the age of 29 the love of her life left her because she couldn’t join him in the temple.

After she had fully vented I calmly confirmed to her as her Stake President that our loving father in heaven who is the same yesterday, today and forever no longer restricts people from entering temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their skin colour.  Sister Nguessan refused to take my word for it insisting once again that I show it to her in writing.   

Exasperated I ended our meeting and thanked her for her time.  Like I said at the beginning of this post - sometimes people are so stubborn that even one holding the sacred and holy position of a Stake President can’t get through to them. 




  

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

*** NOTE TO THE READER OF THIS BLOG **

This is NOT a website sanctioned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nor is "President Paternoster" a stake president within the Church. Rather, this site is farce, and not good farce, at that.

Most of the posts here are written by quasi-apostates who mock those who are sincerely striving, albeit imperfectly, to follow Jesus.

Caveat utilitor.

Anonymous said...

I changed my mind, everyone. It turns out I'm a moron who feels the need to state the obvious...indirectly implying that True Believing Mormons are so stupid that they can't discern this for themselves from the comments.

Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Spencer said...

The Lord in his infinite wisdom has chosen not to spell out every single little doctrinal thing like whether you can receive the ordinances required for exaltation or not.

He only has one day for every 1000 years of our time and is currently overdue on this month's quota to produce 1,000,000 more spirit children through his 10,000 spirit wives.

Please don't burden him with excessive demands on His already busy schedule.

Kathleen said...

***NOTE TO ANONYMOUS***

Why are you afraid to use your own name? Your comments are your own opinion--come on, stand for something. The LDS Church has approved many forms of satire and humor, including the Book of Mormon musical, as bringing needed attention to the Mormon Church in this important election year. Apparently the truths provided by our beloved Stake President are for those who have ears to hear.

CV Rick said...

It's just darling that you believe The Book of Mormon Musical needed church approval, sister kathleen.

Oliver said...

Kathleen, ANONYMOUS is likely an employee of church public relations who has been called by revelation and sustained in their livelihood by tithing dollars.

Iron Chancellor said...

Oh the trials and tribulations that burden our leaders when the common man (or woman) cannot be moved by the spirit. Hang in there President. The members of your steak do support you.

This black sister sounds like one of those feminazi's you hear about these days. Nothing but trouble for everybody. What is she complaining about? Does she know that the most correct book on earth, the Book Of Mormon, of which I testify, only tells us the names of 4 women? If the Book Of Mormon does this then why should a revelation have to talk about women? Women are God's children too. God won't even let us know anything about Heavenly Mother so why does this sister get bent out of shape?

Maybe she could do what sister Jane Manning did and have herself sealed, by proxy, to be the eternal servant of Thomas Monson, like Jane did to Joseph. Then she would be under the covenant and be able to go to the celestial kingdom where there will only be a few men and lots of women.

WWN said...

“Are black Sisters just an afterthought to the Lord? Are we not worthy of mention?”

Dearest Sister Nguessan: Have you failed to notice that the Mormon church is a Patriarchy? Have you failed to notice that only men are considered worthy enough to receive the priesthood, and to be called as apostles and prophets?

Haven’t you noticed that when it is time to bless a new baby, those in the blessing circle are all worthy holders of the Priesthood, i.e. men? The baby's mother is not worthy to be in the circle to bless her baby because she is a WOMAN. These examples clearly show that it is not a matter of race, but of GENDER. The secondary status of women in the Mormon church is well-known and humbly accepted by righteous women members. We know that this is the way Heavenly Father wants things, because our prophets, apostles, and Priesthood leaders tell us so.

Is it reasonable to expect sisters, black or otherwise, to be mentioned in any revelation in the church?

It is the job of our priesthood leaders to define our role as women. It is our job to obey those leaders. If you have difficulty accepting the counsel that your stake president has given you, Sister Nguessan, then where does the fault lie?

Bishop Bishop said...

Please refer to the FEMINIST MORMON HOUSEWIVES site for guidance. There the sisters can prattle all they like on these annoying issues that deprive them of any "perceived" rights. The only thing preventing anyone from doing anything in the Church is payment of ten percent of your income. Pay that and you are free to do what you like, when you like. Praise be to tithing!

Cindy said...

How we choose to see things can have an enormous impact on us. I am a woman and I do not feel suppressed or undervalued or unimportant. Despite what the world would have us think it is OK for men and woman to have different roles. I don't mean stereotypical roles like men should do physical work and woman should knit but there are roles that we can own, if we so chose. Men have the role to hold he priesthood and woman have the role to bare (if able) children. That's just how it is.


I can understand why the sister in this story is bothered by the situation, especially since it affected her so profoundly when she was younger. However, holding onto that grudge hurts no one but herself. I knew a sister once who refused to get her endowments until she was married. She wanted to have her husband bring her through the veil and was willing to wait for as long as it took to get married for that to happen. Last I heard she was still single. It's unfortunate that we let little things hold us back from our true potential. It's like President Paternoster said "stubbornness will prevent more people from entering the kingdom of heaven than any other sin." It's sad, it really is but too often it's true.

BlackJewishMormon said...

As one who has the blood of Cain , let me invoke and invite the truthfulness of the spirit in what I am about to say:

In Galatians 3:28, Apostle Paul made it clear that "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus".

We are all one in Christ! Whether Black, Jew or from Idaho!

I would council this black woman with the following points:

Gladys Knight of Gladys Knight and the Pips, who has more gold records than most of us have dishes, is a black Mormon woman. She regularly attends the Temple. If it is good enough the Gladys, then surely it is good enough for you.
I have helped many black females overcome their Mormon obligations and fears through hard work and constant thrusting of the sickle. I would prompt her to seek the counsel of an endowed black male, as they have the tools to "break" a black woman of these ill misconceptions, as the spirit dictates of course.

There is nothing more sexy than an endowed black woman.
You are created in the image of God, (sort of) and pray that he will love you regardless.
Pray to find a rightous brother whose exemplar sickle will bring untold blessings to you, insomuch that you will not have enough room to receive it all.

May the trust of the Holy One allow you to fervently hold to the Rod,
Is my humble prayer, to all those who are of the stem of Jesse,
And so it is,
Amen.

Brother BlackJewishMormon

Anonymous said...

It appears that this sister has been given the gift of humble exactitude in following modern-day prophets, seers, and revelators. If only all our sisters were so diligent in seeking out authoritative counsel giving explicit direction, rather than relying on uninspired interpretations and assumptions about the meaning intended by the Brethren.

Unfortunately any virtue taken to an unhealthy extreme can become a vice. I pray that she may come to hearken to the voice of one no less called of God to leadership over her than the Prophet, even the voice of President Paternoster.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother BlackJewishMormon,

As my grandmother used to say, it sounds like you really go at your gospel responsibilities hammer and tongs! Or perhaps I should say hammer and sickle! Indeed, I picture you as a veritable John Henry among the righteous workers' vanguard, a hammering, steel-driving man with shoulder to the wheel, a sweaty rut plowed beneath you, trampled by the thrusting compressions of your endurance. Learned in chemistry, mighty in fructose, fearing no exacerbation, as a latter-day Moses you lay undeviating track from the burning bush through bondage into the promised land.

But I am in danger of digressing from my point. In fact, I have forgotten it. Perhaps I will write again later if I think of it. There is something else I need to take care of right now.

Mahonri Kimball said...

It was never doctrine.

Not letting Black women into the Temple was the "practice", but was never the "official doctrine" of the Church. Accordingly, no revelation was needed in order to change the "practice".

Anonymous said...

Brother Kimball was not allowing black men into the temple a "practice" too, and if so why was a revelation received allowing them access to the temple and not the women?

Stake Pres. said...

Thank you all for your wonderful comments and support of this blog.

Men require the priesthood in order to enter the temple. Because black men could not hold the priesthood before 1978 they could not enter the temple. It made sense in the revelation that allowed black men to hold the priesthood to also state that this would allow them entrance to the temple. The two go hand in hand. In other words it is the holding of the priesthood that allows men (of any race) to enter the temple.

Brother Kimball is correct in stating that black sisters were as a matter of policy (not revelation) not allowed in the temple. While some policies are changed based on revelation revelation is not required to change policies.

Our beloved prophets, seers and revelators in the kindness of their hearts obviously felt that black sisters would be better served by the Church by not being allowed into the sacred temples of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, but changed their minds when priesthood/temple blessings became available to all worthy males.

Nothing in writing needed to be done and no official recognition that black sisters could now enter the temple was necessary.

I was unable to convince Sister Nguessan of this.

Mahonri Kimball said...

I will attempt to clear up this confusion.

When it comes to women, they are given guidance through the priesthood holder presiding over them. God grants to men the role of directing women. God does not address women directly, either in the scriptures, or through modern revelation.

If God desires to communicate with women, he does it by speaking through the men who preside over them. For example; A Relief Society President may present potential names, but they are not called to serve unless the Lord reveals to the Bishop that they should be called.

When priesthood leaders outline the "practice" of the Church as it pertains to women, sometimes they are speaking as men, sometimes for God. This is why it is OK to occasionally change the "practice" as it pertains to women.

Men, on the other hand, are directed through scripture and through direct modern revelation. This most often results in "doctrine" rather than "practice" In order to change the "Eternal and Unchanging Doctrine" (eternal and unchanging used here as names rather than descriptions) of the Church, a revelation is required.

As there are so many scriptures and modern revelations pertaining to the cursed seed of Cain, this certainly qualifies as a "doctrine" and thus the revelation of 1978. If it had only been a "practice", no revelation would have been needed or given to change the "practice"

Make sense now?

Kolobian™ said...

In truth, it's because of our Heavenly Father's great love for black women that he never expressly gave them permission to enter the temple.

The revelation was accurate and correct. Black women are not authorized by our Heavenly Father to enter the temple. It is only a "policy" or "practice" now to allow them in, but all the covenants the 17 black mormon women in the world make in the temple are null & void as their recommends are not truly valid.

The reasons for this are two-fold.

1. Heavenly Father doesn't want to risk his beloved black daughters breaking any solemn covenants they make in his house. He loves them too much and doesn't want to risk losing a single one.

2. He doesn't want them being sealed to any of his sons because he wants to seal them to himself during the millenium. In fact, this is why black men were not allowed to hold the priesthood until 1978. Heavenly Father didn't want any of his black daughters bound to anyone but himself.

Due to societal pressure he hesitantly relented to allowing black men to hold his sacred priesthood, but cunningly omitted giving authorization to black women to enter the temple in order to give himself an out.

The lord surely works in mysterious ways. In the name of Jesus. Even the Christ. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I am surprised this women wasn't previously counseled that marrying outside of her race was not approved in the eyes of the Lord. If her leaders had been strictly following the Prophet they would have previously counseled her to avoid interracial relationships. This would have prevented her from getting her hopes up in the first place.

Verle Jensensen said...

I don't know any black women.

Anonymous said...

"... I calmly confirmed to her as her Stake President that our loving father in heaven who is the same yesterday, today and forever no longer restricts people from entering temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because of their skin colour. ..."

Mad lulz.

Sister Young said...

President Pasternomer,
Thank you for posting this! I was starting to doubt like her but now I know that revelation is truly coming to the church today!

Unknown said...

This church isn't of Jesus. Make a u turn and give your life to Jesus