Friday, August 23, 2013

Is "All Are Alike Unto God" A Facade??

As long as I've been reading the Book of Mormon I, just as you, have read about being cursed with skins of blackness as well as dark and loathsome, filthy people etc.  Recently, thank the Lord; the contexts of these scriptures have been changed to the true meaning, speaking of demeanor and attitude.  Ironically enough, a YW leader in my ward in Michigan way back in 1982 made sure she taught us, it wasn't  truly skin color, but the dark and heavy nature of being without the light of Christ, not the color of our skin.  And I believed and trusted her judgment….and ran with it.  It seemed obvious that what she veered away and taught was more conducive
 to the gospel than the separation of white skin good, dark skin bad.

They say in the Gospel of Jesus Christ all you need is love. To love one another.

Part of love is communication. If you truly love, then you will communicate.
  I"ve heard many people accuse the LDS Church of preaching "All Are  Alike, Unto God" and then practicing elitism. Calling our church a Facade. Asking me if I agree.   I don't agree.  I believe that for the most part we Brothers and Sisters of the church truly believe everyone is the same in the eyes of the Lord.  I do think we need to be more outspoken, direct, and vocal  about interracial relationships withing the Gospel. Sometimes actions don't match the preaching.  
I wonder how many LDS families have communications/discussions regarding these things.  We used to have them all the time.   I'm finding that among my friends not too many families, other than those of colors, have these discussions. We teach our children that “All are alike unto God.”  And that everyone should be treated equal regardless of skin color, culture etc.  But just chanting these mantras   a couple of times during the elementary school years and Jr. High school years aren't quite enough.    Just like tithing, prayers, faith, scripture reading, I believe accepting of the races and diverse cultures needs to be a regular part of teaching our children the gospel  ESPECIALLY because of some of the previous wording of our scriptures. No matter what the new changes are and how they come about, there have been generations ingrained and indoctrinated with the “white skin good, dark skin bad" theory.  I'm sure it's confusing.   

Teaching this new generation a different perception of it may be easy because of the changes, however I can see it being like Moses in the wilderness for 40 years waiting for the old to die off because they couldn't learn, comprehend or grasp the new thinking of what to them, has always been. 
  Like the old dogs and new tricks  

 We need to speak of these things more in our congregations and home.  Not just during that annual “priesthoods being restored to the Black Brothers’ Sunday.   We need to be vocal about these things and speak with our families forcefully, honestly and upfront about where we stand. My growing up and dating in the 80 my LDS friends were saying I love very one . The Lord doesn't see color, my parents taught me to love everyone equal.  But the minute I became the person their son was dating, their son wasn't so sure about where their parents stood either.   These are conversations we as family members and saints need to have.  We need to have them as congregations, ward members, neighbors and children of a most high Heavenly Father

  Does your family truly know your stance on possible interracial relationships? Or do we assume they already know?  Will you be caught in an awkward situation if a white boy shows up in you house, or a black girl comes to dinner?  Many of my friends have been caught off guard. Some have had to really dig deep and recognize how they truly feel about the situation. Others without any doubts are business as usual.  If we aren't teaching our families these things then who is? And if you don’t know who is, then you truly don’t know exactly what is being taught.   I try and take the opportunity when applicable in reminds others that these types of subjects are not sort of hit and miss type of subjects. It should be like teaching the law of morality and our stance on premarital sex.  Parents assume kids know the standards and the teachings and how they feel about the situation. But when asking the kids, they refer to a couple of sentences from an FHE lesson from years ago or a Sunday school lesson where the teacher was so embarrassed and afraid to truly teach.  If we don't teach our children these things. The world will do it in a manor that may not be conducive to your beliefs.

 In order for thought processes, changes and true brother and sisterhood to come about in the gospel, we need to have these real conversations with ourselves, family and friends. It doesn't have to be long. It doesn't have to be difficult. It doesn't have to be drama. But it, indeed, has to be.

*get to talkin! Say it loud and proud*


Babe said...

We are a biracial family. Caucasian and Yupik. My husband didn't see me as a different race. He just loved me for who I was.
We don't care about color in our house. We never did ever make the distinction.
Our oldest son met some boys and wanted to play with them. They lived in the same complex we lived in. He was always asking to play with the chocolate boys. We never taught him that. He loved those boys and wanted to be with them all them time.
We could care less who our children date as long as they make the kinds of choices that will get them into His kingdom.
As a person of "color" I haven't always been treated very well. But I never let that change me or cause me to treat others differently because of it. I look on. A persons moral character not their color.

ShaBANG said...

Sounds like you are blessed with a home that encourages love and respect and not discourages it. May every home be so blessed!

Kristin said...

Hopefully with the clarifications that have been emphasized recently and with Book of Mormon being the topic of study this year in seminary, teachers will take advantage of the opportunity to clarify this when they teach those verses. I know I will!

s'mee said...

I come from a home where racism is practiced, but in "politically correct" forums, meaning on the surface everyone plays nice, but behind closed doors it is out and in the open but with "nice" words. Husband was reared in a neighborhood where racial issues were strong and also in a home where race is most definitely an issue, and with ugly words.

We both hated the idea of perpetuating these stereotypes and the damage it always causes; so we made it a point to change. In our home discussions happened constantly, whenever an opportunity for real life application could happen and also as a general rule. We are both challenged often on our choice to remove bigotry and hate from our home, and many times have been lectured on the "dangers" of our teachings.

We, however, know that we have reared 5 children into adults who embrace differences, not just racially, but also in thought, culture, and process. It not only has made them better people and citizens, it has blessed them and opened doors to them as they entered the workforce and traveled throughout the world.

ShaBANG said...

Bravo for creating the changes that bring us all closer. It hasvto be a regular discussion in my own home because we are so diverse. We are just as much accountble for what we fail to teach and what we withhold. Taking the opportunity when it arrives will be key.

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BeatlesDiva said...

I love your blog entries so much! They're filled with such inspiration, love and honesty, but the best part is that your blog makes me think about TRUE self and I have to say thank you!

My father grew up in the deep South in the 50's & 60's when racism was high and the fight for equality was at it's most powerful. He hated seeing how other humans were being treated and was ridiculed and hated for standing up for colors. He has taught me that just like a crayon box, God has created shades of people, the more colors, the more enjoyable life is. I know for a fact that if I ended up marrying someone outside my race, they wouldn't flinch! Actually, I think they'd be proud.

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