Mormon President Russell Nelson spoke at the 110th annual convention of the NAACP last week, but his words were misquoted in the Peninsula Daily News report July 23 (page 3), “Mormon leader urges love for all in speech.”
The misquotation was, “All are unlike unto God.”
He was actually quoting from the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 26:33, which makes this common religious observation: “… and all are alike unto God.”
The 41-year journey since the Mormon Church abolished its ban of blacks from leadership and the priesthood is remarkable.
What Nelson actually said reflects well how much the church has reversed its previous racial policies and embraced the idea of a universal humanity.
To be clear, it hasn’t apologized or denied the divinity of the ban; but my opinion is that it’s doing everything short of it to atone for the ban.
The apology is probably a few more years in coming.
I became a completely secularized cultural Mormon in the years following the abolition of the ban, as I struggled to understand my own complicity in it.
Most Mormons, however, remain remain faithful and are forging new tools with which they are creating a more inclusive future.
I was raised to believe that blacks were unworthy to hold God’s priesthood because of a curse placed upon them by God.
Today’s faithful young people never hear such words, which is a living testament to the power of humans to reflect, grow and improve.
And I haven’t even begun to elaborate on the capacity to forgive as demonstrated by the NAACP.
Thank you, NAACP and President Nelson.