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Mormonism and Diversity: Addressing Issues of Race and Inclusion within the Church

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For nearly a century, this restrictive policy remained unchallenged within the church hierarchy despite widespread social changes surrounding racial equality occurring outside its confines. It wasn't until 1978 under President Spencer W. Kimball that the church lifted these bans following what was described as a divine revelation. The removal of these racially discriminatory practices marked an important shift towards inclusion within Mormonism but left lasting scars on its image relating to race issues.

Even today, while formally promoting diversity and equality among all members regardless of race or ethnicity, the LDS Church continues grappling with historical racial biases reflected in internal discussions over representations within leadership roles and scripture interpretations.


Analysis of the 1978 Revelation on Priesthood


This decision also prompted internal dialogues within the church and among its members on how to interpret previous racial policies. Some viewed them merely as products of their time while others saw them rooted in doctrinal basis; but most agreed that these had been superseded by the new revelation.

Despite widespread acceptance of this development within Mormonism, it raised further questions about the role of divine guidance versus societal pressure in shaping church doctrine. It thus marked an important step for inclusivity within Mormonism yet underscored ongoing tensions between religious convictions and evolving social attitudes around race.


Examining Current Diversity within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


While the LDS Church now disavows any theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, remnants of such beliefs still linger among some sections within Mormonism. This presents an ongoing challenge for many Black Mormons who often find themselves battling perceptions rooted in outdated teachings. Consequently, although there are strides being made toward diversity within Mormonism today, it is clear that further efforts are needed to truly address issues around race and inclusion within this religious community.


Evaluating the Church's Efforts towards Racial Inclusion


However commendable these steps may be, critics argue that they do not go far enough to address systemic racism deeply embedded in the church's history and culture. Some call for explicit apologies for past racial policies along with more aggressive actions towards diversifying church leadership which is predominantly white. These criticisms highlight the need for continued introspection within Mormonism regarding its historical legacy on race issues as it strives towards becoming a truly inclusive religious community.


Case Studies on Experiences of Racial Minorities in the Mormon Church


On another end, we have Tamu Smith and Zandra Vranes, two African-American women who describe their experiences as 'Sistas in Zion.' Their narratives portray an unwavering commitment to their faith despite encountering racism within it. They navigate these challenges with humor and grace, demonstrating that while diversity may be uncomfortable at times for religious institutions steeped in tradition like Mormonism, it ultimately enriches them by fostering more inclusive spiritual spaces.


Recommendations for Enhanced Diversity and Inclusion in Mormonism


Secondly, promoting diversity within leadership positions can help to signal a genuine commitment towards inclusivity. Currently, there are few people of color in prominent leadership roles within the church hierarchy which can lead to feelings of exclusion among minority members. By actively seeking out diverse voices for these roles, the LDS Church can foster an environment where all members feel valued regardless of their race or ethnicity.

Work Cited

1

But I must explain to you how all this mistaken idea of denouncing pleasure and praising pain was born and I will give you a complete account of the system, and expound the actual teachings of the great explorer of the truth, the master-builder of human happiness.

2

"At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident."

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"On the other hand, we denounce with righteous indignation and dislike men who are so beguiled and demoralized by the charms of pleasure of the moment, so blinded by desire, that they cannot foresee the pain and trouble that are bound to ensue."

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