In Harmony With the Church


As a response to a pervasive discussion about "white culture" and white supremacy, the LDS church issued a pair of statements condemning the behavior of groups and individuals advocating hate. There first statement asserted prior counsel from the President of the Church and advocated for Christ-like love. Somehow, this statement was taken out of context by the very degenerates it sought to address. As a result, they issued a follow-up statement clarifying the condemnation of race-based hate, but also including this phrase:  

Church members who promote or pursue a “white culture” or white supremacy agenda are not in harmony with the teachings of the Church. 

If that wording is familiar it is because many of us have heard before, just about every two years, in the bishop’s office. 

Is there anything in your conduct relating to members of your family that is not in harmony with the teachings of the Church?

Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

Do you strive to keep the covenants you have made, to attend your sacrament and other meetings, and to keep your life in harmony with the laws and commandments of the gospel?

It is not happenstance that the Church statement hearkens to the language in the Temple Recommend Interviews. It was the intention of the the leadership of the Church and those issuing the statement to associate white supremacy with the violation of the “laws and commandments of the gospel” and thus to prevent the individual from receiving the blessings of the temple. 

Without going through the hassle of making this allusion into new policy, those issuing the statement hoped that local Church leadership would pickup on the nuanced language in the statement. It is my hope that all local leadership is this sensitive to the subtle language of a press release, but I am not completely confident. So, I am making it explicit. This statement was written for Stake Presidencies and Bishoprics to specify that white supremacy movement are in direct violation of gospel principles. Similarly, when the rest of us hear that question asked of us in the temple recommend interview, we should be considering similar movements that we could be involved with that are not “in harmony with the teachings of the church”

My admonition is this: make sure your local leaders understand this subtle directive. It won’t come in a letter from the First Presidency because our leaders expect us to be sensitive and discerning to guidance from the Church. At least, lets make sure our local leaders know what is and that they are checking it regularly for similar updates. Many of them may be completely unaware of these two statement simply through ignorance of their medium. Share the statement with your ward leaders, bring it up in discussions, and do not let anyone who harbors these inclinations toward supremacy and hate linger in our congregations until either repentance or violence corrects their course.

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