Obama vs. McCain 2008: Round 20: Race and Gender Issues

This is the twentieth of a weekly series of public forums on TMB. Watch for a new round every Monday.

Only three more weeks!

This week’s topic is race and gender issues. I realize this is kind of a vague topic, so I’ll give some possible issues to talk about:

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June 8, 1978: Revelation on the Priesthood: 30 Years Later

Last Sunday (June 8, 2008), a member of my ward, Whitney, gave an excellent talk in sacrament meeting in commemoration of the 30 year anniversary of the revelation on the priesthood (the formal announcement of). With Whitney’s permission, I am including a written version of his talk here. It is an excellent talk, which speaks honestly of some of the historical difficulties with this topic, and addresses how we need to move forward with better racial relations in the Church.

We generally speak of the restoration of the gospel in the past tense. We refer frequently to the spring of 1820 and to April 6, 1830. Article of Faith 9, however, encourages us to take a more expansive view. That “He will yet reveal many great and important things” signifies an ongoing restoration and one which continues today. June 8, 1978, thirty years ago today, the date when the priesthood was extended to all worthy males, and the blessings of the temple to all worthy members of the church, “without regard for race or color,” is a date that ought to hold a place next to those early dates of the 1800s when we speak of the restoration of the gospel. For without the full blessings of the restoration extended to every worthy member, the restoration of the gospel remains an incomplete one. Just as those important early dates of church history give us the chance to reflect upon the first vision and the founding of the church, so does today allow us the chance to reflect back upon our history and the current state of race relations within the church. Continue reading

Barack Obama and Gordon B. Hinckley: A Call to End Hate and Racism

This morning Barack Obama gave an excellent speech on racial issues in America. The full text is available here, from the New York Times. The full speech can be viewed on MSNBC.

Nobody has spoken this openly about racial problems in America. A truly heroic — and presidential — effort by Obama. Continue reading