Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Missing at the revelation

Brad at BCC makes an interesting observation about those in attendance at the revelation giving black men the priesthood. Two apostles in particular had feelings against blacks; Elder Stapley (see here for example) and Elder Peterson (see here for example). Benson also had such feelings, but Brad suggests this may have been due more to his anti-communist feelings than feelings against blacks. These two apostles were the only two absent from from the meeting (due to sickness and an assignment to South America).

One wonders if this was by design.

Interestingly, something related happened the previous decade when 1st Presidency member Hugh B. Brown arranged a vote among the Quorum of the Twelve while Harold B. Lee (who also had such feelings) was out of town. The Quorum of the Twelve approved the measure to give blacks the priesthood. However, when Elder Lee returned to town, he was able to get the vote reversed.

1 comment:

CB said...

Here is a little more info on the subject. President Kimball spoke to his counselors on the matter the day before the revelation. The excerpt below describes President Kimball's meeting with the twelve. Note Elder Packer's statement about how important it was that there were no objections. As mentioned, Elder Stapley was in the hospital and Elder Peterson was in Brazil (Arrington states in his book on being a church historian “Absent from the June 1, 8, and 9 meetings was Mark E. Petersen, who was visiting in Brazil.”) All ten of the present apostles gave their affirmation.

From Edward Kimball's recent biography of his father's years as president:

Once more he asked the Twelve to speak, without concern for seniority . . . Elder McConkie spoke in favor of the change, noting there was no scriptural impediment. President Tanner asked searching questions as Elder McConkie spoke. Then Elder Packer spoke at length, explaining his view that every worthy man should be allowed to hold the priesthood. He quoted scriptures (D&C 129:49; 56:4-5; 58:32) in support of the change. Eight of the ten volunteered their views, all favorable. President Kimball called on the other two, and they also spoke in favor. Discussion continued for two hours. Elder Packer said, a few weeks later, “One objection would have deterred him, would have put him off, so careful was he . . . that it had to be right.” The decision process bonded them in unity. They they sought divine confirmation.