Friday, January 25, 2013

Black Apostle


My Home Teachers and I were chatting the other day about various subjects, and the conversation swung around to the achievement of having a black President, and how that had shattered a racial barrier in this country that needed to be shattered. And then the conversation turned to racial/gender/social barriers in the Church - which we agreed also need to be shattered. And I felt impressed very strongly that the day will come when we have a black Apostle. And/or asian. And/or hispanic.

The Church is a multi-racial, multi-cultural Church. Yet for its entire history, those at the top - the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve - have all been caucasian and almost exclusively American. But I think that "tradition" is going to change very rapidly - I think it has to change. A global, multi-racial church needs a leadership to match. If you're a child in Primary somewhere in Africa, you want to look up at the portraits of our leaders hanging on the wall and see someone who looks like you do. You need the validation - the vision that there are no barriers in God's Kingdom. That you you have equal opportunity in His Church.

We're already seeing a wider racial/ethnic mix in the Quorum of the Seventy, including many different europeans, blacks, hispanics, asians, Native American and more. That is the 'pool' from which the top quorums are likely to be filled (although not all Apostles come from the Quorum of Seventy). Currently, eight of the fifteen apostles are 80 years old or more. It is likely we will see a lot of change at the top in the near future, and I'm pretty confident at least one of the new Bretheren will not be a white man. I think that last racial barrier in the Church will be shattered; and we will all be better people for it.


emerdean said...

This is a fascinating post, Neal. I just read it to my home teaching partner.
I look forward to this future you present.

Lordishtar said...

As s one of Neal's home teachers, it is always a privelege and an honor to serve Neal. He is unique in a lot of ways. He is an inspiration to me and constantly uplifts me as I meet with him. His faith and trust is a scarce quantity in today's world.

I hope that others in the world will understand the love and example Neal is to all in life. I hope others will realize as Neal does that each and everyone of us is a son or daughter of Heavenly Father and therefore is deserving of love by others. I also hope they will not abandon the vehicle Heavenly Father chose to get us to the place He desires each of us to be...with Him again.
One of my friends expressed my innermost feelings a few days ago about the controversy with the boy scouts. I agree that I do not understand why people who profess to be Christians would deny young people the chance to be taught how to become skilled in everyday life situations, learn leadership and how to become fine upstanding citizens. I can think of no other organization that has these unique role in the lives of our children than does the boy scouts and the girl scouts. Why would anyone want to deny this to children?
I am puzzled by this quandary and hope others will look into their hearts and seek the true answer there. We need to not listen so much to traditions of fear, but to a true message of love.
I was present when President Hinckley spoke from the pulpit and said for parents to love their homosexual children, what greater message can there be from a loving Heavenly Father. We are all His children and He loves each of us equally. I pray we may learn to be more tolerant to each other.

Neal said...

Ahh! Now I've had both my Home Teachers comment.

The privelege has been all mine to have the two of you bless my life and my home! You truly epitomize the Savior's love.