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While Mormons applaud the statement on race, some believe the church needs to go much further. Some want an apology; some just want wider awareness.
"The disavowal says to the church and to the world, ‘Everything we taught you justifying the restriction is wrong,’ " says Marvin Perkins, a Los Angeles-based Mormon co-author of the DVD series, "Blacks in the Scriptures." "But what would be ideal would be for every member to be as well-versed regarding the truths of the priesthood ban and scriptural truths regarding skin color and curses as they are with the Joseph Smith story and the First Vision. We need it repeated over and over in church curriculum in manuals and over the pulpit. That’s the way this will be resolved."
Stokes, though, believes this latest step is worth celebrating.
Indeed, the website states, "in theology and practice, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints embraces the universal human family. Latter-day Saint scripture and teachings affirm that God loves all of his children and makes salvation available to all."
This essay, Stokes says, "should enable people to move forward in concert with the second great commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself."
After all, she says, echoing Mormon scripture, "all are alike unto God."
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