Try as it might, the LDS Church’s attempts to modify bottom-line beliefs on the meaning of skin color by amendments on the topic of racial equality will never override the power of the Book of Mormon in assigning an exalted or debased identity to its members, and humanity in general.

Changes the LDS Church wants to promote now are incompatible with the status accorded to their book of scripture as “the most correct book on Earth” and “the keystone of our religion.”

Sixty years living in California and Utah have profoundly changed my outlook on Mormonism. Many years ago, there was a defining moment in which I had to allow each and every one of the Book of Mormon’s teachings on the reasons for “dark skin” to sink in with a very personal meaning.

Education and intellectual curiosity have afforded me a very different perspective on the church and its power. Besides, personal experience is a brutal teacher. I don’t regret becoming a Mormon when young and idealistic. I have known privileges undreamed of, had I stayed in my beloved Mexico. I will forever be grateful for my long life in the U.S. I am also very comfortable in taking a different stance toward the LDS Church almost at the end of my earthly journey.

Herlinda Briones Bowen, Salt Lake City