This podcast continues the discussion from the paper Russell Stevenson presented at the FairMormon Conference, August 2013. Stevenson notes:
That Brigham Young struggled with and eventually succumbed to racial insensitivities is an undisputed matter of the historical record. From the perspective of not a few nineteenth-century Americans, not to mention most anyone born in the last 50 years, Brigham Young peddled in racial rhetoric and promoted policies that bode poorly not only with our sensibilities but also with the spirit of the Book of Mormon: “All are alike unto God, both black and white, bond and free,” a vision established for the Saints in 1830, not 1978.
I view the races of mankind as fundamentally equal in privilege and love before God. Embracing the gospel as I do, I cannot believe otherwise. Few things bring me as much pain as reading that a man whom I want to revere could say things so far below his calling. So how can such a man be worthy of my respect, let alone my sustaining vote?
Please separate verbal statements from policy decisions. “All r alike unto God” does not imply that everyone gets all blessings immediately without sequence.