A recent Washington Post article that discussed the origins and history of Mormonism’s racialized teachings and policies has caused quite a stir, launching important conversations. The article’s most controversial element was the inclusion of comments from BYU religion professor Randy Bott in which he denied that the former LDS ban on black persons holding the priesthood or participating in temple ordinances was racist, as God’s actions were for their benefit. They weren’t ready. Through these restrictions, God was acting as a loving parent, keeping them from having to live at a higher level than they were capable of doing. Church reaction was swift–a news release the next day completely distancing the Church’s position from the justification attempts of Professor Bott, and stating unequivocally that no one knows the reasons for the ban and the church does not sanction any attempts at explaining or justifying it.
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