Seuraavat otteet ss. 69-72 teoksesta The Mormon
Corporate Empire Beacon Press, Boston, 1985 valaisevat tapahtumia
v. 1978 käytännön muuttamisen ympärillä.
ovat kirjoittaneet John Heinerman (kirkon jäsen), joka silloin
oli Antropologisen Tutkimuskeskuksen johtaja (the Anthropological
Research Center) Salt Lake Cityssä, ja Anson Shupe (ei jäsen),
sosiologian professori Texas-Arlingtonin yliopistossa. He voivat
dokumentoida sen, että mustien pappeuskiellon poistaminen todellakin
oli suhdetoiminnan piiriin kuuluva päätös.
The church's concern for positive public opinion
has taken numerous forms. The best example, perhaps, deals with
its 1978 decision to admit blacks to the priesthood. For almost
a century and a half people with any known trace of Negro blood
had been denied access to the Temple, to the priesthood, and thus
to full Mormon membership. During the 1960s and the civil rights
movement, this prohibition became a thorn in the side of the church.
Two sociologists note that because of the church's policy on nonwhites,
The late sixties found the Brigham Young University
the focal point of militant protests, boycotts, disrupted games,
mass demonstrations, and "riots." At one point the conflict
among schools within the WAC became so intense that the conference
almost disbanded. Administrators, already embroiled in student
demonstrations over Vietnam, began to separate themselves from
the Mormon school. Stanford University, for instance, severed
all relations with Brigham Young University.
There has been a good deal of debate over the reasons
that church president Kimball announed in 1978the most significant
"revelation" made to modern Mormonism. Some observers
cynically cite it as apolitical decision made in response to a cluster
of outside pressures on the church: bad publicity from the media
and civil rights organizations, hostility from the liberal white
community, and the ongoing Mormon pursuit of respectability. In
particular the tremendous potential for Third World Mormon growth
could not be realized if the race prohibition stood. This was a
point driven home to church leaders in 1975 after they announced
the construction of a new temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the first
to be built in South America. The cynical view holds that the "revelation"
to admit blacks was conveniently timed: long enough after the "cooling
down" of the civil rights movement so that it was not condemned
as opportunistic but just ahead of the crest of significant Third
World conversions that the church and other groups, such as the
JWs, were making. Defenders of the church argue that there was little
external pressure on Pres. Kimball for such a "revelation."
The activist phase of the civil rights movement, for example, had
largely subsided by the late 1970s. The defenders' view holds that
the "revelation" cannot be explained away by circumstantial
evidence or the conjecture of adverse public opinion. No specific
"smoking guns" can be produced to link outside influences
to the Prophet Kimball's announcement; hence it is assumed to have
come literally through revelation from God Almighty. In fact, evidence
exists that the church made its much-publicized decision to admit
blacks to the Mormon priesthood after a deliberate, rational consideration
of public opinion, future membership growth, and similar factors.
In 1971 the First Presidency acquired the services
of one of America's largest general management and consulting firms,
Cresup, McCormick and Paget (CMP) in NYC.......On the advice of
Mormon corporate advisers, such as J. Willard Marriott and David
Kennedy, LDS Pres Harold B. Lee requested that CMP study how the
church's communications organization could commit resoureces more
efficiently to improve internal communications as well as public
relations. No mention was made in the CMP report of the church's
racial policy, but church leaders seemed interested in applying
modern management perspectives to their own goals and problems........
In 1975 one final CMP study was carried out for the LDS church.
This effort produced the firm's longest report dealing with the
role and organization of the Presiding Bishopric itself, policy
positions and administrative procedures, and other internal matters.
Most important, among the recomendations made by
the consulting firm were "a careful review" of certain
potentially embarrassing "doctrinal policies" such as
the Negro issue and "a serious reconsideration" of such
policies in light of past public relations problems that they had
caused. The report strongly urged that church leaders reassess the
race issue and its "relevancy" for the future. The problem
posed by building a new temple in Sao Paulo, with a population largely
of mixed blood, was specifically mentioned in this report. Two additional
consultants hired for the same purpose voiced similar concerns about
the wisdom of continuing a restriction of the Mormon priesthood
Three years later, on June 9, 1978, church authorities
announced the "revelation" rescinding the traditional
ban on a black priesthood. The "revelation" had been preceded
by a great deal of prayer, meditation, and meetings among President
Kimball and the Council of the Twelve. Whether one wants to credit
its inspiration to any divine agency is ultimately unimportant.
(Church leaders themselves admitted that the racial
issue had been on their minds for a long time.) What is important
is that not long before the church president's decision (conscious
or subconscious) to announce a new racial policy based on divine
"revelation", several professional consulting firms in
which the church had previously demonstrated confidence suggested
to church leaders that they reconsider the status of blacks in the
Mormon church as part of a major overhaul of church policy.....
No other religious group in American society has conducted such
a sustained campaign to gain public respectability, nor has such
respectability been so integral a part of any other group's sense
of its own destiny.