Thursday, January 22, 2015

Search for the ARTIFACT, Part 7: Discussing it with a black man

Posted: Thursday, 22 January 2015
Updated: Tuesday, 10 Mar 15

On Sunday, 18 January 2015, I wrote to Friend, a black neighbor, former NSA operative, now a computer scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. We had had a friendly conversation recently during which he took special interest in my "search" project and asked specifically to see the content of the ARTIFACT.
Subject: Origin of the ARTIFACT
This may seem too weird to you, Friend, but I'll risk it. I'll be more than interested in your impressions and responses especially, given our recent conversations. Please be candid. I hope you aren't alarmed.

Here are some blogs regarding the back story of the "ARTIFACT", which is what I call the original of the document I told you about last week, a copy of which is imbedded in the second post below....

Regarding the ARTIFACT itself, please understand that this was what came out of me one intense morning decades ago (25 July 1965). I do not know what the truth of it is, or ever was, only that it happened. My concern is that it has never been discussed or taken seriously by the institution I grew up in and came to believe in. Until, that is, what subsequently happened to me and my family, when my "right" to have such an experience was rejected out of hand at the beginning by the local (new) Mormon bishop.

Nevertheless, I believe that this document eventually went upstairs sometime after the fall of 1968 and was discussed among the top church leaders in Salt Lake City. In any case, Mormon Church policy toward the black man of denying him the right to hold ecclesiastical leadership positions (i.e., priesthood offices) eventually changed on June 8, 1978….

When examining or discussing the ARTIFACT, there are certain aspects to consider:
1. the writer's psychological state and the creative process, including the exact words of the invoking prayer.
2. historical precedents
3. tone of content
4. message of content
5. credibility of content
6. purpose for which it was created
7. similarity to other LDS scriptural revelations
8. attitude of ecclesiastical leaders who first received it
9. word "priesthood" does not appear in content

None of these aspects has, to my knowledge, ever been seriously considered or discussed by LDS ecclesiastics at any level. That is why I am in process of trying to chase down the original document and get it into my records at the special collections library at the U of Utah before I kick the bucket.

PS. A few years ago a black Mormon leader, Darius Gray, learned about this event and wrote the following note to me on the cover of a DVD that he produced. Here is that story: Please check out the five comments at the end of this post.

Later that day, Friend replied:
Thank you for sharing it. Give me a day or two to read and digest the contents. I will give you my honest but respectful feedback once I've read it...

On Wednesday, 21 Jan 15, I wrote: 
No hurry, my friend. This discussion is a 'process' and a golden opportunity to have a new, perhaps different kind of dialogue. Your comments will matter greatly.


Anonymous said...

Comment with regard to process:
Ultimately the disposition of the Artifact, if it is ever to be determined, can shed some light as to the integrity or faults of the LDS administrative system and "Priesthood" inspiration, and/or the profound and mysterious ways of the Lord.

Anonymous said...