Saturday, February 28, 2015

Search for ARTIFACT, Part 11: Strategy for Amicus

Posted: Saturday, 28 February 2015 
Updated: Wednesday, 11 Mar 15

A Strategy for attorney friend "Amicus Curiae" regarding:

The Mormon Church and the priesthood ban of men with Negro blood

A. The ban of Negro men from holding the LDS priesthood was lifted on June 8, 1978, which Church president Spencer W. Kimball (SWK) claimed was by divine revelation.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Official Declaration 2 states: …The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978…” 
This declaration alludes to the ‘revelation’, but does not give details on what it says specifically other than SWK attesting to it as the Lord’s will. It is unclear as to when and who might have originally received it, if not actually SWK himself. Nevertheless, the official declaration is worded such as to mildly infer that SWK received it via "the still small voice".

Questions come to mind:

Assuming it was received and recorded in words, such as found in the D&C and other scriptures,

1. Does it begin with “Thus saith the Lord”?

2. Who originally received it if not SWK?

3. Where and when was it received and/or written?

4. Where is the evidence of the original document and where is it specifically located or published?

5. Could ‘the still small voice’ that came to SWK simply have been the recognition of the relevance of the ARTIFACT?

B. About the ARTIFACT: 
The ARTIFACT documents "the hill ENK chose to die on", which was on 25 July 1965, when ENK presented it to freshly ordained Bishop Michael Brown of the San Diego 7th (or 2nd?) Ward, San Diego Stake. [Note: the previous ward bishop, Reed C. Durham, Sr., had given ENK a patriarchal-like blessing only days earlier--on 16 July 1965.] As ENK met with Brown privately after Sunday morning priesthood meeting in the bishop's office (having expected to meet with Bishop Durham, since the change in bishoprics had occurred while ENK was out of town), ENK spoke these words: “Bishop, something happened to me this morning. If it’s true, someone ought to know about it. If it’s not true, I need to know about it. Please get me in front of a high council of wise men to discuss it.”
Rather than accept ENK’s request (as Bishop Durham would undoubtedly have done), Bishop Brown, now full of confidence in his newly-ordained position and trusting that his alarmed feelings were inspired, chose to reject and ignore the ARTIFACT by placing the envelope containing it in the bottom drawer of his filing cabinet and directing ENK to pray about and then forget it.

In an ironic twist, this was the point where ENK’s relationship with the LDS ecclesiastical system turned from 'acceptance to challenge’, when ENK would not let Brown ignore the ARTIFACT nor dismiss the circumstances that produced it. During those few days between old Bishop Durham's prophetic blessing and young Bishop Brown's rejection of that blessing, events occurred that would forever alter ENK's personal, professional and spiritual life.

C. Where to look in LDS Church archives?
ENK suggests that SWK may have become aware of the ARTIFACT sometime between fall 1968 and January 18, 1970, when it was likely brought to his attention by Church President David O. McKay (DOM) during that period.

ENK further suggests that the ARTIFACT was most probably brought to the attention of DOM during the above-mentioned period by California Newport Beach Stake President Ferren L. Christensen (FLC) into whose hands ENK delivered it during a re-hearing of ENK’s excommunication-in-absentia-trial of 2 April 1966 (at ENK’s request).

[Note: Ferren L. Christensen, ENK’s former bishop and future stake president, was a member of the high council during ENK’s first, above-mentioned excommunication. In a dream that same night (2Apr66), while located hundreds of miles north of the HC chambers, ENK sees himself being cast out by temple-robed ecclesiastics, one with an angry voice behind him shouting "I'll kill him! I'll kill him!" as he flees naked and frightened into the night like the biblical Cain. Then he hears another voice, which he recognizes as that of FLC responding calmly to the angry one, saying, "No! No one in this church ever better be found killing one of these!"]

Amicus is invited to help Nick and me re-frame this search in terms befitting his profession. 

On 7 March, having read the above stuff, Amicus wrote: 

"I read it. It sounds interesting, but I'm a bit confused. What exactly do you want me to do to help you? Please be as precise and succinct as possible.

I don't have much spare time, but if you need someone to go down to Church archives, I can do that for you. I'll just need you to let me know how this is done, as I have no experience whatsoever in dealing with them.

Can we find this online maybe?

To which ENK replied on 7 March:
This is a good place to start! I'll check it out. Then, if I can't find what I'm looking for, I'll ask you to go down to the Church archives. Thanks for the link.
On 8 March, 1:45 PM, Amicus replied:
good luck!
Then later on 8 March I had a discussion with son Nick about the above link. He replied with a different site:, which I accessed. This is what I wrote in the first window that came up on that site, which asked the purpose of accessing the site and then asked the viewer to complete a customer satisfaction survey:
I, Eugene N. Kovalenko (ENK), am looking to locate an original ARTIFACT dated 25 July 1965 in San Diego, CA. (ENK has a Xerox copy of it, which was made at a later date.) ENK handed it to Newport Beach stake president Ferren L. Christensen (FLC) during a re-hearing in fall 1968 of ENK's excommunication in absentia of 2 April 1966. This hearing was at ENK’s request. FLC may have subsequently delivered it to President David O. McKay, because they were good friends and FLC used to live in and maintain Pres. McKay's summer home in Laguna Beach, CA, when he was bishop of that ward. Also, FLC had introduced Pres. McKay to ENK in late July 1957 as “the young man I told you about who speaks Russian”. The ARTIFACT may be in DOM's personal files along with a hand-written poem titled "Nathan's Cry", written by ENK for him and delivered to Clare Middlemiss on 26 Sep 65. (I know this item is-or was--in DOM's files because it was scanned by archivist Glenn Rowe and sent to ENK on 8/23/2005. On the other hand, the ARTIFACT was not signed and would not have been received by DOM before fall 1968. The ARTIFACT is a one-page type-written revelation on the Negro beginning with the words “Thus saith the Lord…”. (This is what "Nathan's Cry" was referring to.)
Because of how powerful the experience was when this document was created, I only want to know in these days (before I pass on) if the ARTIFACT had anything to do with the 1978 change of Church policy on priesthood.
Still later on 8 March, Nick suggested:
"1978 archives of Deseret...."
11 March 2015. To be continued in a subsequent post when the above note to the LDS History Department is answered, which hopefully will be forthcoming, respectful and timely. If the LDSHD has not responded in two weeks (March 25, 2015) in whatever way they choose, I will recontact Amicus and ask him to pay them a personal visit.

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