2008: Blacks and the Latter-day Saints Presentation in Orange County, CA / Marvin Perkins

Friends and Colleagues ~ This month’s MESG lecture will be next Friday in OC, at the Thurston Mansion (as usual). Marvin is a fascinating and gifted speaker. Despite the tone of the 2nd paragraph below, I trust that this will NOT be a time to “bash Brigham”—or any Church leaders, for that matter. I also trust that there will be not only informative but uplifting. I hope to see you there. –jib

Also, please note the cast of truly distinguished speakers coming to MESG this summer. Mark your calendars now! Note that our regular hosts—Dawn and Morris Thurston—will be speaking on Friday, June 20. That promises to be both fun and inspirational. Following Claudia Bushman’s admonitions earlier this year, some of us may even be motivated to begin writing our own personal/family histories soon.

Best regards,
Joseph I. Bentley, Director
Orange County Public Affairs
61 Montecito Drive
Corona del Mar, CA 92625-1018
(H) 949/720-9777, (C) 949/500-9959
(fax) 949/759-8483


Miller Eccles Study Group – May 16 2008 – Marvin Perkins

In March 1836 Elijah Able, an African-American, was ordained an elder in the Church, most likely by Joseph Smith. Ten months later he was ordained a Seventy, became a “minister of the gospel,” and served several missions for the Church. Elijah and his family came west to Salt Lake City where he remained a faithful Church member, passing away in 1884.

In February 1852, Brigham Young stood before the legislature as it approved a statute establishing slavery in the Territory of Utah and declared that, “Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot hold the Priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ.” Brigham was correct on one point, no other prophet had ever spoken it before. Brigham’s policy remained in force for 126 years before the Church repudiated the reasoning underlying it and gave every worthy male member the opportunity to hold the priesthood, regardless of race.

At the end of 1999 The Church News conducted a poll to determine which had been the greatest stories during the century then ending. President Kimball’s revelation on the priesthood was first; no other story was even close.

We are pleased to have Marvin Perkins as our next Miller Eccles speaker. The meeting will be on Friday, May 16, at 7:30 p.m. at our home (address below).

Brother Perkins has worked with Darius Gray to produce a DVD titled “Blacks in the Scriptures.” He will discuss the lingering legacy of the Church’s priesthood policy prior to 1978, how new guidance from the Church helps to clear up past misconceptions, and present one African American Mormon’s viewpoint on these issues.

About the Speaker: Marvin Perkins, who now lives in Valencia and is an accomplished vocal recording artist, was converted to the gospel nineteen years ago. He currently serves as co-chair for the Genesis Group public affairs, an official Church calling. He also serves as a temple worker in the Los Angeles Temple, and has represented the Church on numerous television and radio programs. He teaches throughout the country on Black and LDS issues.

Upcoming Calendar: Mark your calendars now for these stimulating upcoming meetings:

Dawn & Morris Thurston – June 20-21, 2008. How to make your personal history a page-turner.
Hugh Hewitt – July 11, 2008. Latter-day Saints in the contemporary political and religious culture of the United States.
Prof. Ronald W. Walker – September 19-20, 2008. The massacre at Mountain Meadows.

Things You May or May Not Already Know: Our meetings start at 7:30; it is a good idea to arrive a bit early to be certain of getting a good seat. The Miller Eccles Study group seeks to encourage LDS gospel scholarship, enlightenment and understanding in an open environment of good fellowship. To assure an open and frank discussion, we request that our meetings not be recorded. A donation of $10 per person (tax deductable) is suggested, but if this would be burdensome, contribute so much as is comfortable. The contributions are used primarily for transportation, lodging and related expenses of our out-of-town speakers. MESG is a non-profit, tax-exempt association, whose directors are Steve & Daryl Eccles, Russ & Christie Frandsen, Rob Briggs, Lael Littke, Armand & Ruth Mauss, Phil & Marilyn Bradford, and Dawn & Morris Thurston.

Best wishes,
Morris & Dawn Thurston
9752 Crestview Circle
Villa Park, CA 92861


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