By LDS.org | June 2018
How do we respond when someone does something that hurts us? We can learn from a man who chose to join the Church despite the hurtful questions he faced about the priesthood ban. The Ensign released a special issue commemorating the 1978 revelation of extending the priesthood to all worthy male members of the Church. In it, Elder Fred A. “Tony” Parker shared an article he had written.
I grew up in the southern United States in the ’60s. The grandson of slaves, I was born and raised in inner-city Atlanta, where you couldn’t live without seeing racism. I went to school where there were separate drinking fountains for “people of color.” I’ve been called every name in the book. When that happens, it hurts.
But it hurts more when it happens at church—in a place where we should know better.
Since joining the Church in 1983, there have been certain instances where I have felt misjudged, betrayed, or belittled based on my color. I’ve been told I should be better at basketball because I’m black. I’ve been called a “coon” when someone got upset with me. When I was called as a stake president, I learned that someone who didn’t know me had said, “The only reason they called him was because they needed a black stake president here in the South.”
Not everyone in the Church has a problem with racism; it’s just a few. But racism exists everywhere, so of course sometimes you come across those one or two in the Church. So how do we respond when someone does something that hurts us? And how do we heal?
Read the rest of this story at LDS.ORG