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In the Mormon world, the last two weeks have witnessed vigorous condemnations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ “Come Follow Me” curriculum for 2020, specifically the printed version’s inclusion of racist ideology that describes dark skin as a “curse” from God for unrighteousness.
Version - Curriculum - Teaching - Church - Stance
The online version of the curriculum has been corrected to remove the offensive teaching; the Church reiterated its current stance that it “disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse”; and an apostle expressed regret about the gaffe when he spoke to the NAACP on Martin Luther King Day.
Fair enough. I’m glad the Church has acknowledged the error and done what it can to remove it. My favorite response on Twitter was Emily Jensen’s photo of setting fire to that particular page of the manual:
Come - Follow - Me - Curriculum - Start
But while we’re at it, could we just burn down the entire “Come Follow Me” curriculum and start from scratch? The racism of that one page is only the most glaring issue. Let me explain.
Back when I was a Gospel Doctrine teacher, I dreamed of having a curriculum that was actually usable in class—one that would be an aid to vigorous discussion rather than a tool for actively shutting such conversations down. The old manual’s MO seemed to be to 1) repeat weekly self-congratulations that we alone possessed the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, 2) fret aloud about the various sins of the world (insert immoral enemies du jour HERE), and 3) reiterate the vital importance of obedience and following the prophet.
Time - Scripture - Passages - Questions - Questions
What I wound up doing most of the time was taking the assigned scripture passages and a few well-chosen questions from the manual, adding other questions and prompts of my own, and leading the discussion...
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