Native Joes and the LDS Church
In January of 2008, the day before the
evening of the death of LDS President Gordon Hinckley, Maggid ben Yoseif was part of a Native American delegation who met with LDS Historian and Council of 70 member Marlin Jensen.
Jensen was asked whether the Book of Mormon has any evidence of the Lamanites (who Mormons believe comprise Native peoples today) ever being removed from their covenant with the Creator? He could cite no such instance.
Jensen was then asked whether the LDS Church should then recognize that the Sun Dance, the sweat purification lodge ceremonies, and other ceremonies of the Native population may be of the "right spirit"?
The result of this meeting was the award of $3,000 to the Membreno Apache community for their 2008 Sun Dance.
Native delegation asks LDS Church
to fund 'Aztlan' Sun Dance
Bulletin update: 2-14-08
Membreno Apache spiritual leader Jimmy Tenrivers, co-founder of Iglesia de Aztlan (assembling of the Homeland) today received a $3,000 check from the LDS Church Foundation to help fund the Sun Dance.
Maggid ben Yoseif made the following statement:
"This is a very important start toward relieving the stewards and followers of the Book of Mormon from a great sense of guilt and failure and judgment. The failure of the LDS Church to act before now on behalf of the plight of Native Americans has directly led to the wars between European immigrants (sprinkled with Ephraim) and the descendants of Lehi ben M'nashe ben Yoseif (Native Americans assimilated with Lehi's sons).
Had the followers of Joseph Smith simply come forward with the simple truth that these wars were "brothers fighting brothers," or had the LDS Church spoken up for the Native Americans, much misery and massacre could have been avoided. A very great weight is beginning to lift with this assistance.
Tenrivers is thankful for all the help received in connection with the Sun Dance from the LDS Church and other sources. MbY says, "They (the LDS Church) could and should do more -- much more."