“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Wilcox and the rest of us used this opportunity to listen, learn, and grow, rather than to retrench into our predictable patterns of seeking offenders for a word and then defending at all costs our friends?”
― Patrick Mason, Public Square Magazine
In the quote above, Patrick Mason was referencing a recent talk that Brother Brad Wilcox (a counselor in the Young Men’s Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) gave at a tri-stake youth fireside in Alpine Utah. It was filmed, put up on the internet, and then taken down within 48 hours. There was much to be critical of in this talk and Brother Wilcox apologized the next day for one part of his remarks that many found very offensive regarding Blacks and the priesthood. There was a whole range of responses from passionate defenses of Bro Wilcox to scathing critiques. What can we learn from this? Here are three approaches that address this topic in constructive ways:
ON COSTLY GRACE AND THE SPACE TO GROW, Patrick Mason, Public Square Magazine
Can Hearing Criticism Help The Church? Jay Griffith, Public Square Magazine
Green Flake, Brad Wilcox, and a Path to Zion — A Conversation with Mauli Bonner, Faith Matters
His Name Is Green Flake—The DVD Movie (I haven’t checked if it is available to stream)
I’m putting in a plug for this partly because I love the Bonner family and partly because the proceeds help fund a statue for him and two other black slaves also owned by LDS families. As of this posting I haven’t watched it yet—but I will. When we think of the importance of Black History—and so often the lack of it—this is one thing we can do to elevate these lost heroic stories.