LDS Church continues to honor White Supremacists

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I have a question
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LDS Church continues to honor White Supremacists

Post by I have a question »

It is time to change the name of Brigham Young University.

I earned two degrees from BYU, the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brigham Young was the founding leader of Utah and iconic pioneer of the west.

However, arguably, there is not a more successful white supremacist in American history when considering his impact on keeping his church, his community, and his state “white and delightsome” for nearly 200 years.

Young single handedly created and ingrained teachings of racial violence, segregation and white moral authority that enabled a social norm that not only oppressed black lives, but taught his followers that white supremacy was a mandate from God. In a speech to the Utah Legislature on Jan. 23, 1852, Young said:
“In as much as we believe in the Bible ... we must believe in slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses ... which they have brought upon themselves. And until the curse is removed by Him who placed it upon them, they must suffer under its consequences.”
https://www.sltrib.com/opinion/commenta ... me-change/
I learned Young’s teachings in high school seminary when I was taught that my parents’ interracial marriage was a disappointment to God and that my black friends’ skin was a curse due to their actions in a premortal realm.
Today the LDS church calls on others to look inside and find racist practices and “root them out.” However, this hypocritical call comes from a religious empire and financial behemoth that, in part, stands as a monument to the actions and teachings of Brigham Young and white supremacy.
With calculated campaigns and flashy photo-ops, the LDS Church uses the words of racial justice but has completely and utterly failed to look at its own roots and repent and atone for the violence and oppression in its own history, especially the effects of the teachings of Brigham Young.
It is time for the LDS Church to take demonstrative steps to look to its own roots and eradicate the teachings, philosophy and structures of white supremacy that were started by Brigham Young, and which are blatantly practiced and espoused by many at my alma mater.
The LDS Church can start this process and clearly show students, faculty, alumni and the larger faith community that it is serious about rooting out the racial injustices in its own body.

It is time to change the name of BYU.
Well said. It is also time to remove the racist parts of the Book of Mormon.
Last edited by I have a question on Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Shulem
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Shulem »

No Negros allowed in God's holy temple. Only the white and delightsome are welcomed here.

Depart from me, ye Negros!


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Shulem
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

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Brigham Young wrote:The negro is damned, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham
Brigham Young wrote:The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction, - we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed.
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White and Delightsome, Brigham Young, Mormon Despot

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

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Thus saith the Lord:

The first negro who attempts to breach the sacred doors into the holy temple will be hanged from the nearest tree. Death on the spot against the negro who mixes his seed with the children of Israel.


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The Mormon Despot has spoken!

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huckelberry
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by huckelberry »

quote from the article above;
I witnessed Young’s teachings as a missionary when my Utah-raised trainers yelled from our church-owned vehicle “[racial slur] doggy dog” every time we passed a black man on the street, and when my white BYU classmates disrespected and heckled an LDS Latino professor who was visiting to share minority perspective.
.............
I agree that something should be done about this but it is not so easy to find the best path. Why not a sharp rap to the face with your knuckles? Well a clear statement of objection and a refusal to be quiet about totally unacceptable behavior would be better. But perhaps criticism would not be acceptable. If so self removal from the situation would be appropriate. Complaint to superiors would be appropriate. Myself I never encountered Mormons who would behave in such a way but I can believe such could have existed.

Would it help solve things to remove or alter passages in the Book of Mormon? I always thought the priesthood ban was based upon interpretation of the Book of Abraham.

Lets delete Brigham Young, the most famous Mormon and the link upon which Salt Lake City authority claims rest upon? It just does not seem remotely likely to happen. It would be difficult but still more likely to admit that the past leaders made some errors. One might even manage apologies for the error. At present those appear to be bridges too far.

I may not know for sure what the best answer is but I suspect it is better to just be honest about the important role of Brigham Young and keep the name. (perhaps the strength of my view should be limited by the observation that I never considered going there and the closest to the campus I have been is to drive up Provo canyon)

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Shulem
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Shulem »

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True on both accounts. Brigham Young was polygamous. He had sex with multiple women who were under his control. Wives and more wives -- did he think to rival king Solomon?

Second, he was a racist. There is no question about that. He was the highest representative of the Mormon Church and as such reflected the attitude and belief of the Mormon god when it came to discussing Negros.

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Meadowchik »

The OP-ed author made some big claims. Here's a paper exploring Young and white supremacy: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/di ... b_contents

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Meadowchick,

What part of this 38-page paper do you suggest we read since most of us are very familiar with BY’s racism and sexism?

- Doc

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by huckelberry »

I do not know how there could be any uncertainty whether Brigham Young was a polygamist and a racist.

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

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Do ethnic cleansing genocidal extermination orders count? This is from a article from 1978, in the Utah Historical Quarterly



https://collections.lib.utah.edu/details?id=422592

Leaders of the Utah Valley settlement were not persuaded. Deter-mined to take action, Isaac Higbee traveled to Salt Lake City to petition personally for authority to launch a punitive expedition. On January 31 he attended a meeting with President Young, his counselors, the Quorum of the Twelve, and militia commander Daniel H. Wells. Apostle Parley P. Pratt, who had recently returned from his southern exploration, argued that the only alternatives were abandoning Utah Valley (with the resultant break in communications with settlements further south), de-fending the Utah Valley settlement, or leaving the Utah Valley settlers to their destruction. He recommended "it best to kill the Indians." Higbee responded that "every man and boy [in Utah Valley] held up their hand to kill them off. . . ." The record does not indicate that Higbee made any mention of the murder of Old Bishop—the incident that had precipitated the dilemma. Willard Richards added to the above by declaring "my voice is for war, and exterminate them." Young, convinced of the need for action, and persuaded by the unanimous recommendation of all those present, ordered a selective extermination campaign to be carried out against the Utah Valley Indians. He ordered that all the men were to be killed—women and children to be saved if they "behave themselves" —and military orders were immediately drafted to that effect by General Wells. Wells's "Special Order No. 2," dated January 31 and addressed to Capt. George D. Grant, commander of the militia company sent from Great Salt Lake City, reads in part:

10 An account of the dialogue of the January 31 meeting can be found in BYC, Microfilm reel 80, box 47, folder 6. Brigham Young is quoted as stating: "I say go [and] kill them. . . . Tell Dimick Huntington to go and kill them—also Barney Ward—let the women and children live if they behave themselves. . . . We have no peace until the men [are] killed off—never treat the Indian as your equal." Wells's Special Order No. 2 can be found in the Utah State Archives,
Apparently DCP didn't find this historical fact very uplifting for his version of "Mopologetic Truth" and refused to post a similar link I put on his blog some months back.

His response aside from the censorship.
http://disq.us/p/25c8544
Dr. VelhoBurrinho DanielPeterson • 7 months ago
I don’t see any reason to be ashamed of facts. Go look it up. The church is the one who should be ashamed.

DanielPeterson Mod Dr. VelhoBurrinho • 7 months ago
The Church never engaged in "genocide."

Get a dictionary. Look the word up.

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

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Daniel F Peterson wrote:Get a dictionary. Look the word up.
Dan likes to play with words. I get that. Here is a word for Dan that he can look up because it certainly, most assuredly, applies to him:

FAT.

Dan, you're FAT! Very Fat! Extremely FAT!

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Meadowchik »

Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:35 pm
Meadowchick,

What part of this 38-page paper do you suggest we read since most of us are very familiar with BY’s racism and sexism?

- Doc
Of course we know he was racist and sexist, but the OP-ed obviously points at Brigham Young for being exceptionally influential in furthering white supremacy,
However, arguably, there is not a more successful white supremacist in American history when considering his impact on keeping his church, his community, and his state “white and delightsome” for nearly 200 years.
(from the Op-ed, bolding added)

which I think is an important point to consider. And which the paper I linked explores. It ties the LDS investment in whiteness to its investment in inerrancy, or "rightness," and demonstrates how Brigham Young's white supremacy led to the creation of systemic white supremacy in Utah and throughout the church. In my opinion, the paper provides some fresh points and connections that are needed to help dismantle the existing white supremacy in the church:
Systems as pervasive as white supremacy do not just transform quietly: they must be recognized, investigated, understood, and intentionally
abandoned or dismantled. The global growth of the LDS Church and
generational turnover in its leadership have certainly created conditions
that are more favorable to change. But given the critical role of the possessive investment in whiteness in the formation of key LDS institutions
and the continuing power of its cultural sequel, the possessive investment
in rightness, this change must be intentional. Recent Mormon history
provides three models for intentional change in Mormonism.

Movement from the Top

The first model would involve change effected “vertically” through
statements and institutional changes made by LDS Church leaders. In
the matter of racism, we see the following:

In 2006, President Hinckley personally apologized First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles leader Cecil Murray and spoke
out against racism in general conference.54

In 2012, after BYU professor Randy Bott offered racist justifications for
the priesthood ban to The Washington Post, the Mormon Newsroom
issued a statement indicating that such justifications did not represent
“official doctrine.”55


In 2013, the LDS Church published a new Gospel Topics essay entitled
“Race and the Priesthood” that offered a correct and fuller version of
the histories behind the ban and the revelation.56

In 2017, the Mormon Newsroom issued clear and strong denunciations
of the violence in Charlottesville, racism, and white supremacy.
In 2018, the LDS Church hosted “Be One” commemorations of the
fortieth anniversary of Official Declaration 2, centering around the
testimonies and experiences of Black LDS people and featuring as well
remarks by LDS Church President Russell M. Nelson and apostle Dallin
H. Oaks modeling a more welcoming, reflective approach to race relations within the Church.

In June 2017, Salt Lake Tribune religion reporter Peggy Fletcher Stack
published a list compiled by Black LDS Church members of additional
changes the LDS Church could make to effect “movement from the top”:

Cast a Black Adam and Eve (or an interracial couple) in the film shown
to faithful members in LDS temples.

Use more African American faces in Church art and manuals and
display more artwork depicting Christ as he would appear: as a Middle
Eastern Jewish man.

Pick more Blacks for highly visible leadership positions—if not an
apostle, at least in the First Quorum of the Seventy (members of which
are General Authorities) or in the general auxiliary presidencies.
Repudiate and apologize for the faith’s past priesthood and temple ban
on Blacks, which the Church lifted in 1978.

Show the documentary film Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black
Mormons to every all-male priesthood quorum, women’s Relief Society
class, and Young Men and Young Women groups.

Quote from the Church’s Gospel Topics essay “Race and the Priesthood”
regularly at LDS general conference and translate it into all the languages
that the Church uses to communicate with its global membership.

Direct that the essay be read from the pulpit in every Mormon congregation and mission in the world.
Have the Book of Mormon scripture found in 2 Nephi 26:33—“all are
alike unto God”—be a yearlong Young Women or Primary theme and
make it part of the curriculum to talk about the sin of racism.

Bring more Blacks to LDS Church–owned Brigham Young University as
students and faculty, while providing sensitivity training for all students
about racial issues and interactions with people of color.

Teach children about heroic Black Mormon lives, such as LDS pioneers
Jane Manning James and Elijah Abel.

Expand the LDS hymnbook to include more diverse songs and styles.

Enlist more people of color in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Invite the choir from the Genesis Group—a longtime Utah-based
support organization for Black Mormons and their families—to sing
at general conference.

Use the Genesis Group to assist in improving relationships with the
African American community.

Give the Genesis Group greater authority to exist in all states and to visit
wards and assist lay bishoprics in how to avoid and overcome racism
in their congregations.

Create a Church-sponsored Mormon and Black website akin to the one
found at mormonandgay.org.

Treat the members of the Genesis Group’s presidency as an auxiliary,
seating them on the stand with other high-ranking authorities during
general conference—and invite at least one of them to speak during
the sessions.

Provide training on racial issues for newly-called mission presidents.

Include a mandatory class at missionary training centers that teach the
“Race and the Priesthood” essay so missionaries are better prepared
when they go out to preach.

Other steps to address past wrongs committed by LDS people could
plausibly follow the model of the Church’s response after 2007 to the
Mountain Meadows Massacre, which included collaborative efforts
with descendants of massacre victims and local Paiute tribes blamed
for the massacre, an explicit statement of responsibility and regret, and
a physical memorialization of the wrongs at the massacre site, later
designated a National Historic Landmark.57 It is possible to imagine
similar efforts including reparations to descendants of slaves owned
and traded by LDS Church leaders and an incorporation of materials directly exploring the racist human origins of the ban and calling
members to take responsibility for divesting from justifications for it
in Church curricula and in general conference talks. It is also possible
to imagine a rigorous, scholarship-supported conversation about
LDS Church–owned institutional commemorations of individuals
like Abraham Smoot who owned slaves and decisively and intentionally obscured truth to maintain the supremacy of white over black in
Mormonism and exclude generations of Black people from what LDS
people would understand as the blessings of temple rite participation,
including ritual “sealings” that would have secured Black family relationships in the eternities. LDS Church–owned institutions like BYU could
enter the national conversation about their history of institutionalized
racism, privilege, accountability, responsibility, and restitution that can
serve as a powerful learning experience for the thousands of future
LDS Church leaders guided by trained historians who are committed
Latter-day Saints. This might start by considering the way the institution honors men who were slaveholders or promoted racist views. For
example, Brigham Young University has a building named after Smoot
(the administration building) and Joseph F. Smith (the College of
Family, Home, and Social Sciences), who also obscured truth to secure
Black priesthood exclusion, as well as other LDS Church leaders like J.
Reuben Clark (law school), Harold B. Lee (library), David O. McKay
(School of Education) and George Albert Smith (fieldhouse) who are
on record as advocates of anti-Black racial segregation, along with
Ezra Taft Benson (chemistry building) and Ernest Wilkinson (student
center), who opposed the civil rights movement and sought to evade
responsibility for institutional segregation. It would also place Brigham
Young University among leading educational institutions who have
elected to undertake productive scrutiny of their institutions’ formative
historical intersections with slavery and white supremacy.

Movement from the Margins

The second model involves efforts by LDS scholars, activists, and nonLDS groups and individuals to organize small, specifically dedicated
advocacy efforts to persuade LDS Church leaders to pursue theological
and institutional change. Past examples include spiritual and political efforts in the 1960s and 1970s by Genesis Group founder Ruffin
Bridgeforth, Darius Gray, and Eugene Orr; scholarship in the 1960s and
1970s by Armand Mauss and Lester Bush; subsequent writing by Gray,
Margaret Young, Newell Bringhurst, Darron T. Smith, Janan GrahamRussell, and others; and ongoing advocacy and education efforts by
Tamu Smith, Zandra Vranes, and many others. It is possible to imagine
a stronger role for direct activism on the model of Ordain Women to
pursue specific institutional changes around race, but this has not been
the chosen approach.

Movement from the Middle

Third, there is the possibility of movement from the middle, wherein
rank-and-file Mormons organize to change not just the thinking of the
people at the “top” but work directly with other rank-and-file Mormons
to improve understanding and change conduct. Social media facilitates
an unprecedented level of this “horizontal” communication among
Mormons, and recent years have seen groups like Feminist Mormon
Housewives and Mormons Building Bridges (a grassroots network
focused on promoting love and acceptance for LGBTQI+ people) work
diligently and effectively through online content, public gatherings, and
retreats to support changemakers. Can grassroots organized “movement
from the middle” work to change perspectives and conduct among LDS
Church members? It seems important to consider that a key factor in
driving Mormon LGBTQ+ ally “movements from the middle” has been
the Mormon emphasis on family togetherness. Some—but not all—of
the strongest voices in these movements emerged because a child, sibling, or other loved one came out as LGBTQ+. Because they refused
to choose between their family and their faith, LDS LGBTQ+ allies
organized to set the faith community right at the grassroots, persisting
despite daunting theological and political initiatives from LDS Church
leadership, such as the November 2015 ban on baptism of the children of
LGBTQ+ families. It may be that white Mormons will move into action
only when they feel that dismantling white supremacy is as critical to
their own spiritual wholeness as losing a family member.
Mormons will have to choose to acknowledge the pivotal and pervasive role of white supremacy in the founding of LDS institutions and
the growth of the Mormon movement. White LDS people will have to
choose to see the possessive investment in whiteness and the possessive
investment in rightness as a harm to spiritual wholeness and as corrosive
to the faith—individual, collective, and institutional. Among the many
fruits of this work may be a faith that is more resilient when confronted
with its own enormous and inevitable humanness, a faith that need
not be protected from its own history—a faith capable of surviving its
failures and recognizing, renouncing, and repairing its wrongs.https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/di ... b_contents
The paper makes a powerful historical argument but also provides good material for reparative steps the church can take moving forward.

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Doctor CamNC4Me
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Ah, thanks for pasting the part that you found useful. These are definitely some interesting recommendations. We'll see how it all plays out as we, as a culture, try to reorient to a more representative society. We're already seeing in it commercials, Netflix/Prime Video movies, and other attempts by those in power to enfranchise POCs. Will the Church move in this direction, too? I dunno. Time will tell.

- Doc

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Mormonicious »

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Revelation 2:17 . . give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Thank Google GOD for her son eBay, you can now have life eternal with laser engraving. . oh, and a seer stone and save 10% of your life's earning as a bonus. See you in Mormon man god Heaven Bitches!!. Bring on the Virgins

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

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1, 2, 3, say miscegenated
Last edited by Mormonicious on Wed Jun 17, 2020 7:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Revelation 2:17 . . give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Thank Google GOD for her son eBay, you can now have life eternal with laser engraving. . oh, and a seer stone and save 10% of your life's earning as a bonus. See you in Mormon man god Heaven Bitches!!. Bring on the Virgins

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Kishkumen »

Orson Pratt University
Spencer Kimball University
Elijah Abel University
Darius Gray University
Joseph Smith University
Deseret University
Zion University

Lots of good options out there.

The best name for a university is, unfortunately for the LDS Church, taken:

Cassius University
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Mormonicious »

Deseret Academy; School for Profits; Mommy U; Yes we have a Theater and Dance Department but NO GAYS U; Not US U, we never hated the Curse of Cainers; It's not a Massacre if no one finds out about it U; No Jews, No Gentiles, No Those People U; Suck at Football U.
Revelation 2:17 . . give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Thank Google GOD for her son eBay, you can now have life eternal with laser engraving. . oh, and a seer stone and save 10% of your life's earning as a bonus. See you in Mormon man god Heaven Bitches!!. Bring on the Virgins

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by moksha »

Meadowchik wrote:
Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:26 pm
The OP-ed author made some big claims. Here's a paper exploring Young and white supremacy: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/di ... b_contents
From Joanna Brooks book regarding Joseph F. Smith:
Why did Joseph F. Smith change his earlier testimony so dramatically, as to nullify the entire history of Black ordination?

Smith understood the necessity of winning acceptance to the mainstream. Reeve writes: “Their decisions regarding race, priesthood, and temples at the turn of the century are best viewed as efforts by Mormon leaders to facilitate Mormonism’s transition from charges of racial contamination to exemplars of white purity.”

Finally, it seems clear that President Smith found in the death of Jane Manning James freedom from accountability—from the discomfort of bearing false witness in the presence of someone who knew it was false—to the last living witness to the reality of Abel’s ordination.
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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Symmachus »

The name needs to go. It is simply unacceptable in 2020.

I think it should be: "The Brigham Young University."
"As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them."

—B. Redd McConkie

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by moksha »

Kishkumen wrote:
Wed Jun 17, 2020 5:47 pm
Orson Pratt University
OPU is a great acronym.
Cry Heaven and let loose the Penguins of Peace

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Re: Is it time to rename BYU?

Post by Mormonicious »

Fundamental Understanding of the Celestial Kingdom University
Revelation 2:17 . . give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it. Thank Google GOD for her son eBay, you can now have life eternal with laser engraving. . oh, and a seer stone and save 10% of your life's earning as a bonus. See you in Mormon man god Heaven Bitches!!. Bring on the Virgins

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