Obama and Elvis are cousins

James blacks, Bloggernacle, Charity, church, Culture, curiosity, Discrimination, diversity, doctrine, faith, Folklore, inter-faith, LDS, liberal, Mormon, President Monson, race, racism 17 Comments

elvis-presley

President Barack Obama met with President Monson on Monday in the Oval Office, thanking  President Monson for a thorough history of the first family.

Obama Reid Monson

President  Monson presented Obama with details of his family’s genealogy during their first face-to-face meeting. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who is Mormon, helped arrange the meeting and joined it.

Obama and Elvis

“I’m grateful for the genealogical records that they brought with them and am looking forward to reading through the materials with my daughters,” Obama said in a statement after the meeting. “It’s something our family will treasure for years to come.”

Mormon leaders traditionally meet with new presidents and share with them records from the Salt Lake City-based church’s extensive genealogical records.

“President Obama’s heritage is rich with examples of leadership, sacrifice and service,” Monson said in a statement. “We were very pleased to research his family history and are honored to present it to him today.”

The five leather-bound books detail Obama’s family history for several generations. Parts of that history were already known, such as his ties to former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney. The two are eighth cousins.

Obama is a descendent of Mareen Duvall. The French Huguenot’s son married the granddaughter of a Richard Cheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650s from England.

Thoughts Questions?

Notes

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_of_Barack_Obama

2. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/20/AR2009072002068.html

Comments

comments

Comments 17

  1. Pingback: Twitted by mormonmatters

  2. I think it’s really great that the church does this for the new Presidents of the U.S. I think it’s fairly clear that a lot of the membership of the church (at least in Utah) don’t agree with him, and likely didn’t vote for him. But nevertheless, the church extends its kindness, and love. I think it’s great! A true Christlike action of love (and it probably helps to have a good impression with gov’t leaders when you’re a religion who has had some significant run-ins with the gov’t in the past).

  3. Did the church put asterisks next to the names of Pres Obama’s ancestors that were not eligible for the priesthood by virtue of being black?

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    I would be curios of President Obama’s reaction if it was in 1978 when the priesthood was restored to all worthy male members.

  5. I wonder why they didn’t take Richard Hinckley on the trip, as it appears from what I read that they have a common ancestor.

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    Author

    Drew 6

    I think its great a conservative church is talking to a liberal president but I also think its probably a tradition now in the church and would imagine we have done it for sometime to other presidents as well.

  7. I’ll kick the hornet’s nest….

    “President Obama’s heritage is rich with examples of leadership, sacrifice and service,” Monson said in a statement.

    Why the word “heritage” instead of “life” or “experience” Is he implying that Obama’s personal resume ISN’T rich with examples of leadership sacrifice and service?

  8. #2 Holden: “Did the church put asterisks next to the names of Pres Obama’s ancestors that were not eligible for the priesthood by virtue of being black?”

    They could have been sealed to Joseph Smith as servants, or something. 🙂 (Jane Elizabeth Manning)

  9. FaithfulDissident:

    Good point. Servitors forever….something to look forward to…..maybe exclamation marks could go by those ancestors instead of asterisks.

  10. #8, #10:

    President Monson: “Mr. Obama, we would like to present you with this five volume, leatherbound geneaology of your family. In researching your ancestors it is clear that your life has been rich in leadership, sacrifice and service”.

    President Obama: (Scratching his head) “huh”.

    Yeah, I’ll bet President Monson was making specific reference to the geneaology, and therefore nothing should be read into his comment.

  11. I think it is an interesting question, of whether the blacks receiving the priesthood (en masse) could have happened before Civil Rights movement – not because the Church would not have done it, but because as a whole, the ‘Blacks’ needed that first.

  12. “I think it is an interesting question, of whether the blacks receiving the priesthood (en masse) could have happened before Civil Rights movement – not because the Church would not have done it, but because as a whole, the ‘Blacks’ needed that first.”

    The whole idea of substituting genius for stupidity as far as the blacks not having the priesthood doesn’t fly very far with me. This idea seems as bad as “the members weren’t ready for it”. Who cares if the members weren’t ready to quit being prejudiced against blacks, including many of the general authorities? The only thing that black people needed back then and what they need now is to be treated like what they are–equals.

    As far as “not because the Church would not have done it”—the church didn’t do it before the CR movement, to me proving it wouldn’t do it earlier.

  13. I didn’t mean to communicate anything about the readiness of the church as a whole, but about the readiness of the black community as a whole. Even in ancient Israel, only the Levites got the priesthood. Unless you are likewise suggesting bigotry against the other 11 tribes, I think you are looking at this from a limited perspective. Suggesting all the ancient prophets were anti-non-Levite bigots, would be an even more ridiculous form of bigotry of the person suggesting such a silly thing, than just hating on blacks.

  14. Zen–I’m only suggesting bigotry against blacks. When you match that with truly bigoted statements from many general authorities for decades it simply leaves me with the feeling that if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck.

    This is just a policy I abhor and always have. It speaks very poorly of the men who not only initiated it but continued it for whatever reason. You may believe it came from God, I don’t and never have. My extreme feelings go back to my mission in a black part of Brazil when I was formally asked to lie about the reason for my visit when we came upon black families. We were not to teach them. I couldn’t agree more that I speak from a limited perspective, but honestly if you read from the statements of so many church leaders, both public and private, there was a lot of hating on blacks going on, from Joseph Fielding Smith’s written statement that they came from an inferior race to Mark E Peterson’s pathetic discussion about him not minding that they drive Cadillacs, if they can afford one.

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