Monday, January 31, 2011

Are Mormons Racist? A Scriptural Analysis

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is often accused of being racist.  I would like to personally address this issue lest anyone should be confused. 

Firstly we should consider ourselves very blessed to have the scriptures which provide us great insight into the origin of the different races. 

When God created Adam and Eve we know that they were white skinned.  In Moses 5 we learn that Cain, a son of Adam and Eve loved Satan more than God.  Cain slew his brother Abel and a mark (and we will later learn that this was a mark of a blackness of the skin) was put upon him and his posterity.

All of Cain’s posterity was wiped out during the flood of Noah; all except one woman named Egyptus (which means forbidden).  Noah’s son Ham had taken her to wife (probably against the wishes of his father), and thus (according to Ab 1:24) from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.

And what was the curse? You may be tempted to think that the curse was that their skin color was black, but in fact the curse was related to the ability (or inability in this case) with regards to holding the priesthood.  In Abraham we learn of a righteous Pharaoh who was blessed with the blessings of the Earth and with wisdom, but was cursed with regards to the priesthood because he was a descendant of Ham.  Skin color was the method chosen of the Lord to clearly distinguish between Cain’s descendants who could not hold the priesthood and Adams other descendants that could.  This was the mark that the Lord was referring to in Moses 5.  So let's be very clear here.  Descendants of Cain could be righteous, wise and blessed of the Lord in every way, but they simply could not hold the priesthood.  This is not ‘The Church’ being racist; these are the revelations from The Lord.    

One thing that is very important to note here is that even at the time of the Israelites only the Levite tribe could hold the priesthood.  The other tribes could not, even though they were also white skinned and in many cases righteous men.   

Now let's turn to The Book of Mormon for more information on the subject of races.  The Americas were inhabited and populated from a group of people who journeyed there from Jerusalem.  Shortly after their arrival to the Promised Land this group split into two groups who throughout the history of the Americas (from 600 B.C. to 400 AD) continually fought.  One group (the Nephites) generally followed the Lord and the others (the Lamanites) turned against the Lord.  Again the Lord saw fit to distinguish the two peoples by causing a similar curse as Cain’s to come upon the Lamanites.  In 2 Nephi 5:21 we learn that The Lord caused a sore cursing, because of their iniquity to come upon them. Whereas they used to be white, fair and delightsome God caused a skin of blackness to come upon them. 
And why did God do this? That their women might not be enticing unto the Nephites.  Interracial marriage was strongly discouraged; just as Cain’s seed was 'forbidden' so were the Lamanites. In verse 23 we read "And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing". 

Eventually the Nephites became wicked and were wiped out by the Lamanites, who were found by Christopher Columbus.

Now I should clarify that this time the curse upon the Lamanites did not include limitations on their ability to hold the priesthood. 

So far we have learned the origin of the white and two dark skinned races on the Earth.  Scientists would do well to take note; Man started out white and through unrighteousness became darker skinned.   

The Book of Mormon prophesied that the Lamanites would accept the gospel and become a white and delightsome people again.  Leaders in the restored church have worked hard to bring to pass this prophecy.  Apostle Elder Kimball reported the following during General Conference in 1960:
"The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised. In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation. At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl--sixteen--sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents--on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather....These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness."

I think it is wonderful to see these prophecies come to pass right before our eyes! It truly is a testament to the truthfulness of the restored gospel.

When the church was restored to the Earth in 1830 the curse upon Cain’s seed with regards to the priesthood was still in effect, but in 1978 this very same Apostle Elder Spencer W. Kimball, now president of the church received a revelation from the Lord that extended priesthood blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. 
With the curse of Cain lifted the Lords kingdom could now be established amongst every nation, tongue and people.

With regards to racism President Spencer W. Kimball stated the Church’s position well: “We do wish that there would be no racial prejudice. … Racial prejudice is of the devil. … There is no place for it in the gospel of Jesus Christ” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball [1982], 236–37). 

My feelings are summed up perfectly by my friend and fellow servant Alexander B. Morrison of the seventy who wrote in the Sept 2000 Ensign "How grateful I am that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has from its beginnings stood strongly against racism in any of its malignant manifestations"


Anonymous said...

You have not done your research. Have you read what Brighan Young said about any white man who marries a black woman? What does the church teach now about interracial marriages - don't do it. What did Pres. Benson say about the black people and their fight for equality? You need to read up on your church history and not be so closed minded. As for your blog as a whole, thank you for the laughs and a reminder of why I am so happy I left the church. You are an inspired man and so full of yourself. I hope you do become a general authority so we don't have to listen to your uselsee drivel from now on.

By omission and ignorance you continue to spread the racist agenda of the LDS church.

Stake Pres. said...
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Anonymous said...

I'd say most Mormons aren't racist. But to say the church doctrines aren't is a practice of self delusion. I know you were taught people with black skin were fence sitters in the war in heaven. How could you miss it?

There were two blood banks in Utah until the 1960's, one with white's blood only at the request of the LDS church as they didn't want to receive transfusions from blacks. Isn't that racist?

To claim the church isn't racist is to purposefully ignore the painfully obvious. There's just too much information to the contrary.

Study up:

Jeff Seaman

Anonymous said...

Oh this is satire. The jokes on me this time I guess.

Jeff Seaman

Anonymous said...

Biggest load of BS I have read in a very long time...
Book of Moses, Nephites, Laminites..
Excuse me while I go and puke.

Stake Pres. said...
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Lisa said...

The church isn't racist. It has black friends!

Goldarn said...

You have forgotten something, President. It pains me to have to remind you of this, but as you well know, Joseph Smith was a descendant of Joseph of Egypt through his son Ephraim.
The problem here is that one drop of Negro blood is enough to disqualify someone from holding the priesthood before 1978. And Joseph Smith was descended from a woman who was a member of the ruling race of Egypt, and therefore a descendant of Egyptus. Thus, none of her posterity has the right to the priesthood. This includes Joseph Smith and all members of the tribe of Ephraim.
Clearly God reversed his stance on descendants of Cain holding the priesthood before he caused the ordination of Joseph Smith. God is a god of order, after all, and not a god of confusion. Any confusion must have been added later, by men who were acting as men and not acting as prophets. I don't worry about them, though; I'm sure they've sufficiently repented in the spirit world by now.

George said...

Total rubbish President. Please read Brother Nibley and three current BYU profs, Brown, Draper and Rhodes. King David wore the mark of Cain on his forehead. It looks like a Toyota emblem. It is the Greek letter tau surrounded by a circle. The Cainites were semitic and their descendants live today in the Middle East and are called 'Kennites."

Your writing is an embarrassment!

Stake Pres. said...
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George said...

Yes, especially where the prophets were dead wrong and are dead.

Giving further thought to this blog and looking it over. I believe you and it are a hoax!

Prove to all of the readers that you really are what you claim to be. Your writings are fraudulent!

Stake Pres. said...
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Thomas Gail Haws said...

Dear Brother Paternoster,

Your new portrait looks very dignified! But are you not aware that Brother Joseph Smith ordained men of African ancestry to the priesthood? I wish to be as gentle as possible with you about this, but at the same time kindly disabuse you of any mistaken understandings that could possibly prove a stumbling block to the members of your stake.

Stake Pres. said...
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Actually Textual said...

Dear President,

Your views and interpretations of the scriptures are traditional, well-substantiated both by Mormon lore and outdated books and articles written by General Authorities but never acknowledged as scripture. There is no evidence Adam and Eve were white, and white is a relative term. The Israelites were the Mocca color of the average Hispanic or Arab, and in the Middle East, that color is called white. White in the Nordic sense developed far from the cradle of the Patriarchs. Second, a careful reading of the scriptures shows that the "darkness" that came over Cain and his descendants is spiritual darkness, separation from God's presence. The children of Cain were not cursed as to the priesthood but as to the right of priesthood, which is defined as presidency. The actual Priesthood restriction dates to Brigham Young, and appears to be policy, not revelation, though most members took the policy for revelation. Fact, under Joseph Smith at least two Black men, Elijah Abel and Walker Lewis, were ordained to the Priesthood. Also, the Lamanite curse was, as the curse of Cain, figurative, representing spiritual darkness. Black "skin" was symbolic even in Old Testament times for grief, sin, transgression, regardless of the actual hues of the skin. Case and point, the Indians already looked as they did (brown skin) before they ever met Lehi & company. Converted Lamanites never changed color (Samuel the Lamanite, the Stripling Warriors), only the children of mixed Nephite-Lamanite marriages changed color, but the curse had already ceased among their converted dark-skinned Lamanite parents. The Church is not racist, though many members have espoused racist views in the past (a few do now, mostly privately), including people such as Brigham Young, whom I admire and love dearly as our second prophet. Why were so many of us racist or why did we have racist views? Because it is so very hard to be in the world and not of the world, and the world those saints of former times lived in was racist. This is no excuse, but it is also true that a person can hold very rigid, racist views, and yet be a good person, receive revelations, inspire and be inspired. Fortunately we've come a long way. We have had President Hinckley (who reached out to Gays with great love, and this barrier is greater than the color barrier), and President Monson (who like his predecessor, simply loves all of God's children) has extended the warm arms of Christ's love to all races, religions and sexual orientations. So any discussion of the Latter-day Saints and racism should, in fairness, include these and other pioneers of God's love for His children.

Stake Pres. said...
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☼ Dayna said...

President Paternoster-

I was speaking with a dear friend about what many on the outside consider to be "racism" on the part of The Church. I told her of a man who attempted to shake my testimony of the prophets. He came to me and said "your church only let black members have the priesthood because their tax-exempt status was being threatened!"

I was taken aback and told him that I do not wish to harbor the spirit of contention. He was thinking in worldly ways of spiritual matters! This Church's work could go on to fill all the lands whether or not it paid its due to the "government," although we know the hand of the Lord will stay the hands that seek to tear down this church with their threats.

I explained to him the real reason why it seemed like we waited "too long" to allow our dark members the priesthood. And while communing with this dear sister, we were in agreement that this is the policy as we know it and it IS of the Lord.

You see, president. Racism was rampant in the United States. Some small minded members of the Church and society at large sought to handicap the black man further by removing his rights - ALL rights and not just the priesthood. Then when the laws of the land were changed and segregation was abolished, did you see the difficulty the black man had assimilating into our society? There were rumblings and riots and all manner of disruptions! And that was AFTER their rights were granted!

Can you imagine what it would be like for black men to hold the priesthood BEFORE the world caught up to our current views??? It would have been very difficult and distressful for a man like that to not only bear the mantle of the priesthood but the racism of the world around him instead. In seeking to make the black man's burden light, this church - the true church- withheld the priesthood from him until he would no longer feel the burden of the pressures of a racist society around him.

So, withholding the priesthood from the black man was in fact doing them a huge service and for that we should be proud.

Stake Pres. said...
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Bjorge Queen said...

Even Mark E. Peterson said that he would be willing to let ever black person drive a cadillac if he could afford it. Most people weren't racist so much as they just didn't want to see black people be allowed the "absorption into the white race" that they clearly sought. As the great apostle once said: "Remember the little statement
that they used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then en-
dure, then embrace.'" And anyway, it's not racism if God told you to do it. It's just following orders.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stake Pres. why have you removed all your comments from your posts? they were the most inspiring! I could feel the spirit while reading every single one of your words.. please do not take this away from us, your faithful flock!

Joseph K. Packer said...

to Actually Textual and Dayna---I have to say Thank you for believing in the prophets of the Lord. Dayna you are right what would the black man have done if he had the priesthood before knowing what to do with it. I say that is also the reason that most blacks are in poverty is because they don't know what to do with money. That is the reason that I am glad that blacks are not given promotions and equal opportunity because they would not know what to do with that. The Lord works in mysterous ways. I understand now why is it that most general authorities are white. Praise the Lord

Sis. LaJosephette Z. Eyering said...

I was wondering, President, if you could provide this humble servant with some insight?

I know that Spencer W. Kimball was excited when the filthsome dark skin of the Lamanites started to lift once they began to read the Book of Mormon, but does it work the other way too?

I ask because my daughter-in-law recently turned her back on her Eternal Reward, started wearing underwear that fits properly, and stopped reading the book of Mormon altogether!

She's a very light-skinned redhead (in hindsight, we should have expected her rebellion, with that flaming Irish hair!), and I'm wondering if I should expect her to start developing some pigment?

She and my son are going to Mexico over the Christmas break (which will give me and my husband LeVyron an opportunity to re-indoctrinate their children!!), and she showed me the shockingly immodest bikini she's planning on wearing.

Surely, her white and delightsome, translucent skin will change now that she's apostate. I'm hoping the Lord will see fit to curse her with an even, golden tan, and no freckles.

Have you known of such a thing to happen, President Paternoster?

Yours in the Holy Name of the Lord, the Ultimate Hater of Master Mahan, even that Dirty Black Devil, even Jesus Smith,

Sister LaJosephette Z. Eyering

Anonymous said...

It looks like they took down all of the president's comments. That's hilarious.