By Jueseppi B.
Early Mormonism had a range of policies and doctrines relating to race in regard to black people of African descent. References to black people, their social condition during the 19th century, and their spiritual place in Western Christianity as well as Mormon scriptures were complicated, with varying degrees and forms of discrimination against black people.
When the Mormons migrated to Missouri they encountered the pro-slavery sentiments of their neighbors. Joseph Smith, Jr. upheld the laws regarding slaves and slaveholders, but remained abolitionist in his actions and doctrines.
Following the death of Joseph Smith, Jr., Mormon leaders beginning with Brigham Young instituted a policy of excluding most people of black African descent (regardless of actual skin color) from Priesthood ordination and from participation in temple ceremonies. These practices continued in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) until the 1978 Revelation on Priesthood, which was canonized as Official Declaration—2.
The first reference in Latter Day Saint writings describing dark skin as a curse and mark from God refers to Lamanites. The Book of Mormon, published in the late 1820s, states the following about a group of people who rebelled against God:
And [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people, the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.” (2 Nephi 5:21)
The Lamanite nation was the original nation to disobey the teachings of the prophets in the Book of Mormon, and the Nephites were the original people to follow said teachings, though the Nephites rebel and repent throughout the book. The curse was also placed on the Lamanites’ descendants “because of the traditions of their fathers”, (Alma 17:15) which would ultimately “be taken from [them] and be answered upon the heads of [their] parents” (2 Nephi 4:6)
The mark of blackness was placed upon the Lamanites so the Nephites “might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction” (Alma 3:7-9). The Book of Mormon records the Lord as forbidding miscegenation between Lamanites and Nephites (2 Nephi 5:23) and saying they were to stay “separated from thee and thy seed [Nephites], from this time henceforth and forever, except they repent of their wickedness and turn to me that I may have mercy upon them” (Alma 3:14).
“God has always been discriminatory.” So says Randy Bott, a professor of religion at Brigham Young University, in aWashington Post piece by Jason Horowitz. Bott’s statements have kicked up the most significant dust storm concerning Mormonism and race in 30 years. Bott was quoted at length in Horowitz’s piece. (Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.) By Tuesday night, BYU students were planning protests concerning Bott’s comments, ABC4’s 10 o’clock news in Salt Lake City had cut off coverage of Mitt Romney’s primary sweep to report on those comments, and BYU administrators—not to mention members of the LDS Church’s hierarchy—had huddled together, trying to come up with an appropriate response.
Starting shortly after the death of the church’s founder, Joseph Smith, in 1844, the Mormon Church began denying its priesthood—otherwise granted to faithful young men over the age of 12 more or less as a matter of course—to men of African descent. That policy survived for well over a century. Only with a divine revelation announced by then-prophet Spencer W. Kimball in 1978 did the church finally overturn the ban and allow “all worthy males,” regardless of race, full and equal membership in the religion.
Racism plays a very large role in Mormonism. Mormons today will tell you there is no racism in the church, and that blacks can receive the priesthood. This has not always been so and past leaders of the church including Mormon Prophets have written and spoke extremely racist remarks about non-whites.
Brigham Young’s statements on race mixing: Brigham Young said that the punishment for mixing your blood with the seed of cain (blacks) was that the curse of cain would come upon you and your future generations. It always had been and always would be.
Remember: Racism Is At The Very Heart Of The Book Of Mormon
Alma 3: 6 “And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.”
This same racist approach to people of color was the basis for denying people of African descent from partaking of priesthood blessings, a clear indication of which was their dark skin. According to the church the dark skin was a mark placed upon Cain and his posterity so they would not be killed. (Gen. 4: 15)
The church officially claimed from the pulpit for many, many years that a dark skin identified those who were cursed and could not receive the priesthood. Then, magically, the lord washed it all away by telling Spencer Wooley “It’s all good. They’re forgiven. Give them the priesthood.”
When I think of how the Mormon church is trying to spin its way out of these racist pronouncements about African and Native Americans, or I see African American members of the church marching on MLK day…it makes me sick.
No Matter How You Look At It, The Church’s Position On Race Is Logically Indefensible
The church was wrong when it claimed blacks are a cursed race. The doctrine was never inspired by God to begin with. If Brigham Young–God’s mouthpiece–was dead wrong about an idea he so staunchly and steadfastly promoted as God’s true doctrine, then it is perfectly reasonable to think any prophet, at any time, could be wrong about anything.
The point I’m trying to make with this post is that Mormons shouldn’t be able to get away with saying “that’s all behind us” when it comes to the racist doctrine of Mormonism. Okay, so they are telling us the church is making its best efforts to ditch racism. That’s great and commendable, but Mormons are not off the hook yet. Morons need to give a full explanation as to why the doctrine was introduced in the first place. I want to hear more than racially friendly talking points during an election year when Mitt Romney, a devout Mormon, is running for President of the United States.. I want Mormons & Romney to address this from a logical standpoint.
Why Mormon Racism Is Worse Than Most
No matter how you look at it, racism is awful, but the Mormon church has taken it to a new level.
What makes Mormon church’s racism so awful are the following two points.
- They justified racism in the name of God.
- They still refuse to apologize.
Even the Southern Baptist church (which was founded on racism) has apologized. http://www.allianceofbaptists.org/racism_statement.htm
What really floors me is the following passage from the Book of Mormon. It talks about equal treatment of blacks and then immediately justifies slavery in the same passage.
2 Ne. 26: 33: For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to ccome unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, BLACK and white, BOND and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are like unto God, both Jew and Gentile.
What disgusts me the most is the racism used on a daily basis by the American media. When President of The United States, Barack Hussein Obama, was closely involved with his minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Rev. Wright, from his pulpit, preached facts & truth about American racism….the main stream media screamed foul. Cried for POTUS Obama to “distance” himself from a man who was telling the truth about racist America, even though America didn’t like what Rev. Wright had to say.
POTUS Obama has been vilified in the media for their erroneous assumption that President Barack Obama has an association with Muslim’s and Islam. This same media has ignored Willard Mitt Romney being a priest in a racist religion, which is what Mormonism is….R.A.C.I.S.T.
It is perfectly fine for the caucasian to be a priest in a racist cult religion, but the Black guy can’t even attend a church where a Black preacher speaks out about racism in America.
Fuck America. There is nothing special, exceptional or outstanding about America.
“BARACK” The Vote.
Filed under: 2012 Election, Causes, Celebs & Fame, Education, History, News, Opinion, Politics, POTUS Obama, Race, Racism, Religion, The White House, Willard Mitt Romney Tagged: | Book of Mormon, Brigham Young, Brigham Young University, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joseph Smith, Lamanite, Mormon, mormonism and racism, Nephite, Racism, Willard Mitt Romney