You said What When?
I recently heard that the Mormon church made an official statement that they had never taught that black people were cursed by God, nor they were the descendants of Cain. This intrigued me, so I called up the LDS office in Utah to see what their official position is. After being passed to three different people a man got on the line whom I shared my inquisitiveness to. I asked if he could he help, and he said he believed he could. So I told him I'm not a Mormon but of a different religion, but could you tell me if the Mormon Church taught that black people were cursed and that they were the descendants of Cain. Is this true?”
I was told that it never was a doctrine of the church, there were people that believed it, but none of the leaders taught this as doctrine. That if someone did teach it, they never said “thus saith the Lord.” They must say thus saith the Lord for it to be doctrine. It was therefore their personal opinion and they were not speaking on behalf of the Church. So I responded, “it wouldn’t be in your book as doctrine?” His response was that it was the leaders personal opinion, he was aware of some statements made but they were never official. The people didn’t follow it, some did, not everyone. They are only to follow if God said to do this, there are times people speak their own opinion’s.
Let me ask those of you who are reading this article, does this sound like opinion? The First Presidency of the church in 1947 said: “From the days of the Prophet Joseph even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by any of the Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.” (Letter from the First Presidency of the Mormon Church, July 17, 1947, as cited in Mormonism and the Negro, by John J. Stewart, 1960, pages 46-47)
“The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles ... expound its doctrine ... sustained as a prophet, seer, and revelator.” (The Ensign, May 1994).
This means any apostle who speaks, gives doctrines, and they are able to explain it.
After further questions on the phone he admitted it was changed by revelation. I then asked “if it wasn’t doctrine in the first place, why would they need for God to speak (revelation) to change it?” Silence came. Then he went back to what he said previously. So much for an adequate answer on this question.
This supposed non-revelation is still in their own Book of Mormon, which they claim is the most perfect book ever written on earth.
“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.” (Alma 3:6; 2 Nephi 5:21)
Brigham Young preached this under the law of God. Why believe so strongly in a doctrine that was not from God? “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. “ (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, p. 110)
Always be so: “I say now, when they (his discourses) are copied and approved by me they are as good as scripture as couched in the Bible…”(Journal of Discourses vol.13 p.264 also p.95)
“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable, sad, low in their habits, wild, ad seemingly without the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be and the Lord put a mark on him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then other curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they would be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.” (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pages 290- 291)
“after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? Because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation a upon a the earth as well as God; (Journal of Discourses, Volume 22, page 304. and Vol. 23, p. 336)
Remember Brigham Young, the second prophet of the Mormon church said that whatever he preached was a good as scripture; that is Mormon Scripture. (Journal of Discourses Vol. 13, page 95, 264.)
Joseph Fielding Smith said “No man ever went astray by following the counsel of the authorities of the Church. No man who ever followed the teachings or took advise or counsel from the one who stands as the representative of the Lord ever went astray.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, Page 243)
Brigham Young understood that Joseph Smith classified these people as The Seed of Cain. Young went on to say said that “Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for all the spirits took sides, but 'the posterity of Cain are black because he (Coin) committed murder. He killed Abel and God set a mark upon his posterity”' (The Improvement Era, Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 105).
Even one of their modern apostles was not corrected and was allowed to print in his book Mormon Doctrine explaining what Mormons believe “As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed and told that “the earth” would not thereafter yield him its abundance as previously. In addition he became the first mortal to be cursed as a son of perdition...The Lord placed on Cain a mark of a dark skin, and he became the ancestor of the black race. (Moses 5; Gen. 4; Teachings, p. 169.” (Mormon Doctrine by Apostle Bruce McConkie, p. 109.)
Was McConkie mistaken? Is the book of Mormon which is given by a supernatural means not so perfect? Or should I say accurate... “Though he was a rebel and an associate of Lucifer in the preexistence, and though he was a liar from the beginning whose name was Perdition, Cain managed to attain the privilege of mortal birth....As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born through his lineage. He became the first mortal to be cursed as a son of perdition.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 109.) To illustrate: Cain Ham, and the whole negro race have cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.” (Mormon Doctrine, p.114.)
“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.... There were no neutrals in the war in heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Volume 1, pp. 66-67.) Isn’t this book where they have their revelations to the prophets. This is Mormon teaching explained in this book is he wrong to?
“ And it came to pass that 1 beheld, after they had dwindled, in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.” (Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 12:23)
“And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity.-..wherefore, as they were white, and exceeding 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.” (2 Nephi 5:21) Mormon Scripture today?
Are these uninspired verses, are they left up to choice to obey in the most perfect book ever written?
The Fact is they have it written and have always taken the position this is from the Lord. “...a twofold curse came upon the Lamanites:...'they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.' (1 Nephi 12:23.) So that they 'might not be enticing' unto the Nephites, 'the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.' (2 Nephi 5:20-25; Alma 3:14-16.)...
Book of Moses, Joseph Smith wrote about a group of people in the Old World who were cursed with a black skin: “For behold the Lord shall curse the land with much heat... and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. “ (Pearl of Great Price, Book of Moses 7:8)
“The negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the lord's doing... “ (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, page 477)
This all sounds like a thus saith the Lord to me. The majority of the leaders were saying it, not just a few.
The Mormon Church despite its numerous name changes has in its writings teachings unfriendly to blacks. Nothing could be more damaging than to take a Bible teaching and doctrinally twist it using the name of God to curse a certain group of people.
This doctrine...was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith...we all know it is due to his teachings that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood” (The Way to Perfection, pp. 110-111). Malachi a true prophet said in the Bible, “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously, every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (Malachi 2:10).
For 150 years the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught this as official Church doctrine. That people of black African descent could not hold the Priesthood nor receive the Higher Ordinances in Mormon Temples because they were of the “lineage of Cain”; Cain being “cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood” because he slew Abel. In 1978, President Spencer W. Kimball by revelation reversed the Priesthood-ban; Mormon leaders began to attempt to erase over a century of umbrage with the announcement of “allowing worthy black Mormon men” to receive privileges and the secret initiations which they had previously been denied. This unexpected turnabout came at the same time Mormon leaders were about to send missionaries into places that we not welcomed before, such as Africa. Convenient timing for a revelation don’t you think.
After the LDS church granted the priesthood to “all” worth male members in June 1978, Apostle Bruce R. McConkie stated: “...it is time disbelieving people repented and got in line and believed in a living, modern prophet. Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsover has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. We spoke with a limited understanding and without the light and knowledge that now has come into the world.... We have now had added a new flood of intelligence and light on this particular subject, and it erases all the darkness....It doesn't make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year (1978).” (“All Are Alike Unto God,” pp.1-2)
This sounds like the Jehovah’s Witnesses new light. How convenient to say such a thing after a hundred years of revelation contrary. This proves the Mormon church does not have absolute truth but only relative truth, (on this criteria it could not be considered truth at all). Their truth can change at any time the prophet feels like it should. Imagine Malachi saying Isaiah was wrong we need to listen to the present truth from Malachi and his truth nullifies there truth prior.
And what about the argument the official told me they must say “thus saith the Lord.” If this is the qualification for true doctrine, then 85% of the book of Mormon and other doctrines would need to be rejected. Not even the Bible gives this qualification for something to be doctrine. So should all the books written in the Mormon church not to be followed unless they have this statement beforehand? This can be applied to any doctrine that they are presenting, as one would have a choice to follow or not to follow it.
The Latter-day Saints position that a statement is not revelation or official unless having the words “Thus saith the Lord”, does not represent the official LDS doctrine: “There are those who insist that unless the Prophet of the Lord declares, 'Thus saith the Lord,' the message may not be taken as a revelation. This is a false testing standard. For while many of our modern revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants do contain these words, there are many that do not.” (Teachings of the Living Prophets quoting President J. Reuben Clark, Jr.)
The following from a typed copy of Brigham Young's speech with the spelling errors not corrected from the original: “...the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the priesthood nor his seed, until the last of the posterity of abel had received the priesthood, until the redemption of the earth.... Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; [say] we will sommons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick, and all the elders of Isreal, suppose we summons them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the preisthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction, - we should receive the curse which was placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood untill that curse be removed.”. (Brigham Young Addresses, Ms d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, dated Feb. 5, 1852, located in the LDS Church Historical Department)
So was Brigham who knew Joseph Smith and the teachings wrong? Or was he right?
The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain, the Church must go to destruction,--we should receive the curse...” (Brigham Young Address, Feb. 5, 1852, Ms d 1234, Box 488, Folder 3, L.D.S. Archives). Are the Mormons willing to say Brigham was wrong on this? If so what else is he wrong on? Consider that he could be more wrong than right. Remember what he wrote is claimed to be as Scripture.
“The prophets have declared that there are at least two major stipulations that have to be met before the Negroes will be allowed to possess the Priesthood. The first requirement relates to time. The Negroes will not be allowed to hold the Priesthood during mortality, in fact, not until after the resurrection of all of Adam's children. The other stipulation requires that Abel's seed receive the first opportunity of having the priesthood....the last of Adam's children will not be resurrected until the end of the millennium. Therefore, the Negroes will not receive the Priesthood until after that time... this will not happen until after the thousand years of Christ's reign on earth.” (The Church and the Negro, 1967, pp. 45-48.)
Considering they are trying to fix a public relations nightmare they still need to explain the 1978 decision. It is clear that the LDS members accept almost anything their leaders tell them. “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan - it is God's plan. When they' point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy.” (The Improvement Era, 5/26/1945). But the leadership of the LDS Church is accountable to no one for their teachings, not even God, because they say they speak on His behalf and then they are allowed to make decisions that contradict what Mormons have previously said that they said came from God.
Brigham’s said, “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so” (Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, p. 110).
Was this God's law or not? If not how do they know what is God’s law today?
God has never changed his mind on this issue. In the Song of Solomon the black Shulamite woman, is blessed and praised as the “fairest among women!” The name Brigham Young University was given in honor of a true Mormon leader. Moses married an African (Numbers 12:1). “But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:9) In Acts 13:1, “Niger,” meaning black, shared equally in the leadership of the Church. It was black man “ Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus” (Mk.15:21-22) who was privileged to help carry Jesus’ cross with him up to Calvary, was he a cursed man?
If the people were following this teaching where did they get it from? Their leaders of course! It then becomes inconsequential whether it was tagged with a “thus saith the Lord” if it was ingrained in their religious living. After all, the people thought they were following the Church’s teaching by the prophets and apostles. And they were told not to question the leadership
Skin color has absolutely nothing to do with spirituality or being un-spiritual. Frankly it would not matter if they agree with this today or not. To find an excuse for what was practiced a hundred years ago from the founder and his predecessors certainly gives us no confidence that the Mormon Church is being upfront and honest about anything they have ever said or done wrong. But when you are on your way to Godhood you can be like that.