Right off the bat, the LDS Church is known for not allowing black members to hold the priesthood until 1978. Delve into the research a little bit and you’ll find out the ins-and-outs of how this came to be.
The Book of Mormon says a few things about race. I encourage you to look up all of this on your own, but here is just a little taste for you! 2 Nephi 26:33 says that “all are alike unto God” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female.” That sounds pretty inclusive, right? Well, the Book of Mormon also says that the Lamanite people were cursed with black skin, while the Nephites were blessed with white skin.
2 Nephi 5:21 says, “And he 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.”
That’s pretty terrible. God is not a respecter of persons, as the Bible says. (see Acts 10:34 and Romans 2:11)
In a FairMormon article, one can find something shocking in an article entitled, “What Does the Book of Mormon Mean by ‘Skin of Blackness’?” written by LDS Brant A. Gardner: “The Book of Mormon is, in fact, racist, although not at all in the usual sense of the term. It represents a particular culture with a distinctive worldview. Even though it was written for a future audience, it was written in a time and manner that reflected the social constructions of the authors, not those of modern readers. This referential gulf between intent and interpretation explains our tendency to read ‘skin of blackness’ with modern racial overtones.” This can be found in Mr. Gardner’s book, Second Witness: Analytical and Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2007-2008)
Come on, let’s not white-wash this, FairMormon! FairMormon is a non-profit organization that responds to criticism of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dancing around issues and trying to prove that Mormonism is true does not hold any water in their arguments. Their reasoning and arguments are empty and void, because they play spin doctors who sugar-coat so many things. Mormonism simply cannot be proven right. The faulty foundation can only be caulked at the cracks so many times before it falls apart. Believe me, it has already begun to collapse from the inside out.
Check this out… The article continues and says of the skin change in 2 Nephi 5:21, “Are these social functions metaphors or do they actually denote pigmentation? Alma 3:6 is the closest thing in the text to evidence for pigmentation change: ‘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 verse clearly indicates that Lamanite skin was dark and that it “mark[ed]” them, thus denoting some visible indication.” Later, he says, “…I conclude that it is unlikely that the mark or curse had anything to do with pigmentation.”
The curse of black skin color mentioned in the Book of Mormon is not metaphorical. It is intended to be literal.
Mormon Prophet Brigham Young was quoted as saying,
“We are now going to the Lamanites, to whom we intend to be messengers of instruction… We will show them that in consequence of their transgressions a curse has been inflicted upon them – in the darkness of their skins. We will have intermarriages with them, they marrying our young women, and we taking their young squaws to wife. By these means it is the will of the Lord that the curse of their color shall be removed and they restored to their pristine beauty…” (Quoted in The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, pp. 58-59)
Pretty sickening, I must say.
When I was in Utah this past June, I bought a copy of Joseph Smith’s ‘New Translation’ of the Bible from the Deseret Bookstore right next to Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City. It is a really good resource to have, as you can see two columns on each page: one with the King James Version of the Bible and the other column with Joseph Smith’s Translation. This book is published by Herald House, the publication wing of the Community of Christ (formerly the RLDS, the largest off-shoot of the mainstream LDS Church). The mainstream LDS Church does not even print Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible or use it as their main Bible! If they did, it would be an open can of worms. What Joseph has added to the Bible is a tremendous monstrosity and embarrassment to biblical scholarship and hermeneutics, as he errs in many areas.
Listen to this. Genesis 7:10 in Joseph Smith’s “Inspired Version” reads as follows: “And there was a blackness came upon all the children of Cainan, that they were despised among the people.”
Genesis 7:29 in his version says, “And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam, and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam, save it were the seed of Cain; for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.”
Not long ago, the LDS Church website, http://www.lds.org, put a new “official” article on their page entitled “Race and the Priesthood.” Setting the stage, the LDS Church had a “revelation” in 1978 to allow black men to be ordained to the priesthood. This was obviously due to social pressure. In the article, “Race and the Priesthood, it says,
“Soon after the revelation, Elder Bruce R. McConkie, an apostle, spoke of new ‘light and knowledge’ that had erased previously ‘limited understanding.'”
Elder Bruce R. McConkie was a Mormon Apostle at the time. He had written a book called Mormon Doctrine in 1966 (later edited) which is no longer published by the LDS Church. Why? Because it is so controversial, and its contents today are embarrassing. In his book, 12 years before the priesthood reversal, McConkie says this:
“In the pre-existent eternity various degrees of valiance and devotion to the truth were exhibited by different groups of our Father’s spirit offspring. One-third of the spirit hosts of heaven came out in open rebellion and were cast out without bodies, becoming the devil and his angels. The other two-thirds stood affirmatively for Christ: there were no neutrals. To stand neutral in the midst of war is a philosophical impossibility.
“Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes.
“Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty.
“The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence. Along with all races and peoples he is receiving here what he merits as a result of the long pre-mortal probation in the presence of the Lord. The principle is the same as will apply when all men are judged according to their mortal works and are awarded varying statuses in the life hereafter.” (Dennis B. Horne, Bruce R. McConkie: Highlights From His Life & Teachings)
Remember, this is a Mormon Apostle talking. An “APOSTLE of the Lord.” So in 1978, everything that LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie said about blacks in 1966 should be forgotten, as a part of “limited knowledge”? McConkie wanted everyone to forget about what anyone in the past ever said about blacks and their lot in this life. Take a look at what Bruce says:
There are statements in our literature by the early Brethren that we have interpreted to mean that the Negroes would not receive the priesthood in mortality. I have said the same things, and people write me letters and say, ‘You said such and such, and how is it now that we do such and such?’ All I can say is that 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 George Q. Cannon or whoever 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… It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June 1978. It is a new day and a new arrangement, and the Lord has now given the revelation that sheds light out into the world on this subject. As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget about them. We now do what meridian Israel did when the Lord said the gospel should go to the Gentiles. We forget all the statements that limited the gospel to the house of Israel, and we start going to the Gentiles.”
Umm, it DOES actually make a difference what Brigham Young taught, what Joseph Smith taught, and what everyone for over one-hundred years taught, because that is a foundation that cannot be re-built unless the original one is destroyed. Why doesn’t the Mormon hierarchy place some quotes that could help give an un-biased story for the public to see on their website? Mormons can spin this information any way they want to in order to fit this new information into the paradigm of their “testimony” of the LDS Church, but the real stab in the back is not necessarily finding out the real side to the story. It is that they find out the LDS Church was hiding the information from them. That’s sometimes even worse than finding out the real historical facts. If I was a Mormon, I would be more shattered to hear that the LDS Church kept secrets about Joseph Smith’s life (such as that he married 11 women who were already married to other men at the time he married them) than I would be to hear of the actual facts of what Joseph Smith did!
The modern-day LDS Church tries to shoo away racism. Well, I’d like to tell them, “Good luck!” The “Race and the Priesthood” article on lds.org continues by saying the following:
“Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else.”
Teachings that all the Mormon leaders gave about black people leading up to 1978 were not just “theories” in their eyes, or “limited understanding,” they were GOSPEL truth! Joseph Smith’s own translation of the Bible even says that Cain and his descendants were CURSED with black skin! This is so ridiculous!
We cannot trust in modern-day false prophets who can prophesy something one day, and their successors prophesy the opposite the next day. This is foolishness and full of confusion.
My God is not the author of confusion. My God does not change. My God is the uncreated, unalterable, Holy God, from eternity to eternity, Amen!