The Meaning of White and Black Skin, According to Mormonism

Image result for white and black

I’m in Utah right now until June 23rd. I stopped at a Deseret Book store the other day and purchased Doctrines of Salvation: Sermons and Writings of Joseph Fielding Smith– the complete three-volume work, edited by Bruce R. McConkie.

In volume 1, chapter 4, “Our First and Second Estates,” we find Smith’s heading: “WHY MEN ARE BORN TO DIFFERENT RACES.” This former president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote the following:

There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were give us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.

Latter-day Saints, do you really believe this? The LDS Church in modern times would shy away from this, but these words come from one of your presidents. According to the Mormon god, those who were more obedient during the pre-existence were blessed with white skin, and those who were not as valiant were cursed with dark skin.

I went to the Harold B. Library yesterday to look up LeGrand Richard’s book, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. In the chapter titled “Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon,” he defends 2 Nephi 5:21-23, which notes that God caused the Lamanites to be curse with a “skin of blackness.”

Describing how the (white skinned) Nephites were defeated by the (black skinned)  Lamanites, Richards writes,

Those who were thus cursed succeeded in destroying all the white people, save twenty-four souls, about A.D. 384. (p. 73)

God did not curse people with dark skin. The god of Mormonism does, but the one true God of the Bible does not. Latter-day Saints, I urge you to look deeper into your church history and doctrine, for it does not point to the true Jesus Christ. You can trust in the God of the Bible, and seek a relationship with Him, one that is built on grace through faith, not your works.


2 thoughts on “The Meaning of White and Black Skin, According to Mormonism

  1. I am seeking your permission to use a map I obtained from ( I plan to use it in a self-published book with iUniverse LLC, Bloomington, IN. On page 45 of The Bible’s First Five Books: A Sociological Study, I will have Map 3.4: Ur of Chaldeans and the Land of Canaan. Of course, I will cite proper attribution in my book.

    If there is anything else you wish me to do, please let me know. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

    John R. Heapes, M.A., M.S.W.
    Emeritus Professor in Sociology
    HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College


    1. Hi John,
      Thank you for your message and reaching out to me. I greatly appreciate it a lot. My sincere apologies for not responding until now; I have been busy with my daughters and have been on ministry sabbatical, otherwise I would have emailed you back sooner. Yes, by all means, please go ahead and use the map. You have my permission. Congratulations on your book by the way! I hope all goes well with it. I went through WestBow Press (out of Bloomington, IN) for my book. Yours sounds very intriguing! I wish you the best on that project.

      Adam Dommeyer


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