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Joseph Antley

Are black Africans descendants of Cain or Ham?

Are black Africans descendants of Cain or Ham?   55 votes

  1. 1. As a Latter-day Saint, do you believe that black Africans are the literal descendants of Cain or Ham?

    • Yes.
      12
    • No.
      23
    • I'm not sure/I don't know.
      14
    • Other
      4
    • I'm not LDS, but thanks for giving me an option.
      2

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149 posts in this topic

I've found mixed opinions on this. As a Latter-day Saint, do you believe that those of black African descent are literal descendants of Cain or Ham?

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I've found mixed opinions on this. As a Latter-day Saint, do you believe that those of black African descent are literal descendants of Cain or Ham?

As a Latter-day Saint, I've seen the opinion uncritically expressed in the past, but critically and more recently it has been demonstrated that the opinion is not specifically LDS, but derives from attempts to justify slavery Biblically. There are two recent books on the topic of Noah's Curse: The Biblical Justification of Slavery and The Curse of Ham. BYU Studies has a good review of both books recently.

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
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I put I'm not sure/ I don't know . . . and I could have added, I don't care. Also I could have added . . . Genesis doesn't say that (although I know there are other references).

I do know that persons of African heritage or citizenship have elect spirits (as do persons from all the earth's heritages). There is no difference that way.

Not to mention that we are all adopted into the house of Israel, anyway, upon baptism.

Edited by Maidservant
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IDK about Cain or Ham, but I'm fairly certain they are descendants of Noah, and thus Adam. Just like everyone else :P

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I've found mixed opinions on this. As a Latter-day Saint, do you believe that those of black African descent are literal descendants of Cain or Ham?

I think this question should be open to Baptists and other denominations too, as it was taught among them. It was a common assumption among several faiths. From Wiki:

Adoption by Protestant groups

The split between the Northern and Southern Baptist organizations was over slavery and the education of slaves. At the time of the split, the Southern Baptist group used the curse of Cain as a justification for the practice. In fact, most 19th and early 20th century Southern Baptist congregations in the southern United States taught that there were two separate heavens; one for blacks, and one for whites.[13]

The doctrine was used to support a ban on ordaining blacks to most Protestant clergies until the 1960s in the U.S. and Europe. The majority of Christian Churches in the world, the ancient churches, including the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox churches, Anglican churches, and Oriental Orthodox churches, did not recognize these interpretations and did not participate in the religious movement to support them. Certain Catholic Diocese in the Southern United States did adopt a policy of not ordaining blacks to oversee, administer the Sacraments to, or accept confessions from white parishioners. This policy was not based on a Curse of Cain teaching, but was justified by any possible perceptions of having slaves rule over their masters. However, this was not approved of by the Pope or any papal teaching.[14]

Baptists and other denominations including Pentecostals officially taught or practiced various forms of racial segregation well into the mid-to-late-20th century, though members of all races were accepted at worship services after the 1970s and 1980s when many official policies were changed. In fact, it was not until 1995 that the Southern Baptist Convention officially renounced its "racist roots."[15] Nearly all Protestant groups in America had supported the notion that black slavery, oppression, and African colonization was the result of God's curse on people with black skin or of African descent through Cain[citation needed] or through the curse of Ham, and some churches practiced racial segregation as late as the 1990s[citation needed]. Today, however, official acceptance and practice of the doctrine among Protestant organizations is limited almost exclusively to churches connected to white supremacy, such as the Aryan World Church and the New Christian Crusade Church.

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I think this question should be open to Baptists and other denominations too, as it was taught among them. It was a common assumption among several faiths.

...so that makes it okay?

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...so that makes it okay?

No, it makes it a fair question to those of all faiths.

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No, it makes it a fair question to those of all faiths.

For the purpose of this thread, I'm not concerned with how other faiths view this. I just want to get an idea of what proportion of Latter-day Saints on the board believes this.

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Reminds me of the Jesus Jones' song lyric, "Right here, right now, watching the world wake up from history . . ."

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For the purpose of this thread, I'm not concerned with how other faiths view this. I just want to get an idea of what proportion of Latter-day Saints on the board believes this.

Okeydokey, it's your poll.

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Well, this is what they teach in institute. At least, most of my institute class and teacher agreed with this from the current manual:

Therefore, although Ham himself had the right to the priesthood, Canaan, his son, did not. Ham had married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain ( Abraham 1:21
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I wonder what Brigham Young's vote would have been here. . . too bad we won't ever know that one, huh!pardon.gif

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I think almost everyone is descendant from Cain by now. :P

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I think almost everyone is descendant from Cain by now. :P

maybe not.........who knows and why should we care?

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I've found mixed opinions on this. As a Latter-day Saint, do you believe that those of black African descent are literal descendants of Cain or Ham?

I would say neither, as both Cain and Ham are mythical, and not historical, figures. :P

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I would say neither, as both Cain and Ham are mythical, and not historical, figures. :P

While I would say that both Cain and Ham are probably real individuals, though obviously much mythology has built up about them. And since they had progyny then they would be ancestors of virtually everyone currently on earth. Along with Ghengis Kahn, and a whole lot of other people that maybe we'd prefer to distance ourselves from.

This myth was developed long prior to the LDS Church and came to us with converts. Quit trying to saddle us with it.

(Although I replied using Seth's post, I do not imply that Seth is trying to saddle us with the myth. This comment actually applies more directly to the creator of the poll)

- Ed

Edited by SlackTime
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I don't know, and don't care.

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Hey, they had some descendents, didn't they?

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As a Latter-day Saint, do you believe that those of black African descent are literal descendants of Cain or Ham?

I do. According to my understanding, the ancient Greeks were as well.

This myth was developed long prior to the LDS Church and came to us with converts.

You don't accept the BoA as scripture? Or perhaps JS was a true prophet for only a little while?

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I do. According to my understanding, the ancient Greeks were as well.

You don't accept the BoA as scripture? Or perhaps JS was a true prophet for only a little while?

I absolutely love the Book of Abraham. What exactly has that to do with anything?

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I voted yes for the sake of the poll. But I also must say that it is quite irrelevant in light of the 1978 revelation on the priesthood. It would be interesting to see what their partriachal blessing would say. I suspect it would say that they were of Joseph through Ephraim... and that they would be adopted into that tribe. The law of adoption applies to those who accept the fullness of the Gospel so whether they are not of Abraham I suggest it not really the point. Neither were the gentiles in Peter and Paul's day but as they entered the Covenant of the Gospel they became the seed of Abraham and the sons of Moses and Aaron... So whether literally descended from Ham or Cain it is of no real effect on their salvation and exaltation. Although many want to handicap the revelations of God and say that the official declaration was merely a correction of some sort of mistake, it was and is a binding revelation on the Church and I receive it with gladness inasmuch as the fullness of the Gospel can go to all nations, including those who were descended from Cain or Ham.

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Prior to the '78 revelation on the priesthood, it was the general consenses of all the LDS that I knew, and many of the Church related books that I read all seemed to indicate that the authors believed it to be the case. Since then, I'm not so sure. Of course, since then, it's not really so important to my way of thinking. It was, sorry to say, a convieniant way to explain the PH ban!

Mike

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Sorry to answer for BC Space but I could not restrain myself, I also believe this answers the OP.

(Abraham 1:21-26) "Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth. From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land. The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden; When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land. Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal. Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood."
So there was a curse and it seems it was on the lineage of Ham, it does not mention Cain, unless that is what is meant in the passage by "Canaanites" but it does seem to hark back to father Adam.
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I don't know, and don't care.

+1

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Sorry to answer for BC Space but I could not restrain myself, I also believe this answers the OP.So there was a curse and it seems it was on the lineage of Ham, it does not mention Cain, unless that is what is meant in the passage by "Canaanites" but it does seem to hark back to father Adam.

Oh, nice. Except I don't see black african's mentioned there at all. In fact, I see no skin color mentioned at all. So, I reject your interpretation of the scripture. I point out that Joseph married an Egyptian and fathered both Ephriam and Manasseh, sons who were given the birthright, through her. I also point out that Joseph Smith ordained several blacks to the priesthood and I throw the question right back at you. Was he a Prophet or not? I think he was. I will humbly admit however that many members, post Joseph Smith, tried to explain the Priesthood ban by way of this scripture. I grew up with the explanations and heard them often. Doesn't make them right. I agree with Elder McConkie that we should forget all those useless and erroneous explanations and interpretations. They were wrong. All we know about the priesthood ban is that it was the policy of the Church from some date post 1846 until 1978 with some few exceptions. That it was removed by revelation from God and that we can rejoice with all members of all races in the opportunity to serve within the Priesthood of God.

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