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Africans and Mormonism

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You wrote: I apologize if this has been brought up, but I only have a couple questions and don't have the time to forum search through topics. Please don't take this as an attack, I'd just like to know.

Gary: This is what this forum is for - to ask questions, get ideas from others, so you can formulate your own ideas on issues.

1 ) Cain being darkened by God as punishment for his sin. Does this infer that the reason Africans are indeed dark is because of this, and not effect of the sun?

Gary: Cain's skin was darkened as a punishment for sin. However, we have no actual evidence in the scriptures that this "curse" was passed on. Other curses of dark skin are noted, such as the Lamanite curse in the BoM, however what exactly entails the curse or why a curse would continue is a question. In the instance of the BoM, it was more to help Nephites separate themselves from unbelievers. However, when Lamanites were converted, this issue of skin and curse virtually goes away. We don't hear about the skin curse after the visit of Jesus to the Americas, and so the term Lamanite after that period may have been more of a political term, rather than a racial one.

2 ) I know Joseph Smith has been quoted stating that abolishing slavery would be counter-productive to the curse placed upon them, and that whites at the time shouldn't have to suffer because of it. Was this a reflection of the religion itself? If it is, would you, as LDS Christians, agree with his opinion at the time?

Gary: Joseph Smith ran for president of the United States. On his platform was the issue of buying freedom for the slaves by selling lands out west. Joseph did not discuss the curse, but actually ordained some blacks, like Elijah Abel, to the priesthood. The issue of the curse took hold in Utah under Brigham Young. Research shows there is no evidence of a mandate from God to establish/reestablish the "curse of Cain" in our day. It is very possible that the common belief of the 1840s/1850s of the blacks being cursed was accepted by Brigham Young and taught form that stand point.

IMO, The Lord allowed a "ban" (not a curse) on the priesthood for several reasons. First, the LDS church was under constant attack as it was over issues including polygamy and its active proselyting that scared people into taking drastic actions against Mormons. Second, the small Church was doing its best to establish a foundation, one which it would have not been able to do in a racist America had it embraced proselyting to many African-Americans, even as recent as the 1950s and 1960s. The Church was still a western Church until that timeframe, so addressing the issue of blacks and the priesthood ban was not a major issue.

In 1978, however, a temple was being built in Brazil. With the mixture of blacks and whites in that country, it was difficult to separate race. Elder David B Haight of the Twelve Apostles told me in 1979 about the revelation to end the priesthood ban. President Kimball gathered his counselors and the majority of the Twelve together in the Salt Lake Temple to pray about ending the ban. The Lord gave them a major revelation on the issue, one which Elder Bruce R McConkie would later tell me was "greater than the revelation of the Son."

So, we do not know exactly why a ban was put in place, though I believe the Lord allowed it in order to allow the Church to establish a foundation and to survive. But it definitely did end with a revelation, when the Church was strong enough to go into more of the world, and when the world was ready to accept blacks as equals.

I lived in the South for almost 20 years, during which time I noted that most Christian churches are still segregated, though by choice. There are white Baptist Churches and Black Baptist Churches, but very few integrated ones. The LDS Church is totally integrated by geography, so if you attend our branch/congregation in Tuskegee Alabama, you'll see blacks and whites sitting together. The same in Montgomery, AL and other places. Of course, depending on the demographics of an area, a congregation may be more of one race/ethnicity than another.

3 ) Why were blacks unable to become ordained prior to 1970? And why were they then allowed to?

Gary: I think I tried answering that above. For some reason, God allowed a ban. I believe it was to allow the small Church to grow until it and the world were ready for blacks to be considered equals. It isn't the first time the Lord has given limitations on priesthood or membership. Only the descendants of Levi were allowed to hold the Levitical priesthood under the Mosaic Law, and then only Aaron's descendants were allowed to be high priest. Jesus told his apostles to only take the gospel to the tribes of Israel and not to the Gentiles, lifting that restriction later when Peter was commanded to go to Cornelius. Why the restrictions on taking the gospel to the Gentiles? Because the Lord chose it that way. The Church in His day would have suffered had it not been allowed to first establish a foundation amongst the Jews, and then when it was strong enough, to take it to the Gentiles, as well.

Gary Smith

Moses 7: 22

22 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 was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.

Moses 7: 8

8 For behold, the Lord shall acurse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people.

Abr. 1: 21

21 Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the aloins

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Also about the LDS church keeping members who are black. Let it be remembered that the LDS church has the highest percentage retention rate out of any Christian Religion in the united states, England, Canada, Australia, Japan, taiwan, and many other countires. Followed by the seventh day adventists followed byt he jehovah witnesses.

Can you cite your source for this please? For example, this quote from cumorah.com seems to imply otherwise:

International Growth

World trends are sharply different. There are 650,000 active Seventh-day Adventists in Kenya alone, but only 500,000 Latter-day Saints (of which approximately 170,000 are active) in all of continental Europe, Asia, and Africa combined. After more than a decade of proselyting in Russia with the largest full-time missionary force of any denomination, LDS membership has risen to only 11,000, with a fraction of those members remaining active. The same period has seen the number of active Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia rise to over 120,000, with some 275,000 individuals attending conferences. There are more active Jehovah's Witnesses in the countries of Georgia or Armenia than active Latter-day Saints in all of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and Russia together. There are less than 100,000 active Latter-day Saints in all of Europe, including the United Kingdom. In comparison, there are over 1.4 million proselytizing Jehovah's Witnesses in Europe, and 2.7 million who attend Jehovah's Witness conferences. One Austrian saint states, "This is a thing that deeply concerns me. A friend of mine is a Jehovah's Witness...When he came to Vienna with his family at age 8, there were forty Jehovah's Witnesses in Vienna. That was all for Austria. Now, twenty years later, there are 20,000 active Jehovah's Witnesses. Twenty years ago we had 400 LDS members in Vienna, and some more in other cities of Austria, and now, we only have about 750 in Vienna. Whenever we talk about missionary work in Church, we always hear those saying 'it's so hard, and the Austrians are an irreligious people.' That can not be entirely true, or else the Jehovah's Witnesses would not have had such a growth!"

Rodney Stark and Laurence Iannaccone note: "except for the years immediately following the prophetic disappointment of 1975, Witnesses growth has consistently out-paced Mormon growth. In 1954, there were 7.7 Mormons per Witness publisher. By 1994, this had been reduced to 1.9. Given that the Mormons are generally viewed as the world's most successful new religion and had about an 80-year start on the Witnesses, this is an astonishing achievement."8 It is even more astonishing when we consider that, since Jehovah's Witness participation significantly surpasses raw membership alone while LDS participation is only a fraction of raw membership, the number of active and participating Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide far surpasses the number of active and participating Latter-day Saints.

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osirica said: "In addition, you are of course saying "those in the civil rights movement didn't really do any good, why should we Mormons?" because as it well known, the Mormon church did absolutely no good in leading or standing for the ideals of the civil rights movement."

But I had asked: "Should they? In what particulars is the present-day Civil Rights movement possessed of morality, judgment or -- frankly -- anything else to which the Church should be required to subsume its stated purposes?" in response to osirica's assertion, which I had previously paraphrased thus: "They [the LDS Church] Should [provide leaders for the present-day civil rights movement]."

Not quite the same thing, is it? Can you not make your point without garbling what I said? Parse my words if they are not obvious at first blush.

The stated purposes of the LDS Church are to preach the Word and provide the means by which those who accept the Word to achieve exaltation in G-d's Kingdom. It is my assertion that getting sidetracked fighting an already won fight after the aims of the fighters have become trivialized is to act not in the best interests of and perhaps antithetically to the Church's stated purposes. What you propose is an abdication in favor of Mammon. We're trying to build Zion here. You can't do both.

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Cinepro,

I previously wrote:

What you heard from Brigham was that a white man who took advantage of his black slaves by sexually expoiting them should be put to death on the spot. That is the true meaning of the statement you are misrepresenting.

And you responded:

I can see where BY addresses abuse in the paragraph marked (B ), but I'm not sure where it gets tied into (a).  And if BY were referring to slaves in paragraph (a), why would he use the term "seed of cain"?  And if he were referring to rape, why would he use the term "mixes his blood", which might also include consentual acts within the bonds of marriage?

The point is that the "dragonlackey" falsely accused Brigham of saying that a black person should be killed on the spot if they married a white person, whereas Brigham's statement clearly says that it is the white person who's supposed to be killed.

That is the material point.

And since singling out the white person would imply a double standard if both parties were equally free, and since nearly all the blacks in Utah at the time were slaves, and since master-slave sexual relations were the only form of miscegenation punishable by law under Brigham's administration, it seems pretty clear what he had in mind.

Regards,

Pahoran

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This link i got from the guy above me who posted it earlier explains alot. You should take a look at it people. ^^ {edited}

Moderator: You are on the queue for posting links to obscene language.

i guess i cant post that link :P

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