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God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.


Lamanite

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Ok, these two beautiful children are my daughter and my nephew. My nephew joined us for scripture study tonight. And by divine providence we read 2Nephi 5. This is seriously no joke. I did not set this up. In fact, I may have skipped over this chapter if I had read the stupid chapter heading. Let me quote from the chapter so you will understand what I'm talking about.

21 And he had caused the acursing 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 bdelightsome, that they might not be centicing unto my people the Lord God did cause a dskin of eblackness to come upon them. 22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be aloathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities. 23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that amixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. 24 And because of their acursing which was upon them they did become an bidle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey. 25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to a<a title="1 Ne. 2: 24." mark="a" type="A" href="http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/5/25a">stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.

I can't tell you how bad I felt for these two. They both had questions about their "dark skin." My daughter then asked if her sisters (biological sisters I might add) were better than her. Why would that be? Take a look...

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Her sisters are white and exceedingly fair.

Here is your chance to speak to this issue. If appropriate I will let my daughter Sammie and my nephew Isaac read your responses. They are 12 and 11 yrs old.

Big UP!

Lamanite

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I don't see how a sign within a specific clan of people 2600 years ago has any literal modern application to racial features today, even if the record does refer to a literal pigment-changing that occurred at that specific time to that specific small group of people (which I'm not sure it even is).

The modern spiritual application is the difference in countenance ('spiritual light') between those who choose sin over righteousness. This is the vast majority of scriptural uses of coverings/skins of 'dark' 'black' and 'white'. - It's the only way it's used in the Bible, and has no reference to skin pigmentation.

Children are born innocent, period. I suggest your next reading be selections from Moroni 8, which makes clear that all children (with no qualifiers) are born clean from sin, and are pure, and alive in Christ, and that to assert otherwise is sinful, and considered mockery to God.

PS - those are beautiful children! All of them!

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When I was going through the Book of Mormon I decided that I needed to tackle that issue. I went through the text looking for evidence of whether or not it was a change of pigmentation (which has certainly been supposed). I found no evidence that it was and what I thought (and think) is good evidence that the terms were used as spiritual metaphors not pigment descriptors. Which says I agree with nackhadlow (I know, I know, I could have said that in a lot fewer words).

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It is obvious that some change in their physical appearance took place. What exactly this change was we don't know, but it served to make them unattractive. I don't think it was giving them a dark skin. It seems to me more like the Portrait of Dorian Gray, where the portrait grows uglier with every sin.

Colours when mentioned in the Bible usually carry some sort of metaphorical meaning. This carried on into modern Hebrew, one example being the Hannukah song Banu Choshech Legaresh, which is about banishing darkness. The refrain has the line 'get thee hence blackness'. This refers to black as as the opposite of light or white, not black as in dark skin colour!

Fair as used in the KJV usually translates either the word 'good' or the word 'beautiful'. It does not mean fair as in a light colour.

Be sure to bring up 2 Nephi 26:33.

Your daughters and nephew, judging by those pictures, are all gorgeous, no exceptions.

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Those are cute kids. I'd put pictures up of the grandkids of my family but this technological stuff confuses me :P

From what I've read it seems the change to the Lamanites came about due to behaviors, not just a *poof*. What kind of behavior can bring about change in skin color, indeed even changes in genetic coding that will allow that coloring to carry on through generations?

I really don't know why the Lamanites were given darker skin. Maybe it was an easier, more immediate way to differentiate the two peoples than, say, growing an extra digit. We don't know but I do know that my two little biracial nieces are adorable and beloved by both sides of the family ;)

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Brant is right.

There is no evidence in the Book of Mormon that a change in skin pigmentation occurred. I have read and re-read all the places in the BofM that talk about Lamanite and Nephite differences, and there is nothing that implies that they were even racially distinct from each other.

And, yes, they are lovely kids.

Thanks for the photos.

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Brant is right.

There is no evidence in the Book of Mormon that a change in skin pigmentation occurred. I have read and re-read all the places in the BofM that talk about Lamanite and Nephite differences, and there is nothing that implies that they were even racially distinct from each other.

What kind of evidence would one expect to find that would signify racial differences; especially if both peoples originate from the same stock?

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Well Laminite- You know that since I live among Polynesians this sometimes touches on a nerve with a few. However there are those that interpret this differently. It is my belief it has nothing to do with skin color per say as being evil. Even though there will be a few here who disagree. If we went the route of skin color being the sole reason the Lord changed their skin then what is the premise of Asians such as Japanese. It probably dealt more with the type of prejudicial attitudes of a group in regards to caste system. Example such as in Rapa Nui the Ali'i class were more fair skin as they spent less time laboring in the sun. The working class spent arduous time tilling, fishing, cutting statues with their skin hardening in the sun. This by usual societal attitudes give a rise to class distinction by association. Otherwise the wealthy and powerful were more fair skinned than the working class who were darker. Therefore fair over dark is superior. J Smith history showed he gave PH to blacks. He apparently was not concerned about color. However he cannot control what others think and interpret, and he was not afforded to stick around to more than likely educate ignorance of others at the time. You just need to remember this

Deut 18:22

22 When a aprophet bspeaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Tell your children that no man is superior and to learn the sermon on the Mount.

Matt 5:10-12

10 Blessed are they which are apersecuted for brighteousness

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In past years, I have argued on this board that in the ancient world, light and dark had to do with caste differences. Higher-ups were lighter because they were indoors, and not out in the fields working. In fact, the preoccupation with deep tans is a modern phenomenon. Ancient people hated them.

Japanese people (who I am most familiar with) prize light skin. But they are not talking about Caucasians (who when first encountered back in the 16th century were considered red, not white, because of their florid faces...), they are talking about exquisite princesses with pale ivory faces.

This is true, I have heard, even among Ethiopians.

For a Bible example, see the Song of Solomon, where the maiden wails that she is black (unlike the other palace belles) because she has spent her days out in the fields.

Beowulf

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In past years, I have argued on this board that in the ancient world, light and dark had to do with caste differences. Higher-ups were lighter because they were indoors, and not out in the fields working. In fact, the preoccupation with deep tans is a modern phenomenon. Ancient people hated them.

Japanese people (who I am most familiar with) prize light skin. But they are not talking about Caucasians (who when first encountered back in the 16th century were considered red, not white, because of their florid faces...), they are talking about exquisite princesses with pale ivory faces.

This is true, I have heard, even among Ethiopians.

For a Bible example, see the Song of Solomon, where the maiden wails that she is black (unlike the other palace belles) because she has spent her days out in the fields.

Beowulf

Agreed, but don't forget the Japanese also have Ainu genetics in them making some more fairer by birth also.

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Agreed, but don't forget the Japanese also have Ainu genetics in them making some more fairer by birth also.

To be sure. But the Ainu were "hairy" (from the Japanese point of view) more than they were light-skinned (and the gene mix is why some Japanese men can sport remarkably thick beards by Asian standards).

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To be sure. But the Ainu were "hairy" (from the Japanese point of view) more than they were light-skinned (and the gene mix is why some Japanese men can sport remarkably thick beards by Asian standards).

Yes don't I know. My FIL was more hairy than me. I'm very hairy by celtic standards.

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I may be wrong,and often are, but God could have said He caused a blackness to come upon them and that would have made more sense as a spiritual darkness. Instead He said He caused a SKIN of blackness to come upon them and that this new genetic trait was passed on to all those who joined with them.And yet you say this is not a pigmentation connection. Are there not several shades of people represented in the Mayan drawings?

" and the Lord spake and it was done " sounds like a "poof" change to me. Perhaps it was a birthmark .I'm just saying...

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I may be wrong,and often are, but God could have said He caused a blackness to come upon them and that would have made more sense as a spiritual darkness. Instead He said He caused a SKIN of blackness to come upon them and that this new genetic trait was passed on to all those who joined with them.And yet you say this is not a pigmentation connection. Are there not several shades of people represented in the Mayan drawings?

" and the Lord spake and it was done " sounds like a "poof" change to me. Perhaps it was a birthmark .I'm just saying...

2Nephi 5: 21-24

21 And he had caused the acursing 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 bdelightsome, that they might not be centicing unto my people the Lord God did cause a dskin of eblackness to come upon them.

22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be aloathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.

23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that amixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.

24 And because of their acursing which was upon them they did become an bidle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey

Where does it specifically say it was a genetic skin trait passed on. It could be that those of a certain group could be doomed to dark skin from the lifestyle they are living. Such becoming an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety. Like those that I know hang around the beach all day just surfing and never working. Smoking pot and getting tans with most having criminal records. Sound familiar? I surf also, but I don't hang around with the cliques that get into trouble and have a reputation. Since it is a localized community everyone here know them and will never hire them. They are looked down with disgust. Then they get their girl friends pregnant some us young as 14. Then they pass that attitude down to their children and the cycle repeats. I have seen it for 26 years. It goes on and on.

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Seed can certainly mean offspring, it can also mean "seed" . I agree that idleness is easily be passed on from one generation to another . There are several generations of some groups in Britain that have always been on welfare.

Read verse 21 again and see why God put a skin of blackness on them, they were white and exceedingly fair and delightsome and would be enticing. There is a problem here if white and fair referred to their spiritual purity,otherwise there would be no reason to make a change.

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Seed can certainly mean offspring, it can also mean "seed" . I agree that idleness is easily be passed on from one generation to another . There are several generations of some groups in Britain that have always been on welfare.

Read verse 21 again and see why God put a skin of blackness on them, they were white and exceedingly fair and delightsome and would be enticing. There is a problem here if white and fair referred to their spiritual purity,otherwise there would be no reason to make a change.

Fair skin is a relative term. It depends upon your perspective. You are looking at it from an European POV. Not as an Meso-American or Polynesian. Fijians are Polynesian also as are Tongans or Samoans etc... Yet Fijians are black as the New Guineans and Aborigine of Australia. However they are Polynesian and located in the same geographic region. Some Polynesians are just more fair skinned than other Polynesians. Your thinking in context of white as universal. Not so.

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Are there not several shades of people represented in the Mayan drawings?

Yes, but it is not necessarily a difference in pigmentation. The contexts use color for different reasons. One is to create an easy definition between opposing forces on murals of large battles (Chichen Itza). That doesn't tell us that their skin was different, only that the painter found a convenient way to mark the difference.

The next difference is found in Maya scenes of courts, where the ruler is black. It is possible that this is a body paint. It is interesting that the most important person in the room is black.

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evidence of whether or not it was a change of pigmentation

Jasher gives a more complete account of things - there is a lengthy account of what happens to the skins of cloths that God makes for Adam and Eve when they leave Eden. Whoever has these skins of cloths is strengthened/protected (akin to wearing garments). Reference to "skin" is in reference to garments.

Chapter 7

http://www.pseudepigrapha.com/pseudepigrapha/jasher.html#CH7

24 And the garments of skin which God made for Adam and his wife, when they went out of the garden, were given to Cush.

25 For after the death of Adam and his wife, the garments were given to Enoch, the son of Jared, and when Enoch was taken up to God, he gave them to Methuselah, his son.

26 And at the death of Methuselah, Noah took them and brought them to the ark, and they were with him until he went out of the ark.

27 And in their going out, Ham stole those garments from Noah his father, and he took them and hid them from his brothers.

28 And when Ham begat his first born Cush, he gave him the garments in secret, and they were with Cush many days.

29 And Cush also concealed them from his sons and brothers, and when Cush had begotten Nimrod, he gave him those garments through his love for him, and Nimrod grew up, and when he was twenty years old he put on those garments.

30 And Nimrod became strong when he put on the garments,

At one point, the skins are stolen, they end up being used by evil men, at which point they are cursed. Skin is just another name for garments - when you are evil, your garments will no longer protect you.

It's not about skin pigmentation - the ground is cursed - Cain is no longer under the protection that righteous temple going priests are given, no longer given the protection that garments give.

29 And Cain dissembled, and said, I do not know, am I my brother's keeper? And the Lord said unto him, What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground where thou hast slain him.

30 For thou hast slain thy brother and hast dissembled before me, and didst imagine in thy heart that I saw thee not, nor knew all thy actions.

31 But thou didst this thing and didst slay thy brother for naught and because he spoke rightly to thee, and now, therefore, cursed be thou from the ground which opened its mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand, and wherein thou didst bury him.

32 And it shall be when thou shalt till it, it shall no more give thee its strength as in the beginning, for thorns and thistles shall the ground produce, and thou shalt be moving and wandering in the earth until the day of thy death.

33 And at that time Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, from the place where he was, and he went moving and wandering in the land toward the east of Eden, he and all belonging to him.

Interesting when you compare the OT to the more complete writing of the pseudepigrapha you can see there is a lot that is left out of the OT. Words like "skin" take on a different meaning when you read the entire account and see that "skin" is about their clothing (made out of animal skins), and tied up with God's protection - clothing/protecting them like He clothed Adam and Eve - not about their personal skin color.

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21 And he had caused the acursing 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 bdelightsome, that they might not be centicing unto my people the Lord God did cause a dskin of eblackness to come upon them. 22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be aloathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities. 23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that amixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done. 24 And because of their acursing which was upon them they did become an bidle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey. 25 And the Lord God said unto me: They shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to a<a title="1 Ne. 2: 24." mark="a" type="A" href="http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/5/25a">stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.

Here is what we taught our children (in terms suitable for their age):

1. This was the means to separate two specific groups of people at a specific time and place for a specific purpose, suitable for their culture and needs, and the Lord's purposes, at the time.

2. The Nephite people were vulnerable to a dislike of dark colored skin, so this approach worked "that they (the Lamanites) might not be enticing" to them and compromise their spiritual heritage through intermarriage, trade, etc. (verses 23-24). Not that dark skin is inherently ugly or evil, but it was not enticing to the Nephites for whatever cultural reason and so the Lord used this to His advantage in helping the Nephites remain apart from them and avoid many problems of the spirit that are not "skin deep."

3. The term "curse" was used as much to work on the minds of the faithful, so they would not follow the practices of the Lamanites (verse 25).

4. Another curse, likely not related to the skin color, was that "they shall be loathsome" to the Nephites "save they shall repent of their iniquities." A repentant dark-skinned Lamanite was not to be "loathsome" to a repentant Nephite, and if they married they taught their children to beleive in Christ.

5. This should not be confused with other marks put upon people in other times and places in the scriptures.

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Lamanite,

Would it be uncharacteristic for a ancient tribal culture to use racial profiling to segregate, or even subjugate another group of people?

If not, then I say there is nothing wrong with letting the text read just as it appears to read. It may be offensive to our present sensibilities, but that was just they way it was. Even in our own culture, less than a century ago, such mentalities were common and acceptable, why not then. We are forced to teach our children the sad history of human racial prejudice, even in scripture.

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In these two pictures, who is "light" and who is "dark"? To me, it is pretty obvious, and it has nothing to do with skin pigmentation.

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Best,

T-Shirt

I think this illustrates the point very well. Lifestyle can definitely influence one's appearance. People who abuse their bodies with drugs and heavy tobacco use will age much faster and their skin will appear darker as it won't have a healthy glow. But I also think there can be a literal darkening by living a certain way, eating certain foods or being out in the sun all day (as someone already mentioned).

It is obvious that the Nephites and Lamanites were easily able to tell each other apart. I wonder if it had more to do with marrying some of the other people who might have been there who were not of the people of Lehi and who might have been of a darker race. In other words the curse came as the Lord knew that because of their behavior and lack of faith, they would marry outside their lineage and in so doing bring a darkness to their skin.

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