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God can differentiate ... but he never hates


Magyar

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It is such a blessing to have this board, where one of limited wisdom such as I can bring a nagging concern that seems unresolvable, and have thoughtful, plausible answers be provided.

Last week I was lamenting the Book of Mormon connection of dark skin with a curse. I was gently reminded that God has differentiated among peoples from the very beginning, for His own reasons. In one place and time, it may be via their language (as with the Jaredites). It may be by the sign of circumcision in another era. In a place and time of the Book of Mormon, by miracle or perhaps by simple laws of biology, two nations were differentiated by skin color -- but never, ever was skin color in the Book declared an obstacle to anyone's salvation. In fact, critics of the Book of Mormon who love to flaunt its supposed racism never mention the verse: "And God denieth none who come unto him, black or white, male or female..."

One who carefully reads the Book of Mormon cover to cover, realizes that Nephites had no lock on righteousness nor Lamanites on wickedness. They also mingled throughout the histories of the two peoples -- at the high point even becoming one people. If Joseph Smith were a typical racist, writing a racist book, would he have dared to imagine and record such a scenario -- and make it the zenith of his book?

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Very good.

Some of the most righteous people in the Book of Mormon were Lamanites, and some of the most wicked were Nephites. Skin color has nothing to do with inherit goodness or inherit evil.

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I thought this topic, was something completely different because of the title. I agree that God doesn't hate people based on skin color. This man made concept of many races of men, is total rubbish. There is only one race of men, the human race and we are all equal in the eyes of our Father in Heaven.

The only thing God hates is sin, not people.

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I thought this topic, was something completely different because of the title. I agree that God doesn't hate people based on skin color. This man made concept of many races of men, is total rubbish. There is only one race of men, the human race and we are all equal in the eyes of our Father in Heaven.

The only thing God hates is sin, not people.

Amen, Brotha'!!

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One who carefully reads the Book of Mormon cover to cover, realizes that Nephites had no lock on righteousness nor Lamanites on wickedness. They also mingled throughout the histories of the two peoples -- at the high point even becoming one people. If Joseph Smith were a typical racist, writing a racist book, would he have dared to imagine and record such a scenario -- and make it the zenith of his book?

I think the way we should see these types of curses is that they are simply a reminder to us of God's power and evidence of things He's done.

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"Race" is all in the mind, as LDS Guy says, it is a bogus concept.

Yet "race" was very much a part of Mormon thinking in the beginning. "The seed of Cain" was the mark of the Black African. So we have a dichotomy within Mormonism. The 1830 BoM says "white and delightsome"; the 1981 edition changed to the 1840 edition's "pure and delightsome". "Race" very much figures into the curse of the Lamanites. Their skin, as they came to be converted to Christ, was supposed to turn "fair". The old Indian Placement Program was supposed to benefit Amerindians to that end, and the sign of their becoming enlightened was a lighter skin. Of course none of that occurred, despite assertions that this phenomenon was being observed! You can read an example of this former thinking here.

God certainly does differentiate. We do it all the time, so God does it too, or else we could not possess the trait. The difference is that "God" has knowledge to differentiate perfectly. We are all in a vast state of myopic ignorance, and in the next "life" we shall all discover that we "have been mistaken about a great many things"....

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"Race" is all in the mind, as LDS Guy says, it is a bogus concept.

Yet "race" was very much a part of Mormon thinking in the beginning. "The seed of Cain" was the mark of the Black African. So we have a dichotomy within Mormonism. The 1830 BoM says "white and delightsome"; the 1981 edition changed to the 1840 edition's "pure and delightsome". "Race" very much figures into the curse of the Lamanites. Their skin, as they came to be converted to Christ, was supposed to turn "fair". The old Indian Placement Program was supposed to benefit Amerindians to that end, and the sign of their becoming enlightened was a lighter skin. Of course none of that occurred, despite assertions that this phenomenon was being observed! You can read an example of this former thinking here.

God certainly does differentiate. We do it all the time, so God does it too, or else we could not possess the trait. The difference is that "God" has knowledge to differentiate perfectly. We are all in a vast state of myopic ignorance, and in the next "life" we shall all discover that we "have been mistaken about a great many things"....

Beast, was Joseph Smith a racist in 1830 but not in 1840? Rather, he was confronted with a term in the Book of Mormon that carried the idea of pure and that is what he settled on in 1840. The original Book of Mormon phrase had nothing to do with race and perhaps he wanted to make that clear.

Of course there have been racist Mormons. What apologist has ever claimed there weren't? We are all flawed human beings.

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I don't believe the idea that Cains offspring were cursed with a black skin originated with the Latter-Day-Saints. This was commonly believed by many, if not most of the Protestant Christian sects back in the day. Correct me if I'm wrong.

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"Race" is all in the mind, as LDS Guy says, it is a bogus concept.

Yet "race" was very much a part of Mormon thinking in the beginning. "The seed of Cain" was the mark of the Black African. So we have a dichotomy within Mormonism. The 1830 BoM says "white and delightsome"; the 1981 edition changed to the 1840 edition's "pure and delightsome". "Race" very much figures into the curse of the Lamanites. Their skin, as they came to be converted to Christ, was supposed to turn "fair". The old Indian Placement Program was supposed to benefit Amerindians to that end, and the sign of their becoming enlightened was a lighter skin. Of course none of that occurred, despite assertions that this phenomenon was being observed! You can read an example of this former thinking here.

God certainly does differentiate. We do it all the time, so God does it too, or else we could not possess the trait. The difference is that "God" has knowledge to differentiate perfectly. We are all in a vast state of myopic ignorance, and in the next "life" we shall all discover that we "have been mistaken about a great many things"....

I agree God does differentiate but not based on the color of one's skin, but by the desires of ones heart. He differentiates between the righteous and the wicked, those who seek to do good and those who seek to do evil.

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Beast, was Joseph Smith a racist in 1830 but not in 1840? Rather, he was confronted with a term in the Book of Mormon that carried the idea of pure and that is what he settled on in 1840. The original Book of Mormon phrase had nothing to do with race and perhaps he wanted to make that clear.

Of course there have been racist Mormons. What apologist has ever claimed there weren't? We are all flawed human beings.

I have no problem admitting that there was Mormon racists in the past and that there is probably still Mormon racists today, as long as everyone else admits that this was the predominate thinking of the time and not a Mormon issue but a world issue of that day and today.

Look at Abraham Lincoln he was a racist from the same era as Brigham Young the prophet who instituted the Priesthood Ban. But people will attack BY without rest as a terrible racist and a horrible man, but Abraham Lincoln gets a free pass even though he was just as racist because he made it legal for the US Army to seize the South's Slaves (while the thousands of slaves in Maryland and Kentucky stayed in a state of slavery till the 14th Amendment) to use as cheap labor and frontline troops against the confederates with the Emancipation Proclamation.

Lincoln only freed southern slaves, he never sought to free any slaves if the South would rejoin the Union peacefully. He openly stated that whites were superior to blacks, and the blacks were incapable of voting, holding public office, or having civil rights.

The fact that Lincoln was against slavery does not make him a civil rights champion, he was just as racist if not more than Brigham Young, yet Lincoln is romanticized and Young vilified for no logical reason at all.

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. . . .Yet "race" was very much a part of Mormon thinking in the beginning. "The seed of Cain" was the mark of the Black African. So we have a dichotomy within Mormonism. The 1830 BoM says "white and delightsome"; the 1981 edition changed to the 1840 edition's "pure and delightsome". "Race" very much figures into the curse of the Lamanites. Their skin, as they came to be converted to Christ, was supposed to turn "fair". The old Indian Placement Program was supposed to benefit Amerindians to that end, and the sign of their becoming enlightened was a lighter skin. Of course none of that occurred, despite assertions that this phenomenon was being observed! You can read an example of this former thinking here.

This is a thoughtful--even courageous--post. Thank you for writing honestly about issues in my faith's history. I'm sure you realize, however, that the statements contained in your link will be attacked as "quote mining" and "lacking context." When the critics make those claims, ask them to prove that the statements are erroneous--and then enjoy the ride.

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I don't believe the idea that Cains offspring were cursed with a black skin originated with the Latter-Day-Saints. This was commonly believed by many, if not most of the Protestant Christian sects back in the day. Correct me if I'm wrong.

I believe that you are correct, especially since there is no LDS scriptures stating that people with black skin are descendants of Cain.

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Beast, was Joseph Smith a racist in 1830 but not in 1840? Rather, he was confronted with a term in the Book of Mormon that carried the idea of pure and that is what he settled on in 1840. The original Book of Mormon phrase had nothing to do with race and perhaps he wanted to make that clear.

Of course there have been racist Mormons. What apologist has ever claimed there weren't? We are all flawed human beings.

You are addressing another subject now: Joseph Smith as editor. This produces its own set of problems. If you've got access to a BoM Critical Text edition (FARMS published my copy) you will run into examples of Joseph Smith editing names, not just "synonymous" word changes. Why change anything at all? I prefer the unexpurgated 1830 edition, with all its warts (spelling errors, 19th century idioms, and clunky chapters). It actually has the fewest number of "problems" of all the subsequent editions.

Joseph Smith was a racist in the sense that he condoned slavery more than opposed it. He was also not above giving the priesthood to free Black Americans. B. Young, otoh, was blatantly anti-Black and promoted the "seed of Cain" doctrine thoroughly....

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Joseph Smith was a racist in the sense that he condoned slavery more than opposed it.

How does one's belief for or against the practice of one person owning another make one a racist or not?

Slavery had nothing at all to do with racial equality, it has nothing to do with race period. Some of the biggest abolitionists were also the biggest racists, believing that it is immoral for one person to own another person doesn't mean you are not racist. Also believing that it is moral for one person to own another person does not mean you are a racist.

I have a question for you would you say that the person that made this statement was a racist?

"

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. . . Joseph Smith was a racist in the sense that he condoned slavery more than opposed it.

There may be some truth in your claim. Still, consider the following: "A plank in Smith's political platform caught [Josiah] Quincy's attention: 'Smith recognized the curse and iniquity of slavery, though he opposed the methods of the Abolitionists.' He proposed to pay for the slaves with proceeds from the sale of public lands, thus respecting the rights of property while freeing all bondsmen (Richard Lyman Bushman, Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling, p. 4).

Bushman also writes: "The exclusion of black men from the priesthood was publicly stated [by Brigham Young] only after his death. . . . Joseph advocated taking the gospel to 'both bond and free,' ignoring race" (p. 289).

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..... It may be by the sign of circumcision in another era. In a place and time of the Book of Mormon, by miracle or perhaps by simple laws of biology, two nations were differentiated by skin color -- but never, ever was skin color in the Book declared an obstacle to anyone's salvation. In fact, critics of the Book of Mormon who love to flaunt its supposed racism never mention the verse: "And God denieth none who come unto him, black or white, male or female..."

Magyar,

Very true and an awesome post. Hate is everywhere in the world. Its nice to belong to a forum where its not. I used to belong to a forum that was about preparedness. It was a non-member website. I'm here today because I left that forum in search of something without hate. My personal belief is that people should be able to post an opinion, without the need to personally criticize the person posting it. We sometimes disagree, even in the church. But we must love all people in or out of the church. I just dont want to spend less of my time in a negative place. So far, I have found this place positive.

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