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Curses And Covenants


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Nice work, and you might as well talk about how the glory of God, or his intelligence, doesn't equate to him having white skin or a body that is as bright as a sun, even though he does radiate light, and is what we could refer to as "bright", and it might also be true that his skin is what we could refer to as white.

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I have been working...

I read through this again and thought:

 

It may be worth investigating / researching the third curtain of the tabernacle, which was made of ram skins and dyed red, presumably to represent the blood of the Lord’s Atonement. While it could have simply had a practical purpose to shade the tabernacle and protect it from the elements (did it rain much while they traveled those 40 years in the desert? if not, even more significant that the use of watertight skin lacked a practical purpose), a “skin of darkness” might represent a rejection of the  “red” (the blood of Atonement) or the covenants and sacrifices that were types of the Lord’s sacrifice as given for the Day of Atonement observances.

 

EDIT just realized: the fourth curtain was of skins too ("badger")! I bet there might be some symbolism might be attached to that as well... SPECULATION: the four curtains become successively more refined, with the outermost (the badger skins) being the least valuable, furthest from the tabernacle the curtains cover, and blocking out the light...

 

Well enough of that. I wish you well in this pursuit!

Edited by CV75
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Thanks, so far. Funny enough, I was expecting a little more push back. But this is nice too ;)

 

CV75 - I know very little about ancient temple architecture and symbolic use of veils or skins, etc. I find what you wrote interesting, but its way out of my reference zone. Do you know a handy article that talks about this at all? At least for my enjoyment, if not for this. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going entirely with this....but I think I want to keep it fairly simple for accessibility to the more usual member. But who knows.

 

Kevin - I've gotten in contact with an old religion professor of mine that I respect, he'll probably be helping me to expand and publish this. But I'd take suggestions for this... do you have any? Frankly, I'm a little out of my league. I'm not exactly a religious scholar. 

 

Thanks Ahab. I would prefer not to focus on any feasible coloration of any major figure. My point is more that skin tone depiction is not the point in scriptures and is largely superfluous and fragmentary to the actual message of the scriptures. But I did mention them being as white as Christ being indicative of light, so that kinda flows into your other thoughts well.    

 

 

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
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Thanks, so far. Funny enough, I was expecting a little more push back. But this is nice too ;)

 

CV75 - I know very little about ancient temple architecture and symbolic use of veils or skins, etc. I find what you wrote interesting, but its way out of my reference zone. Do you know a handy article that talks about this at all? At least for my enjoyment, if not for this. I'm not sure exactly where I'm going entirely with this....but I think I want to keep it fairly simple for accessibility to the more usual member. But who knows.

I was hoping volgadon would see it and pipe in! I really don’t have much to offer other than what is written in Exodus 26:1-14 and the idea that these observances taught various aspects of the mission of Christ and our relationship with Him – but your religion professor would be a better source anyway. I was thinking in terms of the “veils” you mentioned and their connection to common religious imagery for the ancient Jews in the Book of Mormon.

 

I just did a quick google of “tabernacle curtains” and there are plenty of references, but I can’t vouch for any of it except my own observation that the further from the Holy of Holies, the darker and more light-flitering they get (the image won't post).

 

I do like the simple message that the curses, marks, skin, etc. mentioned in our scriptures refer to very specific instances where God was making a statement or teaching a specific people in a language that they could understand (and where those like us who read them millenia later must understand the lesson by the Spirit) and are not global conclusions such as dark skin = cursed. Though the Book of Mormon was written for our day, its writers are foreign to us except for the Spirit we have in common, so everythign has to tie back to the purpose(s) of the book, which we need to remember have nothing to do with skin tone. I think the same could be said for the Bible.

 

I’ve posted in other threads my opinion that the Lord warned the Lehites in a way they could understand, which may not appeal to our more urbane sensitivies and may not speak well of the Nephite mentality at all (but I’m not judging them!). That is what I used to teach my children when such questions came up. As the world’s civilizations go, the Nephites were but a drop in the ocean and so their ways needn’t not be our ways. And I suppose the same could be said of the other groups you mention in your article.

 

If you would like some push-back, it would be to consider ways to allow the references to be, at least in some instances, both symbolic (with universal application) and literal (with only immediate application for the people at hand). For example, 1 Nephi 13:15 – it is interesting to me that Conquistadores, Colonizers and Pilgrims, heirs of the Great Apostasy, are portrayed as white, fair and beautiful in a symbolic, covenant-keeping sense (unless the Lord is very, very easy on giving credit where we may see little credit due, and excused their stumbling because of traditions they couldn’t help but inherit from the abomonable church). But it’s not a biggie.

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The podcast "Mormon FAIRcast #129: Skin Color & Curses" covers this topic as well, though you touch on some different points and get a little more specific about some things. But in the podcast, the guy goes through all of the scriptures and concludes that each instance of "white" means "pure" (spiritually speaking), and each instance of "black" means being spiritually cursed or impure.

One thing that occurred to me when listening to that podcast was how, while we could certainly be understood to read "black/white" today or in the 1800's and think of the two races, does it make sense to think in those terms, or even comparable terms that would be translated that way, at all back in ancient Mesoamerica? In other words, *of course* it's not referring to those specific races, but we're just influenced so much by our modern interpretation of those words and their implications, especially when "skins" are also part of the relevant verbiage, that it's easy to jump to that incorrect interpretation. No wonder JS wanted that changed to "pure," which unfortunately didn't happen until many years later.

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I wrote this up, part of a series I need to finish:

Nephi and the Skin of Blackness.

 

My position is that Nephi did indeed assume a literal skin curse, but improperly applied it based on a misinterpretation of the Lord's statement. That argument is presented in that blog post. The series will follow showing a suggestion how the Nephites developed these ideas, very quickly needing to take a mixed literal/metaphorical reading that eventually became completely metaphorical - until Mormon, coming across Nephi's original record as a source, wrote in some 'literal' details into his record to tie everything together. Hence, while we see a mostly metaphorical use in the Large Plates tradition, there are still some details, likely inserted for theological reasons by Mormon, based on his interpretation of the original incident.

Edited by David T
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It's more common I think to think of good and evil as light and dark than black and white, but it just makes good sense to keep our covenants with God and live by the light of our Lord. We inflict a curse upon ourselves when we don't.

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I am not sure why we have to keep rehashing this thing whole skin color thing? What exactly is the issue with God causing a different color of skin to come upon some people and not others? Does this mean God is racist? No! This whol metaphorical nonsense is clouding up the scriptures. The skin of blackness that came upon the Lamanites was just that- an actual physical darkening of their epidermous.  Not really sure why everyone keeps trying to invent metaphores into the text when none is required. Its simple- God caused a skin of actual balckening or darker skin to come upon them as a means to identify them in physical appearence. Its really that simple. Lets move on. It doesn't mean God is racist. It doesn't mean that they were foreordained to be cursed or anything like that. It was a means whereby God accomplishes his work- to bring to pass the ommortality and eternal life of man.

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I am not sure why we have to keep rehashing this thing whole skin color thing? What exactly is the issue with God causing a different color of skin to come upon some people and not others? Does this mean God is racist? No! This whol metaphorical nonsense is clouding up the scriptures. The skin of blackness that came upon the Lamanites was just that- an actual physical darkening of their epidermous. Not really sure why everyone keeps trying to invent metaphores into the text when none is required. Its simple- God caused a skin of actual balckening or darker skin to come upon them as a means to identify them in physical appearence. Its really that simple. Lets move on. It doesn't mean God is racist. It doesn't mean that they were foreordained to be cursed or anything like that. It was a means whereby God accomplishes his work- to bring to pass the ommortality and eternal life of man.

The issue is over whether or not any person with dark or black skin should be considered to be under a curse.

There are many people who are faithful members of the Church now, ya know, including many men who have dark or black skin who have been ordained in the priesthood, so personally I have a bit of a problem thinking that all of them are living under a curse.

Edited by Ahab
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The issue is over whether or not any person with dark or black skin should be considered to be under a curse.

There are many people who are faithful members of the Church now, ya know, including many men who have dark or black skin who have been ordained in the priesthood, so personally I have a bit of a problem thinking that all of them are living under a curse.

I love all races in the world and the diversity of knowledge we gain from all. I too am no respector of persons- black or white. We must place it all in the context of why they became cursed, or should I say, why their fathers became cursed. It was a means whereby God distinguished the righteous from the not so righteous at various times so that the wicked and the traditions passed down to their children wouldn't persist or mingle into the righteous. This was done in the past when we didn't have the technology or means of communication like we have today. It was thus a means to ensure that seeds from the traditions of wicked groups wouldn't mingle with the traditions of the righteous.

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I love all races in the world and the diversity of knowledge we gain from all. I too am no respector of persons- black or white. We must place it all in the context of why they became cursed, or should I say, why their fathers became cursed. It was a means whereby God distinguished the righteous from the not so righteous at various times so that the wicked and the traditions passed down to their children wouldn't persist or mingle into the righteous. This was done in the past when we didn't have the technology or means of communication like we have today. It was thus a means to ensure that seeds from the traditions of wicked groups wouldn't mingle with the traditions of the righteous.

I don't understand how technology or communication makes one righteous.  Can you please help me understand, because this just sounds very racist to me.  And how can a seed make one unrighteous.  I thought LDS believe that they will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgression.  This has always baffled me, why there was a ban on blacks holding the Priesthood when there is this AoF out there.  In your quote it appears that children born in these wicked groups are paying for the sins their people had. But I may be reading it wrong.        

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I love all races in the world and the diversity of knowledge we gain from all. I too am no respector of persons- black or white. We must place it all in the context of why they became cursed, or should I say, why their fathers became cursed. It was a means whereby God distinguished the righteous from the not so righteous at various times so that the wicked and the traditions passed down to their children wouldn't persist or mingle into the righteous. This was done in the past when we didn't have the technology or means of communication like we have today. It was thus a means to ensure that seeds from the traditions of wicked groups wouldn't mingle with the traditions of the righteous.

 

Interesting how that the white Nephites were the ones who were completely destroyed for being more wicked than the "cursed" Lamanites.  Seems that the whole purpose of the curse didn't really serve any purpose at all. 

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I love all races in the world and the diversity of knowledge we gain from all. I too am no respector of persons- black or white. We must place it all in the context of why they became cursed, or should I say, why their fathers became cursed. It was a means whereby God distinguished the righteous from the not so righteous at various times so that the wicked and the traditions passed down to their children wouldn't persist or mingle into the righteous. This was done in the past when we didn't have the technology or means of communication like we have today. It was thus a means to ensure that seeds from the traditions of wicked groups wouldn't mingle with the traditions of the righteous.

So anyone who has any color of skin, other than white, has ancestors who were cursed and their curse is evident by their skin color, because otherwise their skin color would still be white.

Is that a fair assessment of what you believe?

So now what can we cinclude about peiple who have white, or pale, skin? That their ancestors were never cursed ir that they were somehow cleansed from their curse?

I know about some very bad people who had white skin when they committed their evil deeds. Why was it white instead of some other color?

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So anyone who has any color of skin, other than white, has ancestors who were cursed and their curse is evident by their skin color, because otherwise their skin color would still be white.

Is that a fair assessment of what you believe?

So now what can we cinclude about peiple who have white, or pale, skin? That their ancestors were never cursed ir that they were somehow cleansed from their curse?

I know about some very bad people who had white skin when they committed their evil deeds. Why was it white instead of some other color?

 

Not to intrude on your conversation, but in this context a member's personal belief is not the issue, but rather what the records say should be the issue. 

If the scriptures say that "anyone who has any color of skin, other than white, has ancestors who were cursed and their curse is evident by their skin color" then it's not about what we think is right.  It is simply what God said on the matter.

 

We know what the scriptures say about this issue.  Perhaps we have interpreted them wrongly, but they do say what they say.  And the fact that there have been wicked white people is irrelevant to the curses spoken of in scripture.

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Not to intrude on your conversation, but in this context a member's personal belief is not the issue, but rather what the records say should be the issue.

If the scriptures say that "anyone who has any color of skin, other than white, has ancestors who were cursed and their curse is evident by their skin color" then it's not about what we think is right. It is simply what God said on the matter.

We know what the scriptures say about this issue. Perhaps we have interpreted them wrongly, but they do say what they say. And the fact that there have been wicked white people is irrelevant to the curses spoken of in scripture.

We read what the scriptures say, or rather we read what people who we call prophets say, and then we share what we understand when we talk to other people. And it is okay to summarize and reword statements we read from others as long as we're still conveying what they meant when they spoke.

Abd yes in that post you quoted I was asking Rob what he thought because I wanted to know what he understood.

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If the scriptures say that "anyone who has any color of skin, other than white, has ancestors who were cursed and their curse is evident by their skin color" then it's not about what we think is right.  It is simply what God said on the matter.

I absolutely reject this overly simplistic and fundamentalist view of scripture.

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I absolutely reject this overly simplistic and fundamentalist view of scripture.

 

That is your right.  I choose to trust the word of God above my own ideas and I refuse to manipulate them.

Joseph Smith said: "What is the rule of interpretation? Just no interpretation at all. Understand it precisely as it reads.”

and I agree with the prophet.

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