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Racist Doctrine in Come Follow Me Lesson Manual Already Distributed


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16 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Nephites and Lamanites were from the same family. Unless the Lamanites intermarried with already existing populations of another race, they would be of the same race, so racism would have nothing to do with the curse which was the result of Laman and Lemuel’s murderous rebellion against their parents and younger brothers. The purpose of curse/sign-of-the-curse was to preserve a more righteous portion of the Lehite family and insure the ultimate redemption of his family that God promised to Lehi. At times, elements of the divided family turned from their original paths, but eventually they were reunited at the coming of the Savior. The curse/sign-of-the-curse was completely removed.

Later, the people again divided, but this time on political and religious grounds. Both the Lehite and Lamanite clans eventually became degenerate beyond description.The triumph of the Lamanite faction was not over a righteous people, but over one that was even more lost and depraved. I don’t think the Book of Mormon account taken in context is an example of racism. One would be mistaken to use it to justify racial supremacy. The BoM does not say God reinstated the curse/sign-of-the-curse. Instead, it gives this prophecy with a warning about judging:

I wonder how you reconcile this view you've articulated with the church's statement in the Gospel Topics essay.  If the Church's position today that skin color is not a sign of divine disfavor or a curse, how to you reconcile this to "preserve a more righteous portion of the Lehite family" if the church clearly is disavowing these past theories.  

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Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng

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4 hours ago, Meadowchik said:

Except the church did universalise it in policy until 1979 and (sometimes stated) doctrine.

A wikipedia article informs that the ban was not applied to Native American, Polynesians, Hispanics....so what do you mean by "universalise".

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I'm bothered by those who are  hinting at or specifically calling any other members of this board or the church racist because they interpret the Book of Mormon to say that God caused a dark skin to come upon the Lamanites because of their curse and as a means of keeping Nephites from mixing/marrying the Lamanites. 

If one believes that the scriptures do say that God did this, but that this person also believes it has no bearing on anything to do with our day/age is that racist?

Is it racist for members to believe that God did indeed command that Brigham Young not allow blacks to hold the Priesthood? (either for genetic or social reasons)

Is God a racist if he did indeed curse the Lamanites with a darker skin? Is he a racist for making any person with darker or lighter skin? Is he a racist for allowing slavery to happen in the US without stopping it sooner? Is he a racist for wiping out some entire races/ethnicities with natural disasters in the course of history? Is he a racist for commanding one of his righteous groups of people to wipe out an entire race/ethnicity who was not righteous?

And if you believe that God did any of the above statements, are you automatically a racist?

 

I think it's so important that we all love others regardless of how they look because they are children of God. We should also love others regardless of their beliefs. Whether any member believes any of the above statements or not, if they are doing their best to love all of God's children equally and to treat them the same then they are NOT racist.

I believe we should refrain from labeling those around us with terms that automatically make us morally superior to them - terms like racist, bigot, evil, sinner, homophobic, etc. These labels are usually used out of pride on our part to show we are better than another and normally shut down dialogue and instead cause people to retrench in their own positions.

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18 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't agree with that and neither does scripture.

It does not matter whether you agree with it or not nor that you give some books the "validity of scripture." The fact that such teachings can and have been used as you do is in my opinion evil and had resulted in a lot of evil. History attests to that.

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14 minutes ago, provoman said:

A wikipedia article informs that the ban was not applied to Native American, Polynesians, Hispanics....so what do you mean by "universalise".

The Nephi scripture was universalised to apply to all Native Americans, Polynesians, and Hispanics. These Lamanites were described as being subject to the curse of dark skin which would lighten upon their acceptance of the restored gospel. Me referencing the lifting of the ban was only part of my statement. And, as I already said, prophets and apostles used the Lamanite curse (as another similar curse) to legitimise the curse of Cain, which was cited as justification for the ban.

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8 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

And, as I already said, prophets and apostles used the Lamanite curse (as another similar curse) to legitimise the curse of Cain, which was cited as justification for the ban.

I am half Native North American and since joining in 1973 I have never heard that one.  Maybe I was just asleep in all those conferences and other meetings.  

Edited by Metis_LDS
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On 1/19/2020 at 5:46 PM, Metis_LDS said:

For what it is worth as a Half Blood I have always been puzzled by the black skin thing.  I can post pictures from relatives that in a black and white picture appear blackish but I know they were reddish.  When persons from the past spoke of Red Indians they were not kidding and I have seen Red First Nations Natives in Alberta up close.  

Interesting that no one wants to talk about what I posted above,  I guess because it does not fit the narative.  It might spoil the story if the descendants are not black but RED.

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23 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

I'm bothered by those who are  hinting at or specifically calling any other members of this board or the church racist because they interpret the Book of Mormon to say that God caused a dark skin to come upon the Lamanites because of their curse and as a means of keeping Nephites from mixing/marrying the Lamanites. 

If one believes that the scriptures do say that God did this, but that this person also believes it has no bearing on anything to do with our day/age is that racist?

Is it racist for members to believe that God did indeed command that Brigham Young not allow blacks to hold the Priesthood? (either for genetic or social reasons)

Is God a racist if he did indeed curse the Lamanites with a darker skin? Is he a racist for making any person with darker or lighter skin? Is he a racist for allowing slavery to happen in the US without stopping it sooner? Is he a racist for wiping out some entire races/ethnicities with natural disasters in the course of history? Is he a racist for commanding one of his righteous groups of people to wipe out an entire race/ethnicity who was not righteous?

And if you believe that God did any of the above statements, are you automatically a racist?

 

I think it's so important that we all love others regardless of how they look because they are children of God. We should also love others regardless of their beliefs. Whether any member believes any of the above statements or not, if they are doing their best to love all of God's children equally and to treat them the same then they are NOT racist.

I believe we should refrain from labeling those around us with terms that automatically make us morally superior to them - terms like racist, bigot, evil, sinner, homophobic, etc. These labels are usually used out of pride on our part to show we are better than another and normally shut down dialogue and instead cause people to retrench in their own positions.

The church has a different message today, see the linked quote from the Gospel Topics essay about disavowing these past teachings.  Even the revised Come Follow Me manual is carefully worded so as to not allow an interpretation that BoM passages require an interpretation that skin color was a curse from God or even a sign of a curse.  If you're interpreting these passages differently based on prior teachings and traditions, you are out of step with the most recent position of the church.  

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/race-and-the-priesthood?lang=eng

I call these older positions racist because I think any talk of skin color being placed on a group of people by God, is by definition a racist categorization.  Whether individuals who hold these views see themselves as racist or not, is a different discussion.  There clearly are different degrees of racism from overt to more subtle.  See the attached for more context on race which historically has been a societal categorization used for the purposes of discrimination.  

https://genderedinnovations.stanford.edu/terms/race.html

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43 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

I am half Native North American and since joining in 1973 I have never heard that one.  Maybe I was just asleep in all those conferences and other meetings.  

Read Brigham Young and Mark Peterson.

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Just now, Meadowchik said:

Read Brigham Young and Mark Peterson.

I read Brigham a lot how about some quotes.  How about some quotes from Mark E Peterson, I heard him speak at the Palmyra Pageant.

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15 minutes ago, cinepro said:

The Church is in a pickle on this, and the only way to resolve the situation going forward is to acknowledge that The Book of Mormon teaches a dark-skin curse, and then argue that The Book of Mormon itself is wrong.  Meaning, the authors of the Book were wrongly attributing dark skin to the curse, and while the book teaches this, it is incorrect and we should disregard it.

Unless the Church does that, they will be trying to argue something about the Book of Mormon that is plainly contradicted by the book itself, and it won't stick.

This is my issue too. 

Ive never seen an alternate interpretation of the skin of blackness that works with the actual text in the BOM. 

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16 minutes ago, cinepro said:

Unless the Church does that, they will be trying to argue something about the Book of Mormon that is plainly contradicted by the book itself, and it won't stick.

I am not trying to be difficult but do not understand the above.

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

I wonder how you reconcile this view you've articulated with the church's statement in the Gospel Topics essay.  If the Church's position today that skin color is not a sign of divine disfavor or a curse, how to you reconcile this to "preserve a more righteous portion of the Lehite family" if the church clearly is disavowing these past theories.  
 

The “curse and sign-of-the-curse” as described in the Book of Mormon were not based on racism, do not give approval of racism or imply racial inferiority/superiority, and had nothing to do with either the pre-mortal existence or inter-racial marriage. Anyone who interprets it that way is mistaken. IMHO.

This is how I read the Book of Mormon. You are welcome to address my points from within the book.

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18 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

I read Brigham a lot how about some quotes.  How about some quotes from Mark E Peterson, I heard him speak at the Palmyra Pageant.

President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:336

"You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people"

and

JoD 7:290-291

"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un- comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of any one of the children of Adam. Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race - that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree. How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, [p.291] and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam's children are brought up to that favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood. They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion."

Apostle Mark E. Peterson in a 1954 BYU address:

"God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be in sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death.

The reason that one would lose his blessings by marrying a Negro is due to the restriction placed upon them. "No person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood" (Brigham Young). It does not matter if they are one-sixth Negro or one-hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a "Nation of Priesthood holders.

The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, and then, of course, they have been persuaded by some of the arguments that have been put forth.We who teach in the Church certainly must have our feet on the ground and not to be led astray by the philosophies of men on this subject.

I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then endure, then embrace'.

Now let's talk about segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation.

When he told Enoch not preach the gospel to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation.

Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them.

The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them as a curse -- as a punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade intermarriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron curtain there.

Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, 'what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.' Only here we have the reverse of the thing - what God hath separated, let not man bring together again.

Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood.This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa--if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory."

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30 minutes ago, cinepro said:

The Church is in a pickle on this, and the only way to resolve the situation going forward is to acknowledge that The Book of Mormon teaches a dark-skin curse, and then argue that The Book of Mormon itself is wrong.  Meaning, the authors of the Book were wrongly attributing dark skin to the curse, and while the book teaches this, it is incorrect and we should disregard it.

Unless the Church does that, they will be trying to argue something about the Book of Mormon that is plainly contradicted by the book itself, and it won't stick.

I completely agree with you, its too explicitly taught in multiple places in the BoM to just ignore it.  Besides, the majority of active members likely have interpreted these passages this way, so changing a position without explaining the implications of this position won't cut it.  

A positive from my perspective is that this can lead to a broader discussion about how scripture includes the biases and cultural perspectives of its authors, which is very important to have a more mature perspective about scripture.  It also applies to church leaders as well, and could help people not have such a knee jerk deference to authority figures.  All around, if done correctly, this can be a huge benefit for church culture.  

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3 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

"You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a white and delightsome people"

This is your only good quote as per Lamanites . Problem is Cain was not from the House of Israel as it did not yet exist.  

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13 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

The “curse and sign-of-the-curse” as described in the Book of Mormon were not based on racism, do not give approval of racism or imply racial inferiority/superiority, and had nothing to do with either the pre-mortal existence or inter-racial marriage. Anyone who interprets it that way is mistaken. IMHO.

This is how I read the Book of Mormon. You are welcome to address my points from within the book.

Not sure what you mean by address your points from within the book.  You haven't explained how your interpretation is different.   I'm sure many here would be interesting in understanding how an alternate interpretation can somehow skirt around the whole race issue, which is the use issue here that so many are concerned with, including the church, hence then need for them to make statements and corrections and publicly disavow prior statements.  Please enlighten us if you have a miracle solution to all these problems that so many are concerned about.  

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7 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them as a curse -- as a punishment and as a sign to all others.

Yeah I guess Peterson said that allright.

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In honor of MLK day this topic is so apropros. I feel the members will be more and more disillusioned after seeing the scripture mentioned in the topic in the CFM manual, and especially seeing movies about racism. I'm hoping to go to my local "dollar" movie and watch "Harriet" today before it leaves theaters. And the many that have been on screen, such as the recent "Just Mercy" that I've seen will be a deal breaker to LDS members. 

Edited by Tacenda
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13 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Apostle Mark E. Peterson in a 1954 BYU address:

Yikes! That quote was pretty hardcore, especially given the time (1950s) and the references to the civil rights movement.

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40 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

In honor of MLK day this topic is so apropros. I feel the members will be more and more disillusioned after seeing the scripture mentioned in the topic in the PMG manual, and especially seeing movies about racism. I'm hoping to go to my local "dollar" movie and watch "Harriet" today before it leaves theaters. And the many that have been on screen, such as the recent "Just Mercy" that I've seen will be a deal breaker to LDS members. 

Does Just Mercy have any connections to Mormonism?  I'm not familiar with the premise to the movie and haven't seen it yet.  

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5 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Does Just Mercy have any connections to Mormonism?  I'm not familiar with the premise to the movie and haven't seen it yet.  

Not that I know of, it's just that racism is blatant. 

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1 hour ago, Meadowchik said:

President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses

Thanks for providing these quotes.  These kinds of racist ideas are so disgusting to my eyes that I have a hard time reading them.  I forced myself to read them today and I'm reminded how allegiance to authority can be so corrosive and evil.  You can even see in Peterson's quotes how he places authoritative statements from Brigham Young and scripture as unquestionable and that through this perspective he creates a paradigm that justifies slavery and segregation.  This is just evil, pure and simple and its coming from a modern prophet, seer and revelator.  

I will never pledge allegiance to the authority figures of this church or any other institution again.  I'm so glad for my faith journey that broke me out of my unquestioning faith in authority figures.  

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1 hour ago, Tacenda said:

In honor of MLK day this topic is so apropros. I feel the members will be more and more disillusioned after seeing the scripture mentioned in the topic in the CFM manual, and especially seeing movies about racism. I'm hoping to go to my local "dollar" movie and watch "Harriet" today before it leaves theaters. And the many that have been on screen, such as the recent "Just Mercy" that I've seen will be a deal breaker to LDS members. 

I’m not sure how you mean. I’ve studied the civil rights movement in depth. Traveled to several places in the south as apart of that study. I’ve also studied the issues in the BoM and the general history of the church around race as well. I haven’t gotten disillusioned, though several of my early paradigms shifted. 
I don’t read american branded race perspectives into the BoM text. Without it the text is more congruent and fits other areas of scriptures around curses and being a covenant people. 
i view early leaders as generally more racist. Because they were. It was just the water they swam in. And it was the lens they used to understand sacred texts. Understanding the civil rights movement and the history prior really gives a greater appreciation for just how different our world is today compared to then.

I view a lot of the perspectives here still using the US paradigm around race to understand and grapple with this topic, which limits the options as to how we can read it and viewing other perspectives of these passages as feeling inaccurate or impossible (or at least improbable). So they get dismissed before they’re really explored. And we’re left either grappling, defending, or cutting out the old views and perspectives. 
 

But that’s other people’s problem at this point not mine. My MLK day will not be spent struggling with this topic. I’ve already had my emancipation from it. 
 

with luv,

BD

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