Racism in Mormon Scriptures

“Regardless of the color of our skin, of the shape of our eyes,
of the language we speak, we all are sons and daughters of God and must
reach out to one another with love and concern…Wherever we live we can be friendly neighbors.
” – President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 2005

“All Are Alike Unto God” is the title of a speech given at BYU by the LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie in August of 1978.  The speech was given as an address to the members of the Church to explain the recent change in Church membership requirements.

From the time the Church had been in existence (1830) up until June 1978, blacks were not allowed to hold the priesthood in the Mormon Church.  Due to socio and economic pressures being put upon the hierarchy of Mormonism, the Prophet Spencer Kimball was on the hunt for a revelation from God to change the rules.

Just to clear a few things up before we dig into this speech I want to be sure that I’m able to convey what my true intentions are in writing this article.

If I had to classify all five reasons I left the Church in order of importance, I’m not so sure this topic would’ve made it to the first spot; however I do know it served itself well in opening my eyes to the truth.

I have a wooden sign next to my front door that says; “You can’t scare me, I have children”.  I thoroughly enjoy knowing that raising teenagers has catapulted me into the category of “seasoned rugby type” for nerves of steel from the status of “powder puff flag football” league I was once living in.  I can now sit and think before I react to any given situation.  Yet with this topic I am sickened to my very core each time I think of it.

I have written about the “color issue” for thirteen years now.  Even though I’m in the “seasoned rugby type” I am still finding that I cannot believe some of the stuff I read in Mormon literature.  This isn’t about me exclusively, it’s truly not about any one person; once again it’s about the doctrine.

My reason for leaving the Church over the race issue was and still is justified, yet I continue to receive e-mails and letters stating that I’m trying to come across as something I am not.  So here it is once again for all to see and understand; I am not black, I’m not Hispanic, I’m not Asian and I’m not Native American.

I’m a white, middle aged mom of two.  All throughout the world I’m looked upon as a white woman; except Utah that is.  I’m Black Welsh, born in America, a sixth generation Mormon from Utah.  I have black curly hair, olive skin and dark brown eyes and the 1978 revelation made a huge impact upon me as you might imagine.

Thirty years later, my concern has turned more outward than inward.  I’ll be honest and say that every time I see someone of color in the Church I am frustrated and perplexed, but mostly very concerned.  I don’t understand the responses I’ve received from black Mormons as to why they choose to be a Mormon.

Some have told me they sometimes wrestle with the prophetic utterances of Smith, Young, McConkie, et al.  However, they are truly giving the leadership a free pass to just “move on”.  How do we just “move on” and still believe that God doesn’t change His mind?  What about the Sovereignty of God?  What about the people who said “thus saith the Lord”; what’s their excuse?

There are situations and circumstances in life where we do need to move on and everyone involved needs to behave accordingly.  I believe the Mormon Church should be at the top of that list.  America and Great Britain are both guilty of raping Africa and the people of this day and age need to do the right thing and drop the ugly behavior of racism.  In other words, grow up.  Likewise, those of us with any color need to know the entire world aren’t out to get us.  That’s easier said than done, especially for me who only experiences this phenomenon in Utah.

One of the most important circumstances that this theory (growing up) doesn’t hold true to is the Lord.  Man can and does change.  We are always reinventing ourselves.  Some of us change for the better, allowing God to do His work, while others just go from bad to ugly.  This tells us that mankind in his natural state is an enemy unto God.  He isn’t the one that changed His mind; we have!

The official statement from the Church regarding the “revelation” in 1978 gives no indication it’s from God.  The policy changed because the Church needed it to.  The apostles and president were sweating bullets while waiting on the answer from their heavens and ultimately had a man-made revelation.

For me and others with any melanoma, the damage has already been done as far as God is concerned.  The scriptures say He won’t be mocked and I know the ’78 revelation turned hundreds away from the one true God on High, not to mention the Mormon god.

When a black Mormon tells me that the Church was only acting like everyone else, I say this is proof the Church isn’t true.  Man made doctrines and edicts are not eternal, they’re not always divine and they certainly aren’t infallible.  There will never be a good excuse for slavery and the people who served as pastors while “owning people” during the days of slavery will be held accountable, God is patient.

Until the last couple of decades of the twentieth century, the Mormon Church was behaving just like the rest of American society when it came to the race issue.  If you were anything but white, the odds of finding a warm welcome in a ward building were slim to none.  And while their outward behavior globally speaking may have changed, the truth is that their scripture has stayed exactly the same.  Not one single thing has changed except for 2 Nephi 30:6.  Their teachings are still racist and their god is still an uncaring, unloving bigot.

Their past and present prophets today are still uttering false prophecies everyday they don’t denounce the LDS scripture inked from the pen of Joseph Smith.

People may say I’m bitter and nothing could be further from the truth.  The truth is that this hurts my heart so much I can’t help but think of the precarious position anyone puts themselves in by embracing these teachings.

God created the races; He did it on purpose.  He chose to put different races on the face of the earth and man chose to twist and abuse God’s creation.

I just won’t ever understand how anyone can come to the conclusion these teachings should be embraced when they so clearly contradict the rest of the Bible.  Below are just some of the teachings of the LDS Church that are still in the “scriptures” they use every single day.

Book of Mormon

1 Nephi 11:13 (Mary) “. . . she was exceedingly fair and white.”
1 Nephi 12:23 (Prophecy of Lamanites after Christ) “. . . became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations.”
1 Nephi 13:15 (Gentiles) “. . . they were white, and exceedingly fair and beautiful, like unto my people [Nephites] before they were slain.”
2 Nephi 5:21 “. . . a sore cursing . . . as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.”
2 Nephi 30:6 (Prophecy to Lamanites) “. . . scales of darkness shall begin to fall . . . they shall be a white and delightsome people.” (Changed to pure and delightsome in 1981)
Jacob 3:5 (Lamanites cursed) “. . .whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins. . .”
Jacob 3:8-9 “. . .their skins will be whiter than yours . . . revile no more against them because of the darkness of their skins . . .”
Alma 3:6 “. . . skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion. . .”
Alma 3:8 (Cursed) “. . .that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren . . .that they might not mix . . .”
Alma 3:9 “. . . whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed.”
Alma 3:14 (Lamanites cursed) “. . . set a mark on them that they and their seed may be separated from thee and thy seed. . .”
Alma 3:19 (Amlicites cursed) “. . . brought upon themselves the curse …”
Alma 23:18 “. . . [Lamanites] did open a correspondence with them [Nephites] and the curse of God did no more follow them.”
3 Nephi 2:14-16 “. . . Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites . . . became exceedingly fair . . .”
3 Nephi 19:25, 30 (Disciples) “. . . they were as white as the countenance and also the garments of Jesus; and behold the whiteness thereof did exceed all the whiteness . . . nothing upon earth so white as the whiteness thereof . . . they were white, even as Jesus.”
Mormon 5:15 (Prophecy about Lamanites) “. . .shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us . . .”
Mormon 5:17 “They were once a delightsome people . . .”

Pearl of Great Price

Moses 7:8 “. . . a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan . . .”
Moses 7:12 “. . . Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were [except] the people of Canaan, to repent . . .”
Moses 7:22 “. . . for the seed of Cain were black and had not place among them.” Abraham 1:21 “. . . king of Egypt [Pharaoh] was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.”
Abraham 1:27 “. . . Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood . . .”

Come alongside us won’t you and pray ALL Mormons become spiritually aware of what they’re ingesting.

With Love in Christ;

Michelle Girm