Minorities have certainly seen their share of discrimination and Mormons may be the only group who’ve bothered to canonize such indifference. The years 1978, 2000 and 2009 will come to be pivotal, but first we must describe the scripture and beliefs that led to the indoctrination of fear. Remembering Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the Romney Apostles were selected by angels, the following is essentially their description of how we should treat our fellow man according to The Book and skin colour. This is not my view and with concern, I only report to be the messenger.
This challenging conversation begins with identifying the word Lamanite, since it’s a Saintly term uniting two of the three and accounts for Native Indians as well as Mormons being the blood descendants of Israel. As with most LDS (Latter Day Saint) creations previously explained, this is another example of a word and train of thought that can’t be found beyond the Book of Mormon. (Atheists will need to bear a little longer as we sort through the logistics of doctrine, as they will illuminate Mitt Romney’s policies upon conclusion of the series. This is required reading and the last stretch of background before getting to the heart of current politics.)
The church believes Indian tribes from around the world are Lamanites and constitute part of the original Israelis scattered from the Kingdom of God. They’re fabled to escape Babylon and the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar in Jerusalem, as the unknown prophets that got away and weren’t revealed until 1830 by Mormon. Instead of following the traditional Torah or Bible this new people is said to hop on boats and settle America – where the real holy land is located and Jesus is reported to have risen. Coincidentally, Nebuchadnezzar relates to what Mormons are taught about Bible Christians and perhaps Mitt has been disingenuous when claiming to be Christian on the campaign trail (Journal of Discourses, Volume 5, pgs. 73-75).
Before we get any further it is important to explain the Book of Mormon; that it’s not a simple chapter written by a single prophet. The Book is a collection of chapters that mimic the Holy Bible; through some amount of copying and complete additions of an entirely new story. Whereas the Bible contains the Old and New Testaments; Mormon scripture contains only select lines and mixes them with new material, while failing to provide credit or explanation for where the two doctrines diverge.
A prime example is the Book of Nephi from Mormon literature, versus the Book of Isaiah from the Christian Bible. In Nephi the Saints plagiarize lines from Isaiah in the first and second half, but they add their own take from Mormon prophets unknown to Christianity to fill the middle. It is amongst these additions that we find the most trouble, especially about Blacks, Jews and Indians. LDS calls these new Apostles preachers of the restored gospel and argues Christians and Jews will be judged for their failure to accept the newest version of the truth.
Many a writer has attempted critique of the Book of Mormon, as did Mark Twain (of Huckleberry Finn fame) at the time of its inception. In his best-selling novel Roughing It, the prolific wordsmith reports on his visit with the Saints of Salt Lake valley, while passing through to the California gold rush. He also stumbled upon the plagiarism and described the scripture as chloroform, also known as a sweet tasting poison. In defence of this criticism Brigham Young University continues to refute the assessment with some unkind words of their own and as an arm of the Church directly.
Mormons believe not only that Jesus, Adam and company were man-Gods, but that new Apostles can be born every day and they harken to the Mormon faith. Therefore they created the Doctrine and Covenants, as well as the Pearl of Great Price and the Journal of Discourses, to serve as companion guides with the Book of Mormon written by present day prophets like Mitt Romney and his ancestors (Abraham 1). A Mormon Apostle has a calling to receive new revelations which are just as important as Moses or Abraham in the days of yore. Only those of the Melchizedek Priesthood are endowed with this ability, but as previously noted the presidential hopeful is indeed one of them and subject to revelations that could change the course of faith at any time (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 289).
Strung throughout the core literature we find messages that are less than inspiring. Mormons believe they are the covenant people who are righteously able to wield the power of God, especially in judgment of Jews who do not convert to the Mormon version of Christianity.
“Wherefore he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God.” (2 Nephi 10:16)
Let us be clear that Mormons are the only remaining, entitled seed of Israel and the covenant made with Jewish descendants was overridden by a new covenant forged with modern day Apostles in America. The Jews were deemed a wicked abomination (Nephi 1: 19-20), for which vengeance must be sought (Mormon 8: 32-41), because they refuse to accept Jesus Christ as God and therefore their church is of the devil (1 Nephi 14). The Saints are further seeking justice against Jews for committing Jesus’ crucifixion (2 Nephi 10: 3) – however misplaced.
If anyone fails to heed Joseph Smith and his Quorum of Twelve Apostles they’ll be cut from society (Doctrine & Covenants 1: 14-18). As the true heirs to Israel, they brought the Book of Mormon across the seas to America as a “white, exceedingly fair and beautiful” people (1 Nephi 13: 15). They also slur at other churches for excluding their testimony by calling them harlots (1 Nephi 13). More spectacular is their claim the Mormon Twelve will constitute the panel that sits in judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel (3 Nephi 27: 27) or they became a “dark and loathsome, filthy people” as punishment for disbelieving (1 Nephi 12: 9-10 & 23). Native Indian-Lamanites could become white and delightsome if only they bond through marriage to Mormon Elders, but I’m not sure the same deal is being offered to Orthodox Jews.
Brigham Young once asked his followers if you can make a Christian of a Jew. Although the answer was no, it was decided if a Jew renounced all they knew to become a Saint, that the evil blood of Judah would be purged from their veins (Journal of Discourses, Volume 2, page 142). Therefore, in a heartfelt plea unto their brothers of Israel, the Mormons provided one last chance to repent (Book of Mormon, Chapter 7),
“Know that ye are the house of Israel. Know that ye must come unto repentance, or ye cannot be saved. Know that ye must lay down your weapons of war and delight no more in the shedding of blood…. Know that ye…. must…. repent of all your sins and iniquities and believe in Jesus Christ, that he is the Son of God and that he was slain by the Jews…. Therefore repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus…. And ye will also know that ye are a remnant of the seed of Jacob; therefore ye are numbered among the people of the covenant; and if…. ye believe in Christ and are baptized first with water, then with fire and with the Holy Ghost, following the example of our Savoir…. it shall be well with you in the day of judgment. Amen.”
This statement applies to both Jews and Indians, who do not subscribe to the practice of baptism or Jesus Christ as the one almighty Savior. These apparent blasphemers were marked with a curse according to the Book of Alma 3: 6-11, although there are countless Mormon scriptures to solidify this division and reasons for the shades of sin,
“The 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 against their brethren…. who were just and holy men. The Lord God set a mark upon them…. And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that the Lord might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction. And it came to pass that whosoever did mix his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his (children).”
Pertaining to Native Indians in North America, it was Mitt’s cousin Spencer Kimball who began the Indian Placement Program as president of the church. The idea was to assimilate them into Mormon, white culture; while providing education and baptism into LDS. As with any foster parenting there were good stories and bad, causing backlash that resulted in government study during 1977. Many natives accused the service of destroying indigenous culture and eventually it was disbanded in the year 2000, however unofficially. A non-profit group named Worlds of Difference sought to explore these challenges in protecting one’s heritage and produced a documentary examining the pros and cons of this program. In it they state,
“A handful of former students told me they had been physically or sexually abused in their foster homes, but were still grateful to have found the Gospel. A great number spoke of abuse in their natural families and of mothers who used Placement to protect them.”
Those who blended successfully may have become part of the singing group at Brigham Young University:
Another contentious part of Mormon culture has raised important questions for Blacks. From plentiful scriptures we can ascertain they were cursed with blackness for smiting the white God of Nephi (2 Nephi 5: 21-23). In 1954, Apostle Mark Peterson gave an especially troublesome address to the Mormon teacher’s conference about the Negro Question. It was after the US Army desegregated and a Supreme Court decision promoted integration amongst schools that he offered this,
“I have read enough to give you an idea what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a café where white people sit…. It appears the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. This is his objective and we must face it. We must (not) feel sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have…. This Negro…. which justified the Lord in sending him to earth…. with a black skin – if (he) is willing when he hears the Gospel to accept it…. and is truly converted…. he can enter the Kingdom. He will go there as a servant….”
This belief is stirred by a number of Mormon prophets. They assert the people of Canaan were cursed with heat, a barren land and marked with blackness on all their children to be despised throughout the land. Because they were black they could claim no place amongst the Saints either, except in continued servitude (Moses 7: 8, 9 & 22).
As governor, Brigham Young delivered a speech in the legislature on February 5, 1852. Entitled Slavery, Blacks and the Priesthood; he proceeded to inform the government about the origin of African blackness. He emphatically professes it to be the curse of Cain, from whence Cain slayed his brother Abel in the first murder committed by humans. Departing from Christianity however, the theocratic governor thought anyone who produced mixed children should be murdered as a favour,
“Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse…. upon themselves, but they entail it upon their children after them and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head – and kill man, woman and child, it would do a great deal toward atoning for the sin. Would this be to curse them? No it would be a blessing to them – it would do them good that they might be saved with their Bren. A man would shudder should they hear us talk about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, although the true principles of it are not understood.”
Men did hear it though from this address in sitting government. Grandpa Parley and Uncle Orson held elected posts, as they continued debating the US Constitution on this matter. By their interpretation, it had no right to undermine the Territory of Utah and Blacks should never be afforded the right to assume office.
In continued persecution, their perceived lack of intelligence was documented in the Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 290,
“You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of intelligence that is normally bestowed upon mankind…. Cain slew his brother…. and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin. Trace mankind…. and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race – that they should be the “servant of servants” and they will be until the curse is removed; and the abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.”
It goes on to say the curse can only be lifted after all the fair people have reached the priesthood. Only then, at the very end, can Blacks be relieved of the smiting put upon them. It is clear white skin accounts for holiness to Mormons because they also compare the shades of coloured races against one another, to suggest they each remember their own filthiness when seeking a hierarchy amongst the dejected (Jacob 3: 8, 9). The term white and delightsome has been repeated many times, in many speeches and Books (Journal of Discourses, Volume 7, pg. 336).
A more detailed account of Indian skin colour becoming whiter due to Mormonism, Jews having their blood changed to achieve Mormon repentance, the curse of Cain and the selling of Black slaves between LDS Saints, police surveillance of dissidents, a shooting, legislative denial of civil rights, oppression of Martin Luther King and a Supreme Court case preventing Blacks from becoming Boy Scout leaders can be found in a thorough investigation here (162 pages of predominantly Black history with the Church of Mormon, including historical documents from the beginning until 2004).
Whereas discrimination against others can be summarized in paragraphs; it is impossible to quote the real actions taken against Blacks in this type of overview. There’s an extensive history behind the doctrine taught to Prophet Mitt Romney and I can only encourage sitting down with the above linked document as time permits.
It was 1978 when the Church relaxed restrictions against Blacks; so they could finally receive baptism, entry into the priesthood, marriage within the temple and acceptance to Heaven beyond that of servants. Despite pressures from the NAACP and like minds, an attempt to change policy earlier was blocked directly by the church president. Some have even suggested it was Grandpa Parley who helped to usher in the original ban against them.
Cousin Spencer Kimball was in charge of LDS at the time of Official Declaration 2 and explained it as a revelation he received, as a prophet, from up above, to let the Blacks in. It coincided nicely with the church’s expansion into Brazil, since it was harder in other countries to trace the ethnic origin of participants and find anyone of pure white heritage. In an effort to monitor the Saint’s evolution, it is noteworthy their first Black African authority wasn’t ordained to an executive position until 2009, despite the policy amendment occurring 31 years prior. Other ethnicities accepted earlier have either been released or excommunicated and women are still uninvited to the table of revelations.
This goal of expanding the church to a global scale was at definite cross purposes with the deeply rooted meaning of scripture. In an effort to alleviate the growing pains and convince Black members who’d been disaffected to return, the Genesis Group was created as support through a church auxiliary unit. The homepage opens with Darius explaining how he misses the old days when his parents were slaves unto masters and the times seemed more respectful. More uncomfortable is this month’s newsletter that spiritually discusses racism in Mormonism and offers an account of church missionaries calling Obama the N word. The church’s own site goes on to say that discrimination is widespread and Blacks are still treated differently.
Technically if you wanted to make a complaint, you could send one to Mitt Romney. He’s an executive at the church and his family is the board of directors. Coming up next is Good Ole Dad, followed byChurch Business. I leave you with this video of Mitt’s son, Tagg Romney, to offer a preview of what church, government and business look like when mixed together.