Are Black Africans the Descendants of Cain?

by Darrick Evenson

This article is 18 pages. There is no copyright. Please make copies and share them with others.

TO: Seminary Teachers, Institute Instructors, and Religion professors at BYU, BYU-I, and BYU-H.

Dear Teachers,

Many of you have avoided discussion of the Curse of Cain Legacy in the past. This is unfortunate; for it only causes confusion, hurt feelings, and resentment. This article will give you information on how to deal with the issue honestly and effectively.

This brief article will show:

*Black Africans are Canaanites, and the priesthood-ban is upon the Canaanite (not Canite) lineage.

*The Cainites are the Kenites of the Bible; a Semitic tribe of nomadic blacksmiths who had a "mark" or protection on their foreheads. They are Semites and not black Africans.

*The Kenites had the Priesthood. According to the Book of Moses, Moses got his priesthood from Jethro, who was a Kenite.

*Members of the Church, especially CES teachers, should NOT use sophistry (i.e. deceptive language) when dealing with the Curse of Cain legacy, but should simply be honest and open about it, and let God deal with the rest.

*The possible origin of the Curse of Cain doctrine (that black Africans are the descendants of Cain and inherit his curse) is connected to William McCary and the McCary Affair of 1847-48.

*Prophets DO have the authority to "curse" whomever they wish in the Name of the LORD. Noah cursed the Canaanites, and Brigham Young cursed the Negroes, until both curses are removed.

My name is Darrick Evenson. I am white. I wrote:

*The Black Mormon Homepage
*The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
*Black Mormons & The Priesthood-ban.

Many people of many races want to know "the Truth" about the Mormon Faith and black folks. Anti-Mormons show only the negative, and "leave out" the positive. That isn't truth; that is half-truth. A half-truth is a half-lie. The Church leadership at this time seems to think by not talking about it it will all simply fade-away and be forgotten! That's like putting a band-aid on melanoma! You may forget it, and it won't forget you!

I believe that we should simply tell the truth and let the cards fall where they may; good and bad. I believe that while the truth may offend the prideful and arrogant, it will never offend the pure-in-heart.

Origin of the African/Cainite Connection

At the time of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young most white Americans believed that "Negroes" (black Africans) were the descendants of Ham (son of Noah), and many of them also believed that Negroes were the descendants of Cain. Here is a poem from Phillis Wheatley (born in Senegal in 1753 but captured as a slave and brought to Massachusetts):

"Twas mercy brought me from my pagan land.
Taught my beknighted soul to understand.
That there's a God, that there's a Savior too.
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye.
'Their color is a diabolic dye.' Remember Christians, Negroes black as Cain May be refined and joined the angelic train."
(On Being Brought from AFrican to America,vv.1-8)
Wheatley wrote that in 1753. There were no Mormons until 1829! This shows that the belief in the English-speaking world at the time Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were born and born-into, that Negroes were the descendants of Cain, was common!

Where did white Americans get it from? They got it from the ancient Jewish texts originating in about 600 A.D.; like the Babylonian Talmud which identifies "Khooshiym" (Negroes) with the descendants of Ham. The Babylonian Talmud was a collection of writings on the Torah (written law) and Mishnah (oral law) collected and written down and commented upon by rabbis living in Babylon (Iraq) in the 7th century A.D.

The connection between Hamites/Cainites/Negroes cannot be traced to anything earlier than that.

Joseph Smith himself believed that Negroes were "the sons of Cain" (DHC 4:501). Yet, he was not a racist! He believed that blacks were "ignorant" in his day only because they were uneducated. By the 1840s he was a great advocate for the rights of the black people. He wanted them freed, educated, and given equal rights. He was far ahead of 98% of other white men in his day.

Brigham Young was a moderate racist; like just about all other white American men of his day! His views on race and those of Abraham Lincoln were essentially the same.

Brigham Young accepted black men as priesthood-holders before 1848. He knew Elijah Abel very well, and invited Elijah to dances held at the Social Hall in Salt Lake City. He sent Elijah on a mission as a Seventy; a Member of the Third Quorum. He never revoked Elijah's priesthood, but he did prevent Elijah from doing Temple Work. For whatever reason, Elijah remained faithful, and Eliah's son Enoch was ordained an Elder as Enoch's son Elijah II. Elijah Abel was a black man who was unofficially adopted by Joseph Smith Sr. as a son. Brigham Young therefore may have considered him an "exception" to the rule. We can now only speculate. What is clear is that Elijah Abel was a black man and appeared as a black man as we can see from these old drawing:

Joseph Fielding Smith once wrote that there were "two Elijah Abel's" one white and one black, but he later had to recant this and admit there was only one; a black man. Some later Mormon writers have "speculated" that Elijah was ordained and remained ordained because "he passed for white" but again this is no truth to this. The Patriarchal Blessing of Joseph Smith Sr. clearly reveals Elijah was a black man and recognized as a black man all his life. He married a black women, and Enoch and Elijah were also black; even though they apparently married native American women.

There was another black man ordained an Elder in Joseph Smith's day named Walker Lewis of Lowell, Massachusetts. He was one of the founders of the Boston Colored Association; a precusor to the Abolitionist Movement and NAACP.

Parley P. Pratt, an apostle, read in The Book of Abraham chapter one that Pharoah was of the "lineage" of Canaan; a lineage "blessed with the blessings of the earth and with wisdom but cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood." (Abraham 1:26). Pratt concluded from this that Negroes were not entitled to the Priesthood since:

1) They were Canaanites; the descendants of Ham through Noah.

2) According to Abraham 1:26 the Canaanite (not Cainite) lineage was "cursed" as pertaining to the Priesthood.

Pratt made no connection to Negroes with Cainites, but insisted that Negroes be banned from the Priesthood because they were of Canaanite (Hamitic) lineage, and The Book of Abraham said (Abr. 1:26) that lineage was cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood.

It may startle the Reader to know that Brigham Young disagreed with Pratt saying:

"Its nothing to do with the blood for of one blood has God made all flesh, we have to repent and regain what we have lost. We have one of the best Elders an African in Lowell." (Brigham Young Paper, 26 March 1847, LDS Church Archives)
Lewis did go to Utah in 1956, but returned to Massachusetts. We don't have a record of what happened. Lewis married a "colored" woman who was half-white and half-black.

We have clear evidence of at least one more black man ordained an Elder: William McCary. He was half-black and half-Indian. He was ordained an Elder in 1847; when Brigham Young ruled the Church as senior Apostle. There is no evidence that he objected to the priesthood ordination of William McCary by Elder Orson Hyde (an apostle).

Parley P. Pratt did object, saying:

"This black man has got the blood of Ham in him which linage was cursed as regards to the Priesthood." (Black Saints in the White Church, chap.2)
But, once again, Brigham Young does nothing. McCary is allowed to function in the office of Elder.

William McCary is, I believe, the "key" to understanding the Priesthood-Ban. Not long after his ordination, McCary began to say he was the reincarnation of the Apostle Peter. Some white Mormons began to in jest start calling McCary "Black Pete". He undoubtedly heard the rumor (a true one this time) that some of the Saints were practicing plural marriage. At this point McCary began to tell a number of white Mormon women (there were few blacks in the Church at that time) that he was Adam reincarnated; telling each of them she was "Eve" reincarnated. He was able to sexually seduce a "number" of white Mormon women in this manner. How many we don't know.

McCary was discovered and he was excommunicated and told to leave. He did. His seductions were in the Fall of 1847.

Mistegnation (sex between the races) was considered a very fowl thing in those days; even to abolitionists and advocates of rights for black folks. Even Joseph Smith was against it; declaring that if he were elected President he would free blacks, educate them, and "confine them by strict law to their own species" (DHC 5:218). The term "species" meant "race" in those days. He once fined two black men in Nauvoo for "trying to marry white women" (DHC 6:210). In the South, both men would have probably been killed, or at least beaten severly.

All white men at that time (save a dozen of so of the most radical Abolitionists) believed that mating between the "species" (races) was an abomination and the reason why the LORD sent the flood; because whites (Sethites) had intermarried with blacks (Cainites). It was an "adomination".

Where did Parley P. Pratt get the notion that blacks were "cursed" as pertaining to the Priesthood?


1. The common belief of the day among white Europeans and Americans was that blacks were "Hamites" and "Canaanites".

2. The Book of Abraham, first chapter, said that Pharoah was a descendant of Canaan and a "righteous man" but could not hold the Priesthood because he was "of that lineage which was blessed with the blessings of the earth and with wisdom but cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood." (Abraham 1:26)

3. Thus, Negroes were the descendants of Canaan, who was "cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood" because they belonged to the lineage of Canaan; son of Noah.

For Pratt it was simple: 1+2=3

Brigham Young once rejected the belief that Negroes were cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood, but after the McCary Affair he accepted it! He did what we call today a "180".

In February, 1849, a good year and one-half after the McCary affair, Brigham Young makes the first reference to what is now called the "Curse of Cain doctrine". He says:

"Because Cain cut off the lives of Abel, the Lord cursed Cain's seed and prohibited them from the Priesthood." (BY Papers, Feb. 1849)

Pratt said that the Canaanites were cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood. The common belief among all whites at that time was that Negroes were the descendants of Ham; usually of Cush. In Hebrew, the name for "Negro" (black African) is KHOOSHI (Cushite).

But Canaanites are Phoenicians, and the Phoenicians are still among us. We call them today "Lebanese". They belong to the Semitic race.

The Book of Abraham chapter one says that the land of Egypt was discovered by a woman who was the daughter of Ham and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies "forbidden". (Abraham 1:22)

Somehow Brigham Young got the idea that Ham married a Cainite woman. But there is no Scriptural support for this. As Prof. John A. Tvedtnes wrote:

"One cannot read into the text anything about Egyptus being a descendant of Cain or having a black skin." (The Charge of Racism in the Book of Mormon, p.1 FAIR online)
The Canaanite were cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood; not the Cainites (who were cursed with wandering and not being able to grow crops).

There is no Scriptural support for a Cainite/Canaanite connection; other than the names are similar. Brigham Young may have confused the two names, and assumed that "Canaanite" and "Cainite" was the same thing!

The connection between Cainite and Canaanite probably came about by an interpretation of Abraham 1:22: Egyptus signifying "forbidden". In Genesis the Sethites were "forbidden" to mingle their seed with the Cainites. So, it was natural to assume that Egyptus was a "Cainite" woman who married Ham, and Noah cursed "Canaan" because of this (because he was of Cainite lineage).

But, again, there is no Revelation nor Scripture verse to support this. It is pure speculation. In the days of Brigham Young much "speculation" became "doctrine"; like the Adam-God theory, which the Church later repudiated.

Here are the facts:

1) Young received no "Thus saith the LORD" Revelation regarding this. Young received only 1 such Revelation during His entire administration (D&C 138).

2) Young did not appeal to the Book of Abraham chapter 1 verse 26 (as did Pratt), but came up with a new reason why Negroes were banned; because they were Cainites, and Cain killed Abel.

Brigham Young would teach that since Cain killed Abel, it would be against the justice of God for the Cainites (Negroes) to receive the Priesthood before all the Abelites first had the opportunity to receive it.

Who were the Abelites? When would they all receive it? Young didn't say.

He did say the curse would "one day" be removed from the posterity of Cain.

Brigham Young probably believed, as did most white men in his day, that black men would try to mate with white women if given the opportunity (ie. McCary). But he had no Scriptural justification to prohibit blacks from joining the Church. Parley P. Pratt gave Brigham Young a Scriptural justification to exclude blacks from the Priesthood, and in a Church were every man is supposed to hold the Priesthood, this would exclude most blacks (or certainly most black men) from wanting to join the Church.

Brigham Young also preached that "one day" the curse would be removed. He apparently believed (as did many in his day) that a black skin and negroid features was the "mark" of Cain, and that "one day" Negro women would bear all-white white children; that being the "sign" from the LORD that the curse was removed.

Again, this is speculation; but that's all we have.

All this sounds very "racist" and strange to us today, but in the days of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, this was "common" belief among white Europeans and white Americans, and was not considered "strange" in any way.

We think today "how absurd"! Yet, in 150 years from now, later generations will say the same thing about some of our commonly accepted beliefs! Brigham Young was simple a child of his times; no better, and no worse, than the common man of his day.

Should Prophets be "more informed" about science and reality? There is no evidence that the Prophets of the Bible knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun. They thought that the Sun revolved around the Earth! Why didn't the LORD correct them? We don't know. It probably didn't matter to the LORD at that time if His servants knew about Quatum Physics and the 4 General Laws or whether the Sun moved or the Earth did anymore than when we try to discipline our small children we also tell them about Quantum Physics!

The Less-Valiant Theory originated with Orson Pratt in his publication The Seer in 1852. Pratt was an apostle and mission president in Europe. He was in England and published "The Seer" which included articles he gleaned from Journal of Discourses and his own articles. Orson Pratt speculated a LOT! He was a scientist and mathmatician who believed that "reason" could "fill in the gaps" of Divine Revelation! For example, Revelation said our spirits pre-exist, but Revelation does not say "why" our spirits pre-exist. Orson Pratt decided to "fill-in the gap" by Reason. So, he reasoned that when our adult-size spirits entered our tiny baby bodies the spirits were "squashed"; thus causing us to "forget" our pre-earth life. He speculated on many other subjects; trying his reason to answer questions that Revelation had not answered.

By 1852 Pratt had received correspondance from his brother Parley P. Pratt to the effect he was not to ordain any black men to the Priesthood; because they were of the lineage of Cain (not that there were too many black men in Europe at that time). It didn't seem fair to Orson Pratt that the LORD would punish the "sons" (Cainites/Negroes) the the sins of their father (Cain). So, he reasoned the following:

*God would not condemn the child for the sins of the Father.
*So, Negroes are being punished for their own sins.
*Sins that must have taken place in the pre-existence, since Negroes are born Negroes.
*There was a War in Heaven in the Pre-Existence.
*Those who sided with Lucifer were denied human bodies.
*Negroes have bodies, so they could not have followed Lucifer.
*But, the Bible says that the Levites were awareded the Priesthood because they were "valiant" in thier battle against Korah and the rebels who rebelled against Moses in the Wilderness.
*So, some spirits must have been less valiant in the pre-existent war in Heaven. *And, as punishment, they were born in the lineage of Cain (Negroes).

Logical. Reasonable. It make sense. However, the only problem is that is was never Revelation but merely a "speculation" of Orson Pratt; who predicated his entire article by saying, "It may be..." (THE SEER 1:52).

Was it ever a "doctrine" of the Church?

Well, what is LDS Doctrine and what isn't? I've studied the teachings of the Church fairly extensively and intensively since 1979, and I still don't know what "official LDS Doctrine" is! I've been told that official Church doctrine is:

*Whatever the Brethren say it is.
*Whatever is in the Standard Works.
*Whatever the Living Prophet says but not what the Apostles say.
*Whatever the Living Prohet says in conjuctino with His Counselors.
*Whatever is written in the Standard works only if confirmed by official letters by the First Presidency.
*Whatever is presented to the general Church membership and voted on and accepted by them as doctrine.

Still today, I cannot tell you what official LDS Doctrine is. I can only say this: that the speculation by Orson Pratt was never a Revelation. But....many things that Mormons say is "Church doctrine" never was Revelation either, such as:

*Heavenly Mother
*Baptism for the Dead

As soon as you find out what official Church doctrine is....let me know!

Be that as it may, let me also say this: that many Mormon presidents and apostles accepted the Less-Valiant Theory as doctrine and presented it as such over the years.

Instead of asking "Was it doctrine"? we should ask, "Did the Church promote it as a teaching?"

The answer is: YES! The Church promulgated, promoted, advanced, and defended the Curse of Cain teaching for 150 years. Presidents and Apostles taught it in General Conference, and in letters to individuals. The First Presidency defended it in several "official statements"! If the Curse of Cain teaching was not "official" then the Church has no official teachings!

In the 1947 Official Statement of The First Presidency on the Negro Question it says:

"From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, neer questioned by church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitlted to the full blessings of the Gospel." (July 17, 1947)
The phrase "not entitled to the full blessings" is a code-phrase for the Priesthood-ban.

Of course, the Official Statment mistated several facts:

1) Joseph Smith did ordain free blacks to the Priesthood, and we have no statement by him that said blacks could not hold the Priesthood. The only second-hand statement account we have is from Zebedee Coltrin; a white Southern who joined the Church and was a Seventy. He claimed that he was in discussion with a few others as to whether Negroes had a right to hold the Priesthood. Zebedee said he was against it, and he said that Joseph Smith then rested his head on his hand and said, "Zebedee is right, the Negro has no right to the Priesthood". Coltrin also said that as soon as Joseph said that he ordered Elijah Abel dropped from the Third Quorum of Seventy. But Elder Joseph F. Smith (later the 6th President of the Church) said that "Brother Zebedee's memory was faulty" because he (Joseph F. Smith) was a member of the Third Quorum at the same time that Elijah Abel was, and that Elijah was never dropped from the Third Quroum! This means that either Zebedee Coltrin had a bad memory, or he deliberately lied! This means his "memory" of what Joseph Smith allegedly told him is highly suspect to say the least. Indeed, it does not correspond with historical facts.

2) Church leaders (apostles) did question the validity of the priesthood-ban numerous times; as minutes of Council of Twelve Meetings indicate. In 1948 the entire Council of Twelve wanted the ban to be removed, but Pres. George Smith said the LORD had told him "not yet".

The Church today no longer teaches (promulgates/advocates/advances/presents) the Curse of Cain doctrine, nor the Less-Valiant theory (or doctrine). So, one could honestly say: "The Curse of Cain doctrine is not a doctrine of the Church!" But it is a LIE to say: "The Church never taught that black people are cursed or the descendants of Cain!"

The Church did teach it for 150 years.

It would be honest to say: "The Curse of Cain legacy was not based upon Revelation but upon speculation and common folklore." That is true. But it would be a LIE to say: "The Curse of Cain was just folklore, and never accepted by the Church."

That is a LIE.

The Church did accept it for 150 years.

That was--in my view-- the origin of the Curse of Cain Legacy. The Curse of Cain Legacy refers to:

1) The identification of black Africans with Cainites (descendants of Cain); that "Negroes" were the descendants of Cain.

2) The priesthood-ban which denied the priesthood to black African men (or even white men with at least one Negro ancestor) and the higher ordinances of the Temple (endowments and sealings) to all black Africans or even white people with "one drop" of "Negro blood" until the curse was removed.

3) The doctrine that some spirits were less-valiant in the pre-existent War in Heaven, and, as punishment, were born into the "lineage of Cain" (i.e. as Negroes).

The Kenites

Most Bible scholars will tell you that the "Cainites" are not Negroes, but rather the Kenites; a group of Semitic (Arab) wandering blacksmiths in Syria and Saudi Arabia. The Hebrew word of "Cain" is QAYIN. The Hebrew word for Cainite and Kenite is QAYIN. The word "Cain" can mean an individual, or a people; just like the name "Israel". In the bible, the Israelites were not called "Israelites" in Hebrew, but simply ISRAEL. Moses wrote:

"Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut. 6:4)
Was Moses addressing the man Israel (Jacob) who had been dead for at least 450 years? No, Moses was addressing the people Israel. He didn't call them "Israelites". He called them "ISRAEL".

In like manner, the word QAYIN can refer to the man QAYIN (Cain) or the people QAYIN (Cainites/Kenites). The English words Cain and Kenite are both translated from one Hebrew word: QAYIN.

They still exist today, and have a "mark" on their foreheads which is a warning that if anyone kills a Kenite, his death would be avenged seven-fold. The Kenites today are called the "Sleb".

7 Sleb (Kenite) men with 1 Sleb woman (c.1930)

The word "Sleb" is Arabic for "cross"; because they have a cross or "X" on their foreheads. Why? This is a mark of protection. It says to those thinking of killing a Sleb: "Do so, and 7 will avenge his death!"

Now, the Sleb cannot "blacksmith" in their tents; because that would set their tents on fire! So, what they do, they build hearths and work over them during the day. While they work they do not wear anything but a loin cloth; or their clothes too would catch on fire. So, working every day of their lives, for many decades, in the hot desert sun turns their skin black (as it would any white man); and is probably why the Book of Moses says that the "seed of Cain were black." (Moses 7:22)

Black Africans (Negroes) are not Cainites. The Kenites (Cainites) are a tribe of wandering Semitic blacksmiths who had a "mark of protection" on their foreheads. Moses' father-in-law (Jethro) was a Kenite! According to the Doctine & Covenants (section 84) Moses got his priesthood from Jethro (D&C 84:6)!

The "Mark of Cain" was not a black skin and negroid features as Mormon leaders taught for 150 years (and now deny ever teaching), but rather a tribal protection mark (a cross) on the forehead which can still be seen today on the foreheads of the Sleb. The Mark is a warning: "Kill a Sleb and 7 more will avenge his death!"

You'll notice in Genesis what the LORD says regarding the mark of Cain (QAYIN):

11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.
12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.
13 And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear.
14 Behold, thou has driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.
15 And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken upon him sevenfold. And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, les any finding him should kill him. (Genesis 4:11-15)
You'll notice that the Bible identifies the Cainites as the first to live in tents, work in metal, and use musical instuments. (Genesis 4:12-25) The Sleb of Syrian and Arabia live in tent, are fond of musical instuments, and are nomadic blacksmiths (workers in metal).

The Kenites were (and are today) a wandering tribe of blacksmiths; now called the Sleb. They do not farm. It is said they can't farm because the ground will not yield fruit to them! This is what the LORD did to Cain:

*Put a "mark" upon him as "protection" so that anyone who kills him will be avenged seven-fold.
*Curse the ground that if would not yield fruit to him.
*He would be a wanderer and a vagabond on the earth forever.

The Sleb:

*Have a mark (cross) on their foreheads; a warning that if anyone kills a Sleb, then 7 Slebs will come to avenge his death.
*Slebs are not farmers, because the ground does not grow for them.
*The Slebs are wandering nomadic blacksmiths.

On the other hands....

*A black skin is "no" mark of protection for black Africans! There is no "seven-fold" vengeance upon a person who kills a black African. Black Africans are "black" because they have lived in areas with extreme Sun light and UV-rays for hundreds of thousands of years. The melanin in the skin protects it from the harsh UV rays one finds near the equator.

*Black Africans have always been farmers as well as hunters and gatherers. Black Africans have no trouble in farming.

*While there are some black African nomadic tribes, most black African tribes are not nomadic, but have lived and grown crops for tens of thousands of years just where they are today.


*The Curse of Cain is true, and refers not to black Africans, but to the Sleb (QAYIN) of Syrian and Arabia; a wandering tribe of blacksmiths who cannot farm, and who have a "mark" of protection on their foreheads. If one Sleb is killed, 7 will avenge his death.

*There was no ban on the Priesthood for the descendants of Cain. Moses got his Priesthood from Jethro (his father-in-law) who was a QAYIN!

*Joseph Smith, that great advocate for the black people, was wrong when he wrote that Negroes were the "sons of Cain".

*Parley P. Pratt and Brigham Young were wrong to identify black Africans as the descendants of Cain.

*Orson Pratt was wrong to speculate that Negroes were "less valiant" in the pre-existence. That was pure speculation based upon several false assumptions.

*Negroes (black Africans) are not the descendants of Cain.

*The Canaanites were "cursed according to the Priesthood" not the Cainites who were cursed to to be vagabonds on the earth.

*The ancient Egyptians were Canaanites.

*There is no evidence, Scriptural or otherwise, that ties the Hamitic/Canaanite lineage with that of the lineage of Cain (QAYIN).

*Joseph the Seer had free black men ordained.

*It is "possible" that black Africans "may" have Canaanite blood in them via ancient Nubian migrations; the Nubians having Egyptian (and thus Canaanite) blood in them. Many African tribes claim ancient Egyptian lineage via the migrating Nubians.

So, in fact, numerous black African tribes "may" have inheritied a Canaanite bloodline via the migrating Nubians. But that has nothing to do with Cain or his descendants.

In other words, there "may" be a link between black African tribes and the Ancient Egyptians. I speak about this at some length in my online article (75 pages) SOME ANSWERE QUESTIONS About the Mormon Faith & Black Folks. I would encourage you all to print-out a copy. Make copies for others. There is no copyright.

What then is the origin of the races?

I believe what Hyrum Smith said:

"There were prophets before Adam, and Joseph has the Spirit of all the Prophets." (Millennial Star 23:409)
I believe what Orson Hyde preached; that there were pre-Adamites (Journal of Discourses 2:79).

I believe that Adam and Eve were not the first man and woman on this planet 6,000 years ago. I believe what Elder James E. Talmage wrote in The Earth and Man:

"Geologists and anthropologists say that if the beginning of Adamic history dates back 6,000 years of less, there must have been races of human sort upon the earth long before that time--without denying, however, that Adamic history may be correct, it it be regarded solely as the history of the Adamic race." (Earth and Man, p.11)
The Church published Earth and Man with: "Published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." If that isn't "official"; then nothing is.

What Elder Talmage was saying is this:

*The Bible presents the history of the Adamites; the descendants of Adam who started about 6,000 years ago.

*Geology and anthropology says that there were humans for hundreds of thousands of years.

*There is no contradiction, since the Bible is a history of the Adamic race and not all human races.

What race were Adam and Eve? White Mormons always view them as white Anglo-Saxons just as themselves. Not slavs. Not Semites. Not Persians. White Anglo-Saxons; which is what most white Mormons are. Black Africans view them as black. Asians view them as Asians. Semites view them as Semites, and so on.

What is the truth of the matter? The truth (in my opinion) is found in the name "Adam". The Hebrew is AW-DAWN; from the Hebrew words AW (to show) and DAWM (blood). It means "blusher" or "to blush" or "to show blood in the face" (Strong's Concordance of Hebrew Words #119). Only one race of humans can "blush"; the one with the least melanin in the skin. A low amount of melanin allows the red blood to be seen through the skin. Only one race can "blush".

Polynesian Mormons have a saying, that God took some dough and put it in an oven but He waited too long and He burnt the dought (the black race), so God put some more dough in the oven but He was so afraid the dough would be burned that He took it out too soon (the white race). So, on the third try, God put more dough in the oven and he left it in just the right amount of time (the polynesians).

There may be a "hint" of truth in this. The oldest races are the ones with the darkest skins; because they have been in contact with the Sun's UV rays for the longest time (like dough in an oven).

The black African race is a very old race; the oldest race of human in fact, and has been on the earth for many hundreds of thousands of years. The Adamic Race is a relative newcomer.

We are all Adamites today NOT because Adam was the first human being on earth, but because the Adamic bloodline is diffused throughout the earth via the intermingling of Adamic and pre-Adamic peoples.

Why didn't Brigham Young inquire of the LORD and ask for the Revelation on the matter?

A "Thus Saith the LORD" Revelation was received on the matter, but not by Brigham Young. He received only 1 'Thus saith the LORD' revelation; in 1847. That's it. A Revelation was received, but not to any of the Church leaders. The Revelation said that that the Negro bloodline was "pure" and that the Cainite curse did not refer to them. I can't tell you more than that other than "NO" the Revelation was not received by me!

But I thought that the Prophets were infallible!

You thought wrong. There is no teaching of the Church that even the Living Prophet is infallible. He is obeyed because the House of the LORD is a "house of order". Otherwise, there would be utter chaos; with each person going there own way.

I've heard that blacks were banned because white Mormons weren't ready for blacks in the Church.

Cute! But totally uninformed! That wasn't the reason given. This is an "invented" reason. Sounds good, but it simply isn't the "reason". The "reason" was given by Church leaders hundreds, nay THOUSANDS of times. Was it a real reason? The real reason was that from Brigham Young onward Church leaders considered Negroes to be the descendants of Cain, and under the Curse of Cain; which included the priesthood-ban.

But, again, I show in this articles that black Africans are not Cainites (Kenites=QAYIN) and thus never inherited the Curse of Cain; which was NOT a ban on Priesthood but a "curse" to be a vagabond and not being able to grow crops!

The Curse of Cain=to be a vagabound/can't grow crops/mark of protection (7-fold vengeance).

The Curse of Canaan=to be a servant of servants unto his brethen. No mention of Priesthood.

The Curse of Pharoah=mentioned in Abraham 1:26/lineage of Canaan (not Cain) can't hold Priesthood.

Was the priesthood-ban valid? Any Church Policy is "valid" because it is official. But was it "right"? That's between Brigham Young and the LORD. Latter-day Saints obey the Prophet not because he's always right, but because the House of the LORD is a "house of order". Again, I don't believe that black Africans are Cainites; nor that the Cainites were "cursed" as pertaining to the Priesthood. It was the Canaanite lineage that was cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood. Why? The Book of Abraham does not say way. Speculation should not be promoted as "doctrine"; yet that is what the Church did for 150 years.

Do black Africans have a Cainite lineage?

No! Black Africans have no Cainite lineage. If the ancient Egyptians were Cainites then they would be farmers and they would not have the ability to farm. The Ancient Egyptians (and Nubians) were excellent farmers.

It is "possible" that the ruling house of Egypt may have had Cainite lineage (if Ham married a Cainite woman--which is pure speculation). Certainly Cainites would rule Egypt without being Egyptians themselves. But this is pure speculation. There is nothing that connects Cainites with Canaanites; including the Canaanites in ancient Egypt.

Do black Africans have a Canaanite lineage?

I believe at least some tribes do. I highly doubt all do. Certainly some West African tribes themselves claim an Ancient Egyptian lineage:


Just about all African-Americans have bloodlines from one or more of these tribes.

Again, "if" this is true (that they have an ancient Canaanite linage via the migrating Nubians), and if The Book of Abraham is true, then at least these West African tribes (and African-Americans) have a Canaanite lineage (bloodline).

How can we trust Church Leaders when they can make mistakes such as this (to equate black Africans with Cainites)?

That's for YOU to answer for yourself. I remember seeing the late Elder David B. Haight at the Food Court at ZCMI Mall in 1996; sitting at a table working on a McDonald's cheeseburger. I went up to him and said:

"Elder Haight. The Church is now denying it ever taught that Negroes were cursed or Cainites. Do you think that is right....for the Church to lie like that?
He put down his cheeseburger, whiped his lip with a napkin, and said to me:
"I never agreed with the Brethren on that anyway!"
He then went back to his cheeseburger and would not say anything else to me on that day.

Yes, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Elder Haight did not agree with the Priesthood-ban. Yet, he was an LDS Apostle for decades before the 1978 Revelation. He lifted his hand sustaining many Church Presidents who taught (promulgated) the Curse of Cain doctrine and enforced the priesthood-ban policy! And all that time--all those decades--he did NOT believe in the doctrine nor the policy!

So, the only conclusion I can make is, that you can disagree with anyting the Living Prophet says; as long as you keep it to yourself. If you go around saying, "Brigham Young was a RACIST, and the Living Prophet is wrong about such-and-such!!" then you'd probably be excommunicated. But, if you simply keep quiet, and "do you own thing" and "ignore" any doctrine or practice the Living Prophet promotes YOU disagree with, then you'll be fine!

From my observations of white Mormons for 25 years, I would say that many of them do just that! They will raise their hands high to sustain the Living Prophet, and all the Brethren as "Prophets/Seers/Revelators" and say, "Yea, yea, WE WILL OBEY!!!" but,at the same time, they will ignore anything that The Living Prophet says that is personally disagreeable to them. And they seem to get along just fine in this Church.

Should the Curse of Cain Legacy be discussed?

I believe it should be! I don't believe that we should just "forget it and move on". Many people cannot "move on" until the issue is "dealt with". I believe that being dishonest about the past only sets-up the future for disaster! I do not believe that the Genesis Group is being dishonest about the past. I believe they are trying to avoid dealing with the issue; in the hopes it will be forgotten. It won't be! We're living in the generation of the Internet. It won't be forgotten! It will always be a "thorn in the side" until it is dealt with openly, honestly, and directly.

Unforunately, the Public Affairs Office, and the Office of the First Presidency, both manned by white Latter-day Saints, are lying and denying the Church ever taught that black Africans are Cainites and under the curse of Cain. That's NOT of God! Maybe someone should do something about it!?!

I think that the Church will continue to be a revolving door for 95% of African-American converts (who go inactive within one year) unless and until:

1) The First Presidency "deals" with the Curse of Cain legacy by either repudiating it or defending it, but not simply "denying it ever happened" as the Public Affairs Office and the Office of the First Presidency is now doing and has done for more than 10 years.

2) The Church provides full-time paid and trained African-American pastors to move into and start branches in black areas until local black LDS leadership can be trained so that wards and stakes with full local black leaders can be formed. We have full-time paid and trained Seminary and Institute teachers. Why not full-time pastors for this unique situation?

3) The Church promotes Elijah Abel in the ENSIGN and notifies all Church Members via the ENSIGN of the existence of the Genesis Group (many white bishops still think the Genesis Group is an "apostate group". I KID YOU NOT!).

Until all of these things happen, in my opinion, then the Church will continue to be a revolving door for 95% of all African-American converts. So many missionaries wasting so much time and effort!

I can't do anything about that, but you can! How? Write letters to President Write enough letters, and he'll do something. Don't condemn! Be supportive. But write.

A Mormon friend of mine published 1500 copies of Black Mormons & The Priesthood-ban; which tries to "gently" inform the Reader of the Curse of Cain Legacy. A BYU professor (female) went to my distributor and tried to get them to stop distributing the book; saying that I had "renounced Mormonism" or something of that sort. The distributor spoke with me, and decided NOT to take her advice. She lied because she was upset that I was telling the Truth about the Church's past!

I sent 83 copies of the book to a certain LDS mission (who shall be nameless) that was having no success in keeping black converts. A copy of my book was kept in each missionary apartment. After 2 years, the mission had no problem retaining most of its black converts; according to my telephone interview with the mission president and emails with a number or former missionaries to that mission.

Some believe that if we simply reveal the truth about the Church's past regarding the Curse of Cain Legacy that this alone will cause some non-racist white Mormons to become racists:

[White Mormon reading about the Curse of Cain]"Golly....Brigham Young said that blacks were cursed! Golly! I'm gonna have to be a racist now! Golly!"
Doesn't happen that way! Mormons were moderate racists in thier day because American culture was "moderately" racist. Now American culture is anti-racist, and so white Mormons follow that culture. Lying about the Church's past won't prevent racism among white Mormons as some fools think; it will only cause problems and "set people up" to be devastated once they discover the truth!

Many Members (including Seminary teachers and Institute Instuctors), I am convinced, who are now denying the Church ever taught the Curse of Cain theory simply want to "look good" to the World. They don't want to appear "racist". When the World said "Negroes are inferior" they marched in goose-step! When the World says "The Priesthood-ban was racist" they march in goose-step! They are as their fathers; they want to be popular with the World! Whatever the World says: they follow! American culture says: "Gay is OK!" so they say: "Gay is OK!" But the LORD says: "Gay is NOT OK!!!!" They follow the World instead of the LORD! Their grandfathers did the same thing; and this is why they were racists. When the World was racist, their fathers were racist. When the World is anti-racist, now they follow that. They will follow wherever the World leads them. They care what the World thinks of them...that's all.

This problem won't be solved by deception and denial, by lie and deny, nor by backbiting and false rumor, but by TRUTH! And I have told you the TRUTH. I can only hope that the Church decides to tell the truth about its past as well.

But can't we just forget the past and move on?

That may work for some, but not for all! Let those who know the past be given the free agency to forget the past if they so choose. But what the Church is doing is denying the past. What the Genesis Group is doing is telling people to forget the past when most of them can't forget what they don't know! the name of honest and open about the past. Explain the past as honestly as you can. Then give people the option to "forget it and move on".

PLEASE don't say, "Gosh, we DON'T KNOW WHY the Church denied the Priesthood to black men before 1978!" That's a BIG LIE! We do know why. You may disagree with the "why" but we DO KNOW why!

Thank you for your time.

Darrick Evenson


1) Be honest and open about the Curse of Cain legacy. The pure-in-heart will not leave the Church because of it. Avoiding, equivocating, or lying about it will only hurt sincere souls, and Saints should not practice any sort of deception anyway.

2) Let your black students know about the Genesis Group of Black Latter-day Saints:

3) Let all your students know about the Black Mormon Homepage:

4) Get a copy of Black Mormons & The Priesthood-Ban for the Institute Library. Black Mormons & The Priesthood-ban (120 pages softcover) is now available to order online via but the book is NOT in Deseret Bookstores! For info about the book just go to:

or go to and go to SEARCH and type in: "Black Mormons" (in quotes).

The Bridgeforth Plan
Modified Version
In Honor of Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr.

The Bridgeforth Plan is an idea that I wanted to present to The First Presidency, but Darius Gray was not interested, and I could not find a black Latter-day Saint willing to present the idea. The Plan is named in honor of Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr. It calls for the publication of a BOOK explaining black Mormon history; published en masse for missionaries to give to black Investigators. It calls for a public REPUDIATION of the Curse of Cain theory; that black Africans are the descendants of Cain (black Africans MAY BE the descendants of Ham via the ancient Egyptians). The Church repudiated the Adam-God Theory; so it should be able to repudiate the Curse of Cain theory either in General Conference or via CHURCH NEWS or the ENSIGN. It includes INSTITUTE classes on Black Mormon history (good and bad). It includes a DECLARATION by the First Presidency of the exisence of the Genesis Group, in General Conference. It includes the establishment of GENESIS Branches; all-black branches in all-black areas headed by black Pastors who are trained and paid full-time teachers like Seminary teachers. Once local black leadership is trained, then the branch becomes a Ward with bishops who are lay leaders like other bishops. It includes an ENSIGN article about Elijah Abel, Walker Lewis, and how the Curse of Cain theory (i.e. blacks are Cainites) was a speculation only. It includes the establishment of a FOUNDATION to accept donations from Members for The Bridgeforth Center in Salt Lake City; a youth hostel for black LDS singles under 30. It includes a new OFFICE of pastors who are African-American members of the Church trained at BYU, and sent to establish branches in all-black areas; until wards can be formed. Special needs need special programs. It includes the TRAINING of Missionaries to U.S. missions on how to answer BPQs ("blacks and the priesthood questions"). It includes the RECRUITMENT of black Members to become Seminary Teachers; thereby exposing more white Mormons in all white areas of black Members. It includes a youth HOSTEL in Salt Lake City for young black single Members from Stakes in the U.S. that have very few black singles; called "The Bridgeforth Center". Young black singles could come to Salt Lake and stay at the Center for one week up to 1 year quite inexpensively; so they can be in an area to meet other single active black Latter-day Saints.

Repudiation of Curse of Cain theory.
Genesis Branches
Ensign article
Office of Pastors.
Recruitment of Seminary Teachers.
Training of Missinaries.
Hostel in Salt Lake City.


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