BLACK MORMONS & THE CURSE OF CAIN LEGACY is NOT a publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was written by Darrick T. Evenson (1960~). No copyright. All are allowed to reprint and reproduce in any form. You already have my permission.
My name is Darrick Evenson. I was a Mormon from 1979 until 1996, when I resigned from the Church. I served a mission for the Church (California San Jose Mission: 1983-85), and later wrote a book defending the Church ("The Gainsayers") which sold in LDS bookstores during the 1990s. I resigned from the Church in 1996. I am currently a Daheshist, a follower of Doctor Dahesh (1909~1984), the miracle-working Prophet of Lebanon. I am neither pro-Mormon, nor am I anti-Mormon. I sacrificed many years of my life, as a true believing Mormon, in researching the Church's teachings and policies regarding people of black African descent. These past teachings and policies are known collectively as "The Curse of Cain Legacy". I am not black. I am mostly of Northern European descent, with some Cherokee (American Indian) ancestry. I did this research in my attempt, as a True Believing Mormon (TBM), to defend the Church, and to answer all anti-Mormon claims. I published a book defending the Church, called The Gainsayers, in 1989. That book sold in LDS bookstores for over a decade, and was a faviorte of many Mormon missionaries serving in the U.S, and Canada in the 1990s. If you want to know why I resigned from the Church, and why I became a Daheshist, then you can find my story in a link at the bottom of this page. This website is neither pro-Mormon nor anti-Mormon, but contains the most fair, balanced, and accurate information about the Mormon Church and Black Folks that can be found anywhere.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER~DAY SAINTS, commonly known as "The Mormon Church" or "The LDS Church", has about 14 million Members all across the world. Today (2014) there are about 400,000 Black Mormons in the world; the great majority in Africa, but tens of thousands in Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States. There have been Black Mormons since 1832, although their numbers have been very small until recent decades. Green Flake, a Black Mormon, led the first group of white and black Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Fort Union Utah was originally a Black Mormon settlement. The first African-American police detective, Vernon Howell, was a Black Mormon. Black Mormon history was "forgotten" for over 100 years, but is now entering a new era of interest. There are now (2014) about 400,000 black Mormons in the world, and they have stories to tell. The stories of faithful black Mormons of the past, such as Elijah Abels, Green Flake, and others, are beginning to be published.
When I first joined the Church in late 1979, not 1 Mormon in 100,000 every heard of Elijah Abels, or Green Flake, or Jane Manning James, or the names of other early Black Mormon pioneers. In 1993, not 1 in 100,000 Mormons had ever heard of Joseph W.B. Johnson, the great black African Seer from Nigeria, who had a vision of Jesus Christ in 1965 in Ghana, and who converted thousands to The Book of Mormon via his years of preaching without purse of script. When I told white Mormons in 1993, that Fort Union (now Murray) Utah was originally a Black Mormon settlement, they looked at me like I was crazy. They didn't believe it. But...it was the truth. In 1993, I put the first website about Black Mormon history on the Internet, called "The Black Mormon Homepage". There was no other website like it until the year 2000! Today, the stories of early black Mormon pioneers are beginning to be told and published, and their names are beginning to be well-known among white and black Mormons alike.
MISinformation About Mormons in the African-American Community
There is much MIS-information about Mormons and the Mormon Faith in the African-American Community. Many in that community believe Mormons are "racist" or "don't like black folks" etc. Here are some popular false rumors about Mormons in the African-American Community:
*Mormons are racists (false today, but most Mormons were moderately racist 50 to 100 years ago when most white Americans were also moderately racist)
*Mormons hate black folks (false...never true)
*Mormons filled the Ku Klux Klan (false..the Church openly opposed the KKK from its beginnings)
*Mormons believe that black folks are the children of Devil (false...the Church NEVER taught that, and has always taught that black people were the literal spirit-sons and spirit-daughters of God)
*Mormons believe that black people are under a curse of God called "the Curse of Cain" (true at one time, from 1848 to 1978, but not true today)
Because of the widespread misinformation about Mormons in the African-American Community, this article was written. This article is not copyrighted. Anyone may reproduce it in any form, edited or unedited.
Joseph Smith~Advocate for the Black People
Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, was very pro-black; especially in the 1840s. He never taught that "Negroes" were inferior, nor that they were cursed. He welcomed them into the Church. He did not ban them. He approved of them being ordained to the Priesthood. In 1843, Joseph Smith ran for the Presidency of the United States under the "Mormon Reform Party" ticket. He called for blacks to be freed, educated, and given equal rights.
Joseph Smith was killed by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois, in 1844.
After the death of Joseph Smith many claimed to be his successor. Most Mormons followed Brigham Young to Utah. Some eventually followed Joseph Smith III, the son of Joseph Smith, and founded the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the "RLDS Church" now called "Community of Christ"). The RLDS Church ("Community of Christ") never banned blacks, nor did they teach the Curse of Cain Doctrine. "Community of Christ" is now a Liberal denomination which has ordained women to its Priesthood, and also allows non-celibate homosexuals as members and Church leaders. "Community of Christ" today has about 150,000 members, and they are headquartered in Independence, Missouri. They do not call themselves "Mormons".
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, also called "The Mormon Church" or "The LDS Church", headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, taught the Curse of Cain doctrine until 1978, and banned blacks from its priesthood and temples until 1978. The Mormon Church (also called "The LDS Church") has 15 million members worldwide. Members refer to themselves as "Mormons" or more often as "LDS".
Mormons and "The Curse of Cain Doctrine"
Mormon leaders did at one time teach that black people were the descendants of Cain, through Ham, and that they inherited the "Curse of Cain" which included a 'mark' (black skin) and also a denial of the Holy Priesthood of God and a denial of the higher ordinances of Mormon Temples. This "Curse of Cain Doctrine" and "Priesthood-ban Policy" existed in the Church from 1848 until 1978 (130 years). Church leaders no longer teach the Curse of Cain Doctrine, and suggest that it was merely "folklore" or "speculation" by early Church leaders. Most Mormons (especially those under the age of 50) no longer believe in the Curse of Cain Doctrine and many believe that doctrine was not true, but was a "mistake" of past Church leaders. The Church has never claimed infallibility for its leaders past or present; although many Mormons have assumed their leaders are infallible, or at least the "Living Prophet" (President of the Church) is infallible when he speaks in General Conference. Since June 8th, 1978, Black Mormons have had complete equality in the Church.
Origin of the Curse of Cain Doctrine
In the late 1700s and early 1800s, there was a British woman named Joanna Southcott. She claimed to be a prophetess. She had, at one time, in the late 1700s, about 100,000 followers in England, Scotland, Wales, and what was then the British Colonies in America. She wrote several books of Revelation, all poems. She taught a number of things. One of her doctrines was that "Negroes" were fallen angels, who "fell" from heaven to Earth in the War in Heaven mentioned in the Book of Revelation (Apocalyse):
7And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Revelations 12:7-12)
Joanna Southcott taught that these fallen angels, became the children of Cain, the first son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel. She wrote:
"For pride I cast the angels down.
No fellowship with them was found.
Till War in Heaven began at last.
And down the rebels all were cast.
They were depised by man and ME (Jesus)
And born to be Negroes here." (Book 30: secton 130, written in 1797)
Joanna Southcott was never a Mormon. She was raised in the Church of England. The Mormon Church was founded in New York State in 1830. Joanna Southcott died in England in 1812 or 1814. She did not name a successor. When the Mormon missionaires (headed by Apostles) came to England in the early 1840s, they found the Southcottites agreeable to baptism; because they already believed in modern prophets and modern Revelation.
In the early 1840s, Joseph Smith, the Founder of the Mormon Church, sent Mormon Apostles to England on missions. These Mormon Apostles did not find many people interested in Mormonism, except for the Southcottites. These people believed in modern prophets and modern revelation. Thousands of Southcottites were baptized into the Mormon Church, and most of them migrated to the United States to join other Mormons. They brought their Southcott doctrines with them as well, including the Curse of Cain Doctrine.
There is no evidence that Joseph Smith ever accepted the "Curse of Cain" doctrine. He had black Mormon men ordained to the priesthood, and black Mormons were invited to worship with other Mormons in the Mormon temples. However, several Mormon Apostles, specifically Orson Hyde and the Pratt brothers (Orson Pratt and Parley P. Pratt), accepted the Curse of Cain Doctrine as true, and began to preach it to others after the death of Joseph Smith in June of 1844.
There is no Revelation to Joseph Smith which teaches the Curse of Cain Doctrine. However, in Joseph Smith's translation of the Book of Genesis, which is called "The Book of Moses", it does say that "the seed of Cain were black" (Moses 7:22). Also, in The Book of Abraham, which Joseph Smith claimed he translated from some Egyptian papyrus that he bought in 1839, it says that the Canaanites were blessed with wisdom but "cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood" (Abraham 1:26-7). In Joseph Smith's day (1820s-1840s) most white people believed that the Canaanites in the Bible were Negroes. Today, we know that is not the case. However, it was believed in those days.
NOTE: The Canaanites were never black Africans. The Canaanites still exist today, and are known as the Lebanese and the Tunisians (descendants of the Carthagians--immigrants to North Africa from the Lebanese city of Tyre). The Lebanese and Tunisians have white or ruddy-skin, straight or curly black hair, and brown eyes. They are not black Africans, but belong to the Mediterranean Race. They resemble other Mediterraneans such as the Egyptians, the Israelites, the Greeks, the Italians, the Iberians (Spaniards and Portuguese), and the ruddy-skinned peoples of North Africa such as the Libyans, Algerians, and Moroccans. The Cainites (Qayin) still exist today as a wandering tribe of Bedouin Arabs called the "Sleb". They have a tribal 'mark' of protection on their foreheads in the form of an "X"; if a person kills a Sleb, seven will avenge his death. The Qayin (Cainites) do not farm, because, they say, the ground is cursed under them. They are not black Africans, but ruddy (reddish-white) skinned Arabs. They do indeed claim to be the children of Cain. The Qayin exist to this day in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Syria.
Seven Qayin men and one Qayin woman. The Qayin (Cainites) still exist today. They are Arab Bedouins. They look exactly the same as other Arab tribes. They are not black Africans. Photo: 1920
Joseph Smith was killed by an Anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois, in June 1844. He was arrested because he illegal shut down a newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois, named "The Nauvoo Expositor", that honestly revealed he was secret polygamist. The newspaper told the truth. An anti-mob gathered in Quincy, Illinois, and went to Carthage Jail specifically to kill Joseph Smith, which they did. After his death, various men came foreward to claim to be his successor. About half of all Mormons followed Brigham Young to Utah. Another group followed other men, but eventually followed Joseph Smith III; the eldest son of Joseph Smith Jr. Those that followed Brigham Young to Utah eventually became known as "The Mormon Church". Those that followed Joseph Smith III are now known as "Community of Christ" and headquartered in Independence Missouri. "Community of Christ" never taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine, and never banned blacks from their places of worship or priesthoods.
Only the Mormon Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine and banned "Negroes" from its temples and priesthood for 130 years (1848 to 1978).
The Curse of Cain Doctrine was first introduced into the LDS Church by Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde, during a lecture he gave to the Quorum of High Priests, in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1847. It is obvious that he got it from the Southcottites whom he converted to the Church while a missionary in England a few years before. He said that some spirits "thought that Lucifer had the greater right to rule" and as a punishment they were cast to Earth, to become Cain and his "Negro" descendants. In 1852, Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, while in England, published a periodical called The Seer in which he put a new "spin" on the Curse of Cain doctrine. He said that some spirits that followed Christ, against Lucifer, were "less valiant" in the War in Heaven, and that is why they were punished by being born Negroes in the lineage (bloodline) of Cain.
The McCary Incident
At first Brigham Young rejected the Curse of Cain Doctrine, and preached that Walker Lewis, a black Mormon Elder who lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, was one of the best Elders in the Church. However, in late 1847, this changed. In 1847, a half-black and half-white Mormon Elder named William McCary, claimed to be a Prophet, and claimed to be Adam reincarnated, and he told a number of Mormon women that they were Eve reincarnated, and he made them his secret wives. He gathered a small band of Mormon followers, and left the Church. This enraged Brigham Young, who, in early 1848, started to preach the Curse of Cain Doctrine, and he started the policy of "banning" Negroes from the Mormon priesthood and temples. This became known as "the Priesthood-Ban Policy". That policy lasted until June 8th, 1978. This is called "The McCary Incident". This "incident" was the catalyst that caused Brigham Young to start to preach The Curse of Cain Doctrine, which was not "officially" repudiated until December 2013, and to implement The Priesthood-Ban Policy; which lasted until June 8th, 1978.
Brief Summary of the Curse of Cain Doctrine
This is what the Mormon Church taught, as an official doctrine of the Church, from about 1848 to 1978. The Church no longer teaches it, and has "disavowed" it ("Race and Priesthood" Statement--December 2013). The Curse of Cain Doctrine was as follows:
*All human spirits are the literal sons and daughters of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother; born to them on a planet near a star named Kolob, long before planet Earth was created
*The firstborn spirit is Jesus, and the second-born spirit is Lucifer
*Jesus offered a Plan of Salvation, and Lucifer offered an alternative plan, but Heavenly Father chose Jesus'
Plan, and this enraged Lucifer who rebelled and fought against Jesus.
*Two-thirds of the spirits sided with Jesus, and one-third sided with Lucifer
*There was a War in Heaven, and all spirits fought. Some followed Jesus and others followed Lucifer.
*Some spirits who followed Jesus were "less valiant" (lazy, unheroic, not very committed)
*Lucifer and the spirits who followed him were "cast out". They become demons on Earth
*Those spirits who fought on the side of Jesus become human beings.
*Those spirits who were "less valiant" than others become "Negroes"
*Cain is a white man, son of Adam and Eve, but he kills Abel, and the LORD turns him into the first Negro. The "Mark of Cain" is black skin, kinky hair, and "Negroid" features.
*Cain marries his white sister, but they somehow have all Negro children.
*Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, have white children named "Sethites"
*Cain and his sister have children who are all-Negro called "Cainites".
*The Cainites and Sethites marry, in violation of the command of the LORD that they not marry or have children together.
*The LORD decides to send a Flood and wipe out humanity because the Sethites had children with the Cainites which was "an abomination" before the LORD.
*The LORD spares Noah and his family, who are pure Sethites (white) with no Cainite ("Negro") blood.
*Ham, a son of Noah, marries Egyptus, a Negro woman who is pregnant already with a full-Negro child.
*Ham "uncovers the nakedness" of Noah (tells his brothers their father is naked and to come see themselves) of when Noah is drunk; a disgrace and insult upon Noah.
*Enraged by Ham's disrespecting him, Noah curses not Ham, but curses Canaan (step-son of Ham and son of his Cainite wife Egyptus) and his descendants to become "a servant of servants" to the Shemites (Jews and Arabs) and the Japhetites (Europeans): the descendants of his two brothers. Noah was angry at Ham for marrying a Cainites (Negro) woman, and this final insult causes Noah to curse Canaan and his descendants with servitude.
*From the three sons of Noah come all the current races of mankind: from Shem come the Shemites, from Japheth come the Europeans, and from Ham come the Africans. NOTE: The Church never explained the origin of the Orientals/Asians.
*Ham and Egyptus settle Egypt after the flood, and Canaan settles Canaan (Palestine) and the sons of Canaan (Cush and Phut) settle what is now Black Africa. Canaan's other son Mizraim settles Egypt.
*The Egyptians and the Canaanites (Negroes) are banned from the priesthood, because they are of the blood of Egyptus, which means "Forbidden". Egyptus was a descendant of Cain.
*The Negroes must serve white people and be banned from the priesthood and temples until the LORD removes the curse; both in this world and in the Spirit-World (the life between death and the resurrection of the dead)
*The LORD will not remove the Curse of Cain until Abel is resurrected, has children, and all of Abel's descendants first have the option of receiving the Priesthood; because Cain killed Abel
*The Negro will in the eternities, after the Resurrection of the Dead, after the Millennium, receive the priesthood and those Negroes who are faithful Members of the Church, either in this world or in the Spirit-World, will become Gods and Goddesses like other Mormons.
This was taught from 1848 until 1978. The Curse of Cain Doctrine was always referred to as "a doctrine of the Church" in Church publications, and in talks given by Mormon Church leaders in General Conference and elsewhere. At no time did they present it as "speculation" or "personal opinion"!
The First Presidency Statement on the Negro Question
In 1947, the First Presidency of the Church (the governing body worldwide) issued the following statement, signed by all three members of the First Presidency:
August 17, 1949
The attitude of the Church with reference to Negroes remains as it has always stood. It is not a matter of the declaration of a policy but of direct commandment from the Lord, on which is founded the doctrine of the Church from the days of its organization, to the effect that Negroes may become members of the Church but that they are not entitled to the priesthood at the present time. The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said: "Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the holy priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the holy priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to."
President Wilford Woodruff made the following statement: "The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have."
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the Church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the premortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintain their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.
George A. Smith
David O. McKay
The First Presidency
This statement was official, and called Church teachings that Negroes were under a curse "a doctrine of the Church" and called the Church teachings that Negroes were less valiant in the War in Heaven "another doctrine of the Church". Whosoever claims today that the Curse of Cain Doctrine (including the Less Valiant in the War in Heaven Doctrine) were "not doctrines of the Church, but folklore or speculation or personal opinion" are WRONG! The Curse of Cain Docrine was never presented as folklore or personal opinion or speculation but always, in all cases, referred to by Church leaders as "a doctrine of the Church".
If you want to review statements by Mormon leaders on "the Curse of Cain" just go to www.google.com and type in "Mormon leaders" and "Curse of Cain" and you'll read many, many quotes from them. You'll see they always called it "doctrine" and always presented it as such, without exception.
Official Declaration 3 on June 8th, 1978
In June 1978, Mormon Church President Spencer W. Kimball issued "Official Statement 2" which ended the priesthood-ban policy. This became known as "The 1978 Revelation". Blacks were no longer banned from Mormon temples or the Mormon priesthood. But...Official Statement 2 ("The 1978 Revelation") did not mention, much less repudiate, the Curse of Cain Doctrine. Since June 8th, 1979, black Mormons have had full equality in the Church. The numbers of black Mormons in June 1978 was about 400 to 1000 worldwide, with 5% being active (i.e. "active" in Mormon lingo means attending Church meetings and paying tithing). The number of black Mormons today (2014) would be about 400,000 to 500,000, with about 30% to 40% being active.
The reason why Spencer W. Kimball decided to end the Priesthood-ban Policy is because....
*I* The Church had already unknowingly ordained tens of thousands of white and brown Brazilian men to the Priesthood who had "Negro" ancestry. Under the Priesthood-ban Policy, even a white man with blonde hair and blue eyes, who had "one" Negro ancestor, had to be banned from the Priesthood. The Church was planning to build a Temple in Sao Paulo, the largest city in Brazil. Many Brazilian Mormons were doing genealogy work, to do temple rites on behalf of their dead ancestors. This is when most of them discovered they had at least one "Negro" ancestor. Brazil had slavery even longer than the United States, but sexual intermingling between the races was much more common in Brazil than in North America; which resulted in a Brazilian population today which is heavily "part" black African. As much as 85% of all Brazilians have at least some "Negro" ancestry. If the Church applied the Priesthood-ban Policy to 80% of its white and brown Brazilian priesthood-holders, it would essentially destroy the Church in Brazil. To remove the priesthood from these men would have been a disaster for the Church in Brazil. This is called "The Brazil Sitation".
*II* The Church was receiving massive amounts of "negative press" in North America because of the priesthood-ban and Curse of Cain Doctrine, which was hurting the missionary efforts in North America. This is called "Negative Press Hurting Missionary Efforts in North America".
*III* The Church was being threatened with sanctions by the Federal Government, under the Administration of President Jimmy Carter, if it continued to "discriminate against blacks"; such as a denial of Federal loans and grants to all students attending Brigham Young University. This is called "Threats from the Federal Government"
There is a ****RUMOR**** that the Carter Administration was threatening to revoke the Church's tax-exempt status. This RUMOR has not yet been confirmed. If ture, the Church would have lost billions of dollars a year if its tax-exempt status was removed. This is RUMOR only. I have written many letters to former President Jimmy Carter, asking about this. I have not received any reply to date (2014). This RUMOR should always be presented as RUMOR and not as fact.
Mormon Church President Spencer W. Kimball faced three HUGE problems:
I. Brazil Situation
II. Negative press hurting missionary work in North America
III. Threats against the Church from the U.S. Federal government.
All these problems would be solved "if" President Kimball ended the 130 year old Priesthood and Temple Ban. This is what he did, on June 8th, 1978.
The Curse of Cain Cover-Up
In 1996, Elder Russell M. Ballard, a Mormon Apostle, became the head of the Public Affairs Committee, a committee which oversees the Church's Pubic Affairs Department. At that time, the Church's Public Affairs Department began to "deny" that the Church ever taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine. Non-Mormon inquirers and journalists were told "the Church never taught it" and that "some Members may have believed that at one time, but it was never taught by Church leaders and it was never a doctrine of the Church". You can read more about this in a link at the bottom of this page titled "The Curse of Cain Cover-Up". Read that later. Read the rest of this article first.
Spearheading the Curse of Cain Cover-up was Brook Hales, who worked in the Office of the First Presidency, and in 2008 became Secretary to the First Presidency.
However, because information about the Curse of Cain Doctrine was becoming more and more popular reading on the Internet, it became more and more obvious to observers and Mormon inquirers alike that LDS Public Affairs and the Office of the First Presidency (i.e. Brook P. Hales) were deliberately lying about the matter. The "the Curse of Cain Cover-Up" and lasted until December 2013, when the Church leaders (i.e. the First Presidency) decided, because of the Internet, to take another strategy.
The Race and Priesthood Statement
In December, 2013, the Church issued a "Race and Priesthood" Statement on the Internet at LDS.org website. Most Mormons today still have never heard of this statement. It was not signed by the First Presidency, nor is was it ever mentioned in General Conference talks. Nevertheless, it was approved by the First Presidency. The Statement basically says that, yes, some Members and leaders of the Church believed that Negroes were under a curse, but the Church has now "disavowed" such teachings. This is known as the "Race and Priesthood Statement". The Curse of Cain Doctrine was an "official doctrine" of the Church for at least 130 years, and called "a doctrine of the Church" in The First Presidency Statement on the Negro Question, first published in August 1949, and issued a second time in 1953. There are dozens of talks by Church Presidents and Apostles where they teach the Curse of Cain Doctrine. You can find these quotes on the Internet. Just Google Mormon and "Curse of Cain". Most of these talks were in General Conference.
The Race and Priesthood Statement says, in part:
"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." (Race and Priesthood Statement)
The "problem" with this portion of the Race and Priesthood Statement is that it contradicts The Book of Mormon, which teaches that the LORD cursed the Lamanites (which the Church teaches are the "partial" ancestors of the American Indians) were "cursed with a skin of blackness" so that the white skinned Nephites (nee-fights)would not intermarry with them. The Book of Mormon teaches that the LORD cursed the Lamanites (lay-man-nights) with "a skin of blackness" because the Lamanites were "idle" and "filthy" and "idolatrous" (worshipped idols). Also, the Statement says that these were "theories advanced in the past" but in FACT Church leaders never advanced them as "theories" but as "doctrine"; part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Even though The Race and Priesthood Statement admits many things, it is still deceptive on two counts:
1) It states that the Curse of Cain Doctrine and Less Valiant Doctrine were "advanced as theories" when in fact they were called "doctrines of the Church" in The First Presidency Statement on the Negro Question (first published in 1949), and elsewhere.
2) It says that the Church today "disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse" when in fact The Book of Mormon teaches that a black skin is a sign of God's disfavor and curse in regards to the Lamanites (lay-man-nights); the purported ancestors (at least partially) of today's American Indians.
NOTE: For those of you who believe that The Book of Mormon teaches racism, it should be noted further that the dark-skinned Lamanites (lay-man-nights) accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and become righteous. However, the white skinned Nephites (nee-fights) first accept the Gospel, but after they become wealthy and proud they "fall" and become more wicked than the Lamanites ever were. So, the LORD allows the dark-skinned Lamanites to "utterly destroy" the white skinned Nephites in the Battle of the Hill Cumorah, which, according to The Book of Mormon, happens about 400 A.D.
You can read the Race and Priesthood statement by going to www.lds.org then clicking on "Topics" and then clicking on "Race and Priesthood". This statement was not signed by the First Presidency, nor has it been mentioned in General Conference. Most Mormons today are still unaware of it. Wny? The answer is simple: because the First Presidency of the Church (the three senior Apostles who are called "Presidents") know that this statement would hurt and confuse most older Mormons, over the age of 60, who were taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine since birth on up until they were about 30 years old. Those few older Mormons who have read this statement are quite shocked by it. Some have left the Church over it. Most mid-generation Mormons (435 to 55) are very happy with the statement. Most younger-generation Mormons (under 30) have never heard of the Curse of Cain. If you tell them that the Church "used to teach that blacks the cursed children of Cain and less valiant in the war in heaven" they will usually call you a "liar". They are kept in the dark, deliberately, by Church leaders.
The Curse of Cain Doctrine Today (2014)
This Curse of Cain Doctrine was taught by top Mormon leaders as "a doctrine of the Church" from 1848 until 1978. Since 1978, the Mormon Church has not taught "The Curse of Cain Doctrine". Many Mormons over the age of 60 still believe it, because they were taught it as children and young adults. Relatively few Mormons under the age of 60 still believe in the Curse of Cain Doctrine today. Many younger Mormons, under the age of 30, have never even heard of it. They are not told about it at Church during Sunday School. They are not told about it in Seminary (Mormon high school student religious classes). They are not told about it in Institute (college age religious classes). They are not told about it in Church Manuals, nor in modern Church history books. The Curse of Cain Legacy has been effectively erased from official Church history.
From 1996 until 2013, the Church Public Affairs Department denied the Church ever taught it, denying it was official Church doctrine, and claimed it was "some speculation by some Members" but not Church leaders. They lied! In December 2013, the Church issued a statement called "Race and Priesthood" which "disavow" former teachings that blacks were cursed, or that a black skin was a sign of a curse.
Some Facts To Consider
Here are some facts you may wish to consider:
*The first reference that black Africans were the children of Cain and Ham came from the Babylonian Talmud, a book of Jewish law and commentary written by Jewish scribes living in Iraq in the 6th century A.D.
*The Cain/Ham/Negro theory was popular folklore in Europe during the Middle-Ages, and was used as a justification for "Negro" slavery.
*Joanna Southcott, a British woman who grew up in the Church of England, claimed to be a Prophetess, and wrote numerous books of Revelation, and in these books she identified "Negroes" as the children of Cain, the incarnations of angels who followed the Great Red Dragon and were "cast out of heaven" by Michael and his angels, as recorded in the Apocalyse (Book of Revelation). Southcott prophesied that Christ was returning in the year 2004. There are only a few dozen Southcottites in existence today.
*White Europeans and Americans in the 19th century (1800s) generally believed that "Negroes" were the children of Cain and Ham, and that Anglo-Saxons (their own race) was the most superior race, and that other races were "inferior".
*Early Mormon leaders were "the children of their time" and believed the popular notions of their
day which were popular among just about all white Europeans and white Americans at that time (i.e. Negroes are the children of Cain, and Canaanites, and inferior by nature, the Sun and Moon are inhabited, inter-racial children usually become sterile, etc.)
*Joseph Smith sent Mormon apostles from Nauvoo, Illinois, to England in the early 1840s, and they converted thousands of Southcottites to the Church, and the Southcottites told the Apostles about their own beliefs, and at least three Mormon
Apostles (Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, Parley P. Pratt) accepted the Joanna Southcott's Curse of Cain Doctrine.
*Orson Hyde, a Mormon Apostle, first introduces the Curse of Cain Doctrine, while teaching the Quorum of
High Priests in Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1847; shortly before the Mormon Exodus to Utah.
*Orson Pratt started a publication in England called "THE SEER" in which he put his own "spin" on the
Southcott Curse of Cain Doctrine. He said that Negroes were not the followers of Lucifer (Great Red
Dragon), but the followers of Christ in the War in Heaven, but they were "less valiant" than other followers
of Christ in the War in Heaven, and thus punished with being born as Negroes in the lineage of Cain.
*Brigham Young at first rejected the new Curse of Cain Doctrine, and said that Walker Lewis, a black Mormon Elder living in Lowell, Massachusetts, was "one of the best Elders" in the Church. He approved the ordination of at least several black Mormon men.
*In 1847 a half-black and half-white Mormon Elder named William McCary, living in Winter Quarters (now Omaha) Nebraska, seduced a number of white Mormon women and girls, claiming to be a Prophet and the reincarnation of Adam. He gathered several dozen Mormon followers, and for a time had his own small sect. This enraged Brigham Young, who then began to preach the Curse of Cain Doctrine and implementing the Priesthood and Temple Ban against all "Negro" Mormons in 1848. That Ban lasted until June 8th, 1978.
*Mormon Presidents and Apostles taught as "a doctrine of the Church" from 1848 until 1978, that "Negroes" are the children of God, but, because they were "less valiant" in the War in Heaven, they were punished by being born into the lineage of Cain.
*They taught that Cain was a white man until he killed Abel, then God changed him into the first Negro. Cain married one of his sisters, and God changed her into the second Negro. Ham, the son of Noah, married an already-pregnant Negro/Cainite woman, who was pregnant with a Negro/Cainite child she named Canaan, which is why the Negro race survived the flood.
*They taught that Negro slavery and servitude is a result of Noah cursing Canaan and his descendants with perpetual servitude, and this servitude, or second-class-status, would continue until the Curse of Cain was removed by the Lord.
*They taught that the Negro would not get the Priesthood until sometime after the Millennium is over, after Abel was resurrected, had children, and ALL his children had the priesthood first.
*They taught that a black skin and Negroid features is the "Mark" of Cain. This "mark" will continue until removed by the Lord. We will know when the Lord removes it when full-Negro women give birth to white babies with straight hair and blue eyes and "white" (i.e. Anglo-Saxons) features.
*They taught that faithful Negroes who join the Church and remain faithful to it, will go to the Celestial Kingdom as servants of faithful Mormon priesthood holders and their faithful wives of other races.
*They taught that "sometime in the eternities the Negro will get the Priesthood" and become Gods and Goddesses like faithful Mormons of other races. At no time did Church leaders ever present these teachings as "folklore" or "personal opinion" or "speculation".
*All of these teachings were always presented as "doctrines of the Church" without exception! At no time were these teachings EVER advanced as "theories" or "personal opinions" or "speculation"! Entire generations of Mormons grew up believing that the Curse of Cain Doctrine was a doctrine of the Church, and part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; as part of the Gospel as every other part of it.
SOME MORE THINGS TO CONSIDER....
*Just because early Mormon leaders were racist, does not mean Mormons today are racist.
*Joanna Southcott is not recognized as a true prophetess in the Mormon Church; not even 1 in 100,000
Mormons have ever heard of her. Neither Joseph Smith nor Brigham Young never mentioned her name.
*The VAST great majority of white Mormons today (2014) under the age of 65, are NOT in any way "racist".
*There are plenty of black Mormons today, and the great majority of them feel welcomed and equal in the Church.
*There are many inter-racial Mormon couples and inter-racial children, and they feel welcomed in the Church.
*Joseph Smith was a great advocate for the rights of blacks, and called for Negroes to be freed, educated, and given equal rights.
*The early Black Mormons of the 1830s and early 1840s, such as Elijah Abels, and others, had full equality in the Church.
*Brigham Young, not Joseph Smith, first made the Curse of Cain Doctrine "official" when he preached it in General Conference in 1848, and he is also the author of the Priesthood-ban Policy which began that year (1848) and only ended on June 8th, 1978.
*Most white Mormons were "overjoyed" with "the 1978 Revelation" which ended the Priesthood-ban policy.
*Since 1978, the Church has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in black Africa, in the form of food, medicine, and other forms of charity, building roads, chapels, temples, and so forth. In return, the Church gets very little tithing money from black Africans,
because they have very little to give.
*The Curse of Cain Doctrine was an official "doctrine of the Church" and is called such in The First Presidency Statement on the Negro first issued by the Church in 1949. Those who tell you it was "never a doctrine" or "just some folklore" or "speculation" or "personal opinion" are either lying to you, or innocently spreading a lie they think is the truth because they just don't know any better.
*There was at least one Black African Mormon "prophet" by the name of Joseph W.B. Johnson (you can read more about him in the expanded version in the link below).
*Some Mormons who know better, who know that the Curse of Cain was an official doctrine of the Church, will knowing lie about it and tell you "it was never a Church doctrine" because they are embarrassed by it and don't wish you to think them to be racists. Some Mormons do, in fact, "lie".
*Most Mormons over the age of 60 still believe in the Curse of Cain Doctrine, because they were taught it growing up as "Gospel Truth", a part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as any other part.
*Most younger Mormons, under the age of 30, have never heard of the Curse of Cain Doctrine, and probably call you a "liar" if you told them that their Church once taught it. They are kept in the dark regarding it.
*There is no segregation in the Church. White and black Mormons worship together. However, the Church has an Auxiliary Organization (fellowship and service organization) for black Mormons called "The Genesis Group". Their website link is below.
*The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one of the fastest growing religions in black Africa today.
*If you are black, and join the Mormon Church, you will be accepted as an equal and a Brother or Sister in the Lord by just about all white Mormons except perhaps
by "some" over the age of 65.
*Most white Mormons over the age of 65 are not racist either, but some are, but they keep their racism to themselves for the most part, because any racist act or racist statements are no longer accepted in the Church.
*Black Mormons today are equal with all other Mormons in every respect.
*Why do some black folks become Mormons? Because they believe it is the Truth. Why? You need to _____ask them____ that question. You can find Black Mormons in most parts of the United States, but especially Salt Lake City (Genesis Group), New York City, Detroit, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Miami Florida, Houston Texas, and in Inglewood, Oakland, and Richmond California. The Black Mormon website (LDS Genesis Group) in in the links below.
*Popular "rumors" in the African-American Community that Mormons "hate black folks" and "think that black folks are the children of the Devil" or "think that black folks have no souls" or that "Mormons filled the ranks of the KKK" are ALL TOTALLY FALSE! These false rumors were never true!
*Just because early Mormon leaders were racist, it does not mean that Mormons today are racist. In fact, the great majority of white Mormons today (2014) are NOT "racist" in any way!
*Racist Mormon leaders have all died, or will soon die of old age, and have been replaced with younger men who are not racist.
If you are an active Mormon, and you were told that "the Church never taught that blacks are cursed nor the children of Cain" or "these things were never doctrine but folklore and personal opinion" then...I am sorry! You have been lied to. Or, the person who told you these things was lied to, and believed the lie, and spread this lie innocently thinking it was the truth. It isn't. I would suggest to you that you ask active Mormons over the age of 60 about "the Curse of Cain Doctrine". Ask them:
"Excuse me. Sorry to bother you. My name is Brother ________. I'm curious about something. Did you grow up in the Church? You did! Okay. I'm curious. Where you taught as a young Mormon, by Church leaders, that blacks were the cursed children of Cain, less valiant in the War in Heaven? Were you taught that a black skin was the 'mark' of the Curse of Cain?"
"Okay, was the Curse of Cain Doctrine presented to you as their personal opinion, or speculation, or as a doctrine of the Church?"
Ask them....see what they tell you. If they are honest, they will tell you the truth!
1. The Curse of Cain Doctrine was a "revelation" to Joanna Southcott, a British woman who
claimed to be a Prophetess. She was never a Mormon.
2. Many of her followers joined the Mormon Church in England in the 1840s, because they
accepted the idea of modern prophets and modern revelation.
3. Joseph Smith was pro-black and anti-racist most of his adult life, and called for blacks
to be freed, educated, and given equal rights.
4. Brigham Young rejected the Curse of Cain Doctrine at first, saying that Walker Lewis, a black Mormon Elder
living in Lowell, Massachusetts, was "one of the best Elders" in the Church. But, after "The McCary Incident" in 1847, when a Black Mormon Elder seduced a number of white Mormon women and girls, Brigham Young reversed himself, accepted The Curse of Cain Doctrine promulgated by Orson Hyde and the Pratt Brothers, and started the Priesthood-ban Policy which continued until Church President Spencer W. Kimball ended that Policy on June 8th, 1978.
5. Brigham Young implemented the priesthood and temple ban in 1848, commonly known as "The Priesthood-Ban Policy"
6. The Curse of Cain Doctrine was called "a doctrine of the Church" by all Church leaders from 1848
until 1978. At no time was it EVER presented to the Church Members as "speculation" or "personal opinion" or "theories". It was also called "a doctrine of the Church".
7. Spencer W. Kimball ended the priesthood-ban because of "The Brazil Situation" as well as negative
press hurting missionary work, and also threats against the Church from the Carter Administration. HIs "Official Declaration 2" ended the Priesthood-ban Policy, but did not comment on the Curse of Cain Doctrine. OC 2 is commonly referred to today as "The 1978 Revelation".
8. The Cainites (Qayin) still exist today, and they are a wandering tribe of Bedouin Arabs, and the Canaanites still exist today, and they are the Lebanese and Tunisians and Palestinians. They are not black Africans. The Qayin (Cainites) in Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, have a "mark of protection" on their foreheads, which says to anyone who kills one of them "If you kill a Qayin, then seven more Qayin will avenge his death". The Qayin do not farm, saying the 'ground" is cursed beneath them, and nothing will grow for them. However, a black skin is NOT a "mark of protection" for Africans, and black Africans have no problem farming.
9. Early Black Mormons had full equality in the Church. This continued until the McCary Incident in 1847.
10. There are today (2014) over 400,000 Black Mormons in the world, who have full equality in the Church, and those who are active (go to Church every Sunday) enjoy it, and the great majority of them feel welcomed in the Church by their white brothers and sisters. The Church is one of the fastest growing religions in black Africa.
11. The Church has "erased" the Curse of Cain legacy from official Mormon history. You cannot find it in
any Church book or manual. You can only find a brief and semi-dishonest reference to it on the "Race and Priesthood" Statement on LDS.org under "topics". Church teachers (Seminary Teachers and Institute of Religion instructors) are "warned" not to discuss the subject their with students; with an unspoken but implied threat of losing their jobs or worse. For that reason, this website was written.
12. Most Mormons today under the age of 30 are told that "the Church never taught that blacks were cursed"
and that "some Members believed in the Curse of Cain thing but the leaders never taught it" or "it was never a doctrine but just folklore" or "the Brethren denied the priesthood to blacks because they knew the Members were racist and would not welcome them" and other things which ARE SIMPLY ____NOT____ TRUE. These young Mormons are told these things by people they trust, so, they believe them! If you tell them the TRUTH...they will probably call you a "liar". They are kept in the dark...deliberately. For that reason too, this website was written.
13. The false rumors that "Mormons hate black folks" and "Mormons think black folks are the children of the devil" and so forth, can still be found throughout the African-American Community in North America and the U.K.
Invitation to Learn More
If you'd like to chat online with the Mormon missionaries just click on the link "Chat with the Missionaries" below. The Mormon Church has programs for all ages second to none. Many people find the Church an excellent place to raise their families and worship God and Jesus. The Church has social programs for all ages second to none. Mormons do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of the world; regardless of what Anti-Mormons say. The Church is becoming more "Jesus" centered and less "Joseph Smith" centered every year. Many old Mormon doctrines (Curse of Cain, Blood Atonement, Adam-God, salvation by self-effort, God had sex with Mary, etc.), have gone away or are falling by the wayside. Church leaders today want acceptance by the greater Christian world, and are willing to give-up old doctrines in favor with greater acceptance and better public relations with the outside world. Ironically, The Book of Mormon itself teaches there is only One God, that salvation is via the grace of God by the cross of Christ, that there is no salvation for the dead, Mary was a literal virgin before and after Jesus was conceived and born, and that one must be "born again" in order to become a son or daughter of God. All these doctrines are directly opposite of the popular Mormon doctrines I was taught as a young Mormon in the 1980s! The Church is actually just starting to "get back" to its original pre-Nauvoo doctrines and beliefs.
Joseph Smith: True, False, or Fallen?
A number of voices in Mormon history have come forward to declare that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet, but "fell" because of sexual sin, and that all of Joseph Smith's revelations and doctrines "after" his "fall" (his post-1835 doctrines and revelations---i.e. plurality of gods, plural marriage, endowment ceremony, Book of Abraham, Kinderhook Plates, etc.) were false. Those voices include David Whitmer, Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, , all of the 11 Witnesses to The Book of Mormon, Sidney Rigdon, at least several former Mormon Apostles such as William McLellin, John Page, Amasa Lyman, also Granville Hendricks (founder of the Church of Christ--Temple Lot), a Mormon Seeress named "Xorol R. Oliver" (who later became a Baha'i), as well amd many others. It is purported by some that some Church leaders (Apostles) also believe this, that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet who later "fell" into sin, but they keep the current unwritten by oft-spoken Church Policy that no Church leader, past or present, can criticize any leader of the Church, even if that criticism is true. This is called the "No Criticism of Church Leaders Part or Present Even if the Criticism is True Policy".
Beware of Anti-Mormon Information
Not everything that Anti-Mormons say is true. Some of what they say is false. Much of what they say is distorted. So, if you read an Anti-Mormon book or website, know that you "may" be reading the truth, or may not be reading the truth. Anti-Mormon literature by "Ed Decker" and "Walter R. Martin" and "Bill Schnoebelen" is at best unreliable, and at worst completely dishonest. Anti-Mormon information by "Bill McKeever" (Mormonism Researched Ministry) and "Shawn McReady" ("Heart of the Matter" TV show on YouTube) is fairly reliable. Some Anti-Mormon claims are true. Other claims are false, or distorted.
Read the Expanded Version
I am an ex-Mormon, but I am not Anti-Mormon. I believe that the LDS Church is a wonderful institution that does much good in the world. I believe it is a blessing for most people who belong to it. Try it. You just "may" like it! Most active Black Mormons today LOVE the Church. There must be a reason for that! Check it out! You can read an expanded version of this article in the links below at Black Mormons and the Curse of Cain Legacy (Expanded Version). The expanded version goes into much greater detail.
If you are of black African heritage, do not smoke, do not drink, do not use illegal drugs, believe that abortion is wrong, do not have sex before marriage, then you'll find "the Mormon Church" a welcoming place. The great majority of white Mormons will accept you as an equal, and fully, as a brother of sister. White racists are rare in the Church, and are getting more rare with the passage of time.
What you have just read is a very short version of the Curse of Cain Legacy. The link below will take you to a website that will discuss the Curse of Cain Legacy in much greater detail. The link is below.
I was a Mormon from 1979 until 1996. I was never excommunicated. I went inactive in 1989. I considered coming back in 1993, but that never stuck. I resigned from the Church in 1996. I served a full-time mission for the Church (California San Jose Mission 1983-85). I am not black. I am of mostly European and a little Cherokee (native American) descent. I wrote a book defending the Church ("The Gainsayers" Horizon Publishers) that sold in LDS bookstores for 10 years. The book was very popular with Mormon missionaries serving in North America. It helped them answer "Difficult Gospel Questions" (i.e. anti-Mormon questions) their investigators had. Why did I resign from the Church? You can read that in my story in the links below.
I am now a follower of Doctor Dahesh, the miracle-working Prophet of Lebanon. I would like to share with you may story Why I Left the Mormon Church & Became a Daheshist. If you read it, I promise you, you will NOT be bored! All of the accounts of the paranormal on that website really happenedexactly as I wrote it! A link to that story is also below.
Please do not ask me for a copy of "The Gainsayers". I don't have one. You can buy a used copy of that book from Amazon.com online. However, read my story online Why I Left the Mormon Church & Became A Daheshist. I think you'll enjoy reading that much more! And...its free to read online. If you have comments on this website, please email me. I read all comments. Thank you for your time.