The Mormon Church & The Curse of Cain Legacy (Part II)


*The Brazil Situation

From 1848 to 1978 the Church "banned" all Negroes, or even white people with one Negro ancestor, from the priesthood and Mormon temples. This "priesthood-ban" ended on June 8th 1978 because of the 1978 Revelation. Here is the story of how that Revelation came about.

In the 1930s the Mormon Church began sending missionaries to Brazil. It was discovered that most Brazilian men were dark skinned (at least darker than Utah Mormons), and usually had curly black hair. Brazil is a country where the races freely "mingled"; with only a small wealthy white "elite" not intermingling their bloodline with Negroes and Natives.

A problem was created: Who among the Brazilians has Negro blood and who does not?

It was decided that the missionaries should only teach Brazilians of pure Italian, German, or Japanese ancestry; because the Luzo-Brazilians (Brazilians of Portuguese ancestry), the great majority of Brazilians, usually had Negro blood in them.

In 1940, Brazil declared war upon Germany and Italy, and, in 1941, on Japan. Brazil then keep a close eye on its German, Italian, and Japanese populations, and issued a decree that foreigners (including American missionaries) could not associate with them. American missionaries were forbidden to proselyte among German and Italian and Japanese Brazilians.

Instead of closing down the Brazilian missions, The Brethren (Church leaders) decided to allow the missionaries to proselyte among Luzo-Brazilians; with strict "guidelines" to avoid giving any man who appeared to have "Negro Blood" in him the Priesthood. Pure Negroes were to be avoided by the missionaries. If a pure Negro approached the missionaries, and was sincere, he or she would be taught and baptized, but not given the priesthood.

The white American Mormon missionaries found that the Luzo-Brazilians were much more responsive than the German, Italian, or Japanese Brazilians. Great masses of Luzo-Brazilians were taught, converted, and baptized into the Church.

From 1940 until 1978, Mormon mission presidents in Brazil were instructed to develope a "Negro Test" as a practical method to discover if a white Brazilian had Negro blood. A series of "tests" were invented and missionaries were often instructed to look for "signs" that a man had Negro blood:

*Did the man have overly thick lips and a flat nose?

*Did the man have darker skin than a "white" Luzo-Brazilian?

*If you placed a pencil in the hair of the man, did the pencil remain in the hair (a "sign" of Negro blood) or did the pencil fall?

The "test" was often relaxed by Mission Presidents; bent upon greater and greater number of baptisms. New Mission Presidents were under great pressure to "BAPTIZE MORE" and they in turn applied this pressure upon their new missionaries. The "Negro Test" usually fell into disuse, and only Brazilian men who were "obviously part-Negro" or "pure Negro" were banned from the Priesthood.

Many thousands of brown skinned Brazilians were baptized into the Church during this period, and just about all of the men were ordained to various offices of the Priesthood. Only those Luzo-Brazilian men who "looked" obviously Negro were denied the Priesthood, but only a handful of them were baptized each year.

Occassionally a new Mission President would contact the Missionary Department and say, "Hey, most of the bishops in such-and-such a town look part-Negro...what should I do?". The Brethren concluded that the Patriarchs could discern a convert who was of the blood of Canaan or of the blood of Israel. The brown-skinned bishops were given "Patriarchal Blessings" and all of them except only a few of the most "Negro looking" were declared to be of the blood of Ephraim or Manesseh (i.e. they have no "Canaanite lineage"--i.e. Negro blood in them at all). The Brethren then concluded that the priesthood had been "purged" of Canaanite lineage (i.e. Negro bloodline).

But, the Patriarchs were mistaken.

Only a small percentage of white Brazilians (perhaps 10%) did not have "Negro" blood in them. 90% of Brazilians do have at least one "Negro" ancestor; even though most "white" Brazilians do not appear outwardly to have any Negro blood in them.

What Church leaders in Salt Lake City did NOT know was that ALL brown-skinned Luzo-Brazilians had Negro ancestry, and 65% of white-skinned Luzo-Brazilians (with no "Negro traits" at all) also had at least one Negro ancestor and were therefore "of the blood of Canaan" according to Mormon theology.

But this was NOT discovered until the white Brazilian Mormons began to do their "genealogy work".

All faithful Mormons are required to do genealogy; to get the names of their ancestors so that "Temple Work" may be performed on their behalf; such as baptisms for the dead, and sealings for the dead. This is the main activity of Mormon Temples.

In the early 1970s the Church was building a Temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and so Brazilian Mormons (white and brown-skinned) began to do their genealogies; only to discover that most white Brazilian men had at least one Negro ancestor. According to Church policy, white men with even "one" Negro ancestor were under the Curse of Cain and could not hold the Priesthood. But, all of these white men had already been ordained to the Priesthood. What to do? If the priesthood-ban policy continued, it would disqualify 65% of white Brazilian Mormon men (and all brown-skinned Brazilians) from the Priesthood and the Higher Ordinances of the Temple, then being built in Sao Paulo.

But, most Brazilian Mormons were brown-skinned! Mission presidents had, in an effort to "get more baptize numbers" had relaxed the "Negro Test" and white Mormon missionaries from Utah and Idaho and Arizona and California had discovered that the proud and wealthy white-skinned Brazilian elite was far LESS receptive to the Message of the Restored Gospel than the humbler and poor brown-skinned Brazilian masses.

By 1875 Church leaders in Brazil were reporting to "Salt Lake" (i.e. Church leaders) more and more white-skinned and brown-skinned Mormons who had at least one Negro ancestor. Further investigation confirmed that ALL brown-skinned Luzo-Brazilians, and 65% of white-skinned Luzo-Brazilians, had at least ONE Negro ancestor. The Brethren consulted as to what to do, and what to tell Church leaders in Brazil. They concluded to do nothing, and told Church leaders in Brazil NOT to withdraw the priesthood from anyone, but to "wait for further instructions".

The Brethren (Church leaders--the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelves Apostles--15 men) knew the Brazil Situation was a great crisis. If they enforced the priesthood-ban to the letter, then the 90% of the Church in Brazil would essentially be under the priesthood/temple-ban policy! The Temple then under construction, and almost finished, would only be open to 10% of Brazilian members (i.e. the wealthy white Brazilian elite Mormons). Yet, all Brazilian Mormons had sacrificed greatly to help build it.

The local Church leaders in Brazil in 1975 did nothing, but awaited further instructions, as counselled (i.e. ordered).

Those "further instructions" would not come until June 1st, 1978.

Also, at that time, President Kimball was receiving hundreds of letters a week from black African "Mormon" pastors and elders, begging him to send them missionaries to baptize them and their congregations into the Church.

The Church had planned to send these independent black "Mormon" congregations (some of which were in the tens of thousands) "Senior Elders" (retired white Mormon elders) on two year missions to serve as "priesthood" for local black congregations, but the governments of these black nations declined visas to all white Mormons when they were told by Anti-Mormons from America that the "Mormon Church is racist and hates black people".

The Priesthood-ban Policy continued until June 8th, 1978, when it was recinded by Mormon Church President Spencer W. Kimball. Since then, black Mormons have all the same rights and blessings as any other Mormon.


*External Pressures

In addition to "the Brazil Situation" (i.e. 80% of white Mormons in Brazil had "Negro" blood and thus would be unable to worship in the Mormon Temple they were sacrificing to build in Sao Paulo), there were "external" pressures:

1) On January 9th, 1970, TIME magazine (at that time the second most read magazine in the United States) released an article titled "Mormons and the Mark of Cain". The article was devastating (and accurate). It accurately reported the Mormon belief that "Negroes" were the children of Cain, less valiant in the War in Heaven, the "Mark of Cain" was a black skin, the priesthood-ban, etc. The TIME article spawned a flurry of hundreds of other articles (local and national), and caused the Civil Rights movement and the Radical Student Movement (then protesting the Vietnam War) to put "the Mormon Church" on their enemies list. Mormon missionaries throughout the United States were "feeling the heat"; many investigators cancelled their baptisms, and more doors than usual were being slammed in their faces. These negative articles continued until June 8th, 1978. The 1970 TIME article is in the links below.

2) The Federal Government, under U.S. President Jimmy Carter, was pressuring the Church to end "its discrimination against blacks" and hinting that Brigham Young University students would be denied Federal education grants and loans if the "discrimination" did not end. BYU itself received no Federal money, but almost all BYU students received some sort of Federal grant or loan; such as the Pell Grants and Stafford Loans (granted to all American students who need them).

2) Several universities such as Stanford University in California were refusing to play games with BYU because of its "discrimination". When BYU teams played at other schools, BYU athletes were often pelted with eggs or rocks, called "racists" and threatened with death.

3) A Nigerian university student in California found a book in the library titled "Mormonism and the Negro" by John Stewart (published independently by Stewart) which tried to explain and defend the Curse of Cain doctrine and priesthood-ban. The Nigerian student became ENRAGED, and wrote an article for a major Nigerian newspaper titled "Evil Saints". The Nigerian and Ghana governments then denied visas to all white Mormons trying to enter their countries. The Church had plan to send "Senior Elders" (i.e. retired white Mormon high priests) on one and two year missions to Ghana and Nigeria, to perform all priesthood ordinances while letting local black leaders retain their role as preaching "Pastors" who did not perform any priesthood ordinances. The black "Pastors" would continue to preach on Sunday, and to proselyte, while the white "Senior Elders" would perform all baptisms and bless the Sacrament on Sundays. But, after the "Evil Saints" article, this program had to be cancelled.

There is a popular Internet "rumor" that President Jimmy Carter called Church President Spencer W. Kimball telling him that the Church's tax-exempt status may be threatened if the Ban continued, but this "rumor" cannot be substantiated.

These "external pressures" added to the "internal pressure" of the Brazil Situation.


*The 1978 Revelation

In the mid-1970s, the President of the Church was Spencer W. Kimball; an Apostle and a banker from Safford, Arizona. Kimball was known for his humor, and was also known to be a very kind and charitable man. He often condemned white Mormons from the pulpit for their prejudice against Lamanites (i.e. American Indians). He became the President of the Church in 1972.

Within a few years, President Kimball was confronted by "the Brazil Situation" as well as "external pressures" regarding the Curse of Cain legacy. What was he to do?

***If he denied the priesthood and temple blessings to all white Brasilians with Negro ancestry, he would essentially be whiping out most of the Church in Brazil, and causing a public-relations nightmare in Brazil. The white Brasilian Mormons with Negro blood had already been ordained to the priesthood years (sometimes decades) before! To now take away their priesthood would be a great embarassment, a public-relations nightmare, and a tremendous insult to the white and colored Brazilians who had sacrificed so much to build a Temple in Brazil.

***Independent black "Mormons" in Africa were begging for missionaries, but he could send none; because the Curse of Cain legacy became known to black African governments who denied all white Mormons visas.

***The liberal U.S. Government under Jimmy Carter was making more and more threats against Brigham Young University (and perhaps the Church itself).

***American publications from TIME magazine on down were writing very negative things about the Church's "anti-black doctinres", often with inaccuracies and sometimes with gross exaggerations, all of which severely hurt the North American missions.

What to do?

President Kimball decided he had to "end" the 130 year old priesthood-ban once and for all. That would be the only practical solution.

But, he had to ask the LORD's permission first.

President Spencer W. Kimball then spent many hours in the Upper Room (Holy of Holies) in the Salt Lake Temple, supplicating the LORD, and asking Him to remove the Curse of Cain from those with a Canaanite bloodline. The LORD accepted the supplications of his Prophet, and told Spencer W. Kimball that the curse upon the lineage was over. President Kimball decided to announce this on June 8th, 1978, seven years (to the day) that the Genesis Group of Black Latter-day Saints was founded by three black Mormons: Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr., Darïus Gray, and Eugene Orr.

The Official Declaration of the 1978 Revelation was released on June 8th, 1978:

June 8 1978
To all general and local priesthood officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world:
Dear Brethren:

As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God's eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthod without regard for race and color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.

We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servznts, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.

Sincerely yours,
SPENCER W. KIMBALL
N. ELDON TANNER
MARION G. ROMNEY
The First Presidency


Spencer W. Kimball (c.1980)

It is important to note that President Kimball did not repudiate the Curse of Cain Doctrine. He ended the Priesthood-ban Policy, but he did not repudiate the Curse of Cain Doctrine. Every statement by him reveals that he believed this doctrine was true, and from the LORD.


*Gordon B. Hinckley's 2006 Repudiation

Gordon B. Hinckley was the 15th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormon Church"). He died in 2008. He had worked for the Church since the 1930s; most of that time in "Public Affairs". He was the most "public affairs" conscious of all the Mormon Church leaders.

On Australian television in 1997, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley was asked if the Curse of Cain doctrine and priesthood-ban policy were "wrong". President Hinckley responded:

"No, I don't think it was wrong. It, things, various things happened in different periods. There's a reason for them."
The interviewer then asked Hinckley what the "reason" for the priesthood-ban was. Hinckley replied:
"I don't know what the reason for that was."
Even thought Mormon Church leaders claimed that they knew what the reason was for 130 years, Hinckley concluded that these men really didn't know the reason after all, and neither did he.

By 1997 Hinckley believed that the Priesthood-Ban Policy was of God (not a mistake), but he was beginning to question the "reason" for the ban (i.e. the Curse of Cain Doctrine). By 1997, Hinckley seems to have concluded that he did not know if the Doctrine was of God or not.


Gordon B. Hinckley (c. 1997)

During his years as Mormon Church President many black Mormons, and many white ones, wrote him letters, pleading with him to issue a public statement repudiating the Curse of Cain Doctrine. Some black Mormons were still hearing the word "Nigger" being said by some Mormon children at Church, and some older white Mormons (usually over the age of 65) who had been raised in rural parts of Utah still occassionally used the word; even in the Temple.

For example, one black Mormon woman from Provo Utah was getting married to a white Mormon male in the Salt Lake Temple one day in the recent past. She and her white husband were SHOCKED when one of the older Patrons (male Temple Workers are called "Patrons" and female Temple Workers are called "Metrons") looked at her and said, "What's a nigger doing here?" Of course, his attitude is NOT common among white Mormons, not even the older white Mormons, but it still does exist among a some older white Mormons; especially those raised in rural areas of Utah or Idago.

Many hundreds of black Mormons and white Mormons wrote to President Hinckley over the years, asking, pleading, crying, supplicating..."Please...PLEASE....say something publicly against racism and the folklore [i.e. Curse of Cain Doctrine] in the Church! It still exists! Please help us!"

Finally, on April 1st, 2006, during the General Priesthood Meeting of General Conference, Hinckley declared:


"Now I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible?" (LDS General Conference, April 1st, 2006)
Black Mormons, and many white Mormons, were overjoyed with this statement, which they call "Hinckley's Repudiation", and many interpreted it as the Church's "official repudiation of" and "public apology for" of the Curse of Cain Legacy.

Other Mormons became confused and disturbed by Hinckley's 2006 statement. For them, President Hinckley seemed to be saying that all Mormon presidents and apostles from Brigham Young (1848) to Spencer W. Kimball (1978) were NOT true disciples of Christ; since they taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine, called it "from the LORD" and "a doctrine of the Church" and some of them made very racist "disparaging remarks" against "Negroes".

Hinckley had worked for the Church since the early 1930s, and sustained men as "Prophets, Seers, and Revelators" whom he knew taught that Negroes were under the "Curse of Cain" and were "inferior" to whites, and "less valiant" in the War in Heaven. Hinckley had sustained such men for many decades.

Hinckley's 2006 statement in General Conference also contradicted his 1997 statement on Australian television ("Compass") where he was asked if the priesthood-ban was a "mistake" and replied he did NOT think the priesthood-ban was a mistake. Most black Mormons, and many liberal white Mormons, took his 2006 statement as saying, "Yes, the Curse of Cain doctrine is false, and the priesthood-ban was a mistake".

The vast great majority of faithful Mormons are not concerned at all the Hinckley seemed to say that all Mormon Church presidents and apostles before him from the Pratt brothers and Brigham Young to Spencer W. Kimball and Bruce R. McConkie have never considered themselves to be "true disciples and Christ".

To the faithful Mormon, these are not contradictions at all. Many faithful Mormons have adopted what is called the "New Light Doctrine"; that the Church is receiving "New Light" which corrects the "mistakes" of the past. The "New Light Doctrine" (first introduced by Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie after the 1978 Revelation) basically says this:

*All Mormon prophets and apostles before 1978 were inspired of God but they spoke with "limited understanding".

*After 1978, the Church is receiving "New Light" that clarifies and corrects past "mistakes".

In other words, Mormon prophets before 1978 could preach false doctrines as true, but Mormon prophets after 1978 are receiving "New Light" and cannot be mistaken (unless of course a Living Prophet in the future declares their doctrines to be mistaken).

Modern Mormon prophets would NEVER say that a previous Church President "taught false doctrine". It would never happen in the Mormon Church. They would NEVER say, "Brigham Young taught false doctrines". Rather, they would simply tell bishops to hold a Court of Love (a Church Court) upon anyone who taught "false doctrines" such as Adam being the father of our spirits (a doctrine taught by Brigham Young).

Today, if anyone in a Ward (local congregation) openly teaches the Curse of Cain Doctrine (i.e. Negroes are the children of Cain and inherited his curse) they are asked to "see the bishop" and the bishop of the Ward "counsels" them to "cease all discussion" of the subject, ending with, "Will you obey this counsel?" The Mormon knows that if he "disobeys" the counsel he/she has received, he or she may face a Church Court.

President Hinckley died in 2008. The new President of the Church is Thomas B. Monson.


President Monson

Unlike Hinckley, President Monson is a very private man, and does not grant media interviews. It is highly doubtful he will ever address the issue of the Curse of Cain Legacy publicly; either to the media or to the general Church membership. If he gives any "counsel" regarding the issue it will be in secret, by word-of-mouth, from the top-down, with no paper-trail.

But it is unlikely he will give any additional "counsel" about the Curse of Cain legacy. The Church seems to be "handling it" in a paricular way (the 4-Point System) that seems to be work quite well.

More about the 4-Point System later.


*The Genesis Group of Black Latter-day Saints

The Mormon Church is not segregated. White and black Mormons worship together in "Wards" (congreations of 150 to 250) where they live.

Some Wards are predominantly African-American, such as the Harlem Ward, Atlanta Ward, or several Oakland and Inglewood California Wards and Detroit Michigan Wards. Of course, Wards in black Africa are almost always all black.

The Mormon Church has a "fellowship" organization for Black Mormons in North America called The Genesis Group of Black Latter-day Saints....

GENSIS GROUP

The Genesis Group is a "fellowship and service" organization for black Mormons in metropolitan areas. It is for fellowship and service projects. Members of the Genesis Group meet monthly, but attend their own local Wards separate from the Genesis Group.

The Genesis Group was founded on June 8th, 1971, by three black Mormons: Ruffin Bridgeforth Jr., Eugene Orr, and Darïus ("Der-RAI-us") Gray. It still continues today, and has chapters in Utah, California, Georgia, Ohio, Illinois, and New York.

The Genesis Group is not a separate church or organization from the Mormon Church. It is the official Auxiliary Organization for Black Mormons in North America. It is a fellowship and service organization for Black Mormons.


The current Presidency of the Genesis Group
of Black Latter-day Saints ( Salt Lake City, Utah)

The Genesis Group was established on June 8th 1971, seven years (to the day) before the Priesthood-ban was recinded by LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball.

The Genesis Group concentrates on the following areas:

*An annual picnic in Salt Lake Valley.

*A quarterly "talent show".

*A speaker's bureau who speak mostly about black LDS or black American history.

*Social programs for black Mormon singles in Utah.

*A black Gospel Choir (some whites are also members of this choir) which sings traditional black Gospel songs.

*A monthly meeting in Midvale, Utah (near the site of Fort Union--the small black Mormon community of the 1800s).

*An online newsletter.

*A monthly "service project" that helps either a Genesis Group member, or black or other minorities in Utah.

In some areas of North America, there are some almost completely black Wards (congregations), such as the Harlem Ward in Harlem, New York City.


Harlem LDS Chapel


Eldridge Cleaver (former Black Panther leader) preaching in a
black Mormon Ward in Oakland California (1986)

There are black Wards or mostly black Wards in New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Oakland, and Inglewood California. There are thousands of all-black Wards in Jamaica, Trinidad, Guyana, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Bahia (Salvador) Brazil, and South Africa.

You can contact the Presidency of the Genesis Group at:

presidency@ldsgenesisgroup.org


*Summary and Conclusion

*There have been Black Mormons since 1832, two years after the Church was founded.

*Elijah Abel, a black Mormon, and the adopted brother of Joseph Smith Jr., was an Elder and Seventy Apostle in the Mormon Church in the 1830s and 1840s. He died as a priesthood-holder, and his son and grandson were also ordained Elders. A few other black men were also ordained before 1848.

*There are about 400,000 black Mormons in the world today.

*The Prophet Joseph Smith was a great advocate for the rights of black folks. He wanted them freed, educated, and given equal rights.

*From 1848 until 1978 black Mormons were banned from the priesthood and temples of the LDS Church. This being known as "The Priesthood-Ban". The reason for this policy was the "Curse of Cain Doctrine". The Curse of Cain Doctrine and the Priesthood-ban Policy were both "official" and taught by Mormon Church leaders from the top-down. It was never presented as "personal opinion". It was never called by Church leaders "folklore". They called it "a doctrine of the Church" and "the LORD's policy".

*The Brazil Situation, and the letters from leaders of the independent African Mormon congregations, led Mormon Church President Spencer W. Kimball to supplicate the LORD for many months, in the Upper Room of the Salt Lake Temple, asking Him to end the 130 year old Priesthood/Temple-Ban Policy. A "Revelation" was received on June 1st, 1978, and announced publicly on June 8th, 1978, called "The 1978 Revelation" which ended the 130 year old "priesthood-ban" policy on those of black African ancestry. The 1978 Revelation (as it is called) did NOT repudiate the Curse of Cain Doctrine, but was silent on the issue as to whether Negroes were "less valiant" in the War in Heaven (Less Valiant Doctrine) or the children of Cain who had the 'mark' of Cain (Curse of Cain Doctrine).

*The Church has grown slowly but steadily among African-Americans since 1978 (most of them still believe that the Mormon Church is or was "racist"), but the Church has grown tremendously among black Africans and black Brazilians since 1978 (few of them know about the Curse of Cain Legacy).

*Black Mormons today have all the rights and blessings as any other Mormon, and there are literally thousands of black Mormon bishops, and hundreds of black Mormon Stake Presidents. There has been one Black Mormon Seventy since Elijah Abel (Helvecio Martins of Brazil).

*At the 30th anniversary of the 1978 Revelation, black and white Mormons met inside the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City for a commemoration. The Media in Salt Lake asked if the Church was ready to offer an "public apology" for the Curse of Cain Legay. In response, Mormon Church leaders, via the Church's Public Affairs Department, publicly declared that the Curse of Cain Doctrine (Negroes were less valiant in the War in Heaven and were punished by being of the lineage of Cain and are denied the priesthood in mortality) "was never a doctrine of the Church." (Salt Lake Tribune, June 8th, 2008, p.1).

If current trends continue, projetions show that in the next fifty years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be one of the largest Christian religious organizations in black Africa; if not "the" largest.

It is now inevitable that within the next 20 to 30 years there will be at least one black Mormon apostle, and it is conceivable that within the next 50 to 100 years, the "Living Prophet" of the Mormon Church will be of "Negro" ancestry.


*Some Answered Questions

Q. Do Mormons hate black folks?

A. NO. This is a false rumor.

Q. Are Mormons racist?

A. Very very few are today! The vast great majority of white Mormons are NOT "racist". White Mormons living in America in the 19th and early 20th century had the very same view of black people as most other white Americans; a moderately racist one. Today, white Mormons share the same view of black people as most other white Americans: a NON-racist view.

Q. How can you say that Mormons are NOT racists when we read all these quotes from Mormon leaders?

A. Quoting Mormon leaders who lived long ago as "proof" that Mormons today are "racist" is like quoting the racist comments of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and then concluding that Americans today are "racist". ABSURD!!! Simply because Brigham Young and other early Mormon leaders were racist (as were most white people in their day) DOES NOT MEAN that Mormons today are "racist"! In fact, the vast great majority of white Mormons today are not "racist" in any way, shape, or form. There are many interracial couples in the Church today. Most Mormons under the age of 30 have never even heard of the Curse of Cain doctrine.

Q. Did the Mormon Church teach that black people are the devil's children?

A. NO! Never happened. This is a popular FALSE rumor in the African-American Community.

Q. Did the Mormon Church ever teach that black people were cursed and the descendants of Cain?

A. Yes, the Church taught this doctrine ("The Curse of Cain Doctrine") as official doctrine for 130 years (1848-1978). The Curse of Cain Doctrine was never taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith. It was introduced by Brigham Young in 1848. The Church taught that people of black African lineage (descent) were the descendants of Cain, who killed Abel, and could not hold the Priesthood or enter Mormon Temples until the Curse was removed. In June 8th, 1978, Church President Spencer W. Kimball announced that all worthy males may receive the Priesthood. From that moment, black Mormons males have the Priesthood, and black Mormons may enter Mormon Temples and receive the blessings associated with it.

Q. I've heard that the Curse of Cain doctrine was folklore, and never a doctrine of the Church. Is this true?

A. No! The Curse of Cain Doctrine came from folklore, invented in 16th century Europe, but this folklore became official Church doctrine as soon as it was "accepted" as "a doctrine of the Church" by Church Presidents. It's a simple as that.

Brigham Young made the Curse of Cain Doctrine a "Thus Saith the LORD" Revelation in 1852 during his speech before the all-Mormon Utah State legislative session (then called the "Provisional State of Deseret").

The "Curse of Cain Doctrine" was an OFFICIAL doctrine (teaching) of the Church for 130 years (1848-1978).

The "Less Valiant Doctrine" was an OFFICIAL doctrine of the Church for 130 years (1848-1978).

The "Priesthood/Temple-Ban Policy" was an OFFICIAL policy of the Church for 130 years (1848-1978).

After June 8th, 1978, Mormon Church leaders no longer "preached" these two doctrines, but they did not repudiate them either. They were silent on them.

The two doctrines (Curse of Cain/Less Valiant) were never repudiated by any Mormon Church leader until April 1st, 2006.

Q. Will the Church repudiate the Curse of Cain Doctrine?

A. Most black Mormons, and many liberal white Mormons, interpret President Gordon B. Hinckley's April 1st 2006 General Priesthood Meeting statement (known as "Hinckley's Repudiation") as an official "repudiation" of the Curse of Cain Legacy; that is was a "mistake of the past" now corrected by "New Light".

Most gay and lesbian Mormons are awaiting the day when a new Church President will have "New Light" on the subject of same-sex attraction. They believe that one day "New Light" will be received on that subject, and that the Mormon Church will embrace homosexuality and homosexual marriage as just as divine and legitimate as heterosexual marriage.

Most Mormons (black and white) hate the Curse of Cain Legacy and hope that people simply forget it, and they believe that if they simply don't talk about it the subject will be forgotten and simply "fade away".

Q. Why don't you let it fade away then? Why bring it up again?

A. The Curse of Cain Legacy will never fade away as long as the Internet exists. It will arise again and again. My belief is that it should be dealt with honestly and openly. Tell the truth about it, and let God handle the consequences.

Q. Why would black folks wish to belong in a Church that once called them cursed?

A. Most Black Mormons do not think they could ever become Mormons, until they listen to Mormon Missionaries, and pray about what they have been taught. Many are attracted by the clean lifestyle Mormons lead (or most of them try to lead or claim to try to lead), and by the "Eternal Family" doctrine of the Church, that families may be together for eternity if "Sealed" in Mormon Temples. The Mormon Church is not for those black folks whose egos are easily bruised.

Q. Do black Mormons believe they were once cursed under the "Curse of Cain" as Brigham Young taught?

A. Some do. Others do not. A few believe they are the children of Cain through Ham, but only a very few. Many believe that Brigham Young made a mistake in accepting the Curse of Cain Doctrine that was formulated by the Pratt brothers. Others are not sure either way. Others think "it's all in the past" and don't think about it today, and they don't wish to discuss it. Most black African Mormons have never heard of the Curse of Cain Doctrine and are only vaguely familiar with the Priesthood-ban policy.

Most African-American Mormons view the Curse of Cain Doctrine and the Priesthood-ban policy as "ancient history" and do not view the LDS Church to be racist today anymore than they view America today to be "racist" merely because it has a racist past.

Q. A Mormon friend of mine has said that the Church has declared that the Curse of Cain Doctrine was WRONG. Is this true?

A. Hinckley's April 1st 2006 statement CAN be interpreted as an official repudiation of the Curse of Cain Legacy. But others would argue that nothing is "official" unless it is signed by all three Members of the First Presidency, in an official statement; like "The First Presidency Statement on the Negro Question" printed and signed by all three members of the First Presidency, in 1948, which calls the Curse of Cain Doctrine "a doctrine of the Church".

Mormon Church leaders have never clearly defined what is "official Church doctrine" and what is not. Over the decades they have said that official Church doctrine is:

*Whatever is in the Standard Works (Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price)

*Whatever is presented to the General Membeship of the Church and is voted on and accepted by them in majority in General Conference.

*Whatever the Living Prophet (Church President) says it is unless it contradicts the Standard Works.

*Whatever the First Presidency says it is in an official statement signed by all three Members.

*Whatever the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve (apostle) jointly agree is official doctrine.

*Whatever the Living Prophet says if he is speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

*Whatever the Living Prophet says in General Conference.

*Whatever the Living Prophet says or writes anywhere at any time.

Statements from Mormon prophets and apostles on what is "official doctrine" are extremely contradictory; showing that all of them had differing opinions on what constituted "official doctrine" and what did not.

But we CAN say this:

*Every single Mormon prophet and apostle, from Brigham Young to Spencer W. Kimball, with one or two exceptions only, believed and publicly declared, in General Conference, and in writing, and in First Presidency letters signed by all three Members of the First Presidency, that the Curse of Cain Doctrine was "a doctrine of the Church" and that the Priesthood-Ban Policy was from the LORD and not them.

Probably the BEST answer to the question "What is official Mormon Church doctrine?" is: Whatever the President of the Church says teaches, until the next President of the Church teaches differently.

What is "Official Church Doctrine" one year, may not be the next year. What is considered "a doctrine of the Church" and "a revelation from the LORD" under one Mormon Church President, may be considered "false doctrine" under a following Church President.

Former Mormon prophets were not "wrong" mind you, they were "speaking with limited light and understanding". Now that the "New Light" has come, more recent Mormon prophets have greater understanding, more light and knowledge, than previous ones.

Faithful Mormons do NOT see this as a contradiction AT ALL! Rather, they see it as "New Light". The "light" is getting brighter and brighter as time goes on.

President Gordon B. Hinckley, who served as President of the Mormon Church for many years until his death in early 2008, was interviewed on Australian television, on the TV program COMPASS which aired on the Australian Broadcasting Company on November 9, 1997. Hinckley was asked:

COMPASS: Now up until 1978 I understand Blacks were not allowed to be priests in your Church?

GBH: That is correct. Although we have Black members of the Church. They felt that they would gain more in this Church than any other with which they were acquainted and they were members of the Church. In 1978 we (the president of the Church) received a revelation under which all worthy men would receive all the blessings of the Church available to them as well as to any others. So across the world now we are teaching the Gospel to Blacks, Whites, everyone else who will listen.

COMPASS: So in retrospect WAS THE CHURCH WRONG IN THAT?

GBH: NO I DON'T THINK IT WAS WRONG. It, things, various things happened in different periods. There's a reason for them.

COMPASS: What was the reason for that?

GBH: I don't know what the reason for that was.

Yes, Hinckley's April 1st, 2006, "Repudiation" seems to contradict what he said on Australian TV in 1997.

How is this contradiction explained?

It isn't.

For faithful Mormons, this is "New Light" and is not a contradiction at all.


*Curse of Cain Legacy Deniers

Mormons are supposed to be honest, but some are not. Mormons are supposed to be moral, but some are not. One finds hypocrites in any church or religion, and the Mormon Church is no exception to that rule.

Many Mormons, white and black, are embarassed about the Curse of Cain Doctrine/Priesthood-ban Legacy, and will try to deny it in one way or another, to avoid appearing to be "racist". Any Mormon, white or black, who tells you "We don't know WHY black were banned!" or "That was NEVER Church doctrine!" of "That's just folklore!" are either lying (to avoid being thought of as "racist") or repeating a falsehood they have heard, and sincerely thinking the falsehood is the truth.

Those Mormons who lie about or try to "down play" or "candy-coat" the Curse of Cain legacy are called "Curse of Cain Legacy Deniers". Some will lie, others will try to change the subject if you ask about it. Others will say, "Golly, I need to run, I have a meeting to go to!" if you ask about it. Others will equivocate. All these things are forms of deception, and violate Jesus' command when He said, "Let every communication be Yea yea or Nay nay, anything more than this is of the evil one!"


Curse of Cain Legacy Deniars

Curse of Cain Legacy deniers do not care in the least that they are violating Jesus' command to be to totally honest with their fellow man. They simply don't care! What they DO care about is "looking good" to the World, and it is for "the praise of the World" that they lie and deny. They think they MUST lie or equivocate in order to NOT appear to be "racist".

But, again, most Mormons under 30 do not know about the Curse of Cain Doctrine. They were never taught it growing up. Many are SHOCKED to hear about it. I've told young Mormons about it, and many of them say to me, "I don't believe you!" or even, "You're a LIAR! The Church NEVER taught such a thing!" Many many young Mormons have told me that over the years.


*Mormon Missionaries

Young Mormon males are expected to go on two-year full-time "missions" between the ages of 19 and 21. About 8% of Mormon females also attend full-time missions (18 months). The male missionaries always where suits with white shirts and ties, and often ride bicycles. They go by "Elder __________" or "Sister__________" and wear black name-tags such as this:

Mormon missionaries were born long after the 1978 Revelation, and thus 90% of them have never heard of the Curse of Cain Legacy. You now know more about it than they do. None of these young men and women are "racist" in any way. They were never taught racist doctrines. They were born long after the Church stopped teaching the Curse of Cain Doctrine.

Many Mormon missionaries (young men in white shirts and dark ties, who are often riding bicycles) know very little about the Curse of Cain legacy, so they are not lying if they tell you they don't know much about it and aren't able to explain it to you.


*Why Join the Mormon Church?

If you are "turned off" by Mormonism because of the Curse of Cain Legacy, know this:

***Most churches have a "racist" past, because most white people were at one time "racists".

***The Mormon Church TODAY is NOT in any way, shape, or form "racist". It is very accepting of people of all races, and has many thousands of interracial couples.

The Mormon Church claims to "offer" things to its Members, such as...

*Eternal marriage. Mormons who are "sealed" in Mormon Temples are sealed for eternity if they "keep the covenants" they make in the Temple.

*Exaltation. Mormons believe that if they "keep the covenants" they make in the Temple they will, in the next life, become Gods and Goddesses; creating their own planets, peopling those planets with their spirit-children, for all eternity.

*Fellowship. Mormons do not smoke and drink. They claim to lead honest and moral lives. They enjoy fellowship with other Mormons in Wards (congregations) that include many educational and social opportunities few other churches provide to this degree.

To join the Mormon Church one must listen to the Missionary Presentations: a series of six one-hour presentations given by Mormon missionaries over a period of a few weeks to a month. After that, one is asked to be baptized into the Church.

For those who you interested in getting more information about the Church, there is a website you can go to to do that.

WWW.MORMONS.ORG

If you live in the United States or Canada, you can call and talk with a Mormon missionry, toll-free, at:

1-888-537-6600 (U.S. and Canada only)


*Covering-Up the Curse of Cain Legacy

Unfortunately, the Public Affairs Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has decided to lie and deny the Curse of Cain Legacy. They have been trying to "cover-up" the Curse of Cain legacy since at least 1996.

The following is a cartoon by a popular Mormon cartoonist that appeared in a liberal Mormon publication called Sunstone; a "spoof" on how LDS Church Public Affairs "deals" with the Curse of Cain Legacy:


"I just drag the Curse of Cain to that little trash can in the corner--and that's that!"

On June 8th, 2008, a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune (Peggy Stack) asked Mark Tuttle, LDS Church Spokesman, if the Church still believed that blacks were the children of Cain, and had been "less valiant" in the War in Heaven. Mr. Tuttle replied:

"This folklore is not part of and never was taught as doctrine by the church." (Salt Lake Tribune, June 8, 2008, page 1)
Mark Tuttle lied.

Some Mormons believe that it is ok to lie if your lie does someone "good". For example, to call a an ugly woman "beautiful" would help her self-esteem, and is therefore a "good lie". Therefore, to lie "for the good of the Church" is to "lie for the Lord". This is called "Lying for the Lord".

Mormon make promises to be "totally honest" to their fellow man, but, many believe that "little white lies" and "good lies" and "lying for the Lord" is perfectly acceptable.

Many who work for LDS Church Public Affair Department believe that the Curse of Cain Legacy was wrong, and racist, and that if it isn't covered-up, will hurt the Church today and in the future. So, they believe the best way to "handle" it is simpy to deny it ever happened in the first place. They say,

"Golly, We don't KNOW the reason why blacks were banned for 130 years, the Lord never revealed it!"

And

"That blacks are the children of Cain and less valiant is folklore and never was official Church doctrine."

LDS Church Public Affairs is lying! They know they are lying when they say these things, but these are "good lies" for "the good of the Church" therefore they are "lying for the LORD" and if you lie for the Lord, that is a God-approved lie. And, if God approves of your lie, then you are not "lying" at all!

When Non-members inquire about the Curse of Cain/Priesthood-ban they are simply "lied to"! LDS Church Public Affairs simply tells them, "Nope! The Church NEVER taught that blacks are cursed in any way!"

When Non-Members ask, "Then why were blacks banned from the priesthood and temples for 130 years?" LDS Church Public Affairs replies,

"Golly! That's a good question! We don't know the reason why! The LORD never revealed the reason why!"

Yes, in 1951, the First Presidency, in a statement signed by all three Members of the First Presidency, said:

"Why the Negro was denied the Priesthood from the days of Adam to our day is known." (1951 Statement)

Apparently the Church "knew why" Negroes were cursed and banned in 1951, but "doesn't know why" since 1996!

Is the Church "losing" divine knowledge that it once had?

No. Rather, the Church wishes to avoid controversial answers that will subject it to embarassment and negative press. So, to say "We don't know why" can avoid that negative press; even though its a lie.

When Members of the Church inquire about the Curse of Cain Doctrine they are told "Ask your bishop!" Common responses from bishops (local Mormon leaders over congregations of about 200) are as follows:

"Look! Don't worry about it!"

"Why should YOU care? You're not black!"

"We are NOT to question the Brethren! Just pay your tithing and attend your meetings, and you'll be blessed!"

"Why are you asking this? Have you been living the Gospel? Have you been doing anything secretly that would invite the spirit of the adversary [satan] into you mind to make you begin to question?"

If Members persist they are told the following: "You are COUNSELLED to cease and desist in asking about this subject! Will you obey this counsel?"

In the Mormon Church a "counsel" means an ORDER! It is the equivolent of an "order" from God Himself.

If a Member does not "obey" the "counsel" he/she has received from his "leader", then they are threatened with a Church Court, and can be put on Probation or disfellowshipped or even excommunicated from the Church.

However, black Mormons are often treated differently. The Church does not wish to "threaten" black Mormons; fearing they may go to the Press and "stir things up". So, they are "handled" differently. If a black Mormon asks "Was the Curse of Cain Doctrine true?" then LDS Church Offices send their Bishop is send a "letter". This letter is called "The Secret Letter".

Who authored the "Secret Letter" is....a secret.

Besides the "secret letter", the bishop is separately sent a letter of instructions. He is given instructions to hold the "the statement" (the secret letter is called "The Statement") with both hands, to read the statement to the Member, to NOT let the Member get handle or read the letter themselves, and to immediately place the letter back into the bishop's desk in a drawer that can be locked, and to immediately lock the drawer once the letter has been read to the Member!

What does this "secret letter" say? We don't know! It's a secret!

But one man who has heard it read to him (David Johnson--a black Mormon from Orange County, California) claims that the secret letter basically said that the Curse of Cain Doctrine was a "mistake of the past" that was corrected by "the 1978 Revelation".

If David Johnson's testimony of what he remembers about the secret letter is true, then the secret letter is full of lies!

And "lies" are not of God!

Why does the Church goe to such extremes to keep the Secret Letter a "secret" and for it NOT to get copies out?

Because, it is a LIE! It was created solely to calm "upidy" black Mormons who are upset over the Curse of Cain legacy. It was created as a way to "handle" them with kid gloves so they wouldn't cause the Church embarassment.


*The 4-Point System for Handling "Blacks and the Priesthood Questions"

To "apologize" for the Curse of Cain Legacy would bring great embarassment upon Church leaders. It would also "minister questions" such as:

"Why are the Brethren apologizing?"

"If Mormon prophets can make a MISTAKE for 130 years...why "mistakes" are they making NOW?"

The Brethren (Mormon Church leaders) do not like to be embarassed. They do not like "questions". They do not want the Members to be "confused". They want rank-and-file Mormons to be unquestioningly obedient---for their own eternal good, of course!

LDS Church leaders have decided that lying is preferable to "apologizing" for the Curse of Cain Legacy. They've devised a "4 point" system of dealing with it:

1. LIE AND DENY to non-Members about it. Deny Church leaders EVER taught that blacks are cursed or the children of Cain!

2. THREATEN white Members who ask about it. "Counsel" (order) them to stop asking or even "thinking" about it, or face a Church Court if they do not obey that "counsel".

3. PUT-OFF journalists forever! If journalists inquire about the Curse of Cain legacy (i.e. if the Church taught it and if the Church still believes it), tell them, "We'll get back to you on that!" and NEVER get back to them!

4. PACIFY "upidy" black Mormons who inquire about by sending their bishops a "statement" (secret letter) that tells them it was a "mistake" but making sure the the secret letter is never "leaked" to the Press or public or other Members who know better.

This 4-point system has worked for the Church extremely well. It is in fact ingenius! But completely DISHONEST!

But, again, Church leaders believe that they can lie "for the good of the Church". They believe they have authority from God to do anything....that "helps" the Church. Being honest about the Curse of Cain would "damage" the Church, but using the 4-Point System will save the Church from embarassment.

And the Church does not like embarrassment.

Mormon leaders CANNOT say that The Curse of Cain Doctrine was a "mistake"; because they want rank-and-file Mormons to believe that Mormon leaders are incapable of making mistakes! In other words, if Mormon leaders say "Past leaders made mistakes" this would cause rank-and-file Mormons to start asking, "What mistakes are current Mormon leaders making?" They don't want that! That challenges the absolute power they have over rank-and-file Mormons. It is therefore much easier to "lie and deny" the Church ever taught the Curse of Cain Doctrine than to admit it and apologize for it.

Suggestions for Journalists

*Contact the Public Affairs Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ask the following questions:

Q. Did the LDS Church EVER teach that black people were the inferior and cursed children of Cain, and less valiant in the War in Heaven?

Any answer other than "Yes" is deception.

Q. Did Brigham Young teach under the Law of God inter-racial couples had to be "killed on the spot"?

Any answer other than "Yes" is deception.

Q. Did Mormon prophets teach for 130 years that "Negroes" were "inferior" and that Cain was the first "Negro" because God put a "mark" upon him which includes a black skin, flat nose, and kinky hair?

Any answer other than "Yes" is deception.

No, they won't allow you to interview President Monson. If they say, "We'll get back to you on that!" don't hold your breath, because they never will.

Thank you.

Darrick Evenson

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