The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
Before June 8th of
1978 the Holy Priesthood of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was
denied to men of Hamitic lineage (bloodline); with only a few exceptions being
made. Because of that policy there were comparatively few black African or
African-American Mormons. During the Civil-Rights marches and turmoil of the
1960s and early 1970s in the U.S., and because of Ant-Mormon propaganda, many
people in the African-American community (and in parts of Africa and South
America) have an image of the Mormon Church that is one of white-racism and
discrimination. Since 1978 many people of African ancestry have joined the
Church, and have asked why black men (of Hamitic lineage) were denied the
Priesthood for so many years. Many young Mormons today have barely heard of the
"Curse of Cain", and do not know why blacks were denied the Priesthood and the
blessings of the Temple for over 150 years of Mormon history. It is because so
many people have so many questions about the Mormon Faith & Black Folks
that this book was written; to try to answer all or most of those questions as
honestly and as accurately as possible.
Some of the more liberal Members of the Church may think
this book is too apologetic. Some in the Church may see this book as "dredging
up old wounds" or "dwelling too much on
the past". But the past can't be forgotten. It can't be rewritten. Many
black Africans and African-Americans (as well as blacks in other countries) are
coming into the Church, and they have questions. They should be answered
truthfully, sincerely, and honestly. To
simply say, "Don't worry about it!" or "That's all in the past...let's move
on!" doesn't work. Those are evasions and not answers. It says that Mormons should be ashamed of
their past. But this book will show that Mormons have little to be
ashamed of. Indeed, this book will actually strengthen the testimonies
of Latter-day Saints; whether white or black. This books reveals the Truth, and
it shows that Mormons should not be ashamed of their past; nor should the past
doctrines and practices regarding blacks be covered-up or forgotten. The true
history of the Mormon Faith & Black Folks is a fascinating one; one filled
with great words and deeds as well as not-so-great ones. But it is the Truth,
and the Truth should always be aspired for and sought after. We should not fear
the Truth. Only doubt, misunderstanding, and ignorance bind us. But the Truth
only frees us. Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
And ye shall know the Truth,
and the Truth shall make you free. (John 9:32)
Darrick T Evenson
6 April 2001
This book is
written and published privately. It is the personal views of the author. To get
the official Church position please contact Public Affairs, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, 50 East North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT84150.
Q1 Is the Mormon Faith racist?
Q2 I've heard that the Mormon Church is a white folks church. Is this true?
Q3 Why didn't the Church ordain black men to the Priesthood before 1978?
Q4 Isn't the teaching that black people are 'cursed' and the denial of the Priesthood to blacks 'racist'?
Q5 Isn't the belief that black folks are the descendants of Cain a white-supremacist teaching?
Q6 I've heard that lots of Mormons joined the Ku Klux Klan. Is this true?
Q7 Isn't calling black folks 'Negroes' an insult?
Q8 Perhaps the Curse of Cain was a mistake, a misinterpretation or perhaps not a doctrine but rather merely the 'personal opinions' of some of the early Mormon Church leaders?
Q9 Will the Mormon Church ever just apologize for teaching that black folks were cursed?
Q10 Isn't it unfair of God to punish Cain's descendants for his sins?
Q11 What is the origin of the Curse of Cain doctrine?
Q12 The Book of Abraham says that the Hamites were 'blessed with wisdom' but 'cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood' But does it explain 'why' the Hamites were cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood?
Q13 The Mormon Church teaches that black people are cursed. Isn't that racist?
Q14 Isn't the denial of the Priesthood to one group of people a form of discrimination?
Q15 How did the revelation of 1878, as you call it, granting the Priesthood to black men come about?
Q16 But wasn't the 1978 Revelation 'really' a bowing of the Church to government and social pressure?
Q17 But I thought that the Priesthood ban couldn't be lifted until 'all' of the descendants of Abel 'first' had the Priesthood?
Q18 What about black females? Do they have the Priesthood now too?
Q19 Why should black folks become Members of a Church which denied them certain rights until 1978?
Q20 Why do Mormons believe in Marriage in Heaven when Jesus said there was NO Marriage in Heaven?
Q21 Mormons believe they can become gods. Wasn't this the sin of Lucifer? Doesn't the Bible teach there is only One God?
Q22 Somebody told me that the Mormons believe that there was a War in Heaven and that black people were neutral in it or they followed Lucifer. Is this true?
Q23 Was Cain the first Negro and the father of the African Race?
Q24 If the Admites were a new race of men how then are all human beings the descendants of Adam and Eve?
Q25 Does racism exist among Mormons?
Q26 Isn't saying that Cain was a murderer and evil 'also' saying that his descendants (which you believe are black Africans) are somehow 'evil' as well?
Q27 You say that Hamites couldn't hold the Priesthood until 1978 when the ban was lifted. What about Elijah Abel; a black man who was ordained an Elder long before 1978?
Q28 The Mormon Church says that black men, with a few exceptions, couldn't have the Priesthood until 1978. Yet the New Testament identified a black man, Simeon called 'Niger', as a Prophet. How can you explain this?
Q29 But doesn't the Bible reveal that Abraham married an Egyptian, that Joseph, the son of Israel, married an Egyptian woman Asenath and bore Ephraim and Manesseh, that Moses married 'an Ethiopian woman,' that Judah married a Canaanite woman that Jesus
Himself was a descendant of? How can Mormons say that Hamites couldn't have the Priesthood when the Israelites themselves were partially Hamitic?
Q30 If God is a God of Love and we are His children, then why would He want to curse His own children?
Q31 Other churches have priesthoods and ministries that have always included black people, so why is the Mormon Church so special?
Q32 But if these two priesthoods are necessary to become the Elect of God, to inherit Eternal Life, to become Immortals, then how do Mormon women get these things when they cannot hold either of these priesthoods?
Q33 Why should black folks become Mormons when the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Muslims, the Bahais, the Theosophists, the Humanists, and others, have always accepted blacks with no restrictions and never said they were 'cursed' by God?
Q34 Isn't Islam the true religion of the black people?
Q35 Mormons claims that black folks are the descendants of Cain and Ham. How do we know that this is true?
Q36 If I want to become a Mormon would I have to believe in the Curse of Cain doctrine?
Q37 I've heard that slavery was legal in Utah, and that Mormons owned black slaves. Is this true?
Q38 Didn't Joseph Smith at one time approve of Negro slavery, and condemned Abolitionists?
Q39 I've heard that it was Brigham Young, and not Joseph Smith, who came up with the Curse of Cain doctrine and the Priesthood ban. Is this true?
Q40 I've heard that in Utah black folks were discriminated against. Is this true?
Q41 I've heard that the Church didn't ordain black men to the Priesthood because the white Members were prejudiced and weren't 'ready' for blacks in the Church. Is this true?
Q42 David O McKay Called the Priesthood ban a 'policy and not a doctrine'. Does this mean the Curse of Cain doctrine was never an official doctrine or teaching of the Church?
Q42B I've heard that the reason why the priesthood-ban was not lifted until 1978 is because no Prophet of the Church inquired of the Lord before that time, and had they asked the Lord He would have told them that the priesthood-ban was not of Him. Is this true?
Q43 Isn't there a group of Reformed Mormons who have always allowed blacks to become ministers?
Q44 Is there any evidence that the ancient Christian Church had the Curse of Cain doctrine and did not ordain blacks to the Priesthood?
Q45 Didn't one of the Mormon Church Presidents once say that black folks were 'inferior'?
Q46 Didn't Mormon President John Taylor say that blacks were the 'representatives of Satan'?
Q47 Is it true that The Book of Mormon teaches that God cursed the Lamanites with a dark skin??
Q48 I've hard that the Mormon Church is a 'cult'. Is this true?
Q49 Why should black folks join the Mormon Church when white Evangelical churches have always accepted them?
Q50 Didn't Brigham Young say that interracial couples should be killed 'on the spot' and that always would be so?
Q51 Didn't a Mormon apostle say that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Communist and that the entire Civil-Rights Movement was a Communist conspiracy?
Q52 Is the Mormon Church segregated?
Q53 How do black Mormons feel about the Curse of Cain doctrine and the Priesthood ban?
Q54 Did Mormon leaders ever use the term 'nigger' to describe black folks?
Q55 Are there any Mormon leaders who are black?
Q56 I've heard that the Church was about to disavow the Curse of Cain doctrine in 1998. Is this true?
Q57 If we already have Jesus and the Bible, then why do we need Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon and this Priesthood?
Q58 Can't we just forget about the past and move-on? Why can't we just forget about the Curse of Cain doctrine and the Priesthood ban and let the Church move forward and not look back?
Points to Ponder
Questions for the Reader
Testimonies of Black Latter-day Saints
Appendix A: Blacks & The Priesthood Cathecism
Appendix B: About the Author
THE LIST OF QUESTIONS THIS BOOK ATTEMPTS TO ANSWER
Please feel free to e-mail Darrick Evenson