The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
Question #35

Q. Mormons claim that black folks are the descendants of Cain and Ham. How do we know that this is true?

A. That black Africans are the descendants of Ham, or Hamites, is generally accepted among most Bible scholars; of whatever church. This is also accepted by many black African and African-American scholars and researchers. Here are just a few books which identify black Africans as Hamites, all written by Africans and African-Americans (none of whom are Latter-day Saints):

Asante Molefi Kemet, Afrocentricity, and Knowledge (African World Press, 1994)

Asante Molefi Classical Africa (The People’s Publishing Group, 1994)

Bernal, Martin Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization.

Degraft-Johnson, J.C. African Glory: The Story of Vanished Negro Civilization (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1986)

Grafton, E.S. The Ancient Egyptians and the Origins of Civilization (Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1967)

Joyce Andrews, Bible Legacy of the Black Race: The Prophecy Fulfilled (Winston-Derek Publ., 1993)

Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan Africa: Mother of Western Civilization (Black Classics Press, 1988)

Cheikh Anta Diop The African Origin of Civilization (Lawrence Hill & Co., 1974)

St. Clair Drake, Black Folk Here and There (Center for Afro-American Studies, 1987)

Walter A. McCray, The Black Presence in the Bible (Black Light Fellowship, 1990)

Sterling M. Means, Black Egypt and Her Negro Pharaohs (Black Classic Press, 1945)

Tarharka, Black Manhood: The Origin of Civilization by the Black Man of the Nile (Washington,

D.C: The University of America Press, 1979)

Chancellor Williams, The Destruction of Black Civilization (Third World Press, 1976)

The Internet also has The Clegg Series (When Black Men Ruled the World) as well as articles by Clyde A. Winters. All of these books and articles identify the Ancient Egyptians as the ancestors of the black Africans, and both as Hamitic peoples.

The belief that black Negroes were the descendants of Cain was a commonly accepted belief in 12th century Catholic Europe as well as among the Jews of the Middle Ages as well as more ancient times (The Evidence of Black People in the Bible, p.3ff online and also The Mark of Cain by Ruth Mellinkoff). The Catholic mystic Paracelsus taught in the 16th century that Cain married a Negro woman. The Book of Moses, a Revelation of Joseph Smith, says that Cain married one of his brother’s daughters. The belief that the descendants of Cain were a mixed race of white skinned Adamites and Negro pre-Adamites began with the Spanish Jew Isaac de la Peyrere (The Mark of Cain, p.127)

In a book which Armenian Christians accept as biblical, The Book of Adam and Eve, Cainites are presented a black-skinned and Sethites as white skinned (Uncanonical Writings, pp.54-5)

There is nothing in the Bible that identifies black Africans as Cainites; nor is there anything which in the Bible which says they are not Cainites. Such identification exists only in ancient Jewish writings (Midrash, Talmud, etc.) , in the 1000 year -old Muslim work called The Prophets of al-Kasa’i (the most popular book in Islam outside of the Qur’an) and in The Book of Moses; one of the scriptures in The Pearl of Great Price: one of the Standard Works (along with the Bible and The Book of Mormon and The Doctrine and Covenants) of the LDS Church.

The only true way to know if something is from God or not is to first study it out, and then ask God, in absolute and sincere prayer, if it is true. The Holy Spirit will tell you; one way or the other. You must be in a state of humility in order to hear the Holy Spirit. If you are prideful, or angry, you will not hear Him.


Please feel free to e-mail Darrick Evenson

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