The Mormon Faith & Black Folks
Question #36

Q. If I wanted to become a Mormon would I have to believe in the Curse of Cain or anything similar to that?

A. The short answer is: No. Believing that the Priesthood ban was of God is technically not a requirement for membership in the Church. When one requests baptism into the Church they are not asked if they believe it; only if they believe that Jesus Christ is their Savior, and if they believe Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God, that the LDS Church is true, and if they repent of their sins. When one goes to get a temple recommend, which allows a person to worship in an LDS Temple and receive the ordinances therein (including the sealings), he or she is not asked about this. He or she is asked if they are worthy, obey Church laws, keep the Word of Wisdom, and if they sustain the current President of the Church as a “Prophet, Seer, and Revelator”. If the candidate answers yes to these questions, he or she is given a temple recommend; which allows them all the blessings offered by the Church. They are never asked if they believe in or accept the Curse of Cain doctrine. A person can be an active Latter-day Saint in good-standing with a temple-recommend and not believe or accept the Curse of Cain doctrine.

Some white Members of the Church, and some black Members of the Church, do not believe that black folks are the descendants of Cain; nor that the Priesthood ban was of God. They believe that these were mistakes, or misinterpretations by Church leaders. As far as we can see, they are not disciplined in any way; as long as they don’t campaign to have the Church repudiate doctrines they don’t like or accept. As long as Members of the Church don’t campaign, and hold these views as personal opinions, they are not disciplined; all Church ordinances and blessings are open to them.

But, again, most Latter-day Saints accept the doctrines of the Church as the Will of God and His Decrees as revealed through living Prophets of God. We accept them not because we necessarily like all of them, but because we believe we must submit our wills to the Will of God. His Wisdom is far beyond ours, and His Decrees are not bound by the “wisdom of men”.

Please feel free to e-mail Darrick Evenson

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