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Removing Vestiges of Discrimination In Mormon Utah [An Easter Message]

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Old wrongs are hard to forget. Forgiving and forgetting are not synonymous traits in most humans. It can be said members or former members of the Mormon Church, such as this writer, remember well the racism taught to us as children concerning African Americans who then may have been church members and had to live with church doctrinal representations that racial heritage made them second or third class humans unworthy of the higher blessings of Mormonism. In particular, the "Holy priesthood'" for men and the temple endowment rights for both men and women.

That discrimination was based in large part on the racist words that flowed from the mouth of the Mormon prophet Brigham Young [1847 to 1877] and recorded in the volumes known as Journal of Discourses. Three of which follow:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so."

(Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

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"In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the servant of servants, and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them."

(Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 172).

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"You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind . . . Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 290).

In addition to those racist words there are doctrinal assertions made in books that are classified as scripture by church hierarchy. In particular The Book of Mormon [BOM] and a book called The Pearl of Great Price [POGP] contain statements that established the foundation for the racist words of Brigham Young.

"".wherefore, as they were white and exceedingly delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them"" BOM, 2 Nephi 5:21

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""..there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan. That they were despised among all people"" POGP, Moses:7-8

"And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had no place among them.." POGP Moses 7:22

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Retired Designer-Builder formerly practicing Attorney at Law.

Credentials include ordaining a Black man to priesthood in the LDS Church leading to a public struggle with the church yielding and ordaining Black men about 2 years (more...)
 

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