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Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 01:25AM

A question for faithful Mormon bigots everywhere: Why doesn’t the Mormon God change the skin color of "de-cursed" dark-skinned Black people to white?

Some ignorantly earnest LDS racists have tried to answer that query but, in the process, have only managed to reinforce the rank reality of their poisonous prejudice. It might actually be be funny if it weren't so awful.

--Why Blacks Don’t Turn White but Indians Do: The White-God Mormon Response

Here's some white supremacist skin-spin from an LDS apologist website:

“[Question]: ‘If the Book of Mormon is true and God is at least consistent (if not unchanging) . . . why don't Lamanites turn white and delightsome within one year after accepting the gospel, as they did in 3 Nephi 2:11-16?’ . . .

“This question is based on [a] fallacious [assumption] about God's consistency and unchanging nature.

“[That assumption is that] . . . [s]ince God removed the ‘skin of blackness’ within one year of the Lamanites' conversion and they became white like unto the Nephites (3 Nephi 2:15), God must likewise turn the skin of modern Lamanites white within one year of their joining the LDS Church. . . . [I]s the critic's [assumption] warranted? No. . . .

“The critic fails to mention that Nephi, prophesying about the latter days and the events to take place among ‘the remnant of his seed,’ says that ‘many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure and delightsome people.’ Nephi makes it clear that while God removed the curse of a ‘skin of blackness’ from the repentant Lamanites of 14 A.D., in the latter days, if such a skin color change occurs at all, it might take much longer--possibly generations.” . . .

“The change in skin color . . . from black to white (3 Nephi 2:11-16) are specific incidents. The Book of Mormon says nothing to suggest that for God to be consistent, the specific punishment and blessing that He applied in these two situations must be applied in any other situation.”

(“Question 3: A White and Delightsome People,” by Stanley D. Barker and Malin L. Jacobs, at: http://www.shields-research.org/42_Questions/ques03.htm)


In other words, Mormon apologists want everyone to believe that the Mormon Church is based on eternally-established truth, yet its OK for their Mormon God not to be eternally consistent.
_____


--Playing Racist Favorites: The Mormon God is Glad to Turn the Skin Color of Indians from Brown to White

The tortuous efforts (so typical of Mormon apologists) to defend the racist roots of their bigoted and bogus faith are clearly evident in the teachings of Mormon Church “prophet, seer and revelator” Spencer W. Kimball who, from his own “white-and-delightsome” lips, declared that cursed, dark-skinned people were turning white right before his very eyes. At least the Indians were:

“The work is unfolding, and blinded eyes begin to see, and scattered people begin to gather. I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today as against that of only 15 years ago. Truly the scales of darkness are falling from their eyes, and they are fast becoming a WHITE AND DELIGHTSOME people. (2 Ne. 30:6)

“In this mission alone there are 8,400-plus members of the Church. As I visited this area 15 years ago, there were 94. ‘Are they faithful?’ I am asked. And the answer is, ‘Not all of them. They are just about like their WHITE cousins in the stakes of Zion.’ ‘Are they making headway?’ And the answer is, ‘Yes. Perhaps relatively greater headway than we ourselves.’ . . .

“The day of the Lamanites is here! Young WHITE missionaries throughout the Church are happy in the service, glad that they were called to this special mission, some planning to change their college majors when they return from their missions so they can work among the Indians.

“I see a dependent people becoming independent; for example, I see them coming in their pickups to meetings, whereas a decade ago they needed to be picked up by the missionaries, fed, and coddled. Some still must learn, but they are making progress; for instance, a party was arranged by two missionaries—the Indian people to bring the food, the elders to furnish the punch. When they assembled, they had only punch to drink. Later another party was arranged—the Indians to bring the food and the elders to bring the punch. They had both food and drink. They are learning.

“We called for a picture of the Indian elders. 20 of them came,—five full-blood Navajo boys, and 15 who were part Navajo and Apache and Ute and Sioux. One of the Navajo elders whose mother and family lived less than a hundred miles away in the same mission had not asked for leave to go and visit them, and he had served eight months in the mission. One Indian elder said: “The first missionaries planted a tree on the reservation years ago. Now the tree is bearing fruit—Navajo elders. The young tree yielded little fruit, but the aging tree more fruit—more elders.

“There was the Navajo elder who testified of his happiness and said that when in battle—I think it was in Korea—he had dreamed one night that he was with his parents back on the reservation, but he awakened to find himself in mud and water and fire. Now he is in the midst of another dream, a dream so glorious, he said, that he hopes he will never awaken from it.

“These Indian elders are well-groomed, neat, smiling, and equal to their WHITE companions—handsome and sincere—some struggling in the acquisition of the difficult English language, and others coming through the Utah Placement Program speaking perfect English and displaying the best of our own culture. WHITE elders feel fortunate when they are lucky enough to have a Navajo companion.

“I see these Indian youth praying and preaching and administering to the sick, and I remember the statement of the Prophet Joseph: ‘Take Jacob Zundell and Frederick H. Moeser . . . and send them to Germany and when you meet an Arab send him to Arabia; when you find an Italian send him to Italy; and a Frenchman, to France; or an Indian, that is suitable, send him among the Indians. Send them to the different places where they belong.’ (DHC 5:368.)

“At last the Indians ARE SUITABLE. I heard them bear their witness, saw them shed tears of joy, heard them express their affection for loved ones. I saw Indian boys actually coming in to the president to offer their services as missionaries. That couldn’t have happened a decade ago. As we look into the future, surely we shall see thousands of Indian missionaries, for through our various agencies we are now training probably three thousand little Indian boys in our various departments who are growing toward missionary work. Very soon there will be an Indian boy paired off in missionary work with each WHITE boy, and this will happen in the other Lamanite missions, I am sure.”

(“The Day of the Lamanites,” Spencer W. Kimball of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, “Conference Report,” October 1960, pp. 32-37, at: http://scriptures.byu.edu/gettalk.php?ID=1091&era=yes, emphasis added)


We're not done yet:

“In the same October 1960 LDS Church General Conference talk, Kimball declared that ‘[t]he [Indian] children in the home . program in Utah are often LIGHTER THAN THEIR BROTHERS AND SISTERS in the hogans on the reservation.’

“(‘Improvement Era,’ December 1960, pp. 922-23,)”


Moreover, Kimball referred to a 16-year-old Mormon-born Native American girl who, he proudly noted, was "SEVERAL SHADES LIGHTER than her parents. . . . “ He further observed, "These young members of the Church are changing to WHITENESS and to delightsomeness. One WHITE elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.’ (emphasis added)
_____


--No Mention in Officially-Canoized LDS Church Scripture of the Black Skin of Africans Changing into the White Skin of Mormon Believers

Notice that Mormon Church scriptural doctrine refers to the skin color of religiously-righteous Native Americans morphing from brown to white--with virtually no mention made of the skin of LDS-converted African descendants turning from black to white.

For example, the Book of Mormon teaches that, in the case of those among the Nephites cursed with a dark skin by the Mormon God, it took them a mere quarter of a century to get their groovy whiteness back:

“According to 4 Nephi 1:6, 25 years had passed away since Jesus ascended back into heaven, from there to visit all the other lost tribes of the house of Israel. In 4 Nephi 1:10, we learn that all the people of Nephi had become ‘an EXCEEDINGLY FAIAR AND DELIGHTSOME people.’ In other words, they became white-skinned. (See [also] . . . 1 Nephi 13:15, 2 Nephi 5:21 and Mormon 9:6)”

(“LDS Learning,” under “Curse of Dark Skin,” at: http://www.ldslearning.org/book-of-mormon-curse-of-dark-skin.htm, emphasis added)


To be sure, the official doctrine of the Mormon Church, as embedded in the its institutionally-endorsed Book of Mormon, espouses the racist notion that “bad-turned-good” people will see their skin accordingly changed from the color of “bad black” to “good white.”

At least, that's the case for Indians, but not in the case for Africans:

“For much of its history, the Salt Lake City-based LDS Church edition of the Book of Mormon taught that dark-skinned Lamanites (Indians) would eventually experience a change in the color of their skin should they embrace the Book of Mormon. Except for a single edition (1840), 2 Nephi 30:6 has read:

"’ . . . [T]heir scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a WHITE and a delightsome people.’”

The LDS Church has since tried to scrub even that skin-based racist bigotry from the Book of Mormon but still hasn’t managed a clean sweep:

“In 1981, the LDS Church decided to change what Joseph Smith called ‘the most correct of any book on earth’ by reverting to the wording of the lone 1840 edition. The word ‘WHITE’ was replaced with the word ‘pure.’

“Some Mormons insist that this was a clarification since the word was never meant to refer to a person with dark skin pigmentation who would magically turn white based upon a conversion to the Mormon gospel; rather, it is claimed that the change referred to a cleaner state of heart. This assumption fails to explain (or counter) other passages in the Book of Mormon that still make a connection with ‘iniquity’ and skin color. For example, 2 Nephi 5:21 still says:

"’And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, and they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were WHITE, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a SKIN OF BLACKNESS to come upon them.’

“’3 Nephi 2:12-15 continues to teach that dark-skinned Lamanites who converted unto the Lord had their curse ‘taken from them, and their SKIN BECAME WHITE like unto the Nephites.’

“’That the context refers to skin color is verified by a number of LDS leaders including Joseph Smith. Mormon author George D. Smith notes that Joseph Smith was given a revelation which foretold of a day when intermarriage with the Lamanites would produce a white and delightsome posterity. George Smith wrote:

"’This unpublished 17 July 1831 revelation was described three decades later in an 1861 letter from W.W. Phelps to Brigham Young quoting Joseph Smith: `It is my will, that in time, ye should take unto you wives of the Lamanites and Nephites, that their posterity, may become WHITE, delightsome and just.' In the 8 December 1831 Ohio Star, Ezra Booth wrote of a revelation directing Mormon elders to marry with the “natives',”’

“(‘Sunstone,’ November 1993, footnote #5, p. 52)

“Second LDS President Brigham Young stated in 1859 that Lamanite skin color was related to transgression:

"’You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the ABORIGINES OF THIS COUTNRY ARE DARK, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation. . . . When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by-and-by they will become a WHITE and delightsome people"

“(‘Journal of Discourses,” vol. 7, p. 336) . . .

“Elder Eugene J. Neff [in a 1927 LDS General Conference sermon referring to Hawaiian members of the Mormon Church] . . . stated:

"’The first missionaries went from this section around to another little town on the east side of the island, and there they gathered in a grass hut one hundred people to hear the message of these strange white men, As they all sat around the mat and heard the voice of this missionary from Utah, they were transfigured before George Q. Cannon, and HE SAW 97 OF THEM WHITE AND THREE OF THE REMAINED DARK. He did not understand. He did not know why it was that three of them would remain dark and all the rest should become light. He received a partial answer to this manifestation when it was learned that ninety-seven of those people in meeting at this time joined the Church, became devout members, lived and died Latter-day Saints, while three of them never did. It is said that they will become a WHITE and delightsome people. They are delightsome at present, and I BELIEVE THEY ARE GOING TO BECOME WHITE. THEY ARE GROWING WHITER FROM YEAR TO YEAR. I have said to myself and to some of my intimate friends that I thought the Hawaiian people would become WHITE and delightsome, through intermarriage. I do not know whether that is according to the doctrines of the Church or not, but they have married the oriental races and married white people on the islands to such an extent that today there are more half casts than there are pure Hawaiians.’

“(‘Conference Report,’ April 1927, p. 49)

“LDS writer George Edward Clark gives a similar account in his book titled, ‘Why I Believe.’ On p. 129 he wrote:

"’The writer has been privileged to sit at table with several members of the Catawba tribe of Indians, whose reservation is near the north border of South Carolina. That tribe, or most of its people, are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). Those Indians, at least as many as I have observed, were WHITE and delightsome, as WHITE AND FAIR as any group of citizens of our country. I know of no prophecy, ancient or modern, that has had a more literal fulfillment.’

“It has also been taught in Mormonism that opposite repercussions could result when a white person abandons their Mormon faith. For instance, the ‘Juvenile Instructor’ (vol. 26, p. 635) reads:

"’From this it is very clear that the mark which was set upon the descendants of Cain was A SKIN OF BLACKNESS, and there can be no doubt that this was the mark that Cain himself received; in fact, it has been noticed in our day that men who have lost the spirit of the Lord, and from whom his blessings have been withdrawn, HAVE TURNED DARK to such an extend as to excite the comments of all who have known them.’

“In 1857, Brigham Young declared that apostates would ‘become gray-haired, wrinkled, and BLACK, just like the Devil.’

“(‘Journal of Discourses,’ vol. 5, p. 332, emphasis added)
“To say 2 Nephi 30:6 was altered merely for clarification, and had nothing to do with skin color, is certainly not supported by comments from past LDS leaders, or from current readings in the Book of Mormon.”

(“White and Delightsome or Pure and Delightsome?: A Look at 2 Nephi 30:6,” by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, at: http://www.mrm.org/white-and-delightsome, emphasis added)
_____


--Why No Mormon Church Doctrine of Blacks Turning White?

It appears that, according to a long history of racist LDS Church doctrine and practice, the Mormon God has cut Native Americans who join the Mormon flock a sin-skin break by turning the righteous among them white--but has not bestowed the same bigoted “blessing” of a colorized make-over upon Blacks who also join the Mormon folk. In reality, the Mormon Church does not teach that Blacks will become “white-and-delightsomely”-skinned; only that they will become “pure and delightsome” (again, according to that singular word change in the 1981 edition of the Book of Mormon, found in 2 Nephi 30:6).

Thus, this still leaves the supposedly “de-cursed” Blacks sinly-saddled with their “cursed” black skin:

“. . . [I]t appears that the curse of Cain still remains on the Negro race even though the Mormon Church extended the Priesthood to them in 1978. According to the published declaration, there is no mention of the curse being removed-- for their skin is still dark.”

(“LDS Learning,” under “Curse of Dark Skin,” at: http://www.ldslearning.org/book-of-mormon-curse-of-dark-skin.htm)


The deeply-rooted anti-Black bigotry of the Mormon Church courses so deeply in its veins that, even to this day, Mormonism still officially applies a different standard to those of black-African descent than it does to Native Americans.

Granted, early Mormons believed that both Blacks and Native Americans who came to the Mormon Jesus would get their skin changed to righteous white in LDS heaven:

“Although the LDS Church allowed people of various races to join, there was an underlying belief in the superiority of the white race. Indians and Blacks were seen as ‘cursed’ by God with a dark skin, but given the hope that in the hereafter they could become white.”

(“Curse of Cain?: Racism in the Mormon Church, Part One,” by Jerald and Sandra Tanner, [Salt Lake City, Utah: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, 2004], at: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/curseofcain_part1.htm)


Indeed, it has been acknowledged that although “[i]t's not a popular belief in Mormonism anymore, . . . many of them [Mormons] used to believe that Blacks and Indians would become ‘white and delightsome’ after they converted to Mormonism.”

(“Why Do Some Mormons Believe That If You Have Dark Skin and Convert to Mormonism, Your Skin Will Turn White?,” at: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110827002635AAvKdZN)


But, in the end, in the skin, and in the perverse and twisted realm of perpetual Mormon racism, the LDS Church teaches that brown-skinned Native Americans who join its ranks can become white-skinned. Too bad, however, for black-skinned people who also join up. There is no official LDS option for the latter to remain other than their “bad-person” black color.

Now, time for an Earth-to-Kolob reality check on the actual, scientific reasons for differences in human skin color.
_____


--It’s Melanins, not Sins, that Account for the Color of Human Skin

In other words, the skin color of human beings is based not on religious attitude but, instead, on geographical latitude:

“Human beings come in a glorious spectrum of different colors: light, dark, plain or freckly skin . . . .

“Melanins compose a class of compounds that serve predominantly as a pigment. These pigments are derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. There are at least three types of naturally occurring melanins: eumelanin, pheomelanin and neuromelanin. Both the chemical composition and the physical properties differ for the various types of melanin, suggesting that their chemical and biological responses may behave differently when exposed to light. . . .

“Melanins seem to be heterogeneous, with some small regions of order at the nanometer scale. The optical properties we can see depend on the ability of monomers and oligomers (made up of small numbers of monomers) that make up melanin to absorb light, and the ability of melanin particles to reflect and scatter incident light for different wavelengths. Melanins seem to have some semiconductor properties, and none of the proposed band models adequately account for this.

“Eumelanin and pheomelanin play key roles in eye, hair, and skin color. . . .

“[As to its relation to skin color], [m]elanin reduces ultraviolet induced DNA damage by absorbing or scattering the ultraviolet radiation that otherwise would have been absorbed by the DNA. This prevents the development of melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer, as well as other health problems related to exposure to strong solar radiation. The amount of UV radiation that is absorbed or scattered is determined by a number of factors: the size, shape, and distribution of melanosomes, as well as the wavelength of the incident ray.

“Skin color depends upon the size, number, shape, and distribution of melanosomes, as well as the chemical nature (level of activity) of their melanin content. There are 6 different skin types that are defined by dermatologists. . . .

“ Type 1: Always burns, never tans. Very fair skin with red or blond hair and freckles.

"Type 2: Burns easily, tans minimally. Fair skin.

"Type 3: Sometimes burns, gradually tans.

"Type 4: Minimum burning, always tans. White, with medium pigmentation.

"Type 5: Seldom burns, always tans. Medium to heavy pigmentation.

"Type 6: Never burns, but tans very darkly. African Americans, Africans, or dark-skinned individuals with heavy pigmentation. . . .

“The darkest skin tones are found in tropical latitudes with open grassland, while areas further from the equator that are forested tend to favor lighter skin tones.

“There is a striking correlation between geographic conditions, particularly exposure to sunlight, and skin tone. These differences have evolved to find the balance between the benefits and the dangers of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation we absorb from the sun.

“Early humankind living in the sun-soaked savannah plains of Africa developed a dark-toned skin, rich in the pigment melanin. Within the skin cells, melanin concentrates above the nucleus, shielding the vital DNA from radiation damage. In an environment where there is little to break the path of sunlight onto the skin, this barrier is a great advantage.

“There are other benefits to having a high concentration of melanin in the skin and other parts of the body. Melanin boosts the immune system, and darker-skinned groups have been shown to have a lower incidence of a number of serious diseases, including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and spina bifida. Darker-skinned individuals also age better, as their skin is better protected from sun damage.”

(“Causes of Color: The Color of Our Eyes, Hair and Skin," at: http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/7F.html)

******


Time, indeed, for Mormons to get out of their racist black-and-white world and on to the planet of human diversity.



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2014 02:10AM by steve benson.

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Posted by: baura ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 09:45AM

A friend of mine was on a mission in Virginia shortly before the
"revelation" on Blacks and the priesthood.

He and his companion had tracted out a Black man. His companion
gleefully told the man that he would be white when he was
resurrected. His companion was puzzled that the man wasn't
happy to hear that bit of "news."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2014 09:46AM by baura.

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Posted by: Argonaut ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 12:05PM

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.

But

2 Nephi 5:21 And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

So I guess Nephi, Mormon, and also Pogp Moses and Abraham are hereby condemned for advancing theories in the past?

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Posted by: anonough ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 12:18PM

And lets not lose sight of the fact that the god of the book of Mormon himself, in all of his omniscient splendor, created(within the BOM) the very racism the church is now disavowing.

If they are going to throw BY under the bus for his past bigoted railings, they may as well throw the progenitor of that racist dynamic under the bus as well.

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Posted by: cynthus ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 12:36PM

I did learn from the parental units that black skin was the mark of Cain and then I learned about melanin in science classes. I think the "mark of cain" theory has been disproved by the DNA migration pattern because if we go back far enough we all have ancestors from Africa-- or maybe all of us have the mark of cain. *snort

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Posted by: elbert ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 12:38PM

The explanation about the 'critics' demand for god to be consistent: does the church acknowledge such explanation or are they saying "this is not official" policy--as usual, letting the underling do the dirty work while staying aloof?0

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Posted by: donbagley ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 09:46PM

If Cupid's bow had Steve Benson's precision, the whole world would be in love.

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Posted by: madalice ( )
Date: January 24, 2014 10:00PM

I remember the talk given about the indian kids turning white. My thought was, of course they are! Anyone who used to spend all of their time working and playing out in the sun will turn lighter when held hostage in the church several hours a day!

At that time I was spending time at church every single day. Seminary, mutual, dances, 3hrs on Sunday, sometimes more. I couldn't have gotten a tan if I wanted one! I was always in that stinking building.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2014 10:00PM by madalice.

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