Recovery Board  : RfM
Recovery from Mormonism (RfM) discussion forum. 
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Posted by: lulu ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 03:19AM

Does anyone have some quick quotes and citations?

Alot of internet posts from TBM's about what an abolitionist JS was.

I don't think that's quite the way it was, he might have been anti-slavery when he ran for pres. but

didn't he own slave(s) -- Jane Manning?
before he ran for pres. wasn't he pro slavery?
Are TBM's on the net misrepresenting?

Can anyone help with the big picture, I think we need to get the details out there.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: baura ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 01:55PM

Joseph Smith did not own Jane Manning. Jane Manning was his servant in Nauvoo, Illinois, a non-slave state.

However on May 18, 1894, in the Salt Lake Temple, Jane Elizabeth Manning was sealed as a "servitor for eternity to the Prophet Joseph Smith" with Joseph F. Smith acting as proxy.


Joseph Smith published a rebuttal to an abolitionist who spoke in Kirtland. It was published in the Church's own newspaper "Messenger and Advocate" and later published by the Mormons in "History of the Church" Here it is:

**********Here Begin the Words of Joseph Smith**********

DEAR SIR:--This place [Kirtland] having recently been visited by a gentleman who advocated the principles or doctrines of those who are called Abolitionists, and his presence having created an interest in that subject, if you deem the following reflections of any service, or think they will have a tendency to correct the opinions of the Southern public, relative to the views and sentiments I entertain, as an individual, and which I am able to say from personal knowledge are the sentiments of others, you are at liberty to give them publicity in the columns of the Advocate. In one respect I am prompted to this course in consequence of many Elders having gone into the Southern States, besides there being now many in that country who have already embraced the fulness of the Gospel, as revealed through the Book of Mormon. I have learned by experience that the enemy of truth does not slumber, nor cease his exertions to bias the minds of communities against the servants of the Lord, by stirring up the indignation of men upon all matters of importance or interest; therefore I fear that the sound might go out, that "an Abolitionist" had held forth several times to this community, and that the public feeling was not aroused to create mobs or disturbances, leaving the impression that all he said was concurred in, and received as Gospel, and the word of salvation. I am happy to say that no violence, or breach of the public peace, was attempted: so far from this, all, except a very few, attended to their own vocations, and left the gentleman to hold forth his own arguments to nearly naked walls. I am aware that many, who profess to preach the Gospel, complain against their brethren of the same faith, who reside in the South, and are ready to withdraw the hand of fellowship, because they will not renounce the principle of slavery, and raise their voice against every thing of the kind This must be a tender print, and one which should call forth the candid reflections of all men, and more especially before they advance in an opposition calculated to lay waste the fair states of the South, and let loose upon the world a community of people, who might, peradventure, overrun our country, and violate the most sacred principles of human society, chastity and virtue.

No one will pretend to say that the people of the free states are as capable of knowing the evils of slavery, as those who hold slaves. If slavery be an evil, who could we expect would first learn it: Would the people of the free states, or the people of the slave states? All must readily admit, that the latter would first learn this fact. If the fact were learned first by those immediately concerned, who would be more capable than they of prescribing a remedy? And besides, are not those who hold slaves, persons of ability, discernment and candor? Do they not expect to give an account at the bar of God for their conduct in this life? It may no doubt with propriety be said that many who hold slaves live without the fear of God before their eyes; but the same may be said of many in the free states. Then who is to be the judge in this matter? So long, then, as the people of the free states, are not interested in the freedom of the slaves, in any other way than upon the mere abstract principles of equal rights, and of the Gospel; and are ready to admit that there are men of piety, who reside in the South, who are immediately concerned, and until they complain and call for assistance, why not cease this clamor, and no further urge the slave to acts of murder, and the master to vigorous discipline, rendering both miserable, and unprepared to pursue that course which might otherwise lead them both to better their conditions? I do not believe that the people of the North have any more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say the North shall.

And further, what benefit will it ever be to the slaves for persons to run over the free states, and excite indignation against their masters in the minds of thousands and tens of thousands, who understand nothing relative to their circumstances, or conditions? I mean particularly those who have never traveled in the South, and who in all their lives have scarcely ever seen a negro.

How any community can ever be excited with the chatter of such persons, boys and others, who are too indolent to obtain their living by honest industry, and are incapable of pursuing any occupation of a professional nature, is unaccountable to me; and when I see persons in the free states, signing documents against slavery, it is no less, in my mind, than an army of influence, and a declaration of hostilities against the people of the South. What course can sooner divide our union?

After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt, but those who have been forward in raising their voices against the South, will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling, unkind, and wholly unacquainted with the Gospel of Christ. It is my privilege then to name certain passages from the Bible, and examine the teachings of the ancients upon the matter as the fact is uncontrovertible that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the Holy Bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation, and walked with God. And so far from that prediction being averse to the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame and confusion of all who have cried out against the South, in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude. "And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren." "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant" (Gen. ix: 25, 26).

Trace the history of the world from this notable event down to this day, and you will find the fulfillment of this singular prophecy. What could have been the design of the Almighty in this singular occurrence is not for me to say; but I can say, the curse is not yet taken off from the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great a power as caused it to come; and the people who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him; and those who are determined to pursue a course, which shows an opposition, and a feverish restlessness against the decrees of the Lord, will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do His own work, without the aid of those who are not dictated by His counsel.

I must not pass ever a notice of the history of Abraham, of whom so much is spoken in the Scripture. If we can credit the account, God conversed with him from time to time, and directed him in the way he should walk, saying, I am the Almighty; walk before me, and be thou perfect." Paul says the Gospel was preached to this man. And it is further said, that he had sheep and oxen, men-servants and maid-servants, etc. From this I conclude, that if the principle had been an evil one, in the midst of the communications made to this holy man, he would have been instructed to that effect, and if he was instructed against holding man-servants and maid-servants, he never ceased to do it; consequently must have incurred the displeasure of the Lord, and thereby lost His blessings; which was not the fact.

Some may urge that the names man servant and maid-servant, only mean hired persons, who were at liberty to leave their masters or employers at any time. But we can easily settle this pint, by turning to the history of Abraham's descendants, when governed by a law from the mouth of Jehovah Himself. I know that when an Israelite had been brought into servitude, in consequence of debt, or otherwise, at the seventh year he went from the task of his former master, or employer; but to no other people or nation was this granted in the law of Israel. And if after a man had served six years, he did not wish to be free, then the master was to bring him unto the judges--bore his ear with an awl, and that man was "to serve him forever." The conclusion I draw from this, is, that this people were led and governed by revelation, and if such a law was wrong, God only is to be blamed, and abolitionists are not responsible.

Now, before proceeding any farther, I wish to ask one or two questions: Were the Apostles men of God, and did they preach the Gospel? I have no doubt that those who believe the Bible, will admit that they were; and that they also knew the mind and will of God concerning what they wrote to the churches, which they were instrumental in building up. This being admitted, the matter can be put to rest without much argument, if we look at a few items in the New Testament. Paul says: "Servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men' knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall be received of the Lord, whether he be bound or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven: neither is there respect of persons with him" (Eph. vi: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Here is a lesson which might be profitable for all to learn; and the principle upon which the Church was anciently governed, is so plainly set forth, that an eye of truth might see and understand. Here certainly, are represented the master, and servant; and so far from instructions to the servant to leave his master, he is commanded to be in obedience, as unto the Lord; the master in turn, is required to treat him with kindness before God; understanding, at the same time, that he is to give an account. The hand of fellowship is not withdrawn from him in consequence of his having servants.

The same writer, in his first epistle to Timothy, the sixth chapter, and the first five verses, says,--"Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren: but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness' from such withdraw thyself." This is so perfectly plain, that I see no need of comment. The Scripture stands for itself; and I believe that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God, than all the abolitionists in the world.

Before closing this communication, I beg leave to drop a word to the traveling Elders. You know, brethren, that great responsibility rests upon you; and that you are accountable to God, for all you teach the world. In my opinion, you will do well to search the Book of Covenants, in which you will see the belief of the Church, concerning masters and servants. All men are to be taught to repent; but we have no right to interfere with slaves, contrary to the mind and will of their masters. In fact it would be much better, and more prudent, not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted, and then teach the masters to use them with kindness: remembering that they are accountable to God, and the servants are bound to serve their masters with singleness of heart, without murmuring.

I do most sincerely hope that no one who is authorized from this Church to preach the Gospel, will so far depart from the Scriptures, as to be found stirring up strife and sedition against our brethren of the South. Having spoken frankly and freely, I leave all in the hands of God, who will direct all things for His glory, and the accomplishment of His work. Praying that God may spare you to do much good in this life, I subscribe myself your brother in the Lord, JOSEPH SMITH, JUN.

-- (History of the Church, by Joseph Smith, vol. 2, pp. 436-440).

**********Here End the Words of Joseph Smith**********

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Mia ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 02:16PM

This is off topic, but I couldn't help but have this thought while reading the writings of JS.

I thought this guy was too ignorant to string enough words together to write a cohesive sentence.
If he could write that, and the D&C he could have written the BoM.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: me ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 04:13PM

He was glib of tongue, but fumbled with pen in hand. Doesn't mean he was stupid-- he just had problems with academic stuff, even though he tried. I believe he was dyslexic.
As stated by his own mother, in her history of the family and biography of Joseph, he was inadequately educated and had learning problems, affecting his writing skills, although her other children were good students. Joseph himself stated this:
"we were deprived of the bennifit of an education suffice it to say I was mearly instructid in reading and writing and the ground rules of Arithmatic which constuted my whole literary acquirements." (Jessee, 2002)
Nearly all writings ascribed to him were actually written by his scribes, who edited his work. In one letter to W. W. Phelps, he wrote:
"Oh, Lord, deliver us in due time from the little, narrow prison, almost as it were, total darkness of paper, pen, and ink, – and a crooked, broken, scattered and imperfect language." (Joseph F. Smith & B. H. Roberts, 1902)

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: baura ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 05:37PM

He may have not preferred to write and instead dictated stuff to scribes (much as modern CEOs do with their secretaries) but that doesn't mean he was illiterate or had a learning disability.

The famed 1832 account of the First Vision, which is in good penmanship as well as showing good grammar, is in Joseph Smith's own handwriting. I think his mind worked faster than his hand so he preferred someone who could write well and quickly to doing his own writing.

Lucy Mack Smith, in her biography, mentions that they did not neglect the education of their children. According to the ENSIGN, Joseph Smith's father used to work as a school teacher. His brother was also on the local school board.

Later in Kirtland, when the Brethren hired Joshua Seixas to teach them Biblical Hebrew, Joseph was the star student--a fact attested to by Seixas himself. That Joseph learned his lessons well shows up when he puts Hebrew words into the mouths of Egyptians in the Book of Abraham.

These were not ignorant farmers.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: me ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 05:51PM

We will agree to disagree. Rabbi Sexias may have taught orally, getting around some of his learning problems. With good teaching and a motivated student, a learning disability does not have to be a severely impairing problem. That is one reason why I was uncomfortable with working as a school psychologist. Self-fulfilling prophecies and all that.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: me ( )
Date: March 05, 2012 08:36AM

"I think his mind worked faster than his hand so he preferred someone who could write well and quickly to doing his own writing."

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder frequently is part of the dynamic of learning disabilities.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: robertb ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 04:03PM

baura Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> However on May 18, 1894, in the Salt Lake Temple,
> Jane Elizabeth Manning was sealed as a "servitor
> for eternity to the Prophet Joseph Smith" with
> Joseph F. Smith acting as proxy.
>

For which one did Joseph F. Smith act as proxy? :p

Options: ReplyQuote
Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: ambivalentsince1850s ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 02:12PM

@baura - Thanks for posting that. I didn't spot a date of publication?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: baura ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 05:41PM

The anti-abolitionist letter was published in the LDS newspaper, "Messenger and Advocate" in Kirtland, Ohio, April 9, 1836

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 04:07PM

One such Mormon-"owned" slave was Jane Elizabeth Manning James--otherwise known among her Mormon friends and White overseers as "Aunt Jane."

Aunt Jane was a faithful Black Mormon convert who worked in the household of Joseph and Emma Smith. After years of faithful belief and devotion to clean-up duty, she had the audacity to repeatedly petition the leaders of the Mormon Church to be sealed via temple endowment to her husband, but was denied her request by the Quorum of the Twelve.

Instead, she was made to settle for her White "owner," Joseph Smith--as his slave for time and all eternity:

"The Territory of Utah gave up the practice of slavery along with the slave-holding states; however, the fact that they countenanced it when it was being practiced shows how insensitive they were to the feelings of black people. Even after the slaves were set free the Mormons continued to talk against blacks. In the year 1884, Angus M. Cannon said that 'a colored man . . . is not capable of receiving the Priesthood, and can never reach the highest Celestial glory of the Kingdom of God.' ('The Salt Lake Tribune,' October 5, 1884)

"The idea that blacks were inferior and should only be servants to the whites persisted in Mormon theology. In fact, Mormon leaders seemed to feel that blacks would still be servants in heaven. On August 26, 1908, President Joseph F. Smith related that a black woman was sealed as a servant to Joseph Smith:

"'The same efforts he said had been made by Aunt Jane to receive her endowments and be sealed to her husband and have her children sealed to their parents and her appeal was made to all the Presidents from President Young down to the present First Presidency. But President Cannon conceived the idea that, under the circumstances, it would be proper to permit her to go to the temple to be adopted to the Prophet Joseph Smith as his servant and this was done. This seemed to ease her mind for a little while but did not satisfy her, and she still pleaded for her endowments.' ('Excerpts From The Weekly Council Meetings Of The Quorum Of The Twelve Apostles,' as printed in 'Mormonism-Shadow or Reality?,' p. 584).

"The idea that a black is only worthy of the position of a servant has deep roots in Mormon theology. Mark E. Petersen, . . . [former] Apostle in the church, once said that if a 'Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory.' ('Race Problems-As They Affect The Church,' a speech delivered at Brigham Young University, August 27, 1954)."

(Jerald and Sandra Tanner, "Changing the Anti-Black Doctrine," Chapter 10, Part 1, in "The Changing World of Mormonism," Utah Lighthouse Ministry, at: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/changech10a.htm)


Jane Elizabeth Manning James (1813-1908)--even in faith, a victim of Mormon bigotry, RIP:

"Jane Elizabeth Manning was born in Wilton, Connecticut, one of five children of Isaac and Phyllis Manning, a free black family. Although Jane was a member of the local Presbyterian Church, she remained spiritually unfulfilled until 1842 when she heard the message of a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . . . .

"Soon afterwards she joined the Mormon Church. One year following her conversion, Jane Elizabeth and several family members who had also converted decided to move to Nauvoo, Illinois, the headquarters of the Mormon Church. After traveling by boat to Buffalo, New York, the African American Mormons, unable to pay additional fares, began an eight-hundred-mile journey by foot to Nauvoo. In Nauvoo, Jane lived and worked in the home of Joseph Smith, Jr. the founder of the LDS Church and his wife, Emma.

"Following the 1844 murder of Joseph Smith, Jr. and his brother Hyrum in Carthage, Illinois, Mormon leaders under Brigham Young decided to abandon Nauvoo and look for a safe haven in the West away from forces hostile to the LDS Church.

"In the fall of 1847, Jane, her husband Isaac James whom she married in 1841, and two sons traveled across the plains to the new home of the LDS Church in the Salt Lake Valley. They were the first free black pioneers in the Mormon settlement and Jane would spend the remaining fifty-one years of her life in Utah. They shared the hardships of their fellow Mormons and engaged in the spirit of mutual aid and cooperation that characterized LDS pioneer life.

"By the 1880s Jane became increasingly concerned about her place in the afterlife. Well aware of the LDS Church's proscriptions that prohibited blacks from full participation in the rituals that were prerequisite to being eligible for a place in the celestial kingdom, she nonetheless argued for an exemption because of her faith.

"'Is there no blessing for me?' she asked Church leaders for more than a decade. Those leaders refused her requests. They attempted to pacify her by authorizing her limited participation in LDS rituals.

"Through it all, Jane Manning James remained a devout Mormon and is generally recognized in LDS history for her unwavering faith. Jane Manning James died in Salt Lake City in 1908.

"A special monument to her is located in the Salt Lake City Cemetery, close to her gravesite, to commemorate her life and faith."

(Ronald G. Coleman, "'Is There No Blessing for Me?': Jane Elizabeth Manning James, A Mormon African American Woman," in Quintard Taylor and Shirley Ann Moore Wilson, eds., "African American Women Confront the West," 1600-2000 [Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press 2003], at: http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aaw/james-jane-elizabeth-manning-1813-1908)


Ahhhhh, how sweetly described--and deceptively presented.

That "limited participation in LDS rituals," as it is euphemistically described above, is more fully laid out on pp. 152-157 of Coleman's biography of "Aunt Jane." There it is painfully detailed how, despite her faithfulness--and only because of her so-called "cursed" race--she was relentlessly denied her personal plea for access to the Mormon temple for her own family sealing endowment.

The First Presidency also rejected her request to be adopted, via temple sealing, into the family of Joseph and Emma Smith, in whose home she faithfully worked as a servant.

The First Presidency eventually, out of the kindness of their white-and-delightsome hearts, did permit her to be eternally sealed to Joseph Smith as his servant.

(Tracking note: Google search "Ronald G. Coleman Manning." Up will come "African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000 -Google Books Result." Click on that and Coleman's article will appear).


More on the patronizing treatment she received from the Mormon Church:

" . . . [H]ave you wondered why Jane walked to Nauvoo? It was because white Mormons would not allow her to ride with them or assist her in paying for passage. And once she arrived in Nauvoo the Beautiful, that 'Zion on the Mississippi,' she was either rebuffed or ignored by her fellow Saints, until finally someone pointed out Joseph Smith's home to her.

"Once she finally did meet Smith, he made Jane his house servant, and when Smith was murdered in 1844, Brigham Young then took in Jane James as his servant as well. Despite her faithful service to the church and its wealthy presidents, she lived most of her life in abject poverty.

"She arrived in the new Zion of Utah among the first of the Saints in September 1847, the first free black woman in the territory, only to find that slavery was already being practiced there. Mormon Apostle Charles C. Rich owned slaves in Utah, which must have been a great trial of her faith. The only Western State or Territory to practice slavery was Utah.

"She wished to be 'sealed' to her loved ones for all eternity just like the white-skinned members of the congregation were allowed to be. For all of her sacrifice, the highest eternal blessing the Mormon church could offer Joseph Smith's former house servant was to 'seal' her to Joseph Smith as his servant forever.

"The words recited at this ceremony were that she was 'to be attached as a Servitor for eternity to the prophet Joseph Smith and in this capacity be connected with his family and be obedient to him in all things in the Lord as a faithful Servitor.'

"In essence, an eternal slave, bound to service a white master for eternity."

(For more on this final above account, along with a photograph of Jane Manning, see: "Nauvoo Pageant 2007: Just Who is Jane Manning?," in "Mormon Home Evening: Official Blog of Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach," 17 July 2007, at: http://mormonhomeevening.blogspot.com/2007/07/nauvoo-pageant-2007just-who-is-jane.html)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2012 04:09PM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 04:08PM

Not only does the Mormon church have an officially racist history, that history includes official Mormon church endorsement of slavery.

The Mormon church's inventor, Joseph Smith, defended slavery against the opposition of abolitionists, declaring it to be a true principle which found support in the Bible & in the teachings of Jesus.

Smith, in fact, said that slavery was a divinely-decreed “curse” imposed on Blacks by the command of God & warned against attempts to interfere with its practice.

--In the LDS church publication, the “Messenger and Advocate" (see vol. 2, pp. 289-301, April 1836), Smith asserted that slavery as practiced by the Southern states was ordained by God & in keeping with the “gospel of Christ”:

“After having expressed myself so freely upon this subject, I do not doubt but those who have been forward in raising their voice against the South will cry out against me as being uncharitable, unfeeling & unkind--wholly unacquainted with the gospel of Christ.

"'It is my privilege, then, to name certain passages from the Bible & examine the teachings of the ancients upon this matter, as the fact is incontrovertible that the first mention we have of slavery is found in the holy Bible, pronounced by a man who was perfect in his generation & walked with God. And so far from that prediction's being averse from the mind of God, it remains as a lasting monument of the decree of Jehovah, to the shame & confusion of all who have cried out against the South in consequence of their holding the sons of Ham in servitude!

“'And he said cursed be Canaan: a servant of servants shall he be unto this brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; & Canaan shall be his servant.--God shall enlarge Japheth & he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; & Canaan shall be his servant.' (Gen. 8: 25-27)

“Trace the history of the world from this notable event down to this day & you will find the fulfillment of this singular prophecy. What could have been the design of the Almighty in this wonderful occurrence is not for me to say, but I can say that the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by a great power as caused it to come; & the people who interfere the least will come under the least condemnations before him & those who are determined to purse a course which shows an opposition & a feverish restlessness against the designs of the Lord will learn, when perhaps it is too late for their own good, that God can do his work without the aid of those who are not dictated by his counsel."

--Smith then proceeded to counter claims that the Bible was not talking about Ham-lineaged, cursed Black slaves brought under control by the command of God to be used as forced labor:

"Some may urge that the names, 'man-servant' and 'maid servant' only mean hired persons who were at liberty to leave their masters or employers at ant time. But we can easily settle this point by turning the history of Abraham's descendants, when governed by a law given from the mouth of the Lord himself.

"I know that when an Israelite had been brought into servitude in consequence of debt, or otherwise, at the seventh year he went from the task of this former master or employuer; but to no other people or nation was this granted in the law of Israel. And if, after a man had served six years, he did not wish to be free, then the master was to bring him unto the judges, bore his ear with an awl and that man was 'to serve him forever.'

"The conclusion I draw from this is that this people were led and governed by revelation & if such a law was wrong God only is to be blamed & abolitonists are not responsible."

--After quoting from Ephesians 6:5-9 and 1 Timothy 6:1-5 (which admonishes that "servants be obedient to them that are your masters" and that they "are under the yoke [of] masters worthy of all honor"), LDS church president Joseph Smith concluded that "[t]he scripture stands for itself & I believe that these men were better qualified to teach the will of God than all the abolitionists in the world."

(cited in Lester E. Bush, Jr., complilation of notes on history of Blacks in the Mormon Church, pp. 18-19, copy in my possession)
_____


--In the same treatise, Joseph Smith warned that if Blacks were freed from slavery & the South was militarily defeated, Blacks might overrun the country & degrade societal morals:

“ . . . I am aware that many who profess to preach the gospel complain against their brethren of the same faith who reside in the South & are ready to withdraw the hand of fellowship because they will not renounce the principle of slavery & raise their voice against every thing of the kind.

“This must be a tender point & one which should call forth the candid reflection of all men & especially before they advance in an opposition calculated to lay waste the fall States of the South & set loose upon the world a community of people who might peradventure overrun our country & violate the most sacred principles of human society, chastity & virtue”

--Smith’s advocated that no one had the right to tell others not to engage in the business of human trafficking:

“I do not believe that the people of the North have any more right to say that the South shall not hold slaves, than the South have to say the North shall.”

--Smith stated that slave owners should retain final say over the condition & future of their human property & that slaves, should unconditionally & meekly obey their masters:

“. . . [W]e have no right to interfere with slaves contrary to the mind & will of their masters. In fact, it would be much better & more prudent not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted: & then teach the master to use them with kindness, remembering that they are accountable to God & that servants are bound to serve their master with singleness of heart, without murmuring.”

--Smith taught that slavery was condoned by scripture & that Mormons had no right to foment resistance to Southern slavery:

“I do most sincerely hope that no one who is authorized from this church to preach the gospel will so far depart from the scripture as to be found stirring up strife & sedition against our brethren of the South.”

--Smith said that freeing the slaves would only cause trouble for people not accustomed to seeing Blacks (the latter whom Smith labeled as inherently lazy, professionally unemployable & childish):

“. . . [W]hat benefit will it ever be to the slave for persons to run over the free states & excite indignation against their masters in the minds of thousands & tens of thousands who understand nothing relative to their circumstances or conditions? I mean particularly those who have never traveled in the South & scarcely seen a negro in all their life.

“How any community can ever be excited with the chatter of such persons-boys & others who are too indolent to obtain their living by honest industry & are incapable of pursuing any occupation of a professional nature, is unaccountable to me.”

(Joseph Smith, letter to Oliver Cowdery, published in “Latter-Day Saints Messenger & Advocate,” vol. 2. no. 7, Kirtland, Ohio, April 1836, pp. 289, 291)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2012 05:26PM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 04:13PM

President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Joseph Fielding Smith, in his book, “Answers to Gospel Questions,” declared:

“ . . . [I]f a Negro joins the [Mormon] church through the waters of baptism and is confirmed by the laying on of hands and then he remains faithful and true to the teachings of the Church and in keeping the commandments the Lord has given, he will come forth in the first resurrection and will enter the celestial kingdom of God. . . . The Negro who accepts the doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is entitled to salvation in the celestial kingdom of the highest heaven spoken of by Paul.

"'It is true that the work of the ministry is given to other peoples and why should the so-called Christian denominations complain? How many Negroes have been placed as ministers over white congregations in the so-called Christian denominations? It appears that a great deal of noise has been made over a problem that does not really exist or is not peculiar to the Latter-day Saints.'

"' . . . Mormons. . . can do more for the Negro than any other church on the face of the earth.'"

(Jospeh Fielding Smith, "Answers to Gospel Questions," vol. 2, p. 55, quoted in John Lewis Lund, “The Church and the Negro: A Discussion of Mormons, Negroes and the Priesthood,” Chapter VII, “What is the Status of the Negro in the Mormon Church?” [John Lewis Lund, copyright 1967], pp. 58-59)
_____


What Mormons conveniently fail to note, of course, is their deep-seated, ugly belief that even if Mormons of African descent attain the highest level of the LDS celestial kingdom, they will only manage to do so through a mandatory process that involves their skin color being changed to white in order for them to reside among Mormon Whites and their White Mormon God.

Lund, in a chapter in his book headlined, “Church Leaders Speak Out on the Negro Question,” points to the case of Black Mormon convert Jane Manning James as an example of a Mormon of African descent making it to heaven--but only after having been turned White, literally.

Jane Manning James (otherwise known as “Aunt Jane") was a house servant to Joseph and Emma Smith in Nauvoo who--despite her unswerving faithfulness of 65 years to Mormonism--was denied the right by the White racists in the Mormon church's First Presidency to be temple-sealed to her own family; instead, they had her officially sealed to Joseph Smith as his servant throughout eternity.

(for a previous RfM thread on "Aunt Jane's" run-in with Mormonism's racist "revelation," see: http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,417986,417986#msg-417986)


But being celestialized came with a catch: “Aunt Jane” first had to be "sanitized" because, according to White supremacist Mormon church doctrine, she had been born into a “cursed” lineage.

In order for her to be with Smith in the highest Mormon heaven, this Black woman would first have to have her "cursed" skin bleached white. The edict of Mormon church president Wilford Woodruff was clear, as Lund explains:

“Wilford Woodruff said about the Negro, 'The day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings that we now have,'"

Lund explains how this color-cleansing would work before this Black woman would be allowed into Mormon heaven to be Joseph Smith's forever slave:

“In [Matthias F.] Cowley's book, 'Wilford Woodruff' [p. 587], the following story is told:

“'There is one peculiar characteristic noticeable in the journal ow Wilford Woodruff., . . . [He] love to dwell upon the good deeds of others . . . . . He said in his journal of o of October, that year [1894], that 'Aunt Jane,' the colored sister, had been to see him She was anxious to go through the Temple and receive the highest ordinances of the Gospel. President Woodruff blessed her for her constant, never changing devotion to the Gospel but explained to her her disadvantages as one of the descendants of Cain.

“”In after years, when President Joseph F. Smith preached the funeral sermon of this same faithful woman, he declared that she would, in the resurrection, attain the longing of her soul and become a white and beautiful person.”

(Lund, Chapter IX pp. 85-86; see also, William E. Berrett, “The Church and the Negroid People,” historical supplement, in John J. Stewart, “Mormonism and the Negro: An Explanation and Defense of the Doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Regard to Negroes and Others of Negroid Blood” [Orem, Utah: Bookmark, a Division of Community Press Publishing Company, 1960], p. 16 of supplement).
_____


The primitively racist comments of Mormon apostle Mark E. Petersen speak for themselves. On 27 August 1954 in an address to a BYU convention of LDS religion teachers entitled “Race Problems--As They Affect the Church,” he informed the audience that "[i]f that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get a celestial resurrection."
_____


These days one does not often see Mormons openly pointing out that, according to their church's top “prophet, seer and revelator,” any faithful Mormon Black person will, in the end, “enter the celestial kingdom” as “a white and beautiful person.”

Perhaps even for the Mormon church's most abject apologists, this might be too racist to strut in front of decent company.

Don't put it past them, though, to tenderly harbor it in the bigoted recesses of their white-and-delightsome hearts.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: GNPE ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 04:19PM

only a few years after Joe's death;
it was a CHOICE/DECISION that BY made!

word is... pioneers brought black slaves with them to SLV.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: steve benson ( )
Date: March 03, 2012 05:16PM

"24 July [1847]: [Brigham] Young enters Salt Lake Vally with the rest of the pioneer company, and officially decress this as the new Mormon headquarters. Among these pioneers are three plural wives and three Black slaves. Young's attitudes toward African-Americans differ from the founding prophet's, and Utah would become the only western territory where African-American slavery and slave-sales were protected by Terriotiral statute."

(D. Michael Quinn, "The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power," Appendix 7, "Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47" [Salt Lake City, Utah: Signature Books, in association with Smith Research Associates, 1994], p. 659)
_____


Morever, during the presidency of Joseph Smith, the Mormon Church came out in favor of preventing the immigration of freed Black slaves into Missouri and against allowing Blacks to join the Mormon Church:

"In an attempt to defuse the explosive situation before another an anti-Mormon meeting scheduled [by slave-holding Missourians] for July 20, 1833, could take place . . . an 'Extra' edition of the [Mormon cnurch's] "the Evewning and Morning Star . . . frantically tried to explain:

"'Having learned with extreme regret, that an article entitled, 'Free People of Color,' in the last number of the 'Star,' has been misunderstood, we feel in duty bound to state, in this 'Extra,,' that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as members of the Church."

(authored by W.W. Phelps in behalf of the Mormon Church, published in "History of the Church," vol. 1, pp. 578-79; Phelps was an assistant president of the Mormon church in Missouri, a scribe for Joseph Smith, and an LDS church printer/editor; Phelps' "Star" editorial cited in Richard Abanes, "One Nation Under Gods: A History of the Mormon Church," Chapter 6, "No Rest for the Righteous" [New York/London: Four Walls Eight Windows, 2002], p. 114)
_____


Furthermore, while some Utah historians continue to waffle on the historical reality that Mormons endorsed and practiced slavery, it is a undeniable that they did:

"Although the practice was never widespread, some Utah pioneers held African-American slaves until 1862 when Congress abolished slavery in the territories.

"Three slaves, Green Flake, Hark Lay, and Oscar Crosby, came west with the first pioneer company in 1847, and their names appear on a plaque on the Brigham Young Monument in downtown Salt Lake City. The Census of 1850 reported 26 Negro slaves in Utah and the 1860 Census 29; some have questioned those figures.

"Slavery was legal in Utah as a result of the Compromise of 1850, which brought California into the Union as a free state while allowing Utah and New Mexico territor'es the option of deciding the issue by 'popular sovereignty." Some Mormon pioneers from the South had brought African-American slaves with them when they migrated west. Some freed their slaves in Utah; others who went on to California had to emancipate them there.

"The Mormon church had no official doctrine for or against slaveholding [*Note: Not true. Joseph Smith officially endorsed slavery as the law of God; see earlier post in this thread], and leaders were ambivalent [*Note: Not true. Brigham Young endorsed slavery in a February 1852 address to the territorial legislature].

"In 1836 Joseph Smith wrote that masters should treat slaves humanely and that slaves owed their owners obedience. During his presidential campaign in 1844, however, he came out for abolition. Brigham Young tacitly supported slaveholding, declaring that although Utah was not suited for slavery the practice was ordained by God. In 1851 Apostle Orson Hyde said the church would not interfere in relations between master and slave.

"The Legislature formally sanctioned slaveholding in 1852 but cautioned against inhumane treatment and stipulated that slaves could be declared free if their masters abused them. Records document the sale of a number of slaves in Utah."

(Jeffrey D. Nichols, in "History Blazer," April 1995, cited on "Utah History to Go: Slavery in Utah," under "Pionners and Cowboys," at: http://historytogo.utah.gov/utah_chapters/pioneers_and_cowboys/slaveryinutah.html)



Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 03/03/2012 06:48PM by steve benson.

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: Chromesthesia ( )
Date: March 05, 2012 07:08AM

I can't even understand for the life of me why someone would want to be part of a group that doesn't even treat you equally and give you an equal place in heaven. http://www.examiner.com/lds-church-in-national/a-reply-to-christopher-hitchen-s-slate-article How do they just whitewash their own history?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: EssexExMo ( )
Date: March 05, 2012 09:38AM

what the heck is a servitor for all eternity?

I get the gist, but is this a 'black' thin, or is it because she was single, or what.........can someone please explain?

Options: ReplyQuote
Posted by: oddcouplet ( )
Date: March 05, 2012 09:57AM

Smith and the early church waffled quite a bit on slavery. Generally, they were against it when they were headquartered in a free state such as Ohio and Illinois, and supportive of it when they were in a slave state such as Missouri. The generally pro-slavery Missourians were very sensitive about this, and the suspicion that the Mormons were predominantly abolitionist was probably one of the factors that contributed to the friction in Missouri.

Utah was a different story. The Kansas-Nebraska Act permitted each territory to decide whether or not it wanted slavery. Utah was the only territory that voted to become a slave territory. At any one time during the period from slavery's adoption by the territorial legislature in 1852 until its abolition by federal order in 1862, there were about 30 African-American slaves in Utah. There were many more enslaved Indians, though there's no way to be sure of the exact number.

Options: ReplyQuote
Go to Topic: PreviousNext
Go to: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In


Screen Name: 
Your Email (optional): 
Subject: 
Spam prevention:
Please, enter the code that you see below in the input field. This is for blocking bots that try to post this form automatically.
       **  ********   ********  **    **  **    ** 
       **  **     **  **    **   **  **   ***   ** 
       **  **     **      **      ****    ****  ** 
       **  ********      **        **     ** ** ** 
 **    **  **     **    **         **     **  **** 
 **    **  **     **    **         **     **   *** 
  ******   ********     **         **     **    **