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StudMuff

Are black people...

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descendants of Cain?

I was having an argument with a person and he said that the "Mormon Bible" (You always know people don't know what they're talking about when they say "Mormon Bible") states that black people are the "Soulless descendants of Cain".

What exactly does the BoM say concerning the lineage of black people?

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Nothing. The Book of Mormon doesn't talk about Cain or descendants of Cain.

It does talk about the Lamanites "Marking" themselves, and this was part of some curse because they rejected the light they had so they got a darker skin. (something to that effect). Nothing about Cain, the stuff about Cain is more in the bible and in the Pearl of Great price.

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Brigham Young believed and taught that blacks were descendants of Cain. Where did he get this? From his Protestant background. In fact, the Southern Baptist Church broke away from the American Baptist Church over the issue of slavery, and the SBC's view that blacks were supposed to be slaves, based upon their reading of Noah's curse of Canaan, his grandson (who they also believed was a descendant of Cain).

So the "Mormon Bible" which is the same Bible every Christian uses, can be read in such a way as to believe blacks are cursed, and should be slaves. Fortunately, most religions now reject that view, including Mormons and Southern Baptists.

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What exactly does the BoM say concerning the lineage of black people?

Here's something the Book of Mormon says, not specifically about anyone's lineage, but about how God thinks about things:

For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

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You have to remember the treatment of blacks was not just a religious issue. Most people were not very kind to blacks, Asians and Indians.

It was worse in the south . The whole country started to come about and change . The church in the beginning had so many problems with the government could you imagine if the issue of blacks was on the table. Everything has a time and when the proclamation was made to allow blacks to hold the priesthood was the time. I learned some of this from a talk I saw on BYU TV and it was a mixed race couple talking. Brigham Young was a great man and his faults you see were just a symptom of the times he lived in he wasn't much different than many men of his time. he has alot of good council and I would hope you could get past the race issue and see it.

So glad you are here.:)

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Personally, I don't care for Brigham Young or some of the racist ideology in the church's past- however I know what is true NOW which means the world to me. I am glad to be a mixed race soon to be LDS woman.

The Lord gives us prophets that are still men with weaknesses and imperfections. Step by step, the Church comes into perfection, and hopefully the members (and prophets) along with it. God reveals things to the prophets as the membership is ready for truths.

We need to remember that Brigham Young had flaws. But when you consider what he had to deal with, his flawed teachings compared to his wonderful works and teachings are few and far between. President Young was very opinionated and forceful. He had to be, in order to maintain order in the wilderness. No other way would he have been able to build a society in the west, stretching from Mexico to Canada, Utah to California.

All this, while having his small group of saints threatened by American soldiers, Indians, anti-Mormons, politicians, and emigrants.

So, while I do not consider him a perfect person, I do look at the majority of his actions and teachings as wonderful and marvelous to have. And if we focus on the 98% of positive things he stated, rather than on the 2% of wrong-stuff, we will find a very good man doing his best to help the Lord build Zion in the desert.

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My ancestor, John Smith Park (first child born in Orem/Provo Bench), said that as a young boy, he would take the sheep up to pasture in the hills. The Indians would stomp on his bare feet until he was forced to give up his sack lunch.

If that's part of the "Indian humor", then you can see how persecuted 10 year old Mormon boys must have felt at the time....

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You have to remember the treatment of blacks was not just a religious issue. Most people were not very kind to blacks, Asians and Indians.

It was worse in the south . The whole country started to come about and change . The church in the beginning had so many problems with the government could you imagine if the issue of blacks was on the table. Everything has a time and when the proclamation was made to allow blacks to hold the priesthood was the time. I learned some of this from a talk I saw on BYU TV and it was a mixed race couple talking. Brigham Young was a great man and his faults you see were just a symptom of the times he lived in he wasn't much different than many men of his time. he has alot of good council and I would hope you could get past the race issue and see it.

So glad you are here.:)

We don't have to imagine, the politically charged issue of the treatment and integration of blacks WAS on the table in the beginning. We need not theorize about it, but simply open our Church history and we can see that Joseph Smith and the priesthood holders operating upon his keys brought 'free people of color' into the Church and into Nauvoo. It is further a fact that the Priesthood was extended and available to these early black saints. Missions were served by black latter-day saints. This was indeed a fact that brought further friction to the LDS and non-LDS relationship at that time.

Further, the teaching of the gospel to slaves without any permission from their masters was an accusation brought against the Mormons. It is possible that LDS missionaries mistakenly did so. Perhaps some historian more educated than myself could offer an example. Strong statements and rules regarding teaching slaves only with the blessing of their masters from Joseph Smith and Church leadership were not enough to keep LDS missionaries out of accusations and persecutions related to attempts to free slaves. They were accused of attempts to orchestrate a slave revolt or some underground railroad-like effort.

Joseph Smith ran for President of the U.S. in 1844 with a strong abolitionist stance in his platform. Some have imagined that other statements of his such as 'we are not trying to set the negros free' constituted a flip-flop on the issue. However, it must be understood that these statements were not any rejection of abolitionist policy, but a disavowal of alleged attempts to circumvent the law and free the slaves through violence or deception.

Now it is possible that many saints sought to hide their charity and feeling for black Americans as did many other whites under the social pressures of that time. It is very possible that many members even harbored racist views in spite of direction from the LORD, the scriptures, and the prophet Joseph Smith.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to determine the minds of the church leaders throughout the period from the exodus to the west to 1978 on the matter. There were indeed many in the Church advocating the abolition, civil rights, and the availability of the priesthood and temple ordinances to blacks. Among those who were not, was an interpretation of scripture that could have indeed been geniune. Regardless, the policy was only based on the interpretation of scripture and not on any revelation and this fact was simply stated by Gordon B. Hinckley on 60 Minutes in 1997.

-a-train

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no human race has ever been soul less as far as i know??!!:saint: even as a child i couldn't see why prejudice ever existed. i have some mixed races in my family tree (BLACK,MEXICAN, and ORIENTLE ) they are so beautiful . i love them all !!!! i wish the world would get over this " HATE TRAP " that satan has ensnared upon it and tell satan we are no longer blind, deaf and dumb and will not except it any more. every body should be proud of their race , but what few choose to interbreed have that right or God would not allow it to be possible. PEACE, LOVE and EQUALITY to ALL in the name of JESUS CHRIST AMEN. :ainfro: = :grouphug:

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no human race has ever been soul less as far as i know??!!:saint: even as a child i couldn't see why prejudice ever existed. i have some mixed races in my family tree (BLACK,MEXICAN, and ORIENTLE ) they are so beautiful . i love them all !!!! i wish the world would get over this " HATE TRAP " that satan has ensnared upon it and tell satan we are no longer blind, deaf and dumb and will not except it any more. every body should be proud of their race , but what few choose to interbreed have that right or God would not allow it to be possible. PEACE, LOVE and EQUALITY to ALL in the name of JESUS CHRIST AMEN. :rainfro: = :grouphug:

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Very interesting post, a-train. I remember as a kid when wards in my home town of El Paso, Texas were integrated, no longer "Spanish speaking" or "English Speaking" wards with racial/cultural lines.

I remember all the grown-ups being in such a stir. There was a lot of pride and resentment. Funny thing is, though, all the kids my age were in our own world, making friends and enjoying each other's company. It's amazing how children "learn" the kind of hate or at least discrimination from parents. There were one or two kids who, of course, inherited that trait, but for the most part there were no racial lines among my generation. It took one generation (maybe two) to get over that.

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Wow Ram I wish you could have taken it as it was meant. Not literal shall we go int the treatment if Indians by all kinds of well meaning white folks who just wanted to destroy them and take their land? Or maybe we could talk about all the disease the white man brought on the Indians.

have you heard the word levity ? you have no sense of humor so very sad for you...........:chillpill::hippie::usaflag:Blessings and enlightenment always

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My ancestor, John Smith Park (first child born in Orem/Provo Bench), said that as a young boy, he would take the sheep up to pasture in the hills. The Indians would stomp on his bare feet until he was forced to give up his sack lunch.

This could be part of a history flashback on the Simpsons, with Bart taking the place of John Park Smith and Nelson being the Indian foot stomper. "You givem me sack lunch." "No way man, eat my shorts," young John Smith would reply. Then the foot stomping would begin.

;)

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Brigham Young believed and taught that blacks were descendants of Cain. Where did he get this? From his Protestant background.

That's unfortunate, because one hallmark of Protestantism is the primacy of Scripture, and even a quick glance at Scripture reveals that all of the descendants of Cain were destroyed by the Flood.

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Not that simple.

It is speculated that Egyptus, the wife of Ham (a son of Noah) was a descendant of Cain through a man named Canaan. The Children of Ham would therefore be of that lineage. The Cushites were a dark-skinned people who were the descendents of Cush, the son of Ham. Also descending from Ham were the Egyptians and the Lybians. Additionally, Ham and Egyptus had a son named Canaan whose descendents inhabited Palestine, not Egypt.

Abraham 1:26-27 most certainly says that there was a lineage that did not have the right of Priesthood. Now the debate has long been whether the reference to the 'blood of the Canaanites' referred to simply the descendents of Canaan, the Son of Ham, or all the children of Ham because of their mother's lineage through Canaan who was of the lineage of Cain.

A big part of the argument for a Cainite lineage for Egyptus is the fact that the Egyptians didn't descend from Canaan, the son of Ham, but through Mizraim. How then were they Canaanites? It is believed that all the Hamites were Canaanites through their mother Egyptus, but the Canaan referred to is a pre-flood Canaan who was a descendent of Cain.

Now are we beginning to see the reason for confusion and interpretation? If indeed the descendants of this pre-flood Canaan were not to hold the priesthood, is this ban lifted? When was is lifted? Did the ban extend into this dispensation? If it has, when will it be lifted? These were the questions facing our church leaders until 1978.

-a-train

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Not that simple.

It is speculated that Egyptus, the wife of Ham (a son of Noah) was a descendant of Cain through a man named Canaan. The Children of Ham would therefore be of that lineage. The Cushites were a dark-skinned people who were the descendents of Cush, the son of Ham. Also descending from Ham were the Egyptians and the Lybians. Additionally, Ham and Egyptus had a son named Canaan whose descendents inhabited Palestine, not Egypt.

Abraham 1:26-27 most certainly says that there was a lineage that did not have the right of Priesthood. Now the debate has long been whether the reference to the 'blood of the Canaanites' referred to simply the descendents of Canaan, the Son of Ham, or all the children of Ham because of their mother's lineage through Canaan who was of the lineage of Cain.

A big part of the argument for a Cainite lineage for Egyptus is the fact that the Egyptians didn't descend from Canaan, the son of Ham, but through Mizraim. How then were they Canaanites? It is believed that all the Hamites were Canaanites through their mother Egyptus, but the Canaan referred to is a pre-flood Canaan who was a descendent of Cain.

Now are we beginning to see the reason for confusion and interpretation? If indeed the descendants of this pre-flood Canaan were not to hold the priesthood, is this ban lifted? When was is lifted? Did the ban extend into this dispensation? If it has, when will it be lifted? These were the questions facing our church leaders until 1978.

-a-train

Another problem with this belief that the Canaanites were descendants of a black Cain, is that archaeological digs and research have proven that the Canaanites and Philistines were not black. The Canaanites were Semites, and the Philistines were descended from the Sea People that came from the Isles of Greece.

We have to remember that all scripture was written by prophets and inspired people that were imperfect, and often wrote things to the best of their understanding.

Jacob wrote that the Lamanites were all living in tents, like half naked animals. Yet a little later, we have Ammon finding them living in cities with buildings and complex political structures (vassal kingships). Clearly, Jacob only saw the Lamanites dwelling in the demilitarized jungle zone, and never saw the structure that really was there.

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Well, this points out the confusion in the term 'Canaanites'. The Bible clearly says that Ham had a son named Canaan and that his descendants were known as Canaanites. Now, regardless of whoever else may have been called Canaanites, whoever was a real descendent of Canaan, the son of Ham, could not have been a descendent of Shem (a Shemite, or a Semite) except through a seperate line through intermarriage between the tribes.

Now it is entirely possible, that the people found living in the land of Canaan by Moses and the people of Israel could have been Semites. But if that is the case, these people therefore were not descendents of Canaan, the son of Ham.

It is further possible that a great deal of mixing could have occured early on, and the terms Canaanite, Cushite, Shemite, etc. could have been more of a patriarchal or social designation. For example, a Shemite woman could marry a Cushite and her children and family would be considered Cushite.

To this day, a Jew is defined under Jewish law to be so by virtue of a Jewish mother. A half-Jew would be considered under the law, a full Jew. So a great deal of dillution and inter-marriage could have occured through the centuries and a modern Jew could have but a tiny amount of Jewish blood.

It is possible that some of those immigrating to the state of Israel today have less of the blood of Israel in them than the Palestinians, who knows.

We know that it is not our actual lineage that brings us into the Abrahamic Covenant and into the house of Israel. For God is able of stones to raise up children to Abraham. The confusion regarding the ban of the priesthood has now been wiped away by the glorious light of revelation.

-a-train

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When this issue comes up, I like to share this scripture:

  • 2 Ne. 26: 33

    33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

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When this issue comes up, I like to share this scripture:

  • 2 Ne. 26: 33

    33 For none of these iniquities come of the Lord; for he doeth that which is good among the children of men; and he doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.

The wisdom of men perishes in the sight of God. No wonder I love this book so much.

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