Mormon Quotes

Civil rights

Brigham Young
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.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:172
Brigham Young
Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race ‑ that they should be the "servant of servants;" and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290
Joseph Smith
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 member of the Church.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 1:378‑379
Joseph Smith
Had I anything to do with the negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species and put them on a national equalization.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 5, pages 218 ‑ 219
Joseph Fielding Smith
Ham, through Egyptus, continued the curse which was placed upon the seed of Cain. Because of that curse this dark race was separated and isolated from all the rest of Adam's posterity before the flood, and since that time the same condition has continued, and they have been 'despised among all people.' This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith .... we all know it is due to his teachings that the negro today is barred from the Priesthood.
Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pages 110‑111
Spencer W. Kimball
I would like to make this very emphatic. A couple has not committed sin if an Indian boy and a white girl are married, or vice versa.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, "The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," p. 302
Spencer W. Kimball
If your son thinks he loves this girl, he would not want to inflict upon her loneliness and unhappiness; and if he thinks that his affection for her will solve all her problems, he should do some more mature thinking.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, "The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," p. 303
Spencer W. Kimball
Marriage statistics and our general experience convince us that marriage is not easy. It is difficult when all factors are favorable. The divorces increase constantly, even where the spouses have the same general background of race, religion, finances, education, and otherwise.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, "The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," p. 302
Spencer W. Kimball
We have had some of our fine young people who have crossed the lines. We hope they will be very happy, but experience of the brethren through a hundred years has proved to us that marriage is a very difficult thing under any circumstances and the difficulty increases in interrace marriages.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, Brigham Young University devotional, 5 January 1965
Spencer W. Kimball
We are unanimous, all of the Brethren, in feeling and recommending that Indians marry Indians, and Mexicans marry Mexicans; the Chinese marry Chinese and the Japanese marry Japanese; that the Caucasians marry the Caucasians, and the Arabs marry Arabs.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, "The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," p. 303
Spencer W. Kimball
Now, the brethren feel that it is not the wisest thing to cross racial lines in dating and marrying.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, Brigham Young University devotional, 5 January 1965
Spencer W. Kimball
When one considers marriage, it should be an unselfish thing, but there is not much selflessness when two people of different races plan marriage. They must be thinking selfishly of themselves. They certainly are not considering the problems that will beset each other and that will beset their children.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, "The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball," p. 303
Ezra Taft Benson
What do you know about the dangerous civil rights agitation in Mississippi! do you fear the destruction of all vestiges of state government?
Ezra Taft Benson, 135th Annual Conference
Ezra Taft Benson
What are we doing to fight it? Before I left for Europe I warned how the communists were using the civil rights movement to promote revolution and eventual takeover of this country.
Ezra Taft Benson, 135th Annual Conference
Bruce R. McConkie
In a broad general sense, caste systems have their origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1958 edition, pages 107‑108
Mark E. Petersen
When he told Enoch not preach the gospel to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
Now we are generous with the Negro. We are willing that the Negro have the highest education. I would be willing to let every Negro drive a Cadillac if they could afford it. I would be willing that they have all the advantages they can get out of life in the world. But let them enjoy these things among themselves. I think the Lord segregated the Negro and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, 'what God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.' Only here we have the reverse of the thing ‑ what God hath separated, let not man bring together again.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
What is our advice with respect to intermarriage with Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiians and so on? I will tell you what advice I give personally. If a boy or girl comes to me claiming to be in love with a Chinese or Japanese or a Hawaiian or a person of any other dark race, I do my best to talk them out of it... I teach against inter‑marriage of all kinds.
Mark E. Petersen, 'Race Problems As They Affect The Church', August 27th, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
The discussion on civil rights, especially over the last 20 years, has drawn some very sharp lines. It has blinded the thinking of some of our own people, I believe. They have allowed their political affiliations to color their thinking to some extent, and then, of course, they have been persuaded by some of the arguments that have been put forth. We who teach in the Church certainly must have our feet on the ground and not to be led astray by the philosophies of men on this subject.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, August 27, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
From this and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. This is his objective and we must face it.
Mark E. Petersen, 'Race Problems As They Affect The Church', August 27th, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that, we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that they used to say about sin, "First we pity, then endure, then embrace."
Mark E. Petersen, 'Race Problems as they Affect the Church'
Mark E. Petersen
Now let's talk about segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
We mustn't intermarry with the Negro. Why? If I were to marry a Negro woman and have children by her, my children would all be cursed as to the priesthood. Do I want my children cursed as to the priesthood? If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn't any argument, therefore, as to inter‑marriage with the Negro, is there?
Mark E. Petersen, "Race problems as they affect the church"
Mark E. Petersen
I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity of sitting down in a cafe where white people eat. He isn't just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn't that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, 'First we pity, then endure, then embrace'.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, August 27, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
Now what is our policy in regard to intermarriage? As to the Negro, of course, there is only one possible answer. We must not intermarry with the Negro...
Mark E. Petersen, 'Race Problems As They Affect The Church', August 27th, 1954
Mark E. Petersen
The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negro we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that he placed a dark skin upon them as a curse ‑‑ as a punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade intermarriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron curtain there.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954
First Presidency
Your ideas, as we understand them, appear to contemplate the intermarriage of the Negro and white races, a concept which has heretofore been most repugnant to most normal‑minded people from the ancient patriarchs until now.... there is a growing tendency, particularly among some educators, as it manifests itself in this area, toward the breaking down of race barriers in the matter of intermarriage between whites and blacks, but it does not have the sanction of the Church and is contrary to Church doctrine.
First Presidency, First Presidency (George Albert Smith) letter to Virgil Sponberg (critic of the priesthood ban), May 5, 1947, quoted in Mormonism's Negro Doctrine, p. 42
Armand Mauss
My plea, then to the civil rights organizations and to all critics of the Mormon Church is: get off our backs! ... agitation over the 'Negro issue' by non‑Mormon groups, or even by Mormon liberals, is likely simply to increase the resistance to change.
Armand Mauss, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Winter 1967, pp. 38‑39
John L. Lund
Brigham Young made a very strong statement on this matter when he said, '... 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.' God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be to sin. Those who willfully sin with their eyes open to this wrong will not be surprised to find that they will be separated from the presence of God in the world to come. This is spiritual death.... It does not matter if they are one‑sixth Negro or one‑one hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is still the same.... To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a 'Nation of Priesthood holders.'"
John L. Lund, The Church and the Negro, pp. 54‑55, 1967
Arthur M. Richardson
Also, the gospel was not carried to this segregated black group... the Negroes tread the earth with black dishonorable bodies as a judgment of God because at the time of decision in the pre‑existence they were faint‑hearted and exhibited an infirmity of purpose — they were not valiant in the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, they were entitled to no better earthly lineage than that of the first early murderer, Cain. They were to be the 'servant of servants.' They were to be segregated. No effort was made to carry the gospel to them as a people.
Arthur M. Richardson, That Ye May Not Be Deceived, pp. 9‑10
Marvin S. Hill
Even Joseph's 'calling for the end of slavery by 1850' in his Presidential campaign is not so liberal as Brodie supposes.... Joseph Smith was, therefore, to some degree a racist, a segregationist, a colonizer, and only incidentally a supporter of abolition. He had some elements of liberalism in his thinking, but these had definite limits. His record... is marked with ambiguity.
Marvin S. Hill, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1970, p. 99
O. Kendall White
The late sixties found Brigham Young University the focal point of militant protests. Sports events provided the context for protests, boycotts, disrupted games, mass demonstrations, and "riots." At one point the conflict among schools within the Western Athletic Conference became so intense that the conference almost disbanded. Administrators, already embroiled in student demonstrations over Vietnam, began to separate themselves from the Mormon school. Stanford University, for instance, severed all relations with Brigham Young University.
O. Kendall White, "Abandoning an Unpopular Policy: An Analysis of the Decision Granting the Mormon Priesthood to Blacks," Sociological Analysis, v. 41, p. 233, Fall 1980
Donald Ira French
The revelation that the church is talking about with respect to the Negro and the priesthood should have been sought 50 years ago — not now when we are forced into looking for one. Even if a revelation should come now, we have compromised our position because it looks as if we have been forced into seeking it, which will be true.
Donald Ira French, Time Magazine, Nov. 1, 1963
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