Mormon Quotes

Curse of Cain

Brigham Young
When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the priesthood and of coming into the Kingdom of God and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:142
Brigham Young
We consider [slavery] of divine institution, and not to be abolished until the curse pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants.
Brigham Young, Brigham Young interviewed by Horace Greeley for NY Tribune article Aug 20, 1859
Brigham Young
How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290
Brigham Young
The blood of Cain was more predominant in these Mexicans than that of Israel, and we thus condemn the mixing of Mormons with outsiders.
Brigham Young, Cultural 'Encystment' as a Cause of the Exodus from Mexico in 1912, Pacific Historical Review, v. 34, 1965, p. 447
Brigham Young
I am as much opposed to the principle of slavery as any man in the present acceptation or usage of the term, it is abused. I am opposed to abuseing [sic] that which God has decreed, to take a blessing, and make a curse of it. It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain for servants.... Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on the earth; we will sommons [sic] the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick [sic], and all the elders of Isreal [sic], suppose we summons them to apear [sic] here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be pertakers [sic] with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and the Kingdom of God leaves us to our fate.
Brigham Young, Brigham Young Addresses, Feb. 5, 1852
Brigham Young
Ham will continue to be servant of servants, as the Lord decreed, until the curse is removed. will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands.... Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.
Brigham Young, Millennial Star, Vol. 25, page 787; also published in Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, page 250
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
Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth. From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land. ... Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry.
Joseph Smith, Abraham 1:21‑24,27
Joseph Smith
In the evening debated with John C. Bennett and others to show that the Indians have greater cause to complain of the treatment of the whites, than the Negroes, or sons of Cain.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church 4:501
Joseph Smith
And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.
Joseph Smith, Moses 7:22
John Taylor
For instance, the descendants of Cain cannot cast off their skin of blackness, at once, and immediately, although every should of them should repent.... Cain and his posterity must wear the mark which God put upon them; and his white friends may wash the race of Cain with fuller's soap every day, they cannot wash away God's mark.
John Taylor, Millennial Star, v. 14, p. 418
John Taylor
And after the flood we are told that the curse that had been pronounced upon Cain was continued through Ham's wife, as he had married a wife of that seed. And why did it pass through the flood? because it was necessary that the devil should have a representation upon the earth as well as God;...
John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 22:304
Wilford Woodruff
And if any man mingle his seed with the seed of Cain the only way he could get rid of it or have Salvation would be to come forward and have his head cut off and spill his blood upon the ground ‑‑ it would also take the life of his children.
Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff's personal diary, 4:97
George Albert Smith
Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or allotted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world.
George Albert Smith, Official Statement of First Presidency issued on August 17, 1951
George Albert Smith
Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes. Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or alloted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world.
George Albert Smith, Message from the First Presidency ‑ The Church and the Negroid People, pp. 16‑17
George Albert Smith
We are told that Michael and his angels fought, and we understand that we stood with Christ our Lord, on the platform, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." I cannot conceive our Father consigning his children to a condition such as that of the negro race, if they had been valiant in the spirit world in that war in heaven.
George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, CR April 1939, Second Day‑Morning Meeting
Joseph Fielding Smith
Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race. A curse placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning.... we will also hope that blessings may eventually be given to our negro brethren, for they are our brethren‑children of God‑not withstanding their black covering emblematical of eternal darkness.
Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, pages 101‑102
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
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
Bruce R. McConkie
Noah's son Ham married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the Negro lineage through the flood.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.102,477
Bruce R. McConkie
As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born through this lineage...
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.102,477
Mark E. Petersen
Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood. This Negro, who, in the pre‑existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa‑‑if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre‑existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If 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 celestial glory.
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
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre‑mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality, and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the principle itself indicates that the coming to this earth and taking on mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintained their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.... Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or allotted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world.
First Presidency, Official Statement of First Presidency issued on August 17, 1951
Eugene England
False ideas that were invented to rationalize our earlier racist practices are still with us... a majority of bright, well‑educated Mormon students say they believe that blacks are descendants of Cain and Ham and thereby cursed and that skin color is an indication of righteousness in the premortal life. They tell me these ideas came from their parents or seminary and Sunday school teachers, and they have never questioned them.
Eugene England, "Becoming a World Religion: Blacks, the Poor ‑‑ All of Us," Sunstone, 21:2, no. 110 (June 1998)
Eugene England
This is a good time to remind ourselves that most Mormons are still in denial about the ban, unwilling to talk in Church settings about it, and that some Mormons still believe that Blacks were cursed by descent from Cain through Ham. Even more believe that Blacks, as well as other non-white people, come color-coded into the world, their lineage and even their class a direct indication of failures in a previous life.... I check occasionally in classes at BYU and find that still, twenty years after the revelation, a majority of bright, well-educated Mormon students say they believe that Blacks are descendants of Cain and Ham and thereby cursed and that skin color is an indication of righteousness in the pre-mortal life. They tell me these ideas came from their parents or Seminary and Sunday School teachers, and they have never questioned them. They seem largely untroubled by the implicit contradiction to basic gospel teachings.
Eugene England, Sunstone: 54–58
John L. Lund
First, [before the seed of Cain get the priesthood] all of Adam's children will have to resurrect and secondly, the seed of Abel must have an opportunity to possess the Priesthood. These events will not occur until sometime after the end of the millennium.
John L. Lund, The Church and the Negro, pp. 109‑110
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
Sterling M. McMurrin
The Saints would have been so much better off if they had never gone near Missouri because they... compromised their position by adopting an idea that already prevailed... that 'Negroes are cursed with a black skin and that they are intended as the curse of Noah on Canaan goes, to be servant of servants.'
Sterling M. McMurrin, "The Mormon Doctrine and the Negro," address given to the Salt Lake Branch of the NAACP., March 1969
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