Mormon Quotes

Curse of dark skin

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
We are now going to the Lamanites, to whom we intend to be messengers of instruction... We will show them that in consequence of their transgressions a curse has been inflicted upon them ‑ in the darkness of their skins.
Brigham Young, The Abominations of Mormonism Exposed, pp. 58‑59
Brigham Young
Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we now are entitled to. The volition of the creature is free; this is a law of their existence, and the Lord cannot violate his own law; were he to do that, he would cease to be God. He has placed life and death before his children, and it is for them to choose. If they choose life, they receive the blessings of life; if they chose death, they must abide the penalty. This is a law which has always existed from all eternity, and will continue to exist throughout all the eternities to come.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:272
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
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
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
You must not think, from what I say, that I am opposed to slavery. No! The negro is damned, and is to serve his master till God chooses to remove the curse of Ham.
Brigham Young, New York Herald, May 4, 1855
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
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
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
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
You may inquire of the intelligent of the world whether they can tell why the aborigines of this country are dark, loathsome, ignorant, and sunken into the depths of degradation ...When the Lord has a people, he makes covenants with them and gives unto them promises: then, if they transgress his law, change his ordinances, and break his covenants he has made with them, he will put a mark upon them, as in the case of the Lamanites and other portions of the house of Israel; but by‑and‑by they will become a white and delightsome people.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:336
Joseph Smith
And the Lord had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
Joseph Smith, 2 Nephi 5:21
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 the skins of the Lamanites [Native Americans] were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
Joseph Smith, Alma, chapter 3, verse 6
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
Joseph Smith
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.... the first mention we have of slavery is found in the Holy Bible.... And so far from that prediction being averse to the mind of God, it [slavery] 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.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, v. 2, p. 438
Joseph Smith
And the skins of the Lamanites [Native Americans] were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
Joseph Smith, Book of Mormon, Alma, chapter 3, verse 6
Joseph Smith
And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
Joseph Smith, Alma 3:6
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
And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites; And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites.
Joseph Smith, 3 Nephi 2:14‑15
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
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
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
Neither could [blacks] have been a part of those who rebelled and were cast down, for the latter had not the privilege of tabernacling in the flesh. Somewhere along the line were these spirits, indifferent perhaps, and possibly neutral in the war. We have no definite knowledge concerning this. But I learn this lesson from it, brethren and sisters, and I believe we all should, that it does not pay in religious matters, matters that pertain to our eternal salvation, to be indifferent, neutral, or lukewarm.
George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, CR April 1939, Second Day‑Morning Meeting
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
Joseph Fielding Smith
That negro race, for instance, have been placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits, few will doubt. It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born.
Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, page 43
Joseph Fielding Smith
When the Lamanites [Native Americans] fully repent and sincerely receive the gospel, the Lord has promised to remove the dark skin.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, v. 3, p. 123, 1953
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
Joseph Fielding Smith
After the people again forgot the Lord and dissensions arose, some of them took upon themselves the name Lamanites and the dark skin returned. When the Lamanites fully repent and sincerely receive the gospel, the Lord has promised to remove the dark skin. The Lord declared by revelation that, 'before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as a rose.' The dark skin of those who have come into the Church is no longer to be considered a sign of the curse. Many of these converts and delightsome and have the Spirit of the Lord. Perhaps there are some Lamanites today who are losing the dark pigment. Many of the members of the Church among the Catawba Indians of the South could readily pass as of the white race; also in other parts of the South.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, v. 3, p. 123, 1953
Joseph Fielding Smith
After the people again forgot the Lord and dissensions arose, some of them [modern Native Americans] took upon themselves the name Lamanites and the dark skin returned.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, v. 3, p. 123, 1953
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
Spencer W. Kimball
The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, October 1960; Improvement Era, December 1960, pp922‑923
Spencer W. Kimball
We are greatly conscious of the fact that among the Lamanites ‑ as well as among all peoples of other countries ‑ we have a responsibility to see that the gospel touches their hearts and minds and that they understand it.
Spencer W. Kimball, October 1980 General Conference; Ensign, November 1980, p. 76
Spencer W. Kimball
At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen‑year‑old daughter we represent, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather.... These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, October 1960; Improvement Era, December 1960, pp922‑923
Spencer W. Kimball
In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos, five were darker but equally delightsome.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, October 1960; Improvement Era, December 1960, pp922‑923
Spencer W. Kimball
These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.
Spencer W. Kimball, Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference, October 1960; Improvement Era, December 1960, pp922‑923
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
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
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
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
Mark E. Petersen
It does not matter if they are one‑sixth Negro or one‑hundred and sixth, the curse of no Priesthood is the same. If an individual who is entitled to the Priesthood marries a Negro, the Lord has decreed that only spirits who are not eligible for the Priesthood will come to that marriage as children. To intermarry with a Negro is to forfeit a nation of Priesthood holders.
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
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
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)
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
John J. Stewart
When God allows a spirit to take on a Negroid body, do you suppose He is unaware of the fact that he will suffer a social stigma? Therefore, if you say this Church is unjust in not allowing the Negro to bear the Priesthood, you must, to be consistent, likewise say that God is even more unjust in giving him a black skin.
John J. Stewart, John J. Stewart, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 154
John J. Stewart
There are Negroes born into families of wealth and refinement, others who are blessed with great talents, and there are those born into the lowest classes of society in Africa, in squalor and ignorance, living out their lives in a fashion akin to that of the animals. Does not this infinite variety of circumstance give further evidence of man's being assigned that station in life which he has merited by his performance in the premortal existence.
John J. Stewart, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 44
Alvin R. Dyer
I want to talk to you a little bit now about something that is not missionary work, and what I say is NOT to be given to your investigators [potential converts] by any matter of means.... Why is it that you are white and not colored? God is not unjust to cause a righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black race.
Alvin R. Dyer, "For What Purpose?," Missionary Conference in Oslo, Norway, March 18, 1961
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