Mormon Quotes

Racial segregation

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
Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on the earth; we will summons the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, the Bishopric, and all the Elders of Israel, suppose we summons them and appear 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 partakers 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 Kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain, the Church must go to destruction‑‑we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the Priesthood until that curse be removed.
Brigham Young, Speech by Gov. Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature, giving his views on slavery, Feb. 5, 1852
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
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
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
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
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
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
From the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith even until now, it has been the doctrine of the Church, never questioned by Church leaders, that the Negroes are not entitled to the full blessings of the Gospel.
George Albert Smith, Statement of The First Presidency on the Negro Question, July 17 1947, quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, pp.46‑7
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
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
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
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
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
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
Bruce R. McConkie
Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abra. 1:20‑27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord's doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527‑528
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
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
No person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood.
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
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
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
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
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 no man put asunder." Only here we have the reverse of the thing—what God hath separated, let no man bring together again.
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
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
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
God has commanded Israel not to intermarry. To go against this commandment of God would be in 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.
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
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
George Q. Cannon
The Chinaman, the Negro, and the Indian—each of them will have his rights under that kingdom, and yet not be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‑day Saints.
George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses 26:2
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
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