Mormon Quotes

Slavery

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 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
I am neither an abolitionist nor a pro‑slavery man. If I could have been influenced by private injury to choose one side in preference to the other, I should certainly be against the pro‑slavery side of the question, for it was pro‑slavery men that pointed the bayonet at me and my [p. 490] brethren in Missouri.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
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.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, un‑comely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:290 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
It is not the prerogative of the President of the United States to meddle with this matter, and Congress is not allowed, according to the [p.40] Constitution, to legislate upon it. If Utah was admitted into the Union as a sovereign State, and we chose to introduce slavery here, it is not their business to meddle with it; and even if we treated our slaves in an oppressive manner, it is still none of their business and they ought not to meddle with it.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:39 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
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
Those laws are printed ‑‑ you can read for yourself. If slaves are brought here by those who owned them in the states, we do not favor their escape from the service of those owners.
Brigham Young, Brigham Young interviewed by Horace Greeley for NY Tribune article Aug 20, 1859
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 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
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 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
The rank, rabid abolitionists, whom I call black‑hearted Republicans, have set the whole national fabric on fire.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
Brother Robbins also spoke of what they term the nigger‑drivers and nigger‑worshippers.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:24 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
I can tell all the world that we mean to sustain the Constitution of the United States and all righteous laws. We are not by any means treasoners, secessionists, or abolitionists. We are neither negro‑drivers nor negro‑worshippers. We belong to the family of heaven, and we intend to walk over every unrighteous and unholy principle, and view everybody and everything as it is before God, and put everything in its place.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:29 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
What is the cause of all this waste of life and treasure? To tell it in a plain, truthful way, one portion of the country wish to raise their negroes or black slaves and the other portion wish to free them, and, apparently, to almost worship them.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:49 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
I should never fight one moment about it [slavery], for the cause of human improvement is not in the least advanced by the dreadful war [the Civil War] which now convulses our unhappy country.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:49 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Brigham Young
According to accounts, in all probability not less than one million men, from twenty to forty years of age, have gone to the silent grave in this useless war [the Civil War], in a little over two years, and all to gratify the caprice of a few ‑‑ I do not think I have a suitable name for them, shall we call them abolitionists, slaveholders, religious bigots, or political aspirants?
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:49 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
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
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
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 no abolitionist, neither am I a proslavery man; I hate some of their principles and especially some of their conduct, as I do the gates of hell. The Southerners make the negroes, and the Northerners worship them; this is all the difference between slaveholders and abolitionists. I would like the President of the United States and all the world to hear this.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 10:110 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
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 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
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
[Are the Mormons abolitionists?] No, unless delivering the people from priestcraft, and the priests from the power of Satan, should be considered abolition. But we do not believe in setting the negroes free.
Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol 3, Ch 3, p 28‑30
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
John Taylor
This Greeley is one of their popular characters in the East, and one that supports the stealing of Niggers...
John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 5:119 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
John Taylor
The [anti‑slavery] Republicans, you know, in the States, have been very fond for a long time of talking about a higher law of some kind. We, too, have a higher law, not a negro law particularly, but a law that emanates from God; a law that is calculated to promote the best interests and the happiness of this people, and of the world when they will listen to it.
John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 11:49 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
John Taylor
The higher law, of which those parties speak, refers particularly to the liberation of the negro, wherein they conceive that that is paramount to everything else, and that to it all barriers and obstacles, whether of constitution or law, shall give way; but that is a question which I shall not discuss here this afternoon, but leave it to other parties.
John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 11:9 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
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
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
Orson Pratt
This great war [Civil War] is only a small degree of chastisement, just the beginning; nothing compared to that which God has spoken concerning this nation, if they will not repent.
Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses 12:244 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
George A. Smith
There is a great deal said about the origin of the trouble between the North and the South; some said it was the almighty negro; but the fact is, the people did not respect the [p. 180a] Constitution of our country; for the Latter‑day Saints were driven in violation thereof from Jackson County to Clay, and from Clay to Caldwell and Davis counties, and then from the State of Missouri to Illinois, and from Illinois to the Rocky Mountains, robbed and plundered of their property, their women ravished, their leaders murdered, and there was not a solitary man arose to enforce the laws or the Constitution in our defense.
George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses 11:27 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Millennial Star
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 members of the Church.
Millennial Star, Millenial Star, July 16, 1833
Millennial Star
Slaves are real estate in this and other states, and wisdom would dictate great care among the branches of the Church of Christ on this subject. So long as we have no special rule in the Church, as to people of color, let prudence guide, and while they, as well as we, are in the hands of a merciful God, we say: Shun every appearance of evil.
Millennial Star, Millenial Star, July 16, 1833
Millennial Star
As to slaves, we have nothing to say.
Millennial Star, Millenial Star, July 16, 1833
Erastus Snow
The extremists of the north, the anti‑slavery agitators heeded it not; and neither party approached the subject with any earnest determination to effect an honorable settlement of this question.
Erastus Snow, Journal of Discourses 23:34 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Times and Seasons
History and common observation show that these predictions have been fulfilled to the letter. The descendants of Ham, besides a black skin which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart, have been servants to both Shem and Japheth, and the abolitionists are trying to make void the curse of God, but it will require more power than man possesses to counteract the decrees of eternal wisdom.
Times and Seasons, Times and Seasons, Vol.6, Pg.857
John Morgan
Brother Taylor says that language cannot express the conduct, the feelings, and the spirit that are upon the people in the States. Well, suppose you take up a labor and swear about them, what are the worst words that can be spoken? 'Nigger stealing,' Mobs or Vigilance Committees, and Rotten‑hearted Administrators of a Government are three of the meanest and wickedest words that can be spoken. I expect that somebody will write that back to the States, as being treasonable, because spoken by a Latter‑day Saint.
John Morgan, Journal of Discourses 23:6 (JournalOfDiscourses.com)
Orson Hyde
We feel it to be our duty to define our position in relation to the subject of slavery. There are several men in the valley of the Salt Lake from the Southern States, who have their slaves with them.
Orson Hyde, Millennial Star, 1851, p. 63
B. H. Roberts
Mr. Greeley was disappointed in the lack of abolition sentiment in Salt Lake City.
B. H. Roberts, History of the Church 4:533
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
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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