The Mormon Church's Racist Past
An ex-Mormon explains why blacks were viewed as cursed and banned from the LDS church
Mitt Romney has become the frontrunner for the GOP party. Far cry from his failed campaign run in 2008. One reason why he didn’t go far then; his connection to the Mormon church, formally known as the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Now, in 2012 the climate in America is a tad more accepting of a presidential candidate having a non-traditional faith. Either that or their distain for President Obama is so strong they’d vote for anyone regardless of faith (except Muslim) to get him out of office.
Yet we should just go focusing on how much money Romney has and turn a blind eye to his faith. The LDS church has a storied past, one that is very rarely addressed especially by the church. It’s also a history that hated blacks and considered them cursed and only valuable as servants to white Mormons in the after-life.
[ALSO READ “Young, Black & Mormon”]
Darrick Evenson was once a Mormon and after learning about the church’s stance on blacks decided to do some digging. He’s been sharing his findings for two decades and spoke with Loop 21 about some of the things the church is trying to erase from its past.
Loop 21: With Romney now in the national stage, what is the LDS church doing to clean up its image?
Darrick Evenson: The LDS Church has been involved in cleaning up its image for many decades. Since 1996, the Church has denied it ever taught that blacks were the cursed and inferior children of Cain, fit only, at best, to be servants of white Mormons in heaven. They are lying. The Mormon Church leaders deem it best to say and do as little as possible at this time, during the Romney campaign, as not to draw attention to themselves and past Mormon racist teachings. So, you won't hear a word from them, and Mormon leaders will continue to deny media interviews during Romney's campaign.
What impact will Mitt Romney have on the Church of Latter Day Saints if he wins the White House?
Evenson: Naturally, Mormon leaders hope that if Romney is elected President, that will give the Church a lot of free publicity. However, Mormon leaders also fear negative press, especially any and all questions concerning the Curse of Cain Doctrine and priesthood-ban policy. Mormon leaders will assure that they are never asked such questions, and they will continue to tell their PR people, LDS Church Public Affairs, to continue to "deny" that the Church "ever taught" the Curse of Cain Doctrine. So, they would see his potential presidency as bittersweet. However, they also know that a sitting President and former President will have a lot of power internationally, and I have no doubt that they will expect Romney to do the Church unspoken "favors" while he is President, under-the-table, and especially afterwards. Romney has sworn oaths of total and absolute obedience to Mormon leaders in a Mormon Temple, as all "temple-endowed" Mormons have. They'll expect him to be 100% obedient to the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, God's one and only representative on Earth, while he is U.S. President, before he is President, and after he is President. His future "Godhood" depends upon it.
Loop 21: There was a big push last year to show the church as diverse. The “I Am Mormon” ads showed black and Hispanic Mormons enjoying life. Are they really concerned with bringing in people of color or more with refuting their history of once excluding blacks?
Evenson: Mormon leaders are more concerned with "image" than with bringing blacks into the Church. For example, there are probably at least 20,000 African-American Mormons, but most African-American Mormons are "inactive" (don't attend Church) because they feel uncomfortable in white or Hispanic Mormon wards (congregations). Many black Mormons have asked for their own black wards (congregations) that would resemble Pentecostal black congregations, with black Mormon leadership, but the white Mormon leaders have denied them these wards, because Mormon leaders fear the American Media calling them "racists" again. For this reason, about 95% of African-American Mormons are "inactive". Mormon leaders really don't care. They are concerned far more with "image" than if the 20,000 or so African-American Mormons are attending a Mormon Church every Sunday or not. The Mormon Church is growing by leaps and bounds in black Africa. Mormon leaders can say, "We have 300,000 Members in black Africa, so we just can't be racists!" So, they are not worried if 95% of black American Mormons fall away and stop attending Church. "Image" is all important to them.
Loop 21: The founder of the Mormon faith, Joseph Smith and his successor Brigham Young taught that black people were descendants of Cain in the bible and were therefore cursed. This theory was referred to as the “Curse of Cain Doctrine,” which you outline on your website, and was used to exclude blacks from the church until 1978.
Evenson: I joined the Church in December of 1978. The first Mormon I saw preach on Sunday was a black Mormon. Months later I ran into anti-Mormon books in a local Christian bookstore, and first read about the Curse of Cain Doctrine. I was DEVASTATED! White Mormons refused to discuss it with me. However, I finally accepted it was from God, because I was told I had to, and that Prophets taught it and whatever a Prophet (Mormon leader) taught was the Will and Word of God. So, I very reluctantly accepted it. However, young Mormons are now told something totally different, that Mormon prophets never taught it, or if they did they were voicing their own opinions and not official Church doctrine. Younger Mormons are being lied to by their Mormon teachers on a daily basis. Black African Mormons are told nothing about the Curse of Cain doctrine or the policy that banned all "Negroes" from the Mormon priesthood and all Mormon temples for 130 years form 1848 to 1978.
Loop 21: How many other parts of their history has the church changed?
Evenson: That would take a thick book to talk about! Young Mormons are never told that Joseph Smith had 33 "wives" including his own foster daughters, and 11 of his "wives" were wives of men he sent on missions to England. Young Mormons are never told that Brigham Young had 29 wives and 56 children, or that he taught that Adam was God, or that the Sun and Moon were inhabited, or that inter-racial couples had to be "killed on the spot" along with their children. Young Mormons are never told "one word" about the Curse of Cain Doctrine and the priesthood-ban policy. Not a word. The Church has re-written its history, taking out all the "bad" parts and leaving only the "good" parts. They have changed the secret Masonic-like Mormon Temple Endowment ritual a number of times, with no explanation. As George Orwell wrote: "He who controls the present controls the past, and he who controls the past controls the future". Mormon leaders have become "The Party" in Orwell's "1984".
Loop 21: What are some of the churches fundamentals. The “I am Mormon” advertisements and websites didn’t specify any teachings or beliefs.
Evenson: The Church teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, but that the original Church "fell" soon after the Apostles died. For some reason, God waited until 1830 to restore the Only True Church via the Prophet Joseph Smith. If a Mormon is totally obedient to Mormon leaders all of his life, he may become a God in the Resurrection. His wife may become a Goddess. They will create their own planets, and "beget" spirit-children to dwell on those planets. Some of these planets will "fall" as Earth did, and require a Savior to reverse the effects of the Fall. So, the God will "step down" and choose one of his most beautiful spirit-daughters, and with her "beget" (literally) a new savior who will shed his blood in order to "save" that planet. This process continues for eternity. Up until June 8th, 1978, Mormons leaders said that "Negroes" could not become Gods and Goddesses, but they could, at best, become "eternal servants" to the Gods and Goddesses in the highest Mormon heaven, the Celestial Kingdom, if they were good Members of the Church. Naturally, very few blacks were Mormons during the priesthood-ban which was from 1848 to 1978. Today, there are over 400,000 black Mormons in the world, and that number is growing astronomically in black Africa. Ironically, in another 30 years, the Mormon Church will be predominantly black African, and there will be black African Apostles and perhaps a black African President ("Living Prophet"). Brigham Young must be rolling in his grave!
Loop 21: What impact will Romney in the white house have on the LDS church?
Evenson: Mitt Romney and many other super-rich Mormon men have in all probability received a secret ritual in the Salt Lake Mormon Temple called "The Second Anointing" that 95% of rank-and-file Mormons have never heard of. Basically, the secret ritual "ordains" a man to become a God in the Resurrection, and he can only lose his Godhood if he commits adultery or sheds innocent blood. He can lie, especially for the "good of the Church" and he'll still become a God. He just can't commit adultery or shed innocent blood. But, he also must be 100% obedient to the "Living Prophet" (the President of the Mormon Church) for the rest of his life, or he will lose his Godhood and his chances for polygamous marriage in heaven. This polygamous marriage in heaven includes having spirit-children, and also the "right" of Gods to "beget"--in the most literally and physical sense-- Saviors for fallen worlds with their most beautiful spirit-daughters. Mormon leaders taught that God the Father is an exalted White Man, who "begot" Jesus with Mary, one of his many spirit-daughters, in the exact same way that mortal men beget sons with mortal women. So, Romney will be obedient to the President of the Mormon Church if he becomes President of the Untied States; "if" he wants to become a God in the hereafter, and I'm assuming he does.
Loop 21: Does the church address race and racism now?
Evenson: The Church addresses "racism" by occasionally condemning it, which is a good thing. However, the Church is still lying about its own racist past, telling those who inquire that it "never taught" that:
- Blacks are the cursed children of Cain
- Black are less valiant in the War in Heaven
- Cain was a white man before he killed Abel, then God changed him into the first Negro
- Cain married his sister and God changed her into the second Negro
- Ham married a Negro woman, and God allowed this so that Satan could have representation on the Earth after the Flood, etc.
The Church is lying, equivocating, and covering-up its 130-year racist history i.e. the Curse of Cain Doctrine and Priesthood-Ban Policy. Lying and denying is easier for them then issuing a public apology, which would embarrass Church leaders. I'm starting a national campaign "The Mormon Church MUST Come Clean!" in the hopes of trying to force Mormon leaders to stop the Curse of Cain Cover-up and issue a public apology. If anyone wants to help in this, they can email me, email@example.com. I won't ask anyone for a "dime" (nor accept a dime) but I want the "word" to get out via the Internet. What Mormon leaders are doing is wrong, corrupt, and dishonest. It needs to stop. Thank you.
Darrick Evenson is a former Mormon missionary and apologist (defender of the Faith). He wrote a book ("The Gainsayers" 1989), which sold in Mormon bookstores for a decade. He resigned from the Mormon Church in 1996. Darrick is of European and Cherokee decent, and he created "The Black Mormon Homepage" back in 1993 because there was no published information about black Mormon history published anywhere at that time. He now coordinates "The Mormon Church MUST Come Clean!" campaign, which seeks to pressure Mormon leaders into abandoning their current "lie and deny" policy and force them to issue a public apology for, and a repudiation of, the Church's racist Curse of Cain Doctrine and Prieshtood-ban Policy. You can read "The Black Mormon Homepage" at: http://blackmormons.webs.com