The Mormon Church's Racist Past
1 year ago
An ex-Mormon explains why blacks were viewed as cursed and banned from the LDS church
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?