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The other day, some Mormons came by the house and asked if I’d like a study with them. Sara and I have had a study previously with Mormons, though it’s been a while, and these were different fellows anyway, so I agreed. I’ve been trying to prepare myself properly by going through some of the LDS (Latter Day Saints) texts so that I can be well prepared for our study, and I found some interesting material regarding what I would consider blatant racism.

Alma 3:6 – “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.

2 Nephi 30:6 – “And then shall they rejoice; for they shall know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them, save they shall be a pure [1] and a delightsome people.

2 Nephi 5:21 – “And he 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.

3 Nephi 2:14-16 – “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; And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites. And thus ended the thirteenth year.

These are just a few of the verses from the BoM (Book of Mormon) itself, but looking further into other writings, even more shows up. For example, read what Brigham Young stated:

Journal of Discourses Vol. 7, p. 336:

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; and they cannot tell. I can tell you in a few words: They are the seed of Joseph, and belong to the household of God; and he will afflict them in this world, and save every one of them hereafter, even though they previously go into hell. 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.

So just from a rather brief view of LDS texts, I think it becomes fairly clear that it is in reality a rather strongly racist religion. That does not necessarily mean that today’s Mormons are racist, of course, but that in and of itself seems to suggest some type of cognitive dissonance that needs to be addressed as well.

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[1] The word here rendered “pure” was, in the earlier editions of the BoM (e.g. 1830 edition), actually translated as “white.” That this change is unsubstantiated should be clear as we see other verses. It should further be noted how odd it is that this change was considered necessary at any point, especially since Joseph Smith himself stated that “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” (History of the Church, Vol. 4, page 461)

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