Racism in the Book of Mormon

Racism in the Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is an explosively racist book which is exactly what we would expect if it was written by Joseph Smith instead of God. It is a product of its time and reflects the theological beliefs of racist white America in the nineteenth century. The Book of Mormon advocates the “curse of Cain” interpretation of Genesis 4:15 which was common at this period of time. This is the reason why, up until 1978 when the priesthood ban on blacks was lifted, the uniform teaching of Mormonism was racist.

2 Nephi 5:21 says that God caused the skin of the Lamanites to be turned black as a curse for their sin:

“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, and 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.”

The reason why God caused their skin to become black was so that the righteous Nephites who were white would not be tempted to intermarry with them. Hence, black skin was given as a deterrent to prevent interracial marriage. Alma 3:6 calls this dark skin the “mark” and “curse” of their rebellion:

“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.”

But whenever Lamanites repented and turned to the Lord, their black skin would become white like 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” (3 Nephi 2:15-16).

In keeping with this belief, Brigham Young believed that Native Americans would become white when they embraced Mormonism:

“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 . . . 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” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, page 336).

Mormon President Spencer Kimball likewise believed that Native Americans who became Mormons would turn white:

“At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.”

Young also taught that interracial marriage was worthy of death since the Nephites were not allowed to marry the Lamanites:

“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” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110).

Young was an active supporter of Southern slavery and believed that black slaves were getting what they deserved:

“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” (New York Herald, May 4, 1855, as cited in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1973, p. 56).

Young believed that the devil was black and those who leave Mormonism would become black like him just as the Lamanites became black. He said apostates would “become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, page 332).

In contrast to Mormonism, the Bible teaches that ethnic differences are no barrier to fellowship in the church. People with dark skin do not need to become white to be acceptable to God:

Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Colossians 3:11: “Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.”

For a collection of more racist quotes in Mormonism, see this article.

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Sunday Meditation – Every Promise

Sunday Meditation – Every Promise

“God’s promises are not exhausted when they are fulfilled, for when once performed, they stand just as good as they did before, and we may await a second accomplishment of them. Man’s promises even at the best, are like a cistern which holds but a temporary supply; but God’s promises are as a fountain, never emptied, ever overflowing, so that you may draw from them the whole of that which they apparently contain, and they shall be still as full as ever. Hence it is that you will frequently find a promise containing both a literal and spiritual meaning. In the literal meaning it has already been fulfilled to the letter, in the spiritual meaning it shall also be accomplished, and not a jot or tittle of it shall fail.”

Charles Spurgeon

How the Kinderhook Plates Disprove Mormonism

How the Kinderhook Plates Disprove Mormonism

The Kinderhook Plates controversy is one of the clearest examples of why Joseph Smith was not a true prophet of God. In 1843, Wilbur Fugate forged a collection of six brass plates known as the Kinderhook Plates to prove that Smith was a fraud and had no ability to translate ancient languages. The plates were then hidden in an ancient Native American burial mound near Kinderhook, Illinois which was then dug up by Robert Wiley who was also in on the hoax. The plates were then taken to Smith to be translated. Smith fell for the hoax proving that he was lying about his ability to translate ancient languages.

We know that the plates are a hoax, not only because of the later testimony of Fugate and Wiley, but also because one of them was rediscovered in the Chicago Historical Society Museum and tested by the LDS Church which confirmed that the plate was created in the nineteenth century and not of ancient origin. Mormon apologists respond by claiming that Smith never fell for the plates because he never made an official translation of them.

But Smith himself claimed that they were authentic and told the story of a descendant of Pharaoh:

“I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. Robert Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton and were covered on both sides with ancient characters. I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth” (History of the Church, vol. 5, page 372).

For more information on the subject, see this article.

Sunday Meditation – Ripe for Hell

Sunday Meditation – Ripe for Hell

“Must I, the minister of this congregation, behold some of you in perdition? Must I, my hearers, if I be saved myself, stand and look upon you cast down into perdition by the eternal God? I cannot bear the thought. I know not whether it is pleasing to you — but surely it cannot be. Do you wish for ever to be cast away from God? — for ever! for ever! for ever! Are you so mad as to dash yourself against the point of Jehovah’s spear! Say what pleasure is there in casting yourself upon the bosses of his buckler? Why will you cast yourself into an oven of devouring wrath! What need is there, sinner, that thou shouldst rend thyself in pieces, and be thine own tormentor? And yet every sin is a mixing of the poison that destroys thy own soul, every act of lust is a kindling of the fire that shall consume thee. Oh! I conjure thee, turn! O Lord do thou the sinner turn. O Spirit of God come down and work with the most obdurate and hardened of men; and let sinners who are ripened for destruction now be renewed in heart, that they may become fruits of grace, and at last be ripened for eternal glory.”

Charles Spurgeon

Why the Pearl of Great Price Is Not from God

Why the Pearl of Great Price Is Not from God

The Pearl of Great Price is the third collection of Mormon Scriptures which include the books of Moses and Abraham. In 1835, Joseph Smith bought an Egyptian mummy from a traveling merchant and claimed that the papyri found on it was written by Abraham “by his own hand upon papyrus.” These papyri became the basis for the Book of Abraham. But unlike the golden plates from which it is claimed that the Book of Mormon was translated, the papyri from which Smith claimed that the Book of Abraham was translated were rediscovered in 1966. But when the text was translated by people who actually know Egyptian, the correct translation of the papyri did not match the text of the Book of Abraham proving that Smith was a fraud.

Smith even created his own Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language to prove that God had given him a supernatural ability to understand Egyptian. The Egyptian characters in his grammar correspond with the Egyptian characters in the papyri he bought demonstrating that he was claiming to make a word for word translation of the text. You can see a reproduction of the original papyri for yourself in Charles Larson’s book By His Own Hand Upon Papyrus.

Smith could get away with claiming to know Egyptian because the Egyptian language was unknown at this time. But when people who can actually translate Egyptian today read Joseph Smith’s Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language, they realize that his definitions for the different Egyptian characters is a complete fabrication. The Joseph Smith Papyri are actually common Egyptian funerary texts. Smith’s descriptions of the figures in the papyri in the Book of Abraham do not match what we know from Egyptian archaeology. For example, Smith identified the pagan god Min as God sitting upon his throne.

Jeremy Runnells in his CES Letter convincingly demonstrates that the Book of Abraham is a fraud and his work is causing record numbers of young Mormons to leave the LDS Church. It is a devastating exposé of Mormonism. But sadly, Runnells went from Mormonism to atheism as a large portion of those who leave the LDS faith do. He concluded that if Joseph Smith was a deceiver, then Jesus Christ must have been one as well. He also argues in his letter against the existence of a global flood. But there is good scientific evidence for the Genesis flood. Unlike Mormonism, the case for Christianity is built on objective, verifiable evidence.

Sunday Meditation – The King’s Mowings

Sunday Meditation – The King’s Mowings

“We entertain the hope that, some fair evening, calm and bright, the angel reaper will come with the scythe. Then shall we, having fulfilled, like the hireling, our day, lay down our tools of labor, and take our rest. Then shall we put down our sword, and take off our breastplate, and unloose the shoes of iron and brass, for we shall fight no more, but take the palm, and claim the victory before the throne. Never let us look forward to this with dread. It is wondrous that we should do so, and we could not if our faith were stronger. When faith vividly realizes the rest that remaineth for the people of God, we are tempted to long to be up and away. Then why should we wish to linger here? What is there in this old musty worn-out world, worm-eaten and full of holes, with its very gold and silver cankered, that can satisfy an immortal spirit? Let us away to the hills of spices and to the mountains of frankincense, where the King in his beauty stands with helmed cherubim and sworded seraphim and all the hosts that serve him day and night, to behold his face, and evermore adore him. Let us anticipate cheerfully the time when the King’s mowings shall include us also.”

Charles Spurgeon

Why the Book of Mormon Is Not from God

Why the Book of Mormon Is Not from God

One of the strongest arguments against the divine origin of Mormonism is that its theology evolved over time. While the Book of Mormon teaches monotheism, the doctrine of the Trinity, that hell is a place of eternal conscious torment, and condemns polygamy, Joseph Smith later taught polytheism, three levels of heaven without a hell of endless torment, and polygamy.

The testimony of the three witnesses in the introduction to the Book of Mormon concludes with an affirmation of the doctrine of the Trinity:

“And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.”

At least four other texts teach that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit exist as one God:

2 Nephi 31:21: “And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.”

Alma 11:44: “And shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God.”

Mormon 7:7: “To sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God.”

D&C 20:28: “Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.”

But Joseph Smith later taught that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are not only three distinct persons, but three distinct gods as well:

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it!” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370).

But the Book of Mormon contradicts it by teaching that there is only one God:

Alma 11:28-29, 35: “Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No. . . . Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God.”

Mosiah 15:4: “And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.”

Ether 2:8: “And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them.”

When it comes to the nature of God, the Book of Mormon teaches that God is eternally unchangeable, all-knowing, and infinite:

Moroni 8:18: “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”

Moroni 7:22: “For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.”

Mormon 9:9: “For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no variableness neither shadow of changing?”

D&C 20:17: “By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them.”

But Mormon leaders later taught that God was once a man as we are now and had to become exalted to Godhood by his God.

The Book of Mormon condemns polygamy in even stronger language than the Bible does:

Jacob 1:15: “And now it came to pass that the people of Nephi, under the reign of the second king, began to grow hard in their hearts, and indulge themselves somewhat in wicked practices, such as like unto David of old desiring many wives and concubines, and also Solomon, his son.”

Jacob 2:24, 27: “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord. . . . Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none.”

Jacob 3:5: “Behold, the Lamanites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filthiness and the cursing which hath come upon their skins, are more righteous than you; for they have not forgotten the commandment of the Lord, which was given unto our father—that they should have save it were one wife, and concubines they should have none.”

But Smith later taught that David and Solomon did not sin by having multiple wives:

D&C 132:38: “David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.”

The Book of Mormon teaches over and over again that hell is a place of eternal conscious torment:

Jacob 6:10: “And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment.”

Mosiah 2:39: “And now I say unto you, that mercy hath no claim on that man; therefore his final doom is to endure a never-ending torment.”

Mosiah 3:25: “And if they be evil they are consigned to an awful view of their own guilt and abominations, which doth cause them to shrink from the presence of the Lord into a state of misery and endless torment, from whence they can no more return; therefore they have drunk damnation to their own souls.”

Mosiah 28:3: “Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish; yea, even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.”

Alma 28:11: “And the bodies of many thousands are laid low in the earth, while the bodies of many thousands are moldering in heaps upon the face of the earth; yea, and many thousands are mourning for the loss of their kindred, because they have reason to fear, according to the promises of the Lord, that they are consigned to a state of endless wo.”

Helaman 12:25-26: “And I would that all men might be saved. But we read that in the great and last day there are some who shall be cast out, yea, who shall be cast off from the presence of the Lord; Yea, who shall be consigned to a state of endless misery, fulfilling the words which say: They that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is. Amen.”

The Book of Mormon says that it would be better for those who do not receive the message of Christ to have never been born:

3 Nephi 28:34-35: “And wo be unto him that will not hearken unto the words of Jesus, and also to them whom he hath chosen and sent among them; for whoso receiveth not the words of Jesus and the words of those whom he hath sent receiveth not him; and therefore he will not receive them at the last day; And it would be better for them if they had not been born. For do ye suppose that ye can get rid of the justice of an offended God, who hath been trampled under feet of men, that thereby salvation might come?”

But D&C 76:89 describes the glory of the telestial kingdom (the lowest level of heaven reserved for those who do not believe the restored gospel) as one “which surpasses all understanding.”

So, how would going to the telestial kingdom which never ends be worse than never being born?