Upcoming Podcast on Mormons, Racism and People of African Descent

John Dehlin Mormon, Mormon Stories 8 Comments

For the past 2 weeks, my 8 and 10 year old daughters were both taught in Sunday School that blacks were descendants of Cain, and that’s why they didn’t get the priesthood until 1978.

In celebration of this momentous event in our family 🙂 , I’m gonna soon do a podcast on Mormons, Negroes/Blacks and Racism.

In my preparations, I found a great article/history on the subject. For those interested, check it out here.

Also, if anyone has ideas, or questions for the podcast, please let me know.

Stay tuned for the podcast.

John Dehlin

Comments 8

  1. Check in with the FAIR elist and several can explain why this website is problematic from their personal experiences with its owner. I’d rather not give out second hand information here.

  2. That’s interesting…you might want to say something to youir dd’s primary teacher or president. I teach that age group and there is nothing in the manual about the curse of Cain including no priesthood. I’d say the teacher’s are a bit behind the times. LOL

  3. Perhaps to appreciate why this belief in Cain/Priesthood will not go away, this speach by Brigham young will give us pause. Our notion of a prophet and this policy come into sharp contrast when viewed through 21st century eyes. We should at least respect the force of tradition even if we regect the “old” notions. Awareness is necessary to understand. Read it and weep…

    Speach by Gov. Young in Joint Session of the Legeslature.
    Feb. 5th 1852 giving his veiws on slavery.

    I rise to make a few remarks. The Items before the house I do not
    understand.

    The principle of slavery I understand, at least I have self confidence
    enough, and confidence enough in God to beleive I do. I beleive still
    further that a great many others understand it as I do. A great portion of
    this community have been instructed, and have applied their minds to it, and
    as far as they have, they agree preciesly in the principles of slavery. My
    remarks in the first place will be upon the cause of the introduction of
    slavery. Long ago mama Eve our good old mother Eve pertook of the forbiden
    fruit and this made a slave of her. Adam hated very much to have her taken
    out of the garden of Eden, and now our old daddy says I beleive I will eat
    of the fruit and become a slave too. This was the first introduction of
    slavery upon this earth; and there has been not a son or daughter of adam
    from that day to this but what where slaves in the true sense of the word.

    That slavery will continue, untill there is a people raised up upon the
    face of the earth who will contend for righteous principles, who will not
    only beleive in but operate, with every power and faculty given to them to
    help to esstablish the kingdom of God, to overcome the devil, and drive him
    from the earth, then will this curse be removed. This was the starting point
    of slavery. Again after adam, and Eve had pertook of the curse, we find they
    had two sons Cain and Able, but which was the oldest I cannot positively
    say; but this I know, Cain was given more to evil practices than Abel, but
    whether he was the oldest or not matters not to me. Adam was commanded to
    sacrifise, and offer up his offerings to God, that placed him into the
    garden of Eden. Through the faith and obedience of Able to his heavenly
    father, Cain became jealous of him, and he laid a plan to obtain all his
    flocks; for through his perfect obedience to father he obtained more
    blessings than Cain; consequently he took it into his heart to put able able
    of this mortal existance. after the deed was done, the Lord enquired to
    able, and made Caine own what he had done with him. Now says the grand
    father I will not distroy the seed of michal and his wife; and cain I will
    not kill you, nor suffer any one to kill you, but I will put a mark upon
    you. What is that mark? you will see it on the countenance of every African
    you ever did see upon the face of the earth, or ever will see. Now I tell
    you what I know; when the mark was put upon Cain, Abels children was in all
    probability young; the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the
    blessings of the preisthood nor his seed, until the last of the posterity of
    Able had received the preisthood, until the redemtion of the earth. If there
    never was a prophet, or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before, I tell you,
    this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain. I
    know they are, I know that they cannot bear rule in the preisthood, for the
    curse on them was to remain upon them, until the resedue of the posterity of
    Michal and his wife receive the blessings, the seed of Cain would have
    received had they not been cursed; and hold the keys of the preisthood,
    until the times of the restitution shall come, and the curse be wiped off
    from the earth, and from michals seed. Then Cain’s seed will be had in
    rememberance, and the time come when that curse should be wiped off.

    Now then in the kingdom of God on the earth, a man who has has the
    Affrican blood in him cannot hold one jot nor tittle of preisthood; Why?
    because they are the true eternal principals the Lord Almighty has ordained,
    and who can help it, men cannot. the angels cannot, and all the powers of
    earth and hell cannot take it off, but thus saith the Eternal I am, what I
    am, I take it off at my pleasure, and not one partical of power can that
    posterity of Cain have, until the time comes the says he will have it taken
    away. That time will come when they will have the privilege of all we have
    the privelege of and more. In the kingdom of God on the earth the Affricans
    cannot hold one partical of power in Government. The the subjects, the
    rightfull servants of the resedue of the children of Adam, and the resedue
    of the children through the benign influence of the Spirit of the Lord have
    the privilege of seeing to the posterity of Cain; inasmuch as it is the
    Lords will they should receive the spirit of God by Baptisam; and that is
    the end of their privilege; and there is not power on earth to give them any
    more power.

    You talke of the dark skin, I never saw a white man on earth. I have
    seen persons whoes hair came pretty nigh being white, but to talk about
    white skins it is something intirely unknown, though some skins are fairer
    than others; look at the black eye and the jet black hair, we often see upon
    men and women who are called white, there is no such things as white folkes.
    We are the children of Adam, who receive the blessings, and that is enough
    for us if we are not quite white.

    But let me tell you further. Let my seed mingle with the seed of Cain,
    that brings the curse upon me, and upon my generations, — we will reap the
    same rewards with Cain.

    In the preisthood I will tell you what it will do. Where the children of
    God to mingle there seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the
    curse of being deprived of the power of the preisthood upon themselves but
    they entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of
    it. If a man in an ungaurded moment should commit such a transgression, if
    he would walk up and say cut off my head, and kill man woman and child it
    would do a great deal towards atoneing for the sin. Would this be to curse
    them? no it would be a blessing to them. — it would do them good that they
    might be saved with their Bren. A man would shuder should they here us take
    about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill
    them, allthough the true principles of it are not understood.

    I will had one thing more. It is not in the power of a man on the face
    of the earth to take more life than he can give, that is a proper son of
    Adam. How many times I have heard it said, and how many times has it been
    reiterated in my ears, and in yours, that to take a life, is to take what
    you cannot give; This is perfect nonsence; What do I do by taking a mans
    head off after he is condemned by the Law? I put an end to the existence of
    the mortal tabernacle; but the life still remains. the body and the spirit
    is only seperated, this is all that can be done by any mortal man upon the
    face of the earth.

    Can I give that life? I can, I can make as good tabernacles as any other
    man, if you do not beleive it go and look at my children, therefore that
    saying is nonsense. We form the tabernacle for the eternal spirit or life
    that comes from God. We can only put an end to the existence of that
    tabernacle, and this is the principle of sacrifice.

    What was the cause of the antients drawing up hundreds and thousands of
    Bullocks, and Hefiers, and Lambs, and doves, and almost every other creature
    arround them, of which they took the best and the fatest, and offered them
    up as sacrifices unto the Lord. Was it not for the remission of the sins of
    the people. We read also in the new Testament that a man was sacrifised for
    the sins of the people. If he had not shed that blood which was given to him
    in the organisation of his body or Tabernacle, you and I could have had no
    remission of sins. It is the greatest blessing that could come to some men
    to shed their blood on the ground, and let it come up before the Lord as an
    atonement. You nor I cannot take any more life than we can give.

    Again to the subject before us; as to The men bearing rule; not one of
    the children of old Cain, have one partical of right to bear Rule in
    Government affairs from first to last, they have no buisness there. this
    privilege was taken from them by there own transgressions, and I cannot help
    it; and should you or I bear rule we ought to do it with dignity and honour
    before God.

    I am as much oposed 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 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, but those they serve should use them with all the heart and
    feeling, as they would use their own children, and their compassion should
    reach over them, and round about them, and treat them as kindly, and with
    that humane feeling necessary to be shown to mortall beings of the human
    species. Under these sercumstances there blessings in life are greater in
    proportion than those who have to provide the bread and dinner for them

    We know there is a portion of inhabitants of the earth who dwell in Asia
    that are negroes, and said to be jews. The blood of Judah has not only
    mingled almost with all nations, but also with the blood of Cain, and they
    have mingled there seeds together; These negro Jewes may keep up all the
    outer ordinenances of the jewish releigeon, they may have there sacrifices,
    and they may perform all the releigeous seremonies any people on earth could
    perform, but let me tell you, that the day they consented to mingle their
    seed with Cannan, the preisthood was taken away from Judah, and that portion
    of Judahs seed will never get any rule, or blessings of the preisthood until
    Cain gets it. Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the
    earth; we will sommons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel,
    the Bishoprick, and all the elders of Isreal, suppose we summons them to
    apear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the
    black race of Cain, that they shall come in with with us and be pertakers
    with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour
    we should do so, the preisthood 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 desstruction, — 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 untill that curse be
    removed.

    Therefore I will not consent for one moment to have an african dictate
    me or any Bren. with regard to Church or State Government. I may vary in my
    veiwes from others, and they may think I am foolish in the things I have
    spoken, and think that they know more than I do, but I know I know more than
    they do. If the Affricans cannot bear rule in the Church of God, what
    buisness have they to bear rule in the State and Government affairs of this
    Territory or any others?

    I the Government afairs of States and Territorys and kingdoms by right
    God should Govern. he should rule over nations, and controle kings. If we
    suffer the Devil to rule over us we shall not accomplish any good. I want
    the Lord to rule, and be our Governor and and dictater, and we are the boys
    to execute. I shall not consent for a moment to give way to a Gentile Spirit
    of contention, which is the cause of angry ——– Difference to the
    alinations of every Good feeling. It is for you and I to take a course, to
    bind our feelings together in an everlasting bond of union inasmuch as we
    love the Lord, which we ought to do more than selves. Consequently I will
    not consent for a moment to have the Children of Cain rule me nor my Bren.
    No, it is not right.

    But say some, is there any thing of this kind in the Constitution, the
    U.S. has given us? If you will allow me the privilege telling right out, it
    is none of their damned buisness what we do or say here. What we do it is
    for them to sanction, and then for us to say what we like about it. It is
    written right out in the constitution, “that every free white male
    inhabitant above the age of twenty one years” &c. My mind is the same to day
    as when we where poreing over that constitution; any light upon the subject
    is the same, my judgement is the same, only a little more so. Prahapes I
    have said enough upon this subject. I have given you the true principles and
    doctrine. No man can vote for me or my Bren. in this Territory who has not
    the privilege of acting in Church affairs. Every man, and woman, and Child
    in this Territory are Citizens; to say the contrary is all nonsense to me.
    The indians are Citizens, the Africans are Citizens, and the jews than come
    from Asia, that are almost entirely of the blood of Cain, It is our duty to
    take care of them, and administer to them in all the acts of humanity, and
    kindness, they shall have the right of Citizenship, but shall not have the
    right to dictate in Church and State matters. The abolishonists of the east,
    have cirest them them, and. their whol argument are callculated to darken
    Counsel, as it was here yesterday. As for our bills passing here, we may lay
    the foundation for what? for men to come here from Africa or else where; by
    hundreds of thousands. When these men come here from the Islands, are they
    going to hold offices in Government No. It is for men who understand the
    knowlege of Government affairs to hold such offices, and on the other make
    provisions for them to plow, and to reap, and enjoy all that human beings
    can enjoy, and we protect them in it. Do we know how to amilerate the
    condition of these people? we do. Supose that five thousands of them come
    from the pacific Islands, and ten or fifteen thousands from Japan, or from
    China, not one soul of them would know how to vote for a Government officer,
    they therefore ought not in the first thing have anything to do in
    Government afairs.

    What the Gentiles are doing we are consenting to do. What we are trying
    to do to day is to make the Negro equal with us in all our privilege. My
    voice shall be against all the day long. I shall not consent for one moment
    I will will call them a counsel. I say I will not consent for one moment for
    you to lay a plan to bring a curse upon this people. I shall not be while I
    am here.

  4. http://mormonstories.wpengine.com/?p=73

    John, you don’t see the issue with the Evenson article until you read well into it. He starts out with some correct historical data about some of the “black” members that were ordained, and he writes, “Brigham Young apparently believed, in early 1847, that Negroes could become Priesthood-holders, and gave as an example what a great Elder they had in Walker Lewis. But that belief would soon change.”

    But, as you read on, the main gist of the article is to convince the reader that the priesthood and temple ban was divinely inspired, and to support his arguments, he repeats the old erroneous racial folklore (that Cain and his descendants were cursed with black skin, that black Africans are descendants of Cain, that prior to the Mormon era “blacks” were not given the priesthood, etc.).

    I’m looking forward to your podcast.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.