I have made many mentions of racism within Mormonism, but I feel the need to make things clear before I go off on my (informative) rant.
First, Mormonism is racist. The Book of Mormon is at many times a big, giant, prejudiced rant against the world of pigmentation.
Second, not all Mormons are racist, but because of the Book of Mormon, its obvious that racism is popping up in their culture.
Third, I don’t think Mormons intend to be racist. Nobody really intends it (well, minus the KKK or Nation of Islam).
Fourth, not all Mormons are White.
That all being said, I can’t just tell “Racist!” in a crowded room and expect people to believe me. As with my own religion, or any religion, for that matter, its best to go straight to the sources. Nothing is more annoying than getting called out on something that you don’t actually do. Case in point: “Worshipping” the Saints. Also, I’d like to add that putting things out of context (other than for a purely humorous reason) is not something I’m a fan of doing.
So, thanks to Wiki, here is a list of *some* but not *all* of the racist quotes from the BOM.
- 1 Nephi 11:8 (Click on “View in Context” in order to see the entire verse, and the rest of the book of Nephi.)
- 1 Nephi 11:13
- 1 Nephi 12:23
- 1 Nephi 13:15
- 2 Nephi 5:21
- 2 Nephi 30:6 (1830 edition) (I guess the Mormons think we’re too stupid to notice that “pure” is being used in place of “white”…but the older editions still have it. Most printed ones have it as well.)
- Jacob 3:8
- Alma 3:6
- 3 Nephi 2:15
- Mormon 5:15
Out of context, 1 Nephi 11:8 sounds like it might as well be discussing the White Tree of Gondor, but in context, you find that it is settling all those arguments about Jesus. Yes, Jesus is white (or fair if you want to politically correct it up a bit) and delightsome. In the verse after that, you learn that Mary is also pure and white. Then there’s a verse about the good ol’ days when Gentiles were Gentiles- and exceedingly white.
Now, one can go ahead and interject here that this isn’t an issue, because Mary and Jesus are often portrayed as white. Right? Well, no. The Holy Family (Joesph is there too, ya know) is often depicted as whatever race or ethnicity is depicting them as. Hence why my nativity set has Jesus and Mary looking like Japanese people with really odd hair colors. In any case, the way in which the Holy Family is depicted in the Bible doesn’t even mention the physical appearance. The closest we get is that they were a bunch of Hebraic Jews, so the most that we can extrapolate is that they looked…Jewish. Specifically Semitic.
But those verses above are the soft verses! Wait till you get to the real meat and potatoes of it all. In 2 Nephi 5:21 we get to learn about how people are cursed with melanin. Obviously Joseph Smith was a little too stuck in his time, because geneticists have already found that all people started out as dark skinned. Us whiteys are a mutation.
Yes. Mutations. HA!
And you would think reading these verses in context would make them less offensive, or prove them to be absolutely not racist. Nope- the more you read the more you’re going to be offended. Don’t believe me?
In the verse I listed after 2 Nephi 5:21, you get to learn about how people will become white if they’re good little Mormons, and in Jacob, you learn that you had better repent before your sins toast you into a healthier tan than that of your “bretheren”.
But don’t worry people! There is still hope! Just be good little Mormons and your skin will turn colors back to white! That one gets repeated a lot. But for those of you darkies out there, be careful. Apparently you’re filthy, dark, and loathesome.
All because of some melanin.
But wait…didn’t I mention that there were Black people that were Mormons?Why haven’t they turned white?
“There are Blacks here today who are members of the Church. Why have we not turned White? But there are Blacks who have joined the Church, married White spouse, and their children became lighter than their Black parents. Then those kids grew up to marry those that believe as they do, which most are White, so they married White, and their kids became even lighter, and so on. Makes you think a bit, doesn’t it?”
All I can say is…wow.
And, here is a great example of how and why some people of color might become Mormon, given the right “inoculation“ . I love how its assumed that the Blacks leaving the Mormon religion are leaving because some horrible “Aunt Sally” with an agenda up her a$$ told them after they were “baptized” and not because the fact of the matter is that it’s offensive. In fact, I could list the things I love about this article, in an ironic, sarcastic way:
- Aunt Sally, the evil anti-Mormon, got through to those poor Black folk.
- “Everybody did it” is used as an excuse. Its also not entirely true.
- “Nobody else’s church gets dragged through the mud of history. Wha-iiineee….”
- As always, questioning anything is borderline dangerous.
- People might leave because they find they don’t agree with the Mormon religion, but its not like that could ever happen right?
- Why do we have to mention these ideas at all if they’ll be a stumbling block?
Part 2 of this will come up later. Until then, adios!