Please Do Away with Curses

The LDS Church has historically been plagued with alleged curses — the curse of Cain (or Ham), the curse of the Laminites, etc.  These racial (or racist) beliefs need to be seriously reconsidered.  The priesthood is now given to Afro-Americans, but as far as I know, there is still the “curse” of a dark skin.  It has been determined that the vast majority of Native Americans are not Laminites, but what about the “dark-skin” curse?  “White and delightsome” is still haunting LDS Church members.

It’s time for the LDS Church to make a statement about race, about curses, and about the pre-existence.  The idea of “curses” is seriously flawed and has caused unnecessary heartbreak to the Church and its members.  According to Frances Lee Menlove in a letter to the editor of Sunstone magazine (Dec 2008):

It seems to me like deja vu (the LDS Church’s problems with the gay community).  I remember the controversy about the definition of marriage around the 1950s and 60s.  Then it was black intermarriage, miscegenation laws.  Apostle Mark E. Peterson told us “God has commanded Isreal not to intermarry,”  Apostle Bruce R. McConkie told us “caste systems have their root and origin in the gospel itself,” and both were very vocal opponents of interracial marriage with blacks.

The year I graduated from high school in SLC, Apostle Peterson called intermarriage with Negroes “spiritual death” and opined at a BYU convention, “We must not allow our feelings to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for the Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have.  Remember the little statement we used say about sin, “First we pity, then endure, then embrace.”

The LDS Church’s withholding of the priesthood to Blacks must bare much of the blame for these discriminatory attitudes.  The idea that Blacks, gays, or anyone else were less valiant in the pre-existence and deserve a “secondary” place on earth, needs to be officially abandonned.  The idea of “caste systems” is totally unacceptable.

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3 Responses to Please Do Away with Curses

  1. We also need to decide to end our condemnation to the Curse of Eve.

    • roger hansen says:

      I hadn’t thought about a Curse of Eve, but that is an excellent point. The whole idea of taking rib out of Adam etc. is very condescending, as is the subsequent treatment of women in Mormonism and other conservative religions. I will include the Eve Curse in any future writings.

  2. Until 1978 it was the policy and practice of the Mormon church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) to bar those with black African ancestry (even partial) from admission to the Mormon priesthood, which otherwise was open to all (non-black) male members of the church. This ban also applied to keep black members of the church from participation in the sacred temple ceremonies which Mormon doctrine says are necessary for admission to the highest degrees of the Celestial Kingdom. In other words, blacks would never get as high a place as members of other races in Mormon heaven.

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