I live in East­ern Wash­ing­ton. The Bundy’s mis­guid­ed and atro­cious take-over of a Fed­er­al vis­i­tor’s cen­ter in East­ern Ore­gon has got me think­ing on one of the most fun­da­men­tal issues of the Book of Mor­mon, that Native Amer­i­cans are some­how sup­posed to be con­nect­ed to the awful God of the Old Tes­ta­ment through Israelite blood­lines, were cursed with dark skin (but now Sem­i­nary Teach­ers call it a “mark” not a “curse”, but a rose by any oth­er name still smells the same in my book), and that Christo­pher Colum­bus was a God-inspired hero and Amer­i­ca is the Promised Land. No won­der Bundy is doing what he’s doing; he’s fol­low­ing the Book of Mor­mon! I am sor­row­ful because I believed in and helped with that awful racist part of Mor­mon cul­ture, the Indi­an Place­ment pro­gram. I loved and revered Spencer W. Kim­ball dur­ing that time, and did what I was told to help the local Indi­ans at our Rich­field, UT, place­ment pro­gram, which includ­ed a dor­mi­to­ry of “Indi­ans” as well as many place­ment stu­dents at indi­vid­ual homes in our town. What awful racists we were (and are, since we still haven’t dis­avowed the Book of Mor­mon where the teach­ings orig­i­nat­ed), inspite of our recent “essay” on racism. We’re still racist, and I say, “we” even though I’m com­plete­ly out of Mormonism.

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Dave Mack
January 6, 2016 8:56 pm

Kevin I think you and many lds mem­bers mis­un­der­stand what the curse is. The curse has noth­ing to do with phys­i­cal skin color.The curse is sep­a­ra­tion from God and becom­ing a wicked peo­ple and com­mit­ting all kinds of atroc­i­ties. The mark as men­tioned in the Book of Mor­mon is also men­tioned which does refer to phys­i­cal appear­ance but the mark is neutral. In the case of the Amlicites they were once Nephites and rebelled and became wicked. They were wicked and cursed. It does not say god changed their skin col­or. But in order to dis­tin­guish them­selves from the Nephites they put red on their foreheads. Alma 3:13 13 Now we will return again to the Amlicites, for they also had a mark set upon them; yea, they set the mark upon them­selves, yea, even a mark of red upon their foreheads By mak­ing this phys­i­cal mark on their fore­heads.… Read more »

Wes T
Reply to  Dave Mack
January 6, 2016 10:30 pm

Your expla­na­tion, while being the “offi­cial” church answer, is a labored one. It is also a fair­ly new expla­na­tion that took hold after the priest­hood change in 1978. Let’s look at some of the key vers­es where it is first dis­cussed by Nephi and Jacob: And he had caused the curs­ing to come upon them, yea, even a sore curs­ing … 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 (Book of Mor­mon, 2 Nephi 5:21). and Behold the Laman­ites your brethren, whom ye hate because of their filth­i­ness and the curs­ing which hath come upon their skins … (Book of Mor­mon, Jacob 3:5). The “sore curs­ing” was not being cut off from God. Nephi clear­ly states the curse is a change in skin col­or because of their wicked­ness.… Read more »

Dave Mack
Reply to  Wes T
January 7, 2016 1:57 pm

The verse you quote says they were cursed with a skin of black­ness but there are no native Amer­i­cans in north and south Amer­i­ca that have black skin. Also using the word black­ness or black to describe ones demeanor as a phys­i­cal appear­ance is not out of of place in a scrip­tur­al con­text. Here are some exam­ples from the old tes­ta­ment. Nephi and Jacob would have been famil­iar with the old tes­ta­ment and this way of describ­ing a dark­ened spir­i­tu­al appear­ance as a out­ward manifestation. Lamen­ta­tions 5:10 10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the ter­ri­ble famine. Job 30:30 30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. Song of Solomon 1:5,6 5 I am black, but come­ly, O ye daugh­ters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the cur­tains of Solomon. 6 Look not upon me, because I am black, because the… Read more »

Dave Mack
Reply to  Kevin Rex
January 7, 2016 4:46 pm

I can cer­tain­ly under­stand why mem­bers would believe that it refers to phys­i­cal skin color.

I don’t know any­thing about the Indi­an Place­ment Pro­gram are there a lot of Indi­ans who have been placed in this pro­gram who are com­plain­ing about how hor­ri­ble it was.

Dave Mack
Reply to  Kevin Rex
January 7, 2016 4:52 pm

By the way every­thing I post­ed con­cern­ing skin col­or being an out­ward spir­i­tu­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion was done by my own research. Until now I did not the church had a stance on the subject.

Dave Mack
Reply to  Kevin Rex
January 8, 2016 7:35 pm

You are right you are much old­er than me.