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

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 Trexler

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… Read more »

Dave Mack

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,… Read more »