Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2013, May 26

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons: What Did Brigham Young Really Say and Mean about the Blacks and the Ban?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons: What Did Brigham Young Really Say and Mean about the Blacks and the Ban?

grego
(c)2013

What Did Brigham Young Really Say, and Really Mean?

In 1854, Brigham Young said:

{Cain} killed his brother. The Lord put a mark on him; and there are some of his children in this room. When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity. He deprived his brother of the privilege of pursuing his journey through life, and of extending his kingdom by multiplying upon the earth; and because he did this, he is the last to share the joys of the kingdom of God.” (Journal of Discourses 2:143)

(Soon after that, in the same talk, he said:
“I would rather undertake to convert five thousand Lamanites, than to convert one of those poor miserable creatures, whose fathers killed the Savior, and who say, “Amen to the deed,” to this day. Yea, I would rather undertake to convert the devil himself, if it were possible.” Seriously?? No, lol. In other words, not everything Brigham Young taught was to be taken as strict doctrine, nor did he hold himself to that.)

Later, in October 1859, at the end of a long talk Brigham Young said:

“Do all the good you can to your fellow creatures. You are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. God has created of one blood all the nations and kingdoms of men that dwell upon all the face of the earth: black, white, copper-colored, or whatever their color, customs, or religion, they have all sprung from the same origin; the blood of all is from the same element. Adam and Eve are the parents of all pertaining to the flesh, and I would not say that they are not also the parents of our spirits.
You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind. The first man that committed the odious crime of killing one of his brethren will be cursed the longest of anyone of the children of Adam.
Cain slew his brother. Cain might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin.
Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race—that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.
How long is that race to endure the dreadful curse that is upon them? That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood.
They were the first that were cursed, and they will be the last from whom the curse will be removed. When the residue of the family of Adam come up and receive their blessings, then the curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will receive blessings in like proportion.
I have but just commenced my remarks, and have presented you a few texts; and it is now time to adjourn. The exertion required to speak to you somewhat at length seems to injure me. I will therefore stop” (Journal of Discourses 7:290-1).

A few notes:
—There is a difference between the meaning in the two talks, when you get down to specifics. Five years and many incidents and miles are between the two talks. While it might be he had more time to think, it also means he had more time between what Joseph really said and meant, and more time for the thoughts and beliefs of men to sway him (and as with most of us, probably not consciously/ clearly/ overtly).

—in the second talk, he mentions the Adam-God theory in the same breath.

—he never says in either place that the seed of Cain was cursed with no priesthood; just the seed of Canaan (which would be the only remaining seed of Cain after the Flood).

**
On December 3, 1854, Brigham Young said, “When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth, and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity” (Journal of Discourses 2:143).

—“When all the other children of Adam have had the privilege of receiving the Priesthood, and of coming into the kingdom of God, and of being redeemed from the four quarters of the earth…”

At the time of the preaching, there were still plenty of other races and countries where the gospel had not been preached, and it would have been correct.

Then there’s this addition: “and have received their resurrection from the dead, then it will be time enough to remove the curse from Cain and his posterity.”

Yes, “it will have be time enough”–but there is no restriction about it not being able to be earlier.

**
—“…have had the privilege”:

To “have had the privilege” does not mean that it would be accepted. I had heard in a talk or two at Brigham Young University that President Kimball was actively pursuing all countries and lands for the opening of the gospel before (and during) the supplication; the church had tried to go everywhere in the world it could, but had at that time been rejected repeatedly by everyone.

The only other places to go were where there were Blacks/ much more than “a drop” of Cain’s blood in their veins, and those countries were willing to let the church and missionaries in.

**
—be kind to everyone, we are all—including Blacks—brothers and sisters (though many at the time thought Blacks little more than creatures).

—“Trace mankind down to after the flood, and then another curse is pronounced upon the same race–that they should be the “servant of servants;” and they will be, until that curse is removed; and the Abolitionists cannot help it, nor in the least alter that decree.”

And the Abolitionists didn’t, really. However, by the time of the civil rights movement, it WAS happening; not that the movement was the cause of it, but a sign of it.

“Treat the slaves kindly and let them live, for Ham must be the servant of servants until the curse is removed. Can you destroy the decrees of the Almighty? You cannot. Yet our Christian brethren think that they are going to overthrow the sentence of the Almighty upon the seed of Ham. They cannot do that, though they may kill them by thousands and tens of thousands.” http://jod.mrm.org/10/248

Brigham Young: “Ham will continue to be the servant of servants, as the Lord has decreed, until the curse is removed. Will the present struggle free the slave? No; but they are now wasting away the black race by thousands. Many of the blacks are treated worse than we treat our dumb brutes; and men will be called to judgment for the way they have treated the negro, and they will receive the condemnation of a guilty conscience, by the just Judge whose attributes are justice and truth.”

Brigham Young does not preach racism here; in fact, he preaches much like the Indians–treat them well, be good to them, etc.

**
—“That curse will remain upon them, and they never can hold the Priesthood or share in it until all the other descendants of Adam have received the promises and enjoyed the blessings of the Priesthood and the keys thereof. Until the last ones of the residue of Adam’s children are brought up to that favorable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the first ordinances of the Priesthood.”

This time around, he says that until all the others have received them. That seems more like “sorry, you have to wait a while”, but not all of these others will receive and enjoy the priesthood blessings, especially in this life, especially as individuals (not as groups). See the “have had the privilege” and “The Messiah came through them” parts for extra clarification.

**
—“They were the first that were cursed”
–actually, Adam and Eve’s seed were the first to be cursed, and we are still under that curse. However, after the Flood, that curse was partially lifted, through the benevolence of God; and through proven righteousness, Enoch and his people, Melchizedek and his people, a few prophets are no longer under that curse, and that curse has been partially lifted for others.

—This was at the end of his talk; he says he could have said more, and we might have gotten a clearer understanding, but he stopped. I don’t think these talks were to be had as binding doctrine, either.

**
—In that same talk, speaking of the Jews, Brigham Young said:
“The Messiah came through them, and they killed him; and they will be the last of all the seed of Abraham to have the privilege of receiving the New and Everlasting Covenant. You may hand out to them gold, you may feed and clothe them, but it is impossible to convert the Jews, until the Lord God Almighty does it.” (Journal of Discourses 2:142)

As a group, yes, but not each one–some people of the tribe of Judah have been converted. And that might be said for the Blacks right now, too. (Lol, that could be said for about anyone right now.)

**
Lund says:. On page 89 of his book he quotes a statement by the First Presidency that was given on August 17, 1951. That statement read, “The prophets of the Lord have made several statements as to the operation of the principle. President Brigham Young said, ‘Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their father’s rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God. They will go down to death. And when all the rest of the children have received their blessings in the Holy Priesthood, then that curse will be removed from the seed of Cain, and they will then come up and possess the Priesthood, and receive all the blessings which we are now entitled to.'”
Notice Young made certain it was understood that only after “all the rest of the children” have received the priesthood that the curse be lifted. Lund wrote, “It is clearly stated in the above quotes that the Negroes must first pass through mortality before they may possess the Priesthood (‘they will go down to death’)” (p.47).

What does “the rest of the children” mean? “Every single other person” as this person who quoted Lund says? Or it could mean something different.

**
“President Wilford Woodruff noted in his journal that President Young said, “…that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain until the seed of Abel shall be redeemed, and Cain shall not receive the Priesthood, until the time of that redemption” (History of Wilford Woodruff, p.351, as printed in The Way to Perfection, p.106).
Someone says: “Since the resurrection from the dead has not taken place, and the redemption of Abel’s posterity has not come to fruition, it is apparent that the LDS Church was premature in its 1978 decision.”

Really? Let’s see…
Is this talking about Abel, brother of Cain, or Elijah Abel?
Who are the seed of Abel? Does anyone know?
Are they redeemed? What does that mean?
Has the resurrection taken place? Well of course, from Jesus until now for many of those who died before Jesus, though a few from Jesus till now have also been resurrected. Abel would have been redeemed at that time (see Doctrine and Covenants 138).

Advertisements

Leave a Comment »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: