Are Mormons Christians? Part II
Mormonism Has a Violent, Militant History
Mormons have a violent history which includes an actual massacre.
[Richard Turley, assistant historian of the LDS Church and co-author of Massacre at Mountain Meadows] and his co-authors confirm the story's basic framework: a Mormon militia from Cedar City, Utah, attacked a wagon train from Arkansas in a grassy valley known as Mountain Meadows. The two groups of settlers fired on each other for four days. Then, on Sept. 11, the Mormon group tricked the besieged, thirsty and terrorized Arkansans into leaving their circle of wagons.
The men marched out first, and each was joined by a member of the Mormon militia, walking side by side. The women and children followed, some riding in wagons. A militia leader suddenly shouted "halt," and his followers turned and shot the Arkansas men point-blank.
Others from the militia chased, clubbed, knifed and shot the women and children, some while pleading for their lives. Only those too young to bear witness were spared.
"These people who carried out the massacre were in many ways ordinary ... individuals who got caught up in emotion, caught up in the circumstances of their times and began to make decisions that led to committing an atrocity," Turley adds.
"And what was disturbing about that was the realization that the difference between ordinary people like us and these people who committed atrocity was really a short distance." (NPR)
The NPR article goes on to state:
"As a historian, I think their biggest failing is their failure to look at the religious elements in all this."
[Will Bagley, historian and author of Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows.] Bagley, who was raised Mormon but is no longer practicing, cites the role of obedience in the Mormon faith and in the massacre. Attackers said they did what they were told by religious superiors, who demanded strict obedience in 1857 and who were believed to have divine authority.
Mormon leaders also delivered stern, sometimes violent, talks condemning the non-Mormons who were then considered threats. Some of those talks were given in and around Cedar City, Utah, just before the massacre.
"These people did it not because they were ignoring their religion," Bagley contends.
"They did it because they believed they were living their religion. I see this as a religiously motivated act of violence."
Bagley also firmly believes that Mormon prophet Brigham Young ordered the massacre, but he acknowledges there's no solid evidence of that. He believes the validity of the Mormon faith is at stake when explaining the Mountain Meadows massacre.
"[The massacre] raises so many tough questions about the religion and its divine authenticity," says Bagley. "It makes you wonder that if this thing could happen in the religion, doesn't it challenge the whole notion that we Mormons are God's chosen people?"
Turley says that what happened at Mountain Meadows that day isn't unique to that moment or place. (See/listen to the full article here.)
I think the evidence speaks for itself.
Mormonism Has a History of Racism
This is probably--outside of polygamy (see the next section)--one of the most socially embarrassing aspects of Mormonism.
Now let me begin by saying, I do not think many of the Mormons in my generation are racist. I have several Mormon friends that I gained over my years in California during 8th grade to the end of my freshman year in college. However, I do believe that the further up you go in the hierarchy, the more prevalent and obvious it becomes. Those “on the inside” really know what the deal is. But let’s delve into the historical aspects.
If it’s one thing I cannot stand to see, it’s a black Mormon. In my opinion, it’s the ultimate sign of ignorance and deception. Why would this be so abhorrent to me? Because of the deep, deep racism steeped in Mormon history.
Despite this modern reality, for much of its history—from the mid-1800s until 1978—the Church did not ordain men of black African descent to its priesthood or allow black men or women to participate in temple endowment or sealing ordinances.
The Church was established in 1830, during an era of great racial division in the United States. At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans….
In 1852, President Brigham Young publicly announced that men of black African descent could no longer be ordained to the priesthood, though thereafter blacks continued to join the Church through baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Following the death of Brigham Young, subsequent Church presidents restricted blacks from receiving the temple endowment or being married in the temple. Over time, Church leaders and members advanced many theories to explain the priesthood and temple restrictions. None of these explanations is accepted today as the official doctrine of the Church. (LDS.org)
The LDS Church goes on to whitewash (pun intended) this history of racism in their cult by stating:
Even after 1852, at least two black Mormons continued to hold the priesthood. When one of these men, Elijah Abel, petitioned to receive his temple endowment in 1879, his request was denied. Jane Manning James, a faithful black member who crossed the plains and lived in Salt Lake City until her death in 1908, similarly asked to enter the temple; she was allowed to perform baptisms for the dead for her ancestors but was not allowed to participate in other ordinances. The curse of Cain was often put forward as justification for the priesthood and temple restrictions. Around the turn of the century, another explanation gained currency: blacks were said to have been less than fully valiant in the premortal battle against Lucifer and, as a consequence, were restricted from priesthood and temple blessings.
By the late 1940s and 1950s, racial integration was becoming more common in American life. Church President David O. McKay emphasized that the restriction extended only to men of black African descent. The Church had always allowed Pacific Islanders to hold the priesthood, and President McKay clarified that black Fijians and Australian Aborigines could also be ordained to the priesthood and instituted missionary work among them. In South Africa, President McKay reversed a prior policy that required prospective priesthood holders to trace their lineage out of Africa.
Nevertheless, given the long history of withholding the priesthood from men of black African descent, Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter the policy, and they made ongoing efforts to understand what should be done. After praying for guidance, President McKay did not feel impressed to lift the ban.
As the Church grew worldwide, its overarching mission to “go ye therefore, and teach all nations” seemed increasingly incompatible with the priesthood and temple restrictions. The Book of Mormon declared that the gospel message of salvation should go forth to “every nation, kindred, tongue, and people.” While there were no limits on whom the Lord invited to “partake of his goodness” through baptism, the priesthood and temple restrictions created significant barriers, a point made increasingly evident as the Church spread in international locations with diverse and mixed racial heritages….
Church leaders pondered promises made by prophets such as Brigham Young that black members would one day receive priesthood and temple blessings. In June 1978, after “spending many hours in the Upper Room of the [Salt Lake] Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance,” Church President Spencer W. Kimball, his counselors in the First Presidency, and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles received a revelation. “He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come,” the First Presidency announced on June 8. The First Presidency stated that they were “aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us” that “all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood.” The revelation rescinded the restriction on priesthood ordination. It also extended the blessings of the temple to all worthy Latter-day Saints, men and women. The First Presidency statement regarding the revelation was canonized in the Doctrine and Covenants as Official Declaration 2.
So here’s the Desiree Translation of what really happened.
- Joseph Smith, Bringham Young, and the early Mormons as a whole were either racist themselves or bought into the racially segregated systems of the time.
- They let a few tokens through, but still largely were prejudiced--as an organization against non-Whites, especially blacks.
- They excuse this racism through a gross misinterpretation of the biblical curse of Cain.
- They also excuse racism through an equally twisted interpretation of the pre-historic war in Heaven between Lucifer and God.
- Mormons continued to evangelize all types of peoples, but when things got uncomfortable socially, they gave in and allowed blacks (and other non-whites) to be admitted to the priesthood.
- They now dress it up as a deep revelation, when it was nothing more than a lucrative business move for their religious organization.
It really doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out. But let's take a look at their two "biblical" explanations.
1) The Curse of Cain.
“And [God] said, ‘What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.’
“And Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear! Surely You have driven me out this day from the face of the ground; I shall be hidden from Your face; I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond on the earth, and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me.’
And the Lord said to him, ‘Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.’ And the Lord set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.” (Genesis 4:10-15)
Now there are two important factors to note in this passage:
- We do not know what the mark God placed on Cain was. But we do know that it was NOT a skin colour. (See below.)
- God says nothing to Cain--or anywhere else in the Scripture--of placing a curse on the descendants of Cain. The judgment is upon him and him alone.
These are very important factors to understand because we cannot put words in the mouth of the Almighty. First of all, Adam was black. Eve as black. The first family of humanity was black! How do I know this? Because scientifically, every ethnicity in the world can be traced back to being African, but not the other way around. A white person cannot produce a black, Asian, or Latino person. That’s not how the DNA of humanity works. So yes, Cain was black. But, my second point, he was black BEFORE he was ever cursed by God. Therefore, his black skin was not a sign of judgement but a sign that he was made perfectly the way God created Him to be, in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27).
It is important to latch on to the fact that there was no judgment passed down the bloodline for Cain’s murder of Abel because many--not just the Mormons--have twisted the Word of God to suit their own finite fancies. This misinterpretation can be seen when Spirit-less theologians study Genesis 6:1-4 which speaks of the sons of God coupling with the daughter of men and producing the giants and heroes of old. The Scripture obviously denotes that fallen angels became sexually attracted to the pretty mortal women, had sex with them, and produced the stuff of Ancient mythology. Yet this is not feasible to many Spiritless theologians so they say (one of the two arguments anyway) that the sons of God are the sons of Seth and the daughters of men are the daughters of Cain and these were those who produced this inhuman hybrid race of monstrosities.
NEWSFLASH: Human + Human DOES = Inhuman. That’s just simple science. A child could understand that. But that’s another blogpost for another day.
See more on the Curse of Cain here.
2) The War in Heaven.
The Mormons also believed (for a long time anyway) that blacks were those that didn’t fight full-heartedly against Lucifer in Heaven in the cosmic battle. And it is because of this that were were sent here to be cursed with black skin. Really, the shade of your skin determines your level of dedication to God in the world before. Now that right there is 50 shades of foolishness and I’ll tell you exactly why.
First of all, this argument contradicts the first. If black folks were sent to earth with this skin colour, then we were cursed before we even got to the earth and put on these fleshly suits. So why would God re-do the curse through the Cain situation? It makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER.
Second, this frankly sounds a lot closer to Norse Mythology than Christianity. In Norse mythology, the Germanic tribes believed that you had to die with a sword in your hand, fighting, so that you could enter into Valhalla with Odin instead of being a thrall (servant). Again, your status is determined by your valour. Seriously. You can’t make this stuff up!
Third, unless you’re Lucifer and his angelic cohorts, fallen from Heaven, why would God start off Creation with a cursed people? Those are one of the classic hallmarks of man-made religion when they make up their own crap. They make God in their own, petty, whimmed image, instead of remembering that they were made in His perfect image. They’re creating drama where there was/is none.
Fourth and finally, if you read the account/reasoning of this pre-mortal battle in Heaven, it does NOT align with Scripture. They’re just making crap up and calling it holy. It’s truly ridiculous. All of it. Every last bit. And yet this is the reasoning that, for over 100 years, kept black folks from the priesthood. But really, at the end of the day, if you know your good Mormon history, as a person of colour, why in the living heck would you want to be a Mormon???? Seriously???? STOP THE MADNESS!!!!!