Segregation of Israel

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Peter 2:9)


whose indomitable life and testimony attest to that pure blood of Ephraim that he willingly spilled for freedom; but not in vain—for “precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”


Within the confines of the scriptures, the doctrine of segregation is one of the paramount principles of revealed religion. God continually commanded certain individuals, races or nations to gather away from or out of the world. He established definite borders and barriers to which His people have been rigidly confined or restricted. The people of the world are relatively free to do as they please, but God has imposed strict laws upon His people. He directs in detail where they should live, who they should marry, who should be His prophets, and who should bear His Priesthood.

The bulk of the Old and New Testaments consists of stories about the blessings or punishments upon the children of God because of their obedience or disobedience to God’s laws. Thus, the scriptures provide the necessary means to understand God’s dealings with His children.

Out of the scriptures and ecclesiastical history, this little book has been compiled with the hope of providing the following clarifications:


  1. To understand why God has segregated His people in the pre-existence, in mortality and in the heavens.


  1. To review the reasons why God has brought such devastating punishments, and imposed such strict barriers to His people in every age of the world.


  1. To explain the reason why God has allowed, and often inflicted bondage, servitude, or slavery upon a particular people or race.


  1. To explain the nature, type and purposes of a divine “curse” and why God draws a very fine line between the cursed and the blessed.



  1. To summarize the reasons why God has always had a “chosen,” “noble” or “elect” people; and why He gives them power to destroy other people or nations; and why He favors them with power, riches, freedom, a multitude of posterity, and His choicest blessings on earth or in the world to come.

In preparing this manuscript, I saw a picture beginning to form which I had never seen before. The amazing and inspiring stories of the Old and New Testaments were always enjoyable to read and hear, but after researching and compiling the contents of this publication, I was able to focus them into a new clarity and meaning, which had been completely absent before. Every story from the scriptures is not just Sunday School material, nor was it given just to show the power of God—each is a meaningful episode to a complete pattern of God’s purposes for His chosen people. I hope that the reader will see this same picture.

—The Author

Chapter 1


We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes …. (10th Article of Faith)

With the Gospel’s restoration to earth, there came a clear understanding of the purpose of mortality—but more important, the reason why God wanted to segregate and gather His people Israel from other nations. The Gospel also revealed the purpose of natural barriers among people such as language and race. But more important was the reason God bestowed the patriarchal rights of the Priesthood through the lineage of Israel. So important were the rights of the Priesthood through certain lineages, that God called Himself the “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Israel then became God’s “choice” people and His “servants” to bear the burden of the Holy Priesthood.

The chosen people of Israel, and the Holy Priesthood, have been almost synonymous. God selected only this covenant race to administer the laws and ordinances of His Gospel. Israel’s identity and salvation depended on the manner in which they handled their Priesthood. Blessings or cursings were also brought upon others for the manner in which they treated the Israelites. For this reason, it is of vital importance that Israelites and Gentiles understand the nature of God’s revelations to His chosen people.

Blessings and responsibilities were prophesied to come to the children of Israel, before they came into mortal existence. The history of their trials, temptations, wanderings, triumphs, failures, and also their dispersion and final gathering is clearly portrayed in the words of the prophets.


[8]           Mormonism has the responsibility of gathering Israel back together again in the last days. The Lord revealed who Israel is, the place where they are to gather, the reasons why they are to become a segregated people, and why they must not intermix with other people socially, economically, politically, or by marriage.

Israel became a segregated people in the pre-existence, and they were commanded to become a segregated people in mortality; and they will learn that they’ll also be a segregated people in heaven.

The Bible is a history, but more significantly it is also a record of the spiritual communication between God and man. The first ten chapters record the plight and pitfalls of man from the time of Adam to Noah. Chapter 11 is the division between the old order of God and the new. Up to this point, the Bible has been a broad and general view of mankind; but with the building of the tower of Babel and a scattering of the civilizations, the rights of the Priesthood narrowed to only those in the branch of Shem’s family. From there it narrowed again to one man—the man called Abraham. The knowledge of the will and purposes of God were preserved and recorded by him and his descendants. The most important promises of God were made to those in the lineage of that man—Father Abraham!


From this point, the Old Testament essentially became a history book of the birth, growth and dispersion of the house of Israel. It is a record of God’s dealings with that chosen people, of how He blessed and protected them when they served Him, and of the cursings they suffered when they disobeyed Him. God was so personally involved with Israel that blessings or cursings would come upon other people in consequence of their treatment of the Israelites.

To understand God, we must understand His laws, ordinances, Priesthood, and covenants. It is essential to know why God had selected a particular people to administer those rites, and to know who are worthy of that sacred obligation.


[9]           In the study of Israel, we must consider these elementary factors:

Israel –    the man Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel.

Israel –    the 12 sons of Jacob.

Israel –    the tribes or children of the 12 sons of Jacob.

Israel –    the chosen people who became “lost” but were promised to again be “found.”

Furthermore, it is essential to understand the following items on Priesthood:


  1. God makes the selection of His servants, and He chooses their message, and their mission or work.

But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham, my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee,… (Isa. 41:8-9)


  1. Men are placed in mortality by their own merits in the pre-existence, and they will be placed in the next world according to their own merits in this world.

And they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads forever and ever. (Abraham 3:26)


  1. The prophets, apostles and patriarchs were given greater responsibilities because they would teach and impress upon their children the value of the Gospel.


[10]         For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment …. (Gen. 18:19)

Such has been the covenant between God and His chosen people, the children of Israel.



[11]                              Chapter 2


                       PRE-EXISTENCE and FOREORDINATION

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. (Rev. 12:7-8)

According to Mormon doctrine, there was literally a “war” in heaven—of all places. The devil sought to control the minds of men; God wanted only their hearts. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,” Isaiah asked, knowing that Lucifer’s design was to “force” all men to be his slaves. He wanted to govern men with a compulsion that would make them obey without question and without freedom. His plan failed in that pre-existence state, but it has met with great success in mortality.

There is nothing unreasonable in the belief of a former existence of men in a spirit world. The majority of all mankind believe in it. Even though the Bible is filled with references to men’s spiritual existence before they were born, yet many of the Christian churches do not understand nor do they believe in that doctrine.

It is the spirit that gives everything life, and it is the spirit that possesses intelligence, that experiences taste, smell, pain and feelings. When the body experiences death, the spirit leaves the body. Man’s spirit has an existence after death, and it had an existence before birth. The scriptures say that when people die…

Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was,: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. (Ecc. 12:7)


[12]         Jesus, too, taught the doctrine of His own pre-existence, when He declared: “Before Abraham was, I am,” (John 8:58); and again He said:

And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. (John 17:5)

Jesus was a living spirit “before the world was.” Paul, His apostle, indicated that God was the Father of Jesus, and the Father of us all, when he said:

We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live? (Heb. 12:9)

We were all there—great and small—in a Spirit World. The Lord selected His prophets and apostles in that sphere—for Jeremiah learned:

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jer. 1:4-5)

If God favored some men to be prophets before they were born, then it is plausable that everyone else had a part of that existence. It is also reasonable that if some were favored to be prophets, then others were not so favored.

The Apostle Orson Pratt’s exhaustive treatise on the pre-existence of mortals in his book The Seer includes enough to convince any skeptic of this doctrine as scriptural, reasonable and very true. Pratt appeals in depth to the plausibility and beauty of this doctrine when he said:

There is something grand and sublime in the contemplation of our pre-existence. How wonderful and interesting it is for us to know that the beings whom we call ourselves, that now dwell in [13] these earthly tabernacles—existed thousands of gears ago—that we were present, when the foundations of the earth were laid—that we then sang and shouted for joy—that we were engaged with our oldest brother, the First Born, in organizing this world—that we dwelt for ages in our Father’s presence in a celestial or glorified world—that we there beheld His face, and rejoiced in His glory—that we there were instructed in the wisdom and knowledge of God, till the intelligence which radiated from our persons, shone like the morning light. (Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 20)

But the devil and his angels were cast out of heaven. The others were gathered into different divisions of learning, intelligence, and capacities. Just as in mortality, some spirits advanced more than others. Some obtained a vast amount of knowledge while others developed talents and skills; a few became very religious and devout. There was no stereotyped, conglomerate or equal formation of man in that spiritual creation. They became just as different there as they are here in mortality; indeed it was there that the nations, the races and the divisions among men were first made. Some became very noble and great in the eyes of God, and these were selected, ordained and segregated from the rest for a special mission upon the earth. The noble prophets, apostles and patriarchs were familiar with each other, and they were set apart from the rest, just as they are in mortality.


In the Book of Abraham this statement appears:

Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers;…and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born. (P of GP, Book of Abraham, 3:22-23)

It was in this council that God foreordained a select people to be His rulers.


[14]         It is evident that God pre-destined the time and place that His chosen people should live on earth. Paul says:

For whom [those who loved God] he did fore-know, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30)

This gives us a better understanding of why there are the unequal divisions of knowledge, talent, belief among men—not to mention the erratic variances in circumstances and color of those born into mortality. It also gives more meaning to those scriptures which explain that time…

when the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. (Deut. 32:8-9)

Apostle Mark E. Petersen gives the following information concerning the doctrine of pre-existence:

Is there reason then why the type of birth we receive in this life is not a reflection of our worthiness or lack of it in the pre-existence life?

…can we account in any other way for the birth of some of the children of God in darkest Africa, or in flood-ridden China, or among the starving hordes of India, while some of the rest of us are born here in the United States? We cannot escape the conclusion that because of performance in our pre-existence some of us are born as Chinese, some as Japanese, some as Indians, some as Negroes, some as Americans, some as Latter-day Saints. These are rewards and punishments, fully in harmony with His established policy in dealing with sinners and saints, rewarding all according to their deeds. [15] …Let us consider the great mercy of God for a moment. A Chinese, born in China with a dark skin, and with all the handicaps of that race seems to have little opportunity. But think of the mercy of God to Chinese people who are willing to accept the gospel. In spite of whatever they might have done in the pre-existence to justify being born over there as Chinamen, if they now, in this life, accept the gospel and live it the rest of their lives they can have the Priesthood, go to the temple and receive endowments and sealings, and that means they can have exaltation. Isn’t the mercy of God marvelous? (“Race Problems—As They Effect the Church,” address to convention of teachers of religion at BYU, by Mark E. Petersen, Aug. 27, 1954)

People often say that men are all “created equal”, but they are not born equal. There is no equality in men’s intellect, attitudes, behaviors, looks, likes and dislikes, fingerprints, or voice; indeed, the very character of every man is different from all others. A belief in man’s pre-existence is the only justifiable reason for God to have men born under such unequal, unfair conditions.

The divisions in the pre-existence were of such a magnitude that an actual “war” developed. In this war men proved their valiancy or cowardice, wickedness or nobility for God’s plan of salvation.

Historian B. H. Roberts made this statement:

The contest was a severe one, and during its progress all degrees of integrity were manifest. Those who stood with Christ and the plan He favored for the salvation of man, formed one extreme, while those who stood with Lucifer and for the plan of salvation devised by him, which was destructive of man’s agency, formed the other extreme; between these two extremes every shade of faith, fulness and indifference was exhibited. Only those, however, who wickedly rebelled against God were adjudged to deserve banishment from heaven, and be-[16]come the devil and his angels. Others there were, who may not have rebelled against God, and yet were so indifferent in their support of the righteous cause of our Redeemer, that they forfeited certain privileges and powers granted to those who were more valiant for God and correct principles. We have, I think, a demonstration of this in the seed of Ham…I believe that race is the one through which it is ordained those spirits that were not valiant in the great rebellion in heaven should come; who through their indifference or lack of integrity to righteousness, rendered themselves unworthy of the Priesthood and its powers, and hence it is withheld from them to this day. (The Contributor, Vol. 6:296-297)

In the early days of the Church, an elder by the name of Mosiah Hancock, wrote a most interesting vision in his personal journal. In this vision he saw the pre-existence of man and wrote portions of it. He said that Lucifer had been with the Father for countless ages and had been no dull scholar.

Lucifer openly rebelled against the Father and the Son, and six other mighty ones who stood faithful with them and declared, “I will have it my way.” I saw the faithful ones gather around the Father and the Son, and Lucifer’s workers gathered around him …. We who were faithful to the Father and the Son, had a white star upon us, and the others chose a red star; [American war planes today use a white star—but Communist nations use a red star.] about one-third of the males and females would not accept of either star, but withdrew from the conflict, the females taking the males by the arm, said, “Coma, let us not take part with either side. Let us retire.” (When they were cast out after the manner of spiritual warfare,) they had no power to return …. Satan and his followers were all cast down, their female companions wept, and we all wept.

No females took part against the Father and the Son, but all took sides in their favor, except the neutral ones already mentioned. ***


[17]                         I next saw Michael and his companion proceed a long way off, to people the earth where Lucifer and his followers had been cast. As time passed, other notable ones followed as they were appointed. During all this time the classes met frequently, being taught by instructors appointed. Each member knew his or her own place, and took it each time, and the best of order prevailed. They were asked, first the males, and then the females behind them, “Will you obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ, when you go to that earth?” Some would answer, Yes, but not all.

…what do you wish to be? He would sometimes sag, “I wish to be a judge, or an officer of high rank among the people.” Then he would be asked, “Will you sustain the laws of God and also the rights of all mankind?” and the answer in every instance was, “yes.” I saw there that those who were proficient in their classes were advanced more rapidly until they became most perfect in those heavenly teachings, but some males, even there in Heaven would neglect their females and their classes and not meet with them. ***

At last the time came for me to go to the earth. The Savior came to me and said, “Mosiah, it is time for you to prepare to go. You have been faithful so long here it is time for you to go, that you may return and be as we are.” As I beheld Him, I thought, “How is it that I am not as you are now? For it seemed, that I knew nothing of the earth of the changes a probation there would make in me. However, I said, “Who will go down to that earth, and be my father, and help me that I may be brought in the ways of truth and righteousness?” A male by the name of Levi stepped forth, in the presence of the Son, and said, “I will go down to yonder earth, and by the help of the Great Eternal, I will try to do as well by you as you have done for me, for I am grateful to you for all your kindness to me.” He returned to his place, being an instructor of a class.  (Mosiah Hancock Journal)


[18]         The Prophet Joseph Smith said that, “Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was.” (T.P.J.S., p. 365) Thus all those that were not valiant enough to receive that fore-ordination in the pre-existence would not be worthy of being ordained to the Priesthood in this life. Some were given a responsibility to bear the Priesthood, but others were denied that privilege.

From these clear insights, we can understand why Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” How could a people “know” that voice if they had not heard it before? It was clearly a distinction already made in the pre-existence. This explains why some people delight in the words of Christ, but to others it falls upon deaf ears.

Apostle Orson Hyde delivered a speech to the High Priests’ Quorum in Nauvoo, Illinois, September 1844, in which he explained:

At the time the devil was cast out of heaven, there were some spirits that did not know who had authority, whether God or the devil. They consequently did not take a very active part on either side, but rather thought the devil had been abused, and considered he had rather the best claim to government. These spirits were not considered worthy of an honorable body on this earth …. Now, it would seem cruel to force pure celestial spirits into the world through the lineage of Canaan that had been cursed. This would be ill appropriate, putting the precious and vile together. But those spirits in heaven that lent an influence to the devil, thinking he had a little the best right to govern, but did not take a very active part any way, were required to come into the world and take bodies in the accursed lineage of Canaan; and hence the Negro or African race…. (Orson Hyde, by J. S. Hyde, p. 56)


[19]         Contemporary writers have also expressed the same ideas:

Because God knew all of His children `from the beginning’ and knew what would be best for them during the Second Estate, He deliberately planned the time and place and circumstances where various types of personalities would best fit in.

Some are superior in one way, some in another. Some are outstanding in material things, some are predominant in things of the spirit. Some are a happy combination of each. In planning the Second Estate, the Lord had to be sure that those personalities who were particularly suited to positions of righteous leadership should be sprinkled judiciously throughout all peoples in all ages so as to promote the welfare of the whole human family. This power of leadership is God’s Priesthood.

There was a certain group of spirits however, who for some reason not yet revealed to us, were not to be given the powers of the Priesthood during this life. This is the group of spirits who have come to the earth through the lineage of Cain. (First 2,000 Years, by Cleon Skousen, pp. 121-22)

* * *

There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. (Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Field Smith, Vol. 1, p. 61)


* * *

…This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in the lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa—if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in [20] the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory.” (“Race Problems, As They Affect the Church,” Address by Mark E. Petersen at the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo , Utah, August 27, 1954)


* * *

Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the Negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God. (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 476-77)


* * *

Further insight to the reason that the priesthood has not been given to the Negro has been attributed to the teachings of Brigham Young who in effect said: the Negroes do “not possess sufficient innate spiritual strength and capacity to endure the responsibility that always goes with the Priesthood, and to successfully resist the powers of darkness that always oppose men who hold it; and that, were they to be clothed with it, evil agencies would harrass and torment them, frighten them with spiritual manifestations from a wrong source, and so destroy their rest and peace that the priesthood instead of being a blessing to them would he the reverse.” (Liahona, The Elders Journal, 5:1164)


* * *

How else can we account for a God who is supposed to be fair and just, yet He sends His children to be born in such unequal circumstances? Some of His child-[21]ren are born into such a reduced state that for thousands of years they have developed little or no arts, where science has advanced no further than a bow or a spear; where they exist by eating insects and raw meat; where, even among its own race, cannibalism is practiced.

Yet some other child will be born in a most advanced civilization, where even without wealth they are born with the inherent talents of achieving great knowledge and the abilities to surround himself with all the refined comforts, music, arts, science and everything that men’s culture has to offer.

Whatever reasons men might give for not believing in the doctrine of pre-existence, they must conclude that it is more reasonable and justifiable than any other possible basis for the dealings of a just God with His children. It is because of this pre-existence that we can comprehend the vast ranges between the good and bad, the great and small, the blessed and the cursed among men.



[22]                              Chapter 3


                      CAIN and ABELGENESIS of a NATION

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts…. (Heb. 11:4)

Mother Eve was told that the devil would cause “enmity” between her seed, and she soon witnessed that division within her own family. This segregation would continue between her seed throughout all the rest of time and eternity.

There was one negative command that constantly appears throughout the book of Genesis. It is the restriction against mixing seed “after its own kind”, and it was imposed on herbs, fish, animals and man. This law was so important that it was reiterated in the book of Genesis ten times and in the 4th chapter of the book of Abraham, ten times.

This first segregation among men occurred with the children of Adam and Eve—Cain and Abel were representative forefathers to the nations of the earth. One was devout, upright, faithful and righteous; the other was rebellious, wayward, irresponsible and wicked. To understand what caused this division within Adam’s family, we must carefully study that brief account in Genesis:

…Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. (Gen. 4:3-5)


[23]         The story of Cain’s fall is very brief, but it contains the necessary material for an in-depth study of the fall of a notable man. Cain was possessed of great knowledge and power; he was a man who had talked with God. Yet, something caused him to fall to the lowest depths in the annals of crime. President John Taylor elaborated on the influences that worked upon Cain by saying:

You can read of Cain the course he pursued, and yet Cain professed—and there are a great many who do it now—to recognize God his Heavenly Father, while at the same time he was in league with the devil. Cain was called the Great Master Mahan. Still he was a religious “cuss.” Excuse the expression; but we have a great many such today. Abel was told to offer up sacrifice, and he did so. He brought the firstlings of his flock and offered them up as a sacrifice to the Lord; and the Lord accepted his offering. Cain offered up the first fruits of the earth. He was going to be, as I have said, a religious “cuss,” a religious hypocrite—as if God was not acquainted with what he was doing:—as if He could not read the contents of his heart!—as if He did not know that Cain had made a compact with Satan! He knew all about it, and understood all about the principle. Cain went to work and offered his sacrifice. But the Lord knew of his hypocrisy and deception, and of his plotting and planning against Him; for we are told that Cain loved Satan more than he loved God. The Lord would not accept his offering. Cain felt annoyed about it. He wanted to serve the devil, and at the same time receive the blessing of God, the same as many do to-day. They would like the blessing of God, but want to have the devil mixed up with it. Finally, the Lord spake to him. He asked him why he was wroth, and why his countenance was fallen? I presume that he tried to make out that he had not been treated right, in that the Lord accepted his brother’s offering and would not accept his. But the Lord told Him: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.” After a [24] while he began to do something that men are guilty of today. What was it? He coveted his brother’s flocks and herds, as many people covet our property here. What else? In order to get him out of the way, he killed him. He apparently had nobody to recommend to do the killing—as some are recommended that we be killed—so he had to do the business himself. The Lord again interrogated Cain. “Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said, “I know not; am I my brother’s keeper?” What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” And the Lord went on to tell him that for his crime he should be looked upon as a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. (John Taylor, J.D. 24:349)

Apostle Charles W. Penrose touches upon one of the main reasons why Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted by the Lord. He adds:

When Abel would worship God in the way appointed; Cain, who wanted to go his own way, offered what he pleased, what he thought would do, and he was filled with anger towards Abel, because his offering was accepted. Abel offered what God commanded, the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered the fruits of the ground. God had commanded a lamb without blemish and without spots to be offered as an emblem of the coming Redeemer, who, in the meridian of time, should come as “the lamb slain from before the foundation of the world,” and offer his life and pour out his blood for the remission of sins. Cain offered what he pleased, and when Abel’s offering was accepted, Cain was filled with anger. The spirit of Satan entered into him—which is the spirit of destruction, the spirit of murder—and he arose and slew his brother. Now, though persecutors in these times do not realize it themselves, they are filled with the same spirit towards the servants of God. (J.D. 25:47-48)

It is noteworthy that Cain’s first crime was trying to change one of the ordinances of God. This is an [25] important key to understanding the reason for the downfall of the man. The Prophet Joseph Smith has given a clear account of the seriousness of this man’s crime by explaining why Cain was activated into his total apostasy:

…God, as before remarked, prepared a sacrifice in the gift of His own Son who should be sent in due time, to prepare a way, or open a door through which man might enter into the Lord’s presence, whence he had been cast out for disobedience. From time to time these glad tidings were sounded in the ears of men in different ages of the world down to the time of Messiah’s coming. By faith in this atonement or plan of redemption, Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. It must be shedding the blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man; for this was the plan of redemption; and without the shedding of blood was no remission; and as the sacrifice was instituted for a type by which man was to discern the great Sacrifice which God had prepared; TO OFFER A SACRIFICE CONTRARY TO THAT, NO FAITH COULD BE EXERCISED, because redemption was not purchased in that way, nor the power of atonement instituted after that order; consequently Cain could have no faith; and whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. But Abel offered an acceptable sacrifice, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God Himself testifying of his gifts. Certainly, the shedding of the blood of a beast could be beneficial to no man, EXCEPT IT WAS DONE IN IMITATION, OR AS A TYPE, or explanation of what was to be offered through the gift of God Himself; and this performance done with an eye looking forward in faith on the power of that great Sacrifice for a remission of sins. (Joseph Smith, T.P.J.S., p. 58)

Thus we have a standard format for apostasy. It is a common rule of thumb which can be observed in every [26] dispensation. It is a blueprint from which comes the fall of men, organizations and nations alike. So, as we briefly review what happened to Cain, the following reasons for his apostasy are apparent:


  1. He loved temporal wealth and pleasures.


  1. He coveted his brother’s possessions.


  1. He thought and devised ways to obtain wealth that were evil.


  1. He began to believe in the perverted principles of Satan.


  1. He soon loved the doctrines of the devil more than the doctrines that he had previously accepted from God.


  1. He came under the influence of Satan to such a degree that he obtained a “revelation” to change a law of God.


  1. He perverted a holy ordinance and made an offering of it to God.


  1. By changing the laws and ordinances of the Gospel, Cain became totally subjected to the powers of the devil, and he soon loved Satan more than God and thus became his obedient servant.


  1. Dictated by the revelations of Satan, Cain committed murder and shed innocent blood.


  1. By now he had become totally committed to the dominion of Satan. He was subjected to a power from which he could never repent. He became a tool of Satan eternally bound to the mission of deceiving and destroying those who believed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Because of covetousness, jealousy, anger, premeditated murder, and transgression, Cain received a curse, and demonstrated his unworthiness to dwell in the [27] society of the other children of Adam. Judgment was pronounced upon him—a “fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth.” And “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden.” (The name Nod means “wandering.”) Thus part of his penalty was banishment from the household of Adam and the society of the rest of his family. By this divine decree, Cain and his descendants were restricted, isolated, or segregated from the godly line of Seth, who took the place of Abel.

But Cain is still alive—still a vagabond on the earth and still seeking to deceive and destroy the sons of God. He has been seen in our time by one of the first apostles of the Church, David Patten, who said:

As I was riding along the road on my mule I noticed a very strange personage walking beside me. He walked along beside me for about two miles. His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight. (Life of David Patten, by L. A. Wilson, p. 46)

Bruce R. McConkie, of the Council of the Twelve, explains the seriousness of the curse that was put on Cain:

As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed with a dark skin; he became the father of the Negroes, and those spirits who are not worthy to receive the priesthood are born through his lineage. He became the first mortal to be cursed as a son of perdition. (Mormon Doctrine, p. 102)


[28]         To become a son of perdition, one must first possess the Priesthood. Cain possessed the Priesthood and administered in the ordinances of God and progressed to where he could walk and talk with God; but afterwards he fell into apostasy, thus becoming a son of perdition.

The descendants of Cain who are born black are not born that way by reason of their being a descendant worthy of that curse on Cain, because men “will be punished for their own sins” and not for someone else’s transgression. Their curse came as a result of forfeiting that right to the Priesthood in the pre-existence.

When any man or set of men give way to the spirit of changing the Gospel, a curse soon follows. The nature of the curse may vary, but once it has been pronounced, it is usually a long time before being removed. President Wilford Woodruff explained this by saying:

And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him. What was that mark? It was a mark of blackness. That mark rested upon Cain and descended upon his posterity from that time until the present. Today there are millions of the descendants of Cain, through the lineage of Ham, in the world, and that mark of darkness still rests upon them. Though nearly six thousand years have passed and gone, this mark is visible to the whole human family. Yet the fool and the infidel say there is no God, and they ridicule the Bible.

The Lamanites, on this continent, suffered a similar experience. They went to war against the Nephites; they thirsted for blood, and they painted themselves red; and the Lord put a curse of redness upon them. Hundreds of years have passed since then, but wherever you meet the Lamanites today, you see that mark upon them. (Deseret Evening News, Apr. 13, 1889)

Although Cain destroyed Abel, another child was given to Eve in place of Abel who was called Seth. And when Eve gave birth to Seth, she said, “For God hath appointed me another seed instead of Abel, whom Cain slew.” From this era in history came a noteworthy distinction [29] in the societies of men for some of them began “to call upon the name of the Lord” or as some infer, they “began to call themselves by the name of the Lord.” This is supported by the fact that men “take upon them the name of Christ” when they are baptized. Thus, here in the opening pages of Biblical history, we find the beginning of two distinct types of civilization. The first came from Cain, which we understand became an unstable society going the way of the “world, the flesh and the devil.” The second civilization came through Seth, a religious race who worshipped God and called themselves by His name. Thus the first segregation on earth came to the sons of Adam, and they were separated by the divine decree of the Almighty.

According to the scriptures, Seth raised up a numerous posterity of “Many sons and daughters,” (D. & C. 107:42), but only one son, Enos, is named in the scriptures. The reason for this was because the record was written as a history of the patriarchs and those directly connected with the patriarchal descent of the Priesthood. Seth “taught his son Enos in the ways of God.” Here then, is another breach in family rights between the patriarchal line of Priesthood and the rest of the children.

From the apocryphal books of the Bible, Adam gives patriarchal instructions to his son, Seth—a portion of which were:


But now, O Seth, my son, place thyself at the head of thy people; tend them and watch over them in the fear of God; and lead them in the good way. Command them to fast unto God; and make them understand they ought not to hearken to Satan, lest he destroy them. Then, again, sever thy children and thy children’s children from Cain’s children; do not let them ever mix with those nor come near them either in their words or in their deeds. (Adam and Eve, 8:14-15)

Later “the Word of God” came to Seth and said to “But as to thy father Adam, keep thou the commandment he gave thee; and sever thy seed from that of Cain [30] thy brother.” Then it says that “After the death of Adam and of Eve, Seth severed his children, and his children’s children from Cain’s children.” In one of Seth’s teachings to his children he said:

Make no fellowship with the children of Cain the murderer and the sinner, who killed his brother; for ye know, O my children, that we flee from him, and from all his sin with all our might because he killed his brother Abel. (Adam and Eve, 12:11)

Further explanation stated that “among the children of Cain, there was much robbery, murder, and sin.” Enos also gave the same law of segregation to his children by telling them to “make no fellowship with the children of Cain.” Later Mahalaleel stood over his people “and watched them to see that they held no intercourse with the children of Cain.” Mahalaleel then told his son Jared to protect the people from the seed of Cain but he said:

But I also know that thy children will not hearken to thee, and that they will go down from this mountain and hold intercourse with the children of Cain, and that they shall perish with them. (Adam and Eve, 16:7)

Then an interesting event occurred in which “Satan appeared to Jared with thirty men of his hosts in the form of handsome men,” and of course entreated him and his people to “go down to them” (the children of Cain). His temptations and inducements were very reasonably presented, so Jared did go to visit the children of Cain and almost didn’t get out of there “with a clean heart.” But the children of Jared did not fare as well. They, too, were tempted by the enticements of Satan and “began to transgress the commandments” and they went down “to mix with the children of Cain, in foul fellowships.”

Satan had been laboring with the children of Cain and had taught them to use “sundry trumpets, and horns, and string instruments,” so that when they were played they became “inflamed” with “lust”. Satan also enticed [31] them to make a “strong drink out of corn.” So the children of Cain began to “multiply sin exceedingly” and they became drunk and filled with hatred, murder, violence and evil. When the children of Jared decided to go down to visit the children of Cain, they were told that once they left their holy ground and associated with them, they could no more be called the “children of God”, but rather the “children of the devil.” They began to associate and partake of the influences which were forbidden until “only a few of them were left.” All of this happened because of their “transgression of God’s commandment” which was not to mix with the seed of Cain.

God’s decree against the choice strain of Seth mixing with the other strain is not just a minor infraction of His law. In the fifth chapter of Genesis which gives the genealogy of the patriarchs from Adam to Noah the name of Cain is not even included in that record. This segregation and that of his descendants was so complete and permanently established that they are not even included in “the book of the generations of Adam!” This is a most significant and important factor in the genealogy of the “sons of God,” because it gives us further reason to believe that the descendants of Cain were cursed and deprived of the Priesthood.



[32]                              Chapter 4


                         ENOCH – CREATOR of a NATION

…In that time Enoch resolved to separate himself from the sons of men and to secrete himself as at first in order to serve the Lord. (Book of Jasher 3:17)

In the Bible it is written that Enoch was one of those rare men who was worthy to “walk with God.” From the writings of Moses, Enoch said:

…I stood upon the mount, I beheld the heavens open, and I was clothed upon with glory; and I saw the Lord; and he stood before my face, and he talked with me, even as a man talketh one with another, face to face …. (Moses 7:4)

Thus Enoch became one of the choice prophets of the Lord—a man who knew and understood the mind and will of God. Yet, the doctrine of segregation continued through the righteous posterity of Seth down to the time of Enoch. From the Pearl of Great Price we read:

And the Lord called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them.

And Enoch continued his preaching in righteousness unto the people of God. And it came to pass in his days that he built a city that was called the City of Holiness, even Zion.

And it came to pass that Enoch talked with the Lord; and he said unto the Lord: Surely Zion shall dwell in safety forever. But the Lord said unto Enoch: ZION HAVE I BLESSED, BUT THE RESIDUE OF THE PEOPLE HAVE I CURSED. (Moses 7:18-20)


[33]         Then the Lord let Enoch see the land where the descendants of Cain lived and he said, “…and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan.” Again the law of segregation between the people of God and the Canaanites was enforced. Furthermore, it was shown Enoch that—

…the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever; and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people. (Moses 7:8)

Enoch was a man endowed with the power of God, for we read that he could speak the word of the Lord and “the earth trembled” or he could turn rivers of water “out of their course,” or make the “mountains fall” before him. Yet when he preached the word of the Lord, he went forth among “…all the people, save it were the people of Canaan …. “Enoch saw that the people were “a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them.”

From these writings it is said that “the glory of the Lord was upon his people. And the Lord blessed the land, and they were blessed upon the mountains, and upon the high places, and did flourish.” (Moses 7:17)

From the Forgotten Book of Eden, it is written that “…the children of Cain looked up from below and saw the children of Seth… and they called to them to come down to them,” but they refused to go down. Then “Satan appeared to Genun,” one of the children of Cain, and explained a way to entice some of the people of God to come down from the mountain. When Jared, a prophet of God, heard of Satan’s plans and temptations to the segregated children of Seth, he—

…stood in the midst of them, and adjured them by the blood of Abel the just, “Let not one of you go down from this holy and pure mountain, in which our fathers have ordered us to dwell …. O my good and innocent and holy children, know that when [34] once you go down from this holy mountain, God will not allow you to return again to it. (Adam and Eve 20:25-26)

Jared also warned them that if they broke that commandment, they “shall no longer be called `children of God,’ but `children of the devil’.” Enoch also stood in their midst and warned them that if they went down among the children of Cain, they would never return. But many of them went down and “when they looked at the daughters of Cain, at their beautiful figures”, Satan caused them to be inflamed with the “fire of sin.” Then “God was angry with them” because they had “come down from glory” and had fallen into the “defilement of sin.”

You know they had Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, etc., in Enoch’s time—or a lot of religious professors like them. Perhaps they did not call them by those names; but they assembled together their armies, the same as armies have been assembled against us, and will be again. And some of you will help to do it, and teach your children to do it. Now, the wicked assembled against the people of God, and Enoch rose up in the power and spirit of the living God, and prophesied and the mountains shook, whilst the people trembled and fled afar off, because of the power of God that was with him; and the power of God will be with Israel to-day if Israel will serve God; but if we pander to iniquity, evil and corruption, we will have to abide the consequences. (John Taylor, J.D. 22:303)

From the life and testimony of Enoch we learn several important lessons: (1) that the Canaanites were not preached to or given the Priesthood; (2) that God forbade marriage and social integration with them; and (3) when people arose to break down these two principles, God arose to protect them by destroying their enemies. The might and power of God was miraculously bestowed upon Enoch and his people while they remained segregated and obedient. When men broke those rules and commandments, they suffered the wrath of God and destruction.



[35]                              Chapter 5


                      NOAH -“PERFECT in his GENERATIONS”

But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee. (Gen. 6:18)

Many centuries elapsed between the events related in the fourth and sixth chapters of Genesis. Both the descendants of Cain and of Seth had become a multitude of people, and the opposition continued between these “children of God” and “the children of men” until the time of the Prophet Noah. As men began to increase upon the earth, so did their wickedness until it was declared that they would be destroyed.

Then in the 6th chapter of Genesis a remarkable and dramatic event occurred which brought about the greatest catastrophe in the history of the world. But the most astonishing thing about this extreme judgment was that people were charged with violating the decree of preserving their racial strain—”each after its own kind!” We read this important pronouncement:

…the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

The “sons of God” were men of God. They were the lineage with whom the Priesthood would be preserved. The daughters of men were unbelievers, carnal and probably of mixed blood—hence, the transgression when they were taken for wives.

Noah was commanded to preserve “clean beasts, and beasts that are not clean” (Gen. 7:8), that there might [36] be a continuation of both strains on the earth. The flood prevented a total defilement of the “clean” strains among man and beast from occurring; yet there had to be a small portion of both lineages to remain on the earth.

Although the flood had destroyed all the wicked from the earth, the Lord’s program also called for some of the descendants of Cain to be continued.

Dr. Milton R. Hunter made the following statement concerning the Canaanite curse and how that lineage was preserved:

Since Ham was a son of Noah, it is quite definite that he did not have a black skin and was not a descendant of Cain. But the scripture seems to indicate that the wife of Ham was a descendant of Cain and through her the curses were preserved (verses 21-25). Her name was Egyptus, `which signifies that which is forbidden.’ Also, her daughter was known by the name of Egyptus, and Pharaoh was her grandson. He and his descendants could not hold the Priesthood (verses 21, 25-27). (Pearl of Great Price Commentary, p. 141)

The Prophet Joseph Smith advanced the doctrine that the Negroid race were “sons of Cain;” (D.H.C. 4: 501) and he also gave an insight to the curse upon Canaan by saying:

Noah was a righteous man, and yet he drank wine and became intoxicated; the Lord did not forsake him in consequence thereof, for he retained all the power of his priesthood, and when he was accused by Canaan, he cursed him by the priesthood which he held, and the Lord had respect to his word, and the priesthood which he held, notwithstanding he was drunk, and the curse remains upon the posterity of Canaan until the present day. (D.H.C. 4:445-46)

The intermarriage between those who “walked with God” and those who were the wicked “sons of men” was a [37] violation of a divine law; the result was a devastating flood! The sin of intermarriage was responsible for the sentence of death! But Noah was “perfect in his generations”—so God had respect for him and promised to preserve him and a pure lineage for the Priesthood.

So Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and “Noah walked with God.” We read in the Bible that the earth was filled with violence and “all flesh had corrupted his way”, but Noah was “perfect in his generations.” In other words, the genealogical line of Noah was pure and undefiled from that which had been forbidden. He had not intermixed by marriage or illicit relationships with any forbidden racial strains.

“Each after his kind” was not only a distinction imposed upon Noah and his children, but it followed throughout the kingdoms of all the lesser mortal creatures. Every living thing follows this law by instinct—only man deliberately defies his natural order.

Before the flood this law was broken by wicked men in defiance of God, both in men and the animals.

And their judges and rulers went to the daughters of man and took their wives by force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and taught the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth, all men and all animals. (Bk. of Jasher 4:18)

Noah was commanded to prepare an ark to preserve his family; and when it was finished, the flood commenced until—

…every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and [38] Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. (Gen. 7:23)

So, by the defiance of this Divine command against the law of intermarriage and the resulting effects of sin came the end of one of the most astounding eras of the world’s history.



Another unusual explanation of why the curse of Noah was so severe occurred in the Journal of Abraham Cannon who wrote:

I asked Jos. F. Smith why it was that Ham’s son Canaan was cursed instead of Ham for exposing his Father’s person. He said that the Prophet Joseph is credited with saying that the sin of Ham consisted in trying to castrate his Father, Noah, and kill his brothers, Shem and Japeth, so that he might become the head of the nations of the earth. Ham had married a daughter of Cain, and by him the curse was carried through the flood. The seed of this union is the Egyptians, who are not black, but after Ham’s curse, his seed were entirely black. Hence the difference between the races who now inhabit Africa. (Daily Journal of Abraham H. Cannon, Mar. 29, 1892)

Cain’s curse was:

When thou tillest the ground, it shall not yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. (Gen. 4:12)

Canaan’s curse was:

…Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant, and a veil of darkness shall cover him, that he shall be known among all men. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. (Gen. 9:29-31)


[39]         It was at this instance that Noah’s grandson Canaan and his descendants were removed from the high and holy calling in that great patriarch’s family. He and his descendants would become a “servant of servants” to the other more “perfect” generations of Noah.

History and common observation show [Noah’s curse to] have been fulfilled to the letter. The descendants of Ham, besides a black skin which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart have been servants to both Shem and Japheth, and the abolitionists are trying to make void the curse of God, but it will require more power than man possesses to counteract the decrees of eternal wisdom …. (Times & Seasons 6:857)

As strange as it may seem, it is necessary to have opposites in the spiritual realm as well as in the temporal and racial. President John Taylor said:

Why is it, in fact, that we should have a devil? Why did not the Lord kill him long ago? Because he could not do without him. He needed the devil and a great many of those who do his bidding just to keep men straight, that we may learn to place our dependence upon God, and trust in Him, and to observe his laws and keep his commandments. When he destroyed the inhabitants of the ante-diluvian world, he suffered a descendant of Cain to come through the flood in order that he might be properly represented upon the earth. (J.D. 23:336)

The covenant of the birthright and the rights to the Priesthood were to continue through all the descendants of Seth. It was a select line in which the Savior was to be born.

There are many instances, from that time forward, of which the scriptures speak of this birthright continuing among the descendants of Seth, until it came to Noah and his sons, of which sons Shem received the blessings pertaining to the Priesthood. Abraham came through Shem, and the [40] Savior came through this lineage; and through this blessing of Noah upon Shem, the Priesthood continued through his seed; while the offspring of Ham inherited a curse, and it was because, as a revelation teaches, some of the blood of Cain became mingled with that of Ham’s family, and hence they inherited that curse. (Erastus Snow, J.D. 21:370)

While the birthright of the Priesthood and its blessings were given to the descendants of Seth, the curse of Cain followed his descendants and they were prevented from having the Priesthood.

When God cursed Cain for murdering his brother Abel, He set a mark upon him that all meeting him might know him. No mark could be so plain to his fellow-men as a black skin. This was the mark God placed upon him, and which his children bore. After the flood this curse fell upon the seed of Ham, through the sin of their father, and his descendants bear it to this day. The Bible tells us but little of the races that sprung from Ham, but from that little, and from the traditions of various tribes, we are led to believe that from him, came the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Egyptians and most of the earliest inhabitants of Africa. (Juvenile Instructor 3:157-58)

From the Book of Abraham we read the following account of some of those descendants:

Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.

From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.

The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden.

When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land. (Abraham 1:21-24)


[41]         This Pharaoh was probably one of the most righteous descendants of this line. We read further that he established a very righteous government.

Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.

Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry;… (Abraham 1:25-27)

Noah blessed this Pharaoh with “blessings of the earth,” because he judged his people “wisely and justly,” he was a “righteous man,” and imitated the order of his kingdom after the righteous “order of Adam.” In spite of all these virtuous qualities in the character of that Pharaoh, yet Noah “cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.” The explanation was that Pharaoh was “of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood.” (Abraham 1:27)

Brigham Young described some of the features of the curse that have followed the descendants of Cain and Ham by saying:

The seed of Ham, which is the seed of Cain descending through Ham, will, according to the curse put upon him, serve his brethren, and be a `servant of servants’ to his fellow creatures, until God removes the curse; and no power can hinder it;… (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:184)


[42]         Apostle George A. Smith commented:

The Lord conferred portions of the Priesthood upon certain races of men, and through promises made to their fathers they were entitled to the rights, and blessings, and privileges of that Priesthood. Other races, in consequence of their corruptions, their murders, their wickedness, or the wickedness of their fathers, had the Priesthood taken from them, and the curse that was upon them was decreed should descend upon their posterity after them, it was decreed that they should not bear rule.

In looking abroad on the earth and seeing the effects produced upon different races of men, it will be plainly discovered that there are races who have never been permitted to bear rule to any great extent. (J.D. 3:29)

After Noah’s children increased in numbers upon the earth, they were “of one language, and of one speech,” but when they decided to build a city and a tower against the wishes of God, then “…the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Gen. 11:9)

Thus, the confounding of the languages and the scattering of the nations and races was also part of a curse. God would once again be selective by narrowing down His chosen people to one single division to preserve a chosen lineage for His Priesthood.



[43]                              Chapter 6


                       ABRAHAM – FATHER of the FAITHFUL

Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. (Gen. 12:1)

From among all the prophets and patriarchs, one of the most faithful and noble was Abraham. He was righteous enough to be mentioned by name in the records of the pre-existence; and while on earth “the Lord appeared unto Abram” and blessed him with incomprehensible eternal promises and a vast temporal wealth. The Lord said to him, “I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant …. ” (Gen. 17:7) Said he, “I Abraham had the Urim and Thummin,” and “I, Abraham, talked with the Lord face to face as one man talketh with another.” God had given Abraham the rare blessing in which he could “bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee.” He was also given the records of his forefathers “concerning the right of Priesthood.” Then he received the promise from God that the right of the Priesthood would “continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee.” (See Abraham 2:11)

God elected such men by their valiancy for Him in the pre-existence; and then in mortality they would confirm that calling. The apostle, Parley P. Pratt explains:

We read much in the Bible in relation to a choice or election, on the part of Deity, towards intelligences in His government on earth, whereby some were chosen to fill stations very different from others. And this election not only affected [44] the individuals thus chosen, but their posterity for long generations, or even for ever.

It may be inquired where this election first originated, and upon what principle a just and impartial God exercises the elective franchise. We will go back to the earliest knowledge we have of the existence of intelligences. We learn from the writings of Abraham and others, and from modern revelation, that the intelligences that now inhabit these tabernacles of earth were living, active intelligences in yonder world, while the particles of matter which now compose our outward bodies were yet mingled with their native element; that then our embodied spirits lived, moved, conversed, and exercised an agency.

Among the intelligences which existed in the beginning, some were more intelligent than others, or, in other words, more noble; and God said to Abraham, “Thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.”

NOBLE! Does He use the word noble? Yes; the word noble, or that which signified it, was used in conversation between God and Abraham, and applied to superior intelligences on earth, and which had pre-existed in the heavens. ***

Now the Lord did not predicate His principle of election or nobility upon such an unequal, unjust, and useless order of things. When He speaks of nobility, He simply means an election made, and an office or a title conferred, on the principle of superiority of intellect, or nobleness of action, or of capacity to act. And when this election, with its titles, dignities, and estates, includes the unborn posterity of a chosen man, as in the case of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is with a view of the noble spirits of the eternal world coming through their lineage, and being taught in the commandments of God. Hence the Prophets, Kings, Priests, Patriarchs, Apostles, and even Jesus Christ, were included in the election of Abraham, and of his seed, as manifested to him in an eternal covenant.

Although some eternal intelligences may be superior to others, and although some are more [45] noble, and consequently are elected to fill certain useful and necessary offices for the good of others, yet the greater and the less may both be innocent, and both be justified, and be useful, each in their own capacity; if each magnify their own calling, and act in their own capacity; it is all right. (Parley P. Pratt, J.D. 1:257-258)

Genesis 16 and 17 are chapters with proof of God’s plan of election or selection. Abram and Sarai, in their desire for a son, provided a means by his taking another wife, who was Hagar, their handmaid. Although Ishmael was born from this union, he was not acceptable to God for the fulfillment of the promised blessings, and God rejected Abram’s plea that Ishmael might inherit those great promises of birthright and the Priesthood.

Note also that later Sarah suggested to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.” Abraham was troubled over this, but God said to him, “Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”

Here again the wisdom and election of God overrules the desire or will of men. Isaac had the greater promises because of the merits he achieved in the pre-existence, and the will of man cannot change it.

Abraham soon became well acquainted with the Lord’s laws and promises regarding his posterity. When Isaac came of age for marriage, Abraham called his servant and made him “SWEAR BY THE LORD, THE GOD OF HEAVEN, AND THE GOD OF THE EARTH, THAT THOU SHALT NOT TAKE A WIFE UNTO MY SON OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CANAANITES.” (Gen. 24:3) He was ordered to go back to Abraham’s former country and take a daughter from those of his kindred. Abraham also promised him that if he would go to the land of his kindred, “an angel” would go before him.

This divinely inspired mission provides a most pertinent account for those who would break down racial [46] barriers. If there is no difference between peoples and races, why did Abraham make such definite demands that no women from the Canaanites would qualify? Why would the angel of the Lord direct the servant so far away from the Canaanites if there was no difference in these races?

The blessings or cursings of God were decreed upon all the nations of the earth by the manner in which they dealt with Abraham and his children. God said to Abraham:

I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Gen. 12:1-3)

Thus, the destiny of nations—receiving either a curse or a blessing—was deliberately established by God as a result of their conduct toward the children of Abraham. If they were helpful and cooperative, they would be blessed; but if antagonistic or troublesome, they would be cursed.

When Abraham was taken captive for not bowing down to idolatrous gods, he was placed on an altar and was to be killed by their priests. Then the voice of Jehovah spoke to him saying, “I have come down to visit them, and to destroy him who hath lifted up his hand against thee,” and “my power shall be over thee.” God broke down the altar and killed the priest, and to make things worse, He brought a famine in the land so that every one else suffered the consequence of trying to kill Abraham. God then gave the promise:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee; and in thee (that in thy Priesthood), and in the seed (that is, thy Priesthood), for I give unto thee a promise that this right shall continue in thee, and in thy seed after thee…. (Abraham 2:11)


[47]         Then Father Abraham was called to separate himself from out of Ur of the Chaldees. Abraham and his descendants were to be set apart and segregated from the nations around them. He was even called to separate himself from his own kinsmen to bring about the order and establishment that God had proposed.

Certain races or a particular people were preferred or selected by God to carry out His specific purposes or missions. It is not “favoritism” as critics may suggest, but selection for specific reasons that is required by God.

God promised territorial expansion and growth to Abraham’s seed. They would travel to the north, south, east and west. (Gen. 13:14-15) Then he was promised that in his seed a nation and a company of nations would come from him. (Gen. 17:4-5)

I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and KINGS shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. (Gen. 17:6-7)

The race of people who would become the progeny of Abraham were chosen by God to serve Him, and fulfill the laws and ordinances of His gospel on earth by the rights of the Holy Priesthood.

It was because of the promises of God that the rights of the Priesthood would continue through his seed. The Priesthood was a birthright to Abraham’s children, and for this reason he was called the Father of the Faithful.



Since the Canaanites were of the Hamitic tribes who could not enjoy the Priesthood, Abraham was greatly concerned about the marriage of Isaac [48] to a young woman of the proper lineage so that the promise of the Lord concerning the Priesthood could be perpetuated through him. To marry a Canaanite would cut the promise off because the children of such a union could not receive the Priesthood. (Third Thousand Years, Skousen, p. 18)

The Lord was depending upon Abraham to establish the patriarchal line of authority through his children. Isaac was the son that Abraham depended on to carry out that responsibility, even though Abraham had other sons. Abraham carefully labored to preserve and perpetuate the Priesthood birthright through this son Isaac. He was a miracle baby, born when his mother was 90 years old and his father 100. A year before he was born, his parents were told what his name should be, and also that God promised, “. . . I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” (Gen. 17:19) But all appeared to be doomed when the Lord commanded Abraham to take Isaac to the land of Moriah and “offer him there for a burnt offering”: Heber C. Kimball inferred that it was “an offering for sin”, and therefore an obligation that could not be restrained.

Isaac was now on the altar as a sacrifice, just as his father had been in Chaldea—but by the intervention of the Lord, both were spared. Because of the faithfulness and obedience of both Abraham and Isaac, the Lord appeared to them and confirmed the blessings which had been promised them.

When Abraham placed Isaac on the altar, he dedicated him to the Lord. And when Isaac was spared, he also received the blessing promised to Abraham, because they had both “obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” (See Gen. 26:3-5 and Heb. 11:17-18.) The Lord’s announcement to Abraham, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called,” (Gen. 21: 12) was also referred to by the Apostle Paul. (Romans 9:7) This was to become the Lord’s choice race of people, and an everlasting covenant was made with Abraham which would be continued throughout the lineage of his son Isaac.


[49]         Some of the promises of God to Isaac were:

Thy seed … shall bear this ministry and Priesthood unto all nations. I shall bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee. I give unto thee a promise that this right (of the Priesthood) shall continue in thee. (See Abraham 2:10-11)

It was Abraham’s patriarchal duty to see that Isaac was properly married so that the promises of God concerning the rights of the Priesthood could continue through Isaac’s descendants. For this reason Abraham gave instructions to his oldest and most trusted servant, and made him take a covenant “that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: but thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.” (Gen. 24:3-4)

Why would Abraham make his servant swear that he would not take a daughter from among the Canaanites if it were not a sin to do so? Why was it so necessary that his servant travel so many miles into Mesopotamia to get a girl from Abraham’s kindred if lineage was not important? Why was that marriage accomplished by revelation if Priesthood rights were not connected to that blood lineage? When the servant found the proper girl, he declared that “the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” That marriage was directed by the will of God. If the restriction about intermarriage with the Canaanites was given to Abraham’s children when he was alive, would it not also be the law and example for his descendants?

When the servant of Abraham came back with a wife for Isaac, he brought a girl by the name of Rebekah. She received the blessing of being “the mother of thousands of millions” so the birthright was to continue through her. Rebekah gave birth to twins—but they were entirely different. “Two nations—and two manner of people” would come through her. The Lord foretold, “And the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.” Esau’s [50] people would become servants to the people of Jacob; so here again the predestined rights of the Priesthood were predicted before their birth.



And Isaac called Jacob, and blessed him, and charged him, and said unto him, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan. (Gen. 28:1)

Two sons became two nations—Esau and Jacob, sons of Isaac. Again, the birthright and the Priesthood would be taken from one son and given to the other.

While Esau did not sense nor appreciate his condition and birthright; he did not respect it as he should have done, neither did he hearken to the counsels of his father and mother. On the contrary, he went his own way with a stubborn will, and followed his own passions and inclinations and took to wife one of the daughters of the Canaanites whom the Lord had not blessed; and he therefore rendered himself unacceptable to God and to his father and mother. He gave himself to wild pursuits—to hunting, and to following the ways of the Canaanites, and displeased the Lord and his parents, and was not worthy of this right of seniority. The Lord therefore saw fit to take it from him, and the mother was moved upon to help the younger son to bring about the purpose of the Lord, in securing to himself the blessing through the legitimate channel of the Priesthood. And as you know, his father was induced to bless him and confirm this blessing upon him. (Erastus Snow, J.D. 21:370)

Regardless of the differences of these two men, it is not meant that there should be any animosity towards each other. Neither should there be animosity between their descendants.


[51]                         God did not say that Jacob should be saved in the kingdom of God, and Esau be doomed to eternal hell, without any regard to their deeds; but He simply said that two distinct nations, widely differing, should spring from them, and one should be stronger than the other, and the elder should serve the younger. If one nation is stronger than the other, it can assist to defend the other. If the one nation serves the other, it will have a claim on a just remuneration for services rendered. If one inherits a blessing or Priesthood, through which all nations shall be blessed, surely the nation which is composed of his brother’s children will have an early claim on salvation through this ministry. I should esteem it a great privilege if, while I was serving my brother, and we were both partaking of the fruits of my labors, he should be elected to a Priesthood, through the ministry of which myself and all my posterity, as well as his own, might be taught, exalted, and eternally saved. By our mutual labors, then, we could be mutually benefited in time and in eternity. I am administering to him, and I am happy. He is administering to me, and he is happy. It is a kind of mutual service, a classification of labor, wherein each attends to the business most natural to him, and wherein there is mutual benefit. Why, then, should I find fault, or entertain envy or hatred towards my brother? Dressing a vine, ploughing a field, harvesting, or building, is just as necessary as teaching, or administering the ordinances of salvation; one acts in one capacity, and the other in another, but they are mutually blessed and benefited by their separate callings and endowments. ***

The Lord blessed Esau in many things, because he was a son of Abraham and Isaac, but the peculiar things of the Priesthood, through which all nations should be blessed, pertained exclusively to that peculiar branch of the Hebrews which sprang from Jacob. (Parley P. Pratt, J.D. 1:257)

Esau hated Jacob, and he said, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will slay my [52] brother Jacob.” He was a villain with murder in his heart. His choice of wives also revealed his apostate and wicked nature, for he married two of the “daughters of Heth” or the Hittites, who were descendants of the Ham-Canaan stock. Thus Esau forfeited his right to the Priesthood.

Esau’s parents were troubled because of their son and his posterity, for they knew that only by adhering to the law of the Lord could the Lord’s promises through Abraham be fulfilled in that seed. Esau, by his refusal to abide by the covenants and the laws of God, removed himself from those rightful promises.

Isaac called Jacob to him and confirmed the blessing that Jacob had obtained by trickery, because of the Lord’s will in the matter. Esau failed to conform to that restriction of the Lord that said, “Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan,” so Jacob then obtained those promised blessings. He was instructed to go to the house of his mother’s father to take a daughter of Laban, his mother’s brother. (Gen. 28:1-2) After he did this, Isaac said to Jacob:

And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people and give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee, and to thy seed with thee. (Gen. 28:3-4)

When Esau heard the instructions his father had given to Jacob, warning him not to take a wife of the daughters of Canaan, he realized that his own conduct had cost him dearly.

And Esau seeing that the daughters of Canaan pleased not Isaac his father; Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had [two Canaanite wives] Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham’s son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife. (Gen. 28:8-9)

Esau was still unable or unwilling to conform with the stipulation of that Divine rule.


[53]         The inheritance was a priceless possession and was greatly respected by all who understood it. Esau received the inheritance, but by default it was reverted to Jacob. Thus, the covenant promises followed through Jacob to his sons.

And Jacob called his sons together and gave them a patriarchal blessing which would follow through their generations after them. Each of Jacob’s sons became the patriarch of a tribe, and inherited a portion of the promised covenant and blessing.

The name Israel first appeared as the name given to Jacob by God when Jacob was told, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men and hast prevailed.” The children of Israel were so called throughout their bondage in Egypt, for the forty years of their exodus, the many years under the judges, and as a nation for 120 years in the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon. Israel would become “a nation and a company of nations.”

Noah, Shem, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob built altars wherever they went; but Ham, Ishmael and Esau were aliens to the true God.

The Priesthood flowed through a very select course in lineages of the patriarchs. Like a single thread of gold interwoven through the masses of fibre in a garment, that chosen strain would be both precious and predominant among all their descendants.



And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. (Gen. 37:8)

The life of Joseph is one of the most fascinating stories in the Old Testament, Hollywood never wrote a fiction story to equal the emotional feelings portrayed [54] in the factual story of this chosen servant of God. He became a prophet in his youth, and his father understood the choice blessings that God had in store for his son. The scriptures say that “Israel loved Joseph more than all his children,” and for certain reasons. Joseph was destined to receive a double portion of the coveted birthright in the house of Israel.

When Jacob made a coat of “many colours” for Joseph, it caused jealousy and hate from his brothers, and they “could not speak peaceably unto him.” The coat was not just a “beautiful” coat, but was an object with profound meaning attached to it. Each son of Israel had a color given to him, which was his standard (similar to the way we use a flag); and these standards represented their birthright in the house of Israel. Joseph’s coat was a combination of all the colors—representing his right to rule over his brothers. This was the real cause of their jealousy and envy.

The Lord confirmed the representation in Joseph’s coat by revealing it to Joseph in a dream, in which his sheave stood upright, but eleven others bowed down to his. The brothers seemed to understand the Divine message because they replied, “Shalt thou indeed reign over us?” and they “hated him yet the more for his dreams and for his words.” (Gen. 37:8)

Joseph returned a little later to relate another dream. In this one he saw “the sun, moon, and stars” all making obeisance to him. It was a further confirmation and a prophecy of Joseph’s future leadership among the house of Israel.

This was too much for his brothers to accept, so they sold him as a slave. However, even as a slave, God was with him and turned his misfortune into a blessing. In Egypt, Joseph gained the respect of the captain of the guard, named Potiphar; but this, too, was lost when he refused a temptation from the man’s wife. Joseph’s reply to her offer was, “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” For that answer he was given ten years in prison.


[55]         But God intervened and eventually made Joseph the Prime Minister, a position second in command of all of Egypt. The tables were now turned, and Joseph’s brothers and the rest of the world would become subservient to this young man.

Through Joseph, God revealed the future of Egypt and also gave him instructions in how to prepare for the seven years of famine. This famine caused Joseph’s brothers to come to Egypt for food; and when the brothers met Joseph, they “bowed themselves” before him, fulfilling the dream of the sheaves. When Joseph invited them to eat with him, he sat them at the table according to their birthright (Gen. 43:33), which caused them to marvel one to another.

Then the brothers left for home, but Joseph had put his cup in one of their sacks. When the Egyptians caught up with them and accused them of stealing it, the brothers said, “With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my Lord’s bondmen” (or slaves). (Gen. 44:9) The cup was found, and thus by their own words they became eligible to be servants to Joseph.

When the brothers returned to Joseph, he revealed his identity and said, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Then he added, “and God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”


Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and probably many others, but these two would carry the promised birthright. The strange but important means by which birthrights are given once again took place in the favored lineage. Jacob called for Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and gave them a blessing and a birthright; said he:

And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine: as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.” (Gen. 48:5)


[56]         Reuben was the firstborn son of Jacob, but he forfeited his birthright and it fell upon Joseph and his two sons.

Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s;)…

* * *

Joseph must have caught the full implication of this plan immediately. It meant that his sons would be moved up as direct heirs of Jacob, each of them receiving one twelfth of Jacob’s estate. It also meant that in the pattern of the Priesthood these two sons would be adopted by Jacob to replace Reuben and Simeon, as his first and second sons. This meant that Joseph’s house would be the major beneficiary, both materially and spiritually, of Jacob’s priceless legacy. (The Third Thousand Years, Cleon Skousen, p. 131)

Manasseh was Joseph’s firstborn son; but when Jacob started to give the blessings, he crossed his hands to give the greater blessing to Ephraim. Joseph objected by saying, “Not so, my father: for this is the first-born; put thy right hand upon his head;” but Jacob replied, “I know it, my son, I know it.”

Jacob then called the rest of his sons in and gave them all blessings, but the greatest was placed upon the head of Ephraim. The destiny of the Priesthood would follow that lineage.

Joseph made prophecies concerning his children’s posterity down to the last days. He described their bondage, then their deliverance under Moses; their dispersion, and their final gathering in the last days. (See Genesis, chapter 50, of the Inspired Translation.)


[57]         After Joseph’s death, things went well for only a short while. Eventually “there arose up a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph;” then the Lord’s people found themselves reduced to servitude and many hardships. The Egyptian taskmasters…

…made their lives bitter with hard bondage, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field: all their service, wherein they made them serve, was with rigour. (Exodus 1:14)

There were two reasons why God allowed His people to be reduced to bondage and slavery: (1) they were slothful and began to forsake their covenants with God; and (2) the Lord used this means to preserve their racial purity. Suffering would cause the Israelites to cleave to each other and to God. They would also be forced to turn away from the Egyptian customs and intermarriage with them. During this time of bondage they continued to grow and multiply, but their sufferings caused them to seek for deliverance. In time God would send them two deliverers—one to lead them from temporal bondage, and Another who would release them from spiritual bondage!

Joseph’s dream, in which he saw the stars bow down to him, indicated a greater distance in time and numbers. The descendants of the other brothers of Joseph would someday give obeisance to the descendants of Joseph. The rights of the Priesthood were again bestowed with partiality through a particular lineage. Even among the twelve sons of Jacob, the greater blessings of the Priesthood would be restricted to the house of Joseph—not only while he lived but with his posterity.



[58]                              Chapter 7



And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you…. (Exodus 3:15)

Moses was called the “deliverer” because he brought Israel out of bondage. He was not sent simply to give the Israelites a new form of worship, but he was to develop a nation. In a prayer to the Lord, he petitioned:

I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, show me now thy way…and consider that this nation is thy people …. If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. For wherein shall it be known here that I and thy people have found grace in thy sight? Is it not in that thou goest with us? So shall we be separated, I and thy people, from all the people that are upon the face of the earth. (Exodus 33:13,15,16)


While Israel was in slavery for so many years to the Pharaohs of Egypt, they were praying for a deliverer—someone that would lead them out of their bondage. They had been hoping for—and God desired to give them—a new life of freedom. God wanted to make them a new nation—a people that would be separate and distinct from every other nation on earth. The Pentateuch, or five books of Moses, are some of the most important books of the Bible and certainly some of the most revealing. They clearly explain the will of God to His people Israel.


[59]         From Mount Sinai, God spoke to Moses and said:

Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. (Exodus 19:3-6)

From this declaration it becomes clear what God was trying to do. He wanted to:

  1. Deliver Israel from slavery and bondage.
  2. Separate them from all other people.
  3. Protect them from enemies and evil influences.
  4. Institute His own laws among the people of Israel.
  5. Help Israel to abide in His covenants.
  6. Help them to be a “peculiar treasure” to Him.
  7. Consider them “above all people.”
  8. Have them become the Kingdom of God on earth.
  9. Create them into a holy and distinct nation.
  10. Help them be the priests of God to bear the Priesthood ordinances and laws to the nations of the world.


The Israelites were glad to receive the new communication from God, and they responded with, “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.” A nation was born in a day, and Israel was selected to become a “holy nation” and a “peculiar people,” above all others.

This command to deliver Israel from Egypt expressed God’s desire to have them segregated from all other people. In the wilderness He gave them new laws with statutes, judgments, ordinances and commandments to bring them nearer to Him. The events of Sinai are evidence that God drew a distinct line of demarcation between His people and the idolatrous people around them.


[60]         The Israelites were allowed almost no affiliations with the gentiles; for the Lord commanded:


… [1] thou shalt make no covenant with them, [2] nor shew mercy unto them; [3] neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. [4] For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods:… (Deut. 7:2-3)

Later in history we learn that Solomon, with all of his wisdom, still lost his throne because of his disobedience to this one law.

Now it came to pass, when they had heard the law, that they separated from Israel all the mixed multitude …. Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things? Yet among many nations was there no king like him, who was beloved of his God, and God made him king over all Israel: nevertheless even him did outlandish women cause to sin. Shall we then hearken unto you to do all this great evil, to transgress against our God in marrying strange wives? And one of the sons of Joiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was son in law to Sanballat the Horonite: therefore I chased him from me. Remember them, O my God, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. (Nehemiah 13:3, 26-29)

Some people accuse Moses of marrying a black Canaanite woman, but it was not so. Miriam and Aaron were trying to voice their contempt for her when they called Zipporah an Ethiopian woman.

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

However, all Ethiopian women were not black, just the same as all African women today are not black. The African nation is composed of different races. An im-[61]portant question to be answered is: Where is the Ethiopia which they were referring to as the country from which Moses’ wife came? Rev. W. M. H. Milner has this to say about Cush and Ethiopia in his booklet, The Russian Chapters of Ezekiel:

In Bible geography there were two Cushite areas: one in Asia and one in Africa. Similarly, the Greek writers allow for an Eastern and Western Ethiopia.

Arabia was a part of ancient Eastern Ethiopia and there the Midianites resided. With these facts in mind we realize it was in Arabia that Moses married Zipporah, his Midianite wife, the daughter of Jethro, the Priest of the Midianites. She was a Cushite from the Asiatic land of Cush and, though actually a Midianite, she could be called an Ethiopian. (The Russian Chapters of Ezekiel, Milner, p. 229)

The 7th chapters of Deuteronomy contains the promise to Israel that the “evil diseases of Egypt” would come upon “all them that hate thee,” which was a continuation of the promise that God made to Abraham. They were not to be afraid of any other nation, for God said he would “put out those nations before thee” and “destroy them with a mighty destruction.” He continued His promises by inferring that He had hand-picked them and promised to bless them “above all people,” if they would obey His laws.

Israel’s segregation was to be a constant reminder in every law and every portion of their life. That principle was implied in everything the Lord demanded from them, and it was incorporated into all their religious obligations.

  1. They were forbidden to make any covenants or promises with gentiles. (Deut. 7:2)
  2. They were forbidden to marry outside of Israel. (Deut. 7:3)
  3. They could not mix seed of the fields when planting. (Lev. 19:19)


[62]         4.             Their cattle could not gender with any diverse kind.” (Lev. 19:19)

  1. They could not wear garments that were of mixed materials. (Lev. 19:19)
  2. Men could not wear women’s garments, nor a woman wear a man’s. (Deut. 22:5)
  3. No unnatural marital or sexual mixtures were allowed, such as man with man (Lev. 20:13), man or woman with beast (Lev. 18:23), a man with another man’s wife (Lev. 20:10), nor any whoredom (Deut. 23:17).

These were a portion of the many laws given to Israel to cause them to become different from people of other nations.

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a SPECIAL PEOPLE UNTO HIMSELF, ABOVE ALL PEOPLE that are upon the face of the earth. (Deut. 7:6)

Segregation became a fundamental principle in God’s divine law of marriage relationships. Even when a woman became a widow, she was not to marry a stranger, but the law of God decreed that she should marry her dead husband’s brother. (Deut. 25:5) This prevented any chance of her marrying outside of the camp of Israel or in a mixed blood line.

The scriptures clearly defined even a separation between men and women in many of their modes of living. They were to observe certain rules in society which made them separate in their manner of behavior, apparel, and conduct. Each were to live according to the rules of their respective spheres. Even their clothing commanded certain regulatory standards which distinguished the men from the women. This law was given by God to Moses saying:

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s [63] garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord. (Deut. 22: 5)

Many of the Israelite laws were very strict because the Lord was impressing deeply into their minds the importance of being a “different” people from the rest of the world.

Another restriction was imposed by God when He stated that only the Levites were allowed to officiate in the rites of the Priesthood. They alone proved worthy of that authority; therefore, they administered in those ordinances for the rest of the tribes of Israel.

The Lord’s preferred way is to have a “kingdom of priests” not a tribe of priests. The Lord would like to have every worthy person enjoy priesthood privileges, but when a whole nation rejects the responsibilities of Priesthood service as Israel had done, the Lord’s only alternative was to build a firm core of responsible leadership in whatever group seemed most likely to carry the load. In a time of crisis it had been the Levites who had met the test. This occurred when Moses had stood at the gates of the camp right after the ugly incident of worshipping the golden calf and had cried out, “Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me.” The scripture says: “And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.” Not another single tribe had stepped forward. Now the Levites received their reward for that act of courageous commitment. (The Third Thousand Years, Skousen, p. 367)

Also the law of God restricted a “man of blood” (a man who had killed another person) from laboring on His temple. Although many “men of God” were “men of blood,” (This type was not classified as murderers, for penalty for murder was death.) they were no less favored of God, nor did they lose any eternal blessings. Their only restraint was that of being forbidden from working on God’s temple. For example, David was a man of “blood”. Therefore, God segregated him from certain rights in [64] Israel, so he was prohibited from building God’s temple. It then fell the privilege of his son Solomon to build it.

But God said unto me [David], Thou shalt not build an house for my name, because thou hast been a man of war, and hast shed blood. (I Chron. 28:3; see also 22:7-9)

Even the temple was constructed with specific restrictions:

…there was one large gate through which such as were pure came in, together with their wives; but the temple further inward in that gate was not allowed to the women; but still more inward was there a third [court of the] temple, whereinto it was not lawful for any but the priests alone to enter. (Josephus, Bk. 15, Ch. 11)

It seemed to be apparent that while Israel lived in mixed company, they ended up in bondage; but when they were separated from the rest of the world, they were free and prosperous. This was usually their lot in life and probably always would be.

The God of Israel continuously warned His people that if they would serve Him, they need not fear any other nation. However, if they failed to serve Him, they would be scattered by their enemies, they would lose their property and their nation, and they would be taken captives and live in bondage. It is on this premise that the whole Bible was written. This is the preponderant theme of the scriptures. It is the central message of every prophet. Slavery or bondage is a curse brought about by God, as a punishment upon all those who forsake Him and His sacred covenants.

One of the first promises God made to the Israelites was that they would rule over nations much stronger than they. He promised them an expansion of land and an increase of riches from those who were their enemies. But in the same revelation, God promised them that if they failed to serve Him, they would be led into slav-[65]ery and bondage. He constantly demonstrated that His power was with them by the miracles in Egypt, the power of breaking down the strong walls of Jericho, and the mere holding up of the arms of Moses that gave them victory, but if his arms were down, then their enemies would have victory. His power of deliverance was exhibited when the boy David defeated the giant Philistine. There probably is no theme so interwoven and so constantly repeated to the Israelites:

As the nations which the Lord destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the Lord your God. (Deut. 8:20)

The Israelites never received from God a more beautiful expression of love than those found in the writings of Moses. The Lord made this promise:

For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; then will the Lord drive out all these nations from before you, and ye shall possess greater nations and mightier than yourselves.

Every place whereon the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness and Lebanon, from the river, the river Euphrates, even unto the uttermost sea shall your coast be.

There shall no man be able to stand before you: for the Lord your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.


Any man with a drop of Israel’s blood in his veins should read the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, describing the blessings for faithfulness and the cursings for [66] transgression. To understand the Bible, or the history and future of Israel, it is necessary to read and understand that chapter. Whatever the conditions are for Israel—serving or being served—they are predicated upon the reasons outlined in this chapter of scripture.

The Lord explains that even His “chosen” can be blessed or cursed. If Israel can be reduced by a curse to bondage, slavery, or prohibited from the rights of the Priesthood, then it stands to reason that this can happen to any other people also. If God can put a curse on men in mortality, He could have done it in the pre-existence—and He may do it in the future at His bar of judgment.

The Prophet Jeremiah asked a question which infers that the nature of men is not very changeable:

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil. (Jer. 13:23)

Brigham Young commented on this passage:

In ancient days old Israel was the chosen people in whom the Lord delighted, and whom he blessed and did so much for. Yet they transgressed every law that he gave them, changed every ordinance that he delivered to them, broke every covenant made with the fathers, and turned away entirely from his holy commandments, and the Lord cursed them. Cain was cursed for this, with this black skin that there is so much said about. Do you think that we could make laws to change the color of the skin of Cain’s descendants? If we can, we can change the leopard’s spots; but we cannot do this, neither can we change their blood. (J.D. 14:86)

After they had been led out of Egypt, no adult Israelite could be forced into servitude except he was guilty of theft and had to accept servitude to make retribution. (Ex. 22:3) When an Israelite had taken servitude, voluntarily or by the law, he could not be [67] compelled to serve longer than six years. (Ex. 21:2) Treatment of those in servitude was under the law of the Lord which said, “Thou shalt not rule over him with rigour.” (Lev. 25:43) The Lord also imposed capital punishment for any Israelite who sold another into slavery.

If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and maketh merchandise of him, or selleth him; then that thief shall die …. (Deut. 24:7)

Yet at other times the Israelites would take other people captive, or even destroy them all, according to the word of the Lord.

So intent was God to protect and guide these Israelites that on one occasion He was going to destroy seven nations stronger than they, so that He could establish this Israelite nation.

When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou; and when the Lord thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them;… (Deut. 7:1-2)

To “utterly destroy” the Canaanite and other similar nations seems to be a very severe or cruel judgment. God was seemingly unmerciful to the Canaanite nation, but many of the reasons were made apparent in some of the archeological discoveries of recent times.


Religion of the Canaanites

Baal was their principal god; Ashtoreth, Baal’s wife, their principal goddess. She was the personification of the reproductive principle in nature. Ishtar was her Babylonian name; Astarte her Greek and Roman name. Baalim, the plural of Baal, were images of Baal. Ashtaroth, the plural of Ashtoreth. Ashera was a sacred pole, cone of stone, or a tree trunk, representing the goddess. [68] Temples of Baal and Ashtoreth were usually together. Priestesses were temple prostitutes. Sodomites were male temple prostitutes. The worship of Baal, Ashtoreth, and other Canaanite gods consisted in the most extravagant orgies; their temples were centers of vice.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL NOTES: Canaanite Religion. God’s express command to Israel was to destroy or drive out the Canaanites, Deut 7:2, 3. And Joshua went at the task in dead earnest, God himself helping with mighty miracles. In reality, GOD DID IT.

In excavations at Gezer, Macalister, of the Palestine Exploration Fund, 1904-09, found, in the Canaanite stratum, which had preceded Israelite occupation, of about 1500 B C, the ruins of a “High Place,” which had been a temple in which they worshipped their god Baal and their goddess Ashtoreth (Astarte).

It was an enclosure 150 by 120 ft, surrounded by a wall, open to the sky, where the inhabitants held their religious festivals. Within the walls were 10 rude stone pillars, 5 to 11 ft high, before which the sacrifices were offered.

Under the debris, in this “High Place.” Macalister found great numbers of jars containing the remains of children who had been sacrificed to Baal. The whole area proved to be a cemetery for new-born babes.

Another horrible practice was that they called “foundation sacrifices.” When a house was to be built, a child would be sacrificed, and its body built into the wall, to bring good luck to the rest of the family. Many of these were found in Gezer. They have been found also at Megiddo, Jericho, and other places. About child sacrifice, see further page 189.

Also, in this “High Place,” under the rubbish, Macalister found enormous quantities of images and plaques of Ashtoreth with rudely exaggerated sex organs, designed to foster sensual feelings.

So, Canaanites worshipped, by immoral indulgence, as a religious rite, in the presence of their gods; and then, by murdering their first-born children, as a sacrifice to these same gods.

It seems that in large measure, the land of Canaan had become a sort of Sodom and Gomorrah on a national scale.

Do we wonder any longer why God commanded Israel to exterminate the Canaanites? Did a civilization of such abominable filth and brutality have any right longer to exist? It is one of history’s examples of the Wrath of God against the Wickedness of Nations.

Archaeologists who dig in the ruins of Canaanite cities wonder that God did not destroy them sooner than he did.

God’s object, in the command to exterminate the Canaanites, besides being a Judgment on the Canaanites, was to keep Israel from IDOLATRY and its shameful practices.


[69]         At this point in the history of Israel, God was attempting to lead His people back into a society of Zion as Enoch knew it. He wanted Israel to become the Zion spoken of in Moses:

And the Lord called His people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them. (Moses 7:18)

Whenever the people of God established Zion, it contained these four elements:

  1. They were of one heart—they accepted the same religion.
  2. They were of one mind—they did not have contentions or believe differently.
  3. They dwelt in righteousness—there was no need for prisons, police, lawyers, etc.


  1.              There was no poor among them—they were living the United Order.

Israel could never achieve this type of Zion while in a scattered condition. Israel would have to become segregated from the rest of the world to achieve a Zion on earth. Without these four elements, there could be no Zion—anciently or presently.

When the children of Israel came out of Egypt, God made another segregation. He ordered each tribe to become separated from one another. The tribes carried the names of their forefather, with each having a leader or seer to administer their own laws; yet all together they enjoyed their freedom under the direction of God. By now Israel’s camp had become a camp of nations, as promised to Abraham. God had made them segregated from each other, as well as from other nations. (See map on following page.)


[70]              (maps of the kingdoms of Israel and Juda)

Eventually, the Israelites expanded into a nation of two kingdoms. The ten tribes established an independent kingdom with their capital at Samaria, under the kingship of Jeroboam. This was the northern kingdom. The nation of the ten tribes was then called the Kingdom or House of Israel. The southern kingdom consisted of the other two tribes and became known as the Kingdom or House of Judah—yet all were Israelites.

Sometimes this becomes a little confusing because the Bible and Book of Mormon speak of “Israel AND Judah,” but at other times God will speak of the “children of Israel” as applicable to all of the descendants of Jacob.

The kingdoms of Judah and Israel became almost two separate people. David was king over Judah for seven years and six months, but he was king over all of Israel for 33 years and 3 months. (2 Sam. 5:5) After the reign of Solomon, the tribe of Judah with Benjamin became a separate kingdom. (I Kings 11:36)


[71]         The kingdom of Judah remained in the Holy Land for over a century after the Northern Kingdom had been broken up by the Assyrian kings. Judah remained until the year 584 B.C. when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem and deported its inhabitants to Babylon. For 70 years Jerusalem was desolate. Then around 500 B.C. nearly 50,000 people of the tribe of Judah, led by Ezra, Nehemiah, and Zerubabel, returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. It was with the formation of this Jewish nation in Palestine, that the name of Jew first appeared as an abbreviation for Judah. Josephus says:

So the Jews prepared for the work: that is the name they are called by from the day that they came up from Babylon, which is taken from the tribe of Judah, which came first to these places, and thence both they and the country gained that appellation. (Josephus, Bk. XI, Ch. 5)


Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were frequently called Hebrews, having reference to the “children of Eber”. (Gen. 10:21) But nowhere before the time of Judah’s captivity was the term Jew ever used.

Also, it can be noted that the promise of the Lord to Abraham was that “In Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Gen. 21:12); therefore, they became Isaac’s sons, later identified as Saxons. Thus the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic people are the descendants of that great patriarch.

As previously mentioned, God chose to destroy seven nations greater in number than Israel, so they could have no influence or intermarriages with the Israelites. Intermarriage with other nations proved to be one of the most disappointing weaknesses of the Israelites. In later years, Ezra the prophet and priest chastized the Israelites for committing this sin.

Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed and have taken strange wives, to increase the trespass of Israel. Now therefore make confession unto the Lord God of your fathers, and do his pleasure: and separate yourselves from the people of the land, and from the [72] strange wives. Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do …. Let now our rulers of all the congregation stand, and let all of them which have taken strange wives in our cities come at appointed times, and with them the elders of every city, and the judges thereof, until the fierce wrath of our God for this matter be turned from us. (Ezra 10:10-14; see also Ezra 9:10-12)

By marrying “strange wives” who are not of the House of Israel, a serious offense is committed against God. To remove this temptation, God had to separate them from other people and other nations by making them a separate kingdom.

It was the Jebusites, Amorites, Hivites, Canaanites, etc., (Gen. 10:15-20) that were mixed descendants of Canaan from which the greater portion of God’s blessings were restricted. It was these same people who were gathered together, to fight against Joshua and Israel. (Joshua 9:1-2) When victory came to Joshua, he placed his captors into the rank and the position as directed by the Lord:

And Joshua made them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, even unto this day, in the place which he should choose. (Joshua 9:27)

It was a portion of this mixed people that were among the Israelites that never were totally “separated” from them that became a source of great trouble (Ex. 12:38). It was this same mixed multitude that fell lusting and had caused the children of Israel to weep (Num. 11:4).

With the constant transgression of inter-racial relationships, Israel never seemed to fully grasp the seriousness of their failure. The final collapse of all the Israelites occurred when this particular sin was ascribed to them.


[73]                         And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. *** Therefore the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years. (Judges 3:5,6,8)

Later Nehemiah attempted to cleanse the temple by declaring that the law of God prohibited the Amonite and Moabite people from entering “into the congregation of God for ever.” Then he attempted in vain to “separate from Israel all the mixed multitude.” (Neh. 13:3)

Another grim transgression that occurred was the elevation of men of the forbidden caste into the offices of the priesthood. Jeroboam, the first king in Israel, was guilty of this sin.

After this thing Jeroboam returned not from his evil way, but made again of the lowest of the people priests of the high places: whosoever would, he consecrated him, and he became one of the priests of the high places. And this thing became sin unto the house of Jeroboam, even to cut it off, and to destroy it from off the face of the earth. (I Kings 13:33-34)

Thus the decline and fall of Israel came about through mixing their seed with forbidden races and allowing those forbidden people to officiate in the ordinances of the temple and priesthood.

In 721 B.C. the ten-tribed House or Kingdom of Israel, whose capitol was Samaria, fell and its millions of citizens were deported as captives to the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas from which they never returned to Palestine. (II Kings 17:18, 22-23) These deported Israelites became “the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” The curse of God came upon them for their disobedience.


[74]         1.             God divorced them (Jer. 3:7-8, Isa. 50:1) and they lost both their name and identity as Israel.

  1. They gave up all the Levitical rites of worship by reverting to Gentile rituals and doctrine.
  2. They began to inter-marry with the other nations and adopt their social systems. (Mal. 2: 11)

The Israelite people are the life and prosperity of any nation. While Israel was in Egypt, it prospered—both at the time of Joseph and Moses; but when the Israelites were led out of Egypt, it became dark—so dark that the expression “dark as Egypt” still exists.

After the time of Nehemiah and Malachi, for nearly 400 years, God gave no inspired prophet, nor did He favor the people of Israel with revelations. During this time there was a famine in the land for the word of God. The heavens left a curse to follow the Israelites for their transgressing His laws, changing His ordinances and their subsequent admixture of races and morals. Darkness reigned over the minds and governments of the earth. Into such a climate the promised Messiah was born.



[75]                              Chapter 8


                      A NEW TESTAMENT of an OLD COVENANT

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:28)

Christ came with a New Testament, which was essentially renewing an old contract which had previously been broken. The Israelites failed to complete that ancient covenant made to their fathers, so Jesus came to try again. It was not a new gospel, with new laws and ordinances, but rather another attempt to rebuild upon the foundation of faith in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He constantly defended the law given to the Israelites and declared that He came “not to destroy the law, or the prophets” (Mat. 5:17) but rather to fulfill those promises. In His teachings He made it clear that Abraham was enjoying the blessings of heaven, (Mat. 8:11) and Jesus taught they should therefore “do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39) if they expected to receive the same glory.

With the advent of Christ there came a promise of salvation to everyone. The gospel was broad enough to reach into all nations, among all races, and to every kind of people. Paul the Apostle said:

There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (I Tim. 2:5-6)

From the Book of Mormon came this promise:


[76]         …he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile. (2 Nephi 26:33)

The gospel was a broad and merciful plan of salvation. The prophecy pertaining to all men would be fulfilled when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” that Jesus is the Christ. (Rom. 14:11, Isa. 45:23, Phil. 2:11) BUT TO BE OF ONE FAITH DOES NOT IMPLY THAT ALL MUST BECOME ONE RACE. The oneness of faith does not abolish the barriers of color, race or sex of the people. These are the particular marks or distinctions which God has placed upon humans for a specific purpose. Human beings, animals, fish and the fowls of the earth, each after their own kind, have their place and order within certain bounds to which God has placed them. God alone is responsible, and He dictates the reason to segregate men by race and color, etc. He alone has the right to segregate, integrate, or dictate who should possess the holy priesthood.

“Salvation” and personal “election” are two different things, so many are called but few are chosen. Christ’s parables of the different “talents”, the “foolish and wise virgins”, the “wheat and the tares” and the “sheep and the goats”, all illustrate differences among men. He admonished His apostles not to throw the “pearls” of the gospel to “swine”; and at the same time spoke of the faithful and “wise servants” who were capable of handling the “meat” of the gospel, while the rest had difficulty with the “milk”.

Neither would all men receive the same rewards in heaven, for John saw every man being brought before God, “small and great”; and they were judged “according to their works.” (Rev. 20:12) Paul also saw every man receive a resurrection, but “as one star differeth from another star in glory, so also is the resurrection of the dead.” (I Cor. 15:41-42) Every star casts a different degree of light, and so God’s rewards upon every man’s works would be different. What an unfair, unjust [77] and unrighteous judgment man would receive if God gave all men the “same” and an “equal” degree of reward! There is a vast and varied range between the good and bad among men. Yet, all would be saved to some degree in one of the “mansions” or kingdoms of God. Not all men were alike in the pre-existence, nor are they similar in mortality. Indeed, the majority of men in mortality will not accept the fullness of His gospel. Jesus said that Sodom and Gomorrah were more righteous than some of the cities of Judah. Others, He said, wouldn’t believe the Gospel even though they saw “one raise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31)

Jesus warned His disciples that they would be “hated of all men,” and that the “world” would reject them; therefore, they should go only to the “cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come.”


When Christ was asked why He spake in parables, He answered by saying that only His disciples would know “the mystery of the kingdom;” but not others—”lest at any time they should be converted”. (Mark 4:10-12; Mat. 13:10-11) Jesus knew that most of the world would not accept the fullness of His gospel, so He directed the laws and authority of the priesthood to the “elect” of Israel. Yet, it was soon evident that “they are not all Israel, which are of Israel.” (Rom. 9:6)

Conversion of a man into the Christian faith does not make him an Israelite; it makes him a Christian. The foolish ministers who think otherwise always quote Paul who wrote:

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: For ye are all one in Christ Jesus. (Gal. 3:26-28)

Paul speaks of the unity of Christians one with another socially; he was not saying that their differences would be done away. If that were true, then by “faith in Jesus Christ” “there is neither male nor fe-[78]male”. When people are converted to Christianity, they are not all the same sex. On the contrary, Paul recognized that some were consigned by God to be “servants” and some to be a “servant of servants” with “masters” over them. He wrote:

Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a master in heaven. (Col. 4:1)

These passages call for good class relationships, not class destruction or the amalgamation of races.

Often the critics of segregation will quote, “And hath made of one blood all nations of men,” but they overlook quoting the rest of the verse which says, “and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.” (See Acts 17:26)

Certainly God has established these certain “bounds” for the habitation of His children for special reasons. We have been taught that whatsoever “God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Mat. 19:6) Neither should man join together that which God has segregated or restricted by certain bounds of habitation.

The “scepter” of priesthood was restricted to the House of Judah; and when Christ was born, He was born into that genealogical line. (Mat. 1:17; Luke 1:67-75) During His ministry He directed His apostles not to go “in the way of the Gentiles,” nor to “enter any city of the Samaritans,” thus restricting the Priesthood from them. Christ was the Savior of the whole world, but the Priesthood was limited to “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Mat. 10:5-6) Though Christ was the Redeemer for all men, He and the holy Priesthood would only be “manifest to Israel.” (Acts 13:23, Luke 2:32, John 1:49)

Long after the death of Christ, His apostles were preaching among “all nations” and baptizing “all them that believe,” but the Priesthood was being limited only the house of Israel. The Apostle James, writing his general epistle in 60 A.D., addressed it “to the [79] twelve tribes which are scattered abroad” (James 1:1). Paul told Agrippa about “the promise made of God unto our fathers: unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.” (Acts 26:6-7)

Anyone who accepted the Gospel was free to become a citizen of God’s Kingdom, and had the right to promote it on the earth, but not all had the right to officiate in the Priesthood and its ordinances. Anciently, no one was allowed to become a priest without being first able to prove a clean genealogical line.

The promises of the rights of the Priesthood were a genealogical promise made to the House of Israel, (Mal. 4:5-6) and Jesus came to fulfill that promise (Luke 1:17; Acts 10:36).

The Twelve Apostles were established as the foundation for the function of the Church of Christ. These Twelve were representatives of the twelve tribes of Israel, but they were also represented as the crown of the woman, or Church. (Rev. 12:1, 7, Insp. Trans.) The crown is the right to the throne or kingly office—both in the Church and in the kingdom of Israel. Hence, the Israelites were the only people who would have the rights to legally preside both in Church and State, in the eyes of God.

The Gospel was taught by Jesus in the synagogues of Judah, and the first converts to “Christianity” were Jews. Other nations and other races, even the other tribes of Israel were not permitted to participate in administering the rights of the Priesthood. The first Christians were to become a gathered, segregated, and select people who would represent the true Israelites. Their mission? To gather the rest of the lost and scattered House of Israel. These were the “peculiar” people who were called to reclaim the lost sheep of Israel, and from among them would be called His apostles or witnesses to the nations.

The right of genealogical preference is an heirship to the Priesthood. God has never, and will never, [80] make a true apostle from any lineage other than through Israel. This is according to His covenant with Abraham, and is revealed to the prophets both ancient and modern.

NO ISHMAELITE, NO EDOMITE, NO GENTILE, HAS SINCE THEN BEEN PRIVILEGED TO HOLD THE PRESIDING KEYS OF PRIESTHOOD, OR OF THE MINISTRY OF SALVATION. In this peculiar lineage, and in no other, should all the nations be blessed. From the days of Abraham until now, if the people of any country, age, or nation, have been blessed with the blessings peculiar to the everlasting covenant of the Gospel, its sealing powers, Priesthood, and ordinances, it has been through the ministry of that lineage, and the keys of Priesthood held by the lawful heirs according to the flesh. Were the twelve Apostles which Christ ordained, Gentiles? Were any of them Ishmaelites, Edomites, Canaanites, Greeks, Egyptians, or Romans by descent? No, verily. One of the Twelve was called a “Canaanite,” but this could not have alluded to his lineage, but rather to the locality of his nativity, for Christ was not commissioned to minister in person to the Gentiles, much less to ordain any of them to the Priesthood, which pertained to the children of Abraham. I would risk my soul upon the fact that Simon the Apostle was not a Canaanite by blood. He was perhaps a Canaanite upon the same principle that Jesus was a Nazarite, which is expressive of the locality of his birth or sojourn. But no man can hold the keys of Priesthood or of Apostleship, to bless or administer salvation to the nations, unless he is a literal descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jesus Christ and his ancient Apostles of both hemispheres were of that lineage. (Parley P. Pratt, J.D. 1:261)

The word of the Lord, through our Prophet and founder, to the chosen instruments of the modern Priesthood, was this—”Ye are lawful heirs according to the flesh, and your lives have been hid with Christ in God.” That is to say, they have been held in reserve during the reign of Mystic Babel, to be born in due time, AS SUCCESSORS TO THE APOS-[81]TLES AND PROPHETS OF OLD, BEING THEIR CHILDREN, OF THE SAME ROYAL LINE. They have come forth, at length, as heirs to the keys of power, knowledge, glory, and blessing, to minister to all the nations of the Gentiles, and afterwards to restore the tribes of Israel. They are of THE ROYAL BLOOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB, AND HAVE A RIGHT TO CLAIM THE ORDINATION AND ENDOWMENTS OF THE PRIESTHOOD, inasmuch as they repent, and obey the Lord God of their fathers.

Those who are not of this lineage, whether they are Gentiles, Edomites, or Ishmaelites, or of whatever nation, have a right to remission of sins and the Gift of the Holy Spirit, through THEIR ministry, on conditions of faith, repentance, and baptism, in the name of Jesus Christ. Through this Gospel they are adopted into the same family, and are counted for the seed of Abraham; then can then receive a portion of this ministry under those (literal descendants) who hold the presiding keys of the same. (Parley P. Pratt, J.D. 1:262)

The Lord has revealed verification of this lineage and keys of Priesthood in the following declaration:

Therefore, thus saith the Lord unto you, with whom the priesthood hath continued through the lineage of your fathers; for ye are lawful heirs, according to the flesh, and have been hid from the world with Christ in God.

Therefore your life and the priesthood have remained, and must needs remain through you and your lineage until the restoration of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy prophets since the world began.

Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen. (D. & C. 86:8-11)

It was not the faith of the Jews which Jesus used for the foundation of the Christian religion, but rather the faith of Abraham and Moses. (John 8:30; John [82] 5:45-47) Jesus knew the background of the Jews; they had been mixed up socially, physically, and religiously with other nations and races since the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. The latter prophet had written:

In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab: and their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews’ language but according to the language of each people. (Neh. 13:23-24)

Many of the people in and around Jerusalem were not true Israelites either in lineage or in faith. Jesus branded them as usurpers and hypocrites because they were desecrating the temple, perverting the law, and robbing the people. They were a people who loved the laws, traditions and society of the world rather than the laws of God. (See Mark 7 and Matt. 23.) Yet when they claimed they were of the seed of Abraham, Jesus declared if they really were, they would do the “works of Abraham.” (John 8:39) It was by this standard that He could judge the true seed of Abraham.

The royal birthright was the native right or privilege acquired by Israel’s lineage; it follows race. It is a possession acquired by Israel’s forefathers that was passed on to their posterity.

The promised sceptre was the kingly office of royal power or the right to rule. It represents the throne of political power. This was bestowed by genealogical right of inheritance through the house of Judah.

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. (Gen. 49:10)

King David was of the tribe of Judah, and all the remaining kings of David’s dynasty were of the House of David through the tribe of Judah. Jesus was born of the House of David, and therefore a rightful heir to God’s political kingdom on earth. (Mat. 1:17)


[83]         Christ presented His gospel as “the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first ….” (Rom. 1:16) Salvation came by “grace” as the gift of Christ to everyone who would accept it. Rights to high Priesthood, however, were restricted to “race” or lineage by birthright. Salvation is a gift, obtainable by qualifying conditions. All men may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. Birthright to priesthood is obtained by genealogical blood line—it is a heritage. However, a man may even lose his birthright by his own misdeeds.

At the time Isaac gave the birthright to Jacob, he said, “Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren”. (Gen. 27:29) Hence, Jacob and his descendants would be lords or masters over his brothers and even nations. This turn of events has not always been carried out, but it was part of the birthright. Many times the children of Israel, through their weaknesses, lose that right and they become slaves or servants to those they should be ruling over. Most of the Israelites of our day would rather live in bondage to gentiles than to be free and independent. It may seem strange that the riches of the Pharaohs, ancient or modern, are more tempting to some Israelites, than liberty under God!

The writers of the New Testament were well acquainted with servitude as an existing condition in the world and also the world to come. In his first epistle to Timothy, Paul says:

Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and His doctrine be not blasphemed. And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren, but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and [84] strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputing of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (I Tim. 6:1-5)

This is perfectly plain and there is little need of comment. The scripture stands for itself, explaining the nature of servitude as understood by Paul the Apostle.

Again Paul wrote:

Servants be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; not with eyeservice as men-pleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to man: knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall be received of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven: neither is there respect of persons with him. (Eph. 6:5-9)

Joseph Smith commented on this passage by saying:

Here is a lesson which might be profitable for all to learn; and the principle upon which the Church was anciently governed, is so plainly set forth, that an eye of truth might see and understand. Here certainly, are represented the master, and servant; and so far from instructions to the servant to leave his master, he is commanded to be in obedience, as unto the Lord; the master in turn, is required to treat him with kindness before God; understanding, at the same time, that he is to give an account. The hand of fellowship is not withdrawn from him in consequence of his having servants.

I must not pass over a notice of the history of Abraham, of whom so much is spoken in the Scrip-[85]ture. If we can credit the account, God conversed with him from time to time, and directed him in the way he should walk, saying,”I am the Almighty: walk before me, and be thou perfect.” Paul says the Gospel was preached to this man. And it is further said that he had sheep and oxen, men-servants and maid-servants, etc. From this I conclude, that if the principle had been an evil one, in the midst of the communications made to this holy man, he would have been instructed to that effect, and if he was instructed against holding men-servants and maid-servants, he never ceased to do it; consequently must have incurred the displeasure of the Lord, and thereby lost His blessings; which was not the fact. (D.H.C. 2:439-40)

A man may be a servant, or even a servant of servants, but yet not be a slave. Slavery is servitude without the chance of freedom. A king with servants may be similar to the president of a corporation today with employees serving him. While serving under the banner of freedom, men may leave their station if they choose, but not under slavery. Yet, men may be brought into servitude, slavery, or bondage and yet it might be proper, or even Divinely appointed to him. God suffered Joseph to be sold as a slave into Egypt; but when it was time for him to be delivered, God delivered him. When Israel went into bondage to the Egyptians, it was because they deserved it. God also delivered them through miracles and a demonstration of His power when it was time to lead them out of that bondage.


Paul also made other references to the separation among Israelites and gentiles. Said he:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with [86] Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (II Cor. 6:14-18)

Not much more could be said towards the doctrine of separation than this. It was the gospel of Christ, yet it had the ring of the Old Testament teachings.

It was attempted by Christ and His apostles to re-establish the teachings and doctrines that had once been given to the Israelites. Moses had declared:

For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God, and the Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (Deut. 14:2; see also Hosea 1:9-10)

The chief apostle, Peter, reiterated this to the new “Christians” by writing:

But ye are a chosen generation a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (I Peter 2:9)

These teachings contain a “key” which unlocks the intent of God towards His people Israel. We discover the full significance of both history and prophecy when we realize what God has been attempting to accomplish with the seed of Abraham. There have been five definite and essential covenants that God has made with His chosen people Israel. The interpretation of history and the comprehension of the revelations of God hinge upon these five covenants with Israel:



  1. The Abraham Covenant: The descendants of Abraham, through Isaac and Jacob, were to be a blessing to all the other nations who honored their Priesthood.

And I will bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)


  1. The Sinai Covenant: The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, if they kept God’s commandments, would become a “peculiar treasure unto me above all people” and a “kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” (Ex. 19:5-6) But if they disobeyed His laws, He would punish them “seven times” and they would suffer in bondage.


  1. The David Covenant: God told Israel, “I will appoint a place for my people Israel” and they should have a “kingdom” that shall “be established forever” and God’s Kingdom would be their kingdom forever. (2 Sam. 7:16)


  1. The New Covenant: Jesus Christ re-established the gathering of Israel, the throne and Kingdom of David, and the royal priesthood with all its laws and ordinances. Salvation could be enjoyed through His church and freedom in His Kingdom.


  1. The Restored Covenants: In the last days there would be a “restitution of all things” (Acts 3:21) in which all the keys and powers would be restored to earth from previous dispensations. This was the covenant and promise that would involve work preparatory to the second coming of Christ and His Kingdom on earth. (D. & C. 110)


However, the tribe of Judah rejected the Shepherd of Israel, and His Gospel and Kingdom; therefore, they contracted a curse:

  1. They lost the Priesthood.
  2. They lost their temple.
  3. They lost their genealogical records.
  4. They lost their capital city, Jerusalem.

[88]         5.             They lost their nation.

  1. They were scattered among nations.
  2. They suffered death, destruction, pillaging.
  3. They were killed by the millions.
  4. They were sold as slaves.
  5. They lost their Priests.
  6. They forfeited all animal sacrifices.
  7. They have not heard the voice of God among them.
  8. They have broken into segments of apostasy and rebellion.

The tribe of Judah has been scattered and tormented for nearly 2000 years because of their transgressions. The commission of the “sceptre” of power and rule has been removed from them and they have become victims of gentile rule and atrocities. They have been inter-marrying with gentiles, and portions of them married into the Canaanites and other races.

But just prior to the full establishment of God’s kingdom on earth, they will realize and repent of their transgressions when they learn the true identity of their Messiah. (Refer to D. & C. 45:51-53)

Meanwhile, in another hemisphere, another people also fell into a similar catastrophe.



[89]                              Chapter 9


                           MANASSEH SUFFERS A CURSE

In the fourth century of the Christian era they [the American Indians] apostatized from the religion of their fathers; they were cursed by the Almighty, a skin of darkness came upon them; they were cursed in all that they set their hands to do, and the withering curse of the Almighty has been upon them from generation to generation, until the present day. (Orson Pratt, J.D. 18:18)

The Book of Mormon came forth “by the gift and power of God” to supplement rather than to supplant the Bible. The mission of the Book of Mormon is to help clarify and emphasize certain doctrines of the scriptures and perhaps lend new revelation to portions that are missing from the Bible.

It was revealed in the Book of Mormon that “many parts which are plain and most precious” have been taken out of the Bible. {I Nephi 13:29) This is easily understood when the Bible itself testifies of many books that are no longer found within its covers.

The Book of Mormon, therefore, is an important instrument in clarifying the will of God “to the Lamanites and also to Jew and Gentile.”

The people of the Book of Mormon were Israelites. Their record is a history of the promises of God to their fathers who left Jerusalem. And during the thousand years of their history, probably no other record has more clearly explained and illustrated by example, the blessings and curses of God upon man. During the times of their faithfulness they were blessed, and during their apostasies they suffered under a divine curse.


[90]         The blessings and cursings of God have followed nearly every nation on earth. God often segregated portions of His children because of their faithfulness or because of their apostasy. Segregation becomes a prominent feature in the divisions of nations and peoples because of their faith or their failings. Elder Mark E. Petersen explains:

Now let’s talk segregation again for a few moments. Was segregation a wrong principle? When the Lord chose the nations to which the spirits were to come, determining that some would be Japanese and some would be Chinese and some Negroes and some Americans, He engaged in an act of segregation. ***

When He placed the mark upon Cain, He engaged in segregation. When He told Enoch not to preach the gospel to the descendants of Cain who were black, the Lord engaged in segregation. When He cursed the descendants of Cain as to the Priesthood, He engaged in segregation. When He forbade inter-marriage, as He does in Deuteronomy 7th Chapter, He established segregation.

The Lord segregated the people both as to blood and place of residence. At least in the cases of the Lamanites and the Negroes we have the definite word of the Lord Himself that He placed a dark skin on them as a curse and punishment and as a sign to all others. He forbade inter-marriage with them under threat of extension of the curse. (2 Nephi 5:21) And He certainly segregated the descendants of Cain when He cursed the Negro as to the Priesthood, and drew an absolute line. You may even say He dropped an Iron Curtain there. The Negro was cursed as to the Priesthood, and therefore, was cursed as to the blessings of the Priesthood. Certainly God made a segregation there. (Elder Mark E. Petersen, B.Y.U., 1954)

Just as the division that occurred in Adam’s family between his sons Cain and Abel, so also the great patriarch Lehi witnessed a division between his sons and their descendants. Two major races of people came through Lehi, and they were continually reaping either [91] cursings or blessings, war or peace. Lehi’s son, Nephi, was told by the Lord that if his brethren and their descendants would rebel against the commandments of God they would suffer a curse, “even with a sore curse.” (I Nephi 2:23) Later Nephi witnessed in a vision that they would dwindle in unbelief and “they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people full of idleness and all manner of abominations.” (I Nephi 12:23) As their wickedness and rebellion increased, so did their curse. The reason for the Lord causing “a skin of blackness to come upon them” was so that “THEY MIGHT NOT BE ENTICING UNTO MY PEOPLE.” (2 Nephi 5:21) So intermarriage with them was forbidden as the Lord warned further:

And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. (2 Nephi 5:23)

These were a people who were once “white, and exceeding fair and delightsome.” Their whiteness was the result of respect for and obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel. When they became disobedient and rebellious, then they lost that peculiar trait and took upon them the curse of a dark skin.

And the skins of the Lamanites were dark according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren…and this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve HIS people…. (Alma 3:6,8)

Part of this curse upon the Lamanite people was bondage. The wicked live by a code of rules that usually causes them to lose wars, be killed, or else be taken as hostages and slaves. In such an event they must serve in bondage or slavery until they have been delivered by God, or until they have satisfied the demands of their captors. In attempting to explain this to his brethren, Nephi asked the question, “Do ye believe that our fathers, who were the children of Israel, would have been led away out of the hands of the Egypt-[92]ians if they had not hearkened unto the words of the Lord?” (I Nephi 17:23) He infers that if Israel had not believed in the words of the Lord, they would have remained in their bondage.

Abinadi, the prophet, was commanded by the Lord to prophesy to the people because “they have hardened their hearts against my words;” so he said:

Thus saith the Lord, it shall come to pass that this generation, because of their iniquities, shall be brought into bondage, and shall be smitten on the cheek, yea, and shall be driven by men …. (Mosiah 12:2)

King Limhi understood the reason that his people were brought into bondage and said, “It is because of our iniquities and abominations that He has brought us into bondage.” (Mosiah 7:20)

When Alma and his Nephite people fell into the hands of their enemies, the Lamanites, they had “taskmasters over them” and suffered heavy “tasks upon them.” When their afflictions became unbearable, they repented of their sins and “began to cry mightily to God.” Their prayers were answered, and the Lord told them, “I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs even while you are in bondage.” (Mosiah 24:14) Then when their burdens were lightened, “they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” Under these conditions and with this attitude, the Lord can bring blessings upon His people. In this particular case the Lord told them He would deliver them.

And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage. (Mosiah 24:16)

The following day the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon their Lamanite task-masters, and Alma and his repentant and grateful people departed out of the land of the Lamanites.


[93] After Christ’s appearance to the Book of Mormon people, they were “all converted unto the Lord”, and every man did deal “justly” with one another. It was a rare condition, and “they had all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free.” (4 Nephi 1:3) There was peace in the land, and the disciples of Christ were able to perform many miracles. The Lord prospered them and they became very “strong, and did multiply exceedingly fast, and became an exceedingly fair and delightsome people.” They would fast and pray and meet together often to “hear the word of the Lord.” It was an unusual time, with hardly a parallel anywhere in history.

…there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people. And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God. (4 Nephi 1:15-16)

This was the Zion spoken of by all the prophets since the beginning of time, and which the Lord had so eagerly sought to establish among His people; and these were the results when the blessings of God rested upon an obedient people.

In summary, some of the important and repeated lessons to be learned from the Book of Mormon are emphasized in the following list:


  1. The people who were righteous “were white, and exceeding fair and delightsome.” (4 Nephi 1:10)


  1. But for those people who had received a curse from God “their skins were dark according to the mark which was set upon them.” (Alma 3:7)


  1. While under their curse, they became a “scattered, dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people.” (Mormon 5:15)


  1. Part of the curse was the division into tribes who fought among themselves and destroyed their government. (3 Nephi 7:2)


  1. They were not the kind of people who were tillers of the soil, but were taken up with wickedness, abominations, and murder. (Alma 37:29)


  1. Because they were rebellious and warlike, they often suffered the consequences of bondage and slavery. (Mosiah 7:20)


  1. Because of their rebellion against sacred and holy things, they were deprived of the holy ordinances and priesthood of God. (Alma 13:4,10,11)


  1. Under the curse they were identified as a people who despised virtue and purity and resorted to cannibalism. (Moroni 9:9-11)


  1. Being deprived of the inspiration and guidance of heaven, the devil enticed them to be their god and they served him in crimes and iniquity. (2 Nephi 1:18)


  1. The righteous were commanded to separate themselves from those who were marked with a curse and were forbidden to intermarry with them. Those who rejected this command would also receive God’s curse. (Alma 3:15)

The Book of Mormon has become a canon of scripture to the Latter-day Saints and is therefore a guide to their understanding of the promises of God to His children. Those promises are to be a sore curse if they rebel against His laws, but blessings if they are obedient to them. The nature of God’s cursings and blessings are revealed in the Book of Mormon more clearly than in any other book.



[95]                              Chapter 10


                         AMERICAN FREEDOM and SLAVERY

Nearly every nation has, sometime in its history, been involved in the practice of slavery. It has existed for thousands of years, mostly arising from captives taken by conquering armies. The variations in the practice of slavery have extended from the most rigorous tortures the human body and mind can tolerate, to almost enviable positions of servitude. In some cases the captives who were taken were even advanced in their standards of living and social progress.

Among the Hebrews, the law of Moses provided that a slave taken from among foreigners should be liberated twice each hundred years during the year of the Jubilee. (Lev. 25:10) But a criminal slave from among their own people should be set free after six years. (Ex. 21:2)

Greeks often purchased slaves from pirates. Romans were noted for capturing men for slaves, and either used them or sold them. Poor men sometimes sold their children into slavery; and often debtors were sold into slavery to satisfy their debts.

In Europe, slavery gradually developed into serfdom by the 1300’s, and during the 1400’s the Portuguese in Africa bought up black slaves to sell in Europe. By the 1500’s Spain gave their colonists and slave traders permission to take slaves into their Spanish colonies in America.

While America was still under the rule of the British, the practice of slavery was employed, and in the 1770’s British ships were carrying about half the slaves to America. However, on January 1, 1808, the United States prohibited any further importation of [96] slaves, but slavery itself did not end until after the Civil War.

The experiences of young America were trying ones, and a tremendous struggle was required to overcome the shackles of ignorance and superstition. No one can point to the treatment received by the Negro, the Indian, or the Mormon people in America with any source of pride. They suffered the pains of prejudice, hatred and cruelty equal to the barbarity of any savage or heathen nation. Yet these things happened in this “free” land of America.

The Constitution of the United States was created for the express purpose of protecting civil rights—the right to choose, rather than to have the government do the choosing. Government has no right to force its citizens in what they must believe, what they can say, or how they should worship. If a foreign power or nation tried to force these things upon American citizens, it would be grounds for war. The Constitution cannot be construed as a lawful means of compelling anyone to violate the principles of their conscience. No government on earth has the rightful power to overthrow these freedoms and civil rights of the conscience.

In more recent years, the Supreme Court—in the name of progress—has been gradually reversing their former decisions. Too often four of its members will vote on one side of an issue and another four will vote the opposite; then the last member will carry the vote that overthrows our long established laws. But laws, like truth, should ever remain consistent to the principle of freedom.

Liberty is the ultimate design of good government. It is the only promise, or hope, of people who wish to speak, live, or worship according to their conscience. Any law that deprives a citizen of these rights is a step towards slavery. The laws of State Government, Federal Government, or of the United Nations, cannot abrogate the inalienable rights and freedoms of men, for freedom is a right given to man by his Creator. Whenever any Government deprives individuals of their [97] rights or freedom, then it is reverting back into the savage state from which it once emerged.


Equality. . .

When Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, he penned that “all men are created equal,” after which he followed with the words “they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Liberty and equality were essentially the same factor for happiness; for if men are not free, they are not equal. By the same criteria, if men are forced to be equal, they are not free.

The original wording of this theme was first found in the Virginia Declaration of Rights. Later, it was incorporated into many of the state constitutions, and Lincoln copied it into his Gettysburg Address. However, as Parley P. Pratt commented,

…it is a fact that all beings are not equal in their intellectual capacity, in their dispositions, and in the gifts and callings of God. It is a fact that some beings are more intelligent than others, and some are endowed with abilities or gifts which others do not possess.

In organizing and peopling the worlds, it was found necessary to place among the inhabitants some superior intelligences, who were capacitated to teach, to rule, and preside among other intelligences. In short, a variety of gifts, and adaptions to the different arts, sciences, and occupations, was as necessary as the uses and benefits arising therefrom have proved to be. (J.D. 1:257)

There is no such thing as equality among individuals, races, or nations, except as it pertains to justice, liberty, the right to life, and the pursuit of happiness. There should be equality in the administration of law among people—regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin or social status. All people who are brought before the courts should receive the same treatment—without prejudice or favoritism.


[98]         The equality or amalgamation of all people into one race, one social, religious or ideological standard is insane. Yet, this is a principle objective of some of the socialist internationalists.

God has given every race, and every people, various gifts, talents and responsibilities, whereby everyone can benefit. So it is with individuals. Not everyone can perform the same kind of work and assume the same responsibilities, because they do not possess the same talents, knowledge or gifts. It is only by recognizing and contributing towards these differences that will develop growth and peace among the nations.

The best charter in the world, dedicated to the principle of liberty, was established in the Constitution of the United States. Its Preamble states that its purpose is to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” There is no mention of any other type of equality.

In examining the constitutions of all other countries of the world, one will find there are only four which contain the concept of an economic or social equality. These are (1) the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, (2) Mongol Peoples Republic, (3) Ukranians Soviet Socialist Republic, and (4) Guatemala. These nations, which proclaim social and economic equality, are the nations which practice the worst forms of slavery over the minds and bodies of men that has ever existed.

The American Constitution does not guarantee that every man shall be equal in wealth, yet this is the object of those today who proclaim “equality” for their socialist ideals. Neither does the Constitution guarantee that every man shall be happy, but rather that he is free to choose whatever “pursuit” may bring him happiness. The equality of wealth, or personal association, must be agreed to by both parties. Legal fiat, which constantly changes, is not the answer to achieving such equality. The loss of freedom is the crux of these problems. Freedom is the gauge by which every law must be measured. Communists, Marxists and intel-[99]lectual Socialists have all decreed to bring about social equality, racial equality and economic equality by force and by law. But men without freedom can never be happy, nor can such a system ever prove successful.

It is a criminal act to force people into social equality when they are not equal in their character. As one distinguished scholar said:

Personally, I feel only affection for the Negro. But there are facts that have to be faced. Any man with two eyes in his head can observe a Negro settlement in the Congo, can study the pure-blooded African in his native habitat as he exists when left on his own resources, can compare this settlement with London or Paris, and can draw his own conclusions regarding relative levels of character and intelligence—or that combination of character and intelligence which is civilization. Finally, he can inquire as to the number of pure-blooded blacks who have made contributions to great literature or engineering or medicine or philosophy or abstract science. (I do not include singing or athletics, as these are not primarily matters of character and intelligence.) Nor is there any validity to the argument that the Negro “hasn’t been given a chance.” . . . The progress which the pure-blooded black has made when left to himself, with a minimum of white help or hindrance, genetically or otherwise, can be measured today in the Congo. (Race and Reason, by Carleton Putnam, p. 7)

Then again Mr. Putnam added:

…in China, India, Mesopotamia and on the Mediterranean coasts and islands, men isolated almost completely from one another, during some 5,000 years independently developed writing and metal tools, invented compasses, built temples and bridges, formulated philosophies, wrote books and poems—why, then, did similar progress not occur in Africa? (Race and Reason, by Carleton Putnam, p. 24)


[100] These characteristics among nations and races have been noted by many scholars and writers. Another author makes this notation:

History says that the white and non-Negro colored races (Chinese and Indians, for example) developed languages, formed intricate systems of writing, kept records, discovered mathematics and other scientific principles, built cities and civilizations, created monuments to their achievements, and through their inventive genious largely mastered the forces of land, sea and air. History also says that the Negro as a race did none of these things.

The few systems of writing in use by Negro natives in Africa have been devised by white missionaries. Nearly all Negroes in their native sphere—untouched and un-influenced by the whites—are a simple and childlike race, without literature, history, science or art. (Segregation: Sin or Sensible? by W. Clyde Odeneal, p. 9)

Arnold Toynbee, the noted historian, made the following observation:

It will be seen, that when we classify mankind by color, the only one of the primary races, given by this classification, which has not made a creative contribution to any one of our twenty-one civilizations is the Black Race. (Race and Reason, Putnam, p. 52)

Thus, the term “superiority of race” need not raise the hackles of violent disagreement, for it simply means that superior talents were given to certain people to enable them to bear a greater burden of responsibility and duty—because where much is given, much is required. Jesus explained these differences among men in His parables of the ten talents, fishes in the net, etc.

However, intellect is not the only criteria by which we may judge human beings, for some of the worst criminals in history have been some of the most intelli-[101]gent. Conversely, we all have friends who are not keen intellectually, but we could trust them with our possessions or our lives.


Lincoln and Slavery

The American Negro looked upon Abraham Lincoln as a savior for their deliverance, yet he understood these differences between the white and black races, and had this to say:

I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office …. I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will ever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of having the superior position assigned to the white race. (Race and Reason, Putnam, p. 8-9)

Many people do not know that President Lincoln actually took steps to promote a separation between the two races—even offering public money for their colonization in other countries. President Lincoln once addressed a group of colored men on this very subject. This interview took place on July 14, 1862. The news item from the New York Daily Tribune (August 15, 1862) is as follows:

This afternoon the President of the United States gave audience to a committee of colored men at the White House.

Why, he asked, should the people of your race be colonized, and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader differ-[102]ence than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated.

For the sake of your race you should sacrifice something of your present comfort for the purpose of being as grand in that respect as the white people. It is a cheering thought throughout life that something can be done to ameliorate the condition of those who have been subject to the hard usage of the world. It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels he is worthy of himself, and claims kindred to the great God who made him. In the American Revolutionary War sacrifices were made by men engaged in it; but they were cheered by the future. General Washington himself endured greater physical hardships than if he had remained a British subject. Yet he was a happy man, because he was engaged in benefiting his race—something for the children of his neighbors, having none of his own.

The colony of Liberia has been in existence a long time. In a certain sense it is a success. ***They are not all American colonists, or their descendants. Something less than 12,000 have been sent thither from this country.

The place I am thinking about having for a colony is in Central America. It is nearer to us than Liberia—not much more than one-fourth as far as Liberia, and within seven days run by steamers.

If such persons have what will be an advantage to them, the question is whether it cannot be made of advantage to you. You are intelligent, and know that success does not as much depend on external help as on self-reliance. Much, therefore, depends upon yourselves.

I shall, if I get a sufficient number of you engaged, have provisions made that you shall not be wronged. If you will engage in the enterprise, I will spend some of the money intrusted to me. I [103] am not sure you will succeed. The Government may lose the money, but we cannot succeed unless we try; but we think, with care, we can succeed.

I want you to let me know whether this can be done or not. This is the practical part of my wish to see you. These are subjects of very great importance, worthy of a month’s study of a speech delivered in an hour. I ask you, then, to consider seriously, not pertaining to yourselves merely, nor for your race, and ours, for the present time, but as one of the things, if successfully managed, for the good of mankind—-not confined to the present generation….

Lincoln knew by foresight and practical experience the differences of races and the troubles that usually came about as a result of those differences. He could see the need for separation or segregation as the best solution, yet he was determined that equal rights and freedom be enjoyed by all. In one part of his reference to South America he said, “… I would endeavor to have you made equals, and have the best assurance that you should be the equals of the best.” Hence, the wisest men among religious or political affairs assert that equal rights and segregation are the best answers to the race problems.


Segregation or Integration?

Segregation and integration have been heated issues ever since the days of this speech by Lincoln; and the problems that have arisen are still generating friction and disagreement. Integration must inevitably go beyond mere associations—it leads to inter-racial marriage. Thus, the final objective of the integrationist is to accomplish the mixture of the races.

A leading Negro weekly advanced this objective:

Every community worth its salt should have a frankly inter-racial club or association where the boys and gals, colored and white, could associate, drink and dance …. Of course, we favor racial [104] mixing, including marriage, and are working openly to kill all racially restrictive legislation and social segregation and discrimination. (Pittsburgh Courier, August 15, 1959)

From an interview with Congressman Adam Clayton Powell came the following:

  1. What is the argument that is used by Negro leaders in answer to the point that is sometimes made that, if inter-marriages continue in the next 25 to 30 years, then the races will be adulterated somewhat as they are in Cuba and Brazil?
  2. I have heard that argument, but it doesn’t amount to any argument at all from my standpoint, because if we are fighting for integration, well then there it is. I mean, you can’t fight against segregation and want separation. We must be consistent.
  3. I’m not sure that that is clear.
  4. The Negro leaders are fighting against segregation. Therefore, they can’t have a position on the one hand against segregation and on the other hand against inter-racial marriage. (U.S. News & World Report, Sept. 5, 1952)

There is no reason to penalize a people or a locality who do not choose to mix with others. Segregation is just as much their right to defend, as integration is by other people. Equality has had a more shrouded and evasive meaning to it than any other modern fabrication. Too often we hear the phrase “equal before God,” but there is no such scripture in the Bible. Status before God is earned by righteousness and religiously men are just as varied, if not more so, than in any other factor.

There is no such things as equality between two leaves of a tree, nor among snowflakes, nor between fingerprints of men. Yet these differences exist not [105] as a mark of inferiority and superiority, but rather it is a matter of distinction. The difference between races is heredity and that difference is a distinction established by the Creator.

“All men are created equal” before the law. Hence, a man regardless of his color, race, national origin, or political preference, is not to be granted favoritism or prejudice before the court. If a man is condemned for a crime, his penalty should be the same as any other man regardless of any of these differences.

Thus, by reason alone, it can be recognized that the best solution to the problems between whites and blacks are best resolved by each voluntarily agreeing to segregation through pride in their own race and in the freedom of their own choice.

Men may force the blacks into schools of the whites, or whites into schools of the blacks, but you cannot force one into the hearts and feelings of the other. For these reasons, God has established certain commandments and decrees for the principles of segregation.

It was God who gave the Negro the color of his skin, and certainly God knew the trouble that would arise from integration of the races. If He had designed an amalgamation of races, then He would have made no barrier of color. But the scriptures clearly establish the reasons why God has made these distinctions. With the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, these reasons became even more evident.



[106]                             Chapter 11


                          ISRAEL’S COVENANT RESTORED

… the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us, and committed unto us the keys of THE GATHERING OF ISRAEL from the four parts of the earth…. (D. & C.110:11)

With the “restoration” and the revelations of God through Joseph Smith, it becomes increasingly clear that God had no intention of trying to “convert” the world. He was renewing His commandment to separate Israel from the world. The gospel net would envelope all nations, but He was selecting only a small portion who would be a chosen people, upon whom He would bestow His laws, ordinances and priesthood. It was imperative that Israel should be “gathered”—and more especially the “elect” of Israel (See D.&C. 33:6 & 35:20), which would fulfill an ancient prophecy (Moses 7:62) of an elect people who would establish the “New Jerusalem.” God’s instructions on this matter were very austere and un-mistakeably plain. He issued the following commandment:

And ye are called to bring to pass THE GATHERING OF MINE ELECT; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts; wherefore the decree hath gone forth from the Father that they shall be gathered in unto ONE PLACE upon the face OF THIS LAND, to prepare their hearts and be prepared in all things against the day when tribulation and desolation are sent forth upon the wicked. (D.& C. 29:7-8)

This scripture reveals the following:


  1. The gathering is a decree or commandment from God, the Father.


  1. This decree is a restriction to the elect of Israel.
  2. The elect will not reject this decree; conversely, those who are NOT the elect of Israel, WILL reject this decree.
  3. They must gather to one geographical place.
  4. That “one place” is on the American continent.
  5. Only by being gathered can they prepare their hearts and also be prepared in all things.
  6. If they are gathered, they can be saved from destruction; otherwise, they will perish with the wicked.

Another picture of the gathering of this “elect” people was penned by Joseph Smith in his inspired translation of the 24th chapter of the Book of Matthew.

And now I show unto you a parable. Behold, wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together; so likewise shall mine elect be gathered from the four quarters of the earth. And they shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars. Behold, I speak for mine elect’s sake; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. (Joseph Smith 1:27-29)

The tribulations of the last days would be poured out upon the earth with untold destruction, “but for the elect’s sake, according to the covenant, those days shall be shortened.” (J.S. 1:20) The gathering of the elect, and the destruction of the wicked, are similarly identified with the days of Noah. (Matt. 24:37 & Luke 17:26) Those who believed in that decree of gathering would be comparable to those who believed and entered the ark. This was a decree, mentioned by the Savior, that would establish the lines between the “wheat and the tares,” and the “sheep from the goats.” The earth was about to be cleansed by destruction as described by the Angel Moroni to Joseph Smith.

The first obligation attending the restoration was to gather Israel, and God was providing the place, the reason, and the means for re-establishing that “peculiar [108] people.” Once again, He was announcing the last call to Israel to gather. However, He explained that, “Many are called but few are chosen.” Only a select minority would prove worthy of receiving that “royal Priesthood” which has been handed down so carefully from the ancient patriarchs.

Temple construction, both anciently and in our dispensation, clearly depicts a separation of men and women, a division of men by authority, and also a segregation between believers and unbelievers.

The description of the Temple of Herod, which was in existence during the days of our Lord’s ministry, shows how this was accomplished. Non-Israelites were warned not to enter the Court of Israel on pain of death. The entrance to this court was gained through one of nine gates, four respectively in the north and south, and one on the east side, the west being, as in previous temples, unprovided with a gate. One-third of the area was divided from the rest, and access to it was allowed to women; thus it was called the Court of Women. Between this section and the Court of Men to the west, accessible only to men, a flight of fifteen steps, semicircular in form, led to the great gate. (Segregation: A Divinely-Instituted Precept, by Howard B. Rand, p. 9)

The temples of God, separated as they are from the common buildings of men, are patterns or illustrations of the temple of the body. As the holy temples of God were different in purpose and function from that of other structures, so were the people of God to be distinct, separate and dedicated to different purposes from the common men of the earth.


It was on April 3, 1836, that the Prophet Joseph and Oliver Cowdery met in the Kirtland Temple to partake of the Lord’s supper. Afterward, they both bowed in solemn and silent prayer. After rising, several heavenly beings appeared to them, one of which was Moses who “committed the keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten [109] tribes from the land of the north.” (D. & C. 110:11) The object of this visitation was to segregate Israel from the rest of the world by gathering them together as they had been under Moses.

However, this distinction must first be established: that the gospel restoration could be accepted by “all nations, kindreds, tongues and peoples” (D. & C. 42:58). However, there is a clearly defined line between those who can and those who cannot receive the Priesthood.

Everyone had the privilege of being converted to the gospel in fulfillment of the promise that “all nations” and people could receive blessings at the hands of Abraham’s children. No matter what their race, color or nationality, they had the right to become adopted into the house, or Kingdom, of Israel.

Another ancient promise to the modern Israelite was that “whomsoever ye curse, I will curse”. (D.& C. 103:25; 132:47; compare Gen. 12:3) Again a promise was reiterated that all who hindered this work would be cursed unto “the third and fourth generation”. (D. & C. 124:50) It was evident that anyone who raised their heels against these anointed, or elect, in modern Israel would “not have right to the Priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation.” (D. & C. 124:21)

Thus, the Priesthood in the last days, as it was in ancient Israel, could be prohibited, or even lost, once it had been received.

God was gathering His elect, or chosen, for the last time and desired “to bless with the greatest of all blessings,” but if these Latter-day Israelites rejected His word, He would “curse with the heaviest of all cursing.” (D. & C. 41:1; compare Deut. 28) This curse was predicated upon their care and custody of the sacred rites of the Priesthood.

For it is not meet that the things which belong to the children of the kingdom should be given to them that are not worthy, or to dogs, or the pearls to be cast before swine. (D. & C. 41:6)


[110] Here again, as in ancient times, the Lord makes another literal and vivid distinction between HIS people and the rest of the world.

The Church of Jesus Christ did not begin, nor did it continue, with restrictions against any race of people as to membership in the Church—even at a time when it was dangerous to express such sentiments as “equal rights” and “freedom for all.” As early as July 1831, a Negro by the name of “Black Pete” was among the first converts in Ohio. However, a few years later in Kirtland, during the great depression and apostasy of 1836-37, “Black Pete” was among those who claimed wild contradictory revelations and he left the Church.

In July of 1833, W. W. Phelps wrote an article in the Evening and Morning Star in which he noted “. . .the wonderful events of this age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery, and colonizing the blacks, in Africa.” (E. & M. Star 2:111) This created a furor and trouble from the Missourians who had prohibited free Negroes from entering their state; Jackson County didn’t even have any.

The Prophet Joseph Smith had no stomach for the business of slave-trading and made a mild rebuke by using a parallel. He wondered how well such slavery would become if those dealers in flesh were “allowed with impunity to steal white men …. ” (D.H.C. 6:113; T & S 4:375-76). He also made this comparison between the whites and blacks by saying:

Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them …. Go into Cincinnati or any city, and find an educated Negro, who rides in his carriage, and you will see a man who has risen by the powers of his own mind to his exalted state of respectability. The slaves in Washington are more refined than the Presidents, and the black boys will take the shine off many of those they brush and wait on …. (Mill. Star 20:278 & D.H.C. 5:217)

The Prophet treated them as fairly as he could. Once he gave a Negro a horse to purchase the freedom of [111] his relative. (Young Women’s Jrnl. 17:538) A Negro lady by the name of Jane James and the eight members of her family came into Nauvoo destitute, and the Prophet alleviated her burdens by taking her into his home, where she became his housekeeper until the Prophet’s death. She always bore a praiseworthy testimony to his benevolent and fatherly qualities. (Y.W.J. 16:551)

The Prophet shared the common belief that Negroes were descendants of Ham, but he did not share or justify the cruel manner in which slavery was being practiced. It was not so much the political tolerance of slavery that caused him so much anxiety as it was the vision of the future and the trouble arising from that practice. On December 25, 1832, Joseph Smith saw the horrible destruction that was imminent because of the Negro problem in America. He described in detail the division between the South and the North and the massive desolations that would culminate from that Civil War. He explained that it would start in “South Carolina,” and the “Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States”, resulting in the “death and misery of many souls.” (D. & C. 87:1-3) Later, Joseph made a formal prophecy of this war by saying, “I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God, that the commencement of the difficulties which will cause much bloodshed previous to the coming of the Son of Man will be in South Carolina.” (D. & C. 130:12-13) This was just prior to his candidacy as president of the United States. Because of his inspired foresight into the future of America, he wrote in February 1844:

Petition, also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave states, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame. (D.H.C. 6:205)

The Prophet could see that war would be the inevitable result of this issue, and one of his responses to that peril was to pressure—

…Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising [112] from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress. (D. H. C. 6:205)

In this manner, the Prophet showed respect for both the personal rights and the property rights of all persons involved.

There was only one equitable answer to the problem. For over ten years, the Prophet warned this nation of what was ahead for them as a result of Negro slavery; therefore, as a part of his U.S. presidency platform, he declared he would buy up the slaves, free them, and then return them safely back to their native homeland. But, due to a political conspiracy, he was shot to death before he could live to see the fulfillment of the prophecy he described in such detail. Nearly 30 years after he had made the prophecy, the war commenced.

Orson Pratt said that as “a youth of nineteen …I carried forth the written revelation, foretelling this contest, some twenty-eight years before the war commenced. (J.D. 13:135)

Joseph Smith told many of the political conspirators and mobocrats how they would experience “sorrow because of the scenes of desolation and distress” that would come to them. (T.P.J.S., p. 381)

Although slavery was a practice which was legally acceptable under the law, Mormons were opposed to it—but with dire consequences. Mormons felt an obligation to endorse the law of the land; nevertheless, they felt compassion toward the slaves for the cruelty being imposed upon them. Some of the worst mobocracy formed against the Mormons in Missouri was the result of Mormon expressions on freeing the slaves. However, in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1835, a declaration of belief was published to clarify their beliefs, part of which said:

…we do not believe it right to interfere with bond-servants, neither preach the gospel to, nor baptize them contrary to the will and wish of their masters …. (D. & C. 134:12)


[113] This was advocated to prevent “jeopardizing the lives of men,” and prevent further complications with the mobocrats.

Joseph was not insensitive to the burdens of slavery elsewhere; for on January 25, 1842, he wrote:

Signed deeds for lots, to Law; transacted a variety of business in the city and office. In the evening debated with John C. Bennett and others to show that the Indians have greater cause to complain of the treatment of the whites, than the Negroes, or sons of Cain. (D.H.C. 4:501)

On January 2, 1843, Joseph Smith “went to Mr. Sellars” with Elders Hyde and Richards. Elder Hyde inquired the situation of the Negro. I replied, they came into the world slaves, mentally and physically.” (T.P.J.S., p. 269) Then he made this observation:

Had I anything to do with the Negro, I would confine them by strict law to their own species, and put them on a national equalization. (T.P.J.S., p. 270)

This ascribes the depth of wisdom and fair justice the Prophet possessed. He sensed the personal freedom and rights of individuals—yet recognized the absolute reasons for segregation. He not only advocated this segregation, but attempted to implement it.

In January of 1844, the Prophet Joseph, as mayor of Nauvoo, fined two Negroes “for attempting to marry white women.” (D.H.C. 6:210)

The Prophet explained that—

…a black skin…has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart…. (Times & Seasons 6:857)

…that the curse is not yet taken off the sons of Canaan, neither will be until it is affected by as great power as caused it to come; and the people [114] who interfere the least with the purposes of God in this matter, will come under the least condemnation before Him;… (Mess. & Adv. 2:290 & D. H. C. 2:438)

Here is evidence that the curse is illustrated through “a black skin” and that when that “curse” is removed, then the dark skin will be removed by “as great power as caused it to come.” Also, a part of that “curse” was the restriction of the Priesthood.

Abraham Smoot inquired of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

What should be done with the Negroes in the South as I was preaching to them? [Joseph] said I could baptize them by the consent of their masters, BUT NOT TO CONFER THE PRIESTHOOD UPON THEM. (L. John Nuttall Journal, May 31, 1879)

The Lord also revealed that “… it is not right that any man should be in bondage to another.” (D. & C. 101:79) Bondage should not exist between one man and another, although men do commit deeds which will jeopardize his place in the society of other men. Our prisons are justly filled with men in bondage to society; but by men’s own wicked deeds, they place themselves into social and financial bondages. It may seem strange that the Lord would reveal it was not right “that any man be in bondage to another,” but in the same revelation give a parable of a nobleman who had “many servants.” Here again is the difference between (1) unwillful bondage or slavery and (2) servitude under freedom.

When the Saints moved to Illinois, Joseph exclaimed that here there were no slaves “to raise his rusting fetters and chains, and exclaim `O liberty, where are thy charms?'” (T & S 5:508) However, many slaves chose to remain with masters; and though they were called slaves, they were essentially servants. The Prophet also advised the Saints to—

Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings; for [115] “an hour of virtuous liberty on earth is worth a whole eternity of bondage.” (Joseph Smith, D. H. C. 6: 205)



In Maryland in 1832, another black man was baptized into the Church—Elijah Abel, who later became and still is one of the controversial objects in Mormonism. This man became a close friend of Joseph Smith, and at one time lived in the Prophet’s home. Three other black people—Jane James, Isaac James and Green Flake—had also been in residence with Joseph Smith for a time. (See The Negro Pioneer, p. 511)

Then, according to the “Minutes of the Seventies Journal”, December 20, 1836, kept by Hazen Aldrich, it shows that Elijah Abel was ordained to the Priesthood by Zebedee Coltrin. Coltrin later admitted that he had been instructed two years prior to that date (1834) that he was NOT to give the Priesthood to a Negro.

Elijah was ordained an elder (M.A. 2:335), then a Seventy (April 4, 1841), and performed missionary labors in 1883 to United States and Canada. However, it was possible that he could hold these Church offices and still not hold the Priesthood. (For example, from the 1920’s to the 1950’s the Church did that in all their ordinations.) Also, we have no references to Abel’s performing any ordinances. Elijah could also have filled a mission, just as women do now, without the Priesthood. From the Church biographical encyclopedia we read the following:

Abel, Elijah, the only colored man who is known to have been ordained to the Priesthood, was born July 25, 1810, in Maryland. Becoming a convert to “Mormonism” he was baptized in September 1832, by Ezekiel Roberts and, as appears from certificates, he was ordained an elder March 3, 1836, and a Seventy April 4, 1841, an exception having been made in his case with regard to the general rule of the Church in relation to colored people. [116] At Nauvoo, Illinois, where he resided, he followed the avocation of an undertaker. After his arrival in Salt Lake City he became a resident of the Tenth Ward, and, together with his wife, he managed the Farnham Hotel in Salt Lake City. In Nauvoo he was intimately acquainted with the Prophet Joseph Smith and later in life was the especial friend of the late Levi W. Hancock. In 1883, as a member of the Third Quorum of Seventy, he left Salt Lake City on a mission to Canada, during which he also performed missionary labors in the United States. Two weeks after his return he died, December 25, 1884, of debility, consequent upon exposure while laboring in the ministry in Ohio. He died in full faith of the gospel. (L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia, 3:577)

Zebedee Coltrin also maintained that Elijah had later been dropped from the quorum of Seventies. Abel did, however, receive a patriarchal blessing under the hands of Joseph Smith, Sr., in which it was said:

Thy soul be white in eternity, and receive all the power that thou needest to accomplish thy mission.

He was also promised that he would be—

…the welding link between the black and white races, and should hold the initiative authority by which his race should be redeemed. (Council meeting, Aug. 26, 1908, G.A.Smith Papers)

It was a strange situation from any perspective one chooses to look upon it. It is still somewhat of a mystery to many, and some say that it was an exception to the rule.

John Taylor thought that perhaps Elijah Abel had received the Priesthood before the word of the Lord was fully understood, and that it had been one of the mistakes of early Church history. (See Minutes of the Council of Twelve, June 4, 1879)


Since there is no record of Elijah’s administering any ordinances, nor did he go through the Nauvoo or [117] Utah temples, it leaves the matter open to believe that if he had received it, it was either allowed to remain without the right to officiate within it, or else it was revoked. Further quotes shed additional light on this situation.

In this connection President [Joseph F.] Smith referred to Elijah Abel, who was ordained a Seventy by Joseph Young, in the days of the Prophet Joseph, to whom Brother Young issued a Seventies certificate; but this ordination was declared null and void by the Prophet himself. Later Brother Abel appealed to President Young for the privilege of receiving his endowments and to have his wife and children sealed to him, a privilege President Young could not grant. Brother Abel renewed his application to President Taylor with the same result; and still the same appeal was made to President Woodruff afterwards who of course upheld the position taken by Presidents Young and Taylor…. (Council Minutes, August 26, 1908; Bennion (or G. A. Smith) papers.)

Other pertinent statements were documented concerning Abel and the Priesthood, such as:

Saturday, May 31st, 1879, at the house of President A. O. Smoot, Provo City, Utah, Utah County, at 5 o’clock p.m.

President John Taylor, Elders Brigham Young, Abraham O. Smoot, Zebedee Coltrin and L. John Nuttall met, and the subject of ordaining Negroes to the Priesthood was presented.

Brother Coltrin: The spring that we went up in Zion’s Camp in 1834, Brother Joseph sent Brother J. P. Green and me out south to gather up means to assist in gathering out the Saints from Jackson County, Missouri. On our return home we got in conversation about the Negro having a right to the Priesthood, and I took up the side he had no right. Brother Green argued that he had. The subject got so warm between us that he said he would report me to Brother Joseph when we got home for preaching false doctrine, which doctrine that I advocated [118] was that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood. “All right” said I “I hope you will.” And when we got to Kirtland, we both went to Brother Joseph’s office together to make our returns, and Brother Green was as good as his word and reported to Brother Joseph that I said that the Negro could not hold the Priesthood. Brother Joseph kind of dropped his head and rested it on his hand for a minute, and then said, “Brother Zebedee is right, for the spirit of the Lord saith the Negro has no right nor cannot hold the Priesthood.” He made no reference to Scripture at all, but such was his decision. I don’t recollect ever having any conversation with him afterwards on this subject. But I have heard him say in public that no person having the least particle of Negro blood can hold the Priesthood.

In the washing and anointing of Brother Abel at Kirtland, I anointed him and while I had my hands upon his head, I never had such unpleasant feelings in my life. And I said, “I never would again anoint another person who had Negro blood in him unless I was commanded by the Prophet to do so. (Journal of L. John Nuttall 1:290-93; also, The Church and the Negroid People, by Wm. E. Berrett, in Mormonism and the Negro, John Stewart, p. 9-11)

Abraham O. Smoot also gave further testimony to Priesthood restriction from the Negro race:

Brother A. O. Smoot said W. W. Patten, Warren Parrish and Thomas B. Marsh were laboring in the Southern States in 1835 and 1836. There were Negroes who made application for baptism. And the question arose with them whether Negroes were entitled to hold the Priesthood. And by those brethren it was decided they would not confer the Priesthood until they had consulted the Prophet Joseph, and subsequently they communicated with him. His decision, as I understood was, they were not entitled to the Priesthood, nor yet to be baptized without the consent of their Masters.

In after years when I became acquainted with Joseph myself in the Far West, about the year 1838, [119] I received from Brother Joseph substantially the same instructions. It was on my application to him, what should be done with the Negro in the South, as I was preaching to them. He said I could baptize them by consent of their masters, but not to confer the Priesthood upon them. (The Church and the Negroid People, as quoted in Mormonism and the Negro, p. 11)

More recently, a new and revealing item concerning Elijah Abel appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Monday, 26 Oct. 1970: Priesthood Answer. Editor, Tribune:

What then is the reason for the continued racial exclusion?

The answer is simple. The Prophet Joseph Smith was commanded by God to withdraw the priesthood from Elijah Able [sic], and revoke the ordination. There is no exception. The continued church’s policy over the years is an evident fact that Presidents Young, Taylor, Woodruff and Snow, as well as Heber C. Kimball, William Clayton, and other leaders of the time, all knew of this excluding doctrine and continued to abide by it. Although there is no official Church record as to the revocation, Elijah Able affirmed the fact to father, Thomas A. Shreeve, when both were living in the Salt Lake 10th Ward, during 1872-1877. At the time, Bro. Able told young Thomas, who baptized Able’s grandchildren that the Prophet Joseph “came to him with tears in his eyes one day, and told him [Able] that he had been commanded by the Lord to withdraw the holy priesthood from him.”

Patriarch Shreeve, testified many times before his death in 1931, of the facts in the case, and of his close relationship with Brother Able. As of this date there are still living three members of the Shreeve family, who know of the facts to which their father testified Elijah Able told him. (Caleb A. Shreeve, Sr., The Salt Lake Tribune, “Forum,” 26 Oct. 1970)


[120] Another seemingly contradictory statement appeared in early Church history (1840) which needs some clarification. It reads:

If the work rolls forth with the same rapidity it has heretofore done, we may soon expect to see flocking to this place, people from every land and from every nation; the polished European, the degraded Hottentot, and the shivering Laplander; persons of all languages, and of every tongue, and OF EVERY COLOR; who shall with us worship the Lord of Hosts in HIS HOLY TEMPLE and offer up their orisons in His sanctuary. (Report of the Presidency, D.H.C. 4:213)

Many Saints at this time believed that there were no restrictions that barred the black people from entering the Kirtland Temple. And this temple was only initiatory in its ordinance work. Elijah Abel had received an anointing in the Kirtland Temple, but he was never allowed to take part in any other ordinance work in any other temple.

The “washing and anointing” was an ordinance performed in the Kirtland Temple, but the ordinance of “sealing” was not even announced until 1841, and no sealings were even performed until 1846 in the Nauvoo Temple. No Negroes ever received the ordinance of sealing in the Nauvoo Temple—nor in any temple thereafter (until 1978). The “endowment” was not announced until 1842, and was not initiated until 1845 in the Nauvoo Temple. No Negroes ever received the endowment in that temple nor in any temple thereafter (until 1978).

There were a few exceptions in their ordination to the Priesthood, probably due to ignorance of that restriction. An elder by the name of William Appleby made the following notations in his journal while traveling in New York:

In this Branch there is a coloured Brother, An Elder ordained by Elder Wm. Smith while he was a member of the Church, contrary, though to the order of the Church on the Law of the Priesthood, [121] as Descendants of Ham are not entitled to that privilege…. (Jrnl. of Wm. I. Appleby, May 19, 1847, Church Historical Dept.)

“Aunt Jane”, one of the housekeepers in the home of Joseph Smith, continuously sought to go through the temple ever since the days of Nauvoo. President Woodruff made note of her appeals:

He said in his journal of October, that year (1894), that “Aunt Jane,” the colored sister, had been to see him. She was anxious to go through the temple and receive the higher ordinances of the gospel. President Woodruff blessed her for her constant, never changing devotion to the gospel, but explained to her her disadvantages as one of the descendants of Cain.

In after years when President Joseph F. Smith preached the funeral sermon of this same faithful woman, he declared that she would in the resurrection attain the longings of her soul and become a white and beautiful person. (Wilford Woodruff, by M. F. Cowley, p. 587)

Another revealing incident occurred which sheds much light on this particular subject, as recorded by Lester Bush:

Jane James’ appeal to Wilford Woodruff in 1895 was denied, but she was later offered a remarkable alternative to her desires. George Q. Cannon, First Counselor to Woodruff, suggested that while she was not eligible for the traditional ceremonies, a special temple ceremony might be prepared—to adopt her into the family of Joseph Smith as a servant (she having been the Prophet’s housekeeper).

With the approval of President Woodruff this was done, and Jane James thereby became the first black knowingly allowed into a Mormon temple since Elijah Abel had been anointed in Kirtland, Ohio, nearly fifty years before. (“Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine,” Dialogue, p. 61, by Lester Bush. Spring 1973)


[122] After the death of Joseph Smith, there began a much greater interest in the Church by the Negro. It then fell the lot of Brigham Young to more clearly define the laws, ordinances and the restrictions of the Priesthood. No other president, before or after, left such clear and definite instructions as to this most important subject of the Holy Priesthood as did President Brigham Young.



[123]                             Chapter 12



I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call it scripture. (Des. News, Jan. 29, 1880)

After the death of Joseph Smith the destiny of the Church and Kingdom rested upon the shoulders of the apostles, chief of whom was Brigham Young. He had always proved his faithfulness to the Prophet and his teachings, even during the dark days of Kirtland’s apostasy. When few men would stand by the Prophet, Brigham’s voice could still be heard in his defense. Even Joseph remarked that out of the original quorum of apostles, “there have been but two but what have lifted their heel against me”—Brigham Young being one of the two faithful friends. (T.P.J.S., p. 307) And from Brigham Young himself:

From the first time I saw the Prophet Joseph I never lost a word that came from him concerning the Kingdom. And this is the key of knowledge that I have today that I did hearken to the words of Joseph, and treasured them up in my heart, laid them away, asking my Father in the name of His Son Jesus to bring them to my mind when needed. (Des. News, June 6, 1877)

However, it was Brigham’s faithfulness to the Lord, demonstrated in his own life, that proved that he was a prophet of God. He obtained revelations from the Lord (See D. & C. 135) and possessed and used the Urim and Thummim. (J.D. 2:111)


[124] Regardless of the achievements and greatness of Brigham Young, he never assumed anything more than to further the Gospel as it was established through the Prophet Joseph Smith. President Young remarked:

You may say Joseph was a devil, if you like, but he is at home and still holds the keys of the kingdom, which were committed to him by heavenly messengers, and always will. Do you ask who brother Brigham is? He is an humble instrument in the hands of God, to keep His people in the path he has marked out through the instrumentality of his servant Joseph and to travel in which is all I ask of them. (Contributor 10:2)

It is very evident that President Brigham Young was keenly aware of the doctrines and revelations that Joseph Smith had received. He also demonstrated in his own life that he, too, was able to obtain the word and will of the Lord. Hence, when any issue or problem arose, he was able to draw both from experience and from revelation for an answer. In that capacity, he was able to properly fulfill the office of prophet in the religious realm of the Church, and also be a political legislator in governments among man.

The question of the Negro and the Priesthood was not new to Brigham after the death of Joseph Smith. On many occasions he had explained the status of the Negro both in mortality and during the pre-existence. Once, while in the South, he was preaching to a group of white people, and some black men sat on a fence nearby. Turning towards them, he told them that’s just where they were in the pre-existence. (See Manus. Hist. of B. Y.)

After the Saints came out west, the problems of slavery and the Negro continued to confront him. An example of this was manifest when they first met the Indians. The Mormons who came into the Utah Territory were greeted by Indians who wanted to sell other Indians as slaves. In the winter of 1847-48, the Mormons turned down the first two Indian children that were offered to them for sale. When the Indians threatened to kill them if they weren’t purchased, one was bought and the other was killed by the Indians. (History of Utah, Bancroft, p. 278)


[125] During this time the Mexicans made many slaving expeditions into this region—buying Indians from some of the tribes who sold other Indians—just as the black race of Africa had captured and sold other blacks to the slavetraders. Local Indian tribesmen were at war with each other in the quest for “captives” that could be sold. Brigham Young immediately condemned the practice by saying:

Human flesh to be dealt in as property, is not consistent or compatible with the true principles of government. My own feelings are, that no property can or should be recognized as existing in slaves, whether Indian or African.

Brigham attempted to stop this Indian slave trading by legislation. (See J.D. 1:104) When certain laws could not stop the human merchandising, President Brigham Young decided upon another “new feature in the traffic of human beings” which was “purchasing them into freedom, instead of slavery”—which is identical to the policy advocated by Joseph Smith with regard to the Negro slaves.

Although there were some slaves in Utah, they appeared to be “perfectly contented and satisfied.” However, they were at liberty to leave their masters if they chose to do so. The slave owning converts were being instructed to bring their slaves west if the slaves were willing to come, but otherwise they were advised to “sell them, or let them go free, as your conscience may direct you.” (Mill. Star 13:63)

The doctrine of Priesthood restriction was continued in the Church as a practice that came about earlier in Church history. As early as…

…our first settlement in Missouri,…we knew that the children of Ham were to be the `servant of servants,’ and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord should permit them to welter under the curse, and those were known to be our religious views concerning them. (Brigham Young, J.D. 2:172)


[126] When Brigham Young became the governor of the territory, these matters were a major concern to him, and in an address to the Legislative Assembly of the Utah Territory on January 5, 1852, he said:

Thus, while servitude may and should exist, and that too upon those who are naturally designed to occupy the position of `servant of servants,’ yet we should not fall into the other extreme, and make them as beasts of the field, regarding not the humanity which attaches to the colored race; not yet elevate them, as some seem disposed, to an equality with those whom Nature and Nature’s God has indicated to be their masters, their superiors…. (Gov. Young to Legislative Assembly of Utah Territory, Jan. 5, 1852)

Later, he again spoke on the nature of the curse that has followed various peoples throughout the history of man:

The seed of Ham, which is the seed of Cain descending through Ham, will, according to the curse put upon him, serve his brethren, and be a `servant of servants’ to his fellow-creatures, until God removes the curse; and no power can hinder it. These are my views upon slavery. I will here say a little more upon this point. The conduct of the white towards the slaves will, in many cases, send both slave and master to hell. This statement comprises much in a few words. The blacks should be used like servants, and not like brutes, but they must serve. It is their privilege to live so as to enjoy many of the blessings which attend obedience to the first principles of the Gospel, though they are not entitled to the Priesthood. (J.D. 2:185)


* * *

Here are the Lamanites, another example. Their wickedness was not so great as those who slew the Son of God. Jesus revealed himself to them after he was slain, preached to them the Gos-[127]pel. But in the fourth generation the Priesthood was driven from their midst, and after that, the laws, ordinances, and power of the Gospel ceased to be with them. Is their curse as great as that of those in Palestine? No, it is light, in comparison. They began to thirst for each other’s blood, and massacred each other, from generation to generation, until they sunk into wickedness, and evil principles the most degrading, and have become loathsome and vile. Still, the curse will be removed from them before it will be removed from the children of Judah; and they will become “a white and delightsome people.” (J.D. 2:143)


* * *

…The Lamanites or Indians are just as much the children of our God as we are. So also are the Africans. But we are also the children of adoption through obedience to the Gospel of His Son. Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers 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 the blessings which we now are entitled to. (J.D. 11:272)

George A. Smith, one of the apostles who served with Brigham Young, also made similar remarks concerning these curses that have come upon portions of the human family. He said:

When the curse of the Almighty comes upon a people, it certainly is the work of generations to remove it.

When God has decreed a certain way for men to be in servitude, and has designed they shall hold that position, it is worse than useless for any man or set of men, to undertake to put them in a position to rule.


The Lord conferred portions of the Priesthood upon certain races of men, and through promises made to their fathers they were entitled to the rights, and blessings, and privileges of that Priesthood. Other races, in consequence of their corruptions, their murders, their wickedness, or the wickedness of their fathers, had the Priesthood taken from them, and the curse that was upon them was decreed should descend upon their posterity after them, it was decreed that they should not bear rule.

In looking abroad on the earth and seeing the effects produced upon different races of men, it will be plainly discovered that there are races who have never been permitted to bear rule to any great extent. (J. D. 3:29)

Later, other writers expressed similar statements, one of which appeared in a Church publication as follows:

We will first inquire into the results of the approbation or displeasure of God upon a people, starting with the belief that a black skin is a mark of the curse of heaven placed upon some portions of mankind. Some, however, will argue that a black skin is not a curse, nor a white skin a blessing. In fact, some have been so foolish as to believe and say that a black skin is a blessing, and that the Negro is the finest type of a perfect man that exists on the earth; but to us such teachings are foolishness. We understand that when God made man in his own image and pronounced him very good, that he made him white. We have no record of any of God’s favored servants being of a black race. All His prophets and apostles belonged to the most handsome race on the face of the earth—Israel, who still, as represented in the scattered tribe of Judah, bear the impress of their former beauty. In this race was born His Son Jesus, who, we are told was very lovely, and `in the express image of his Fathers person,’ and every angel who ever brought a message of God’s mercy to man was beautiful to look upon, clad in the purest white and with a countenance bright as the noonday sun. (Juvenile Instructor, 3:157)


[129] Apostle Orson Hyde added:

At the time the devil was cast out of heaven there were some spirits that did not know who had authority, whether God or the devil. They consequently did not take a very active part on either side, but rather thought the devil had been abused, and considered he had rather the best claim to government. These spirits were not considered worthy of an honorable body on this earth …. Now, it would seem cruel to force pure celestial spirits into the world through the lineage of Canaan that had been cursed. This would be ill appropriate, putting the precious and vile together. But those spirits in heaven that lent an influence to the devil, thinking he had a little the best right to govern, but did not take a very active part any way, were required to come into the world and take bodies in the accursed lineage of Canaan; and hence the Negro or African race … (Orson Hyde by J. S. Hyde, p. 56)

In describing the nature of the curse that was placed upon the descendants of Cain, President Brigham Young remarked that:

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 favourable position, the children of Cain cannot receive the [130] 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. (J.D. 7:290-91)


Later he was also quoted as saying:

The Lord said I will not kill Cain, but I will put a mark upon him, and that mark will be seen upon the face of every Negro upon the face of the earth; and it is the decree of God that 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. Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot receive the Priesthood…. (History of Wilford Woodruff, p. 351)

In explaining the reasons for the black man to be restricted from sharing in the Priesthood, President Young clearly identified the race to whom this restriction was to be made.

Cain did not obtain Abel’s birthright and blessing, though he killed him for that purpose; the blessings which belonged to Abel, descended to his posterity; and until the blessings of Abel’s birthright are fully received, secured, and realized, by his [Abel’s] descendants, Cain and his posterity must wear the mark which God put upon them; and his White friends may wash the race of Cain with Fuller’s soap every day, they cannot wash away God’s mark: yet, the Canaanites may believe the Gospel, repent, and be baptized, and receive the Spirit of the Lord, and if he continues faithful until Abel’s race is satisfied with his blessings, then may the race of Cain receive a fullness of the priesthood, and become satisfied with blessings, and the two of them become as one again, when Cain has paid the uttermost farthing. (Des. News, Apr. 3, 1852)



Cain conversed with his God every day, and knew all about the plan of creating this earth, for his father told him. But, for the want of humility, and through jealousy, and an anxiety to possess the kingdom, and to have the whole of it under his own control, and not allow any body else the right to say one word, what did he do? He 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. (J.D. 2:142-43)


* * *

Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. (J.D. 10:110)

While serving as a governor and legislator in the Utah Territory, Brigham Young made an extensive speech before that body of men concerning the black race. It is significant because it hits upon the issues of law, both as to Church matters and governmental offices. A portion of that speech is as follows:

The principle of slavery I understand, at least I have self confidence enough, and confidence enough in God to believe I do. I believe still further that a great many others understand it as I do. A great portion of this community have been instructed, and have applied their minds to it, and as far as they have, they agree precisely in the principles of slavery. My remarks in the first place will be upon the cause of the introduction of slavery. Long ago mama Eve our good old mother Eve, partook of the forbidden fruit and this made [132] a slave of her. Adam hated very much to have her taken out of the garden of Eden, and now our old daddy says I believe I will eat of the fruit and become a slave, too. This was the first introduction of slavery upon this earth; and there has been not a son or daughter of Adam from that day to this but what were slaves in the true sense of the word.

That slavery will continue, until there is a people raised up upon the face of the earth who will contend for righteous principles, who will not only believe in, but operate, with every power and faculty given to them to help to establish the kingdom of God, to overcome the devil, and drive him from the earth, then will this curse be removed. This was the starting point of slavery. Again after Adam and Eve had partaken of the curse, we find they had two sons Cain and Abel, but which was the oldest I cannot positively say; but this I know, Cain was given more to evil practices than Abel, but whether he was the oldest or not matters not to me. Adam was commanded to sacrifice, and offer up his offerings to God, that placed him into the garden of Eden. Through the faith and obedience of Abel to his Heavenly Father, Cain became jealous of him, and he laid a plan to obtain all his flocks; for through his perfect obedience to Father, he obtained more blessings than Cain; consequently he took it into his heart to put Abel out of this mortal existence. After the deed was done, the Lord inquired to Abel, and made Cain own what he had done with him. Now says the grand father, I will not destroy the seed of Michael and his wife; and Cain I will not kill you, nor suffer any one to kill you, but I will put a mark upon you. What is that mark? You will see it on the countenance of every African you ever did see upon the face of the earth, or ever will see. Now I tell you what I know: when the mark was put upon Cain, Abel’s children were in all probability young; the Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the Priesthood nor his seed, until the redemption of the earth. If there never was a prophet, or apostle of Jesus Christ that spoke it [133] before, I tell you, this people that are commonly called Negroes are the children of old Cain. I know they are; I know that they cannot bear rule in the Priesthood, for the curse on them was to remain upon them, until the residue of the posterity of Michael and his wife receive the blessings, the seed of Cain would have received had they not been cursed; and hold the keys of the priesthood, until the times of the restitution shall come, and the curse be wiped off from the earth, and from Michael’s seed. Then Cain’s seed will be had in remembrance, and the time come when that curse should be wiped off.

Now then in the kingdom of God on the earth, a man who has the African blood in him cannot hold one jot nor tittle of priesthood; Why? because they are the true eternal principles the Lord Almighty has ordained, and who can help it? Men cannot; the angels cannot; and all the powers of earth and hell cannot take it off, but thus saith the Eternal I am, what I am, I take it off at my pleasure, and not one particle of power can that posterity of Cain have, until the time comes that says he will have it taken away. That time will come when they will have the privilege of all we have the privilege of, and more. In the kingdom of God on the earth, the Africans cannot hold one particle of power in Government. The subjects, the rightful servants of the residue of the children of Adam, and the residue of the children through the benign influence of the Spirit of the Lord have the privilege of seeing to the posterity of Cain; inasmuch as it is the Lord’s will they should receive the spirit of God by baptism; and that is the end of their privilege; and there is not power on earth to give them any more power.

You talk of the dark skin, I never saw a white man on earth. I have seen persons whose hair came pretty nigh being white, but to talk about white skins it is something entirely unknown, though some skins are fairer than others; look at the black eyes and the jet black hair, we often see upon men and women who are called white; there is no such things as white folks. We are the children [134] of Adam, who receive the blessings, and that is enough for us if we are not quite white.

But let me tell you further. Let my seed mingle with the seed of Cain, that brings the curse upon me, and upon my generations—we will reap the same rewards with Cain.

In the priesthood I will tell you what it will do. Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain it would not only bring the curse of being deprived of the power of the Priesthood upon themselves but they entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of it. If a man in an unguarded moment should commit such a transgression, if he would walk up and say cut off my head, and kill man, woman and child, it would do a great deal towards atoning for the sin. Would this be to curse them? No, it would be a blessing to them—it would do them good that they might be saved with their brethren. A man would shudder should they hear us talk about killing folk, but it is one of the greatest blessings to some to kill them, although the true principles of it are not understood. ***

Again to the subject before us; as to the men bearing rule; not one of the children of old Cain have one particle of right to bear rule in Government affairs from first to last; they have no business there. This privilege was taken from them by their own transgressions, and I cannot help it; and should you or I bear rule we ought to do it with dignity and honour before God.

I am as much opposed to the principle of slavery as any man in the present acceptation or usage of the term; it is abused. I am opposed to abusing that which God has decreed—to take a blessing and make a curse of it. It is a great blessing to the seed of Adam to have the seed of Cain for servants, but those they serve should use them with all the heart and feeling, as they would use their own children, and their compassion should reach over them, and round about them, and treat them as kindly, and with that humane feeling necessary to be shown to mortal beings of the human species. Under these circumstances their blessings in life [135] are greater in proportion than those who have to provide the bread and dinner for them.

We know there is a portion of inhabitants of the earth who dwell in Asia that are Negroes, and said to be Jews. The blood of Judah has not only mingled almost with all nations, but also with the blood of Cain, and they have mingled their seeds together. These Negro Jews may keep up all the outer ordinances of the Jewish religion; they may have their sacrifices, and they may perform all the religious ceremonies any people on earth could perform, but let me tell you, that the day they consented to mingle their seed with Canaan, the priesthood was taken away from Judah, and that portion of Judah’s seed will never get any rule, or blessings of the priesthood until Cain gets it. Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; we will summons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the bishopric, and all the elders of Israel, suppose we summons them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction—we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse be removed.

Therefore, I will not consent for one moment to have an African dictate me or any brethren with regard to Church or State Government. I may vary in my views from others, and they may think I am foolish in the things I have spoken, and think that they know more than I do, but I know I know more than they do. If the Africans cannot bear rule in the Church of God, what business have they to bear rule in the State and Government affairs of this territory or any others?


In the Government affairs of states and territories and kingdoms by right God should govern. He should rule over nations, and control kings. If we suffer the devil to rule over us, we shall not accomplish any good. I want the Lord to rule and be our Governor and Dictator, and we are the boys to execute. * * * Consequently, I will not consent for a moment to have the children of Cain rule me nor my brethren. No, it is not right. But say some, is there anything of this kind in the Constitution, the U.S. has given us? If you will allow me the privilege telling right out, it is none of their damned business what we do or say here. What we do it is for them to sanction, and then for us to say what we like about it. It is written right out in the constitution, “that every free white male inhabitant above the age of twenty-one years”, etc. My mind is the same today as when we were pouring over that constitution; any light upon the subject is the same; my judgment is the same, only a little more so. Perhaps I have said enough upon this subject. I have given you the true principles and doctrine. No man can vote for me or my brethren in this territory who has not the privilege of acting in Church affairs. Every man, and woman, and child in this territory are citizens; to say the contrary is all nonsense to me. The Indians are citizens, the Africans are citizens, and the Jews that come from Asia, that are almost entirely of the blood of Cain. It is our duty to take care of them, and administer to them in all the acts of humanity, and kindness. They shall have the right of citizenship, but shall not have the right to dictate in Church and State matters. The abolitionists of the east have cirest [sic] them, and their whole argument is calculated to darken counsel, as it was here yesterday. As for our bills passing here, we may lay the foundation for what? for men to come here from Africa or elsewhere, by hundreds of thousands. When these men come here from the Islands, are they going to hold offices in Government? No. It is for men who understand the knowledge of Government affairs to hold such offices, and on the other hand, make [137] provisions for them to plow, and to reap, and enjoy all that human beings can enjoy, and we protect them in it. Do we know how to ameliorate the condition of these people? We do. Suppose that five thousand of them came from the Pacific Islands, and ten or fifteen thousands from Japan, or from China, not one soul of them would know how to vote for a Government officer. They, therefore, ought not in the first thing have anything to do in Government affairs.

What the Gentiles are doing we are consenting to do. What we are trying to do today is to make the Negro equal with us in all our privilege. My voice shall be against all the day long. I shall not consent for one moment. I will call them a counsel. I say I will not consent for one moment for you to lay a plan to bring a curse upon this people. It shall not be while I am here. (Brigham Young Addresses, Ms d 1234, Box 48, folder 3, dated Feb. 5, 1852, located in the LDS Church Historical Department, Salt Lake City, Utah)

To briefly summarize the teachings of Brigham Young—both as President of the Church and as a legislative governor of the Territory of Utah—here are a few portions of his declarations concerning the Canaanites:



It is their [Negroes] privilege to live so as to enjoy many of the blessings which attend obedience to the first principles of the Gospel, though they are not entitled to the Priesthood. (J.D. 2:185)


* * *

Any man having one drop of the seed of Cain in him cannot receive the priesthood. (Wilford Woodruff, p. 351)


* * *

The Lord had cursed Cain’s seed with blackness and prohibited them the Priesthood. (Journal History, Feb. 13, 1849)



I know that they [Negroes] cannot bear rule in the Priesthood, for the curse on them was to remain upon them until the residue of the posterity of Michael and his wife receive the blessings. (Feb. 5, 1852)



In the kingdom of God on the earth, the Africans cannot hold one particle of power in Government…. Not one of the children of old Cain have one particle of right to hear rule in Government affairs from first to last; they have no business there. This privilege was taken from them by their own transgressions (Brigham Young’s talk to the Legislature, Feb. 5, 1852)

* * *

Therefore, I will not consent for one moment to have an African dictate me or any brethren with regard to Church or State Government. (Ibid.)


* * *

We should not…elevate them, as some seem disposed, to an equality with those whom nature and nature’s God has indicated to be their masters, their superiors…. (Ibid.)



Were the children of God to mingle their seed with the seed of Cain, it would not only bring the curse of being deprived of the power of the Priesthood upon themselves, but they entail it upon their children after them, and they cannot get rid of it…. (Feb. 5, 1852)


* * *



If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so. (J. D. 10:110)


* * *

…let me tell you, that the day they (Jews) consented to mingle their seed with Canaan, the priesthood was taken away from Judah, and that portion of Judah’s seed will never get any rule, or blessings of the priesthood until Cain gets it. (Feb. 5, 1852)


* * *

Let this Church which is called the kingdom of God on the earth; we will summons the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the bishopric, and all the elders of Israel, suppose we summons them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day, and hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain the Church must go to destruction—we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the priesthood until that curse he removed. (Ibid.)



The Lord told Cain that he should not receive the blessings of the Priesthood nor his seed, until the last of the posterity of Abel had received the priesthood, until the redemption of the earth. (Feb. 5, 1852)

* * *



And if he [a Canaanite] continues faithful until Abel’s race is satisfied with his blessings, then may the race of Cain receive a fullness of the priesthood…. (Des. News, Apr. 3, 1852)


* * *

That mark will be seen upon the face of every Negro upon the face of the earth; and it is the decree of God that that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain until the seed of Abel shall be redeemed. (History of Wilford Woodruff, p. 551)

* * *

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. (J.D. 2:142-43)


* * *

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…. (J.D. 7:291)


* * *

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. (J.D. 11:272)

* * *

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. (J.D. 7:290)


* * *



The blessings which belonged to Abel, descended to his posterity; and until the blessings of Abel’s birthright are fully received, secured, and realized, by his [Abel’s] descendants, Cain and his posterity must wear the mark which God put upon them. (Des. News, Apr. 3, 1852)


* * * * *

In conclusion, we must assume that the following is true of President Brigham Young:

  1. He spoke as a prophet.
  2. His clear and continuous explanation of the Priesthood restriction was based on the mind and will of God.
  3. His concept of restrictions on governmental activity was as valid as those pertaining to Priesthood.
  4. Because of his close acquaintance and experiences with Joseph Smith, he was continuing and emphasized the doctrines and teachings of Joseph Smith.
  5. His teachings were in agreement with the scriptures and former prophets of Israel.

Men must either accept the teachings and instructions of Brigham Young as true, and that he was acting as a prophet; or else they can assume that he did not know what he was talking about. If they consider his teachings as “immoral nonsense” (as modern Mormon Sterling McMurrin—100 years later—has declared), then there can be no validity to the teachings of any succeeding president. On the other hand, if Brigham Young was inspired and if he was a prophet, then all who have turned against his teachings are in rebellion against God and His servants, and will be punished accordingly.



[142]                             Chapter 13


                              ORCHIDS OR ONIONS?

If an angel should come here and speak his feelings as plainly as I do, I think he would say, “O, Latter-day Saints.! why don’t you open your eyes and behold the great work resting upon you and that you have entered into? You are blind, you are stupid, you are in the dark, in the mist and fog, wandering to and fro like the boat upon the water without sail, rudder or oar; and you know not whither you are going.” But we run first this way, and then that way, turning here and turning there, strewing our ways to strangers and doing that which we should not do. (Brigham Young’s last discourse to the Saints, August 1877, J.D. 19:94)

After the death of Brigham Young, the Church gradually moved into a new era. The Mormons were making that transition from spirituality to prosperity. But with their temporal increases, there also came threats by the government to take these “increases” away. The government of the United States had already taken many liberties to abandon the Constitution, or else violate it. In their rash and biased efforts to persecute and prosecute the Mormon people, they assumed the right to confiscate all Church property—followed by the threat to confiscate all personal property. A Mormon couldn’t even vote.

In the midst of this holocaust, members of the Church were faced with the sacrifice of Abraham, and for many it meant concession and compromise until they could live more peaceably and unitedly with those not of their faith. Doctrines which once made the Saints [143] a “peculiar” people were lost to the past. Now they wanted “revelations” that would bring them more “unity” with the world rather than a “segregation” away from it. However, every “revelation” after 1889 was not a new revelation, but rather the abandonment of previous revelations. Modern Israel was following the traits of ancient Israel, and they sought for a Gentile king to rule over them. (See I Samuel 8.)

An historian by the name of Eugene R. Campbell recently declared that:


Utah is rapidly succumbing to the wave of uniformity that has been growing in the nation. Our system of transportation, communication, our nationwide T.V., radio, chain stores, packaged food, theater chains, clothing styles, are rapidly ending our uniqueness. We are no longer a peculiar people…. (“This Was the Place”, Speeches of the Year, Extension Publications, July 23, 1959, p. 9)

It is little wonder that Brigham Young, the prophet and seer that he was, requested his coffin to be “deep enough” that he could turn over if he so desired. It was revealed to him that the time was coming…

…when the Saints would become popular with the world; for he had seen in sorrow, in a dream, or in dreams, this people clothed in the fashions of Babylon, and drinking in the spirit of Babylon until one could hardly tell a Saint from a black-leg. And he felt like shouting, “To your tents, Oh Israel:” because it was the only thing that could keep this people pure. (Mosiah Hancock Jrnl. p. 47)

Conformity to worldly standards and social acceptance soon became implanted into the minds of the Latter-day Saints. They clamored for and rejoiced in public recognition. By the time of Heber J. Grant, the modern Mormon was willing to abandon any law, principle or ordinance in their effort toward “obeying, honoring and sustaining the law” of the land, regardless of how unjust or ridiculous it may have been. It would have [144] been more honorable to face any or all opposition and boldly declare that they “claim the privilege of worshipping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience…,” regardless of any worldly wealth or social favor.

As outside pressures upon the Church grew, so did the arguments, both pro and con, over the Negro issue. In 1924 Joseph F. Smith noted that:

The question arises from time to time in regard to the Negro race and the Priesthood …. It is true that the Negro race is barred from holding the Priesthood, and this has always been the case. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught this doctrine.… (Imp. Era 27:564)

By 1931 Joseph Fielding Smith compiled a comprehensive work which clearly explained the reason for the Negro ban from the Priesthood. His book was titled The Way to Perfection. He was becoming one of the foremost authoritarians of the Church on doctrinal themes; and in his clear, forceful style, he made some very important considerations.

Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fulness of the blessings of the Gospel. These are the descendants of Cain. Moreover, they have been made to feel their inferiority and have been separated from the rest of mankind from the beginning. (Way to Perfection, p. 101)

* * *

The Canaanites before the flood preserved the curse in the land; the Gospel was not taken to them, and no other people would associate with them. The Canaanites after the flood also preserved the curse in the land and were denied the rights of Priesthood. (Way to Perfection, p. 108)

* * *



This doctrine did not originate with President Brigham Young, but was taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith. At a meeting of the general authorities of the Church, held August 22, 1895, the question of the status of the Negro in relation to the Priesthood was asked and the minutes of that meeting say:

“President George Q. Cannon remarked that the Prophet taught this doctrine: That the seed of Cain could not receive the Priesthood nor act in any of the offices of the Priesthood until the seed of Abel should come forward and take precedence over Cain’s offspring.” (Way to Perfection, p. 110)

But even Joseph Fielding Smith himself began to mellow and take a less forceful approach toward this doctrine. For example, in 1931 he wrote:

Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an INFERIOR race. (Way to Perfection, p. 101)


Then by 1962 he had reversed this former stand by stating:

The Latter-day Saints, so commonly called “Mormons” have no animosity towards the Negro. Neither have they described him as belonging to an “INFERIOR” race. (Des. News Church Section, June 14, 1962, p. 3)

Because he was one of the foremost and most outspoken authorities on the Negro issue, he was deluged with letters of protest. On one occasion, on February 14, 1963, he retorted: “I am getting a little fed up on the idea that so many people think I am responsible for the Negro not holding the priesthood.”

The Mormon stand was beginning to be noted in the nation’s newspapers, and the Negro issue became a political football. Joseph Fielding Smith stated:

The ignorance on the part of writers who do not belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-[146]day Saints in relation to the view of the `Mormons’ on the status religiously or otherwise of the Negro is inexcusable. There is no doubt that in the campaign of George Romney, enemies will play up the Negro question to the very limit. The pity of it all is that they start with a false premise and therefore they will naturally end with a false conclusion. (Des. News, July 14, 1962)

It was at this time that Clare Boothe Luce stated in the McCall’s Magazine that—

…the Mormon Church teaches that the Negroes have inferior souls…and a Mormon might have some difficulty in carrying the Negro vote in Michigan.

The liberal element of the Church was beginning to emerge and cast its vote for the Negro. In an interview with the New York Times, Hugh B. Brown explained their efforts to make the change in Church doctrine:

The top leadership of the Mormon Church is seriously considering the abandonment of its historic policy of discrimination against Negroes.

One of the highest officers of the church said today that the possibility of removing this religious disability against Negroes has been under serious consideration.

“We are in the midst of a survey looking toward the possibility of admitting Negroes,” said Hugh B. Brown, one of the two counselors serving President David O. McKay in the First Presidency of the Mormon Church.

Mr. Brown, a 79-year-old former attorney, said he believed that if the change were made, it would be a doctrinal revision for Mormonism of a magnitude matching the abandonment of polygamy in 1890.

“The whole problem of the Negro is being considered by the leaders of the church in the light of racial relationships everywhere,” Mr. Brown said. “We don’t want to go too fast in this matter. We want to be fair.” (New York Times, Friday, June 7, 1963)


[147] On October 5, 1963, an item appeared in the Deseret News which stated that the NAACP would picket Temple Square on Saturday if the Church did not present an “acceptable” statement on Civil Rights before that day. Mormon leaders apparently realized the bad publicity that would be aroused through this kind of demonstration, and on October 6, 1963, Hugh B. Brown made a statement regarding Civil Rights:

During recent months, both in Salt Lake City and across the nation, considerable interest has been expressed on the matter of civil rights. We would like it to be known that there is in this Church no doctrine, belief, or practice, that is intended to deny the enjoyment of full civil rights by any person regardless of race, color, or creed.

We say again, as we have said many times before, that we believe that all men are the children of the same God, and that it is a moral evil for any person or group of persons to deny any human being the right to gainful employment, to full educational opportunity, and to every privilege of citizenship, just as it is a moral evil to deny him the right to worship according to the dictates of his own conscience.

…We call upon all men, everywhere, both within and outside the Church, to commit themselves to the establishment of full civil equality for all of God’s children…. (Deseret News, October 6, 1963)

This was an outstanding announcement which should have been defended and explained more fully. First, the Church did not believe or practice any form of denial of civil rights to any people. Second, the Church as well as anyone else should have the right to worship according to the dictates of their conscience. If the NAACP, the Government or anyone else attempted to tell the Mormon Church they had to bestow, restrict or prohibit the Priesthood, then they were denying the Church their right to worship. The Church was in no way under an obligation to listen to civil clamor on how to practice their worship services.


[148] It was announced about this time that there would be a mission in Nigeria. It was on January 11, 1963, that the President of the Church announced that a mission was going to be established in Nigeria. Missionaries were called and set apart for the mission—but nothing happened. For months the missionaries were awaiting their call to leave but still no word came. By August of that year, they had not left for that mission and the Church said things were still “unsettled.” It remained unsettled for years.

Another liberal critic of the Priesthood doctrine, Sterling M. McMurrin, said that “time is running out on the Mormon Church to exert any influence or leadership on the greatest moral struggle of our time—civil rights.” (Chicago Sun-Times, April 5, 1965) McMurrin wrote, preached and lectured in his efforts to get the Priesthood to the Negroes. He freely gave his opinions to President McKay and the Church members, as well as to the NAACP and its members, regarding the Priesthood’s “crude superstitions about Negroes” and its “social injustice.” One of his lectures to the NAACP was sold for $1.00 donations to their funds.

He, of course, won much favor with the NAACP by tickling their ears with such statements as:

Some (Mormons) go so far as to hold that the present and past social and economic predicament of the Negroes is a just reward, or punishment, for their pre-earth sins. It is difficult to understand how people who are otherwise typically intelligent and moral can believe and defend such crude immoral nonsense, but it is nothing new for religion to be a perpetrator of both nonsense and immorality. (The Negroes Among the Mormons, p. 7)

But Apostle Ezra T. Benson didn’t share McMurrin’s love for civil rights protestors nor what they were attempting to accomplish in this country, for he states:

Before I left for Europe I warned how the Communists were using the Civil Rights Movement to promote revolution and eventual takeover of this [149] country. When are we going to wake up? What do you know about the dangerous civil rights agitation in Mississippi? Do you fear the destruction of all vestiges of state government?

Now, brethren, the Lord never promised there would not be traitors in the Church. We have the ignorant, the sleepy and the deceived who provide temptations and avenues of apostacy for the unwary and the unfaithful. (Salt Lake Tribune, April 7, 1965, p. A-5)

And previously, Apostle Benson was reported in the Deseret News as saying:

Logan, Utah — Former agriculture secretary Ezra Taft Benson charged Friday night that the Civil Right’s Movement in the South had been “fomented almost entirely by the communists.”

Elder Benson, a member of the Council of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a speech at a public meeting here that the whole Civil Rights Movement was “phony.”

“The whole slogan of `civil rights’ as used to make trouble in the South today, is an exact parallel to the slogan of `agrarian reform’ which they used in China,” he added.

“The pending `civil rights’ legislation is, I am convinced, about 10 per cent civil rights and 90 per cent a further extension of socialistic federal controls,” Elder Benson said. “It is part of the pattern for the Communist take-over of America.” (December 14, 1963)

Benson was not wrong according to F.B.I. reports, for they exposed the organizers, promoters and financiers of these groups and left no doubts as to what their purpose was and who their affiliates really were.

In the spring of 1965 the Utah State Legislature had several civil rights bills before them, but the NAACP thought that Church influence would defeat them; so they met with the First Presidency. It was then agreed that an unsigned editorial would appear in the Deseret News supporting fair employment and housing. [150] But no editorial appeared. When questioned about it, President Tanner replied, “We have decided to remain silent.” So, the next day, the NAACP organized and led a prayer march from the Federal Office Building to the steps of the Church Administration Building. The Deseret News printed an article on its obituary page which stated:

About 250 persons demonstrated in front of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offices Sunday, asking for a statement on civil rights.

Mr. Driver said the NAACP is asking for a civil rights statement because the Legislature “has used the position of the Church to stymie the fair employment bill…. (Des. News, Mar. 8, 1965)

The NAACP decided to start an operation of boycotting the Church which appeared to be adopted for the specific purpose of retaliation.

The proposed resolution was offered by the Salt Lake and Ogden branches of the NAACP. It also urged that embassies in South America, Asia and Africa “refuse to grant visas to missionaries and representatives of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…until such time as the doctrine of non-white inferiority is changed and rescinded by that church and a positive policy of support for civil rights, is taken by the same church.” (Salt Lake Tribune, July 2, 1965)

In 1963 a student in California from Nigeria wrote back home after hearing the doctrines of the Mormons. His letter was printed in a newspaper there, a portion of which said:

Their God is not our God. I do not believe in a God whose adherents preach the superiority of one race over the other. And this is what the Mormons preach.

The big question is: why should the Mormons leave proselyting among the Negroes in America and decide to go to Nigeria?


The Mormons could by trickery establish a church in Nigeria and use this as massive propaganda for propagating and spreading their religion of race hate and race superiority and discrimination in America. (Ambrose Chukwu)

The editor wrote in the same paper:

Our correspondent has gone into great pains to expose this organization because he fears it may come to Nigeria thoroughly disguised. ***These so-called Latter-day Saints must be recognized for what they are—godless Herrenvolkism—and must not be allowed into this country.

…Since the United States Government preaches the equality of all races, Mr. Kennedy must ban this anti-Negro organization that preaches heretic doctrines. (The Nigerian Outlook, March 5, 1963, Enugu, Nigeria)

The Nigerians arose to that appeal and were successful in keeping the missionaries out of Nigeria even though much of the Mormon literature had already been received and read by many of the black people in Nigeria. Many of them organized their own branches. Time Magazine reported:

Pending a new revelation, possibly at any time, Mormons are committed to a certain degree of built-in segregation: Negroes cannot be admitted to the church’s priesthood. For this reason, Mormon missionaries have never tried very hard to make converts in black Africa. Yet Mormons also believe that Negroes may be admitted to the priesthood in heaven. This apparently is good enough for 7,000 Ibibio, Ibo and Efik tribesmen in eastern Nigeria, who have gone ahead to organize their own branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

* * *Fascinated by the dramatic life of the Mormon prophet, Anie Dick Obot of Uyo decided to form a branch of the church in Nigeria, and wrote for more information to Mormon headquarters in Salt Lake City. Mormon leaders sent back books explain-[152]ing their laws and doctrines, and in 1959 dispatched to Africa Elder Lamar Williams, who was much impressed by the Nigerian’s zeal and orthodoxy. Since then, the Nigerian Saints, governed by Obot and a council of 75 Elders, have established branches in six cities.

Church chiefs are somewhat at a loss on how to deal with their new African converts, especially since the Nigerian government will not give resident visas to any missionaries from the U.S. “This is quite a unique situation,” admits Hugh B. Brown, Mormon first counselor. One problem now is that in the absence of supervision from Utah, the Nigerian Saints appear to be deviating somewhat from strict adherence to revelation. Some Nigerian Mormons practice polygamy—forbidden in the U.S. Church since 1890—and the converts already seem to have established their own black hierarchy, priests and all. “I don’t have to wait for revelation to know that I am the natural head in Nigeria,” snaps Obot, who is accepted by his Elders as their Bishop. (Time Magazine, June 18, 1965, p. 56)

Among the Church’s problems in the Nigerian Latter-day Saint branches were the lack of control over their organization and operation, no governing by the Priesthood, and inability to collect their tithing. But the seriousness of the situation extended beyond their functional limitations. Hugh B. Brown wrote a letter on February 10, 1966, in which he stated:

We are just now wrestling with the problems in Nigeria, where some five thousand people have applied for baptism into the Church but where the government officials are opposing us and where, if we should baptize them, we would involve ourselves in financial problems which could very well bankrupt the Church….

Not just the L.D.S. Church, but also the United States in general was experiencing great difficulties from this Negro problem. A rash of rioting, burning, and killing swept across America. Willful and malicious destruction moved from state to state initiated [153] by Negroes in a wave of protest. Civil rights had become civil riots.

Watts, Detroit, Chicago, Washington D.C., and many other cities suffered destruction amounting to billions of dollars. This action soon brought a new wave of compromises and appeasements from the Government by way of increased civil rights bills in Congress. After that the American Negro began to turn their attentions and attacks upon the Mormon Church since they were one of the last strongholds against “racism.”

On April 14, 1968, the news broke—a boycott was being placed against the Brigham Young University:

A Mormon Church leader said Saturday that a boycott by eight Negroes of a Brigham Young University track and field meet “is the action by some extremists who have gotten the wrong idea of what the church position is.”

The University of Texas-El Paso athletes stayed away from Saturday’s competition at the church operated BYU in Provo, Utah. They said there was a belief on the campus “that the blacks are inferior and that we are disciples of the devil.” ***

President Hugh B. Brown, a member of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon, said the athletes apparently are unclear on the Church’s doctrine denying Negroes membership in the Mormon priesthood.

At the present time we do not give Negroes the priesthood. Priesthood, in our view, is leadership. There is not enough leadership among Negroes to warrant establishing him as a member of leadership,” President Brown said. (Arizona Daily Star, April 14, 1968)

Thus, the Church Negro problem grew into the national limelight and even became a political football when Mormon George Romney entered the candidacy for president. Life magazine wrote:



It would require a revelation through the present Prophet, David 0. McKay, to open the priesthood to the few Negro Mormons who presently exist, and First Counselor Brown warns, “I think it would be detrimental to him for the Church to come out with a revelation right now. It would have a reverse effect”—i.e., that of appearing to revise God’s word to assist a possible candidacy. (Life, May 5, 1967)

Other questions arose concerning George Romney’s candidacy, such as those reported by the S.L. Tribune:

In the question-answer period after George Romney’s speech…a stout, middle-aged Negro woman came to the platform and identified herself as Dr. Anna Grant, a professor of sociology…she explained that she had studied Romney’s Mormon faith and that she had reasons to believe that Mormons are taught the kind of anthropological untruths that would make them believe Negroes are inferior…. I know you cannot change Mormonism but I just wonder how you can be as comfortable in your beliefs as you indicated?

“I appreciate this question being asked,” Romney said, “because I know from your reaction that it’s a question you’re interested in.”

The audience laughed, softly and nervously.

“It is not true,” Romney told them, “that my faith preaches a racist doctrine. Now it is true that a Negro cannot hold the priesthood in my church.” Romney paused to bring his fist crashing down on the podium …. I have been raised from childhood with the firm belief that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States are divinely inspired documents, and as a result of my background I have fought in my private life to eliminate social injustice and racial discrimination.” (Salt Lake Tribune, May 4, 1967)

The Mormon Church was becoming notably famous for its position on the Negro issue—more than for any other doctrine and…



The increasing heat of racial pressures in the country has brought it [the Church] into focus as one of the few uncracked fortresses of discrimination. (Los Angeles Times, August 27, 1967)

A few Mormons themselves were aggravated at the Church’s stand regarding Negroes because their political image was being marred. Interior Secretary Stewart Udall wrote:

It was inevitable that national attention would be focused on what critics have called the “anti-Negro doctrine” of the L.D.S. Church. As the Church becomes increasingly an object of national interest, this attention is certain to intensify, for the divine curse concept which is so commonly held among our people runs counter to the great stream of modern religious and social thought.

We Mormons cannot escape persistent, painful inquiries into the sources and grounds of this belief. Nor can we exculpate ourselves and our Church from justified condemnation by the rationalization that we support the Constitution, believe that all men are brothers, and favor equal rights for all citizens.

This issue must be resolved… it must be resolved because we are wrong and it is past the time when we should have seen the right. (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1967, p. 8)


However, while some liberals within the Church were trying to abolish the Negro doctrine, others were valiantly defending it. When Udall spoke against the doctrine, Paul C. Richards responded by saying:

The Church is either true or it isn’t. If it changes its stand on the strength of the “great stream of modern religious and social thought,” it will be proven untrue. If that happens, the more serious members would do well to join the Cub Scouts. It’s cheaper and there is less work and less criticism….

If the Church is true, it will hold to its beliefs in spite of its members. (Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Autumn 1967, p. 6)


[156] But the sports arena was still the most popular and heated battlefield for the Church’s unpopular doctrine.

San Jose, Calif.—Classes for San Jose State College’s 24,000 students returned to normal Wednesday after a day of violence.

Classroom invasions, beatings, vandalism and small trash fires were used Tuesday in an attempt to enforce a strike such as the one which has closed San Francisco State College….

The United Black Students for Action had called the strike to enforce demands for cancellation of Saturday’s football game with Brigham Young University.

* * *

San Jose, Calif.—San Jose State’s black athletes voted Monday to turn in their scholarships because of the revocation of scholarships of seven football players who did not play in Saturday’s game against Brigham Young University.

The football players protested what they called the “racist philosophy” of BYU. (Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 3, 1968)

Arizona ball teams also took up the chant against the Church through the sports medium.

Tucson, Ariz. The student senate at the University of Arizona had asked both the school and the Western Athletic Conference to break ties with Brigham Young University.

By a vote of 18-5-1 the student senate passed the resolution condemning racial discrimination at BYU. (Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 25, 1969)

* * *

Phoenix, Ariz. Several Western Athletic Conference athletic directors Tuesday warned of a possible break-up of the conference because of racial policies at Brigham Young University. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 29, 1969)


[157] Then came an announcement in California that created the greatest athletic setback for B.Y.U.

Stanford, Calif. Stanford University announced Wednesday it will schedule no new athletic or other competitions with Brigham Young University because of alleged racial discrimination by the Mormon Church…. (Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 13, 1969)

When Stanford, a member of the Pacific Eight Conference, severed all relations with B.Y.U., it was one of the greatest blows to the Church. Other organizations and churches took up the protest.

The Church of the Black Cross, a new denomination seeking to improve black people’s position in society, both through religion and active community work, was calling for:

*Boycott of Mormon goods, such as record albums of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

*Discouraging tourist travel to Utah, home state of the Church.

*Taxpayer petitions to the government asking that the Mormon Church’s tax-exempt status be abolished. (Denver Post, Nov. 15, 1969)

By now Arizona had organized more effective means of boycotting the Church. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that when B.Y.U. ballplayers landed in Phoenix—

…Someone muttered that a protest march would be held before the football game that night…. That evening 250 Arizona State University students, most of them black, marched militantly under torch-light, wearing black armbands and carrying placards protesting the allegedly racist policies at B.Y.U.

The group’s leader, John Mask,…led the demonstrators in an evening-long chant, “Down with B.Y.U.” and “Get rid of the Racists.”‘ (Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 30, 1969)

Ernest L. Wilkinson, president of Brigham Young University at this time, was of course upset over the [158] actions of these universities and he commented, “During the past year or two, Brigham Young University has received national attention because of protests and boycotts involving our athletic teams” (Daily Universe, B.Y.U., December 15, 1969)

It was about this time, when greater pressure was being applied, that more promises of a “change” in the Negro doctrine would eventually come forth.

Dr. Ernest L. Wilkinson, president of B.Y.U., charged this week that Stanford was therefore guilty of “religious discrimination on hearsay evidence.”

But Pres. Brown disclosed Wednesday that Willard Wyman, assistant to Stanford’s president, Kenneth Pitzer, had contacted him one week prior to the severance of relations with B.Y.U. and that he had verified the racial doctrine. Pres. Brown also disclosed that he had told Wyman that “the church is not prejudiced in any way but this one, but I think that will change.” (Salt Lake Tribune, Dec. 25, 1969)

And from the same newspaper, another news item on the change of that doctrine appeared:

San Francisco: The Mormon Church’s denial of its priesthood to Negroes of African lineage “will change in the not too far distant future,” according to Hugh B. Brown, one of the highest ranking officials of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (S.L. Tribune, Dec. 25, 1969)

The civil rights and the religious rights were finally focused into a statement signed by Hugh B. Brown and N. Eldon Tanner, and was sent to “General Authorities, Regional Representatives of the Twelve, Stake Presidents, Mission Presidents, and Bishops:”

In view of confusion that has arisen, it was decided at a meeting of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve to restate the position of the Church with regard to the Negro both in so-[159]ciety and in the Church…we believe the Negro, as well as those of other races, should have his full Constitutional privileges…. Each citizen must have equal opportunities and protection under the law with reference to civil rights. However, matters of faith, conscience and theology are not within the purview of the civil law. The first amendment to the Constitution specifically provides that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” ***

But we believe that this work is directed by God and that the conferring of the priesthood must await His revelation. To do otherwise would be to deny the very premise on which the Church is established…. The question of bestowing or withholding priesthood in the Church is a matter of religion and not a matter of Constitutional right. (December 15, 1969; reprinted in the Church News, Jan. 10, 1970)

But protests against the Church for their Negro doctrine continued all over the Western States:

Tucson, Ariz. Some 3,000 University of Arizona students participated Wednesday in a two-hour rally, demanding that the school sever relations with fellow Western Athletic Conference member, Brigham Young University. (Des. News, Jan. 15, 1970)

* * *

Ending a ten-game ordeal on the road, the Cougars last week limped home to Provo, Utah, with a 4-10 record, one of the worst starts in Stan Watts’ lengthy coaching career. That was depressing enough, of course, but the boys from “The Y” were bedeviled by a special problem: a gathering wave of protest against a recently reaffirmed doctrine of the Mormon Church that Negroes be denied admission to priesthood. As much as the Cougars would like to ignore them, the protests have grown in intensity to the point where they have almost transcended all else. (Sports Illustrated, Jan. 26, 1970, p. 38)



Seattle: A garbage-throwing demonstration by about 20 blacks, protesting what one of them said was “racism” practiced by Brigham Young University, delayed the start of a gymnastics meet between Washington and B.Y.U. here Saturday afternoon.

The blacks walked onto a mat just before the first event and broke eggs and poured oil, catsup and salad dressing onto the mat, officials said…. After tipping over chalk trays, throwing chairs onto the mat and throwing a pail of water into Hughes’ face, the demonstrators departed. (S.L. Tribune, Feb. 1, 1970)

The doctrine of actual discrimination was established when the Church and the Boy Scouts were brought into a confrontation with the law. This gained more national publicity for the Church in 1974, and the NAACP pushed for a lawsuit.

A 12-year old boy scout has been denied a senior patrol leadership in his troop because he is black, Don L. Cope, black ombudsman for the state, said Wednesday….

The ombudsman said Mormon “troop policy is that in order for a scout to become a patrol leader, he must be a deacon’s quorum president in the LDS Church. Since the boy cannot hold the priesthood, he cannot become a patrol leader.” (S. L. Tribune, July 18, 1974)

The Church backed down on their position in this matter and made a public statement—and aptly so, since it was a civil matter:

Shortly before Boy Scout officials were to appear in Federal Court Friday morning on charges of discrimination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a policy change which will allow black youths to be senior patrol leaders, a position formerly reserved for white LDS youths in troops sponsored by the church….

An LDS Church spokesman said Friday under the “guidelines set forth in the statement, a young man other than president of the deacon’s quorum [161] could become the senior patrol leader if he is better qualified.” (S.L. Tribune, August 3, 1974)

The national news media was pressuring the Church from without, and liberal Mormons were pushing from within. Bruce R. McConkie was trying to quell the liberals by saying:

Am I valiant if I am deeply concerned about the Church’s stand on who can or who cannot receive the priesthood and think it is time for a new revelation on this doctrine?…

Am I valiant if I engage in gambling, play cards, go to pornographic movies…?” (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 35)

Within the Church, the breach between strong doctrinarians and the liberal protestors reached its climax when one of the members decided to ordain a Negro himself:

Portland, Ore. A member of the: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ordained a black into the Priesthood Friday, saying he did so in an attempt to force a revision in Mormon Doctrine about the Negro race.

Douglas A. Wallace,… first baptized Larry Lester,…in the swimming pool of a motel in northeast Portland. He then ordained Lester to the office of priest in the Aaronic Priesthood of the LDS Church….

The rites were preceded by a news conference at which Wallace said he has long been bothered by the Mormon Church’s bias against blacks, and he feels the time has come to challenge it.

Wallace said he hopes there are no recriminations against him for his action, such as excommunication. (S.L. Tribune, April 3, 1976)

This incident again created a stir in the national news media and opened the sore for the public eye. Church excommunicated Wallace for insubordination to the rules and policy of the Church, but Wallace refused to stop his protest. He appeared at Conference in the [162] Spring of 1976; and after a confrontation with Church personnel, Mr. Wallace was ejected from the Tabernacle. Later he was served with a “court order barring him from attending conference.” (S.L. Tribune, Oct. 4, 1976) The police were then involved in keeping him off Temple Square.

However, the surveillance of Wallace extended beyond the bounds of Temple Square, as an unfortunate incident soon proved. At the April Conference of 1977, the tragic shooting of a police officer, which permanently paralyzed him, made the headlines! Then Wallace made a charge:

Mormon dissident Douglas A. Wallace charged Monday that a Salt Lake City police officer, shot early Sunday, was keeping surveillance on him in a nearby residence.

Acting Police Chief, Edgar A. Bryan, Jr., denied it.

He said his men were not keeping surveillance on Mr. Wallace, an excommunicated member of the Church… but he would not say what the stakeout’s purpose was.

Officer David W. Olson remained in critical condition Monday at St. Mark’s Hospital, where personnel said he suffered a severed spinal cord from a single shot in the neck. The policeman was shot accidently by his partner,… (S.L. Tribune, April 5, 1977)

Wallace and his attorneys were busy trying to uncover the facts in the incident so they decided to bring lawsuits against the police department.

Ex-Mormon Douglas Wallace, who claims the wounding of an undercover police officer was done while police held surveillance on him, Tuesday afternoon said he will subpoena various high ranking police and sheriff’s deputies to establish the fact.

Mr. Wallace said also, “It is clear from the evidence that we have uncovered that I was under surveillance. The police department’s denial of [163] that simply compounds the wrong. (S.L. Tribune, April 6, 1977)

With such bad publicity and lawsuits on their heads, the police were finally forced to admit the truth of the surveillance:

Salt Lake City police officers admitted Thursday that the accidental wounding of an undercover officer occurred during surveillance of Mormon dissident Douglas A. Wallace….

Reports released Thursday by both the county sheriff’s office and the county attorney show that six officers were on stakeout around the John W. Fitzgerald home…where Mr. Wallace was staying.

The lawmen were paired up in three police vehicles and two of those were parked close together in opposite directions (S.L. Tribune, April 8, 1977)

When Wallace discovered that he was the object of the surveillance, he reasoned that it was the Church that was responsible.

Ex-Mormon Douglas Wallace Friday renewed his assertion that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was behind April police surveillance of Mr. Wallace that led to the accidental shooting of a Salt Lake City police officer. (S.L. Tribune, Sept. 17, 1977)

The Church responded with a negative reply in the Deseret News which then became a matter of objection to the wounded officer, David Olson, who wrote to the Tribune:

I would also like to thank Spencer W. Kimball for his incorrect press release concerning the police involvement combined with the LDS Church’s efforts to restrict Douglas A. Wallace from the temple grounds, specifically the Tabernacle, on April 3, 1977.

His denial of these actions is wrong. Any man who can take such actions and still call him-[164]self a prophet deserves more than I to be confined to this wheelchair. (S.L. Tribune, Jan. 18, 1978)

This whole affair became a national embarrassment to Kimball and the Church. However, Wallace wasn’t the only trouble-maker. Byron Marchant had begun in the fall of 1977 to add his objections to the Church’s Negro policy:

Salt Lake City. The man who cast the first vote in modern history against a leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been excommunicated and fired as chapel janitor.

Byron Marchant, 35, of Salt Lake, is the second opponent of the Church policy withholding the Priesthood from blacks to be excommunicated in the last two years. (Dallas Morning News, Oct. 20, 1977)

Byron began a massive attack on Church doctrine by printing brochures which appealed for a public demonstration. His pamphlet read:

Next October Conference (1978) I will join all interested in a march on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. In the event the Mormon Church decides to ordain worthy Afro-Americans to the Priesthood, this demonstration will be a sort of celebration. A demonstration of support. In the meantime every person and/or group concerned about Utah Racism is encouraged to speak out and attend the October protest.

Marchant never had a chance to complete his demonstration program because in June the Church made the announcement which reversed their Negro policy.


* * *

One of the most serious problems arising from the Negro blood situation came from Brazil. The Deseret News mentioned this fact by saying:

A major problem the Church has faced with its policy regarding blacks was in Brazil, where the [165] Church is building a temple. Many people there are mixed racially, and it is often impossible to determine whether church members have black ancestry. (Deseret News, June 10, 1978)


Church leaders had been faced with this problem in Brazil for many years, and it continued to grow. Lester E. Bush, Jr., had written:

The growth of the international Church was clearly bringing new problems. Brazil was particularly difficult. Later that year J. Reuben Clark, First Counselor to George Albert Smith, reported that the Church was entering “into a situation in doing missionary work…where it is very difficult if not impossible to tell who has Negro blood and who has not. He said that if we are baptizing Brazilians, we are almost certainly baptizing people of Negro blood, and that if the Priesthood is conferred upon them, which no doubt it is, we are facing a very serious problem.” (Dialogue, Spring 1973, p. 41)

In a letter by Gary Lobb, published in Dialogue, he explained the seriousness and the consequences of that problem in Brazil as a result of his own personal observations:

My studies currently in Brazil,…have led me to conclude that most Brazilians who are not second or third generation descendants of German, Italian, Polish, or Japanese immigrants, are probably descendants of Negroes. This is especially true among the lower and lower-middle classes which make up a large portion of L.D.S. Church membership in this land…. In some of the branches of the Church which my wife and I have attended here in Brazil, there appear to be priesthood bearers who possess the essential characteristics of the Negroid races. (Dialogue, Autumn 1968, p. 8)

Missionary work had been pushed very extensively in Brazil; and with that push, the Church decided to build a temple there. But the problem would only be [166] intensified. Those who would be converted to the Church in Brazil would naturally want to go through the temple; and those who contributed money or labor on the temple, would want to go through it. But the question arises: If so many people in Brazil are of mixed blood, why should a temple be built there at all? Why should they build the Church’s largest temple in Washington, D.C., where nearly 80% of the people there are of Negro origin? These two temples would be the final factor influencing the reversal of the Church stand on the Negro.

In summary then, the withholding of priesthood from the Negro had created a sea of dissent and dissatisfaction. Missionary work was being affected; B.Y.U. sports activities were curtailed, the favorable image of the Church was eroding in the eyes of the nation. Many members were also launching their dissatisfaction to the waves of protest. From within and without, the Church was being attacked by forces not dissimilar to those during the era of 1890. Uncomfortable questions, embarrassing news coverages, and a multitude of lawsuits were bringing the Church authorities to their knees. Amidst this violent storm of adversity, the President of the Church was seeking for a means of relief—some way to resolve the problems that were deluging upon him and the Church.

Would he find an answer to the problem of this Priesthood doctrine? Would it be a medicine to appease the throes of the gentiles, or a plague upon Priesthood of Israel? Would he resolve the issue with an orchid or an onion? Would his answer become a blessing or a curse?



[167]                             Chapter 14


                             KIMBALL’S CANAANITES

Negroes IN THIS LIFE are denied the priesthood; UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. *** It is the Lord’s doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate. (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 527-28)

President Spencer W. Kimball spoke to the faculty and studentbody of the Brigham Young University on September 6, 1977, stating that “The Gospel is made up of absolute truths that do not change regardless of contrary opinions or beliefs of men.” (Des. News, Sept. 10, 1977) The Gospel doctrine of restricting Canaanites from the Priesthood during mortality has been in vogue since the pre-existence of man, and was considered one of those “absolute truths that do not change.” Many doctrinal scholars and authoritative writers of the Church have determined that this is one of the chief features of priesthood authority. Therefore, the Canaanite is prohibited from the Priesthood by reason of scripture, revelations from God, and the word of His prophets.

John L. Lund, a notable and corroborative scholar whose researches on this doctrine resulted in his writing The Church and the Negro, published in 1967. In his Preface he said, “It was for this reason that the Church leaders in high positions were consulted. Although no official endorsement was sought, the author was encouraged to exercise his rights as an individual to publish this book.” From Lund’s research into the history of this doctrine, he explained and confirmed [168] that, according to the prophets of God, the Canaanites would receive the Priesthood only after two major events have occurred:

The prophets have declared that there are at least two major stipulations that have to be met before the Negroes will be allowed to possess the Priesthood. The first requirement relates to time. THE NEGROES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO HOLD THE PRIESTHOOD DURING MORTALITY, IN FACT, NOT UNTIL AFTER THE RESURRECTION OF ALL OF ADAM’S CHILDREN. The other stipulation requires that Abel’s seed receive the first opportunity of having the Priesthood. *** (p. 47)

All of this means that the last of Adam’s children will not be resurrected until the end of the millennium. Therefore, the Negroes will not receive the Priesthood until after that time…. this will not happen until after the thousand years of Christ’s reign on earth. (p. 48) (The Church and the Negro, John L. Lund)

Later in the book, Lund reiterates this time element factor before the Negro receives the Priesthood.

First, all of Adam’s children will have to resurrect and secondly, the seed of Abel must first have an opportunity to possess the Priesthood. These events will not occur until sometime AFTER THE END OF THE MILLENNIUM. (The Church and the Negro, pp. 109-110)

Doctrinarian Elder Bruce R. McConkie substantiated this by advocating:

Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under NO circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them….

Negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned (Mormon Doctrine, Bruce R. McConkie, p. 477)


[169] However, on June 9, 1978, a news release by the First Presidency of the Church, was to abolish that doctrine in the Church. The announcement was welcomed and hailed by most of the people of the world. But to the orthodox Mormons, it was a matter of great disappointment.





                        LDS Church Extends Priesthood

                          to all worthy male members

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today released the following statement:

                As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

                Aware or the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the upper room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

                He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.

                We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.

                                                                                                                Sincerely yours,

                                                                                                                Spencer W. Kimball

  1. Eldon Tanner

                                                                                                                Marion G. Romney

                                                                                                                the First Presidency

This announcement was received by the news services around the world on June 9th. However, on June 8th a similar letter was issued to Church general and local Priesthood members. (See following page.) Neither announcement contained a copy of the revelation, but stated only that one had come in answer to their prayers.

This new calling for the house of Cain to receive the rights of the Priesthood would be a direct change in the Articles of Faith. The Church no longer believed in “…the literal gathering of Israel” or the “…restoration of the ten tribes of Israel.”




                        OFFICE OF THE FIRST PRESIDENCY


                                 June 8, 1978


To All General and Local Priesthood Officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Throughout the World


Dear Brethren:

As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.

We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known His will for the blessing of all His children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of His authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.

                                                                                                                Sincerely yours,

                                                                                                                Spencer W. Kimball

  1. Eldon Tanner

                                                                                                                Marion G. Romney

                                                                                                                The First Presidency


[171] The majority of modern Mormons took the announcement like a pill. Willing to place all their trust in the arm of their prophet, they accepted the change of that doctrine without question. However, this “revelation” was not a minor change in policy nor an alteration in a social program of the Church; its results could affect men’s Priesthood or even their salvation. For this reason, the following items of inquiry are listed for the reader to ponder. Because of the manner in which Kimball’s “revelation” was announced, the following questions must be resolved:



The word of the Lord to the people of His Church, either by way of instruction, commandment or establishing new doctrine, is written in the manner or style of a “Thus saith the Lord” revelation. It speaks “as one having authority” and not as the scribes.

A revelation with “thus saith the Lord” is that peculiar method of inspiration which divides the common sectarian ministers from a real prophet of God. Such a revelation would carry the stamp of Divine approval for the members of the Church. Without the Lord’s voice in such an important matter, people have no assurance that it was a genuine revelation from God.

A “revelation” changing a 148-year-old Church doctrine and reversing a religious doctrine that is as old as Cain, cannot be accepted without inquiry and investigation. One man, Eugene Wagner, wrote to the Tribune Forum asking two questions:

Editor, Tribune: Recently the First Presidency of the Mormon Church announced the Priesthood for the black race. There remain two questions to be answered by the Church leaders.

…was this change of doctrine really a revelation from the Lord, or did the Church leaders act on their own? Why don’t they publish that revelation and let the Lord speak in His own words?


All we saw was a statement of the First Presidency, and that is not how a revelation looks.

When God speaks,the revelation starts with the words: “Thus sayeth the Lord…. ” It seems when the Lord decides to change a doctrine of such great importance, He will talk himself to the people of His church. If such a revelation cannot be presented to the members, it is obvious that the First Presidency acted on its own, most likely under fear of public pressure to avoid problems of serious consequences and to maintain peace and popularity with the world. (Eugene Wagner, S.L. Tribune, June 24, 1978)

Joseph Smith, speaking for the Church, said that if they were to give out any doctrine “except by commandment, or thus saith the Lord, we do not consider it binding….” (D.H.C. 3:295) A revelation from God would contain the same personal pronoun of “I” that is so prevalent in the Doctrine and Covenants. This official announcement in June said “we,” “us” and “our” and was signed by three men. How can this possibly be construed as God’s revelation or as scripture?




What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same. (D. & C. 1:38)

For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round. (D. & C. 3:2)

It is apparent that this “revelation”, like the Manifesto, is not a new revelation from the Lord—but rather a contradiction of a former revelation. Joseph Smith said that members could detect a revelation from the devil because of its “contradicting a former revelation.” (T.P.J.S., p. 215)


[173] Surely God cannot be the author of confusing and contradictory “revelations.”



The Church leaders from the earliest times up to and including the present have never changed their position concerning the Negro. (The Church and the Negro, Lund, p. 111, 1967)

Every ancient prophet and every previous president of the Church in our dispensation, have all declared or agreed that the Canaanites will not receive the Priesthood until after the millennial reign of Christ. Either the early presidencies of the Church were wrong, and those today are right—or else the former presidents of the Church were inspired of God and those who advocate this “revelation” are not inspired. One of the presidencies can be right, but not both. We know the early leaders were inspired and led of God; then how can we justify a contradiction of such magnitude, and believe that it could be inspired?

President Brigham Young declared:

Do you know why some men give counsel different one from another? Because they undertake to give counsels without the Spirit of the Lord to dictate them. But WHEN THE SPIRIT DICTATES, THEN EACH ONE KNOWS WHAT TO DO, AND THEIR COUNSEL WILL BE THE SAME. Adam, Seth, Enoch, Noah, all the Patriarchs and Prophets, Jesus and the Apostles, and every man that has ever written the word of the Lord, have written the same doctrine upon the same subject; and YOU NEVER CAN FIND THAT PROPHETS AND APOSTLES CLASHED IN THEIR DOCTRINES IN ANCIENT DAYS; NEITHER WILL THEY NOW, if all would at all times be led by the Spirit…. (J.D. 5:329)

And later President Young explained:


…I told the people that if they would not believe the revelations that God had given, HE WOULD SUFFER THE DEVIL TO GIVE REVELATIONS THAT THEY—PRIESTS AND PEOPLE—WOULD FOLLOW AFTER. Have I seen this fulfilled? I have. I told the people that as true as God lived, if they would not have truth, they would have error sent unto them and they would believe it. (Des. News, June 8, 1873)

How can God “inspire” His “prophets” within 100 years of each other to teach opposing doctrines? Either God is confused and cannot make up His mind, or else those who claim to be His prophets are confused on this issue.



We are told by the Lord that “ALL THINGS MUST BE DONE IN ORDER, AND BY COMMON CONSENT IN THE CHURCH,…” (D. & C. 28:13; D. & C. 26:2) This is not only one of the privileges of the members, but one of their sacred duties. The right of common consent is not new to this church, but was also a practice in the ancient churches of God. Common consent is a safeguard against any form of dictatorship to prevent unwanted decrees, good or bad, from being hoisted upon a people who do not choose to approve them. It was four months after the announcement before it was presented to the people for their vote. An announcement of this magnitude should be presented to the Saints assembled in conference. Then when it is accepted by the members, it becomes an official doctrine of the Church.

Instant Negro ordinations were made before members of the Church had a chance to vote for this issue. The law of the Lord in Church procedure has always been by “common consent” BEFORE any “organizing” or “setting apart” takes place. Two days after the “revelation” was announced, the following announcement was printed:

In a simple and brief ceremony Sunday morning, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [175] broke nearly a century and a half practice by ordaining a black member into its priesthood. (Des. News, June 12, 1978)

Then, in less than two weeks after the announcement:

Joseph Freeman, 26, Friday became the first black man to participate in temple ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder Thomas S. Monson of the Council of the Twelve, conducted sealing ordinances in the Salt Lake Temple which Mormons believe bind a family together for eternity. (Des. News, June 24, 1978)

By September three black members of the Church had received calls as missionaries. Marcus Helvecio Martins arrived in Brazil early in August; Jacques Michel G. Jonassaint of Haiti entered the mission home on September 21st; and Mary Sturlaugson began her mission home training on the 23rd of September. Marcus Martins and his father were ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood on June 18th, and ordained Elders on the 25th of June. (See Des. News, Sept. 16, 1978)

In less than five months, a black member of the Church had been ordained to a Stake Presidency:

FIRST BLACK IS CALLED TO STAKE PRESIDENCY—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—On Nov. 6, 1978, Helvecio Martins and his wife, Ruda, received their endowments and were sealed to one another and their four children in the Sao Paulo Temple, just dedicated by President Spencer W. Kimball.

Three weeks later, Brother Martins became the first black man to serve in a stake presidency when he was sustained as second counselor in the Rio de Janeiro Brazil Niteroi Stake. (Des. News, Dec. 16, 1978)

Thus, within five months, Negroes had been ordained to both the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, administering to the Sacrament, baptizing, teaching classes, receiving their endowments and marrying in the temples, being called on missions, and placed in some of the highest offices of the Church.


[176] What was the reasoning behind the haste in these ordinations and callings? Why the extreme rush to ordain and advance the black members of the Church? Why were they elevated so fast without following the same step by step gradations that are required of the white race? According to Church policy, men have always been required to prove their worthiness and merit before being advanced to the various offices in the Priesthood. Each one advances according to his faithfulness and accomplishments in his various offices. After this “revelation”, black members have had preferential treatment, which is a discrimination against the white members. Surely a revelation from the “God of Israel” would not be so racist against the children of Israel.



On June 17, 1933, the First Presidency, under President Heber J. Grant, issued the following statement:

It is alleged that on September 26, 1886, President John Taylor received a revelation from the purported text of which is given in publications….

As to this pretended revelation, it should be said that the archives of the Church contain no such revelation; the archives contain no record of any such revelation, nor any evidence justifying a belief that any such revelation was ever given.

From the personal knowledge of some of us, from the uniform and common recollection of the presiding quorums of the Church, from the absence in the Church archives of any evidence whatsoever justifying any belief that such a revelation was given, we are justified in affirming that no such revelation exists. (Way of the Master, Mark E. Petersen, p. 58)

Many people have called the Church Archives asking for a copy of this new “revelations” but were told that [177] they do not have a copy in the Archives. Since “the archives of the Church contain no such revelation, nor any evidence justifying belief that any such revelation was given,” then members are “justified in affirming that no such revelation exists.”

On December 6, 1974, President Kimball sent a letter to “All Stake and Mission Presidents, Bishops and Branch Presidents in the Western United States and Western Canada” recommending that they use the book The Way of the Master to protect “members of the Church who may be influenced by false doctrine being disseminated by apostate cultist groups.” Kimball recommended reading Chapters 8 through 15 for that purpose. In Chapter 11 is found this statement:

Furthermore, so far as the authorities of the Church are concerned and so far as the members of the Church are concerned, since this pretended revelation, if ever given, was never presented to and adopted by the Church or by any council of the Church…. “therefore the said “pretended revelation could have no validity and no binding effect and force upon Church members, and action under it would be unauthorized, illegal, and void.” (Way of the Master, p. 58)

Therefore, since this new “revelation” is opposite to the inspired rule in its terms, purport,” and was directly opposite to “all the former scriptures and teachings of the prophets,” then we may further consider it to be “unauthorized, illegal, and void.”



It should also be published in the Ensign magazine for members of the Church to read and study. For the president of the Church to tell the members that he had received a revelation for them, and then not give it to them is not only improper order, it is selfish. The word of the Lord is scripture—it is for the people. It is a standard and a rule by which they govern their lives. God has said that He would reveal His written word to members of the Church for the following reasons:



The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that men should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh.

But that every men might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;

That faith also might increase in the earth;

That mine everlasting covenant might be established;

That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.

Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.

And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;

And inasmuch as they sought wisdom then might be instructed;

And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;

And inasmuch as they were humble then might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time. (D. & C. 1:19-28)

The Lord has said He will “do nothing” except He reveal His secrets to His servants the prophets. Without His WRITTEN word, the canon of scripture is closed.



At the following October Conference, members of the Church awaited the chance to hear the new “revelation”. But it was never read, neither did President Kimball even mention it when he read His sermon. Members were asked to vote and accept it, but they never got to hear it. Where is the revelation? Surely a revelation which overthrows a doctrine that has existed for thousands of years, and which must change the think-[179]ing and the lives of so many members of the Church, ought to be read and voted on. Members should be able to hear or read why the Lord changed His doctrine. When a revelation is received by the president of the Church effecting the members of the Church, Then they are entitled to have it. An official announcement was read but not a revelation.

Someone in the Church deserves the national “Salesman of the Year” award for this “revelation”—because four million members of the Church, and millions of others, were convinced to buy a revelation that none had ever seen or heard. The laws of the State, and the laws of the nation, forbid anyone selling something that does not exist. How could so many members of the Church, who are supposed to have the Holy Ghost, vote to accept a revelation that they never saw nor heard? How could they accept a revelation that has never been read—that has never been published—and that has never been added to the archives of the Church?



How many hours of prayers and how many years of pleading have the present leaders of the Church asked the Lord to change that doctrine? Fifteen years ago members of the First Presidency were laboring to abandon that doctrine!

Salt Lake City, June 3—The top leadership of the Mormon Church is seriously considering the abandonment of its historic policy of discrimination against Negroes.

One of the highest officers of the Church said today that the possibility of removing this religious disability against Negroes has been under serious consideration.

“We are in the midst of a survey looking toward the possibility of admitting Negroes,” said Hugh B. Brown, one of the two counselors serving President David O. McKay in the First Presidency of the Mormon Church. (New York Times, June 7, 1963)


[180] President Kimball has also been laboring for years to achieve it, he testified to a Church News reporter:

“Day after day, and especially on Saturdays and Sundays when there were no organizations in the temple, I went there when I could be alone,” he said. “I was very humble…I was searching for this…. THIS MATTER HAD BEEN ON MY MIND ALL THESE YEARS.” (Church News, Jan. 6, 1979)

In a recent interview with the Church News staff, President Kimball described his months of searching and pleading with the Lord that preceded this revelation. (Church News, Jan. 6, 1979)

For a long time, the general authorities of the Church have been struggling with this gap between the Priesthood and the Negroes as a major problem. It is customary for the general authorities to meet together as a body in the temple on each Thursday of every week. In earlier meetings, this problem had been discussed at great length, and President Kimball had asked each one to give him a memo detailing his feelings, recommendations, etc., relating to the Negro question. Kimball had also written to the professors at Brigham Young University for copies of the messages, quotations and policies of the Church regarding this problem. Then finally—

The announcement came after several months of careful study and consideration by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve. (Des. News, June 10, 1978)

Joseph Smith had a bad experience when he continually pled with the Lord to change His mind concerning the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript which he wanted to allow Martin Harris to take home to his wife. (D.H.C. 1:21) The Lord finally consented and gave him permission, not because it was right, but because of Joseph’s persistence. If there were such a revelation changing the doctrine of the Negroes and the Priesthood was it permitted—not because it was right—but because of the leaders’ persistence? Will the present leaders [181] of the Church someday realize that they made a mistake in the same way Joseph Smith did—by such constant appeals for the Lord’s consent? The Prophet Joseph Smith warned us that we should “never inquire at the hand of God for special revelation only in case of there being no previous revelation to suit the case “(T.P.J.S. p. 22)

The Lord has also warned us not to “ask for that which you ought not,” (D. & C. 8:10) because “IF YE ASK ANYTHING THAT IS NOT EXPEDIENT FOR YOU, IT SHALL TURN UNTO YOUR CONDEMNATION.” (D. & C. 88:65)

Because of so many months and years of pleading to the Lord to reverse this doctrine, it becomes very questionable that the Lord finally decided to change His mind, but rather allowed these men to do what they have wanted to do for so many years.



When President Kimball was asked about receiving the revelation—

Kimball refused to discuss the revelation that changed the church’s 148-year-old policy against ordination of blacks, saying it was “a personal thing.” (S. L. Tribune, June 13, 1978)

When the Lord gives a revelation of a “personal” nature, it should remain personal and private. But, when a prophet receives a revelation for the Church, or for a race of people, then it should be made public to those for whom it is intended.

President Kimball said he had been praying long and earnestly for “these our faithful brethren;” then perhaps they, too, would like to see what the Lord said in that revelation pertaining to their race.

The object of every previous prophet has been to plead “long and earnestly” in behalf of Israel. God has always called himself the “God of Israel,” Christ [182] is the “Holy One of Israel,” and the children of Israel He called “My people.”


According to the word of the Lord, the descendants of Cain received a dark skin, which was a distinguishing feature of those who would be “…cursed as pertaining to the Priesthood,” and should not have the right of possessing the Priesthood. (Abraham 1:27) If those of that lineage are worthy to receive the Priesthood, why are they still cursed with a black skin? If God placed this mark upon that lineage for this particular reason, wouldn’t He remove that mark when it was time for them to obtain the rights of the Priesthood? He has removed that stigma before (2 Nephi 30:6), and He could do it again if He chose to bestow the Priesthood upon them.

The skin of blackness was a distinguishing feature given to the Negro race because of their disappointing weakness in the pre-existence; therefore, they forfeited the right to obtain the Priesthood during mortality. If they are still being born black, they must still be of that class to whom the curse was given in the pre-existence. How can there be any justification for giving the Priesthood to anyone who still has the mark of a curse from their pre-mortal life?

What has occurred, on earth or in heaven, that the God of Israel suddenly made this reversal and now calls the Canaanites to the Priesthood? What caused this momentous transformation? Surely a revelation of such incredible revision and magnitude could not be considered a “personal” matter. Everyone would be interested to know the details for this change in doctrine and policy.



President Kimball described this revelation as the result of progressive labor with and by his apostles.



I spent a good deal of time in the temple alone, praying for guidance, and there was a gradual and general development of the whole program, in connection with the apostles. (Time, Aug. 1, 1978)

The final “development of the whole program” was achieved because the Twelve had spent so much time pleading “long and earnestly” in the upper room of the temple. The “revelation” was not the result of only President Kimball, who said:

…We have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the upper room of the temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance. (Des. News, June 9, 1978)

This “revelation” had been nurtured by the First Presidency and the Quorum of Twelve for many years and was finally spawned by their united effort. This alone is contrary to the “calling” and the “order” of Church apostleship. The Twelve Apostles are set apart for the ministry “in all the world” and are the Twelve “traveling” council “in all nations.” Their obligation is “first unto the Gentiles and secondly unto the Jews.” The Jews have not yet been converted; therefore, it is questionable about their obligation to seek after the Canaanites. (See D. & C. 107:33-35) Apostles have only the responsibility of the ministry—not directing and governing the Church.

President Kimball has also become more of a traveling apostle than presiding at Church headquarters:

He [Kimball] has traveled 347,864 miles since he became president of the Church five years ago. This averages about three times around the world each year. (Church News, Jan. 6, 1979)

The Apostles and Seventies of the Church are commissioned to do the “traveling.” They have nothing to do with receiving revelation for the governing of the Church. Even if all the Apostles disagreed, it would have nothing to do with the validity of a revelation of God for the Church.




Shortly after June 9, typed copies and printed materials were swarming all through the valley, some depicting a revelation with Spencer Kimball’s name on it (later proved to be a hoax). Another was a story of a great spiritual manifestation which was an “outpouring of the Spirit, comparable to that felt on the day of Pentecost,” or when the “Kirtland Temple was dedicated.” Other statements purported that the “Savior appeared”; and another account indicated that early day leaders of the Church, “including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, John Taylor, and many others” appeared to the Council of Twelve. However, all of these claims have eventually been reduced to speculations, hoaxes, or the machinations of many modern Mormons who wished that such occurrences had actually happened.

The only account that seems to carry any reliable details is an interview between Wesley P. Walters and Chris Vlachos and Apostle LeGrand Richards on August 16, 1978, in the Church Office Building. This taped interview was later published, and a portion of it is included here.


WALTERS: On this revelation, of the priesthood to the Negro, I’ve heard all kinds of stories: I’ve heard that Christ appeared to the apostles; I’ve heard that Joseph Smith appeared; and then I heard another story that Spencer Kimball had had a concern about this for some time, and simply shared it with the apostles, and they decided that this was the right time to move in that direction. Are any of those stories true, or are they all?


RICHARDS: Well, the last one is pretty true, and I might tell you what provoked it in a way. Down in Brazil, there is so much Negro blood in the population there that it’s hard to get leaders that don’t have Negro blood in them. We just built a temple down there. It’s going to be dedicated in October. All those people [185] with Negro blood in them have been raising the money to build that temple. If we don’t change, then they can’t even use it. Well, Brother Kimball worried about and he prayed a lot about it. He asked each one of us of the Twelve if we would pray—and we did—that the Lord would give him the inspiration to know what the will of the Lord was. Then he invited each one of us in his office—individually, because you know when you are in a group, you can’t always express everything that’s in your heart. You’re part of the group, see—so he interviewed each one of us, personally, to see how we felt about it, and he asked us to pray about it. Then he asked each one of us to hand in all the references we had, for, or against that proposal. See, he was thinking favorably toward giving the colored people the priesthood. Then we had a meeting where we meet every week in the temple, and we discussed it as a group together, and then we prayed about it in our prayer circle, and then we held another prayer circle after the close of that meeting, and he (President Kimball) lead in the prayer; praying that the Lord would give us the inspiration that we needed to do the thing that would be pleasing to Him and for the blessing of His children.

And then the next Thursday—we meet every Thursday —the Presidency came with this little document written out to make the announcement—to see how we’d feel about it—and present it in written form. Well, some of the members of the Twelve suggested a few changes in the announcement, and then in our meeting there we all voted in favor of it—the Twelve and the Presidency. One member of the Twelve, Mark Petersen, was down in South America, but Brother Benson, our President, had arranged to know where he could be reached by phone, and right while we were in that meeting in the temple, Brother Kimball talked with Brother Petersen, and read his this article, and he (Petersen) approved of it.


WALTERS: What was the date? Would that have been the first of June, or something?


RICHARDS: That was the first Thursday, I think, in May. (June?) At least that’s about when it was. And then after we all voted in favor of it, we called another [186] meeting for the next morning, Friday morning, at seven o’clock, of all the other General Authorities—that includes the Seventies’ quorum and the Patriarch and the Presiding Bishopric, and it was presented to them, and they all had an opportunity to express themselves, and there were a few of the brethren that were out presiding then in the missions, and so the Twelve were appointed to interview each one of them. ***


WALTERS: Now when President Kimball read this little announcement or paper, was that the same thing that was released to the press?




WALTERS: There wasn’t a special document as a “revelation”, that he had and wrote down?


RICHARDS: We discussed it in our meeting. What else should we say besides that announcement? And we decided that that was sufficient; that no more needed to be said.


WALTERS: Was that the letter you sent out to the various wards?


RICHARDS: And to the Church; and to the newspapers, yes.


VLACHOS: Will that become a part of “scripture”?


RICHARDS: Yes, I’ve already thought in my own mind of suggesting we add it to the Pearl of Great Price, just like those last two revelations that we’re just added. ***


WALTERS: Will this affect your theological thinking about the Negro as being less valiant in the previous existence? How does this relate? Have you thought that through?


RICHARDS: Some time ago, the Brethren decided that we should never say that. We don’t know just what the reason was. Paul said, “The Lord hath before appointed [187] the bounds of the habitations of all men for to dwell upon the face of the earth,” and so He determined that before we were born. He who knows why they were born with black skin or white and so on and so forth. We’ll just have to wait and find out.


WALTERS: Is there still a tendency to feel that people are born with black skin because of some previous situation, or do we consider that black skin is no sign anymore of anything inferior in any sense of the word?


RICHARDS: Well, we don’t want to get that as a doctrine. Think of it as you will. You know, Paul said, “Now we see in part and we know in part; we see through a glass darkly. When that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away, then we will see as we are seen, and knew as we are known.” Now the Church’s attitude today is to prefer to leave it until we know. The Lord has never indicated that that black skin came because of being less faithful. Now, the Church’s attitude today is to prefer to leave it until we know. The Lord has never indicated that that black skin came because of being less faithful. Now, the Indian; we know why he was changed, don’t we? The Book of Mormon tells us that; and he has a dark skin, but he has a promise there that through faithfulness, that they shall again become a white and delightsome people. So we haven’t anything like that on the colored thing.


WALTERS: Now, will this new revelation—has it brought any new insights or new ways of looking at the Book of Abraham? Because I think traditionally it is thought of the curse of Cain, coming through Canaanites and on the black-skinned people, and therefore denying the priesthood?


RICHARDS: We considered that with all the “for’s” and the “against’s”, and decided that with all of that, if they lived their lives, and did the work, that they were entitled to their blessings.


WALTERS: But you haven’t come up with any new understanding of the Book of Abraham? I just wondered whe-[188]ther there would be a shift in that direction. Is the recent revelation in harmony with what the past prophets have taught, of when the Negro would receive the Priesthood?


RICHARDS: Well, they have held out the thought that they would ultimately get the priesthood, but they never determined the time for it. And so when this situation that we face down there in Brazil—Brother Kimball worried a lot about it—how the people are so faithful and devoted. The president of the Relief Society of the stake is a colored woman down there in one of the stakes. If they do the work, why it seems like that the justice of the Lord would approve of giving them the blessing. Now it’s all conditional upon the life that they live, isn’t it?


WALTERS: Well, I thank you for clarifying that for me, because you know, out in the streets out there, there must be at least five, ten different stories about the way this happened.


RICHARDS: Well, I’ve told you exactly what happened.


WALTERS: Right. Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it.


RICHARDS: If you quote me you will be telling the truth.


WALTERS: OK, well fine. You don’t mind if we quote you then?




WALTERS: OK, that’s great!

President Kimball and all the other apostles have never officially given any other statement or testimony other than this revelation was a “gradual and general development of the whole program.”




[189] Immediately following the “revelation”, missionaries were sent to Nigeria. These promoted efforts to convert and advance the Canaanite will soon result in race mixing. There is no reason now to discriminate from intermarriages in the Church. The first marriage of a Canaanite in the temple (June 24, 1978) was the official recognition of a “mixed” marriage between a Negro and someone of another race. Every prophet in Israel has warned and prohibited any “mixed” marriage between Israelites and Canaanites, but Kimball’s “revelation” contradicts this principle by allowing Canaanites every blessing of the Priesthood and therefore no justifiable reason for that law of segregation.

In 1954 Mark E. Petersen, in one of his best sermons, gave a magnificent explanation in a “last ditch defense” of this once unpopular doctrine. He did a beautiful job of reasoning and clarification—but it was short-lived. Parts of this masterpiece are as follows:

I think I have read enough to give you an idea of what the Negro is after. He is not just seeking the opportunity to sitting down in a car where white people eat. He isn’t just trying to ride on the same streetcar or the same Pullman car with white people. It isn’t that he just desires to go to the same theater as the white people. From this, and other interviews I have read, it appears that the Negro seeks absorption with the white race. He will not be satisfied until he achieves it by intermarriage. That is his objective and we must face it. We must not allow our feeling to carry us away, nor must we feel so sorry for Negroes that we will open our arms and embrace them with everything we have. Remember the little statement that we used to say about sin, “First we pity, then endure, then embrace.” ***

Now what is our policy in regard to intermarriage? As to the Negro, of course, there is only one possible answer. We must not inter-marry with the Negro. Why? If I were to marry a Negro [190] woman and have children by her, my children would all be cursed as to the Priesthood. Do I want my children cursed as to the priesthood? If there is one drop of Negro blood in my children, as I have read to you, they receive the curse. There isn’t any argument, therefore, as to inter-marriage with the Negro, is there? There are 50 million Negroes in the United States. If they were to achieve complete absorption with the white race, think what that would do. WITH 50 MILLION NEGROES INTER-MARRIED WITH US, WHERE WOULD THE PRIESTHOOD BE? WHO COULD HOLD IT, IN ALL AMERICA? THINK WHAT THAT WOULD DO TO THE WORK OF THE CHURCH! (“Race Problems—As They Affect the Church”, Address by Mark E. Petersen at the Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, B.Y.U., Provo, Utah, Aug. 27, 1954, p. 7)

Apostle Bruce R. McConkie also affirms the marital segregation as a part of the Gospel when he said:

However, in a broad general sense, caste systems have their root and origin in the Gospel itself, and when they operate according to the Divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the Lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole Negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry. (Mormon Doctrine, 1958, p. 107)

This is the issue that should be the main concern of every Israelite today, because intermarriage is the next step after Priesthood is offered.

Charles Darwin once wrote:

Man scans with scrupulous care the character and pedigree of his horses, cattle and dogs before he matches them; but when he comes to his own marriage, he rarely, or never, takes such care. (quoted in Marrying Out of the Faith, N, B. Lundwall, p. 165)


[191] Kimball’s “revelation” has now opened the door and is the means of a massive mixing of Canaanite and Israelite blood. A great scholar by the name of Putnam wrote:

To suppose that we can promote all other degrees of race mixing but stop short of inter-racial mating is like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel in the expectation of stopping three-fourths of the way down. (Race and Reason)

Elder Mark Petersen also stated:

I think the Lord segregated the Negro, and who is man to change that segregation? It reminds me of the scripture on marriage, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Only here we have the reverse of the thing—what God hath separated, let not man bring together again. (B.Y.U., August 27, 1954)

In every previous dispensation, mixed marriages between Israel and Canaanites were a mark of apostacy. (See Isa. 2:1; Deut. 14:2; Gen. 27:46; I Kings 8:53; Ezra 9:5, 12; Judges 3:5,6,8; II Cor. 6:14-18.)

Members of the Church now have no justifiable grounds for segregation of the races. Before this announcement came, members had the right of religious convictions for not intermarrying and inter-mixing of races, but now there are no apparent grounds to prevent intermarriage. Any mention of discrimination by natural selection, or right of preference can now bring trouble and lawsuits by any blacks who wish to use the law for their own personal wishes. Members now have no valid claim for segregation of their own race.



The answer to this question can be seen plainly in the following June 1978 news articles.


[192]                            DESERET NEWS

Salt Lake City, June 10, 1978

Carter praises LDS Church action

President Spencer W. Kimball was commended for “compassionate prayerfulness and courage” by President Jimmy Carter as reaction continued today to the First Presidency’s announcement ending all racial barriers to priesthood ordination.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints’ 100-year-old practice of barring blacks from the priesthood was swept away Friday in a statement saying revelation had been received “to extend to every worthy member of our church all the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

“Accordingly, all worthy members of the church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color.”

Reaction to the dramatic statement was overwhelmingly positive as the news swept across Utah and the nation Friday. Major news outlets held up editions to get the news in: Church Office Building employees were swamped with requests for additional comment by the news media and church members themselves. Black LDS Church members were ecstatic. (See related stories on A-8.)

In a telegram to President Kimball, President Carter said, “I welcomed today your announcement as president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that henceforth all worthy men in your church without regard for race or color may have conferred upon them the priesthood in your church.

“I commend you for your compassionate prayerfulness and courage in receiving a new doctrine.

“This announcement brings a healing spirit to the world and reminds all men and women that they are truly brothers and sisters.”

Reaction of joyous black members was typified by James Devon, a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: “I am overwhelmed . . . grateful . . . this is a great blessing to the black brothers of the church.”

The announcement Friday fulfilled statements made by most LDS Church presidents since Joseph Smith that blacks would one day obtain the full blessings of the church, including the priesthood.

Speaking against slavery, Brigham Young once told the Utah Legislature, “the day will come when all the race (blacks) will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.”

That statement was formally protested by President Wilford Woodruff in a First Presidency announcement and has been widely quoted by church leaders ever since.

President Kimball, in a press conference shortly after ascending the church leadership in 1973, said he had given the black-priesthood problem much thought and prayer, and the day might come when blacks would be given the priesthood.

He emphasized then that such a change in church practice would have to come through a revelation from God. “But we believe in revelation,” he said. “We believe there are yet many more things to be revealed from the Lord.”

In the Friday announcement, the First Presidency made it clear that the new policy is based on revelation.

“We have pleaded long and constantly in behalf of these, our faithful brothers, spending many hours in the upper room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

“He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the church may receive the holy priesthood.”

The announcement came after several months of careful study and consideration by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve.

A major problem the church has faced with its policy … in Brazil where the church is building a temple …


Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, June 11, 1978

Carter Hails LDS Priesthood Edict

President Carter Saturday praised the Mormon Church First Presidency for its decision to open the church’s priesthood to male blacks.

President Carter, in a telegram to President Spencer W. Kimball of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commended the action for “compassionate prayerfulness and courage.”

In action Friday, the church’s First Presidency, which includes Presidents N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney in addition to President Kimball, ended racial restrictions on priesthood membership — a practice dating back to the early days of the Mormon Church.

Friday’s announcement said all worthy male members of the church may be ordained to its priesthood “without regard to race or color.”

The White House released the text of President Carter’s telegram to the LDS Church prophet.

It said: “I commend you for your compassionate prayerfulness and courage in receiving a new doctrine. This announcement brings a healing spirit to a world where we seek to remind all men and women that they are brothers and sisters.”

No further word about the unprecedented action came from the church Saturday. A Mormon Church spokesman said the church’s general authorities feel Friday’s statement speaks for itself. No additional statements are planned or anticipated, he said.

The Salt Lake Tribune, Sunday, June 11, 1978


[193] In a telegram to President Kimball, President Carter said, “I welcomed today your announcement as president and prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints….” and he “commended” Kimball because “this announcement brings a healing spirit to the world.” (Des. News, June 10, 1978) He also lauded him for his “courage;” but it would have taken more “courage” to withstand the opposition than to surrender to it.


The NAACP sent a telegram to the LDS Church with their “congratulations” and the president of their group, James E. Dooley felt “good about what happened.” Rabbi Abner Bergman was “delighted” and Bishop Otis Charles, Episcopal diocese of Utah wanted to “share the joy.”

In an editorial June 11, 1978, the Salt Lake Tribune stated:

How the change came about is, in fact, an internal matter. The important thing is that an irritating barrier to better human relationships, in this state and wherever Utahns go, has been removed.

The change had been anticipated for some time. That it has now taken place is a source of satisfaction for all. (S.L. Tribune, June 11, 1978)

Even the Church apostates and its bitterest foes hailed and acclaimed this “revelation” as a major step toward being like the rest of the world. Jerald and Sandra Tanner, whose anti-Mormon works are unequalled in volume and effectiveness against the Church, accepted the official announcement as an objective of their labors:

Since we have probably printed more material critical of the Mormon anti-black doctrine than any other publisher, the new revelation comes as a great victory and a vindication of our work. (Salt Lake City Messenger, July 1978, No. 39)

Thus the world has hailed Kimball as a prophet and bestowed upon him their honors and praise. But is such a condition indicative of a “true” prophet? The great prophet Joseph Smith said:



The world always mistook false prophets for true ones, and those that were sent of God they considered to be false prophets, and hence they killed, stoned, punished and imprisoned the true prophets, and these had to hide themselves “in deserts and dens, and caves of the earth,” and though the most honorable men of the earth, they banished them from their society as vagabonds, whilst they cherished, honored and supported knaves, vagabonds, hypocrites, imposters, and the basest of men. (T.P.J.S., p. 206)

The Apostle James said, “… know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

The early Saints of Mormonism, and those Saints of the Primitive Church, had to bear the burden of persecution and hatred of ungodly and wicked men. The spirit of Satan is the spirit of destruction and the Lord’s chosen people are his targets. What has brought about such a great change in the past century? Has the world become more righteous? If so, we can put no confidence in the scriptures.

President Brigham Young in prophetic style seemed to foresee a danger to the Priesthood in the future of the Church when he said:

WHEN Mormonism finds favor with the wicked in this land, it will have gone into the shade; but until the power of the Priesthood is gone, Mormonism will never become popular with the wicked. (J.D. 4:38)

WHEN we see the time that we can willingly strike hands and have full fellowship with those who despise the Kingdom of God, know ye then that the Priesthood of the Son of God is out of your possession. (J.D. 10:273)

And WHEN the spirit of persecution, the spirit of hatred, of wrath and malice, ceases in the world [195] against this people, it will be the time that this people have apostatized and joined hands with the wicked, and never until then…. (J.D. 4:327)

There is nothing that would so soon weaken my hope and discourage me as to see this people in full fellowship with the world, and receive no more persecution from them because they are one with them. IN SUCH AN EVENT, WE MIGHT BID FAREWELL TO THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD WITH ALL ITS BLESSINGS, privileges and aids to exaltations, principalities and powers in the eternities of the Gods. (J.D. 10:32)


* * * * * * * * * * *

Besides the friendship of the world this “revelation” obtained, there were also other factors achieved. The following notices were published immediately following Kimball’s announcement:

…H. Byron Marchant, voluntarily dropped his civil litigation against Church President Spencer W. Kimball a few hours after the announcement.

Marchant’s attorney, Brian Barnard, said the lawsuit was withdrawn because he felt the issue is now resolved. (Des. News, June 10, 1978)


* * *

Following Friday’s announcement that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will allow blacks to receive the priesthood, Byron Marchant, long time advocate of such a policy, dropped a civil suit filed against Church President Spencer W. Kimball Wednesday.

Marchant was suing President Kimball for not appearing as a witness in a case currently pending against Marchant…. (S.L. Tribune, June 10, 1978)

The last three years have also seen repeated attempts by church dissidents to subpoena Mormon [196] leaders into court proceedings, with the central issue often related to the church’s belief about blacks. (S.L. Tribune, June 10, 1978)

* * *

Douglas Wallace filed lawsuits amounting to millions of dollars against the Mormon Church, and although he has not been able to prevail against the Church in the courts, the publicity surrounding the suits has caused the Church no end of trouble. We feel that his actions and the embarrassment they have caused the Church have played a part in bringing about the decision to have a new “revelation.” (Salt Lake City Messenger, p. 5)

* * *

It was also reported that President Carter has phoned President Kimball discussing possible legislation that would prohibit ANY organization from a tax-exempt status if it held any “discriminating” elements in it.


* * *

Shortly after the “revelation” was announced, the leaders of the Church printed sermons of Brigham Young to substantiate their actions. They quoted:

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-coloured, or whatever their colour, customs or religion, they have all sprung from the same origin; the blood of all is from the same element.

(But they clipped the rest of that sermon which said:)



[197] Why was it necessary to quote Brigham Young as an authority on the subject and then “clip” it and altar it to justify their actions on the matter?

* * * * *

In conclusion, the following items of reality must be considered in regard to Kimball’s Canaanite revelation:


  1. It does not contain a “thus saith the Lord,” or anything similar to a genuine revelation from the Lord.


  1. It contradicts all previous revelations and scriptures.


  1. It contradicts the teaching of all former prophets and presidents of the Church.


  1. Canaanites were advanced in the Priesthood faster than the Israelites, before Church members could vote on it.


  1. It is not to be found in the archives of the Church.


  1. It has never been published as a new scripture or placed in the Doctrine and Covenants.


  1. Church members accepted a revelation that no one has ever seen or heard.


  1. The leaders of the Church have coaxed the Lord for many years to have that “revelation.”


  1. It was considered “personal” and not made public.


  1. It evolved because of the mutual consent of the Twelve Apostles.


  1. The testimony of witnesses do not confirm it to have been an immediate or spiritual manifestation.


  1. It promotes an intermarriage which has always been cursed by God.



  1. It promotes friendship with the world and removed the many lawsuits against the Church and Pres. Kimball.

From the foregoing indictments, we have no alternative but to believe that Kimball’s Canaanite revelation did not come from the Lord.



[199]                             Chapter 15



If Zion will not purify herself, so as to be approved of in all things, in His sight, He will seek another people. (J. Smith, TPJS, p.18)

We live in a day of distress and alarm—a day for sounding the trumpets of Israel! This is the generation that transcends the apostasies of all other generations, and was so described by every major and minor prophet in Israel. Our darkness is so encompassing that national leaders are traitors to their oath of office and the Constitution; religious leaders are bartering God’s laws for temporal wealth and worldly honors. Crime and sin are rampant everywhere. But the seeds of self-destruction are always inherent with the seeds of self-reliance. Many ancient Israelites preferred the mud pots of the pharaohs to freedom under God; and contemporary Israelites are bowing to the phony pharaohs of modern Babylon. But our deceptive dignitaries with their fraudulent economics and tinsel cities are all an abomination in the sight of God.

The gentiles of this world regard their genealogical strain with much less respect than dogs or beasts of the field do theirs. They keep developing and practicing every imaginable means of preventing the propagation of their species. In states such as New York, they are aborting more children than are allowed to live. This general breakdown of standards, ethics and the laws of God has resulted in feminine looking men and women who look and act like men. The result is a moral and marital breakdown for both. For these reasons the segregation of Israel has been the appeal of every true prophet; but this doctrine has suffered by man-handling [200] in every age of the world. Men always arise who seek to attain the wealth and honor of the world by popularizing the Gospel with the gentiles. But this attempt to unify economy, religion and races has always been the banner of tyrants, imposters or apostates in Israel.

The most popular and powerful forces contending for the integration of the races are not the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the word of any prophet. The central theme behind the modern integration doctrine comes from Karl Marx. Thus, the main advocates for integration today are those insidious propagandists who have been influenced or directed by the Communist Internationalists.

American soldiers who were captured and brainwashed by the Communists in Korea and Vietnam, were told that “under international Communism, all the races of the earth are going to be made one.” This is the ultimate objective of Karl Marx, who called for the complete obliteration of all class and racial distinctions!

Many influential people and organizations have—either knowingly or unknowingly—advocated Marx’s doctrine—such as the United Nations, the National Council of Churches, the N.A.A.C.P., many television and movie companies, industry, and huge tax-free foundations, as well as…

… various liberal and unorthodox theologians bleating their shibboleths of “justice” and “freedom”. In the interest of their unnatural religious and social philosophy, they are working to destroy the races that God has created, crying “one-world brotherhood” and “racial equality,” neither of which conceptions have any substantiation whatsoever in the Scripture or in the study of mankind, anthropology, psychology, etc…. (The Bible and Segregation, C. R. Dickey, p. 17)


From every natural, scriptural or reasonable research into the doctrine of Israelitish segregation, it has been established as a true principle.



Segregation is an Anglo-Saxon (Israelitish) principle—not a Southern Prejudice.

Segregation is in keeping with the Divine command of “everything after his kind.”

Segregation is justified by experience.

Segregation is best for both races, for it prevents the genocide of either race.

Segregation affords opportunities for the Negro without competition from the white man.

Segregation denotes racial pride without racial arrogance.

Segregation is justified by history, science and experience, as well as by human nature.

Segregation must be preserved and will be if both races will recognize the desegregation program for what it really is—the spearhead of foreign ideologists who seek to divide and conquer the might of America. (Segregation: Sin or Sensible? by W. Clyde, Odeneal, p. 12)

We stand on the brink of one of the most formidable and destructive forces that has ever held dominion on the earth. Only those who deny the scriptures can advocate such doctrines that lead to an end of all races. Those who force integration are using political, financial, social and illegal means to destroy personal liberty. God is opposed to modern integration programs.

According to present-day terminology, we can easily determine from the scriptures that God does not believe the modern concepts of “civil rights” as advocated by all those who wish to socially integrate, racially intermarry, or randomly disperse the Priesthood. God appears to be an “extremist,” and an avid “segregationalist” who is very “prejudiced” towards certain genetic blood or patriarchal genealogy. He often shows his “favoritism” by calling himself the God of a “chosen” people, and He speaks only to that small “minority.” He also created situations for His children to be born in “unequal” circumstances and intelligence, and bestowed only a few with a “birthright.” Some of His children He created white, and called them “delightsome”; but others He made black and forbid them the right of holding Priesthood. He also refused His “delightsome” [202] children to “integrate” with the black children by marriage. How strange that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would be so unconcerned with the modern chanting of rioters, the socialists and the dictators of the world, who clamor for the mongrelization of all races, cultures and religions. God appears to have a social bias different from the standards proclaimed by the popular worldly minded socialists.

This era in the world’s history has been described by the prophets as being the same as the days of Noah, and of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is a time when the laws, the commandments and the work of God have been rejected or shunned by nearly everyone on earth. It is a day when the laws of the Priesthood have less honor among men than ever before. Yet, it is in this time that President Kimball decided to extend the Priesthood beyond all former bounds and restrictions. When he was in Honolulu, he said his “revelation came at this time because conditions and people have changed. It’s a different world than it was 20 or 25 years ago. The world is ready for it.” (Des. News, June 13, 1978) It IS a different world, but it is WORSE! The world is ready for destruction rather than for God’s Priesthood!

If the world is getting better, then all the prophets have erred in their description of our generation! President John Taylor saw the time when both the Constitution and the Priesthood would suffer the threat of destruction:

President John Taylor spoke of the time when the Constitution of the United States would hang as by a thread; the fulness of the Priesthood would also hang as by a thread. (Truth 15:40)

President Taylor further remarked that the day would come “when men’s Priesthood and authority will be called into question,” and that he doubted “if ten percent of those who claim to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood will remain true and faithful to the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ….” (Ballard-Jensen Correspondence, p. 94)

[203] The Priesthood issue is a very touchy one, and men are more prone to lose it than to prove worthy of bearing it. The greatest curse rests upon those who have the Priesthood and then defile it. The curse of the Canaanites is only a temporary restriction. Furthermore, the restriction of the Priesthood has not been a limitation only to Canaanites—He has prohibited women, little children, unbelievers, the wicked, and many times even the Israelites themselves. God even revokes it from most of those who have received it, in consequence of their abuse of it. (D. & C. 121:37-40)

Therefore, the greatest curse will come to those who receive the Priesthood and then reject the laws and ordinances pertaining thereto. Abusing the Priesthood by transgression, or bestowing it where it is prohibited, are both awesome sins. Consider these consequences that could occur by giving Priesthood to the Canaanites prematurely:


  1. All those of the Canaanite lineage who are told they possess the Priesthood will sadly learn they are the victims of a deception.


  1. All those who use that invalid Priesthood will learn their labor in ordinance work has not been authorized by the Lord.


  1. All of those who think they are giving the Priesthood to the Canaanite will lose their own Priesthood. “The gifts of God are all useful in their place, but when they are applied to that which God does not intend, they prove an injury, a snare and a curse instead of a blessing.” (T.P.J.S., p. 248)


  1. All those who have put their trust in the arm of flesh concerning this doctrine will learn that they have been deceived and will receive a “curse” because of a false faith and trust. (D. & C. 1:19, 2 Nephi 4:54, Jer. 17:5)


  1. All those who enter the temples without the Priesthood will be illegally trespassing the sacredness of those holy places.



  1. All those who learn that this “revelation” was not from the Lord will call it “blasphemy”, which was a crime worthy of death, which is a sin attributed to false prophets. (See Deut. 18:20)


  1. All those who lose their Priesthood because they have made this “unacceptable offering” will be prevented from obtaining it again until after the Canaanites have the privilege of receiving it.

The prophet Brigham Young, who was president of the Church longer than any other man and who had been taught the doctrines of this Church firsthand from the Prophet Joseph Smith, made this significant statement:

…any man having one drop of the seed of Cain… in him cannot hold the Priesthood and if no other Prophet ever spake it before I will say it now in the name of Jesus Christ I know it is true and others know it (quoted in “Race Problems—As They Affect the Church,” by Mark E. Petersen, p. 7)

The reason for Brigham’s making this strange but important statement was possibly explained by a black man—Dr. Booker T. Washington, who obtained a degree in the field of genetics. In 1913 Dr. Washington was invited to speak at the University of Utah, at which nearly all of the general authorities of the Church were in attendance. Bishop John Whitaker, in a private conversation afterwards, asked him about the effect of this mixed blood between the two races. Whitaker reported:

If perchance under discussion on some Negro problem, the question arose as to how a Negro would vote if only one drop of Negro blood run in his veins which way would that drop of blood vote on a question, white or black?

Without hesitation he [Dr. Washington] said, “If there was one drop of blood in a person and such a question arose, it would always vote with the Negro.” I was struck with his ready answer, [205] showing he had thought out almost every conceivable connection white and black. And I have been told that pure white blood through intermarriage with any other blood runs out in four generations. I am told that Negro blood will persist up to eight generations. There seems to be something in that accursed blood that will not yield to white blood. (Daily Journal of John M. Whitaker, March 27, 1913, U of U Library)

It is for this reason that men who are of partially mixed blood with the Canaanite will not vote or sustain the laws or principles that pertain to the covenants and Priesthood of the House of Israel. Therefore, men must be particularly certain as to where, how and by whom the Priesthood is handled.

This problem came up in a Council meeting in which George Q. Cannon spoke up, saying:

President Young held to the doctrine that no man tainted with Negro blood was eligible to have the priesthood; that President Taylor held to the same doctrine, claiming to have been taught it by the Prophet Joseph Smith. (Council Minutes, Aug. 22, 1900, Bennion Papers)

These factors governing the Priesthood are so critical that men, in any position, can lose their own Priesthood and calling by disobedience to them. Brigham Young understood it to be so conclusive that he declared:

Let this Church which is called the Kingdom of God on the earth; we will summons the First Presidency, the Twelve, the High Council, the Bishopric, and all the Elders of Israel, suppose we summons them and appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has given to us. On that very day and hour we should do so, the Priesthood is taken from this Church and Kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we con-[206]sent to mingle with the seed of Cain, the Church must go to destruction—we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the Priesthood until that curse be removed. (Speech by Gov. Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature, giving his views on slavery, Feb. 5, 1852)

According to this, then, every man in the Church who tries to give the Priesthood to the Negro, or sanctions giving it to them, must, of course, lose his own Priesthood. Such a situation is now occurring within the Church.

This loss of Church Priesthood is also noted in a recent small pamphlet put out by the Utah Christian Mission, reprinted in part here:



On June 1, 1978, the Presidency and the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church decided to permit Negroes to hold the Priesthood. The Priesthood is regarded as the ultimate authority by which they are empowered to carry on their ministry here on earth Mormons maintain that without it, none of their ordinances would have any value with God.

Previously, no Negro was allowed to hold the Priesthood because he was under a curse. The Mormon Prophet, Brigham Young, declared a drop of Negro blood was sufficient to bring a person under the curse and bar him from the Priesthood.

Brigham Young, in true prophetic style, anticipated the day when the Church would reverse itself on this matter. He declared that if the time ever came when the Presidency and the Twelve Apostles should meet and CONFER THE PRIESTHOOD ON THE NEGROES, immediately, THE PRIESTHOOD WOULD BE TAKEN FROM THE CHURCH AND THE CURSE BE GIVEN IN ITS PLACE. Prophet Young declared:

the first presidency, the twelve, the high counsel, the Bishoprick, and all the elders of Israel, suppose we summon them to appear here, and here declare that it is right to mingle our seed, with the black race of Cain, that they shall come in with us and be partakers with us of all the blessings God has to us. On that very day, and from the hour we should do so, the priesthood is taken from this Church and kingdom and God leaves us to our fate. The moment we consent to mingle with the seed of Cain, the Church must go to destruction, – we should receive the curse which has been placed upon the seed of Cain, and never more be numbered with the children of Adam who are heirs to the….


[207] Shortly after the Kimball revelation, Eider Bruce R. McConkie attempted to justify its authenticity in an address to the seminary and institute teachers at Brigham Young University. He said that he was willing to put aside any former statements against giving the Priesthood to the Canaanites:

Forget everything that I have said, or what President Brigham Young or President George Q. Cannon or whomsoever has said in days past that is contrary to the present revelation. * * * They don’t matter any more.

It doesn’t make a particle of difference what anybody ever said about the Negro matter before the first day of June of this year (1978). It is a new day and a new arrangement, *** As to any slivers of light or any particles of darkness of the past, we forget all about them.

A few people had been advancing the idea that the Lord or early presidents of the Church appeared at the time of this “revelation”, but Elder McConkie denounced these purported ideas.

The Lord could have sent messengers from the other side to deliver it, but he did not. He gave the revelation by the power of the Holy Ghost. *** And maybe some of them would like to believe that the Lord himself was there, or that the Prophet Joseph Smith came to deliver the revelation…. well, these things did not happen.

The type of revelation claimed on June 1st, was also mentioned by him:

The principle is set forth in the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 68, that whatever the elders of the Church speak, when moved upon by the power of the Holy Ghost, shall be scripture, shall be the mind and will and voice of the Lord.

Certainly any well-informed member of the Church would question a revelation that forces them to abandon certain scriptures and some of the inspired words of other prophets. It would be dangerous for people to “forget about them”, because “they don’t matter any more.”


[208] Solomon issued a warning that “there is a way that seemeth right unto man; but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Prov. 14:12 and 16:25) Jesus added that many things highly esteemed among men are an abomination in the sight of God;” (Luke 16:15) thus, “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 5:19)

We live in a day of cults and priestcrafts. We are witnesses to one of the most intensive and severe tests that have ever been applied to the faith of mortal men. An inspired prophetic warning given by Heber C. Kimball is now being realized. He said in 1867:

This Church has before it many close places, through which it will have to pass before the work of God is crowned with victory. To meet the difficulties that are coming, it will be necessary for you to have a knowledge of the truth of this work for yourselves; the difficulties will be of such a character that the man or woman who does not possess this personal knowledge or witness will fall…. That is the Word of God to you people. Remember these sayings, for many of you will live to see them fulfilled. The time will come when no man nor woman will be able to endure on borrowed light. Each will have to be guided by the light within himself (Conference Report of April 1906, p. 74)

In other words, deceptions shall be so intense that none will be exempt, because even God Himself will place stumbling blocks and delusions upon all men to prove their love of truth. The Apostle Paul described one of these impositions:

Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that HE AS GOD SITTETH IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, SHEWING himself that he is God.


…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause GOD SHALL SEND THEM STRONG DELUSION, THAT THEY SHOULD BELIEVE A LIE. (II Thes. 2:1-4,11)

Hence, we have been warned that the “son of perdition” would appear and give “revelations” from the temple of God. This would be one of the most powerful delusions ever given to the Saints of God and only a few would distinguish this counterfeit from the authentic. For this reason members of the Church would not be able to live on the “borrowed light” of any other man.

The Prophet Joseph Smith declared “that a prophet was a prophet only when he was acting as such.” (T.P.J.S. p. 278) Therefore, men placed in the capacity of prophets or apostles may do or say many things which are not within the realm of that holy calling. It is also possible for a president of the Church to err, or even fall. (See D. & C. 43:3-4 & 3:9.) Therefore, all men are in danger of a “curse” if they misplace their faith. The Prophet Joseph Smith admitted that he was not perfect, but said there were “no errors” in the revelations he received from the Lord, (T.P.J.S., p. 368) and therefore any contradictory revelation provided a means to determine authorship by the devil. (T.P.J.S., p. 215) Joseph Smith also warned of false prophets who would soon follow after him that would deceive almost the “chosen” people of God.

…Woe, woe be to that man or set of men who lift up their hands against God and His witness [Joseph Smith] in these last days: for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones:

When a man goes about prophesying, and commands men to obey his teachings, he must either be a true or false prophet. FALSE PROPHETS ALWAYS ARISE TO OPPOSE THE TRUE PROPHETS and they will prophesy so very near the truth that they will deceive almost the very chosen ones. (T.P.J.S.,p. 365)

The severest test that could be placed upon the “chosen ones” would be for men to advocate the truth of the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants—declaring [210] that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but teaching doctrines that are different from those he taught. For this reason, the Prophet Joseph added another warning: “IF ANY MAN PREACH ANY OTHER GOSPEL THAN THAT WHICH I HAVE PREACHED, HE SHALL BE CURSED….” (T.P.J.S., p. 366)

It has always been a principle failure in mortal man to allow sacred things to be defiled by carelessness. When Priesthood is defiled, priestcraft is substituted. Both ancient and modern ministers of priestcraft “set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the world.” (2 Nephi 26:29) Under priestcraft, religion is transformed into a cult. True religion promotes faith and worship in God; but cultists advocate the following of a man, or a set of men. In a cult, members are taught to “follow the leader” or to “follow the brethren,” but a prophet of God proclaims Christ to be the true “file leader.” (See J.D. 8:339, 9:149)

Whenever God’s Church or Kingdom was governed by men who did not qualify as prophets or apostles, these signposts marked the decline:


  1. Written revelation ceased.
  2. There was a loss of spiritual gifts.
  3. Persecution ceased and friendship with the world was obtained.
  4. Temporal prosperity overshadowed the spiritual.
  5. The Saints ceased to be united, but became scattered worldwide.
  6. Sin and worldly standards became prevalent, especially among the youth.
  7. Their teachings clashed with former prophets.
  8. Their sermons lacked the Holy Spirit, and they would read their sermons.
  9. The spirit of God would whisper to every faithful Saint that something was out of order!

(Principles or Personalities, Kraut, p. 65)

The Lord has said that when He comes to bring desolation upon the world, it will be a day of house cleaning with “vengeance”. It will start upon His own house, first among those who have “professed to know my name [211] and have not known me, AND HAVE BLASPHEMED AGAINST ME IN THE MIDST OF MY HOUSE.” (D. & C. 112:25-26)

Early leaders of the Church pointed to this critical time of testing. Brigham Young is reported to have made statements that some of the leaders of the Church would be guilty of leading people into error:

Brother Peay also told of hearing Joshua Jones of Provo tell of hearing Brigham Young say, “The time will come when this people are led onto the very brink of apostacy.” Jones made an entry of it in his journal. The speech was made in the Old Bowery at Provo.

Learned through Lorin C. Woolley, that his father, John W. Woolley, attended the above meeting, and upon arriving home at Centerville he told Lorin and his mother of the incident. He related it thusly: “President Young, being filled with the Holy Ghost, said, `The time will come when this people will be led onto the very brink of hell by their leaders, then the one mighty and strong will come to set the house of God in order.'” (Joseph Musser Journal, p. 79)

Others also preached and wrote similar warnings to the members of the Church:

Do not, brethren, put your trust in man though he be a bishop, an apostle or a president; if you do, they will fail you at some time or place; they will do wrong or seem to, and your support be gone; but if we lean on God, He will never fail us. When men and women depend on God alone and trust in Him alone, their faith will not be shaken if the highest in the Church should step aside. (Des. Weekly, Mar. 7, 1891, Vol. 43, p. 322)

Brigham Young said that individuals who are “led entirely by another person” and trust in others for their salvation, “will never be capable of entering into the celestial glory.” (J.D. 1:312) The Prophet Joseph Smith rebuked men in the Church saying that “THEY WERE DEPENDING ON THE PROPHET, HENCE WERE DARKENED IN [212] THEIR MINDS…. ” (T.P.J.S., p. 238) Faith in men is one of the more serious weaknesses of our generation because it brings about temporal and spiritual bondage. God revealed that modern Israelites would get into such bondage, just as they were in Egypt; and “as your fathers were led at the first, even so shall the redemption of Zion be.” (D. & C. 103:18-19) Only a few of the “chosen” or “elect” will escape this pitfall. Those “elect” have been prophetically mentioned in dozens of discourses, such as in Orson F. Whitney’s comment:

Many of this people are perhaps preparing themselves, by following after the world in its mad race for wealth and pleasure, to go down with Babylon when she crumbles and falls; but I know that there is a people, in the hearts core of this people, that will arise in their majesty in a day that is near at hand, AND PUSH SPIRITUAL THINGS TO THE FRONT: A PEOPLE WHO WILL STAND UP FOR GOD, fearing not man nor what man can do, but believing as the Prophet Joseph saws, that all things we suffer are for our best good, and that God will stand by us forever and ever. (Des. News, Aug. 11, 1889. See also T.P.J.S., p. 18; J.D. 4:108, 11:145, 15:357; Contributor 10:362; Mill Star 42:585; Des. News, Apr. 23, 1885, Nov. 9, 1865, Nov. 6, 1875, Dec. 9, 1882.)

This brings us to the fulfillment of one of the most interesting prophecies ever made concerning the house of Israel. It began with the story of Joseph who was nearly killed by his brothers but was instead sold as a slave in Egypt. They were jealous because God chose him to be their spiritual head—they were rebellious towards their younger brother to whom the choicest blessings were to be given. But God delivered him from bondage and prison, eventually proving him to be the temporal and spiritual savior to his brothers and even his parents. God’s power and wondrous works brought this about when death and famine threatened everyone in the world.

To recap the story—the eleven brothers came with their rich treasures to Joseph to receive help from his [213] hands. They bowed down before him to pay respect to his position of honor. When the identity of Joseph was known to the brothers and his parents, they were filled with happiness, songs of joy, and due respect.

How ironic that an incident in the lives of the twelve sons of Jacob will be repeated in the lives of their descendants in the latter days. The eleven sons of Jacob came to Joseph for food and protection from the natural calamities; in the last days the descendants of those eleven sons will come to the descendants of Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) to receive food and protection from the natural and mortal calamities that are to befall the world.

All the tribes of Israel will be gathered to the house of Joseph in the last days when these calamities of war, famine, plagues, etc., come upon all the world. Note how literally this event has been described by the Lord:

And they [the tribes of Israel] shall bring forth THEIR RICH TREASURES UNTO THE CHILDREN OF EPHRAIM, my servants. And the boundaries of the everlasting hills shall tremble at their presence. And THERE SHALL THEY FALL DOWN and be crowned with glory, even in Zion, BY THE HANDS OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD, EVEN THE CHILDREN OF EPHRAIM. And they shall be fulled with songs of everlasting joy. Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the RICHER BLESSING UPON THE HEAD OF EPHRAIM and his fellow. (D. & C. 133:30-34)

This was also explained by Brigham Young:

He [God] foreknew what Joseph, who was sold into Egypt, would do. Joseph was foreordained to be the temporal saviour of his father’s house, and THE SEED OF JOSEPH ARE ORDAINED TO BE THE SPIRITUAL AND TEMPORAL SAVIOUR OF ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL IN THE LATTER DAYS. (J.D. 7:290)


[214] The Ephraimites are literal descendants of Joseph upon whom the greater blessings will be given. Why? Because they are the foremost leaders and advocates of freedom and the patriarchal laws of God—including the patriarchal law of marriage, and other ordinances pertaining to the patriarchal priesthood of their father Jacob.

The Lord has re-enforced His promise by revelation in our own dispensation that the rights of that royal priesthood belong only to the descendants of that choice lineage.

The order of this priesthood was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.

This order was instituted in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage…. (D. & C. 107:39)

But today these Ephraimites are being rejected by their brethren who are excommunicating them from the Church. These “outcasts” of Israel are actually fulfilling the re-enactment of that incident in the life of Joseph with his brothers.

An example of a true Ephraimite is John Singer. His love of God and freedom overstepped the rules, regulations and customs of society. Singer took issue to the constant barrage of immoral and controversial materials being injected into the schools and their textbooks. He confronted the South Summit Elementary School principal with a textbook and said:

“Do you see what you people are teaching in this school?” he asked.

He flipped to page 22 and pointed to a peaceful countryside scene depicting the faces of George Washington and Martin Luther King sculptured into a mountain and Betsy Ross sitting on a grassy hillside stitching the American flag.

“Do you know who that man is?” he demanded, indicating King’s face. “You have put him next to George Washington, making him an equal. He is [215] not. That man is a descendant of the Canaanites and has the mark of Cain on him. He was backed by the Communists and was a traitor to his own people. These people (blacks) were cursed to be servants.”

He then pointed to the cover of the book which showed a group of children of mixed races.

“By showing these people together, you teach that it is all right to associate together. Then, the first thing you know, they get to know each other. They could eventually intermarry. Then the disaster would really strike because their children would have the blood of Cain in them. I’m not going to have my children taught these things.”

“You can’t isolate your children entirely in these matters,” Mr. Walker replied. “They’re going to meet and have to associate with people of other races.”

“I’m going to try to isolate them as much as I can,” Singer answered. “I’m going to take them out of school and teach them myself.”

“But you believe in the Constitution; it states that all men are created equal,” Walker insisted.

“That’s right,” said Singer, “but in the eyes of God, they are not equal.”

“I hate to have you withdraw your children because of one book,” Walker said.

“I cannot compromise my belief,” said Singer. (Utah Holiday magazine, January 1979, p. 44)

This Negro issue was not the only one that had been thrown into the public school system. Also included were evolution, immorality, atheism, and unpatriotism. Singer vowed to protect his family from those evils with his life if necessary.

The true Israelites can always be discovered as the foremost leaders in the fight for freedom and the rights of independence or segregation, for God has said, “I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” (Heb. 8:10; see also Jer. 31:33) Could you convince an Ephraimite to put his trust in the arm of flesh, or to believe in Communism, or to mix races, or confer Priesthood on a Canaanite? Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice;” therefore, it is very difficult to deceive an Ephraimite or one of the “chosen” of Israel.


[216] The Ephraimites are a strong and “peculiar” people. They are tough, self-willed, unafraid and are bitterly opposed to any form of tyranny or subjugation. Brigham Young said:

We are gathering the children of Abraham who have come through the loins of Joseph and his sons, more especially through Ephraim, whose children are mixed among all the nations of the earth. The sons of Ephraim are wild and uncultivated, unruly, ungovernable. The spirit in them is turbulent and resolute; they are the Anglo-Saxon race, and they are upon the face of the whole earth, bearing the spirit of rule and dictation, to go forth from conquering to conquer. (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 670)

Yet, as uncontrollable as they seem to be, God has said, “the rebellious are not of the blood of Ephraim,” (D. & C. 64:36) which means the Ephraimites are not opposed to the laws and ordinances of God’s Priesthood. This special people realize that it is only through freedom and independence that they can obey the laws of God. Any obstruction to those precious rights results in battle—and they seldom lose, for God promised to fight their battles. That promise was reiterated in our day (D. & C. 45:70, 88:115, 98:37, 105:14). The strength of the Israelites comes from their Lord because of His covenant with them.

But eventually God shall deliver them by giving them their rightful inheritance and position to rule, for the choicest blessings of the house of Israel rest upon the children of Joseph’s son, Ephraim. (See D. & C. 133:50) When calamities befall the nations of the world, the other tribes will come to receive a blessing at the hands of the Ephraimites after God sets His House in order. They shall then rightly hold the reigns of ALL THINGS SPIRITUAL AND TEMPORAL. Then the promises shall be fulfilled in that “…the nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.” (Isa. 60:12;. D. & C. 87:6) Then shall the stone of Israel roll forth and fill the whole earth. (Dan. 2:34-35; D. & C. 65:2)


[217] These events have also been seen in vision and foretold in prophecy. Our founding father, George Washington, saw in vision three ominous perils that would befall the Republic of America: (1) the Revolution for Independence; (2) the Civil War; and (3) an international war against America, from the nations in Africa, Europe and Asia. Washington wrote:

Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene: From each of these countries arose thick, black clouds which were soon joined into one. And throughout this mass there gleamed A DARK RED LIGHT by which I saw hordes of armed men who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America, which country was enveloped in the volume of the cloud. I dimly saw these vast armies devastate the whole country and burn the villages, towns and cities that I had beheld springing up.

…my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of swords and shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat…. (Vision of George Washington)

But the Prophet Joseph Smith said the House of Joseph will save this nation and the world from tyranny:

The United States will spend her strength and means warring in foreign lands until other nations will say, “Let’s divide up the lands of the United States,” then the people of the U.S. will unite and swear by the blood of their fore-fathers, that the land shall not be divided. Then the country will go to war, and they will fight until one half of the U.S. army will give up, and the rest will continue to struggle. They will keep on until they are very ragged and discouraged, and almost ready to give up—when THE BOYS FROM THE MOUNTAINS WILL RUSH FORTH IN TIME TO SAVE THE AMERICAN ARMY FROM DEFEAT AND RUIN. And they will say, “Brethren, we are glad you have come; GIVE US MEN, HENCEFORTH, WHO CAN TALK WITH GOD.” Then you will have friends, but you will save the country when its liberty hangs by a hair, as it were. (Mosiah Hancock Journal, p. 20)


[218] In the Prophet Joseph Smith’s “White Horse Prophecy” he said:

You will be in the Rocky Mountains, and you will be a great and mighty people established there, which I will call the White Horse of Peace and Safety. “… you will see the constitution of the United States almost destroyed; it will hang by a thread, as it were, as fine as the finest silk fiber.” At this point the Prophet’s countenance became sad, [and] he said, “I love the constitution. It was made by the inspiration of God, and it will be preserved and saved by the efforts of the White Horse (Ephraim) and the Red Horse (Mannaseh), who will combine in its defense. *** The Black Horse will flee to the invaders and will join with them for they have fear of becoming slaves again…and the doings of the black horse will be terrible.” (Here the prophet said he could not bear to look on the scene as shown him in vision and asked the Lord to close the scenes) There is a land beyond the Rocky Mountains that will be invaded by the heathen Chinese unless great care and protection are given. *** Some of the nations of the world (will be) led by the Russian czar and their power will be great, but all the opposition will be overcome and then this land will be the Zion of our God. (White Horse Prophecy, p. 8-12)

When these men of God are given power “to rebuke strong nations from afar off”, and “one shall put a thousand to flight,” then will the promises be fullfilled that were made by the ancient prophets.

NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST THEE (ISRAEL) SHALL PROSPER; AND EVERY TONGUE THAT SHALL RISE AGAINST THEE IN JUDGMENT THOU SHALT CONDEMN. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (Isa. 54:17)

Thou (Israel) art my battle axe and weapons of war: for WITH THEE WILL I BREAK IN PIECES THE NATIONS, AND WITH THEE WILL I DESTROY KINGDOMS. (Jer. 51: 20)


[219] After the establishment of peace and the Zion of God upon the earth, then the “elect” will be gathered to the New Jerusalem.

Men and angels are to be co-workers in bringing to pass this great work, and Zion is to be prepared, even a new Jerusalem, for the ELECT that are to be GATHERED from the four quarters of the earth, and to be established an holy city, for the tabernacle of the Lord shall be with them. (TPJS, p. 84)

This will be the ushering in of the Millennial Reign of Christ on earth where “the people shall be of one heart and one mind, when the Savior comes; where the people shall walk with God like Enoch, and be free from sin,” and where men shall “build up a city of righteousness, where even upon the bells of the horses shall be written “Holiness to the Lord.” (TPJS, p. 93)

In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness unto the Lord; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts; and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein; and in that day there shall be NO MORE THE CANAANITE IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD OF HOSTS. (Zechariah 14:20-21)

The people of the world are unaware of the outstanding promises of God to the children of Israel. Neither do they understand the purpose and reasons for such barriers as races, colors and languages among the nations. Because of their ignorance, they can conceive of no reason for segregation or special privileges to a “chosen” people.

However, God had a reason for making these selections and separations during the pre-existence of man. Father Abraham was a leader in selecting and separating a particular kind of people before they came to earth. In mortality those select people were born into the lineage of Abraham. Eventually everyone that goes to [220] heaven will discover that it, too, has been segregated into various degrees of glory—the highest having been promised to the Israelites.

When Jesus came in the meridian of time, He placed twelve apostles at the head of His Church. This was done in recognition and representation of the twelve tribes of Israel. He further promised those twelve apostles a position of authority in heaven by saying: “Ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matt. 19:28) The Apostle John was also given a special witness of this event when he saw the celestial kingdom of heaven and described it as having “…TWELVE GATES, AND AT THE GATES TWELVE ANGELS, AND NAMES WRITTEN THEREON, WHICH ARE THE NAMES OF THE TWELVE TRIBES OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL.” (Rev. 21:12)

It is for these reasons all Israelites should be exceptionally proud of their heritage and their privileges. They are a people that need to be awakened to meet the coming Bridegroom. They need to understand their responsibilities and their birthright. Isaiah once warned the Israelites by saying, “Look unto the rock from whence ye are hewn—look unto Abraham your father….” (Isa. 51:1-2)

The “restoration” established by Joseph Smith brought back a knowledge of the true doctrines of the Gospel, among which was the command to gather the Israelites back to their rightful place as “kings and priests unto God forever.” Only through these “chosen” Israelites can the New Jerusalem be built, the promised Zion be established, and the Kingdom of God be given its rightful place of ruling the nations of the earth. When this is accomplished, then shall the earth enjoy peace, prosperity and freedom which God has promised His people.


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