Mormon Authority Quote Of The Week!

“At five went to Mr. Sollars- with Elders Hyde and Richards. Elder Hyde inquired the situation of the negro. I replied, they came into the world slaves mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation. 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 many in high places, and the black boys will take the shine of many of those they brush and wait on. “Elder Hyde remarked, “Put them on the level, and they will rise above me.- I replied, if I raised you to be my equal, and then attempted to oppress you, would you not be indignant?”

“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”
(Joseph Smith, History of the Church 5:217-218).

13 thoughts on “Mormon Authority Quote Of The Week!”

  1. The issue of race and the LDS church is something I would like to touch on more on this blog as time goes on as quotes like this are just scratching the surface.

    With this discussion I would like to avoid just getting into a quote firing match for now however I wonder if anyone is reading this who was around the LDS church before the 1978 “revelation” that black people could have the priesthood, if so please comment on what it was like at that time.

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  2. I was around but young. I don’t remember it being a huge issue at our house. I do however see this racist attitude with the elderly generation of my LDS family. I believe it stems from their LDS upbringing. This makes me want to ask them some questions concerning this issue. I think, for my family anyway, they just accepted it (at least outwardly) as a revelation by Pres. Kimball, and that it was now time for it to happen.I also think that we have to look at the time Joseph Smith said this as well. Look at the United States and what it was like in that time, most treated African Americans as a different “species.” I can’t even image the atrocities that took place. Joseph was a product of his time, that being said, you would think that a true prophet of God would have known that it wasn’t “Christian” to say things like that or treat others in that way.

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  3. Again this quote is HUGELY out of context.
    Consider the preceding sentences spoke by Smith (who incidentally DID ordain black men, the bar was not introduced until the time of the Evil Brigham Young, see “The Teachings of Joseph Smith”)

    “At five went to Mr. Sollars- with Elders Hyde and Richards. Elder Hyde inquired the situation of the negro. I replied, they came into the world slaves mentally and physically. Change their situation with the whites, and they would be like them. They have souls, and are subjects of salvation. 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 many in high places, and the black boys will take the shine of many of those they brush and wait on. “Elder Hyde remarked, “Put them on the level, and they will rise above me.- I replied, if I raised you to be my equal, and then attempted to oppress you, would you not be indignant?”

    Though still racist by modern Standards Joseph smith was something of a progressive for his time. The idea that ethnicity in people indicate separate species was commonplace and stemmed from the “doctrine of the other.”

    Quoting out of context is not helpful.

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    1. Hi Mr Lions, you are right context is great and thankyou for providing it, however i would be interested for you to explain how you feel i have explained the meaning of what i quotes wrong in light of the context you quoted, as i dont feel it makes any difference.

      Regarding Brigham Young, absolutely he made questionable things that Smith said into horrible things, however i would argue the things he said he first learned largely from Joseph Smith.

      The book of Mormon says this 1 Nephi 11:13 And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white.

      I assume you agree that the book of Mormon came from Joseph smith and not God, hence the quote above shows Smiths views on the superiority of white people. This goes on.

      1 Nephi 12:23 And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations

      Alma 3:6 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, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.

      and best of all

      3 Nephi 2:15 And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites.

      I think that part has been changed now, however within Mormon doctrine from Joseph Smith, being white is pure and wholesome and being black is a curse that is a sign of rebellion, coming right from the pre-existence.

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  4. Joseph Smith was not faultless, not by any stretch of the imagination, infact he was a rogue, a con man, a liar and a treasure seeker, but I think it can be reasonably deduced he was no more and was probably less racist than anyone else of his generation.
    Brigham young on the other hand was a sexist bigot who corrupt everyone around him.

    Now to your quotes from the BOM.
    Yes it was a commonly held belief, long before the Latter dayers began propagating it that the mark of Cain was was that he was turned black, ( though in light of modern genetic research it’s obvious that if there is any possible truth to the genesis myth, if Cain was changed in to anything it was a white man, since early hominids were all black anyway.)
    Smith loved to write his fairy stories in the style of the old testament and borrowed from it wholesale.
    All over the Bible are reference to people being ‘made white’ as an outward sign of inner purity it is nothing to do with race.
    White = Purity is not racist, we still expect brides to wear white wedding dresses today and paint hospital and clinic rooms white to show they are sterile, pure and clean.

    Remember the people we are talking about here are Semitic middle easterners, not white Europeans, colours of skin meant nothing to them. we know Simon of Cyrene was black, we know that from history and geography, so was the queen of Sheba, the bible does not even think it worth mentioning. To insult a man’s ethnicity was pointless to the Israelites, when you could insult his religion or his accent (recall Peter being mocked for his Galilean accent?)

    Smith copied this reference to white purity and misinterpreted as a reference to skin colour, that’s not surprising, he got most of his Biblical interpretations wrong. However as a man of his times he was not as racist as many of his contemporaries and to give credit where credit is due was an anti-slaver. (he claimed the injustice and cruelty of slavery made his blood boil). However he probably believed racism was as inherent in ancient history as it was in his contemporary America.

    So to return to my original point, quoting out of context to establish a point that is fundamentally untrue is not a good thing.
    To prove the Mormon church as a whole is a racist institution is not difficult, Brigham Young alone would proudly supply you with thousands of unashamed pieces of hideous bigotry if you google for them, so why endanger your own credibility and reputation for accuracy by using a Smith quote from an anti-racist cometary out of context to make a false point?

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    1. Hey bud some fair points there but I would still like you to explain how what I said was out of context, just because I did not show the context that does not mean it was out of context, for it to be out of context means that the point I was making is not made by that quote, please explain how you feel that to be the case.

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  5. Dear Bob,
    I thought I had done so, but to reiterate, simply put the the quote as given with your follow up comments referring to the 1978 revelation imply you see this quote as Joseph Smith advocating racism within the early early LDS church.
    As I have pointed out the ordination of black men was carried out by Joseph smith, the full quote from which the extract is taken is Anti-racist and in context calls for equal rights for black people. T
    The bar on Black people holding the priesthood, was post Smith and was instituted by Brigham Young.

    Hope this make my point clear now.

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    1. I can see that this quote has elements of racism and equality in it, however I am interested in your point about smith ordaining black people to the priesthood, if that’s the case that’s very interesting do you have any evidence for that.

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  6. Reference to this matter can be found in “The Teachings of Joseph Smith” and in various unedited early church works published now only by the organisation “The Community of Christ,” known from 1872 to 2001 as “the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” (RLDS),
    This is also the only place you can purchase the original unexpurgated version of the “Book of Mormon” as originally written by JSjnr, with all of it’s embarrassing references to the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, historical and Biblical inaccuracies and God sanctioned bad punctuation and spelling mistakes.

    Incidentally are you aware that since a court case of 1924 the RLDS is legally the official continuation Smith’s church and that the Utah Church is a heretic schism founded by Brigham Young.
    The prophets of the RLDS are direct descendent of Joseph and Emma Smith

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    1. Now then Mr lions I am aware of the rlds issue and I have the teachings of Joseph smith book, I also have two copies of the original book of Mormon one with all the changes marked they can be obtained from a few places, I will look into the quotes you gave and reply later thanks

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  7. Thanks Bob,
    I am sure you will know then that the RLDS have always ordained people to the priesthood regardless of race as sanctioned by JS and that this was one of the major bones of contention that lead to Joseph Smith III, breaking away from Brigham Young after the Death of Joseph Smith Jnr. The other major problem being Young’s insistent determination to make Polygamy a Tennant of the church (it had of course been practised in secret for many years and Smiths family had been devastated by the discovery that he had several other secret wives.).
    RLDS never practised Polygamy, institutional racism or even sexism, RLDS women have always been able to take the priesthood if they choose to.

    Also my apologises but it has been pointed out to me that the last two RLDS presidents have not been direct descendent of JS, but that the current heir apparent is once again related to the Smith family.

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      1. Mr Lions, I have done some research and i can see you are right, Smith did appear to have ordained black people to the priesthood and this was something brought in from Brigham Young onwards, i appreciate your correction and i have added the context you provided onto the quote above, i did not know this, please stick around and keep correcting me as i want this site to be as honest as possible.

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