White and Delightsome or Dark and Loathsome?

Mormonism at a crossroad.

The LDS relationship with the American (and Central American) Indians started many years ago, with the gospel truth; the very Word of God,  being that these people are the descendants of a dark and loathsome people, the Book of Mormon Lamanites.

The core basis or central theme of the BOM is a war between good and evil, with the good guys winning.  It would make a great Louie L’Amour novel.

 The good guys were the Nephites and the evil people were the Lamanites.  When I was at Utah State Agricultural College in the early 1950s, the church begin bringing Native American Children, primarily Navajo children  into LDS families in a sort of a misdirected  and dangerous foster home/re-education program.

They officially operated it as a Church system in 1954 and ended it quietly in 1996.  About 50,000 kids were taken from their families and had to endure this actively aggressive form of racism.

I was drawn to despise that dark side of the racist LDS theocratic and had several very cynical friends who were in that program.  They were the ones who had made it all the way through and were sent to our local Agricultural college.

I got to see it from the Native American perspective and it wasn’t flattering to the church.  It was a LDS self-gratifying decision to effectively perform spiritual genocide on a generation of American Indians.

David O. McKay had recently been ordained as the prophet [in 1951] and commented that, as the Book of Mormon prophesied, he could see that some of these Lamanite children were turning lighter the longer they lived with LDS foster parents. 

Please don’t ask me for the exact quote. I can’t find it. Maybe one of you who are much younger and smarter than I can send it to me

Of course they would be turning lighter. It had nothing to do with the restored gospel being shoved down their throats.  They came from reservations where they lived in an open air environment and were now living indoors with white people who avoided the sun.

It was still a bothersome thing. IN 1981, the Church softened the blow and changed the BOM wording from “White and Delightsome” to “Pure and Delightsome. ”

The Mormon Church has altered the wording of a prophecy about Indians so that it no longer says Native Americans will develop ”white” skin if they join the religion.

In a new edition of the Book of Mormon, a prophecy that had said Indians would become ”white and delightsome” has been altered to read that they will become ”pure and delightsome.” Church members accept the Book of Mormon as holy scripture equivalent to the Bible.

That fixed that, they thought. Except that the sacred Book of Mormon still held that the Lamanites and their Indian progeny were cursed with this dark and loathsome heritage, just as the LDS Prophets taught that the black race was  cursed  with black skin because of the sin of Cain and their poor representation of value in the pre-existence.

In 1978, during great civil rights advances across the nation, Spencer W. Kimball had a revelation that God had forgiven the blacks behavior in the pre-existence  and canceled the racial doctrine that prevented blacks from holding the priesthood. 

Moving along in this attempt to bring it to the present, the recent moves by the church to deflect any criticism relating to their racist core, have decimated any normal person’s belief that the Book of Mormon is anything more than a poorly written novel.

 A novel where good, white and delightsome is God’s best and where Native Americans and Blacks are dark and loathsome as a curse.

Today, these blind leaders of the blind are now scouring through the entire Book of Mormon to cleanse it from any reference to its own core and central theme.

Of course, they will have to cleanse every Mormon theological work along with the racist statements of every single prophet and president of the church for Ezra Taft Benson back to Joseph Smith.

I expect that this may be the straw that finally breaks the back on Mormonism, as we hear from normal’ multi-generational Mormons packing it in.  

Let’s pray that she was right and, as I had said before, the church is imploding from within and we need to be here for the victims.

I’m not saying that Saints alive is the answer. We are just one of many who are being effective. Pray for all of us as God moves.

Ed Decker