By Rod Johnson

Rodric believes Moroni included special instruction for Modern times and wants to share his unique perspective the same way Moroni shared in The Book of Mormon.

The False Teachings of Blacks Pre-Mortal Refrain to Support Christ: My Experience

I read these teachings first as a newly baptized member of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

I read a book reprinted in 1978 but on the library bookshelves in the 1990's.

It was one of two books:

Mormonism and the Negro: an explanation and defense of the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in regard to Negroes and others of Negroid blood by John J. Stewart
The Church and the Negro by John L. Lund
I believe it was the latter; I really cannot remember.

Where The Book Led Me

In this book as a youth, I read that my heritage was through Ham because my skin was black and that I did not side with Christ in the pre-mortal life but remained neutral. 

I had never heard of such a teaching as the pre-mortal neutrality, then again, I had never heard of pre-mortal life. I just believed it personally until the missionaries who instructed me gave it a name.

I had been taught in my Protestant background that Blacks are the seed of Cain. I never felt it a disadvantage until I read that incorrect opinion of Blacks being neutral witnesses in pre-earth life; therefore. being cursed as a son of the descendant of slaves and devil worshipers--Cain the first recorded devil worshiper.

source: www2.byui.eduI was devastated. I cried bitterly for a week because the author was a leader in the church. I had just prayed and received my own personal witness that President Ezra Taft Benson was a prophet of God. I also equated at that time a prophet with infallibility, which is wrong--a holdover from my Protestant culture. I thought that since this person was a leader in the church, those things he recorded about Blacks must be true.

Where The Book Left Me

During that week, I learned to loathe myself and disdain my ancestors. I went to my Bishop informing him of what I read and showing him the book. He tried to explain to me the difference between a prophet speaking by authority and revelation and one giving his fallible opinion. 

I did not understand how a prophet could have an opinion that was not God's opinion also at the time. He then tried to convince me that it was false and not church doctrine, but I had received a witness that prophets lived and confused it with all church leaders at the general level being equally inspired and able to preach doctrine for the church--at least I thought the author was a general church leader at the time and so did my Bishop.

I also lacked the spiritual maturity to understand that the 1978 revelation repudiated all the opinions related to the curse of Cain. 

When he saw I would not relent, he told me that I could prove to God in this life I would choose Christ. I accepted that compromise of the spirit for years, though it did nothing for my feelings regarding my race. The Spirit opened my mind to consider what my bishop said about the teaching being false, which came some few years after I was married started to bud in my mind ad I did more study and meditation on the matter..

Why do I share this? Many Black Mormons may have had a similar experience with finding out this malicious perspective of the fence-sitting children of God who became Black and cursed before birth. I have seven children who I do not want to feel the level of self-hate I felt because they learned about a teaching that was popular in the church among laity, but never established as doctrine.

Where I Left The Book

The opinion about the fence-sitting pre-earth spirits becoming Blacks of African heritage is still a belief among some Mormons though it is denounced by many, and admitted by church authority as incorrect.

The is a document published on the church site denouncing racism and such. There is no particular person who denounces the teaching. I assume the church leadership as a group denounces it, though I am not sure. It reads in part:
Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects unrighteous actions in a premortal life...  

I have taught classes where it was referenced and had to explain that it was not a doctrine the church teaches. I have participated in classes were members of the church referenced the teaching. I have myself perpetuated the teaching until my eyes were open by the revelation included in Doctrine and Covenants as an official statement in 1978 to extend the priesthood to all worthy men.

Now I can boldly testify that all that was taught by Bruce R. McKonie and others is fallacious and unsound regarding the Black person. Many taught that the Negro would not receive the priesthood until some distant time during or after the millennium of Christ's reign. 

Since I am Black and I also am a priesthood holder, that conjecture of past is... well, conjecture! McKonie has also admitted that his best scholarship ended up being dull in comparison to revelation from God--being that Elder McKonie was present when the revelation was confirmed to all the apostles by the Holy Spirit of Promise.

Why should The Church of Jesus Christ apologize for a teaching upheld by God, which ended with revelation from God? 

It is of no consequence that President Brigham Young instituted it as a policy or if he received divine revelation about it. The fact that God allowed the ban is His prerogative.  

Where God Has Me

For those of us who know the church is true, our question should be to God Himself. If the church should say anything, it can reaffirm the truth that Blacks of all nations are, and have always been, children of God just as any other group and are not cursed. 

Any hatred perpetuated from the past dealings of Black members of the church needs to embrace the healing balm of Jesus Christ. The church has made a statement about the ban among other things Race and the Priesthood

It has instituted a group called Genesis to help Utah minorities, specifically Blacks, who may feel alienated because of the so few number of Blacks in individual congregations in Utah.

As a Black man, I say we need to focus on putting God back at the center of life in practice and not name only. In my culture, we can sing praises all day long, but unless we keep the commandments all we are singing are slaps in the very face of God!

God has delivered my people from the wicked slavery of the White man and the oppressive hand of the racist White man. He has set His daughters free and given them a powerful voice to shape the nation independent of man. 

He has allowed laws to be passed to protect the weak and innocent from the predatory persecution of people who disdain people because of sexual preference. He has done all these things in preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ so that we can truly learn to be prepared to receive His Son. 

If we are mistreating our brothers or sisters because of race, gender or sexual orientation we will not enjoy Christ coming for we will not be prepared. 

If we are harboring ill will towards those who have persecuted us because of our race, gender or sexual orientation we are not prepared. 

We will only be prepared as we love unconditionally all around us, or at least put ourselves on the path that leads to this love so that when Jesus does come He can sanctify us for our humble attempts!

Read These Things!!

Race and the Priesthood Link On! It has come much later than many have wanted, but acknowledgement that Blacks are not curse or the representation of Satan on the Earth is  big step in the right directions.

Black Latter Day Saints Page on Facebook Your dentist may be a Mormon or your schoolteacher. Mormons are living normal lives everywhere these days, even on Facebook and within the Black community.
Twin Mormons, Fellowship Through Facebook In Africa, there exists a great many Latter-day Saints who look like their twin brothers and sisters in America, African Americans.
CreateSpace Community: Rodric29's Blog This window of mine is a unique way I have to organize my articles so that you, the reader can more easily link to things that may be of interest to you of mine to explore. I write for entertainment and pleasure.
Blacks & The Curse of Cain President Brigham Young refuted the possibility of this falsehood in his support of a first presidency message declaring that all who obtained the first estate of life did so with earnest. No soul sat idly by in the war commenced in heaven
The Truth about Being Black in America The fact that AfricanAmericans are called African at all is an indication of the limited explanation of this group's history. The nationalities of Black American ancestors are a mystery for the great majority of the group. Slavery stripped this group of the choice to decide to merge with American culture.

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