Just wanted to say thank you for an amazing first week. I had many people either share their support, or share their own stories. Numerous experiences were so similar to mine. Either dealing with the racism, or different issues that were similar in their pain. There are so many voices that need to be heard. Thank you for sharing your voice with me. Also, a special thank you to C. for sending me some great sources!
This week I am covering current teachings. There are many sources for this, I will be using the 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Manual. Seminary is a class given Monday through Friday to high school age student during the school year. These lessons are given to all kids in this age group. Keep in mind as you read the blog – many kids receiving the lessons have been taught that they are “Lamanites.”
Quotes from Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 5
Book of Mormon summary of 2 Nephi chapter 5, “The Nephites separate themselves from the Lamanites, keep the law of Moses, and build a temple – Because of their unbelief, the Lamanites are cursed, receive a skin of blackness, and become a scourge unto the Nephites.” (2)
Quotes from the Book of Mormon Seminary Lesson Manual
Lesson 27: 2 Nephi 5
“The Lord separates the followers of Nephi (Nephites) from the followers of Laman and Lemuel (Lamanites).”
“The Nephites live after the manner of happiness.”
2 Nephi 5: 19-25 “The Lamanites are cut off from the presence of the Lord because of their disobedience.”
- Verse 20 – “…they (Lamanites) shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence.” (2)
- Verse 21 – “And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they (Lamanites) might not be enticing unto my people (white Nephites) the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” (2)
- Verse 22 – “And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.” (2)
- Verse 23 – “And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their (Lamanite) seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.” (2)
- Verse 24 – “And because of their cursing which was upon them they (Lamanites) did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey.” (2)
- Verse 25 – “And the Lord God said unto me: They (Lamanites) shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in remembrance of me; and inasmuch as they will not remember me, and hearken unto my words, they shall scourge them even unto destruction.” (2)
Many people were surprised that I was rejected by the parents of some of the guys I dated. Reread verse 21 and 23. That aside, this was taught to me in connection with my identity as a Lamanite and as a Native American. These verses were all particularly painful for me to read.
“Separate ourselves from wickedness.”
“Happiness comes from righteousness. Wickedness never was happiness.”
Final quote from the lesson, “There is so much [inspired] guidance and direction available that you won’t make major mistakes in your life unless you consciously ignore the guidance you receive.” (Paul V. Johnson)
As someone who was called a “Lamanite,” who had non-member “Lamanite” family, this was heartbreaking. Is it any wonder I only read the Book of Mormon parts I liked?” This book is painful.
No matter if you are a current member or not, I hope there is growth and more understanding towards other people who struggle with issues such as these. Keep in mind that while this may be addressing “Lamanite” issues, these are not the only ones. LGBT, perfectionism, the immense pressure on young men and young women, racism, sexism, etc. We are one.
- Lesson 27: 2 Nephi 5, Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual, 2017, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Web. 23 July, 2017.
- Smith, J. (1989). Book of Mormon,Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Web. 14, July 2017.