I am proud of my heritage, my real heritage. The more I learn about their beautiful traditions, the more I see beauty in beliefs outside of mainstream religions. Are their beautiful beliefs, which are connected with family and the earth, really turning away from God? They were living the beliefs of their ancestors. Are those beliefs evil? Did God curse them with dark skin because of evil beliefs about loving family and respecting the earth? Or more likely, is this all a man made narrative that came from the 19th century? Is it 19th century racism and ignorance being taught as God’s truth? I found some of the following quotes so deeply offensive to my Native American heritage, which is why I did this in two parts.
Religious Studies Center – BYU – The Book of Mormon: Second Nephi, the Doctrinal Structure.” Chapter 7 – The Lamanite Mark (Part 2 of 2)
- “The Cause of Lamanite Barbarism”
- “To be without that divine influence is to be in a wholly carnal state.”
- “Parental attitudes and behavior, combined with a conscious rejection of the Lord and his commandments, constituted the deadly formula which gave the devil his virtually unchallenged power over that benighted people for half a millennium.”
- “It is quite apparent that the Lamanites would have become what they did become had they never been marked with a ‘skin of blackness’.”
- “For this people shall be scattered, and shall become a dark, a filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been amongst us, yea, even that which hath been among the Lamanites, and this because of their unbelief and idolatry. (Mormon 5:15;cf Alma 50:21)”
These are my people, being labeled as “Lamanites,” having their ancestry and proud heritage trampled over and demeaned. All of this is under the cover of righteousness. God’s one true church? Really? During my research I doubted my understanding constantly, which is why I turned to BYU professors. Who does this BYU religious professor say are the “Lamanites?”
- Regardless of current theories to the contrary, every prophet from Joseph Smith to the present has declared that, in the main, the Indian peoples of the Western Hemisphere, as well as certain Pacific islanders, are of Isreal through Joseph (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 17, 92-93, 232, 266-67, [hereafter TPJS]; Jessee 324; Journal of Discourses 2:200, 7:336; Kimball, “… who is my Neighbor” 277; “The Evil of Intolerance” 423).”
A number of people have been surprised by the reaction some parents had towards me dating their son. Would it not effect a parent to know their grandchildren would be connected to such a heritage? Would it not effect a parent to know their grandchildren would inherit the sign of the curse? I do not harbor any anger towards these parents -who grew up being taught this was God’s one true church. They learned, like I did, the following claimed “truths.”
- “Original purpose of the mark… was that ‘their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction’ (Alma 3:8; cf. 2 Nephi 5:21).”
- “The physical distinction between the Nephites and the Lamanites was, in the main, an effective safegaurd against such intermarriages…”
- “…despised them for their dark skins and primitive ways.”
- “The darkened pigmentation of their skins became a dominant genetic trait that was inherited by their posterity from that time forth.”
Let the “good books” speak for themselves. Does it inspire pride of “Lamanite” heritage? Does it promote a love from other people for this heritage? Does it have an effect on how “Lamanites” view their actual real heritage?
Though this is about “Lamanite” truth, many have been hurt by the teachings of the church. Finding out how deeply I was lied to was beyond painful. Truth is the one thing driving many to leave the church. We are one.
- Turner, Rodney. author of Chapter 7 The Lamanite Mark. The Book of Mormon: Second Nephi, the Doctrinal Structure, Volume 3. 1989. Religious Studies Center, BYU. Web. 9 July, 2017.