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The Mormon Church: Issue an official apology for racist teachings that declared Blacks cursed
  • Petitioned Henry B. Eyring, The First Presidency

This petition was delivered to:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Henry B. Eyring, The First Presidency
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, The First Presidency
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Boyd K. Packer, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
L. Tom Perry, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Russell M. Nelson, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Dallin H. Oaks, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
M. Russell Ballard, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Richard G. Scott, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Robert D. Hales, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Jeffrey R. Holland, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
David A. Bednar, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Quentin L. Cook, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
D. Todd Christofferson, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Neil L. Andersen, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
President Thomas S. Monson

The Mormon Church: Issue an official apology for racist teachings that declared Blacks cursed

    1. Darron Smith
    2. Petition by

      Darron Smith

      Germantown, TN

I joined the Mormon Church when I was a youth growing up in Nashville. At the time, I didn’t know about the racist teachings by the Church that persisted until 1978. Nor did I realize that the Church had never apologized for those teachings. All I knew is that these were kind and giving people who helped me establish my relationship with God and seemed to be putting me on a path toward success. It wasn’t until I was serving a mission in my early 20’s when I met an African American man who challenged me to question the racist ideas and past teachings of the Mormon faith that had once declared that I was cursed.

While most Christian churches relied heavily on racist inclinations about Blacks as an accursed and stigmatized group who fell out of favor with God to justify their enslavement, the Mormon Church took this one step further. They taught that the origins of the curse began with Cain for having committed the world’s first murder against his brother, Abel. Though there is no scripture to support this claim, LDS faithful believed that the curse placed on Cain by God was the skin of blackness. Additional dogma was also created in the LDS Church on why Blacks were banned from Mormondum, but these differing interpretations were nothing more than racist creations to serve as justification of bigotry. Over time, when various Christian-based white churches began to distance themselves from the racist rhetoric and teachings of their faith, the LDS Church remained steadfast in its persistence of racist folklore well beyond the Civil Rights era.

What is even more egregious is that despite ending the ban on Blacks in the priesthood in 1978, the Mormon Church has yet to issue a formal apology on matters of race and their mistreatment of Blacks. While the Catholic Church and other Protestant based faiths—Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church, Southern Baptist, Lutheran—have since made peace with their racist past and issued public apologies for their role in slavery, Jim Crow racism, and their participation in the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of misguided Christians, the LDS Church remains unshakable, convinced that its policy was divinely sanctioned by God and that no such apology is needed. 

Our goal is to get the Mormon Church to apologize for its racist actions and teachings, just as other faith-based traditions have apologized. This is necessary is to disprove the prevailing notion that God “had His reasons” why humans denigrated and discriminated against other human beings based on race. When the Church refuses to give an apology, it leaves its millions of members left to question whether this was really God’s will rather than human racist actions. A recent online survey revealed that the majority of Mormons no longer believe that Blacks were cursed, but most of them still continued to hear these teachings in their church. Black Mormon members in the survey overwhelmingly asked for a public, unambiguous apology.

Like most of us, I’m hoping to leave this world a better place for our children. I am not cursed. And I certainly don’t want my children growing up thinking or even hearing that they were cursed. Please join me in asking the Mormon Church to issue an official, public apology for their role in racism. 

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 750 signatures
    2. Petition drive hits beyond 100 signatures!

      Darron Smith
      Petition Organizer

      Let's keep it going!

    3. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Craig Shields CALGARY, AB, CANADA
      • 6 months ago

      The passing of time and updating editions of LDS books doesnt make the racist teachings go away. Be accountable for your words and teachings.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Wendy Hammond SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE
      • 6 months ago

      When I was 9, Sister Horst said that "Negroes" couldn't hold the Priesthood and shouldn't be members. "That's not fair!" I yelled in my kid way. Sister Horst slapped me hard across the face. Later she tried to teach me that Adam blushed which meant he was white (because of course people of color can't blush:)) which meant that God created white men in His image but not anyone else. I want the Mormon Church to apologize to all people of color for what Sister Horst said on church grounds and to me for being slapped and judged because my heart did not hate the way hers did.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Michelle Colledge TAYLORSVILLE, UT
      • 6 months ago

      I live in a Mormon community full of amazing and loving people. Apologizing costs nothing but can mean everything.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • EteU Spencer MINNEAPOLIS, MN
      • 7 months ago

      There is not a recognition in the statement that people suffered as result of these policies. It is only a start in the healing process. People suffered. People were abused. With the racism comes the most important fact: members were mean, or spiteful, or any number of injustices done to many African descended people around the world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that repentance is a process. The repentance process is not done. The church has only begun.

      The recent statement on priesthood is a confession of wrong done. The church hasn't done enough. The repentance process calls for apology to be made, if possible to the injured party. Nowhere in that statement is an apology for damages done, nor is there any means suggested how the church will make amends to the people of African descent. Many of us, including me, feel that we deserve an apology-even if for no other reason the principle of the matter. We are calling on the church leadership to make a blanket world-wide apology for people who were effected. Our request is in accordance with the principles taught, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

      Also understand this matter is NOT about white people and any other race. This is a matter of African descended people. This issue is about US. Therefore our needs should be a primary factor. It is not about church leadership deciding for us what our needs are and what is appropriate for us. There should be conversation from black people to the world the impact of the policies and how they affected African descended people, and affected people of all races.

      The statement is a beginning of reconciliation. That statement alone can be seen as a slap in the face to every wounded African Descendant without a statement from the church to EVERY person who was wounded. It is completely appropriate to expect an effort to heal the damage done to us.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Craig Burrows THORNTON, CO
      • 7 months ago

      I resigned after forty years in the church. This issue is just one of a thousand reasons why. Nothing is more important than denoucing supposed scripture that serves no good purpose but to magnifies racism through blind obedience and ignorance.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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