Bruce R. McConkie publishes several articles containing common Latter-day Saint views about Black people in his 1958 volume, Mormon Doctrine.

Bruce R. McConkie

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine 1st ed. (Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 1958), 102, 107-8, 314, 476-77

Lucifer, Cain, Bruce R. McConkie, Satan, Abel, Ham, Adam
General Public

Cain. See DEVIL, HAM, MASTER MAHAN, NEGROES, PERDITION, SONS OF PERDITION. Though he was a rebel and an associate of Lucifer in pre-existence and though he was a liar from the beginning whose name was Perdition, Cain managed to attain the privilege of mortal birth. Under Adam's tutelage, he began in this life to serve God. He understood the gospel and the plan of salvation, was baptized, received the priesthood, had a perfect knowledge of the position and perfection of God, and talked personally with Deity. Then he came out in open rebellion, fought God, worshiped Lucifer, and slew Abel.

Cain's sacrifice was rejected because it was offered at Satan's command, not the Lord's; it was not and could not be offered in faith for "he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven." (Teachings, pp 58-59.)

As a result of his rebellion, Cain was cursed and told that "the earth" would not thereafter yield him its abundance as previously. In addition he became the first mortal to be cursed as a son of perdition. As a result of his mortal birth he is assured of a tangible body of flesh and bones in eternity, a fact which will enable him to rule over Satan. The Lord placed on Cain a mark of a dark skin, and he became the ancestor of the black race. (Moses 5; Gen. 4; Teachings, p. 169.)

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Caste System. See BONDAGE, PRE-EXISTENCE, SLAVERY, TRIBES OF ISRAEL. In one sense of the word, caste systems—that is, the formation of hereditary classes within the social organization—are contrary to gospel principles of equality and fair treatment. This is so when these systems impose restrictions, slavery, and denial of natural rights upon members of any caste.

God is no respecter of persons, and inalienable rights are the natural heritage of all mankind (D. & C. 98:5); persons in every nation, caste, and class of society are entitled, as of right, to be put in a position where they can exercise the "moral agency" which the Lord has given them, so that they can be accountable for their "own sins in the day of judgment." (D. & C. 101:78.) Certainly the caste systems in communist countries and in India, for instance, are man made and are not based on true principles.

However, in a broad general sense, caste systems have their root and origin in the gospel itself, and when they operate according to the divine decree, the resultant restrictions and segregation are right and proper and have the approval of the Lord. To illustrate: Cain, Ham, and the whole negro race have been cursed with a black skin, the mark of Cain, so they can be identified as a caste apart, a people with whom the other descendants of Adam should not intermarry. (Gen. 4; Moses 5.) The whole house of Israel was chosen as a peculiar people, one set apart from all other nations (Ex. 19:5-6; Deut. 7:6; 14:2); and they were forbidden to marry outside their own caste. (Ex. 34:10-17; Deut. 7:1-5.) In effect the Lamanites belonged to one caste and the Nephites to another, and a mark was put upon the Lamanites to keep the Nephites from intermixing with and marrying them. (Alma 3:6-11.)

All this is not to say that any race, creed, or caste should be denied any inalienable rights. But it is to say that Deity in his infinite wisdom, to carry out his inscrutable purposes, has a caste system of his own, a system of segregation of races and peoples. The justice of such a system is evident when life is considered in its true eternal perspective. It is only by a knowledge of pre-existence that it can be known why some persons are born in one race or caste

and some in another. Segregation and caste systems will continue on in a future eternity; the righteous will go to paradise and the wicked to hell; and finally all men will be segregated into kingdoms - each separate from the others - according as their works have been.

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Through Ham (a name meaning black) "the blood of the Canaanites was preserved" through the flood, he having married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain. (Abra. 1:20-27.) Ham was cursed, apparently for marrying into the forbidden lineage. "Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren" (Gen. 9:25), said Noah of Ham's descendants. These descendants cannot hold the priesthood.

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Negroes. See CAIN, HAM, PRE-EXISTENCE, PRIESTHOOD, RACES OF MEN. In the pre-existent eternity various degrees of valiance and devotion to the truth were exhibited by different groups of our Father's spirit offspring. One-third of the spirit hosts of heaven came out in open rebellion and were cast out without bodies, becoming the devil and his angels. (D. & C. 29:36-41; Rev. 12:3-9.) The other twothirds stood affirmatively for Christ; there were no neutrals. To stand neutral in the midst of war is a philosophical impossibility. The Lord said: "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad." (Matt. 12:30.)

Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. Adam and all the prophets so distinguished themselves by diligence and obedience as to be foreordained to their high earthly missions. (Abra. 3:20-24.) The whole house of Israel was chosen in preexistence to come to mortality as children of Jacob. (Deut. 32:7-8.) Those who were less valiant in preexistence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel being a black skin. (Moses 5:16-41; 7:8, 12, 22.) Noah's son Ham married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the negro lineage through the flood. (Abra. 1:20-27.)

Negroes in this life are denied the priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abra. 1 :20-27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them (Moses 7:8, 12, 22), although sometimes negroes search out the truth, join the Church, and become by righteous living heirs of the celestial kingdom of heaven. President Brigham Young and others have taught that in the future eternity worthy and qualified negroes will receive the priesthood and every gospel blessing available to any man. (Way to Perfection, pp. 97-111.)

The present status of the negro rests purely and simply on the foundation of pre-existence. Along with all races and peoples he is receiving here what he merits as a result of the long pre-mortal probation in the presence of the Lord. The principle is the same as will apply when all men are judged according to their mortal works and are awarded varying statuses in the life hereafter.

In this connection it should be noted that other nations, also, have had lesser restrictions placed on them as pertaining to receipt of the gospel truths in this life. Christ limited his ministry to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and did not preach to the Gentiles. (Matt. 15:24.) He sent his apostles out initially with the same restriction (Matt. 10:5-6), and it was with some difficulty that he persuaded them to go to all men when the period of Israel's prior rights had expired. (Mark 16:15; Acts 10.)

The negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow therefrom, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord's doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate. Certainly the negroes as children of God are entitled to equality before the law and to be treated with all the dignity and respect of any member of the human race. Many of them certainly live according to higher standards of decency and right in this life than do some of their brothers of other races, a situation that will cause judgment to be laid "to the line, and righteousness to the plummet" (Isa. 28:17) in the day of judgment.

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