Ryan Stuart Bingham argues in JMH that the "blackness" of Cain and Canaanites in Moses and Abraham referred to race and skin color.

Jul 2015
Academic / Technical Report
Ryan Stuart Bingham

Ryan Stuart Bingham, "Curses and Marks: Racial Dispensations and Dispensations of Race in Joseph Smith's Bible Revision and the Book of Abraham," Journal of Mormon History 41, no. 3 (July 2015): 22–57

Journal of Mormon History
Ryan Stuart Bingham
Reading Public

Between 1830 and 1842, Mormon prophet Joseph Smith Jr. produced scripture for the Latter-day Saint movement—his revision of the King James Bible, and the Book of Abraham—that reported a providential history in which the God of Genesis took an active interest in dark skin color as a mark of divinely instituted curses. Accepted as Joseph Smith’s successor among Latter-day Saints headquartered in the Salt Lake Valley, Brigham Young officially established a policy in the late 1840s of withholding from those of black African ancestry participation in the lay Mormon priesthood otherwise freely extended to all male Church mem-bers. By the opening of the twentieth century, the racial narratives in Smith’s Bible revision and the Book of Abraham became major sources of justification for this policy, which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discontinued in 1978.

Copyright © B. H. Roberts Foundation
The B. H. Roberts Foundation is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.