Here’s a question that has bothered me for some time:
- Many LDS apologists interpret the “black” and “white” skin, as discussed in the Book of Mormon, as being metaphors or “spiritual” interpretations, where blackness/darkness of negative/sin, and whiteness is pure or Godly (which certainly is a valid usage of such words in the broader landscape of religious language). However, it seems clear from the actual Book of Mormon that such skins were viewed as literally skin color.
I bring that up as a preface. In addition, General Conference is regarded as a time when we can hear the inspired words of the Lord’s prophets, apostles, and other inspired leaders. We talk of continuing revelation, God speaking in our day, etc, and General Conference is regarded as a time when we can hear His voice and listen to His living oracles. If so, then do we accept this as truly being an inspired discussion on skin color and righteousness?
The Day of the Lamanites-Elder Spencer Kimball of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 1960 General Conference
*The day of the Lamanites is nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised (2 Ne. 30:6). In this picture of the twenty Lamanite missionaries, fifteen of the twenty were as light as Anglos; five were darker but equally delightsome. The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation.
At one meeting a father and mother and their sixteen-year-old daughter were present, the little member girl—sixteen—sitting between the dark father and mother, and it was evident she was several shades lighter than her parents—on the same reservation, in the same hogan, subject to the same sun and wind and weather. There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.*
I could only imagine sitting in the tabernacle or wherever listening to that part of the inspired message of an apostle of the Lord, ya know, being brown skinned. How do you view such teachings, in the General Conference setting?
- Also, how do you view the King Follett Discourse (also taught in General Conference, by Joseph Smith) and the teaching that God has not always been God, and progressed to Godhood, and that we follow His example and path?