By Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

June 12, 2012

When did Spencer Kimball, LDS President, state that curses against Black people are no longer in effect? Baptist Press cites Tal Davis, a former interfaith witness consultant with the North American Mission Board and now Executive Vice President of MarketFaith Ministries of Tallahassee, FL, making such a claim. Can Davis or anyone else document this claim?

 According to Joanna Brooks, a Mormon author:

 “To my knowledge, no Church leader has ever stood at the pulpit and formally renounced the idea that Cain or Ham are the source of racial Blackness and the priesthood ban.  Perceptive observers note that the LDS Church leadership prefers to let old doctrines fade away quietly rather than address them directly.  On race issues especially, I think this leads to missed opportunities.  While younger generations of Mormons may rarely think about and may not even know about the Church’s history with African-Americans, older Mormons continue to quietly harbor outmoded ideas, and many non-Mormons, especially African-Americans, are aware of the Church’s past teachings but without a formal renunciation do not know whether such doctrines continue.  In 2006, Church President Gordon B. Hinckley did state over the pulpit at General Conference that racism is unequivocally wrong and totally unacceptable among Church members.  His comments were welcomed by African-American Mormons and their allies.

Still, I’m looking forward to the day when more Mormons will say out loud:  We were wrong.  We were wrong about Cain.  Wrong about Ham.  And wrong to deny the priesthood to people of African descent.  For in this regard, the curse has been ours to bear.”

There is a growing awareness and acceptance of Mormonism—particularly among Blacks—in Africa and America. In the Baptist Press article, Tal Davis mentioned evangelizing Mormon Church members with the true gospel as a reason to not affirm this Resolution. Wouldn’t equipping African and African American Christians from being influenced by Mormon good deeds to accept Mormonism be a good reason to affirm this Resolution? I Peter 3:15 commands that believers be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about our faith. When a Mormon knocks on an African or African American door, wouldn’t this resolution equip the African/African Americans to defend the Christian faith?

Persons might take the Mormon documents at face value unless the SBC warns them.

I’ve never known Southern Baptists to be squeamish or timid about denouncing Mormonism. Why now?