The Bible makes it clear that there is no justification for racism for those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. When men make up their own religions, there is always prejudice and division involved. The classic example has been Mormon racial prejudice in the original teachings of the Latter Day Saints Church.
The original leaders of the Mormon church denigrated black people. John Taylor who was the president of the church wrote in 1845 “The descendants of Ham, besides a black skin which has ever been a curse that has followed an apostate of the holy priesthood, as well as a black heart, have been servants to both Shem and Japeth…”
In 1852, Mormon leader Brigham Young wrote, “If there never was a prophet or apostle of Jesus Christ spoke it before, I tell you, this people that are commonly called negroes are the children of old Cain…I know that they cannot bear rule in the priesthood, for the curse on them was to remain upon them…”
In 1859, Brigham Young wrote, “Cain slew his brother… and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin … How long is that race (blacks) to endure the dreadful curse that is on them? That curse will remain on them …”
Modern day followers of these men have repudiated the Mormon racial prejudice statements, but it is evident that the founders of the Mormon Church were men who were driven by the prejudice of their day. The ignorance of these statements is typical of humans when they establish their own religion instead of following what Jesus taught.
The main prejudice that existed in Jesus day was the conflict between the Jews and the Samaritans. In John 4:7-9 Jesus shatters that prejudice as well as the denigration of women by talking with a Samaritan woman. John’s gospel points out the existing prejudice by commenting “For the Jews do not associate with Samaritans” (John 4:9). In Luke 10:30-37 the hero of the parable of “The Good Samaritan” is a hated Samaritan. Galatians 3:28 tells us that if we are Christ’s “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Racial prejudice is not justified by the Bible, and it is in direct opposition to the teaching of Jesus.
–John N. Clayton © 2018
Quotes from Salt Lake City Messenger, Sandra Tanner, June 2018, page 3.