ANSWERS: 60
  • In *theory* "Following the succession crisis, leaders of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints excluded blacks from priesthood ordination from 1844-1978 when President Spencer W. Kimball declared that he had received a revelation from God "extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church." Other Mormon denominations dealt with the issue differently. The Community of Christ and the Strangites had already begun to allow blacks to hold the priesthood, their exclusion being thought as racist, while the Fundamentalists continue the exclusionist policy." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blacks_and_Mormonism Of course theories often differ from the reality. In my personal experience, as well as that of many other people, LDS are unfortunately still very much racist. The worst part being that they mostly mean nothing bad by it. But the road to hell is paved with good intentions. http://www.slweekly.com/editorial/2004/feat_2004-12-16.cfm http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_racism.html http://www.salamandersociety.com/blacks/
  • I will agree with my brother. If this was intended as a joke, then it was in poor taste and show a great deal of prejudice on the part of Bill Maher. I can remember when the priesthood was extended to those of African decent. I rejoiced when I heard this news. Out of all of the members of the Church that I have known, I have only know one person that expressed negative opinion of this change. So, will you find racist among the Latter-day Saints? Yes, but they are a very small minority. The vast majority of those with whom I have associated are like me in that they prefer to judge people base on the content of their character rather than on the color of their skin (to quote Martin Luther King, Jr.).
  • Maher was repeating something he read on an anti-Mormon web site. It is likely based on something a member of the Church said back then - this is a common tact of anti-Mormons, they quote some obscure statement that has nothing to do with our doctrine, then present it as LDS belief and attack us for it. It would be like holding Catholics responsible for Mel Gibson's anti-Semitism...
  • Religion scriptures are as flexible as molasses, whatever the general consensus is at the time, it will be interpreted suitably. Churches of all sects were filled with attendees as slaves tolled the land. So please, do not come here and start talking about how this church is/was this or that. Religion is an archaich human need, and it shapes itself conveniently for the circumstances of any century.
  • What??!! How come this guy doesn't get slapped with a discrimination suit?
  • I remeber reading this somewhere, and it was Brigham Young that said this.
  • I remeber reading this somewhere, and I think it was Brigham Young that said this. and yes I agree, a question like this is in "bad taste". All church's have "skeleton's" in their closets that they want the world to forget.
  • The questioner probably should have mentioned that Bill Maher said that this was true in the 1950's, not in the present day. It still may or may not be true, but this question vastly misrepresents what Bill Maher was saying.
  • I have read excerpts from Mormon sermons (a few dating back to the 1800's) and I'm sorry guys, but it does appear that the Mormon faith does have a history of racial discrimination. I'm not sure why some of you seem to be denying this, but the information is out there for your review just as it was for me when I sought it out. I believe that the church has made great efforts to change this and should be commended for that moving forward. But your past is your past and you should be honest about it and move on. -Just calling it how I see it
  • Brigham Young comments about blacks "You see some classes of the human family that are black, uncouth, uncomely, disagreeable and low in their habits, wild, and seemingly deprived of nearly all the blessings of the intelligence that is generally bestowed upon mankind....Cain slew his brother. Can might have been killed, and that would have put a termination to that line of human beings. This was not to be, and the Lord put a mark upon him, which is the flat nose and black skin." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, page 290). "In our first settlement in Missouri, it was said by our enemies that we intended to tamper with the slaves, not that we had any idea of the kind, for such a thing never entered our minds. We knew that the children of Ham were to be the "servant of servants," and no power under heaven could hinder it, so long as the Lord would permit them to welter under the curse and those were known to be our religious views concerning them." (Journal of Discourses, Volume 2, page 172.) "Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, Volume 10, page 110.)
  • The Latter Day Saints - Mormons - do have an unfortunate history of racially discriminatory theology. This position was officially abandoned, however, quite some time ago. http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_race.htm Let us remember that most Christian denomoniations have a history of racism, as does our entire culture. Bill Maher should not forget this, or treat the Mormons differently than any other group which has corrected such a path.
  • Bill Maher is dead wrong. While isolated quotes may be found that suggest otherwise, that is not the teaching or practice of the Mormon Church. I won't offer a guess to his motivation, but I do know he is no more an authority on Mormon doctrine than he is on any other religion he is not a practicing member and conscientious student: not Catholic, not Islam, not Buddhism, or any other. We should all be careful of the talking heads passing opinion off as fact.
  • http://www.lds-mormon.com/racism.shtml Elder MARK E. PETERSON Race Problems -- As They Affect The Church Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954. Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood.... This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in their lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa--if that Negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory.
  • The fact that we ALL came out of Africa and migrated to other parts of the world it would then seem we are ALL going to the servants quarters and there will be a lot of space in heaven filled with nobody. It is just racist trash by B M and his ilk to be ignored except by the ignorant.
  • Sounds like some sardonic wit from Maher poking pun as he usually does.
  • Maher believes that all religious folk suffer from mental illness. LDS were just the topic of that particular discussion.
  • Maher believes that all religious folk suffer from mental illness. LDS were just the topic of that particular discussion.
  • This article has a quote that Bill Maher was probably referring to. http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_race.htm
  • Here is the quote from the article I just linked: In 1954, Mormon elder Mark E. Peterson discussed blacks and the priesthood in an address to a Convention of Teachers of Religion at the College Level at Brigham Young University. He said: "If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial glory."
  • Totally false. Mormons have been abolitionists since the days of Joseph Smith Jr. Joseph's desire to abolish slavery added to the tensions with their neighbors in Missouri (a slave state).
  • Bill Maher was most likely referring to this quote from one of the twelve apostles in the 1950s, Mark E. Peterson, from an address to religion professors at Brigham Young University on "Race Problems--As They Affect The Church". "Think of the Negro, cursed as to the Priesthood. Are we prejudiced against him? Unjustly, sometimes we are accused of having such a prejudice. But what does the mercy of God have for him? This negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in the lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa—if that negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get a celestial resurrection. He will get a place in the celestial glory. He will not go then with even the honorable men of the earth to the terrestrial glory, nor with the ones spoken of as being without law." See: http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/curseofcain_appendix_b.htm http://db3-sql.staff.library.utah.edu/lucene/Manuscripts/null/Ms0376.xml/complete Please note that this talk is NOT considered doctrinal or binding, and indeed most Mormons will have never heard of or seen this talk, and many will disagree with its contents. See also http://speeches.byu.edu/reader/reader.php?id=11017
  • The United States has had an unfortunate historical record of racism... Don't single out one particular group... I'll bet Catholic/Protestant/Mormon/Everyone used the black/white bathroom in 1957.
  • Bill Maher thinks like Americans should. I'm not anti-mormon, but I am Pro-Truth, and a few of these answers show the ignorance of the Mormon church's members. Racism was attempted to be stamped out as the mormon church's theology is ever-changing, however they never did recant or apologize for many statements made by their 'authorities' on the issue. I've noticed they attempt to 'white-wash' these things and essentially filter out these prejudices, but there's no doubt they did subscribe to the blacks and other asian races as inferior. It's in their own archives. These ignorant people just need to do the SEARCH before pondering and praying and quit allowing the 'bretheren' to do all their thinking for them. :) Everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.
  • This question is out of context as to what was said. He said, they used to believe this. Well, the fact is they did believe that blacks were not able to receive all the blessings because of their 'non-valliant' behavior in the life before. And his comment about it's proveable regarding the DNA evidence about the Lamanites being a 'Lost Tribe of Israel' is correct. Ignorance can be repaired, but dumb is forever. When will people stop putting their 'feelings over the facts' and do their own homework. The LDS religion is easily proved as a religion w/problems in every corner, but the hardest thing to open is a closed mind. Religion makes these points hard to debate because there's no room to debate them. Keep on just telling the truth Bill. Maybe some of these people will get a clue...someday...when it's too late. Maybe you can be the one to greet them and lovingly say, I told you so. ;)
  • At one time that may have been true. There are many many quotes in the book "Origins of Power" from early Mormon prophets which explicitly state that no one with even a drop of "the blood of Cain" (that's considered to be black people BTW) can ever set foot in a temple, meaning no heaven. Furthermore, "Black Jane" Elizabeth Manning was sealed to Joseph Smith as his servant for time and all eternity, so this was a practice at some point. It is important to note though that Mormons believe that dark-skinned people like those of African descent, as well as Native Americans (also cursed) could become "white and delightsome" if they came to God through his son Jesus, and to Jesus through the Mormon church, so if they were then white, I suppose that would allow them a chance to get in. To the church's credit, this has been reversed, but I suspect it has more to do with societal pressures than anything else, for societal pressures have long shaped church policy. At one time part of the temple prayer was that Mormons would swear a blood oath to "avenge the blood of the prophet against this nation" but that was removed after a U.S. Senate house committee investigated the church for treason. Also there apparently used to be a lot of "erogenous touching" in temple ceremonies, but this stopped in 1991 due to complaints by members. Also the most famous example is polygamy, which was repealed in response to threats of invasion from the President of the United States..I believe it was Teddy Roosevelt...
  • good god, what a disgusting thought. and they call themselves christians !!!
  • While mormons where saying blacks can't be leaders in the church. Other christian churches where making blacks slaves. Mormons never practiced slavery, the leaders condemned the practice. Had it not been Utah would have been a slavery state. It was not but other states where and other religions practiced slavery. Just an example would be Southern Baptist Convention which was formed because their Northern brethren wouldn't let them practice slavery so the Southern Baptist created a new church the "Southern Baptist Convention" and they were pro slavery. http://www.blacklds.org/ this should shed some light.
  • That's not a funny joke, if that's the case...
  • This is in no way true. One can get into heaven regarless of their race, gender, or social class.
  • That is not true. Here is a scripture directly from the Book of Mormon: "He [God] doeth nothing save it be plain unto the children of men; and he inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile." (2 Nephi 26:33) This website will help clarify many of your misconceptions about what Mormons teach about blacks: http://www.blacklds.org/ But I want to go a step beyond what is false, and say what is true. So what are the effects of these Mormon beliefs? I recently posted a blog entry about that (titled "What do Mormons believe?"), many of which beliefs are promoting efforts of black and white members of the Church working as equals together to make this world a better place: http://www.clintrogersonline.com/blog/2008/04/15/what-do-mormons-believe/
  • As a Lds Member of the church for all of my life i can say without fear than many if not all of our leaders are not racist. However tradition can be very vauge and is based on the belief of the individual. Many religions have misconceptions of Christ and his teaching,many churches many faiths are based on whitewashed versions of original teachings. The truth is out there its often hidden and its often covered up but its there, Sadly many of our leaders in the church fear the truth of how our religion was founded as i recall there was a graeat deal of bloodshed in the early days of the christain church as a whole. for those who truly want to know what mormons believe and why we believe it, ask us we will tell you gladly but dont assume you know all of us by the actions of some vauge group on the outskirts of time. I live in the south and have seen the effects of race related hate and its ugly vile and not based on any scripture lds or otherwise that i have ever read. Consider the time and place that the church was founded in it was a time of great unrest and many sought truth AS DID JOESPH SMITH. Jesus christ himself was a decendant of king david who was a decendant of king solomon, ever read the song of solomon chapter one verse 5 ,,, look upon me because i am black because the sun hath looked upon me my mothers children were angry with me they made me the keeper of the vineyards. so stande to reason if Jesus was his direct decendant then it seems to me that line didnt produce a blonde haired blue eyed boy.
  • HE'S JUST AN EXPERT, I BELIEVE! An "EX' is a 'has been', and a "spurt" is a 'Drip under pressure'!!
  • I am a proud black LDS/ Mormon member,and i am def not a slave. Infact i am a business owner (though with my spellign its hard to believe). This was def a joke. In fact in the book of Mormon, the "black" people out live the "whites" becuase of there faith... needless to say that this book is estianl to our beliefs. i mean god inteded for all his children to return to him. that mean black white yellow green orange lol.... I do not find this joke funny. ironicly not because it is a "black" joke (i laugh at most of them myslef) but because it is misrepresnting my beliefs, my church, my life. i am sure like you many have wondered if this is true. but unlike you they did not ask... and they will form a prejudice towrd this beloved church of mine.
  • Disgusting falsehood, though he probably thought it was a joke. Black people go to heaven the same as white people- through being good people. God is not racist! It was the Catholic church that spread that nonsense. No offense Catholics, your church has done some terrible things. Don't even argue. Inquisition. Crusades.
  • It was just a bad joke.
  • The Mormon Church was founded in America and in the culture where slavery was practiced. Yet at no time have Blacks been denied access to membership, nor have never been segregated into separate wards, and with the exception of church positions requiring the Priesthood, they could hold all other position within their branch, ward or stake. A major reason the Church was persecuted in Missouri and Ohio is because it took a stand against slavery. In 1978 the Priesthood was made available to all races. In contrast many other churches actively supported slavery & segregation. (Check out the founding of the Southern Baptist Church, as well as other southern churches ) The Southern Baptists didn't denounce segregation until 1995! So the Mormon response was 2 decades earlier
  • You just have to take into consideration the fact that Bill Maher is a friggin moron . In fact , he is at the front of my list of people that I'd LOVE to bitch slap !!
  • Nope, not true at all. A sincere thank you for asking instead of just taking him at his word, though! :-)
  • Hey, I'd go to heaven as a slave or to be a slave.
  • Bill if you are serious, Mormons are like Satan. They lie,and take from you what ever they can. But as people they are like anyone,it is theier religion that seperates them from real beleivers .The most important thing for you right now is to know just by the Mormons having the "Book of Mormon" they are breaking the very last thing said in the ONLY TRUE BOOK "THE BIBLE" it says that we are not to add nor take away from the word of GOD " THE BIBLE". They think they will be GODS in the end time of their life.Anyone that knows anything about dieing knows # 1 there is ONLY 1 God,#2 we die on earth but where we go depends on our personal relationship(FAITH) in GOD.We will go to Heaven or hell, no inbetween, they teach there are three or four levels of where we go after our human bodies pass. A CULT IT IS. DO NOT GET INVOLVED.The church of Later Day Saints is the same thing and so are the JW's.Stay away hope this helps you some.Blacks have the same ways of the BIBLE as Whites.Every nationality has all the same things the bible says we have.God Bless you and may peace be with you.
  • For Bill Maher to say that that was pretty funny. Well John Smith loved blacks/negroes; he felt everyone should own one. Just Kidding.
  • i'm Mormon and i think he was probably just making a joke becuase all people can go to heaven, whites, blacks, hispanics, latinos, asians everyone.
  • It was a joke. There is no truth in this. The Lord has said that it is not right that men should be in bondage one to another.
  • Bill Maher is a bigot.
  • Elder Mark E. Petersen Mormon Apostle at Brigham Young University on 27 August 1954 gave speech entitled "Race Problems—As They Affect the Church." Elder Petersen said in this address: "Think of the Negro, cursed as to the priesthood.... This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the lord in sending him to earth in the lineage of Cain with a black skin.... In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing, if the Negro accepts the gospel with real, sincere faith, and is really converted, to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the celestial kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get a celestial resurrection. He will get a place in the celestial glory. He will not go then even with the honorable men of the earth to the Terrestrial glory, nor with the ones spoken of as being without law." This was based on the fact that at the time Mormons though blacks were cursed by God and couldn't receive the Mormon priest hood which is require to get to Mormon heaven. Now blacks can have the priesthood but IMO Mormonism despite improvements is still racist and white supremecist. For example the Book of Mormon teaches that Native Americans have brown skin because they were wicked and their darker skin was a visual representation of God's disapproval. The links below have more info: http://www.i4m.com/think/history/mormon_racism.htm http://www.i4m.com/think/comments/mormon-racism.htm http://www.angelfire.com/ms/seanie/mormon/lds_racism.html
  • does anyone know how long ago this comment was made and where i can find the episode i have to see it to believe it
  • I have been a member of the LDS Church my entire life, and I have never heard that. Black men were not allowed to hold the priesthood prior to the 1970's, but all black people could join the church. Church founder Joseph Smith even questioned why, because he felt personally that all people should have all the priveleges available thru the church. That all changed in the 1970's when all men everywhere were allowed to hold the priesthood if they are worthy.
  • It is not true. It is his sick attempt at humor. It is in fact not very funny.
  • The Book of Abraham 1:20-27 declares that all those who were in the lineage of Cain could not have the priesthood and spoke of those who were cursed through the lineage of Ham and his wife Egyptus. Those who could not hold the priesthood are Black people, Egyptians, Ethiopians and all those who were from the lineage of Ham and Egyptus. In the 170-plus year history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, every member of Quorum of the Twelve (apostles) has been a white male of American or European heritage.
  • I think that it falls under Douchebaggery.
  • Whether he was joking of not makes no difference, what he said was wrong. The Lord removed the curse from the "Seed of Cain" and they can now enjoy all the blessings that anyone else in our Church can enjoy. The color of their skin means nothing to the Church. One day we will all understand everything. But for now let the Lord deal with his children in his own way. We must answer to him, not the other way around. Whew4
  • To be frank, I wouldn't take seriously anything that Bill Maher had to say. He is simply a pompous and arrogant talk show host with a national audience that he uses to pitch his atheistic stance on life. The unfortunate circumstance is that people actually listen to him and believe what he says. Such is the power of the media and Babylonwood. Just my take on it.
  • Is the man going nuts? That wasn't funny and comes off as extremely bigoted. What a hateful and mean-spirited man.
  • It would seem that Bill Maher is a racist idiot who knows nothing about religion.
  • “But let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 332 When Mormon missionaries come to the door of literally thousands of potential converts they will assure the unsuspecting that they represent "Jesus Christ" and are preaching His Gospel. However, that is not the case on many accounts. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) cannot escape their racist past. For nearly 150 years, the Mormon Church had taught that ALL blacks were cursed. Hence, a black Mormon male could not hold the highly regarded LDS Priesthood1 because of his dark skin. And since he could not hold this Priesthood, he could not enter the Mormon Temple. This doctrine in no way, shape, or form can be substantiated in Scripture. Only in the LDS scriptures does this racist doctrine exist. To determine official LDS doctrine from unofficial speculation let us read the statements that were made by the General Authorities of the LDS Church as well as citations from the LDS "standard works." So then, official LDS teaching cannot be evaded or denied as many Mormons (especially uninformed missionaries) often do. Cursed in Pre-existence But, before we read what LDS leaders have taught concerning the "cursed line," we will need to go back and discover as to why dark skinned people are cursed. Then we will have a better understanding of Mormon thought on this issue. Mormons teach that when the "council of the Gods" were planning how to redeemed mankind Jesus desired to save man by giving them their free choice, however Lucifer objected and wanted to force men to serve God. LDS scholar Bruce R. McConkie tells us: When the plan of salvation presented . . . and when the need for a Redeemer was explained, Satan offered to come into the world as the Son of God and be the Redeemer. "Behold here am I, send me," he said. . . . But then, as always, he was in opposition to the full plan of the Father, and so he sought to amend and change the terms of salvation; he sought to deny men their agency and to dethrone God (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 193). Therefore, the Gods rejected Lucifer's plan, which resulted in a war between the good spirit children, and the spirit children that sided with Lucifer (a third of them). But there was a group of spirits that were less valiant in this war. Hence, God (the head God) was very displeased with them so He turned their skin black. Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith explains: There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient; more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there [pre-existence] received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less. . . . There were no neutrals in the war in Heaven. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. Every man had his agency there, and men receive rewards here based upon their actions there, just as they will receive rewards hereafter for deeds done in the body. The Negro, evidently, is receiving the reward he merits (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:61, 65-66; emphasis added). LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie furthers this teaching: Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions impose on 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 Able being a black skin. . . . Noah's son married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the negro lineage through the flood. . . . the negro are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concern. . . . " (Mormon Doctrine, 527-28; 1966 orig. ed., changed in the current ed.; emphasis added).
  • If God made evry man and woman look the same how boreing would that be?we should appreciate and love the differences in people...and dont u think it would be hard to recognize one another if we all looked alike?All our problems are man made not God made.God has always told us how to treat one another we are just pathetic in wisdome and God is Great.
  • He was either joking or he's an ignorant fool because what he said is most certainly NOT true!
  • Well it's not true, but it doesn't sound like much of a joke either.
  • How do you tell if it was inexcusable ignorance, a joke in extreme poor taste, or an attempt to prejudice his listeners against the church. . In any case, it is not true.
  • With Bill Maher, its hard to say whether it was a joke or just lunatic raving. But it certainly has never been the position of the church and its members.

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