July 08, 2020

The Racist Legacy of Brigham Young


The Mormon church this year has been trying to move away from the word "Mormon", despite their recent "I am a Mormon" giant advertising campaign.

LDSBC was recently renamed to Ensign College: https://www.ldsbc.edu/lds-business-college-announces-name-change-and-other-significant-adjustments

The name they should really be running away from: Brigham Young.

Monuments to racists are coming down all over the south. Here in Utah, the same should happen with statues of Brigham Young.

Schools with his name should be renamed too.
Mormonism was less racist before he became the leader. One of the biggest examples is the priesthood ban that meant that black people were denied temple ordinances. You know, the saving ordinances that you can't get into heaven without? That was started under Brigham Young.

For context, he was big on blackness being a curse and the mark of Cain.

“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. The nations of the earth have transgressed every law that God has given, they have changed the ordinances and broken every covenant made with the fathers, and they are like a hungry man that dreameth that he eateth, and he awaketh and behold he is empty.”
-Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 10, p. 110

“You can see men and women who are sixty or seventy years of age looking young and handsome; but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled and black, just like the Devil.”
-Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 5:332~

“I have this section in my hand, headed “An Act in Relation to African Slavery.” I have read it over and made a few alterations. I will remark with regard to slavery, inasmuch as we believe in the Bible, inasmuch as we believe in the ordinances of God, in the Priesthood and order and decrees of God, we must believe in slavery. This colored race have been subjected to severe curses, which they have in their families and their classes and in their various capacities brought upon themselves. And until the curse is removed by Him who placed it upon them, they must suffer under its consequences; I am not authorized to remove it. I am a firm believer in slavery.”
-A speech by Governor Brigham Young in Joint Session of the Legislature, January 23, 1852: 3 (https://archive.org/details/CR100317B0001F0014)

"H.G. — What is the position of your Church with respect to Slavery?
B.Y. — We consider it of Divine institution, and not to be abolished until the curse pronounced on Ham shall have been removed from his descendants.
H.G. — Are there any slaves now held in this Territory?
B.Y. — There are."
-Brigham Young Interview by Horace Greeley (New York Tribune editor), ‘Two Hours With Brigham Young’, Salt Lake City, Utah, July 13, 1859 (https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/MStar/id/23441)

"Why are so many of the inhabitants of the earth cursed with a skin of blackness? It comes in consequence of their fathers rejecting the power of the Holy Priesthood, and the law of God."
-Excerpt from a talk by Brigham Young, in the Bowery, Salt Lake City, August 19, 1866 (https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/digital/collection/JournalOfDiscourses3/id/4487)

No comments:

Post a Comment