Rob at General Conference










LDS General Conference

The beginning of last month was the second day of the LDS General Conference. For my report on the first day, see the September newsletter

The second day was another great day at General Conference! I had a great short talk with a lady, who thought contention was of Satan. I told her Jesus was contentious when He turned the tables over in the temple. I then shared with her how different Jesus is in the Bible from the LDS Jesus.

Then I talked with a family from American Fork, UT and their daughter's boyfriend. The dad took a tract I was passing out. He said he knows a couple that goes to our church and would like to come visit sometime. The boyfriend asked about what Joseph lied about, so I told them about polygamy and the Book of Abraham. Also talked about the difference between their God/Jesus and mine. They got it, but fell back on their testimony, which I of course challenged.

Also got to challenge Katherine, who is the LDS guy who thinks he's a woman. Told him I've been praying for God to remove his deception of being a woman.

Here's a report by Axios concerning the LDS Church continuing to hold to traditional values in regard to sex. I find it interesting what LDS First Counselor Dallin Oaks said that weekend about transgendering is cause for discipline. I don't think it's a coincidence that my friend Katherine, who used to hold up a sign for years now outside conference saying "Hug a transgender Latter-day Saint" told me Sunday after conference that he has a new sign and that he has always been female! This, as well as other inconsistent stories he has told me, is why I told him that it's difficult to trust anything he says.

Rob role-playing a Mormon at Southeast Christian
Role-playing a Mormon

The day after General Conference, I, along with others, including my dad, role-played being Mormons for a huge mission team (80 to 90) out from Georgia working under Brett Kunkle’s Maven organization. Not only did I act like a Mormon, but I was also able to instruct them on things to keep in mind as Christian missionaries.

We had Don Hydrick share his testimony. He is the author of “50 Years a Mormon.” Please watch his testimony and see the pictures from the event on the site linked above.

Meeting with district Title IX Coordinator

I had about an hour Zoom meeting with the school district Title IX Coordinator, Melissa Flores, and the district DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) Administrator, Ami Shah, over my formal complaint of them allowing boys to use girls’ private spaces. Melissa dismissed the case on the grounds of sexual harassment, but referred the case to Associate Superintendent Michael Anderson for a judgment on discrimination. It was supposed to go to Jill Durant who is the Administrator of Elementary Schools, but I named her as a respondent. Both her as well as the principal of my daughter’s school, Amy Adams, told me they can’t do anything about this situation given Title IX. When pressed as to what Title IX actually says, Melissa gave a lame excuse that the Trump Supportive Measures which came out in 2020 state that the action I am seeking would be “punitive” toward this boy, and that would be prohibited. However, I told her that they are being punitive towards girls who deserve private spaces. They claim they are allowing them private spaces, but I claim they are being discriminatory towards them. Why? Because most girls are kept from using the multi-stall bathrooms since they don’t want to share a bathroom with a gender-confused boy. I informed Melissa that the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, Governor Stitt in Oklahoma, as well as the recent decision of a Trump appointed judge in Idaho have all ruled in favor of protecting biological girls from biological boys being in their private spaces and sports. So Melissa’s take seems quite idiosyncratic.


Halloween was such a great opportunity to meet our neighbors where they are at. I got a good handful of tracts out too--English and Spanish! What a great night for the Lord and commemorating all those who have given their lives for Him! The kingdom of heaven belongs to these cute little kids (Matt. 19:14), so I was able to bless them tonight.

We need your partnership

If you’re looking for ways to store up for yourself treasures in heaven (Matt. 6:19-20), may I suggest investing in our ministry? We not only need your prayers, but we need your financial partnership as well. Keep in mind that your investment is not simply for us, but for the lives of others we reach with the gospel. The standard way to financially invest is by writing a tax-deductible check to Courageous Christians United (CCU). For more information on various ways to invest in this ministry, including online giving, please see our “Invest” page on our sites. If you’re not a partner and are blessed by these monthly updates, please join our team and let us know soon. We’d love to be your missionaries here in Utah. Many thanks to those of you who hold us up in prayer and/or in your financial giving!

Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:6)!

Rob Sivulka
President, Courageous Christians United
P.O. Box 1374
West Jordan, UT 84088
(801) 792-6373


Was awesome being out there with you this year. It was one of the best General Conferences I’ve been to yet. So many great conversations. Keep up the good work bro!


My name is E. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I took a look at your website and noticed some mistruths in your depiction of my church. I understand that you likely won’t read this given my background, but I just want you to understand my religion a little better.

First, we are not “Mormons.” That is a derogatory term that was used when early members of my church were driven out of their homes and forced to move west. We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints because we worship God and Christ, not Mormon. (See “The Correct Name of the Church” by President Russel M. Nelson)

Second, the first point on your main page is incorrect. Yes, we believe that our religion has the fullness of truth in the earth. But you state that we believe that every other religion is “wrong” and “corrupt.” We believe that other religious have truth as well, just not all of it.

You also state that we believe that everyone who isn’t a faithful member of my church will be damned. We do not believe in damnation. You talk about this later when you talk about our different degrees of glory that we enter after God’s judgement. We believe that in order to be in the highest degree of glory you have to have made covenants in our temples and kept them, but that everyone will go to the degree of glory where they will be able to comfortably live the laws there (see President Dallin H. Oaks address in our October 2023 General Conference).

Third, the Great Apostasy. Your website says that we lost the gospel during the apostasy. We did lose the fullness of the gospel, but there were still Christs teachings on the earth.
As to what happens after death. We do not believe that those who don’t chose to repent go to outer darkness. Outer darkness is a place for people who have seen christ and angels and choose to deny them. Because Christ will not be in spirit prison, those people will simply go to the terrestrial kingdom where the laws will be the most comfortable for them to live. (See address by Dallin H. Oaks mentioned above)

We believe in both being saved my works and grace. We believe that Christ atoned for all sins on the earth, including murder. And he also felt all the pains of life that we have ever gone through. Because of this sacrifice we can be saved. We believe that we are tainted when we sin and break commandments and thus must strive to be clean and Christlike. We believe that because of the atonement we can repent and be cleansed of our sin as much as we repent. Whether that be every hour or every year.

As far as other Gods. We will not know until death the truth of that. We have scripture and prophets have stated that, “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become.” (See Deseret News Article Attached.)

We believe that Christ and Adam, both created the earth under the direction of God. You state that my religions believes that Christ did not create the world but that is not true.

You talk about racism as well. We do not believe that people with darker skin are cursed. There is no place that teaches that Cains curse was dark skin. The “curse” of dark skin was given to the Lamanites in the Book of Mormon was to differentiate two different peoples. This did not mean that they were less righteous and in fact there were times when they were more righteous than the other peoples in the Americas.

Polygamy does not apply to getting remarried after a spouse dies.

We believe that the Bible is to be taken with a grain of salt given how much it has been translated. A lot gets lost in translation and a lot of corrupt individuals were the ones to translate it so while the majority is true, we believe that there are parts that are not translated fully. We have Joseph Smith Translations for these sections and believe that God had Joseph add in original truths that were lost in translation.

Most of your information is incomplete or outdated. Please do a little more research before claiming to know the exact teachings of a religion.

Here are some good sources for many of the things that I have said. Thank you for your time.

[I replied:] Thanks so much for interacting with my site! My email is listed on my site for a reason. I enjoy comments from a different perspective. They are helpful to both of us.

As for the term “Mormon,” I realize that you don’t like to refer to yourself by that. However, most people in the world still refer to you as that. So for purposes that make it helpful to identify who I am referring to, I retain the term. Christians will not refer to your church as “the Church of Jesus Christ,” since we see this as inaccurate. So to distinguish clearly from that, to clearly identify who we are referring to, and to simply keep things more concise, we’ll keep referring to you as “Mormons” or “LDS.” Even LDS journalist/commentator Jana Reiss recognizes how practical it is to retain the term “Mormon” for writing for a larger audience. She said that “the AP style guide makes more sense than what the church is asking reporters to do.” (

Further, your church still uses to redirect it to your Church’s site. So your own Church is still using the term. Also, the term “Mormon” has been used favorably by everyone in your Church up until just recently. For example, you don’t remember the “I am a Mormon” campaign? Or even the film the Church produced, “Meet the Mormons”? These weren’t that long ago. Finally, no one is claiming that you guys worship Mormon anymore than anyone thinks Lutherans worship Luther.

As for the 2nd point, it would serve you well to look at the references I cite. I link to your own scripture that describes Joseph’s first vision (Joseph Smith–History 1:19). Your own scripture uses the terms “wrong” and “corrupt.” So your argument is against your own scripture. Having said that, I realize that you hold other religions have some truth to them. Nonetheless, the point I am making is in the context of the claim that “The LDS Church is the only true church.” I also claim that your church is wrong and corrupt even though I also claim that it has some truth to it.

Also, your argument against my claim of damnation is an argument against Joseph Smith. Again, read the source I cited–History of the Church 3:28. My site isn’t about what you believe. It’s about what LDS authorities have and do teach. In Mormon Doctrine by the late LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, he said for the entry “Damnation”: “The opposite of salvation is damnation, and just as there are varying degrees and kinds of salvation, so there are degrees and kinds of damnation. There is a ‘greater damnation’ (Matt. 23:14) and, obviously, a lesser damnation. Literally, to be damned is to be condemned, and the scriptures speak of the damned as: 1. Those who are thrust down to hell to await the day of the resurrection of damnation; 2. Those who fail to gain an inheritance in the celestial kingdom or kingdom of God; 3. Those who become sons of perdition; and 4. Those who fail to gain exaltation in the highest heaven within the celestial world, even though they do gain a celestial mansion in one of the lower heavens of that world.” (1979:176-7). Even Dallin Oaks believes in damnation:

As for the Great Apostasy, you are taking what I said out of the context of “a complete and universal apostasy.” Again, you need to read what I cite. Your own sources say what I said as well as what you said. I quoted McConkie: “To Adam the Lord gave the true gospel and the true government so that all matters pertaining to this mortal sphere could be governed… Apostasy consists in the abandonment and forsaking of these true principles, and all those who do not believe and conform to them are in a [sic] apostate condition, whether they are the ones who departed from the truth or whether they inherited their false concepts from their apostate fathers. …[T]o encourage those who do not have the fulness of truth to come to the light… In the meridian of time our Lord personally restored his gospel… With the loss of the gospel, the nations of the earth went into a moral eclipse called the Dark Ages.” (1979:43-4) Your late Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith taught the same thing. He said, “Again, following the death of his apostles, apostasy once more set in, and again the saving principles and ordinances of the gospel were changed to suit the conveniences and notions of the people. Doctrines were corrupted, authority lost, and a false order of religion took the place of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Doctrines of Salvation 3:266) I stated that LDS hold that these teachings were corrupted, and that’s why the gospel needed to be restored. I accurately represented what is taught.

As for outer darkness, the source I gave on “Hell”, “Guide to the Scriptures”, claims that those who refuse to repent in spirit prison end up in the lowest degree of glory, the telestial kingdom. I was wrong when I said that those in that kingdom have repented. They don’t, so I will change that. Thanks for catching that! However, you were wrong in stating that those in spirit prison will go to the terrestrial kingdom. The source I gave is clear that for those in spirit prison who don’t repent go to the bottom kingdom–the telestial kingdom. My site now reads: “Spirit-prison is a temporary hell. For those here who repent, they go to a degree of glory fitting for them after the judgment. For those in spirit prison who don't repent, they go to the bottom degree of glory--the telestial kingdom. There is finally a permanent hell or outer darkness reserved for those whom the Son of God is personally revealed, and yet they end up rejecting Him ("Hell," Guide to the Scriptures).” Are you fine with that?

I have stated on the site that LDS believe in being saved both by grace and works. It is difficult to see how Christ’s atonement didn’t pay for the sin of murder, since as I state D&C 42:18 says there’s no forgiveness for killing in this life, nor in the life to come. I also quoted to you what McConkie said about that matter. So again, my site isn’t about what you or your friends believe; it’s about what the LDS Church teaches through its scriptures and its general authorities.

As for Gods, I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “We will not know until death the truth of that.” Why say that and then you quote your late Prophet Lorenzo Snow who taught it? It’s also in your scriptures as I have referenced.

Where did I state that LDS think that Christ did not create the world? I clearly stated that LDS hold there are things that Christ did not create, and among them is the planet He was born on as a spirit-child of heavenly parents.

As for racism, again, did you check out the sources I listed? I document all those claims there. Moses 7:8, 21-2 clearly teaches that the sons of Cain were cursed with a blackness, and this blackness was physical, not spiritual. As a result of this physical blackness, they were barred from the kingdom of God. As for the separation of the Lamanites from the Nephites in the Book of Mormon, again, read those scriptures I referenced. They clearly teach that God cursed the former with dark “skin” “because of their transgression and their rebellion” (Alma 3:6), and as they repented, their curse was taken from them and they got white skin back (3 Ne. 2:14-6). The Book of Jacob agrees that there were times the Nephites went evil as well, but they weren’t ever given a curse of dark skin as a result of that evil.

Of course polygamy applies to after a spouse dies if that spouse has been previously sealed for time and all eternity in the LDS temple ceremony. So if he seals another for time and all eternity, then he has more than one wife for time and all eternity, which by definition makes them polygamists.

Taking the Bible as a grain of salt is the reason why the LDS Church is in such a theological mess. Just because something may get lost in translation doesn’t entail that the Bible as a whole should be treated as a grain of salt. One may still look up what a word or phrase that doesn’t translate well into English actually means in its original language.

The real corruption obviously comes with bad translations like the Joseph Smith Translation (JST). The JST goes against all the various manuscript evidence, all the early Church Fathers’ sayings, as well as all the early Church Lectionaries. The latter two actually quote all the Bible, so when you put them together along with all the thousands of early manuscripts we have of the Bible, then variances like in the JST stick out like sore thumbs. The JST, for example, contradicts all the evidence when it says in 2 Sam. 12:13 that God didn’t put away David’s sin from him. The JST contradicts all the evidence when it says in Rom. 4:5 that God justifies “not” the ungodly. It not only contradicts all the evidence, there is absolutely no evidence for it. That’s why Prov. 30:6 says that if you add to God’s word, you’ll be proven to be a liar. The Book of Mormon lies when it talks about all these plain and precious truths being taken out from the Bible (1 Ne. 13 and 14). You have to doubt the Bible in order to open yourself up to a new prophet’s teachings that actually contradict the Bible.

Thanks for your time! I pray that God will give you eyes to see how your church is teaching a false God, false Jesus, false Holy Spirit, false gospel, taught by false prophets who give false prophecies and scriptures.


[She replied:] I appreciate your speedy response. I do understand your use of the title Mormon for the comprehension of viewers, but would encourage you to also put in the correct name of the church. I often explain to people that I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which was formerly called the Mormon or LDS church.

I absolutely believe that there is corruption in every church, including my own. The idea behind my church being the one true church refers to having the restored priesthood, and having true doctrine. This is not to say that church policies past or present are not flawed because in the end we are imperfect people and will always imperfectly bring to pass God's work.

I would like to point out that Bruce McConkie is not and never was the highest authority in my church. One of our main beliefs is that everyone other than Christ is imperfect and therefore not everything that he said is doctrine or is entirely what God wants us to know. He lived almost 40 years ago and a lot within a church can change in 40 years.

I appreciate the change that you made regarding repentance in spirit prison. You are correct that it is the telestial kingdom. I get mixed up with telestial and terrestrial sometimes so thanks for catching that.

As for the idea that murder cannot be repented of. I did read your source and you are correct that the D&C says that, but that is not the way that the scripture was meant to be interpreted. That is, there is no forgiveness without repentance. In Alma 24 in the Book of Mormon it says in verses 9 and 10 that, " And behold, I also thank my God, that by opening this correspondence we have been convinced of our asins, and of the many murders which we have committed. 10 And I also thank my God, yea, my great God, that he hath granted unto us that we might repent of these things, and also that he hath aforgiven us of those our many sins and murders which we have committed, and taken away the bguilt from our hearts, through the merits of his Son." There is also no place in our description of repentance on our website that says that murder is exempt from the things that Christ suffered for us. We believe that Christ suffered for ALL sins and ALL the pains of everyone who has lived, is living, and will live.

As for the Bible. We believe in it as long as it is translated correctly. We read the King James version of the Bible and believe this to be the most correctly translated of all of the versions. That being said, a lot is lost in translation especially when it is translated through imperfect people. I do believe that God preserved most of the most major points of the Bible, but I believe and my church believes that bits of truth were tweaked to benefit the people translating the book at the time. When you are translating a book from Hebrew and Greek, to more advanced Greek, to Latin, to English a lot is lost. Here is a sentence from 1 Corinthians 50:55 that I put through google translate into those languages. look at how much of the original meaning is lost.

Original: "Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Hebrew: "לכן, אחיי ואחיותיי היקרים, עמדו איתן. תן לשום דבר לא להזיז אותך. תמסרו את עצמכם" תמיד במלאכת ה', כי אתם יודעים כי עמלתכם בה' לא לשווא."

Greek: "Γι' αυτό, αγαπητοί μου αδελφοί και αδελφές, μείνετε σταθεροί. Αφήστε τίποτα να μην σας συγκινήσει. Πάντα να αφοσιώνεσαι στο έργο του Θεού, γιατί ξέρεις ότι ο κόπος σου στον Θεό δεν είναι μάταιος."

Latin: "Itaque, fratres mei dilectissimi, state. Nihil te moveat. Semper vacare operi Dei, quia scias quod labor tuus in Deo non est inanis."

English: "Therefore, my beloved brothers, stand still. Let nothing move you. Always devote yourself to the work of God, because you know that your work in God is not in vain."

You can see that most of the basic idea of the message has stayed the same, but we are now missing some insight into what this scripture may mean. First, we lost "sisters." As a woman of God it is important that I have representation in the scriptures. I believe that doctrine is for everyone and not just the brothers. Then, we lost the word "firm" and instead it says "stand still." Standing still and standing firm are two very different concepts. to stand still means to not progress forward. To stand firm means that despite outside forces pushing you to change, you stay with the gospel and remain unchanging in your beliefs. Next, we lost "give yourselves fully" and that was replaced with devote. I believe that give yourselves fully is a much more powerful message and gives no room for outside influence to affect your work. Then, we get the word Lord changed to the word God. While I know that some religions believe that Christ and God are one and the same, my religion does not believe that. You can see why differentiating that would be very important again for someone who believed that they were different people.

As for racism. I did read your source in Moses and it does not say that it was a physical blackness. It is possible that because of being taught by the sinful Cain, they were black with sin because they had not been taught the ways of God. There are a number of other characteristics that also could have been physically black. Eyes or hair for example could have differentiated them from the rest of Adam and Eve's posterity. If you had listened to the BYU speech that I sent you about racism in the church, he explains that there is an incorrect interpretation that the curses of both Cain and the Lamanites was skin based. I will post the link below again.

God Bless,

[I replied:] So you agree that it is legit to use the terms “corrupt” and “wrong” in reference to other churches since that’s what your scripture uses and my site is accurate in pointing that out. I understand your point that other churches have certain basic truths, and I don’t disagree that you claim to be the only true church due to the restoration. You go a step further now and claim that even your church is corrupt and has a lot of flaws to it since we are all imperfect people who make up various churches. Given that’s the case, it seems that *perhaps* you and your authorities are wrong about your church being the restored Church.

Obviously as a traditional Christian, I don’t think your church is the restored Church and I also don’t think it has the authority to act for God, since your church is wrong on who God/Father/Son/Holy Spirit and what the gospel is. I hold that your church is a corruption of Christianity, and I understand that Gordon B. Hinckley stated that he doesn’t believe in the traditional Christ ("Crown of Gospel is Upon Our Heads," LDS Church News, [Saturday, 20 June 1998]: 7). That is the only corruption that matters. Of course we all know that everyone is corrupt and wrong on various issues. However, LDS don’t think that they are corrupt in denying the traditional Christ, and they think everyone else is corrupt in this sense.

I also understand that McConkie was never the highest authority in your church. However, he was and still is a much higher authority than Ryan Gabriel as well as you.

Again, this issue of murder claims there’s no forgiveness in this life or in the life to come in D&C 42:18. Obviously if one repents, there would be forgiveness in this life or the life to come. However, there is no exemption here. This is why Smith translated his JST in 2 Sam. 12:13 the way he did. David repented there, but the Lord didn’t put his sin away from him. Both McConkie and Spencer W. Kimball said that there is no forgiveness for the murderer in the sense that a murderer can never inherit the celestial kingdom (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine “Murderers” and Kimball, Miracle of Forgiveness, 127). Kimball said that “David is still paying for his sin.” (128) McConkie said murderers will be able to get the telestial kingdom after they repent and pay “the full penalty for their crime”.

So this understanding can accommodate what the Book of Mormon says about being forgiven for murder. However, this isn’t the forgiveness that Christians are talking about. The forgiveness the Bible speaks of has no segregation from the presence of the Father. The LDS forgiveness is a cheapened, pseudo forgiveness. If Christ didn’t atone for the sin of murder so that the offender may be able to be in the Father’s kingdom, then that’s just not forgiveness. Why? Because God would still have something that bothers Him about what an individual has done. He keeps a murderer outside His presence. God doesn’t satisfy the justice of that act at the cross. He holds out on the offender. So God really doesn’t forgive the offender here; He only somewhat forgives the offender by letting him or her go to the telestial kingdom. If the Book of Mormon is to be taken as consistent with D&C 42, then the forgiveness of the former is only a qualified forgiveness. It’s not absolute forgiveness which the latter refers to.

As we previously discussed, according to LDS, those who repent in spirit prison end up in a degree of glory worthy of them. Who ends up in the telestial kingdom? D&C 76:81-112 says this is where murderers, among others, end up, away from where God and Christ dwell. So if these individuals eventually repent, but they don’t get to be with God, then that’s not the real forgiveness Christ atones for. In the Bible, outside of unbelief (rejecting God’s gift), there is nothing one can do that would keep one from God’s presence. So for most of my readers, when I lay out LDS kingdoms of glory, they recognize this isn’t genuine forgiveness and that this entails Christ didn’t really atone for murder.

As for the Bible, you seemed confused on how it’s translated. You don’t translate it depending on how you feel. 1 Cor. was originally written in Koine Greek. So scholars who know the language better than both of us translate what is written so that we can understand the basic idea. Whether Paul used the term “sisters” or not isn’t a big deal, since we know that when the generic term “brethren” was used, it includes both sexes unless specifically stated otherwise. There is no contradiction here. The syntax is simply “beloved brethren.” The syntax doesn’t specifically say “sisters,” but it’s assumed in the term brethren. Everyone in history understood this. It’s just like if I say, “Hey guys!” Everyone knows that this may also include women. Sometimes, I may simply be referring to women. It depends on the context. (I took 2 and a half years of Koine Greek, and the basic rule drilled into our heads was: context, context, context.)

Further, the syntax also may be understood to determine what is a better translation between “stand still” or “be firm.” The context of the term gives you a clue–the next term is “immovable” followed by always being about the work of the Lord. Again, there’s no contradiction in translations once you understand what the terms “hedraioi ginesthe” means in Greek.

The same goes for the other terms in Greek. “Theos” (“God”) isn’t the syntax used in the 1 Cor. 15 passage (by the way, you mislabeled it chapter 50). Other translations may use that term, but strictly speaking that’s not literally the term that is used in the passage. It’s the term “Kurios” (“Lord”) and it is used twice there. Now you have to go to other sources and find out how Paul understood that term. You need to come up with a proper semantics based on the syntax used. When translators have done that, they come up with the conclusion that the different syntax refers to the same semantics. In other words, these terms in Paul’s mind refer to the same thing. (You do realize that there are multiple ways to say the same thing, right?)

Things are completely different in the JST which actually contradicts all the manuscript, Church Father, and Lectionary evidence we have for the entire Bible. There are no semantics derived from what was most likely in the original of Gen. 50 that state a prophecy of Joseph Smith, Jr. Smith added to the language there and made it all up! There is absolutely no evidence that this prophecy was in the original Hebrew, and all the evidence is against it. The same goes for the other verses I gave previously (2 Sam. 12:13 and Rom. 4:5). Smith contradicted what the scripture actually says and therefore is a proven liar (Prov. 30:6).

As for racism, the context of the Book of Moses clearly tells us that the blackness there was physical, not spiritual. It was the “seed” (Moses 7:22) that was black, not their “hearts,” and certainly not other physical parts like “eyes” or “hair color.” Further, the physical properties of “heat” and “land” of “Canaan” produced “barrenness” (7:8). “Blackness” came upon the people and they were despised among all the people (ibid.). What people? All the people who were evil already. They received preaching with an offer to repent, but not the people of Canaan (7:12ff.). Only the people of Canaan were singled out with “blackness.” If this was a spiritual blackness, then we would rightly see the other peoples labeled with this blackness, but we don’t. Canaan was easily identifiable among all other evil nations, such that the former could easily be bypassed in the preaching of repentance… evidently, because they were extremely evil. 7:19-22 is clear that all these evil people who repented were able to partake of Zion, but a certain *physical* people group, viz., those of “the seed of Cain” who “were black” were ruled out, excluded from the offer. As such, there seems to be a direct contradiction with 2 Ne. 26:33 where God denies none who come to Him even if they are black or white, because “all are alike unto God”.

Having said that, the physical blackness of “skin” is specifically mentioned in the Book of Mormon with the Israelites in ancient Americas (e.g., Alma 3:6). This also provided for physical segregation, which as I already mentioned in 3 Ne. 2:14-6, when the dark “skin” group repented, their curse was removed, they got white skin and were able to forgo their segregation. If all this isn’t racist, then I don’t know what is. This all was how your church understood these passages for most of their history. Now sinful American culture forced your church to look at these passages with another interpretation that doesn’t fit with your church’s historical understanding, nor the context of these passages. It appears to be strained mental gymnastics to get around the obvious.

I am thankful for the words of Gabriel, Oaks, Nelson, Hickley, and many other LDS who have done much to promote a spirit of love for all races. Nonetheless, the facts are quite clear that LDS scripture as well as other LDS prophetic statements are in fact racist despite what 2 Ne. 26:33 says. Just because God treats everyone the same in coming to Him for forgiveness doesn’t overlook the fact that the Book of Mormon and Book of Moses (and arguably the Book of Abraham) have God treating one group of skin color superior to another whom He cursed. Given that’s the most reasonable understanding of these LDS sources, the God of the LDS Church can’t be the real God.


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Dennis says... (Reply)
"To the LDS woman who seemed to suggest that English translations of the Bible get there through Hebrew to Koine Greek to a later form of Greek to Latin on their way to our language...what? :) That ain't how it works.

For the OT, we go from the Masoretic text (in Hebrew) to English; for the NT, we go from the earlier Greek manuscripts we can find to English. In both cases we check with other sources to confirm - the Septuagint, lectionaries, the writings of the Church Fathers, early manuscript traditions in other languages, etc. - but there's no telephone-game chain of translations: we go from A to B, not A to B to C to D to E. The chain has exactly one link.

(Orthodox Christians' use of the LXX is a slight complication, but their scholars consult with the Masoretic text as well. For Catholics, the Vulgate has been an important translation, but it is not their "official" Bible and contemporary Catholic Bibles are based on the best Greek texts, just like Protestant Bibles. In fact, they're often simply the same Bible, with the only difference being the addition of the OT Apocrypha.)" (11/11/23)