Taking Out the Trash: Eliminating Racial Folk Teachings Within Today’s Church

New linguistic and historical scholarship sheds significant light on how and when the stories of Cain and Ham were first used to justify enslavement and then segregation of blacks. The resultant racial speculations of nineteenth-century American Protestants continue to be prominently distributed among Latter-day Saints today. Why is that, especially given our emphasis on continuing revelation and the dozens of latter-day scriptures that preach a universal God and gospel? This session examines how the new scholarship and an understanding of pre-1960s U.S. laws regarding citizenship, immigration, and hypodescent help explain the phenomenon of Mormonism’s continuing folklore, and provide support for ending it.

Stirling Adams