Here's where we get to observe the process of squirming and adjusting the "inerrant truth" when it's found to be errant. Geeeee, I wonder if any other religions have ever done this?


Mormon Leaders May Change Teachings

.c The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Mormon leaders are secretly considering a plan to disavow church doctrines once used to support claims that blacks are inferior, the Los Angeles Times reported today.

The teachings purport to link black skin color to curses from God recounted in Hebrew and Mormon Scriptures.

The plan under review by the church's Committee on Public Affairs may result in a statement as early as next month, the Times reported.

In 1978, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to admit all worthy men to the priesthood, regardless of race or color, and church leaders now proclaim racial equality as a ``fundamental teaching.''

But the officials are seeking a way to retract certain statements without undermining the faith of believers or the credibility of church figures revered as prophets and whose pronouncements Mormons believe were inspired by God.

The 10 million-member church is growing in Africa and other developing countries. Church president and prophet Gordon Hinckley recently wrapped up a five-nation tour of Africa.

But black members and some Mormon scholars warn that the ``racist legacy'' contained in Mormon documents and authoritative statements may undermine the church's mission unless they are disavowed, the Times reported.

Mormons and other churches have believed that Africans were descendants of the biblical personages Cain and Ham. According to the Bible, both displeased God and were cursed.

Hebrew Scripture says Cain killed his brother, Abel. Ham, the second son of Noah, broke a taboo by looking at his father's nude body after Noah passed out from drinking too much wine.

Over time, the curses on both became associated with black skin and were used to justify slavery and as a rationale for denying priesthood to blacks.

AP-NY-05-18-98 0619EDT

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank