Why are there no persons of color in any FLDS & similar polygamist communities?

I don’t recall ever seeing even one black or hispanic person, or other persons of color described or pictured in any stories over the years about various Mormon polygamist communities, or in the most recent stories about the Texas FLDS community. The population seems to be almost entirely white.

Why is this so? Why are there no people of color in these communities?

As far as the FLDS communities, mormon theology originally taught that black people were the descendents of Cain and under his curse. Basically, that they were lesser people. Being white was considered the ideal. Until 1978, blacks were not permitted to be priests in the Mormon church.

The modern LDS church no longer teaches this, but the FLDS communities apparantly still do.

Antinor01 probably has the direct answer: that groups that broke away from the CoJCoLDS eighty to a hundred twenty years ago are unlikely to accept a revelation that is only thirty years old.

Another point, however, is that the seed populations for the groups were all white (given the era in which they were started) and they are sufficiently inbred that few outsiders of any race or ethnicity have entered. (I suppose that if some of the groups decided to get into Asian adoptions, they could increase their gene pool, but I’ve seen no evidence that they have done so.)

Like it says in the edit window

There seems to be a Chris Rock routine in the question somewhere…

Carolyn Jessop (I think) said that she/they were taught that black people had been born white, but that their skin was turned dark because of the sins they (each individual, I guess) performed.

She said that after she left the group, she was afraid of black people in the grocery store for quite some time because she had the idea that just standing near a black person would/could cause their sins would rub off on her and turn her skin black, too.

How does this differ from “they’re racists”? :confused:

It doesn’t. I was just showing the theological background for why they are.

It seems this view is shared by other fundamentalist Christian sects under what I believe is called Christian Identity. Presumably they all have a biblical foundation for the belief; does anyone have salient locations in the Bible, or is it from some other text?

Curse of Ham

See also Dex’s excellent Staff Report (part 1, part 2) on the “Hamitic curse”.

<Homer Simpson>

Mmmmmmmm…cursed ham.

</Homer Simpson>

Having grown up Mormon myself (LDS not FLDS, who often still consider themselves “Mormon”), I have a pretty good understanding of the situation. Essentially, IMHO, Antinor01 is correct.

Additionally, tomndebb has another doubtlessly true idea, but I’d like to add that in addition to being genetically insular, the seed population was also of the 1830’s era, which was a time when slavery was still legal. So it’s ideological separation as well as genetic, and the “blacks deserve slavery” mentality that was prevalent pre-emancipation never got cleared away. Which is true in many pockets in the south, not just with the FLDS, and also has somewhat little to do with religion in general, and more to do with “they’re different, so they must not be as good as us”.

Not necessarily true. Presumably there are still areas where LDS members still think poorly of blacks just as some from other religions or cultures still do. There doesn’t have to be specific statements from the church to allow racism.

Minor, but important point: while the LDS church didn’t allow blacks to be priests until 1978, most Mormons were free to make up their own minds about blacks in general – certainly none of the core teachings said that blacks were “bad” in their own right, at least not for quite some time before that. The Mormon church believes that A) the “fact” that blacks are descended from sinners does not make them bad any more than the fact that we’re descended from Adam, and B) individual leaders in the church are just as fallible as the rest of us and can make incorrect pronouncements (such as about blacks, and from the pulpit) just like the rest of us. So I’m sure there were anti-black things said in the church at one time, but I’m just as sure that they pre-date 1978.

I would also like to briefly point out that there were many cases where God was apparently racist, according to the Bible. Israel was his “chosen” people. Only the Levites could be priests. Etc. So it’s not much of a stretch for people following the Bible to be racist themselves. Not that it’s mandated… just that it’s not a stretch. So if you’re looking for Biblical precedents on racism, it’ll be a long list.

While this isn’t what the LDS church teaches and I can’t make any statements about what the FLDS believe, I can see where someone might get this idea even from normal LDS teachings. Most of the teachings on the subject within the LDS church quickly move to the supposed origins of “blackness”. If a child asked “why is this person black” and got “well, way back long ago their forefathers were white but did something bad and got turned black” it’s easy to see where some children would get the idea that this was true individually of all blacks. It’s also easy to guess that if the child never asks the question again the misconception would never be cleared up. I recall having this misconception myself for a short time in childhood.

That’s funny. :slight_smile: