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Question

 

Gramps,

I’ve been told several times that the dark skinned people are descendants of Adam’s son, Cain.  Thus the ‘Mark of Cain’.  Moreover, in the Book of Mormon, the Lamanites who repented of their sins, their skins became lighter.   What is the church’s position on this? Given the societal’s view on race.  Thank you.

Steve

 

Answer

 

Steve,

The Church has no position on such theories. In previous generations, many Church members and even leaders believed the idea you bring up. Today the Church has made it clear that such ideas are not part of revealed LDS doctrine. The nature of the Biblical “mark of Cain” has not been revealed to the Church, nor the exact nature or meaning of how the righteous Lamanites’ “skin became white” as mentioned in 3 Nephi 2. Such knowledge is probably unimportant to our current needs.

For further clarification, you might wish to read the essay on “Race and the Priesthood” that the Church recently published on its web site:

Race and the Priesthood

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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