There are 5 thoughts on “The Inclusive, Anti-Discrimination Message of the Book of Mormon”.

  1. Thank you Tom, Brett, Kevin, and Lehn. I appreciate the time you took to post your thoughts and the additional insights you all added.

  2. Thank you for what I think is an excellent, thorough article. Thank you for the time, effort, and insight to pull of this together in one place.

    In addition to other pigmentation possibilities and light and dark metaphors, I think reported body coloring in ancient Mesoameria is an interesting issue – particularly in light of Alma 3.

    Painting the Skin: Pigments on Bodies and Codices in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica
    Copyright Date: 2018
    Published by: University of Arizona Press
    Pages: 384

  3. Well done. This is timely and important, worth careful study, bringing together a broad, survey of both the Book of Mormon itself, and important scholarly commentary and contextualization. One thing I’ve noticed since doing Table Rules is that Nephi’s notorious comment in 2 Nephi 5:21 about a “skin of blackness” is the only time that phrase appears in all scripture. This essay observes, Nibley, Sorenson and others have pointed out that it was a common-place Ancient Near Eastern expression about lifestyle, not race, I’ve recently realized that it should make a difference to consider that Nephi is the only Book of Mormon author to use that specific phrase. He was the only one who would understand it without needing the meaning explained. The rest of us need some cross-cultural insight of the kind 2 Nephi 25:1-6 describes as essential for somethings. Careful reading, searching, comparison, is crucial for getting past a narrow, culturally blindered proof-text approach. Thanks for your important contribution.

  4. Thank you for this work. It is needed now in many ways. Ben Spackman has said something that has stayed with me over time and it is that a literal interpretation of the scriptures is one in which we understand the text the way that author intended. This work shows the various Book of Mormon authors and speakers’ focuses (and intent if I may suggest), were on salvation for all and not on the denigration of one group based on the color of their skin. Understanding that thrust and intent enables us to more properly place language that today with our present cultural understandings and perceptions could create dissonance.

  5. I *love* this article!

    I say that both as a Latter-day Saint convert, and as a Native American.

    The Lamanite and Nephite conflict usually gets interpreted by church members as racial. It was not; it was tribal.

    When we understand that tribalism is a product of pride, it helps us see today’s conflicts — and our own part in it — more clearly.

    The Book of Mormon’s recurring message is to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, and as we do, we’ll see everyone else as members of just one tribe: the children of God.

    This discipleship requires us to not think of others (and their groups) as less than ourselves (or our tribe).

    The Book of Mormon teaches that society’s gravest problems are rooted in pride and its accompanying tribalism, and that Christians are to be inclusive, not elitist.

    I will be studying this article in depth — and more than once I think.


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