On October 10, 2014 the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) released a full-length feature film titled “Meet the Mormons.” This feature film is 1 hour 18 minutes in length, and even though Mormon Apostle Jeffery Holland calls it a “documentary film,” the New York Times Movie Review of October 9, 2014 calls it an “infomercial-like documentary.”
The 2 minute movie trailer invites us to “Take a journey around the world; discover six extraordinary stories.” At the end of the trailer we are encouraged to: “Discover a film about the power of faith.”
The film profiles six Mormons:
All of these individual Mormons are likeable folks and people we would all like to meet and become friends with; however, that’s not the point. “Meet the Mormons” doesn’t discuss the controversial doctrines of Mormonism.
We at Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach (MMMO) do not have an issue with meeting or interacting with Mormons, they’re just people; it is Mormonism that we have an issue with. Mormonism (the teachings of the Mormon Church) is contrary to the teachings of Jesus that we find in His word, the Bible.
I find it quite curious that four of the six Mormons highlighted in this film are people of color, where Mormonism teaches that the reason their skin is not white is because of their actions in a pre-existent life. This prejudicial concept of the origin of the races is a unique teaching of Mormonism; yet, this film never mentions this odious teaching.
Mormonism teaches that all human beings existed in heaven in a pre-existent life prior to coming to earth:
“We lived in the presence of God in the spirit before we came here. We desired to be like him, we saw him, we were in his presence. There is not a soul who has not seen both the Father and the Son, and in the spirit world we were in their presence; but it became necessary for us to gain experiences which could not be obtained in that world of spirits, and so we were accorded the privilege of coming down here upon this earth.” (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol 1, pg 56)
This “Pre-existence” (pre-earth life, often referred to as the “spirit world”) is known as man’s “First Estate”; coming to earth and living now in this “earth life” is called the “Second Estate.” Mormonism teaches that we (all of the human race) earned our status in this life, both the color of our skin and where we were born and into what circumstances we were born, by what we did in the pre-existence.
2. The formation of the races
“Now, if through foreordination, as a result of their performance in the spirit life, certain individuals were privileged to be born under the most favorable possible circumstances, then it must necessarily follow that others would be born under less favorable circumstances, and still others under the least favorable circumstances….Is it just or unjust on the part of God, our Creator, to enable people to be born under those circumstances and with those opportunities consistent with their conduct in the spirit world?” (Mormonism and the Negro, pg 23)
Mormon Apostle Melvin J. Ballard lays out a very clear description of the Mormon teaching of how/why the races of mankind came to be:
“Now, my brothers and sisters, I would like you to understand that long before we were born into this earth we were tested and tried in our pre-existence and the fact that of the thousands of children born today, a certain proportion of them went to the Hottentotsof the south seas, thousands went to the Chinese mothers, thousands to Negro mothers, thousands to beautiful white Latter-day Saint mothers. Why this difference? You cannot tell me that the entire group was just designated, marked, to go where they did. That they were men and women of equal worthiness. There are no infant spirits born. They had a being ages before they come into this life. They appear in infant bodies, but they were tested, proven souls.
Therefore, I say to you that long before we came into this life all groups and races of men existed as they exist today. Like attracts to like. Why is it in this Church we do not grant the priesthood to the Negroes? It is alleged that the Prophet Joseph said--and I have no reason to dispute it--that it is because of some act committed by them before they came into this life.
It is alleged that they were neutral, standing neither for Christ nor the devil. But, I am convinced it is because of some things they did before they came into this life that they have been denied the privilege. The races of today are very largely reaping the consequences of a previous life.” (Three Degrees of Glory, pp. 21-22) (emphasis mine)
In the film, Meet the Mormons, the “humanitarian in Nepal” is a man of color and was born into his circumstances because of his actions in the “pre-existence or spirit world.”
3. Blacks, descendants of Cain
In “Meet the Mormons,” the Mormon bishop is black and Mormonism teaches that he is a descendant of Cain who was cursed with a black skin. Joseph Smith taught:
“In the evening debated with John C. Bennett and others to show that the Indians have greater cause to complain of the treatment of the whites, than the negroes, or sons of Cain.” (History of the Church, Vol 4, p. 501)
Sixth Mormon Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith, taught:
“Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness he became the father of an inferior race.” (The Way to Perfection, p. 101)
Mormonism teaches that the lineage of Cain was carried through the flood:
“Noah’s son Ham married Egyptus, a descendant of Cain, thus preserving the negro lineage through the flood. (Abra. 1:20-27)” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 527)
Fourth Mormon Prophet, Wilford Woodruff said:
“The Lord said, ‘I will not kill Cain, but I will put a mark upon him, and that mark will be seen upon every face of every Negro upon the face of the earth. And it is the decree of God that mark shall remain upon the seed of Cain, until the seed of Abel shall be redeemed, and Cain shall not receive the priesthood until the time of that redemption. Any man having one drop of the blood of Cain in him cannot receive the priesthood. But the day will come when all that race will be redeemed and possess all the blessings which we now have.” (quoted from Mormons and Negroes, p. 7 of the speech)
4. Pacific Islanders/Latinos cursed with a dark skin
“Meet the Mormons” highlights the coach of the Naval Academy football team who is Samoan; also it highlights a female kickboxer from Costa Rica. Each of these individuals is identified in Mormonism, via the Book of Mormon, as descendants of Lehi, through his son Laman, and are called Lamanites.
At the Rededicatory Prayer at the Apia Samoa Temple, September, 4, 2005, Mormon Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, refers to the Mormon teaching that Samoans are peoples spoken of in the Book of Mormon: “In these islands of Samoa, Thou hast remembered Thine ancient promise ‘unto them who are upon the isles of the sea’ (2 Nephi 10:21).” Here is that passage from the Book of Mormon: “But great are the promises of the Lord unto them who are upon the isles of the sea; wherefore as it says isles, there must needs be more than this, and they are inhabited also by our brethren.”
Mormon Apostle, Mark E. Peterson, in the Conference Report of April 1962, pg 112 identifies Polynesians as Book of Mormon people: “…the Polynesian Saints are characterized by a tremendous faith. Why do they have this great faith? It is because these people are of the blood of Israel. They are heirs to the promises of the Book of Mormon. God is awakening them to their great destiny.”
Mormon Apostle, Orson F. Whitney, identifies the inhabitants of both North and South America as Lamanites: “There was an American prophet named Nephi. He came from Jerusalem six hundred years before the birth of the Savior—came with his father, Lehi, and an Israelitish colony, and both South and North America were eventually peopled by their descendants. Those who followed Nephi were known as Nephites, while a degenerate faction who had for their leader Nephi's brother Laman, were termed Lamanites. These were the ancestors of the American Indians” (Conference Report, October 1918, p. 39).
The Book of Mormon specifically states that because of their “transgressions and their rebellion” they were cursed with a dark skin: “And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgressions and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam who
were just and holy men.” (Alma 3:6)
Mormonism teaches that these Lamanites will eventually receive the ‘gospel’ (Mormonism) and the curse will be removed and they will become “white and delightsome”:
“5. And the gospel of Jesus Christ shall be declared among them; wherefore, they shall be restored unto the knowledge of their fathers and also to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, which was had among their fathers.
6. And then shall they rejoice; for they know that it is a blessing unto them from the hand of God; and their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes; and many generations shall not pass away among them save they shall be a white and delightsome people.” (2 Nephi 30:5-6)
“Meet the Mormons” is a pure public relations film that ignores the racism of Mormon teachings!