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I'm going to need references before I can buy this statement:

The church no longer teaches that the dark peoples of the world will be made white after accepting the Book of Mormon and the rest of the gospel.

white is used in many places in the scriptures in a symbolic sense, and it would make sense to clarify that the use there referred to purity and not skin color, especially if individual members were starting to take it the wrong way.

The way the church works, it's not a church teaching unless the leaders taught it (and usually repeat it many, many times) in the official channels. The whole point being to not go off on single verses like that one. And I've never heard of changing skin color being church doctrine.

I remember a quote from President Kimball where he said a black person marrying a white person would drop dead on the spot. Yes, really. But I'll have to search for it. Yes, church doctrine was that black people would become white once they accepted the gospel, over a period of generations.

Reporting the Church's views is only NPOV if these view are put in the context of comparative religion and theological discussion. To dismiss such criticism as a "straw man" opens the path to declaring non-Mormon views as being heretic on the Wikipedia.

Right, which is why I reported that the church considered it a straw man. I would also be fine mentioning that the church considers particular non-Mormon views as heretical. Reporting the criticism itself as a straw man or reporting that the views themselves were heretical wouldn't necessarily be NPOV.
RANT: I've been frequently annoyed with the one-sidedness of criticism that gets posted about the church, as if 10 million church members don't mind or are somehow ignorant of great glaring inconsistencies in their faith (like, oh, say, Spencer Kimball teaching that interracial couples would fall over dead - I imagine we'll be waiting a long time for a reference on that statement). The problem is that lots of people who are anti-Mormon for some reason or another have published web sites with lists of trite claims like this which are completely false, don't tell the whole story, or are phrased to sound strange and menacing (God is an alien!). The original addendum about changes to the text of the BOM could have come right from one of those sites, and stated (falsely, AFAICT) that they had changed the text around after a change of doctrine about changing skin color. These claims sound especially bad to fundamentalist Christians, since they treat the bible as their ultimate authority, and may not realize that the mormon treatment of scripture is slightly different. All of these criticisms are fine to report, if for no other reason than that lots of critics are fond of them, but you have to realize that they often come from a biased source, and that, at least in this case, don't pose major problems to the internal consistency of the faith (which I believe I can say neutrally - an unbiased outsider should be able to consider the published doctrines and the changes to the book and come to the same conclusion). There are probably lots of good criticisms of the mormon faith, but I'm tired of having to refute the poor ones that keep getting reported here as fact. /RANT

You're right, there is no such quote from Kimball. There is, however, one from Brigham Young. I had just forgotten the correct attribution -- remember, it was from memory.

I added an explanation of the history of the beliefs regarding black people to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, under the history section. I tried *very* hard to be fair and npov, and I gave references.

So you didn't have to wait *that* long for an attribution. :-)

I'm really not interested in propogandizing one way or the other. If the information I have is not complete, and therefore slanted, I welcome your filling in what I've missed. --Dmerrill


I really don't know much about this. I do know that the church banned African-Americans from the priesthood until the 1970s. (On the other hand, apparently Joseph Smith Jr. had ordained an African-American in the early days of the church, so...) -- SJK