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Being a Black American and a Latter-Day Saint: Black Is Skin Deep

Politico-Socio issues stay ever with us. Gain perspective deciding if these words resonate with your understanding and thinking.

Black people, especially in the United States, still feel the effects of slavery psychologically. Try being the descendant of a slave during a pioneer day at school and see if it is a feeling of pride that swells in the chest instead of anger. It is not unique to the United States, but Black people are not valued by society as well as others—not even by other Blacks in many cases. It is not dogma.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints live in the context of the American culture in the United States with an invitation from God to come out of Babylon from God's prophets. Babylon is a difficult place for Black Americans with the constant reminders that the world mocks them, even unintentionally. Saints must see this for what it is, deception of the adversary, but many Black Saints in America do not see.

Think about this: What does the world use the word black to describe? It is not anything pleasant. Sin is Black. Death is Black. Anything that means devoid or evil is black. So, when society calls a group of people black and continues to use the word black to describe those other things, what psychological effect does it produce?

Anything associated with darkness means something loathsome in most societies. There are advocates who try to change this by using the term African American when describing Black Americans since the term Negro is no longer politically correct. Black and African American are synonymous now.

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The Associated Press reported December 20, 1988,

A group of black leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, says members of their race would prefer to be called African-Americans rather than blacks.

″Just as we were called colored, but were not that, and then Negro, but not that, to be called black is just as baseless,″ Jackson said at a news conference Monday after a meeting of the black leaders.

″To be called African-Americans has cultural integrity,″ he said. ″It puts us in our proper historical context. Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African- Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity.″ [1]

African American, a combination supported by Jesse Jackson in the late 1980s, still means Black. Black still means sin, devoid, etc…

The color of the skin is only an outward appearance and does not define all that we are; nevertheless, our skin a part of our identity as humans.

The color of the skin is only an outward appearance and does not define all that we are; nevertheless, our skin a part of our identity as humans.

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All humans belong to God and He wants all of humanity to be with Him.

Soul's Worth

Jesus Christ taught in Luke 15:4-6, “What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?”

“And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

Jesus was trying to get His followers to understand the worth of souls by using elements from their own lives that they could identify with to teach the importance of missionary work.

All humans belong to God and He wants all of humanity to be with Him. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” John 3:16.

Skin color is not the mark of humanity. The soul, the heart, and the mind of people are what connects us if we are willing to look past outward appearances.

72 % of Black Kids Raised By Single Parent. 25% of total Population In U.S. Raised By Single-Parent.

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The statistics on the family in the world is foreboding and at a low. The numbers on the Black family in America is worse!

Satan’s Distraction

To society, the world, even to the Church for a while, Black people were lost. Lucifer, Satan, helped to divide society into segments that despise each other with flattering success. It makes it easier to devolve family responsibility to the government, the school, or have none at all! The BLM organization responded to the devolution of the family in the Black community by taking on the inclusive stance, which has been scrubbed from its website for causing misunderstanding,

We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.[2]

The family is the first government of eternity and was the first government on Earth—the most important authorized segment of humanity by God. With that diminished in the Black communities, others must step in to support where they can to pick up the slack.

Nothing can replace a nuclear family as the first preference, but for those who now live in a single-parent home, the ideal family does not exist and the extended family is the truth. It was Satan's goal to disrupt family in that manner.

Satan’s substitute for the natural family destroys nations slowly. Gangs, single life, free love, and the lot steal the minds of otherwise good people in all strata of society. Divide and conquer is Satan's plan for all humanity.

Again, it is easier to focus on the weaker segments of society to divide it. The Black communities of society are weak due to the lack of whole families. If I were the Devil and wanted to destroy humanity, I would start in places that have the least support.

The BLM organization's sentiment was thoughtful, but misguided in its effort to resolve the problem by insinuating that extended family and community could provide equality to the nuclear family, but at least they tried to do something. It, however, did not support God's plan for Black people. It was a bandaid and distraction from the cure.

Satan loves distractions from the truth and the embrace of philosophy that masks evil behind good intentions. Black Lives Matters, as an organization is an effort to improve the communities around the United States of Black people. It is a way to unite the Black communities as they are, as Jesus would have us do. It is a step in the right direction of uniting. Satan does not want unity in any form, however.

Weigh In

Finding Lost Sheep

The statistics on the family in the world are foreboding and at a low. The numbers on the Black family in America are worse! Satan’s plan is to destroy all Black people and make everyone hate them. His plan is progressing well in some segments of society. If he can, and he can because he has, he will convince African Americans to hate themselves, to call each other ugly words, and to despise their own skin color.

Yet, God did not forget them or stop loving them. They were not lost to Him. They are, as Jesus said speaking to the Nephites at Bountiful about the lost tribes, “other sheep, which are not of this land, neither of the land of Jerusalem, neither in any parts of that land round about whither I have been to minister.” 3 Nephi 16:1. Now, contextually, I am stretching the meaning of the verses here; however, because of who Jesus Christ is, the Savior of ALL mankind, the context to which I take this verse is justifiable.

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Black Saints

In the Book of Jacob, he speaks about the branches of the olive tree that brings fruit because of the wild branches grafted onto the tree. I will compare the power of Christ to wild branches. I will compare the roots of the natural tree to the needy soul. God will add his wild branches or power to the tree so that the roots or needy souls are not overwhelmed. He will never give so much that it will cause the beneficiary to fail.

Jesus has the power to fix the broken and the weak. His fix, however, is not an easy one. God's fix is not something that will happen quickly. It happens over time and at the pace needed for recovery to occur.

For a Latter-day Saint who identifies as a Black American or African American, fleeing the evils of "Babylon" can take longer because the culture developed in the Church in America is stagnant. It would appear that in Utah, where the headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rest, most of the Church members tend to be of European descent and identify as White. That is not an issue until the population there does not accept those who look different from the majority population.

Personally, I have read multiple stories of racist treatment from the other Saints toward minorities in Utah. Should Black Saints be pointed out or not acknowledged? Either option means to set them apart in a society of sameness developed in Utah, the whiteness of the Church ethnic in Utah.

Black Latter-day Saints stand out from the other Saints. The Church attempted to help with the Genesis Group, a group designed to allow Blacks of the Church in Utah to meet together to find comfort and strengthen each other in faith. It helps many of them.

Christ taught the Saints to be one group in faith and unity. The Saints have more work to do for that to happen.

Supporting Sources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Rodric Anthony Johnson

Comments

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on September 20, 2018:

Liz, Thanks for responding. I have come to realize how society has made admitting not knowing something is ennobling, and it is. I, however, can speak confidently when I say that I do know the answers to what we need to do. The universe is a mystery only if we are unwilling to accept the prescribed method of finding out about it. We are ignorant in life because we refuse to accept the truth. God still speaks to those of us who will listen. He gives us just enough to overcome the problems we have to face at the time and what we need to overcome the next obstacle. The good thing about it is His voice to us is individual a direct connection and independent. Which means I cannot trump what He tells you. We must believe that we can have the communication in order to have faith to attempt it. Otherwise, what is the purpose of having a god?

Liz from Australia on September 19, 2018:

Sorry about the long pause Rodric,

I think it doesn't matter what terminology we use because we all mean the same thing and that's what makes us comfortable, I also believe we're all going to the same place with or without lessons learned that'll either come before or after, some may have to repeat the journey, we can't know for sure, I don't know that we're supposed to know....... blessings Liz

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on September 03, 2018:

Liz, thanks for sharing. You describe yourself as empathic? I call that being close to the Spirit of God. I do believe there are those out here who have a connection to God in a way that they may not understand and are sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. So, in short, I believe you. I don't believe you have to be of a particular religion or even have a belief in God or gods or a religion to have this connection. It is just a natural spiritual gift some people are born with and must learn to use it in the right way God intended for it to be used.

Thanks for sharing your gift.

Liz from Australia on September 02, 2018:

Hi Rodric,

I have disappeared and now I'm back and to your last comment with me to some it up "exactly" I believe we cross paths in life with sometimes the least likely of people, and you are only transparent because I'm an empath, I forget sometimes I'm like that.... I can feel your purpose and slight disappointment but most of all I can feel your beautiful soul, I'm not magic lol but it is magical and a great gift, it also can drag me down when I'm surrounded by mean or ilintented people, it can make physically sick, you have a great sympathy and love and great loving intentions....... and to add to you and keyanna, all lives matter absolutely, there's a lot of government and bad influences causeing doubt about what really matters, we all have to live in these worlds we're in, but nobody can take your heart and soul, that's one exceptence that once taken with clear knowledge makes life easier to a point!...... with smiles Liz

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on September 02, 2018:

Keyannna, you are right. ALL LIVE MATTER! There is no buts. All lives matter. Among all those lives that matter, I am stressing that the 1 billion Black lives on the planet matter and particularly the 44 million in the USA. Most people in the USA will never deal with Black people because we are such a small percentage of the overall population. All lives matter. All are alike to God. I hope this focus on Black lives will help us to get close to the reality of All lives matter rather than the principle.

Keyannna Ingram on September 01, 2018:

Black lives do matter and nobody could take that away from us black people cause we are pride to be on this earth and nobody could change that so, we all black people need to stick together don't get me wrong but all lives matter also.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 29, 2018:

Liz, I am trying to be like Jesus as in similar in the way He cared for people, listened to God, and inspired good. I do not expect to be the same as He is literally. I do seek to do the miracles He did, but not to become famous. You say you are not a religious person. I am not a dedicated person the way I want to be, but I can feel God working through me in small ways with my family and loved ones. I expect to be Jesus on a small scale and do a little better at being good each day if I can. I beat myself up, but it is people like you that God puts in my path that remind me not to do that. You may not be religious, but it is the irreligious that God uses to confound the supposed spiritual giants often times. I honestly did not know that I was so transparent in my article. I wasn't trying to hide. I did not know that I was so easy to read by my words.

Liz from Australia on August 29, 2018:

You're welcome Rodric, I smile at others who smile and it's a bonus if I helped them do that, because I'm not a religious person myself I'm into following myself and going with my gut, you mentioned living up to Jesus's ideas, which are terrific by the way, I'm just wondering are you trying to be like him or similar? Because I believe were living different lives for a reason, you'll find yourself disappointed in yourself trying to be like him rather than like you, you don't need to be anyone other than yourself aslong as you show love ect, I know you are annoyed by what you think and that's all part of the journey, nothing is easy and you're going to be just fine, I'm hoping to open an animal refuge one day and save the world, don't we all!

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 28, 2018:

I am glad you said what your age in Liz. That means by the time I am 60 I will get to where you are if I keep vigilant. I am 41. You know women process and learn things faster than men do in my experience at work, school, and church. I hate to sound sexist, but that is my experience. I am hoping to be what Christ wants me to be in time. I don't want to be one of those who paves the way to hell. You know the way there is full of good intentions. You made me smile during a hard moment just now. Thanks for that.

Liz from Australia on August 28, 2018:

Thanks Rodric,

That's quite the compliment, I'm wondering about your age, only because I wasn't always this understanding of the world, I'm 50 btw, I have evolved with age, these feelings and thoughts don't come easy, I have also recently been having feelings of hatred towards someone who I actually was more hateful towards because she made me hate her (an 85 year old) it's an issue I have mostly overcome, but I have also realized it's ok to have negative feelings, the world is full of hateful people and we are amongst them, it's the learning to be understanding of them having problems too, bad upbringings, being brought up with hatred imbeded into them by parents who are highly important and trusted by what they teach them, other people impact on each other, it's knowledge understanding and growth, but mostly time to live and then we learn, just try and put yourself in their shoes as a thought,

don't be hard on yourself Rodric you have beautiful intentions and that's a great path to follow!

Liz

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 27, 2018:

Liz, your choice is a good choice. We talked about it in Sunday school at my church. Jesus is all about loving your neighbor as you love yourself. I hope to one day reach that goal before I die. Right now, it is so much easier to love the ones that agree with me and follow my form of culture. It is harder to do what Jesus did and seek out those who are different and love them. Liz, your sentiments are Christlike and I love them.

Liz from Australia on August 27, 2018:

Rodric,

I don't see an issue with you being a proud black American man, I think you might feel shame using that description, that's because of the original post diversity and the overdramatic animosity the world is throwing out there, just be loving and caring for each other! If we all went by that as it's my number 1 rule, things could be brilliant, people are individuals not colors and hatred, it's just that alot of people don't know it for many unfortunate reasons..... however I think without discrimination and angst there'd be nothing to fight for and the balance would be out of wack, I choose love and acceptance, tolerance, understanding and caring!

Cheers Liz ❤

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 26, 2018:

William, thanks for reading and posting. I do not think that we need to have titles other than the reason that some people feel special by having them. I hate to admit it, but being Black makes me feel special. Being American makes me feel special. we are all humans and should not feel like we are more than other humans, but I do feel special being a Black American. I am trying to work on getting reality. It is a life process.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 26, 2018:

Bill, thanks for posting your comment. I get what you and Liz are talking about with being just one race. I used to want that too, but diversity is beautiful. I wish we could still have all the race but none of the animosity. I want to be one world but still have Blacks, Whites, and others. We can still be here without being evil towards each other.

Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 26, 2018:

Liz, you are most welcome to share your spirituality. I get what you are putting out. Most people are not like you, unfortunately. It would be so nice to be in a world that does not judge by race or belief. If we could judge by the content of character is Martin Luther King, Jr. pled, we would do well. I must admit. I live a charmed life. I do not feel as if my race is profiled. In fact, I think my race offers me some privilege.

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on August 26, 2018:

Some interesting thoughts, Rodric. I like what Bill said. Why can't we all just get along without titles or tags? We're human - period. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Liz from Australia on August 25, 2018:

Hi Bill,

Yes I agree, categorization is a part of life, if used properly "remember the guy with the glasses" or "that girl with the pink pants and ponytail was funny" I suppose if a few are standing in a group chatting I might point out "check out the black girls awesome hair" I mean nothing bad by that also I'm in Australia and racism is different than America, obviously it means the same thing but alot of us laugh at the ridiculous amount of political correctness going around, feel free to call me 'the bogan white girl with freckles and a smart mouth'

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on August 25, 2018:

It's another case of categorization which drives me crazy in this country....that guy over there is Liberal....she is pro-life.....black person across the street...all ways of separating us all from us all. I understand Liz's point, as I understand yours. I just wish this wasn't even a topic for conversation/debate....one world, one humanity....wishful thinking on my part.

Liz from Australia on August 25, 2018:

Hi Rodric,

Yes I understand and I am aware you're black, obviously I don't care if you're purple or green lol, I'm not a religious person myself I'm extremely spiritual, I'm also open minded and you have my blessings with your beliefs, I believe we're all here for different reasons and purposes so we couldn't possibly believe in exactly the same things, I was just giving you my opinion, if you were to ask my friends they'd be nodding in agreement with that, I just wanted to explain my thoughts about black and how I don't see it as negative, however you are correct in saying black has a different insight to white!

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Rodric Anthony Johnson (author) from Surprise, Arizona on August 25, 2018:

Liz, you give a valid point. Thanks for your comment. Now, this article is written from a religious perspective. Most thing with religion use the color black to speak of evil. The Black Plague, black heart, black soul, black skies, black eyes do not have a positive connotation. All those statements mean something that is not good in our culture. No add Black man. It is hard not to do a mental shift to take out the negative tone from the other blacks. White Plague is still bad, white heart, white soul, white skies, white eyes have a different connotation. I am not saying that Black people are evil. I am Black. I love my heritage. I am saying that most of the world thinks that black can be associated with something bad.

Liz from Australia on August 24, 2018:

I disagree with black being a negative word, people perceive as they will,

I don't think black = death, there is nothing wrong with death or negative, physically speaking death can be horrendous, but everyone and every living creature, plant ect dies and goes to love spiritually speaking,

I believe black as evil is from watching too many horror movies, evil can be as bright as day and just as clear,

black colored people are black because of the pigmentation of their skin, I have freckles because of the same reason,

If black people are being prejudiced against it's because people are naive and hateful and not that bright, and it's not likely many of those minds will ever be changed!

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