The Present Status of the Lamanites
"The dark skin was placed upon thee Lamanites
so that they could be distinguished from the nephites and to keep the two peoples from mixing. The dark skin was the sign of the curse
....Perhaps there are some Lamanites today who are losing the dark pigment.
Many of the members of the Church among the Catawba Indians of the South could readily pass as of the white race; also in other parts of the South."
Answers to Gospel Questions Vol. 3 pp 122-123 Joseph Fielding Smith
"The day of the Lamanites in nigh. For years they have been growing delightsome... The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation
...There was the doctor in a Utah city who for two years had had an Indian boy in his home who stated that he was some shades lighter
than the younger brother just coming into the program from the reservation. These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness."
- Spencer W. Kimball; The Improvement Era, Dec. 1960, p. 923
The work is unfolding, and blinded eyes begin to see, and scattered people begin to gather. I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today as against that of only fifteen years ago. Truly the scales of darkness are falling from their eyes, and they are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.
In this mission alone there are 8400-plus members of the Church. As I visited this area fifteen years ago, there were ninety-four. "Are they faithful?" I am asked. And the answer is, "Not all of them. They are just about like their white cousins in the stakes of Zion."
"Are they making headway?" And the answer is, "Yes. Perhaps relatively greater headway than we ourselves."
Elder Spencer W. Kimball
CONFERENCE REPORT, OCTOBER 1960
At the October 1960 LDS Church Conference, Spencer Kimball utilized 2 Nephi 30:6 when he stated how the Indians "are fast becoming a white and delightsome people."
He said, "The [Indian] children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation"
(Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-3).
During the same message Kimball referred to a 16-year-old Indian girl who was both LDS and "several shades lighter than her parents
..." He went on to say, "These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness.
One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated."
Kimball's comment sounds very similar to a curious comment made in a conference message given by Elder Eugene J. Neff in 1927. Referring to Hawaiian members, Neff stated:
"The first missionaries went from this section around to another little town on the east side of the island, and there they gathered in a grass hut one hundred people to hear the message of these strange white men,
As they all sat around the mat and heard the voice of this missionary from Utah, they were transfigured before George Q. Cannon, and he saw ninety-seven of them become white, and three of them remained dark.
He did not understand. He did not know why it was that three of them would remain dark and all the rest should become light. He received a partial answer to this manifestation when it was learned that ninety-seven of those people in meeting at this time joined the Church, became devout members, lived and died Latter-day Saints, while three of them never did. It is said that they will become a white and delightsome people. They are delightsome at present, and I believe they are going to become white. They are growing whiter from year to year.
I have said to myself and to some of my intimate friends that I thought the Hawaiian people would become white and delightsome, through intermarriage. I do not know whether that is according to the doctrines of the Church or not, but they have married the oriental races and married white people on the islands to such an extent that today there are more half casts than there are pure Hawaiians
" (Conference Report, April 1927, p.49).
LDS writer George Edward Clark gives a similar account in his book titled Why I Believe. On page 129 he wrote:
"The writer has been privileged to sit at table with several members of the Catawba tribe of Indians, whose reservation is near the north border of South Carolina. That tribe, or most of its people, are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). Those Indians, at least as many as I have observed, were white and delightsome, as white and fair as any group of citizens of our country
. I know of no prophecy, ancient or modern, that has had a more literal fulfillment."
It has also been taught in Mormonism that opposite repercussions could result when a white person abandons their Mormon faith. For instance, the Juvenile Instructor (26:635) reads,
"From this it is very clear that the mark which was set upon the descendants of Cain was a skin of blackness, and there can be no doubt that this was the mark that Cain himself
received; in fact, it has been noticed in our day that men who have lost the spirit of the Lord, and from whom his blessings have been withdrawn, have turned dark to such an extend as to excite the comments of all who have known them."
In 1857, Brigham Young declared that apostates would "become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil"
(Journal of Discourses 5:332).