Dark vs Light Skin – The Book of Mormon and Noah

10 Nov

The Book of Mormon describes the Lamanites as descendants of Laman and Lemuel, two rebellious brothers of a family of Israelites who crossed the ocean in a boat around 600 BC. Their brother Nephi founded the Nephite nation. The Lamanites reputedly gained their dark skin as a sign of the curse for their rebelliousness (the curse was the withdrawal of the Spirit of God), and warred with the Nephites over a period of centuries.

The curse upon Canaan that was imposed by the biblical patriarch Noah. The relevant narrative occurs in the Book of Genesis and concerns Noah’s drunkenness and the accompanying shameful act perpetrated by his son Ham the father of Canaan (Gen. 9:20–27). The controversies raised by this story regarding the nature of Ham’s transgression, and the question of why Noah cursed Canaan when Ham had sinned, have been debated for over two thousand years. The story’s original objective was to justify the subjection of the Canaanites to the Israelites, but in later centuries, the narrative was interpreted by some Jews, Christians and Muslims as a curse of, and explanation for, black skin.

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