an archive of unsettling histories, mythistories, and mystories
from U.S. & Mormon settler colonialism, white supremacy, and imperialism
from U.S. & Mormon settler colonialism, white supremacy, and imperialism
This is my testimony of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which my entire family have been followers of since 1884.
I’d like to bear my testimony:
I know this church is an overtly white-settler-Christian-imperial-capitalist-hetero-supremacist corporation which refuses to apologize, acknowledge, or be accountable to the ongoing harms they’ve enacted.
I know Joseph Smith was a pedophile, (attempted) murderer, & con-man who stole millions in contemporary dollars from his members and constantly ran from being held accountable for any of his crimes.
I know Brigham Young was an imperial genocidal terrorist who also controlled his own people (my ancestors) through blood-atonements (divine murder) & other abuses of power.
I know The Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and D&C were made up by Joseph Smith as part of his financial con in the form of a religious corporation and they are each book teaches that white-supremacy, heteropatriarchy, settler-colonialism, classism, Christian-supremacy, & antisemitism are divine.
I know the Mormon doctrine of eternal families is rooted in anti/philosemitism, misogynistic polygamy, and classist pedophilic eugenics—that Joseph threatened to murder his own wife in the same revelation in Joseph describes the doctrine of eternal families & polygamy.
I know Mormon temples, priesthood, and Israeli-identity are examples of anti/philosemitic, hetero-patriarchal, and white-Christian-settler-supremacist practices.
I know Mormon end-times beliefs are far-right, Christian-Nationalist/supremacist, anti-queer, and contribute to the destruction of the livability of our planet (the only one we’ll ever know).
I know this church sided with & assisted Nazis during & after WWII—that its leaders (using their religious and US gov authority) actively fought against allowing Jewish refugees (even those converted to Mormonism) from emigrating to the U.S.
I know the contemporary church uses their mass fortune (the results of the financial con that their founder started) to defend, enable, and assist child abusers while they abuse survivors of child abuse—and to create deadly anti-queer laws globally.
I know they use their missionary program to colonize Indigenous Peoples across the world spreading this white-Christain-supremacy & nationalism comminting genocide through cultural assimilation.
I know the Mormon God is openly white-supremacist as he uses whiteness as a mark of his Chosen People and uses “a skin of blackness” as a mark of evil. And openly advocates for segregation and anti-miscegenation (in both scripture and the words of his prophets).
I know the current Prophet & other leaders were all grown ass men as this church assisted Nazis, committed genocide through the Lamanite Placement Program, openly practiced anti-Black segregation, fought against civil rights, homosexual marriage rights, and women’s rights. And they do it all with the word love on their lips.
I know this church learned everything it knows from the U.S. settler-colonial project in which it was conceived. That the only thing Mormon leaders and the U.S. government have ever fought over is who will dominate the masses, the land, and it’s Peoples.
I know that it is our responsibility as heirs & products of these projects to, like Jesus, destroy those which seek to hoard and abuse power and wealth through the subjugation and exploitation of people and that which gives us all life.
This essay is also featured in Testimony "Vol. 3" by Related Records
On this day, 152-years-ago, Timpanogos leader Black Hawk died.
When Black Hawk was 11-years-old Mormons began to flood into his home/land. They took over the fertile valleys, rivers, and lakes and replaced the Indigenous plants and animals with European ones.
At 13 he witnessed the Battle Creek massacre in which Mormons surrounded his People while they slept in their beds and attacked them. Two of his kin were murdered, and 14 were taken captive.
At 14 he witnessed the Mormon’s Nauvoo Legion decapitate 70 of his People at the Fort Utah massacre (Euro-settler historians call this massacre a "battle"). He was then taken as a prisoner of war.
His father Sanpitch (namesake of the Sanpete valley) and his uncle Wakara were also killed while he was still a young man. Seeing all this as a child “he could never understand why the white men had shot down his people. It put bitterness in his heart."
Black Hawk assembled about 1000 warriors from Timpanogos, Colorado Utes, Lakota, Diné, and Apache Peoples. Together they managed to hold back Mormon expansion in their lands. They undermined Mormon economy by flooding the market with stolen Mormon beef and horses, causing "cattle markets to collapse and Mormons abandoned some 70 villages.”
Black Hawk was shot in battle with Mormons while attempting to rescue a fallen warrior. Four-years later he died. “Complications from the wound to his stomach didn't heal properly and caused him much suffering. Black Hawk passed over Sept. 26, 1870 and was buried at Spring Lake, the place of his birth.”
Forty-nine years later, in 1919 Black Hawk's grave was robbed by Mormons. His bones were displayed in the window of a hardware store for public amusement. Then his remains were taken to Temple Square and put on public display for some 60 years. “Seventy-seven years after Black Hawk's grave was robbed, Black Hawk was again reburied in the year 1996. It took an act of Congress, the help of National Forest Service archeologist Charmain Thompson, and the humanitarian efforts of a boy scout Shane Armstrong to find and rebury the remains of Black Hawk at Spring Lake.”
"Every day we are reminded of what our ancestors went through. Our families were torn apart. Children murdered, the old, the women, all those who were brutally murdered and made to suffer and die from violence, then disease, then starvation, our ancestors' graves torn up, the land destroyed, it was genocide plain and simple. Why? What did we do? We didn't do anything. We were living in peace. We were happy. Our children were happy. We loved each other. We cared for each other. And when the Mormons came, we tried to help them. Then they tried to take everything away from us. They wanted it all. They wanted to exterminate us, wipe us off the face of the earth. Why? For our land? For our oil? Now we have nothing."
- Perry Murdock, Timpanogos Council Member
"As Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation, I speak for the people when I ask why? We fed you when you were hungry. We helped you when you did not understand our lands. Why then were we forgotten? Historians have never asked us about our history or our ancestors."
- Mary Murdock Meyer, Chief Executive of the Timpanogos Nation
Learn more from Timpanogos Nation's website
- Phillip Gottfredson’s book: My Journey to Understand - Black Hawk's Mission of Peace
- & Website: BlackHawkProductions.com
Mormons, Jews, and Nazis
Mormons vicariously baptized about 650,000 Jews who were killed in the Holocaust.
They’ve also baptized Hitler and other famous Nazis.
“Holocaust victims (were killed because) they were Jews. Now [this church] is basically killing them again by eliminating their Jewishness.”
- director of the Anti-Defamation League.
For some Jews it's a reminder of when their People were given the choice to be baptized or be killed.
In 1995, this church agreed to remove 380,000 names of Jews murdered in the Holocaust from their baptismal records and stop this practice. They got caught baptizing Jews killed in the holocaust again in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2012, & 2017.
Unfortunately the worst part of this story isn't that Mormons wouldn't stop baptizing dead Jews after repeatedly being asked to, but how Mormons end up with the genealogy records of Holocaust victims in the first place.
In Pre-Nazi Germany, Germans kept their records closed from Mormons so that their ancestors didn't get converted in their deaths. But when Nazis began forcing folks to prove their “Aryan blood” the records were opened. And Mormons took "advantage of the... unusual opportunity.”
Through their genealogy work in Nazi Germany this church helped Hitler identify Jews. Then Mormons did posthumous temple work for these same people against their living-relatives’ wishes.
A 1933 Deseret News article published in the church section praised this "unusual opportunity" as well as many of the programs and practices of Hitler and his Nazi party. Most of the praised programs were things this church shared with the Nazis, like "Fast Sundays", the abstinence guidelines of the Word of Wisdom, and a general focus on making “capable bodies and clear brains … trained like athletes.”
In 1937, under a Nazi flag, Prophet Grant instructed German Mormons to ““Stay here. Keep the Commandments…We want to keep the Church intact and the missionaries working.”
Hitler and Hübener
In 1993 in the Jordan River Utah temple (named after the Jordan river in Palestine) Adolf Hilter and Eva Braun were sealed together for time and all eternity. But this church doesn’t want you to know that.
In 1998, Don McAreavy asked FamilySearch (this church genealogy arm) if any temple work had been done for Hilter. Seven months and several emails later FamilySearch finally lied and said no.
They also attempted to scrub these records from their index.
But Mormon Baptism researcher Helen Radkey found these records anyway and wrote about it: “The Mormon Church Attempts to Conceal Temple Records for Adolf Hitler”.
This church hid their relationships with Hitler and continued/s to baptize Jews Hitler massacred against the wishes of their living relatives.
And even though Mormon helped train the 1936 Nazi Olympics basketball team, there is one Mormon famous for resisting the Nazi party: Helmuth Hübener.
"German boys! Do you know the country without freedom, the country of terror and tyranny? … Yes you are right; it is Germany – Hitler Germany! Through their unscrupulous terror tactics against young and old, men and women, they have succeeded in making you spineless puppets to do their bidding."
- anti-Nazi pamphelt written & distrubed by Helmuth Hübener
Helmuth Hübener was a Mormon German boy who was beheaded in 1942 for his opposition to the Nazi regime.
When President Grant visited the Nazi Mormons in 1937, he encouraged members to fall in line with the Nazis in order "to keep the church intact." Because of this Prophet's words, Helmuth was seen as a troublemaker by most in his congregation. His Nazi Mormon Branch President even excommunicated Helmuth after his arrest, though he did so without the consent of the First Presidency.
About 30 years after his execution Brigham Young University's theater department put on play about Helmuth. Apostle and furture Prophet Thomas S. Monson went to see it, but according to witnesses, he didn’t seem to like it . Two days later BYU President Dallin H. Oaks canceled the play. At this same time, (1970s) President Oaks was also spying on and torturing gay BYU students, mostly within the theater department.
White supremacy in genealogy
Part 1 is about how Mormonism foundationally used genealogy to reify its white-supremacist doctrines which teach that Euro-Mormons—as the keepers of the keys of THE “One True Church,” and descendants of Ephraim’s tribe of Israel—are God’s Chosen Race and People.
Part 2 is about how this shows up in Mormon temple work, eternal families, & genealogy.
Part 3 is on the classist, femicidal violences of Mormon doctrine on Eternal Families, Polygyny, and Godhood.
Part 4 shares my personal experience with using genealogy in an anti-racist way.
Part 5 is on the ways antisemitism and anti-Indigeneity overlap in Mormonism
Part 6 builds on part 5 through a critical analysis of the art and history in the Manti temple and it's grounds.
Part 7 addresses the Baptisms for the Dead that Mormons did for Jews killed in the Holocaust along with Hitler and other Nazis.
In 1994, five years after his excommunication, George P. Lee was convicted of sexually abusing a child. This church then claimed this as a reason for excommunicating Lee.
But this church does not care about sexual violence.
Its founders were marrying (i.e. raping) their fellow founders’ teen daughters as polygamous wives (which continues in the FLDS sect). A simple google search for “Mormon Church sex abuse” will produce and endless scroll of examples of this ongoing history. (In 2015, Utah had the highest rate of child sex abuse in the U.S.).
Around the year 2000, this Church’s law firm, Kirton McConkie, developed a helpline for Bishops to call when they receive reports of abuse. Bishops act as untrained councilors to local congregations. A bishop is “your go-to for everything,” says Helen W., who sued the Mormon church in a sexual abuse-related case. “You have a problem, you have a concern, financial concerns, anything.”
As of 2010 this church’s policy for reporting suspected cases of abuse read: “If a leader becomes aware of physical, sexual or emotional abuse of someone during a church activity, he or she should contact the bishop immediately… In the United States and Canada, the Church has established a help line to assist… bishops in cases of abuse… To avoid implicating the Church in legal matters to which it is not a party, church leaders should avoid testifying in civil or criminal cases or other proceedings involving abuse.”
Its current policy operates much the same, even as they’ve removed references to “avoid(ing) implicating the church.”
“Mormon leaders have long insisted that the helpline’s sole purpose is to advise bishops about compliance with local abuse reporting laws.” But, in a sealed deposition a Kirton McConkie lawyer revealed that the helpline is used to identify cases that pose a significant financial risk to the Mormon Church.
In 2018, 13 Natives had filed suits against this church for the sexual assaults they’d survived while surviving the Placement Program. That same year this church & BYU coincidentally placed a moratorium on pre-1967 church correspondence and other archival sources. Among the demands made by these Indigenous defendants, is a demand to change this church’s policy on reporting abuse.
In a document from Kirton McConkie’s office to Mormon officials is a list of sexual abuse cases reported to the helpline in 2012. In this doc is an original report from one of those thirteen Indigenous defendants along with report on four missionaries and a Stake President (patriarchs above Bishops) who had sexually asaulted children. One of these missionaries “is accused of sexually abusing (an) 8-year-old girl” He was sent home from his mission and “no (other) action was taken.”
Another of these missionaries admitted to “sexting” with a 15-year-old girl in Texas, where he is from, and kissing and touching a 15-year-old girl in Arizona, where he was currently on a Mormon mission. In this case the firm reported:
“(the) missionary department is reluctant to send this Elder home..where he may face prosecution for a felony. His conduct is clearly unlawful in [blocked out], and his Stake President would have a duty to report. It is clear that the Elder needs to go home. Direction?”
This church is clearly using this helpline to protect themselves, not survivors of sexual violence–who, in this report, were all children. The Mormon Church adds an additional layer of abuse to survivors of abuse through this helpline policy and practice. Mormons turn to their church to report interpersonal abuse from within the church and are then institutionally abused as the church positions to protect its profit rather than its people.
To read the full length essay with sources see “Mormonism and Indigenous Assimilation”
This post is less about the 1978 Revelation on Mormon anti-Blackness, or Official Declaration 2, as it is about why it happened at all. In that spirit, we're starting where we left off with the two official statements on on Mormonism and anti-Blackness.
David O. Mckay signed both the 1949 and 1969 church statements on their anti-Black doctrine and practices. He became President two years after the first statement and died just after the release of the second one. During McKay's presidency (‘51-’70), which aligns almost directly with the Civil Rights Era, membership in this church tripled. So, one can assume that the amount of money this church was recieving in tithes also tripled. This assumption is backed up by the fact that, by the late ‘70s this church’s investment account, now known as Ensign Peak Advisors, was estimated to be worth over $1B. Today, its estimated worth is $100B.
Also by the 70's the church leadership realized that a major impediment to their membership growth, and thus economic growth, was their white supremacy. If you limit who can be a full member of your organization, you limit how many people will be a paying member of your organization. Thus, I believe the overt anti-Blackness of this church was ended not due to social pressure nor to God’s will, but because their white-supremacist practices were in the way of their money.
This church’s population grew nearly 3x in the previous two decades. To continue to grow, especially in so-called Latin America, they had to expand who could join & pay tithes to their church.
Ongoing in the present, in 2018 President Nelson told members in Kenya that “Dowry is not the Lord’s way” and that instead they should be focused on tithing.
"We preach tithing to the poor people of the world because the poor people of the world have had cycles of poverty, generation after generation," Nelson said. "That same poverty continues from one generation to another, until people pay their tithing." (See also: prosperity doctrine).
Never mind that colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism has repeatedly stolen the wealth of these peoples, destabilized their governments, and destroyed their cultures and lands.
The 1978 Revelation on
The UT NAACP threatened to picket the Oct ‘63 gen con but dropped the plan when Pres. Brown promised to read a statement supporting full civil rights. In 1965, the same year as the Selma March, 300 protesters marched to the Church Office Building demanding that the Church endorse a civil rights bill then languishing in the Utah legislature.
Later protests were concentrated against BYU athletics, as the school practiced Anti-Black segregation. From ‘68 & ‘70 at least 12 protests occurred during BYU’s sports games. Opposing teams would refuse to play or wore black armbands in protest. Many students petitioned their universities to refuse to play BYU. Stanford did stop playing BYU. But by the late 70’s, when the ban was lifted, protests were few and far between.
As this church further grew into an international imperialist institution they began to run into trouble determining if a person has “one-drop” of African blood. In the segregated US and South Africa this wasn’t an issue because the white population was deeply white-supremacists and legislated segregation.
But in places like Brazil where race was determined by colorism rather than by genealogy and interracial marriage was common this church struggled to know who could and couldn’t hold priesthood. Additionally church members in Brazil, having not culturally internalized anti-Blackness in the ways we have in the US, found the church’s white-supremacist practices to be icky.
REVEALED & RESCINDED:
Spencer W. Kimball got a special key for a special room and prayered there at night for many nights until he invited all the top 15 together for a prayer in which it was revealed that this church needn’t practice overt anti-Black segregation anymore. (Only heteropatriarchal segregation from this day forth)
OPPORTUNITIES OF THE FUTURE:
In 2018, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Revelation, Oaks spoke of those who wish to look back and understand why the ban was there at all. He advises: “most in the Church, including its senior leadership, have concentrated on the opportunities of the future rather than the disappointments of the past.” Which is advisable in a church that officially does not give apologies.
I am nicholas b jacobsen, an artist, researcher, historian, educator, and organizer. I am a trans-non binary Euro-settler raised in the Nuwu lands of so-called Utah. My family has been Mormon and Utahn for as long as either of those concepts have existed. My ancestors sacrificed everything--their identities, homelands, jobs, health, & safety to become Mormon, Utahn, U.S. American, & white--to settler their Zion. They also sacrificed their humanities as they committed genocide against Kuttuhsippeh (Goshute), Timpanogos Shoshone, Shoshone-Bannock, Eastern Shoshone, Ute, Nuwu (Southern Paiute), and Diné (Navajo). Because my ancestors made my home through Indigenous genocide in their home/lands––I take it as my personal responsibility to unsettle what my ancestors settled, while helping my fellow settlers do the same through reading, writing, art, and community building.
American Exceptionalism / Constitutionalism
Anti Communism / Imperialism
Art / Personal
Curse Of Cain / Ham
Dallin H. Oaks
End Times / Latter Days
Ezra Taft Benson
J. Reuben Clark
Lamanites And Indigeneity
Pure / White Supremacy
Settler Colonialism / Zionism
Spencer W. Kimball
The Family Proclamation / Marriage / The Gay Agenda
Under The Banner Of Heaven
W. Cleon Skousen