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ANNVER - Please can you share some light on 3 Nephi 2:15? Was that a literal or figurative change of skin color from black to white due to them becoming righteous?
If literal? Why does that not happen now? And if they sinned would skin turn black again?
Is black skin still a curse today?
If not why is their still black color skin or shades of black ie brown?
Why are babies born black or dark skin if they are considered sinless or Does that mean they are born due to sin of thier parents?
White seems like the color of ressurected beings.
JOEL - Here are scriptures that describe the curse that came upon the Lamanites or anyone who disobeyed God:
"And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men.
And their brethren sought to destroy them, therefore they were cursed; and the Lord God set a mark upon them, yea, upon Laman and Lemuel, and also the sons of Ishmael, and Ishmaelitish women.
And this was done that their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord God might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction.
And it came to pass that whosoever did mingle his seed with that of the Lamanites did bring the same curse upon his seed.
Therefore, whosoever suffered himself to be led away by the Lamanites was called under that head, and there was a mark set upon him." (Alma 3:6-10)
They were cursed because they had become a "dark, and loathsome" people(2 Nephi 5: 20-22), because of their unbelief and sinful nature. Any children born to them would also carry the curse because they would have been taught the sinful ways of their parents. The original purpose of the mark of the curse was that "their seed might be distinguished from the seed of their brethren, that thereby the Lord might preserve his people, that they might not mix and believe in incorrect traditions which would prove their destruction" (Alma 3:8)
The curse is not the dark skin by itself; that was only a sign that they had been cursed. The curse was explained in 1 Nephi 2:23:
"For behold, in that day that they [Laman and Lemuel] shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy [Nephi's] seed except they shall rebel against me also".
Also that they would no longer have the spirit of the Lord with them; that they will be "cut off from the presence of the Lord" (2 Nephi 5:21)
Your 3 Nephi 2:14-16 reads:
And it came to pass that those Lamanites who had united with the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites;
And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites;
And their young men and their daughters became exceedingly fair, and they were numbered among the Nephites, and were called Nephites.
The spiritual curse and its temporal sign were two separate, but related, things. Having previously "become converted unto the Lord" (3 Nephi 2:12), these Lamanites were now spiritually alive and showed it in their countenance and became "white like unto the Nephites."
Apparently, in the case of the Lamanites at that time, God allowed the sign of the curse, the dark skin, to be lifted from their bodies when they joined with the Nephites. With God all things are possible.
The question of why this does not happen now has been debated and studied for decades and there are many theories that have been put forth to explain it. The church has no official opinion on the matter.
Some past church leaders have suggested that it can happen. Once such statement made by Elder Kimball in the October 1960 General Conference, 15 years before he became president of the Church:
"I saw a striking contrast in the progress of the Indian people today ... they are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.... For years they have been growing delightsome, and they are now becoming white and delightsome, as they were promised.... The children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation." (Spencer W. Kimball, General Conference Report, October, 1960)
Others have suggested, as you did, that in some cases the dark skin mark should be taken figuratively rather than literally. When people become sinful and disobedient their countenance becomes dark, making it seem as though their skin color changes to match their nature.
President Brigham made a statement that reflects this idea:
"I feel to bless this people, and they are a God-blessed people. Look at them, and see the difference from their condition a few years ago! Brethren who have been on missions, can you see any difference in this people from the time you went away until your return? [Audience voices: "Yes."] You can see men and women who are sixty or seventy years of age looking young and handsome; but let them apostatize, and they will become gray-haired, wrinkled, and black, just like the Devil." (Journal of Discourses. 5: 332)
Figuratively speaking, their countenance and souls become black and wrinkled in appearance.
Conversely, the phrase "white and delightsome", need also not refer to skin color. The term "white" can also represent purity, which is reflected in the countenance of those who are righteousness.
However, if the change in skin color is to be taken literally, I can only offer an opinion. As I said before, the main reason for the dark skin on the disobedient Lamanites was to prevent them from intermarrying and mixing their seed with the Nephites and contaminating them with their sinful nature. At that time every single Lamanite was disobedient to God.
In our modern day that is not the case. The mark of the Lamanite curse lingers on in adults and babies as it does with the black race due to simple genetics, but the curse itself does not linger. One might suggest that the reason the skin color does not change now is because God is no longer concerned with the intermixing of the races as He was back then. It is possible in our modern day, most people of all colors are generally not as disobedient and sinful in nature as the Lamanites collectively were in Book of Mormon times. There are a lot of good people in the world regardless of color, who are trying to obey God's laws, even if they are not members of His Church. Hence, the mark of the curse no longer has any meaning or purpose, therefore, no reason to change the color of those who join God's kingdom on earth.
As for the color of resurrected beings, we only know they look white when appearing to mortals on earth. Could be the brightness and glory that surrounds them when visiting the mortal world would be the reason for this. Perhaps if we were with them in heaven their color might be the same as it was while they were alive on earth.
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