"If it's causing you more stress than it's worth... it's not worth it." - Yellow
Question #23177 posted on 02/20/2006 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Were the Lamanites darker than Native American Indians? When they recieved a skin of blackness, was it black like the africans, or like the Native Americans are now? Danka-

Beneneni Guin Prodomodokofosho

A: Dear Beneneni Guin Prodomodokofosho,

To be perfectly honest, we have no idea. As I just wrote in a similar question to yours about the 2000 stripling warriors of Helaman, in the verse in 2 Nephi where the Lord places a mark on the Lamanites, it does say that it is a skin of blackness and does have a foot note to Moses 7:8 where the skin of blackness is placed on Cain. However, in Jacob 3:9, the mark is simply referred to as a skin of "darkness."

First let me say that it is very to extremely unlikely that any Native Americans, north or south, are pure decendants of the Lamanites and therefore it is entirely possible that the skin tone they have is not the same as what the Lamanites were marked with. That aside, let me say what I said in the other question. It is impossible without divine intervention for us to know what the Lamanites looked like, including how dark or how black their skin was. And while I understand the curiousity, I have to remind you that in the end, it really doesn't matter.

If you have questions about the Lamanite mark, let me refer you to Chapter 7, The Lamanite Mark, in Second Nephi: The Doctrinal Structure by Monte Nyman and Charles Tate. It is an excellent chapter and is available free to students via Gospelink.com.

-Pa Grape