Selected Teachings on
The Curse of Cain in Light of D&C 121

Cain as the Example of D&C 121
Additional Parallel Examples
D&C 121:16-21
Cain
People of Canaan
The Lamanites
vs. 16, 18. "Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord.... And those who swear falsely against my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death—" "And Cain went into the field, and Cain talked with Abel, his brother. And it came to pass that while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and slew him...." (Moses 5:32)

 

"And the Lord said unto me: Prophesy; and I prophesied, saying: Behold the people of Canaan, which are numerous, shall go forth in battle array against the people of Shum, and shall slay them that they shall utterly be destroyed..." (Moses 7:7) "Behold, it came to pass that I, Nephi, did cry much unto the Lord my God, because of the anger of my brethren.

"But behold, their anger did increase against me, insomuch that they did seek to take away my life....

Now I do not write upon these plates all the words which they murmured against me. But it sufficeth me to say, that they did seek to take away my life. (2 Nephi 5:1-2, 4).

vs. 19. "Wo unto them; because they have offended my little ones they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine house." "Behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the Lord, and from thy face shall I be hid....

"And Cain was shut out from the presence of the Lord, and with his wife and many of his brethren dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden." (Moses 5:39, 41)

"And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent..." (Moses 7:12) "And it came to pass that the Lord did warn me, that I, Nephi, should depart from them and flee into the wilderness, and all those who would go with me.

"... And all those who would go with me were those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God; wherefore, they did hearken unto my words....

"And all those who were with me did take upon them to call themselves the people of Nephi....

"And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon....

"And behold, the words of the Lord had been fulfilled unto my brethren, which he spake concerning them, that I should be their ruler and their teacher. Wherefore, I had been their ruler and their teacher, according to the commandments of the Lord, until the time they sought to take away my life.

"Wherefore, the word of the Lord was fulfilled which he spake unto me, saying that: Inasmuch as they will not hearken unto thy words they shall be cut off from the presence of the Lord. And behold, they were cut off from his presence." (2 Nephi 5:5-6, 9, 16, 19-20)

vs. 20a. "Their basket shall not be full, their houses and their barns shall perish..." "And now thou shalt be cursed from the earth which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand.

"When thou tillest the ground it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength." (Moses 5:36-37)

"... and the people of Canaan shall divide themselves in the land, and the land shall be barren and unfruitful, and none other people shall dwell there but the people of Canaan;

"For behold, the Lord shall curse the land with much heat, and the barrenness thereof shall go forth forever..." (Moses 7:7-8)

"And because of their cursing which was upon them they did become an idle people, full of mischief and subtlety, and did seek in the wilderness for beasts of prey." (2 Nephi 5:24)

Implication: throughout the Book of Mormon the Lamanites are known for their hunting and plundering, rather than for their agricultural abilities or success.

vs. 20b. "...and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them." "A fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." (Moses 5:37) "...and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people." (Moses 7:8) "And he [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

"And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21-22)

vs. 21. "They shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them from generation to generation." "And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bare Enoch, and he also begat many sons and daughters." (Moses 5:42)

Inference: Cain had many children who did not have the right to the priesthood from generation to generation.

"And it came to pass that Enoch continued to call upon all the people, save it were the people of Canaan, to repent..." (Moses 7:12)

"...Pharaoh signifies king by royal blood.

"Now this king of Egypt was a descendant from the loins of Ham, and was a partaker of the blood of the Canaanites by birth.

"From this descent sprang all the Egyptians, and thus the blood of the Canaanites was preserved in the land.

"The land of Egypt being first discovered by a woman, who was the daughter of Ham, and the daughter of Egyptus, which in the Chaldean signifies Egypt, which signifies that which is forbidden;

"When this woman discovered the land it was under water, who afterward settled her sons in it; and thus, from Ham, sprang that race which preserved the curse in the land.

"Now the first government of Egypt was established by Pharaoh, the eldest son of Egyptus, the daughter of Ham, and it was after the manner of the government of Ham, which was patriarchal.

"Pharaoh, being a righteous man, established his kingdom and judged his people wisely and justly all his days, seeking earnestly to imitate that order established by the fathers in the first generations, in the days of the first patriarchal reign, even in the reign of Adam, and also of Noah, his father, who blessed him with the blessings of the earth, and with the blessings of wisdom, but cursed him as pertaining to the Priesthood.

"Now, Pharaoh being of that lineage by which he could not have the right of Priesthood, notwithstanding the Pharaohs would fain claim it from Noah, through Ham, therefore my father was led away by their idolatry." (Abraham 1:20-27)

"And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done." (2 Nephi 5:23)

Inference: Those who mix with (intermarry?) the Lamanites will also bring upon their children the curse of non-access to the priesthood and the ordinances of the temple.

(no mention of a mark on the skin or of any other sort in D&C 121) "... I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that he that findeth me will slay me, because of mine iniquities, for these things are not hid from the Lord.

"And I the Lord said unto him: Whosoever slayeth thee, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And I the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him..." (Moses 5:39-40)

"And Enoch also beheld the residue of the people which were the sons of Adam; and they were a mixture of all the seed of Adam save it was the seed of Cain, for the seed of Cain were black, and had not place among them." (Moses 7:22)

"...and there was a blackness came upon all the children of Canaan, that they were despised among all people." (Moses 7:8) "And he [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.

"And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21-22)

The Curse of Cain: Some things we know and some things we don't.