Our country is very multicultural, and as we celebrate “Columbus Day,” I think we ought to, instead, give thought to this.
My book, THE FOURTH WORLD, deals with the little-known Indian Placement Program, enacted by the LDS Church in the 70s and 80s, when Native children were taken from the reservations and placed into Mormon homes, so they would grow “white and delightsome.” This part of the Book of Mormon has been changed to read “pure and delightsome,” but it was definitely a part of our history.
At the October 1960 LDS Church Conference, Spencer Kimball utilized 2 Nephi 30:6 when he stated how the Indians“are fast becoming a white and delightsome people.” He said, “The [Indian] children in the home placement program in Utah are often lighter than their brothers and sisters in the hogans on the reservation” (Improvement Era, December 1960, pp. 922-3).
During the same message Kimball referred to a 16-year-old Indian girl who was both LDS and “several shades lighter than her parents…” He went on to say, “These young members of the Church are changing to whiteness and to delightsomeness. One white elder jokingly said that he and his companion were donating blood regularly to the hospital in the hope that the process might be accelerated.”
That pretty much says it all.