Without Being Commanded

Elder Orson Pratt

Church History Library

“execute the curse of Almighty upon that race without being commanded to do it and they will have to be punished for rising up and inflicting this curse upon [the] descendants of Adam. Shall we assume the right without the voice of [the] Lord speaking to us and commanding us to [introduce] slavery into our territory.

…[When] in [our] situation we are legislating in [the] capacity of people who desire to serve God, in [the] capacity [to] be the most benefit to [the] nations abroad, is it not known to this honorable council the light in which slavery is looked upon by almost every enlightened nation or heathen? They look upon it with disgust”

-Elder Orson Pratt before the Territorial Legislature on slavery. 27 January 1852. Church Record 100 91.-

“We have no proof that the Africans are the descendants of old Cain who was cursed, and even if we had that evidence we have not been ordered to inflict that [curse] upon that race. …I very much doubt that if this nation that have executed upon the descendants of Ham I very much doubt if they will not be brought into judgment…  …we will come to our own age and day and see if there be any principle emanated from that Being whom we profess to worship and whose revelations and principles we respect whether there has been anything emanated from him in this day… I know of no other way only to appeal to their principles and covenants I read in the book called the Book of Doctrine and Covenants with exception of a few individuals who may not agree with the mass I read sir in that divine book it is not right that any man should be in bondage (See D&C 101:79).”  

-Elder Orson Pratt March 22, 1856. Speech before the Utah Constitutional Convention, MS 2988.-

Doctrine and Covenants 101:79 

“Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.”