ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Seeing Past Skin

Updated on June 3, 2020
Rodric29 profile image

Rodric Johnson is a husband and father first and an author as time permits. Enjoy his writings. They are a constant work for him to improve.

I thought that Blacks were second class in ALL White societies until I learned I was wrong!

The White People

Going to seminary is common for teen Saints. It was also another excuse to be with her, Katie. In On Being a Latter-day Saint and a Black American: Singing for Love?, I mentioned my crush on a young woman named Katie and us singing together. My association with her aided me to feel a little less like I did not fit in. Aside from performing music with her, Katie took me to seminary as an added service since as I aged into an older teen with no car. My feelings bloomed for her, though, never did I act on them because I feared the White people. I figured if I asked her out, maybe the White people would kick me out of the Church or something. It may have been untrue, but I was unwilling to find out.

I went to church with real Southerners, not just Utah transplants. In my mind, a real Southerner was a White man or woman who tolerated Blacks to be polite God had His work cut out transforming me because I still did not trust White people. Earlier in my young life, I experienced many racist insults that I did not understand at the hands of some ignorant people--both White and Black. It was clear on many such occasions that my Black behind was not welcomed to step out of the racial norms in those other social settings! With the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I did not get that impression. Racism was the impression that I brought with me into the Church in my teen years.

As a young man, only one family turned me away as their home teacher (visiting lay minister) for being Black. I understood it then. I accepted it. It is the South, and they were White. Why should I expect something different from White people whether they are Saints or not? I, however, did expect something different.

When our congregation split due to the significant growth in the area, I was separated from the only Black family in the ward that actually went to church. There were Black Latter-day Saints in the area. They just decided to leave the Church after a while and be with people that looked more like them. The cultural gap was too much of an obstacle for them.

As for me, I was devastated. I knew with that family missing from my weekly worship; I would experience rejection from the remaining Whites! I was glad that I was able to have a couple of years in the Tifton Ward before we split into the Tifton first and Second Wards. There was no choice in my estimation of whether or not to go back to the historically Black church. I found Jesus in reading the Book of Mormon. I found fellowship among the Latter-day Saints I had never experienced at other churches. Sharing the same race as the majority of adherents of a church was not enough to shake my resolve to worship with the Whites.

The OJ Simpson Racism Indicator?


Rarely did I experience racism in church. Most of my racist experiences occurred only in my head produced by my cultural (TV) experiences and not by reality. My racist experiences happened when I was alone with a book about church history. The people, though Southern, did not show any racism to me if they felt it. I just made sure I did not rock the boat socially. I danced with the White girls, and that was all!

Mavis Harrell, as I mentioned took Dexter and me to church almost every Sunday. Sister Harrell, an older woman, was also very kind to me. She treated me as the person I was. I began to associate Utah with non-racist people because of her and a few others I met in my ward, the transplants. Sister Harrell was a transplant. She rarely missed church, so it was great having her provide rides to me. I owe her an enormous debt for providing me with that service.

Funny that what made me think that sister Harrell was not racist is a comment she made to me on the way to a church meeting. News about the O. J. Simpson case was all abuzz in the world.

In an angry voice, she merely said, "He is innocent." In her mind, the glove did not fit so they should acquit!

To me, that was a revelation! That a White person would side with a Black person... an old White person at that!

Funny how now I think the man actually did kill his wife! Slowly, the members of my church, my home congregation, taught me how to stop being so race-oriented. It took years. It took a move to New York too. It was happening, though.

Moroni Perspective

Moroni saw me! When he wrote over the centuries for my benefit, he told me what church was for. He taught that the purpose of the church is "to meet together oft (often), to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls." Moroni 6:5. It does not matter what pigmentation our skin evidences; we are to speak to each other about the health of our spirits, he taught.

Moroni saw that I would be crushing on Katie and preoccupied with my racial description. He put that bit in there for my benefit. This historian added a key by which I could become a faithful follower of the Kingdom of Christ. Quoting his father whose name was Mormon, told me the key is behavior. "I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men," Mormon teaches. "For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also." Moroni 7:4-5

I saw the good works and gave thanks or glory to the Lord for showing me a group of people who I could trust with my heart. Moroni knew that I needed that; so, he wrote about it.

My view of race and culture did not change overnight. It is still a work in progress. Being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints helped me learn to value myself.


Would you be willing to read the book associated with this article?

See results

I am still so happy that the people who are in my life who are members of the Church and who are White have made an effort to not offend me. They have to be making an effort because it has not happened. I am so glad that I am not expected to endure those trials. I have enough issues going on in my life without feeling that I don't fit in with my fellow Saints.

— Rodric Anthony - Facebook

© 2016 Rodric Anthony


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Rodric29 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rodric Anthony 

      3 years ago from Surprise, Arizona

      Bronwen, you are right. I know that we are different but lovely in so being. The variety that God had given to us creates unique opportunities to serve that would otherwise not exist.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      5 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for a very interesting hub. God created us all and when we accept Him as our Father, through Jesus, we are all His children. What a boring old world it would be if we were all the same!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)