Mormon Quotes

Premortal Life

Joseph Smith
Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose I was ordained to this very office [of a Prophet] in that Grand Council.
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 365
George Albert Smith
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre‑mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality.
George Albert Smith, Official Statement of First Presidency issued on August 17, 1951
George Albert Smith
Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes. Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or alloted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world.
George Albert Smith, Message from the First Presidency ‑ The Church and the Negroid People, pp. 16‑17
Joseph Fielding Smith
That negro race, for instance, have been placed under restrictions because of their attitude in the world of spirits, few will doubt. It cannot be looked upon as just that they should be deprived of the power of the Priesthood without it being a punishment for some act, or acts, performed before they were born.
Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection, page 43
Bruce R. McConkie
Negroes in this life are denied the Priesthood; under no circumstances can they hold this delegation of authority from the Almighty. (Abra. 1:20‑27.) The gospel message of salvation is not carried affirmatively to them... negroes are not equal with other races where the receipt of certain spiritual blessings are concerned, particularly the priesthood and the temple blessings that flow there from, but this inequality is not of man's origin. It is the Lord's doing, is based on his eternal laws of justice, and grows out of the lack of Spiritual valiance of those concerned in their first estate.
Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527‑528
Mark E. Petersen
Is there reason then why the type of birth we receive in this life is not a reflection of our worthiness or lack of it in the pre‑existent life? We must accept the justice of God. He is fair to all. With that in mind, we can account in no other way for the birth of some of the children of God in darkest Africa, or in flood‑ridden China, or among the starving hordes of India, while some of the rest of us are born in the United States? We cannot escape the conclusion that because of performance in our pre‑existence some of us are born as Chinese, some as Japanese, some as Indians, some as Negroes, some as Americans, some as Latter‑day Saints. There are rewards and punishments, fully in harmony with His established policy in dealing with sinners and saints, rewarding all according to their deeds.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems as they Affect the Church
Mark E. Petersen
Who placed the Negroes originally in darkest Africa? Was it some man, or was it God? And when He placed them there, He segregated them.
Mark E. Petersen, Race Problems ‑ As They Affect The Church, Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, August 27, 1954
First Presidency
The position of the Church regarding the Negro may be understood when another doctrine of the church is kept in mind, namely, that the conduct of spirits in the pre‑mortal existence has some determining effect upon the conditions and circumstances under which these spirits take on mortality, and that while the details of this principle have not been made known, the principle itself indicates that the coming to this earth and taking on mortality is a privilege that is given to those who maintained their first estate; and that the worth of the privilege is so great that spirits are willing to come to earth and take on bodies no matter what the handicap may be as to the kind of bodies they are to secure; and that among the handicaps, failure of the right to enjoy in mortality the blessings of the priesthood is a handicap which spirits are willing to assume in order that they might come to earth. Under this principle there is no injustice whatsoever involved in this deprivation as to the holding of the priesthood by the Negroes.... Man will be punished for his own sins and not for Adam's transgression. If this is carried further, it would imply that the Negro is punished or allotted to a certain position on this earth, not because of Cain's transgression, but came to earth through the loins of Cain because of his failure to achieve other stature in the spirit world.
First Presidency, Official Statement of First Presidency issued on August 17, 1951
Eugene England
This is a good time to remind ourselves that most Mormons are still in denial about the ban, unwilling to talk in Church settings about it, and that some Mormons still believe that Blacks were cursed by descent from Cain through Ham. Even more believe that Blacks, as well as other non-white people, come color-coded into the world, their lineage and even their class a direct indication of failures in a previous life.... I check occasionally in classes at BYU and find that still, twenty years after the revelation, a majority of bright, well-educated Mormon students say they believe that Blacks are descendants of Cain and Ham and thereby cursed and that skin color is an indication of righteousness in the pre-mortal life. They tell me these ideas came from their parents or Seminary and Sunday School teachers, and they have never questioned them. They seem largely untroubled by the implicit contradiction to basic gospel teachings.
Eugene England, Sunstone: 54–58
Eugene England
False ideas that were invented to rationalize our earlier racist practices are still with us... a majority of bright, well‑educated Mormon students say they believe that blacks are descendants of Cain and Ham and thereby cursed and that skin color is an indication of righteousness in the premortal life. They tell me these ideas came from their parents or seminary and Sunday school teachers, and they have never questioned them.
Eugene England, "Becoming a World Religion: Blacks, the Poor ‑‑ All of Us," Sunstone, 21:2, no. 110 (June 1998)
Arthur M. Richardson
Also, the gospel was not carried to this segregated black group... the Negroes tread the earth with black dishonorable bodies as a judgment of God because at the time of decision in the pre‑existence they were faint‑hearted and exhibited an infirmity of purpose — they were not valiant in the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, they were entitled to no better earthly lineage than that of the first early murderer, Cain. They were to be the 'servant of servants.' They were to be segregated. No effort was made to carry the gospel to them as a people.
Arthur M. Richardson, That Ye May Not Be Deceived, pp. 9‑10
John J. Stewart
There are Negroes born into families of wealth and refinement, others who are blessed with great talents, and there are those born into the lowest classes of society in Africa, in squalor and ignorance, living out their lives in a fashion akin to that of the animals. Does not this infinite variety of circumstance give further evidence of man's being assigned that station in life which he has merited by his performance in the premortal existence.
John J. Stewart, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 44
John J. Stewart
When God allows a spirit to take on a Negroid body, do you suppose He is unaware of the fact that he will suffer a social stigma? Therefore, if you say this Church is unjust in not allowing the Negro to bear the Priesthood, you must, to be consistent, likewise say that God is even more unjust in giving him a black skin.
John J. Stewart, John J. Stewart, The Glory of Mormonism, 1963, p. 154
Alvin R. Dyer
I want to talk to you a little bit now about something that is not missionary work, and what I say is NOT to be given to your investigators [potential converts] by any matter of means.... Why is it that you are white and not colored? God is not unjust to cause a righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black race.
Alvin R. Dyer, "For What Purpose?," Missionary Conference in Oslo, Norway, March 18, 1961
Thelma Geer
As a white Mormon, I proudly accepted the teaching that my fair skin and Mormon parentage signified that I had been one of God's most intelligent and obedient born‑in‑heaven spirit children.... As a reward for my superior attributes and attitudes, I had been singled out, trained, and qualified to be born a white Latter‑day Saint, deserving of emulation, adulation, and eventual deification. All dark‑skinned people, even darker‑complexioned Caucasians... had been inferior spirits in heaven.
Thelma Geer, Thelma Geer, Mormonism, Mama & Me, 1986, pp. 24‑25
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