Book of Mormon Notes– How deep can you dig?

2013, May 26

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?” by grego

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/ LDS/ Mormons || Blacks and the Priesthood Ban: Are Blacks Marked and Cursed/ Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?



Are Blacks Black because of Being Less Valiant in the Preexistence?

President Brigham Young, answering a question put to him by Elder Lorenzo D. Young in a meeting held December 25 , 1869, in Salt Lake City, said that Joseph Smith had declared that the Negroes were not neutral in heaven, for all the spirits took sides, but the posterity of Cain are black because he (Cain) committed murder.”
–From “The Way to Perfection”, pages 105-106.

Yet, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught:
“There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantages. The reason is that we once had an estate before we came here, and were obedient, more or less, to the laws that were given us there. Those who were faithful in all things there received greater blessings here, and those who were not faithful received less.” (Doctrines of Salvation, p. 61)

And Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “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.” (Mormon Doctrine, 1966, pp. 527-528)

However, this statement was removed from the second edition of “Mormon Doctrine”, likely in direction from the First Presidency (or at the least, a more senior apostle).

Is there a connection between where one is born, family, race, country, society, etc. and our faith and action in the preexistence? I believe so.

What is the connection? I have no idea! I don’t think the leaders knew/ know it all, either.

Look at Abraham–his father was an idol worshiper who tried to have him killed; he lived in a strange land, with a strange religion, and wandered forever, far from what “home” he might have had, living among heathens. From that point of view, one might say he was less valiant in the preexistence; but there is no doubt he was not in that category:
Abraham 3:23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.
And since the scriptures are a lot about his story, we have much more that proves he was not cursed. But without that for others, it’s hard to tell.

Perhaps the insight that physically and mentally retarded children were choice spirits changed the perspective of leaders. Was being Black really a curse as a result of a curse, or was it a SEEMINGLY “temporary state” for other choice spirits, such as President Monson’s sick fisherman, the beautiful flower in the ugly temporary pot?

Well, more living babies and children die in Africa than about anywhere else in the world. And where do they go in the next life? They are saved in the Celestial kingdom. Is that a curse, or is that much better than where the majority of white children who grow up will go, especially nowadays?


  1. Your article is very interesting. Do you have more information about “choice spirits?” Do the scriptures use the term “cursed,” or “marked” or something else? It seems this topic is very intriguing and with a lot to consider.

    Comment by Kara — 2013, November 26 @ 7:36 pm

  2. Hi Kara,
    Cain was cursed and marked; his posterity was marked; his posterity and Ham’s posterity, were cursed as to not being able to hold the priesthood until 1978. I believe this cursing did not mean nor imply that their posterity were bad, either temporally, physically, or spiritually. When people are spiritually cursed, it is because they bring the curse upon themselves, through disobedience and who knows what else. So none of those children would be spiritually cursed.

    Choice spirits are spoken of in modern talks, such as in General Conference and in the Ensign. You might try searching for words or phrases such as “choice spirit”, ‘handicap”, etc. on

    President Monson’s talk referenced above is here:

    “A woman by the name of Mary Bartels had a home directly across the street from the entrance to a hospital clinic. Her family lived on the main floor and rented the upstairs rooms to outpatients at the clinic.

    One evening a truly awful-looking old man came to the door asking if there was room for him to stay the night. He was stooped and shriveled, and his face was lopsided from swelling—red and raw. He said he’d been hunting for a room since noon but with no success. “I guess it’s my face,” he said. “I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says it could possibly improve after more treatments.” He indicated he’d be happy to sleep in the rocking chair on the porch. As she talked with him, Mary realized this little old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. Although her rooms were filled, she told him to wait in the chair and she’d find him a place to sleep…

    In the several years he went for treatments and stayed in Mary’s home, the old man, who was a fisherman by trade, always had gifts of seafood or vegetables from his garden. Other times he sent packages in the mail.

    When Mary received these thoughtful gifts, she often thought of a comment her next-door neighbor made after the disfigured, stooped old man had left Mary’s home that first morning. “Did you keep that awful-looking man last night? I turned him away. You can lose customers by putting up such people.”

    Mary knew that maybe they had lost customers once or twice, but she thought, “Oh, if only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.”

    After the man passed away, Mary was visiting with a friend who had a greenhouse. As she looked at her friend’s flowers, she noticed a beautiful golden chrysanthemum but was puzzled that it was growing in a dented, old, rusty bucket. Her friend explained, “I ran short of pots, and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn’t mind starting in this old pail. It’s just for a little while, until I can put it out in the garden.”

    Mary smiled as she imagined just such a scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,” God might have said when He came to the soul of the little old man. “He won’t mind starting in this small, misshapen body.” But that was long ago, and in God’s garden how tall this lovely soul must stand! 3

    Appearances can be so deceiving, such a poor measure of a person. Admonished the Savior, “Judge not according to the appearance.” 4 ”

    Best wishes,

    Comment by grego — 2013, November 30 @ 9:41 am

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