"And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, and they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them."
Lowry followed up with another letter to the First Presidency, dated 8 October 1947, in which he expressed his disappointment with the Mormon Church's officially, blatantly racist position, expressing his conclusions as follows:
Journal of Discourses, . (PDF file)
As I was riding along the road on my mule I suddenly noticed a very strange personage walking beside me.... His head was about even with my shoulders as I sat in my saddle. He wore no clothing, but was covered with hair. His skin was very dark. I asked him where he dwelt and he replied that he had no home, that he was a wanderer in the earth and traveled to and fro. He said he was a very miserable creature, that he had earnestly sought death during his sojourn upon the earth, but that he could not die, and his mission was to destroy the souls of men. About the time he expressed himself thus, I rebuked him in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and commanded him to go hence, and he immediately departed out of my sight....(Lycurgus A. Wilson, Life of David W. Patten [Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1900], p. 50., as quoted by Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness [Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, Inc.]18th printing 1991 p.p. 127-128.)
Gordon B. Hinckley: Pure speculation. [Laughs.]
The belief that blacks were less valiant in the pre-existence may have been started by Orson Hyde, an original member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. This is the earliest statement we are aware of that discusses this:
- Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol.2, Ch.47, Pg.128
At the time the devil was cast out of heaven, there were .some spirits that did not know who had the authority, whether God or the devil. They consequently did not take a very active part on either side, but rather thought the devil had been abused, and considered he had rather the best claim to the government.
- The Juvenile Instructor, Vol. 3, page 157
These spirits were not considered bad enough to be cast down to hell, and never have bodies ; neither were they considered worthy of an honourable body on this earth : but it came to pass that Ham, the son of Noah, saw the nakedness of his father while he lay drunk in his tent, and he with " wicked joy," ran like Rigdon, and made the wonderful disclosure to his brethren ; while Shem and Japheth took a garment, with pity and compassion, laid it upon their shoulders—went backwards and covered their father, and saw not his nakedness. The joy of the first was to expose—that of the second was to cover the unseemliness of their father. The conduct of the former brought the curse of slavery upon him, while that of the latter secured blessings, jurisdiction, power and dominion. Here was the beginning of blessing and cursing in the family of Noah, and here also is the cause of both. Canaan, the son of Ham, received the curse ; for Noah wished to place the curse as remote from himself as possible. He therefore placed it upon his grandson instead of his son.
- Times and Seasons, Vol.6, Pg.857
Now, it would seem cruel to force pure celestial spirits into the world through the lineage of Canaan that had been cursed. This would be ill appropriate, putting the precious and vile together. But those spirits in heaven that rather lent an influence to the devil, thinking he had a little the best right to govern, but did not take a very active part any way were required to come into the world and take bodies in the accursed lineage of Canaan ; and hence the negro or African race. Now, therefore, all those who are halting concerning who has the right to govern had better look at the fate of their brethren that have gone before them, and take warning in time lest they learn obedience by the things which they suffer. " Choose ye this day whom you will serve." These things are among the mysteries of the kingdom, and I have told them, not by constraint or by commandment, but by permission.