60 years ago today - Mar 18, 1961
Assistant to the Twelve and future member of First Presidency Alvin R. Dyer addresses a missionary conference in Oslo, Norway. His talk, "For What Purpose" is copied and distributed to missionaries and passed around for years to come: "what I say is not to be given to your investigators by any matter of means.... Why is it that you are white and not colored? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Who had anything to do with your being born into the Church and not born a Chinese or a Hindu, or a Negro? Is God such an unjust person that He would make you white and free and make a Negro cursed under the cursing of Cain that he should not hold the Priesthood of God?...I want to talk to you just briefly about this, not with any information that you would convey to your investigators, but that you, yourselves, may have a better understanding of what we are doing in the mission field today... There were three divisions of mankind in the pre-existence, and when you are born into this life, you are born into one of these three divisions of people. There is an imposed judgment placed upon everyone who leaves the Spirit World just the same as there will be when they leave this life and go into one of three places. When they left the Spirit World, they had already been judged by what they had done in the Spirit World and in their previous life. From what judgment is determined how they shall be born in this life? When you understand that, you know that God is not unjust to cause a righteous spirit to be born as a cursed member of the black race or to be cursed as one of the other people who have been cursed. Everything is in order. The procreation of man is orderly and in accordance with the plan of life and salvation. -In keeping with this thought, when Noah went into the Ark, here again he took with him his three sons-one representing the cursed lineage.... Those who have been cursed in the pre-existence were born through this lineage of Ham. -I suppose, and you may have often heard missionaries say it or have asked the question: Why is a Negro a Negro? And, you have heard this answer. 'Well, they must have been neutral in the pre-existence or they must have straddled the fence. That is the most common saying-they were neither hot nor cold, so the Lord made them Negroes. This, of course, is not true. The reason that spirits are born into Negro bodies is because those spirits rejected the Priesthood of God in the pre-existence. This is the reason why you have Negroes upon the earth. -You will observe that when Cain was influenced by the power of Lucifer to follow him...Cain rejected the counsel of God. He rejected again the Priesthood as his forbearers had done in the pre-existence. Therefore, the curse of the pre-existence was made institute through the loins of Cain. Consequently, you have the beginning of the race of men and women into which would be born those in the pre-existence who had rejected the Priesthood of God....Ham reinstated the curse of the pre-existence when he rejected the Priesthood of Noah, and in consequence of that he preserved the curse on the earth. Therefore, the Negroes to be born thereafter, or those who were to become Negroes, were to be born through the loins of Ham. -All of this is according to a well worked-out plan, that these millions and billions of spirits awaiting birth in the pre-existence would be born through a channel or race of people. Consequently, the cursed were to be born through Ham.... The cursed people are the descendants of Ham. The chosen people are the descendants of Shem... Through these lineages the spirits that compare with their station are born in this life. This is why you have colored people, why you have dark people and why you have white people.-May the Lord bless you in it and bless you with this knowledge. I bear record of its truthfulness in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen."