MJB argues for race as a product of premortal designation.

Apr 4, 1915
Speech / Court Transcript
Melvin J. Ballard

Melvin J. Ballard, Conference Report (April 1915): 62

Conference Report
Melvin J. Ballard
Latter-day Saints

We know, from the doctrines that we have received, that men and women have existed before coming into this life, for countless ages, and that we have been developing certain qualities, and the reason we are separated into great classes, as the Negro race and the other races on the earth, is not a matter of caprice. God did not take three beautiful children yesterday morning, and say to one, You go to the Negro woman, and to another one, You go to that Chinese mother, and to another. You go down to that beautiful Christian home. In my opinion, there were classes and races, and separation into different groups and conditions before we came to this world, and all are getting what they are entitled to receive here. But this is as far as we will travel together, for after this life, some will get a celestial glory, and some a terrestrial glory, and some a telestial, and we will no longer journey in a great class, or in a great company, made up of all classes. I believe that, while there will be classes in the spheres to which we will belong, we shall be grouped on separate planets. If we comply with all requirements we will be prepared to go into the highest places for further advancement, and that is celestial glory, and it is gained by obedience to celestial law. The celestial abode will be upon this redeemed earth, for God has declared that it will fulfill the purpose for which He has created it, and it will no longer need to have the light of the sun by day nor moon and stars by night, but will have power to emit its own light. It shall be the home of those who overcome, and who have kept the law, and measured up to all the requirements. Thank God, there is a chance for those who struggle and do the best they can; we come up and offer ourselves as candidates for admittance, and are found wanting, in a few things, there is a chance to become perfect. I tell you, we will have to examine ourselves, and we will be examined, and see if we are fit, and many will be turned back again and again until they do become perfect in all that God has required. Some of us may fail entirely, and will lift up our eyes ins sorrow, in the terrestrial or telestial world, beholding the celestial world and not able to enter it. Where will these be? I think, perhaps on Jupiter, or some other planet, when this glorious orb shall shine as a resplendent sun. It may be that they will look up and say, Yes, I was born in that place; it was my privilege to stay there, but I have lost it. We will know then the full meaning of those words: 'Of all sad words of tongue or pen, The saddest are these, It might have been.'

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