Hyde uses premortal explanation to give an opinion on origins of Black people.

Apr 27, 1845
Speech / Court Transcript
Orson Hyde
Scribed Verbatim

Franklin D. Richards letter, Ogden, 1869 November 3, George A. Smith papers, 1834-1877, MS 1322, CHL

Franklin D. Richards
Sidney Rigdon, Orson Hyde, George Albert Smith, Franklin D. Richards
Nauvoo High Priests Quorum

At the time the devil was cast out of heaven, there were some spirits that did not know who had 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 government. These spirits were not considered worthy of an honorable 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 bought the curse of slavery upon him, while that of the latter secured blessings jurisdiction, power and dominion. Here was the beginning of the 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. 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 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.

BHR Staff Commentary

Franklin D. Richards wrote a letter to George Albert Smith in 1869 that included a handwritten copy of a transcript of a speech that Orson Hyde gave to the High Priest Quorum in Nauvoo in 1845.

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