“Is there reason then why the type of birth we receive in this life is not a reflection of our worthiness or lack of it in the pre-existent life? …we can account in no other way for the birth of some of the children of God in darkest Afrida, or in floodridden China, or among the starving hordes of India, while some of the rest of us are born in the United States? We cannot escape the conclusion that because of performance in our pre-existence some of us are born as Chinese, some as Japanese, some as Negroes, some as Americans, Latter-day Saints. There are rewards and punishments, fully in harmony with His established policy in dealing with sinners and saints, regarding all according to their deeds…Let us consider the great mercy of God for a moment. A Chinese, born in China with a dark skin, and with all the handicaps of that race seems to have little opportunity, but think of the mercy of God to Chinese people who are willing to accept the gospel. In spite of whatever they might have done in the pre-existence to justify being born over there as Chinamen, if they now, in this life, accept the gospel and live it the rest of their lives they can have the Priesthood, go to the temple and receive endowments and sealings, and that means they can have exaltation. Isn’t the mercy of God mervolous?
“Think of the Negro, cursed as to the Priesthood… This Negro, who, in the pre-existence lived the type of life which justified the Lord in sending him to the earth in the lineage of Cain with a black skin, and possibly being born in darkest Africa — if that negro is willing when he hears the gospel to accept it, he may have many of the blessings of the gospel. In spite of all he did in the pre-existent life, the Lord is willing…to give him the blessings of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If that Negro is faithful all his days, he can and will enter the Celestial Kingdom. He will go there as a servant, but he will get celestial resurrection. He will get a place in the celestial glory.”
Mark E. Peterson, Race Problems – As They Affect the Church (Provo, UT: Convention of Teachers of Religion on the College Level, BYU, 27 August 1954), 9-10, 15-16.