Harold B. Lee
Between the extremes of the “noble and the great” spirits, whom God would make His rulers (see Abraham 3:22-23), and the disobedient and the rebellious, who were cast out with Satan, there were obviously many spirits with varying degrees of faithfulness. May we not assume from these teachings that the progress and development we made as spirits have brought privileges and blessings here according to our faithfulness in the spirit world? Now don’t be too hasty in your conclusions as to what conditions in mortality constitute the greater privileges. That condition in life which gives the greatest experience and opportunity for development is the one to be most desired and any one so privileged is most favored of God. . . .
Now, don’t misunderstand as to just what may be a great privilege or opportunity. Sometimes to be born through the channels of adversity is to have had the greatest opportunity. Just because we haven’t been born rich, for instance, may be the greatest blessing we could possibly have. Perhaps some physical infirmities might be a blessing. 1
Joseph Fielding Smith
The reasons for the choosing of a special nation to bear the Priesthood and be favored with the oracles of truth are many. It is both consistent and reasonable for the Lord to call such people and bestow upon them special favors, when all the rest of mankind rejected the word. Through this covenant people the Lord reserved the right to send into the world a chosen lineage of faithful spirits who were entitled to special favors based on pre-mortal obedience. Moreover, the choosing of a special race, and the conferring upon it of peculiar covenants and obligations, which other nations would not keep, had the effect of segregating this race from other races. 2
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.
And the Lord appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:
Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;
Bruce R. McConkie
(in response to Abraham 2:9-11) “How glorious is the promise! The seed of Abraham shall take the gospel and the priesthood to all nations, and those who accept the divine word shall become as though they too were the chosen seed. And also: The literal seed of Abraham’s body, his natural descendants, those born with his blood flowing in their veins — though they be scattered and scourged and lost in all nations — yet they have a right to certain blessings. They have a right to hear the gospel, and if they accept it, to receive the priesthood, to have their own family units continue everlastingly so that they with Abraham shall have eternal life. If they believe, they have the right to the gospel, the priesthood, and eternal life because they are the seed of Abraham. The Lord operates through families; in general he sends his choice spirits to earth in the lineage of Abraham.” 3