From the tongue-in-cheek folkloric depths of Mormondom, we have a treasured gem of Gospel Doctrine classes of yesteryear: trying to ascertain (based on current life circumstances) who was more valiant in the pre-existence. This is the kind of speculation born of the race ban, but it certainly wasn’t limited by that ban. It’s the Mormon version of trying to understand how a just God can put people on earth in such diverse circumstances.
The underlying premise is that this life is but a temporary test, and some people have a leg up in that test based on prior valiant acts that we’ve all conveniently forgotten. In the spirit of this type of thinking, I present Ten People Who Were More Valiant in the Pre-Existence Than You (with accompanying explanation for each).
- Your boss. Given the additional resources this person has and the fact that you are in a subordinate position to this person, you are pretty much here to provide more ease to this more valiant soul.
- Your kids. Let’s not fool ourselves. The one wiping the butt of the other one is clearly subordinate to that person.
- Your dog. See #2 (no pun intended).
- People with severe disabilities. The disabilities have to be great enough to prevent the person from being accountable for choices they make in this life, meaning they get to pass their mortal probation without truly being tested because they already got a bye. They’re just here to pick up a body, thankyouverymuch.
- Cannibals. Since they are super unlikely to ever encounter the gospel while on earth (although missionaries are delicious with their word of wisdom observance), they clearly don’t need it to pass this test. They can receive it later when they are no longer temptable.
- Your waiter. On the one hand, they are serving you, and theoretically you are calling the shots. On the other hand, they could totally spit in your food. Who’s in charge now? This one could have gone either way. Close call.
- The nursery leader. This calling alone means they are covered for a multitude of sins.
- People from China and India. Well, at least for a good long time before there were proselyting missionaries in India. Now, apparently less righteous people are being born in India. China’s still full of people so inherently good they can pass their mortal test without the church.
- Rich people. They were valiant enough to be given the test of prosperity. They have to be strong enough to choose to be humble even when they have the temptation of wealth.
- Boy bands. Similar to #9, they were valiant enough to be given the test of early riches and the temptation of groupies.
People who were evidently LESS valiant than you in the pre-existence:
- Your spouse. After all, they got stuck with you. You are their test, whereas they are your helpmeet.
- Your bishop. Clearly he needs the extra training associated with being a bishop or he would have been serving with the valiant nursery leaders.
- Mafia dons. No disrespect, but I have to think they barely squeaked by in the first place.
- Apostles. They need to serve at the highest levels in order to pass their mortal probation. Not sure what they did to deserve that. Ouch.
- Poor people. They weren’t valiant enough to be able to be humble with riches, so they had to be born poor to be able to make it through mortal probation.