This conference I didn’t much like the choir’s new tune for If You Could Hie to Kolob so I thought over the words instead. “There is no end to race” got my attention.
The phrase probably just means the race of man. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean the U.S. Census checkboxes of Caucasian, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Amerindian, etc. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t mean that forever and ever you’ll be able to sort the immortal gods into broad groups by using visual features and genetic clustering.
But it used to be a man could speak of the English race, the Sioux race, the Breton race, and so on. He could even speak of a family as a race, Faulkner-style: the race of the Greenwoods, for instance. So the phrase may mean there is no end to descent. Or, take it in context–”there is no end to matter, there is no end to space”–and maybe it means there is no end to particularity.
Particularity? you say. Greenwood, you’re using big words to hide that you only have a fuzzy notion what you mean.
(You discompose me. Truth does that to me.)
Smile when you say that, stranger, says I. But all right, says I. I’m a kindly man. I’ll take a stab at explaining. Particularity, says I–I’m getting my composure back now as I listen to the sweet sound of my own voice, rolling on and on–particularity means that come the day when every woman is queen of heaven my mother and my wife will still be where my sentiments are. Particularity means, God willing, I’ll someday be something more important and more universal than an American, but in some sense I’ll still be an American. Particularity means God doesn’t love you and me because we’re in the category of mankind but because of what I’ve done and can do and because of the sins he’s rescued me from and you the same. Particularity means President Monson tells us about visiting Brother Hanlit in the hospital instead of telling us about service.