It is in this same time period that Joseph Fielding Smith and others were teaching that men of African decent were restricted from having the priesthood as a sort of punishment for being "less valiant" in the premortal war in heaven.
Cleon Skousen does not mention people of African descent or women explicitly in this commentary. However, I believe if you read between the lines it indicates white male supremacy. It is interesting that in this theology women, Africans, and other "intelligences of lesser development" are not being punished by withholding the priesthood. Cleon Skousen tells us that they are permitted to participate in the plan to the extent of their desire and that it is only natural that some would decline the "extremely complex responsibilities" "associated with the higher levels of existence" and Godhood.What It Means to Achieve Godhood
Eventually, all of the priesthood holders who attain exaltation and are ordained to organize matter will do exactly what our Father has done before us. We will go out to the edge of space as Father did and gather up from outer darkness a host of intelligences, together with an appropriate amount of primal matter, so that we can begin our own round of creation.
Thus we will learn for ourselves what it is like to be a God.
Our first task will be to sort out these billions of intelligences and organize them with bits of primal matter. Then we will teach them to love us and obey us as we unite them with one another in a vast array of orderly combinations. We will then explain to them how we plan to organize a galaxy of our own. This will help expand the "space" of the Gods and add to the glory of those who went before us.
A very significant part of this stage of training will be to help these individual intelligences decide where they want to fit into this vast new order of things. One might think that they will all want to become Gods, but not so. Abraham tells us that as the intelligences are graded they will choose different levels of existence according to their desires. (Abraham 3:19-22; Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 373)
Some want to be part of the planet, which will eventually be resurrected. Some will be attracted to participation in the kingdoms of plant life. Others will desire to be part of the animal kingdom. And a smaller segment which constitute the foremost intelligences will aspire to have opportunities comparable to that of their Heavenly Father.
The most significant aspect of this epic of training and decision-making is the fact that once the decisions are made they will last through all eternity. Each intelligence will not only choose its role in the spirit world and in earth life but also in the eternities following the resurrection.
Nevertheless, each intelligence will have had the satisfaction of knowing that it made its own free choice and thereby fixed the course of its development forever.
When it comes time for the launching of the spirit creation, each intelligence will take its chosen place. Joseph Smith describes this remarkable transition as the intelligences move eagerly from mere theoretical anticipation to actual participation. He says:
"The organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeable to the most perfect order and harmony; their limits and bounds were fixed IRREVOCABLY and VOLUNTARILY subscribed to in their heavenly estate by THEMSELVES, and were by our first parents subscribed to upon this earth." (Church History vol. VI, p. 51)
This tells us that after the intelligences have chosen the eternal role, which they desire to fulfill, the signal will be given, and they will all immediately take their places in the most perfect order and harmonious arrangement. Then every intelligence in God's elaborate structure for this round of creation will be ready to receive its spiritual embodiment. With this exciting and glorious commencement of the spirit creation, the First Estate will have begun.
What About Those Who Desire to Become Like Heavenly Father?
It may seem puzzling that all the intelligences do not aspire to become Gods. However, when we reflect on the statement of Abraham that the intelligences are graded according to their attributes it is understandable why the intelligences of lesser development would resist the responsibilities associated with the higher levels of existence. In fact, the genius of each round of creation is that there are opportunities for participation, which extend from the most simple involvement to the extremely complex responsibilities of Godhood.
The scriptures make it clear that an exalted being who is a member of the Priesthood and has been ordained to Godhood will undoubtedly encounter at least three monumental crises that, can jeopardize his role as a Heavenly Father and threaten to destroy his immediate round of creation.
Like the justification promoted by Joseph Fielding Smith (and also BRM and others), the question of inequality and unfairness in life is explained as the consequence of agency in the premortal realm and therefore perfectly just.
To be fair, Brother Skousen was never speaking as a church authority. According to wikipedia in 1979 the LDS church issued a letter that church facilities and publications would not be used to promote lectures of his Freeman Institute "to avoid any implication that the Church endorses what is said during such lectures." Also a 1971 review in the Mormon studies journal Dialogue described Skousen as "inventing fantastic ideas and making inferences that go far beyond the bounds of honest commentary," and also of promoting concepts that were "perilously close" to Nazism.
What are your thoughts?