Dof g ch06


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Dof g ch06

  1. 1. Our Premortal Life Chapter 6Introduction (which includes receiving mortal bodies). All who keep their second estate will have “glory Some people have difficulty understanding added upon their heads for ever and ever”that their existence before this earth life could be (Abraham 3:26).forgotten. Because we do not recall the first fewyears of early childhood does not mean that we Supporting Statementsdidn’t exist, that we didn’t eat, play, laugh, andinteract with family and friends. So it is with our A. Intelligence, or the light of truth, is eternal andpremortal estate. We lived and associated, grew has always existed.and learned; yet we cannot recall those former ■ “The Lord made it known to Moses (Seeactivities for reasons that the Lord in His eternal Book of Moses Chap. 3.) and also to Abrahamwisdom has not fully revealed to us. (Abraham Ch. 3) and it is expressed in several revelations, that man was in the beginning withDoctrinal Outline God. In that day, however, man was a spirit unembodied. The beginning was when theA. Intelligence, or the light of truth, is eternal and councils met and the decision was made to createhas always existed. this earth that the spirits who were intended forSee Doctrine and Covenants 93:29. this earth, should come here and partake of the mortal conditions and receive bodies of flesh andB. We lived as spirit children of God in a premortal bones. The doctrine has prevailed that matter wasexistence. created out of nothing, but the Lord declares that1. God is the father of the spirits of all mankind the elements are eternal. Matter always did and, (see Hebrews 12:9; D&C 76:24; Acts 17:29; therefore, always will exist, and the spirits of men Romans 8:16). as well as their bodies were created out of matter.2. Our spirit bodies are in the form of God’s We discover in this revelation that the intelligent physical body (see D&C 77:2; Ether 3:6–16). part of man was not created, but always existed.3. Our instruction and preparation for earth life There has been some speculation and articles have began in the world of spirits (see D&C 138:56). been written attempting to explain just what these4. God gave us agency in the premortal life (see ‘intelligences’ are, or this ‘intelligence’ is, but it is Moses 4:3; D&C 29:36). futile for us to speculate upon it. We do know that5. Many became noble and great in the premortal intelligence was not created or made and cannot world (see Abraham 3:22–25; Jeremiah 1:4–6; be because the Lord has said it. There are some Alma 13:3–5). truths it is well to leave until the Lord sees fit toC. God the Father provided the plan of salvation by reveal the fulness” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Churchwhich His spirit children could eventually become History and Modern Revelation, 1:401).like Him. B. We lived as spirit children of God in a premortal1. God’s plan of salvation was taught to His spirit existence. children (see Abraham 3:24–27). ■ “There is no way to make sense out of life2. Jesus Christ was chosen and foreordained to without a knowledge of the doctrine of come to earth to perform the atoning sacrifice premortal life. (see 1 Peter 1:19–20; Moses 4:2; Revelation 13:8; “The idea that mortal birth is the beginning is Abraham 3:27). preposterous. There is no way to explain life if3. Lucifer, a spirit in authority in the presence of you believe that. God, sought the glory and honor of God and the “The notion that life ends with mortal death elimination of the agency of the children of God is ridiculous. There is no way to face life if you (see Moses 4:1–3; D&C 76:25–28; Isaiah 14:12–14). believe that.4. Lucifer’s rebellion against God caused a war in “When we understand the doctrine of heaven (see Revelation 12:7; D&C 76:25–29). premortal life, then things fit together and make5. One-third of the spirits were cast out of heaven sense. We then know that little boys and little girls because they chose not to keep their first estate are not monkeys, nor are their parents, nor were (see Abraham 3:27–28; D&C 29:36–38; 2 Peter 2:4; theirs, to the very beginning generation. Revelation 12:8–9). “We are the children of God, created in his6. All who kept their “first estate” (premortal life) image. were promised that they would “be added upon” “Our child-parent relationship to God is clear. 13
  2. 2. Chapter 6 mortal bodies are made. (Ether 3:16; D. & C. 131:7–8.)” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 589). ■ “The spirit of man consists of an organization of the elements of spiritual matter in the likeness and after the pattern of the fleshly tabernacle. It possesses, in fact, all the organs and parts exactly corresponding to the outward tabernacle” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 79). “During the ages in which we dwelt in the pre- mortal state we not only developed our various characteristics and showed our worthiness and ability, or the lack of it, but we were also where such progress could be observed. It is reasonable to believe that there was a Church organization there. The heavenly beings were living in a perfectly arranged society. Every person knew his place. Priesthood, without any question, had been conferred and the leaders were chosen to officiate. Ordinances pertaining to that pre-existence were required and the love of God prevailed. Under such conditions it was natural for our Father to discern and choose those who were most worthy and evaluate the talents of each individual. He knew not only what each of us could do, but what each of us would do when put to the test and when responsibility was given us. Then, when “The purpose for the creation of this earth is the time came for our habitation on mortal earth,clear. all things were prepared and the servants of the “The testing that comes in mortality is clear. Lord chosen and ordained to their respective “The need for a redeemer is clear. missions” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to “When we do understand that principle of the Perfection, 50–51).gospel, we see a Heavenly Father and a Son; we ■ “In the pre-existence we dwelt in the presencesee an atonement and a redemption. of God our Father. When the time arrived for us “We understand why ordinances and to be advanced in the scale of our existence andcovenants are necessary. pass through this mundane probation, councils “We understand the necessity for baptism by were held and the spirit children were instructedimmersion for the remission of sins. We in matters pertaining to conditions in mortal life,understand why we renew that covenant by and the reason for such an existence. In the formerpartaking of the sacrament” (Boyd K. Packer, in life we were spirits. In order that we shouldConference Report, Oct. 1983, 22; or Ensign, Nov. advance and eventually gain the goal of1983, 18). perfection, it was made known that we would■ “All men and women are in the similitude of receive tabernacles of flesh and bones and have tothe universal Father and Mother, and are literally pass through mortality where we would be triedthe sons and daughters of Deity. and proved to see if we, by trial, would prepare “‘God created man in His own image.’ This is ourselves for exaltation. We were made to realize,just as true of the spirit as it is of the body, which in the presence of our glorious Father, who had ais only the clothing of the spirit, its complement; tangible body of flesh and bones which shone likethe two together constituting the soul. The spirit the sun, that we were, as spirits, far inferior in ourof man is in the form of man, and the spirits of all station to him” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrinescreatures are in the likeness of their bodies. This of Salvation, 1:57).was plainly taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith ■ “From this revelation [Abraham 3:23], we(Doctrine and Covenants, 77:2)” (The First may infer two things: first, that there were amongPresidency [Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and those spirits [in premortal life] different degreesAnthon H. Lund], in James R. Clark, comp., of intelligence, varying grades of achievement,Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of retarded and advanced spiritual attainment;Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 4:203). second, that there were no national distinctions■ “These spirit beings, the offspring of exalted among those spirits such as Americans,parents, were men and women, appearing in all Europeans, Asiatics, Australians, etc. Suchrespects as mortal persons do, excepting only that ‘bounds of habitation’ would have to betheir spirit bodies were made of a more pure and ‘determined’ when the spirits entered theirrefined substance than the elements from which earthly existence or second estate. . . .14
  3. 3. Chapter 6 “Now if none of these spirits were permitted to “As I read the scriptures, Satan’s plan requiredenter mortality until they all were good and great one of two things: Either the compulsion of theand had become leaders, then the diversity of mind, the spirit, the intelligence of man, or elseconditions among the children of men as we see saving men in sin. I question whether thethem today would certainly seem to indicate intelligence of man can be compelled. Certainlydiscrimination and injustice. . . . men cannot be saved in sin, because the laws “. . . Our place in this world would then be of salvation and exaltation are founded indetermined by our own advancement or condition righteousness, not in sin” (J. Reuben Clark Jr.,in the pre-mortal state, just as our place in our in Conference Report, Oct. 1949, 193).future existence will be determined by what we ■ “There were no neutrals in the war in here in mortality. All took sides either with Christ or with Satan. “When, therefore, the Creator said to Abraham, Every man had his agency there, and men receiveand to others of his attainment, ‘You I will make rewards here based upon their actions there, justmy rulers,’ there could exist no feeling of envy as they will receive rewards hereafter for deedsor jealousy among the million other spirits, for done in the body” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation,those who were ‘good and great’ were but 1:65–66).receiving their just reward” (David O. McKay, ■ “The punishment of Satan and the third ofHome Memories of President David O. McKay, the host of heaven who followed him, was that228–30). they were denied the privilege of being born intoC. God the Father provided the plan of salvation by this world and receiving mortal bodies. They didwhich His spirit children could eventually become not keep their first estate and were denied thelike Him. opportunity of eternal progression. The Lord cast■ “When the great War in Heaven was fought, them out into the earth, where they became theLucifer, the son of the morning, came forth with tempters of mankind—the devil and his angels”a plan that was rejected. The Father of us all, (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:65).with love for us, His children, offered a betterplan under which we would have freedom tochoose the course of our lives. His Firstborn Son,our Elder Brother, was the key to that plan. Manwould have his agency, and with that agencywould go accountability. Man would walk theways of the world and sin and stumble. But theSon of God would take upon Himself flesh andoffer Himself a sacrifice to atone for the sins ofall men. Through unspeakable suffering Hewould become the great Redeemer, the Saviorof all mankind” (Gordon B. Hinckley, inConference Report, Apr. 2002, 107; or Ensign,May 2002, 90).■ “Christ made the Father’s plan his own byadoption. But what is basically important in thisrespect is to know that the power to save is vestedin the Father, and that he originated, ordained,created, and established his own plan; that heannounced it to his children; and that he thenasked for a volunteer to be the Redeemer, theDeliverer, the Messiah, who would put the eternalplan of the Eternal Father into eternal operation”(Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 1:48–49note 3).■ “What Satan wanted, quite evidently, was thefull possession, ownership, of this creation of spiritsthat is involved in the peopling of this earth; so hetried to get them by gift, and that being denied, heis following along and trying to get us through thecommission of sin. If we sin sufficiently we becomehis subjects. 15