Elder Parley P. Pratt
Elder Orson Pratt
Pres. Joseph F. Smith
Pres. David O. McKay
|Summary of Revealed Knowledge About the Pre-Mortal Life|
Optional Reading: Bro. Marcus Martins - "Thinking Way Back": Considerations on Race, Pre-Existence, and Mortality
Summary of Revealed Knowledge About the Pre-Mortal Life
All human beings lived as spirits, male and female, offspring of Heavenly Parents (The Proclamation on the Family)
An individual spirit is a being with a body of human form composed of pure and refined matter (D&C 129; 131:7-8)
Details about the nature and circumstances of this pre-mortal environment have not been revealed; but prophets have taught the following:
Spirits lived in the presence of God, and likely had access to light and knowledge far beyond mortal capabilities
Individual spirits exercised agency in the pre-mortal world ... But we canít (at this time) specify the nature of agency in the presence of God
By exercising agency, spirits advanced towards godhood ... But the status of godhood could only be reached through the power of the resurrection
Some spirits advanced enough to be considered by the Lord as "noble and great," but ...
The currently available revelations donít specify the meaning of "advancement," "nobility," nor "greatness" in a perfect, infinite environment
There must have been some kind of organization in the pre-mortal world that regulated assignments to geographical placement, families, and a variety of missions on earth, based on a number of variables and the foreknowledge of God ... but ...
The currently available revelations donít tell specifically what criteria would have been used to regulate such pre-mortal assignments
Elder Parley P. Pratt
On the Nature of Spirits
Journal of Discourses, Vol.1, pp.8-9,11-12
[This] ... spiritual element is endowed with the powers of locomotion in a far greater degree than the more gross or solid elements of nature; that its refined particles penetrate amid the other elements with greater ease, and meet with less resistance from the air or other substances, than would the more gross elements. Hence its speed, or superior powers of motion.
Now let us apply this philosophy to all the degrees of spiritual element, from electricity, which may ... be one of the lowest or more gross elements of spiritual matter, up through all the gradations of the invisible fluids, till we arrive at a substance so holy, so pure, so endowed with intellectual attributes and sympathetic affections, that it may be said to be on a par, or level, in its attributes, with man. Let a given quantity of this element, thus endowed, or capacitated, be organized in the size and form of man, let every organ be developed, formed, and endowed, precisely after the pattern or model of man's outward or fleshly tabernacle--what would we call this individual, organized portion of the spiritual element?
We would call it a spiritual body, an individual intelligence, an agent endowed with life, with a degree of independence, or inherent will, with the powers of motion, of thought, and with the attributes of moral, intellectual, and sympathetic affections and emotions. We would conceive of it as possessing eyes to see, ears to hear, hands to handle; as in possession of the organ of taste, of smelling, and of speech.
Such beings are we, when we have laid off this outward tabernacle of flesh. We are in every way interested, in our relationships, kindred ties, sympathies, affections, and hopes, as if we had continued to live but had stepped aside, and were experiencing the loneliness of absence for a season.
Elder Orson Pratt
On the Intellectual Capabilities of Spirits
Journal of Discourses, Vol.3, p.103
... there is a language in the spirit world that can communicate more to the mind in one minute than could be learned here in a hundred years of intense study and reasoning. There is an eternity of knowledge. There are worlds, as it were, without number; kingdoms without number; personages without number; intellectual beings of all grades and orders without number; and all these have their laws, their governments, their kingdoms, their thrones, their principalities, their powers, all moving and acting in the sphere in which they are placed; and they all have their way of communication one with another; therefore, when the Apostle says, that tongues shall cease, he had reference to the imperfect tongues upon the earth; knowledge will not cease, but knowledge in part will be done away, not knowledge in full. Says the Apostle Paul, "We know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away." these imperfect things will be done away, and we shall be able by the power of the Holy Ghost to obtain a language by which the angels speak, and by which a higher order of beings speak, and by these means attain to a greater degree of knowledge, that will produce a greater amount of happiness.
The Spirits of the Children Are Mature
In James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, Vol.5, pp.94-95
The spirits of our children are immortal before they come to us, and their spirits after bodily death are like they were before they came. They are as they would have appeared if they had lived in the flesh, to grow to maturity, or to develop their physical bodies to the full stature of their spirits. If you see one of your children that has passed away it may appear to you in the form in which you would recognize it, the form of childhood; but if it came to you as a messenger bearing some important truth, it would perhaps come ... in the stature of full-grown manhood ...
[Patriarch Hyrum Smith taught:] ... the spirit of Jesus Christ was full grown before he was born into the world; and so ... our children were full grown and possessed their full stature in the spirit, before they entered mortality, the same stature that they will possess after they have passed away from mortality, and as they will also appear after the resurrection, when they shall have completed their mission.
No Nationalities in the Pre-Mortal World
Home Memories of President David O. McKay, pp.228-230
There were no national distinctions among [pre-mortal] spirits such as Americans, Europeans, Asians, Australians, etc. Such 'bounds of habitation' would have to be 'determined' when the spirits entered their earthly existence Ö
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