The Pre-Mortal Realm

For today’s scripture study assignment, click here

As we begin our study of the Plan of Salvation, we start with the Pre-Mortal Realm. Before we came to this earth, we were created Spiritually by God and existed with Him.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we learn:

“Man was also in the beginning with God.” – Doctrine and Covenants 93:29

Understanding the doctrine of our pre-mortal existence can help us to gain perspective and better appreciate our own, individual purpose on earth. Here are a few things that really struck me when studying the pre-mortal realm.

We are eternal beings

“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
– – –
For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;” – Doctrine and Covenants 93:29, 33

To be honest with you, this scripture makes my brain hurt. It is overwhelming to think about eternity. Yet, recognizing that we are eternal beings is important.

Here, we learn that we are eternal beings. God created our Spirits in a manner similar to how He created the earth: He organized our Spirits. He didn’t create us “ex nihilo”. The elements of our beings are eternal.

I guess the reason why I find this important to at least recognize (I don’t think I’ll be able to fully comprehend this with my human brain) is because it helps me to remember that my essence is an eternal essence. I am not an accident. I was meant to be – meant to be a woman, a person, a Child of God. Like I said, overall, the idea of my eternal nature makes my brain sore, but recognizing it is also comforting and empowering. The sense of purpose when I recognize the concept of Pre-Mortality helps me to trust in the Lord.

The Priesthood is Eternal
I know that this may seem like a no-brainer, but when we study the scriptures – especially the scriptures that reference our pre-mortal existences – we also learn that the Priesthood is an eternal power.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

In this scripture, the Lord tells Jeremiah that he was sanctified and ordained before he was born. This isn’t possible unless the Priesthood is an eternal power. Now, I think that Jeremiah’s “ordination” was probably different than what we may consider a typical ordination to be. In that – Jeremiah was foreordained to be a prophet, but it was still contingent upon his mortal righteousness.

In Alma we also learn that even though we may be fore-ordained in the Pre-mortal existence, we are not automatically called and chosen during mortality. We still need to have a soft-heart and be faithful. (See Alma 13:3-5

.)

Regardless of our mortal choice to be faithful, the Priesthood is eternal. It is the power of God, and He used it to fore-ordain souls before they came to this earth. Our Spirits were and are blessed by God’s power. If we choose to be faithful on earth, we can access this eternal power now, too.

God knew us, personally, in the pre-mortal realm, and our lives have a specific purpose
Again, the scripture in Jeremiah teaches an important truth: God knew us, and knows us, personally. We have been sent to this earth by Him with a specific purpose to fulfill.

Ultimately, the purpose of each of our lives is to return to God. But he also sends us to earth at specific times and places so we can be put in the lives of other people. Jeremiah was sent to the earth anciently, in Jerusalem, so He could be a prophet to the people. There is a specific plan for each of our lives.

Of course, this can be hard to recognize, but the scriptures are comforting. In Abraham, the Lord teaches:

“Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.” – Abraham 3:22-23

Sometimes this scripture can cause me to make some wild speculation. I get bent out of shape on the idea of “noble and great ones”…“who were they? was I noble and great? Were there less noble and great spirits?”…etc But I’m not so sure that’t the point of this scripture.

When I really look at this scripture, and what the Lord is trying to tell Abraham, I realize that this is a specific revelation for Abraham. The Lord is cluing Abraham in to some important information – that He was a noble and great Spirit; that he was chosen before he was born – in order to help Abraham reach his eternal potential.

The Lord knows and knew each of us. As we go to the Lord, He will do for us what He did for Abraham: he will clue us into our own ability. He will help us to see ourselves as He sees us. This perspective will help us to reach our potentials.

We were prepared for mortality
In the pre-mortal world, we received our first lessons. (See Doctrine and Covenants 138:56). We were prepared to come to this world.

We also learn an important truth from the Family Proclamation:

“IN THE PREMORTAL REALM, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life.” – The Family: A Proclamation to the World

We did not come here without understanding – to some extent – what would take place on earth. We may not remember our pre-mortal existence, but we were prepared. Our first lessons are tucked away in our Spirits and brains. We can access this knowledge through the Holy Ghost, who will bring all things to our remembrance. (See John 14:26).

***
So…this blog post is probably too long, but I’m grateful for the doctrine of our pre-mortal existence. It helps me to have a proper perspective on life. I am able to better trust in the Lord as I understand my eternal relationship with Him. We lived with Heavenly Father before we came to this earth. We truly have individual purpose and identity.

What did you learn as you studied? What are your thoughts on the Pre-mortal life?

For tomorrow’s assignment, click here.

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8 Comments

  1. I love your thoughts on the Plan of Salvation! I hope someone of another faith, who has the questions Who Am I? Where did I come from? and Why am I here? will beable to read this and be enlightened by it as you did such a beautiful job writing it out. My husband who teaches 9th grade release-time seminary, begins each school year with a lesson on The Plan of Salvation. He is always shocked every year how few of his students even know about it or know any details at all. There is a lot to know and it can get mind boggling as our mortal brains have a hard time computing eternity. I love how The Family Proclamation spells all this out in such a clear way. There is another scripture that ties in to this as well [and equally mind boggling] D & C 38:1-2 “and all things are present before mine eyes” To know and understand the nature of God and that He sees the WHOLE picture at once: the past, present, and future is overwhelming and wonderful at the same time. Thanks for a great post.

    Reply
    • That is a great scripture to keep in mind when thinking of the eternal nature of our own spirits and God’s omniscient perspective. It is funny to me how these kinds of doctrines can make me feel both comforted and mind-boggled. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for the nice comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  2. Stephanie

     /  September 14, 2012

    I know I’m a day or so behind but…

    The scripture in Jeremiah with the word ‘belly’ and ‘womb’ made me think of the children of my womb. They aren’t just babies born to my husband and I. I realized there for a beautiful moment that they too are a part of a far more eternal plan. Staying at home and raising these kids can sometimes tunnel my vision to breakfasts, diapers, preschool, naps. But reading these scriptures helped me understand that Heavenly Father knew them before I did, before those babies left my womb, my Heavenly Father knew them, loved them, created them. What a responsibility to take care of these precious souls.

    Reply
    • Don’t worry about being “behind”

      Your comment really spoke to me today. It is hard to keep our vision from tunneling – especially while the kids are young and needy. And yes, it is an awesome responsibility – almost overwhelming at times. Yet, I find comfort in this same doctrine, knowing that the Lord knew the children he has placed in my life, in my family – with my strengths, weaknesses, trials, and blessings.

      When I was going through a divorce, I worried so much for my children. This same doctrine quelled my fears. Heavenly Father knew the family that Tanner and Berkeley had been born into, and they had been blessed with the ability to persevere through the trials that they would face. I didn’t need to worry – Heavenly Father was in charge. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Reply
  3. I really like your point in the we are eternal beings final paragraph, that we are meant to be etc and that this is comforting and empowering. Also the comment about Abraham being the Nonle and Great One that God wa trying to inspire with his possibilities, this reminds me of promises in patriarchal blessings that can seem daunting, humbling and wonderful. Thanks for your blog.

    Reply
    • Thanks – I absolutely agree. When I was studying, I realized that this is something Abraham needed to know perhaps in order to reach his full potential. It also felt like a Patriarchal Blessing to me. And thinking of Abraham’s experience this way can be comforting to us. God hasn’t left us alone. We can also get personal direction from God – He can help us who we were are and can become. Thanks for commenting. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  1. The Plan of Salvation – Intro to Study Series « That Good Part
  2. The Doctrine of Christ « That Good Part

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