How are spirit children born? How were Adam and Eve’s bodies formed? I know by Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother. That is what confuses me. Can Heavenly Father have literal spirit children, and then turn the flesh on when He feels like it? Or are spirit children created by some other process?
Adam, from Sydney, Australia
In the first place, spirit is not just some ethereal non-substance, it is another form of matter. We read in the Doctrine and Covenants 131:7 that
There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes.
Spirit children are born of resurrected, exalted parents. They are born in the same manner that mortal children are born. However, when a celestial parent has a child, it is composed of spiritual material, not physical material.
Here is the process of eternal growth. Life exists first of all as an intelligence. The term intelligence is used in the scriptures in two connotations–intelligence as a quality of the mind , as expressed in the following scripture–
And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all (Abraham 3:19).
and as an entity, as expressed in the following scripture–
Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.(Doctrine & Covenants 93:29)
So when a spirit child is born of heavenly parents, the pre-existing intelligence enters the spirit body, giving it independent life. Thus a spirit is composed of an intelligence inhabiting a body of spiritual material.
Now, when mortals have children, the pre-existing spirit enters the mortal body giving it independent life. So man is a trinity in composition–physical, spiritual and mental.
Mortal man must die, but through the great atoning sacrifice of the Savior of Mankind, all who die will be resurrected. The resurrection is divided into several classes, depending on the degree of obedience to eternal principles declared by God and announced in the holy scriptures.
The most disobedient, or wicked, persons are those to whom the Savior has been revealed, who have sure knowledge of who He is, and then deny the truth and become an enemy to God. They are the sons of perdition. Their fate is to be remanded to company of Satan forevermore. For them, there is no redemption.
Other evil persons, who know not God, and follow the dictates of Satan in mortality, are remanded to his custody until the end of the Millennium, at which time they will be resurrected and will inherit the glory of a telestial kingdom. (The earth in its present state is a telestial kingdom, and in the eternities the telestial kingdoms will surpass all understanding). See D&C 76:88.
Those people who are the good people of the earth, but who do not believe in the Savior or who do not obey all the laws and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ, are resurrected as terrestrial beings. They will be resurrected during the first resurrection at the beginning of the millennium and will inherit a terrestrial kingdom. (The terrestrial glory will be that of the earth during the millennium).
Those people who fully repent and are baptized for the remission of their sins by the requisite priesthood authority and who live according to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ will come forth in the morning of the first resurrection and will inherit the glory of the celestial kingdom. They will live in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. We are told that in the celestial kingdom there are three glories or degrees, and to enter the highest glory, which is called exaltation a couple must be united together as husband and wife by the authority of the holy priesthood in one of the temples of the Lord. That sealing ordinance binds a man and woman together forever as husband and wife if they live during mortality in strict accordance with the sacred covenants of obedience to the gospel that they take upon themselves as part of their marriage vows.
Those immortal, resurrected couples, living in a state of exaltation in the celestial kingdom will continue to bear children. However, the children born to them will be of spiritual material, just as we were when we were born as spirit children of our Heavenly Father.
Adam and Eve were first born as you and I were born, as spirit children of our Father in Heaven. They received their physical bodies by being born as we were born into mortality, However, we were born into a telestial world and they were born into a terrestrial world. Adam was given the assignment to help create this earth. It was Adam who brought seeds, plants and animals here from another planet; brought his wife with him and eventually stayed here. Adam and Eve became the first parents on this world. All of humanity on this earth are descendants of Adam and Eve. Here is what the prophet Brigham Young had to say on this subject–
“Though we have it in history that our father Adam was made of the dust of this earth, and that he knew nothing about his God previous to being made here, yet it is not so; and when we learn the truth we shall see and understand that he helped to make this world, and was the chief manager in that operation.
“He was the person who brought the animals and the seeds from other planets to this world, and brought a wife with him and stayed here. You may read and believe what you please as to what is found written in the Bible. Adam was made from the dust of an earth, but not from the dust of this earth. He was made as you and I are made, and no person was ever made upon any other principle.” (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 3:, p.319).