I know we were born to heavenly parents. But in Abraham, it also says that we have always existed. How are both possible? And I do know the song, “If You Could Hie to Kolob,” but it almost confuses me more. Help?
Man is a trinity, composed of a physical body, a spirit and an intelligence. As you know we acquire a physical body at birth into mortality. Before the actual mortal birth the intelligent spirit enters the physical body, giving it independent life. The spirit separates from the body at death and is reunited again in the resurrection, nevermore to be separated or destroyed. The spirit body is the literal child of our Father in heaven, born, we assume, in the same way that physical bodies are born into mortality. When the spirit is born a previously existing intelligence enters the spirit body giving it independent life.
The word, intelligence, has two connotations-one, as a cognitive quality of the mind and the other as an eternal, independent entity that comprises the thinking part of the person. The concept of intelligence as an entity is expressed in D&C 93:29–
Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
In this sense, or with respect to this component of the trinity that makes up an individual, we are all co-eternal with God. President Joseph Fielding Smith had the following to say on the subject:
“The Lord made it known to Moses (See Book of Moses ch. 3) and also to Abraham (Abraham ch. 3) and it is expressed in several revelations, that man was in the beginning with God. In that day, however, man was a spirit unembodied. The beginning was when the councils met and the decision was made to create this earth that the spirits who were intended for this earth, should come here and partake of the mortal conditions and receive bodies of flesh and bones. The doctrine has prevailed that matter was created out of nothing, but the Lord declares that the elements are eternal. Matter always did and, therefore, always will exist, and the spirits of men as well as their bodies were created out of matter. We discover in this revelation that the intelligent part of man was not created, but always existed. There has been some speculation and articles have been written attempting to explain just what these “intelligences” are, or this “intelligence” is, but it is futile for us to speculate upon it. We do know that intelligence was not created or made and cannot be because the Lord has said it. There are some truths it is well to leave until the Lord sees fit to reveal the fulness. (Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 2: 162).