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Question

 

Gramps,

Have you ever read anything discussing if a pre-existent spirit needed to do or did do anything to qualify being born in the covenant?

Dennis

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Answer

 

Dear Dennis,

While there is much we do not know about our pre mortal life, we do have scriptures and teachings from our leaders that give us some valuable clues.  For example Doctrine and Covenants 138: 55-56 says:

55 I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.

56 Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.

President Ezra Taft Benson taught:

“God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the second coming of the Lord. Some individuals will fall away; but the kingdom of God will remain intact to welcome the return of its head—even Jesus Christ. While our generation will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time. It is that God has saved for the final inning some of His strongest children, who will help bear off the kingdom triumphantly. …

“… Make no mistake about it—you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time than there is of us” (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson [1988], 104–5)

Other scriptures you might find helpful are: Abraham 3:11-12,  22-23,  Isaiah 14:12–15Revelation 12:7–9Alma 13:3–5Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–39; and the rest of Abraham 3 and Doctrine and Covenants 138.

Surely it cannot be disputed that our present state proceeds directly from our past state. It is beyond doubt that our circumstances in this life result from our pre mortal choices.  The problem comes when we try to decide what is a blessing and what is a punishment. If you were not born in the covenant, does that mean you were less valiant? Or does it mean that God chose you to open a family branch to bring his children (your relatives) unto him?  (Hartman Rector Jr.  is a great example of this. He served in the First Council of the Seventy.  You can read about his conversion here:  Stories from the General Authorites: My Conversion)

Were we organized into family units of some sort in our premortal life? (Seems extremely likely.) If so, is our mortal family’s makeup reflective of a premortal configuration? (Seems reasonable.)  However reasonable or unreasonable these things might seem, we cannot know them without understanding the nature of our premortal lives. And we do not have any good idea of the nature of that life. It has not been publicly revealed.

So to my mind, it seems beyond doubt that our premortal actions have greatly influenced our mortal lives, but it is unpredictable what that effect is. For example, we cannot be justified in judging a child born into grinding poverty or other horrible situations as being “less valiant” premortally. Mother Theresa is a great example of this.  What a blessing she was to the poor and needy people of India.  Could anyone doubt that the Lord is pleased with her service? He asked us to “feed His lambs”.  She dedicated her life to that purpose.  It is quite possible that she was fore-ordained to that mission.

I am sure that our pre mortal state looms large in our mortal birth, but we can’t possibly infer how valiant we were (or weren’t) based on our BIC status.  What we do know for certain is that we made choices during the war in heaven that enabled us to come to earth, receive bodies and to prove ourselves.  This is where our focus should be.  How can we be valiant in serving the Lord today?

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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