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Do you have the quote that states we agreed to our trials on earth in the pre existence? My sweet friend’s youngest son passed away this weekend and she asked me to  find that quote to help her.  She’s having a rough day .

Thank you,





Dear Paige,

I mourn for your friend’s loss and hope you, she, and her family are able to find peace in and through our Redeemer.

I know of no specific or official Church doctrine teaching that during our premortal existence we agreed to specific trials during mortality.  That said, I know of two individuals who through blessings (one of them a patriarchal blessing) were told that they knew and even “looked forward” to the trials they would experience in mortality. I know another person who was told in a blessing that she, while yet a spirit, asked our Heavenly Father for specific blessings to be granted to her in mortality (that this was the source of certain blessing she recognized in her life).

Further, we know from scriptures that some were foreordained, or called in the premortal existence, to certain positions. (See for example Alma 13:3Abraham 3:23Doctrine and Covenants 138:55, and Topical Guide entry on Foreordination.)  We are taught that we knew of the Plan of Salvation, which would have included knowing that we would be subject to temptation, sin, and the sufferings of mortality.

In another answer, I cited a quote from Joseph Fielding Smith that raises doubts as to whether we all knew all of our trials before coming into mortality:

“We have no scriptural justification for the belief that we had the privilege of choosing our parents and our life companions in the spirit world. This belief has been advocated by some, and it’s possible that in some instances it is true, but it would require too great a stretch of the imagination to believe it to be so in all, or even in the majority of cases” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Way to Perfection, 44).

It’s hard to believe we could have known all our trials if we didn’t also know things such as who our parents and spouses would be.

In October 1985, Elder Maxwell stated in his talk “Premortality, a Glorious Reality“:

We agreed to come here and to undergo certain experiences under certain conditions.

This does not necessarily mean that we knew the specifics of every or any given trial, but it leaves open the possibility that we knew at least about general conditions and perhaps some specific experiences or types of experiences we would have.

Whatever the case may be for any given individual, there are some things we know for certain and which I hope will bring peace to the family of the son who has moved on to the spirit world.  Our Heavenly Father has known the end from the beginning.  He has provided his Son not only to lead us and offer us the way home, but also to comfort us through hard times.  He has also given us a sure knowledge that life continues beyond the grave, that those in the spirit world have meaningful work to do, that families can be together forever, and that the resurrection is a certainty for all of us.

May God bless you, your friend, and her family with peace, love, and comfort during this time of mourning.







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