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If intelligences are finite in number, therefore all the same age, how did we exist prior to the birth through our heavenly parents? In what kind of state, a little ball of light, a human form of some type?

Lynda, from Minnesota

Dear Lynda,

Perhaps we could clear up a couple of things first. The intelligences, using the term in the sense of living entities, are undoubtedly not finite in number. Further, they were never created, but have always existed. These are concepts that we cannot fully grasp with the limitations of our mortal understanding. All that we may know about the intelligences that give life to all living things is found in the holy scriptures. We read in D&C 93:29 that

Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie in commenting on this scripture, had this to say-

“The Lord revealed a similar truth to the Prophet by saying: ‘Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.’ (D. & C. 93:29.) And the prophet taught the same truth when he said that ‘the mind or the intelligence which man possesses is coequal [coeternal] with God himself. . . . The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end.’ (Teachings, p. 353) Thus, intelligence, or the light of truth, that is the spirit element which Abraham says was organized to form intelligences or spirit children, was not created or made. (Abra. 3:23.) It has existed forever, and will exist to all eternity, for it is gnolaum, or eternal” (Mormon Doctrine, p.315).

We have no idea what the physical shape of the eternally existing intelligence is. We know that when a spirit child is born of our Heavenly Parents, a previously existing intelligence enters the spirit body, giving it independent life, in much the same way, I would imagine, that the previously existing spirit enters the mortal body at some time prior to birth, giving it independent life.

We talk of shape and dimension of things that are physical or material in nature. It is proper to consider the shape and dimensions of spirits, for we understand 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 (D&C 131:7).

However, when we talk of intelligence, we have no idea of what it is composed, how it configured, or even whether such terms as dimensions could be applied to it.


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