In human biology there is born (extremely infrequently) a two headed child. This to me speaks to a Heavenly Father who is the Father of what? i know that the Church believes in only one earthly life. So how can you explain this very unusual but factual existence? It cannot be reincarnation since according to LDS belief it does exist. Can you justify Heavenly Father’s work in the life of the family and most importantly the twin headed children?
Thank you for your question.
On lds.org, under the topic heading, God the Father we read:
We are all literally children of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life. As His children, we can be assured that we have divine, eternal potential…
Regardless of the biological circumstances to which we were born into this life, we can take comfort in knowing that we “all” are children of God with divine, eternal potential. Often times, in our limited understanding, we want to place unrealistic expectations upon God or upon his love for his children. Our Father in Heaven loves his children regardless of any perceived physical or emotional limitations they may have or be labeled as having. As is often too common, we can unfortunately view those who are different from us as being “less than” us. What some view and call a disability, others may see as a blessing. Does God love an individual less because he or she is born without sight? Is his involvement reduced in the life of a person because they are born deaf? Should a person who is born with one hand expect their prayers to be answered less than their counterpart who is born with two? Should twins who experience some form of conjunction be labeled as second class citizens? The answer is of course no to all of these. God loves us all regardless of any physical limitations we might have, and we should expect him to be involved our lives just as much as the next person.
God is the Father of our immortal Spirits. Our physical bodies, however, are products of this physical world in which we live, a world that is not yet perfected. Our biological bodies are subject to this fallen state and as such do not function, nor should they be expected to function, as immortal or glorified Celestial bodies would. We are all physically subject to both the good and bad of this world. We are all subject to: sickness, physical injury and environmental factors around us. Our Father in Heaven has given us all our agency. At times the agency of others also affects us biologically. A mother who accidentally ingests lead or knowingly uses drugs during her pregnancy can affect the biological outcome of her baby. Despite all preventive prenatal care, there are simply times when our imperfect bodies simply don’t follow all the biological rules we tend to call “normal”.
Most sets of twins are born separate and independent of one another. In extremely rare instances, as you pointed out, that full separation may not occur thus leaving those individuals as either conjoined twins or one of those individuals with either craniofacial duplication or Craniopagus parasiticus at some point. The conjunction of two physical bodies, however, does not imply (or suggest, or mean, or mandate) that there is a similar conjunction of two spiritual bodies, or that any version of reincarnation is to be credited. We are all spiritually unique and separate individuals.
In his talk entitled We Are Children of God, Elder Russell M. Nelson said the following regarding physical limitations:
For reasons usually unknown, some people are born with physical limitations. Specific parts of the body may be abnormal. Regulatory systems may be out of balance. And all of our bodies are subject to disease and death. Nevertheless, the gift of a physical body is priceless. Without it, we cannot attain a fulness of joy.
A perfect body is not required to achieve a divine destiny. In fact, some of the sweetest spirits are housed in frail frames. Great spiritual strength is often developed by those with physical challenges precisely because they are challenged. Such individuals are entitled to all the blessings that God has in store for His faithful and obedient children.
Eventually the time will come when each “spirit and … body shall be reunited again in … perfect form; both limb and joint shall be restored to its proper frame.” Then, thanks to the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can become perfected in Him.
Our bodies, though not perfect, are still incredible gifts from our Father in Heaven. Though they may not be in the form we might desire or “expect” it would do us good to recognize God’s love for all of his children nonetheless. The Church provides a handful of videos related to this topic here: Disabilities. Thank you again for your question Thomas and I’ll leave you with the following short video to consider.