Our First Estate, or the Pre-Earth Life: Part I

24 Jan

In the article titled “The Gospel part II: The Plan of Salvation” I spoke of three different estates that we must pass through in order to attain exaltation in Celestial Glory. Of these the first estate is our Preexistence as spirit children of our Heavenly Father. This two part article is written to give a more in depth explanation of what that estate was, and what happened there.

Now, in the first part I will show how the preexistence is taught in the Bible, for it is taught in that sacred volume, and is fairly plain to those who understand the doctrine. To be clear, it is not that we imprint our doctrine onto the Bible; it is simply that because we understand this doctrine we can see the subtle references to it that the Bible contains.

For instance, in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12 verse 7 we read “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
In this verse we are told what will happen to both the physical body and the spirit that inhabits it. One goes back to the earth, to decompose and be assimilated into the elements. The spirit, on the other hand, returns to God. I would ask, “How can it return to God if it was not with God at a prior time?” So, while this verse does not state directly that we lived with God before our mortal births, the implication that we did is clear, and stated in such a way as to make it appear that such was common knowledge at the time.

Another scriptures tells the story of a man born blind. When the Apostles saw him they asked Jesus “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” To this Christ replied “Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.” (John 9: 2-3)
Now, one is left to wonder how it is that the man could have caused the blindness through personal sin, as he was born with the affliction, and thus nothing in mortal life could have caused it. The obvious conclusion is that the apostles knew that we had lived as spirits before this life, and thus were asking if the man had done something prior to his birth that caused him to be born blind. If there is no preexistence than the question they asked was a moot point, and it seems to me that Christ would have taken this prime opportunity to declare this.

Now, there are other passages in the Bible that show that we existed as spirits in heaven before being born on this earth. Jeremiah was told that God knew him before he was born (Jeremiah 1: 5). Paul tells us that God knew many before this earth was formed, and them he predestined for certain blessings in this life (Romans 8:29). And we are told that we are the offspring of God (Acts 17: 28)

All these, and several more, testify to the fact that we lived as spirit children of God before the world was ever created, and that we will one day return to our Father.

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