Notes for my writing

This blog is made up of notes on the gospel as found in the only true and living church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This includes notes that are either excerpts from or ideas for books I either have in draft or may yet write.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Premortality

There are some principles about the premortal life that are well worth considering, but are not politically correct to have earned their place in our lessons. This is too bad, because truth is invariably more powerful than error, even if at first that seems like it isn't the case.

The two victims of political correctness we are gathered to mourn today are:

1. There are blessings in this life that were granted because of actions in the premortal life. In fact, mortality itself was granted on condition of our behavior in the premortal life.
2. What we did yesterday is less important that what we decide to do tomorrow. Alma the younger led a life of rebellion for many years, but then he repented, and became a prophet who was eventually translated. This principle is true in mortality. It is just as true for the premortal life and mortality. What we did yesterday in the premortal life is irrelevant compared to what we are going to do from here on out. All who kept their first estate have the option of choosing to be as good or as bad as they want to be here in mortality.

This second principle is explained in a scriptural pharse: There are many who were first, who shall be last, and many who were last, who shall be first.

We see exactly the same thing in mortality. A man may choose to sin away his life. He may lose every spiritual advantage that would have been opened to him if he had lived righteously. Then he may choose to repent and turn around. He may become as righteous and devoted as he chooses to be. He can change his chosen path to one that leads to exaltation and godhood.

Just so a righteous man can turn from his righteousness. Balam was a prophet, but in the end he taught his people to send their women to seduce the Israelites so that the Lord would not longer bless Israel. For this act of spiritual treachery the Lord ensured he was slain by the Israelites. David was a man who the Lord said was after his own heart. Then David committed adultery and murdered Uriah, and lost his exaltation.

Another scripture lays this same principle out. The Lord promised Abraham he would send his most righteous spirits to be his posterity. Consequently the more righteous spirits were not gentiles, but Israelites. But Nephi has some plain words for those Israelites that think anything in the past counts more than righteous behavior today.

2 Nephi 30:1 And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.
 2 For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel.


We are fine with the doctrine of a premortal life, and even that all those who followed lucifer suffered terrible, but just, punishment for their actions in the premortal life, becoming perdition.

However, people have a hard time accepting that anything else affecting this life is a result of actions in the premortal life. We live in a day when truth takes a backseat to man's view of justice all the time.

The scriptures teach that

D&C 130:18 Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.
 19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.

This should be coupled with the verses that follow it.

20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—
 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

These verse are quite profound and teach that whenever we obtain a blessing from God it is by obedience to the relevant law. This idea is not separate from the previous verses. If we gain "so much advantage" it was because we gained "more knowledge and intelligence" in this life. That is logical. The phrase "you can't take it with you" doesn't apply to our spiritual state. As our judgement will represent who we have become, then our spiritual state is the one thing we can be certain that we do take with us.

So what of when we were born here. Was not the same true. Is there any point in sending "the noble and great ones" to be born at a specific time and place if when we are born the same principle that whatever principle of intelligence we attained unto in the premortal life rose with us when we were born. That doesn't mean that we know how to say it when we are born. But as they grow don't we see in our own children different principles of goodness that they have acquired peculiar abilities in? And doesn't it vary from one child to another?

The Lord promised Abraham to send his most righteous spirits to be the descendants of Abraham (and how else could the all the world be blessed by Abraham's posterity). Can't we see that there is a converse to this, that those who were most righteous in the premortal life were given promises about the families into which they would be born? Not all were promised the gospel in mortality, some where called to prepare a free nation. But there are still two sides to this coin: the promises we receive about our posterity, and the promises our posterity received about us. We cannot be saved without our fathers, and nor without our posterity, and neither of them can be saved without us. Sure, there are ways the Lord works things out for those whose fathers rebelled, or whose posterity rebels, but there is no reason to let the exception wash out our perception of the rule.



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