What do you remember of your preexistence?

I don’t remember anything.

It has been taught by LDS Authorities since my birth in S.E. Idaho back in 1969 that I did preexist with God.  But I can’t remember.

And then John’s Gospel pops the fabricated bubbles by flat out telling me that I wasn’t the unique One coming from heaven to this earth.  No surprise really in how the Bible sets Jesus apart from me.

But for those of you who do believe in your preexistence with God Almighty, think with me on what Jesus tells his disciples in John 14:26,

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

For you, what are the “all things” brought to remembrance through the power of the living God the Holy Spirit?

This verse has been one of the most powerful and comforting verses for me during this past week.

10 comments

  1. The “all things” are what Jesus says: “whatsoever I have said unto you.” I don’t think he’s talking about premortal life—or even any part of this mortal life (e.g., Peter’s adolescence or John’s infancy)—only those times when the Lord was with them.

  2. So just in their three years of perfect seminary training, included with the perfect on-the-field experience outside of the classroom?

    So how do you apply this verse to you, Brian?

    Do you give yourself a broader time period of what the Spirit can bring up for your remembrance?

  3. “So just in their three years…?” Yes, that is explicitly what Jesus was referring to (as I read it).

    “how do you apply this?” My hope (and thankfully, personal experience as well) is that the Spirit will “teach me all things” that are necessary for my salvation and “bring to my remembrance” the wonderful witnesses I have had of God’s grace—particularly during times of distress or shaky faith, but at other times too.

    “Do you give yourself a broader time period of what the Spirit can bring up?” It’s not what I give myself, it’s what I “give” the Spirit: I don’t limit the Spirit. If God wants to bring up something, I’ll “let” him, whether it be from last year, my childhood, my future, or yes even my premortal life. Just because I think that in this verse Jesus was specifically talking about his time with his disciples on earth does not mean that he limits the Spirit to only that time.

  4. Ok, that last line . . .

    What is it that Jesus has specifically taught you in your “premortal life” that the Holy Spirit has brought to your remembrance?

  5. Todd, why do I get the sense that you are arguing against an apologetic that I’ve never made? I’ve told you what I think this verse is talking about…and it’s not premortal life. Seriously, where do you hope to be leading me?

  6. Brian, if I believed that the Lord Jesus Christ powerfullly taught me truths in a premortal life, I would hunger for it all to be brought to my remembrance in this life. I would want to know details this week of what I have forgotten. What are the things that He taught me in a premortal existence where now I would say in my mortal existence, “Ah Lord, now my eyes are opened. Now I understand what you were telling me before I came down to this earth.”

    I must have understanding of His words. And in application, I would use this very verse in pressing God to fulfill promises made. And in John 14, we are told by Jesus that his words which he taught the disciples were the Father’s words.

    If I believed in preexistence, Brian, I could not be satisfied by some religious authority here in the Corridor telling me that I must remain content because of a supposed veil of forgetfulness.

    But let me drop my discussion on this thread, Brian. I must confess, I have been in the mood to argue all day.

    Thanks for listening.

  7. Todd,

    Have you ever considered that the Holy Ghost has been trying to bring these truths taught in the pre-mortal to your remembrance, but maybe you’re not recognizing them?

    Please don’t take that statement as hostile as it’s not my intention to be offensive — I know that there have been many times in my life when I thought I understood the Gospel, but found I really didn’t — only when I was willing to humble myself sufficiently to be able to accept and be taught by the Holy Ghost, were my eyes of understanding opened.

    Chapter 4 in Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s book “New Witness for the Articles of Faith” is titled “The Talent to Believe”. In there he explains that agency is an eternal principle that existed in the pre-mortal life and that we enter this life with the talents can capacities we developed there. He says that “the talent of greatest worth was that of spirituality, for it enables us to hearken to the Holy Spirit and accept that gospel which prepares us for eternal life”.

    I believe that the reason that many LDS converts find the Gospel “familiar” is because the Holy Ghost is bringing these truths and doctrines to their remembrance and they are recognizing them.

    The ability for us to recognize the Light of Christ and the promptings of the Holy Ghost requires sensitivity to spiritual things — but in a physical and mortal world, as we all know, this is very difficult and we must make a diligent effort to seek after and listen to the Comforter.

    As far as the pre-existence and this veil of forgetfulness, that is part of the test, right? Sure some think the concept is a convenient explanation, but if we remembered everything we learned and were taught from our pre-mortal existence, why would we need faith in this life?

  8. Todd,

    Can you remember when you were 6 months old? Using your logic, you must not have existed if you cannot remember it.

    fof

  9. Who gives responsibility to a 6 month old to remember things?

    Doesn’t that age group require a little different standard of accountability than a preexisting adult standing in the Council of the LORD?

  10. Todd,

    As the father of five, I have often wondered if this veil of forgetfulness is actually a gradual process that happens after we are born. I wonder if babies receive the ministering of angels, the Holy Ghost, and possibly the Savior for some period of time after they are born to help them transition from the pre-mortal life to the mortal life. Have you ever shown a small child a picture containing the Savior and asked them to point to Jesus — my experience is that they get it right EVERY time. They know who Jesus is. (try that with a picture of any one else)

    If you believe in revelation, the restored gospel, and latter-day prophets, you know that children who die before the age of accountability (age 8 ) are saved in the Celestial kingdom — before the age of accountability, children have no need for baptism. At baptism, they receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost (which is more than just the light of Christ) to bring things to their remembrance (i.e. pre-existance life and teachings) and at that point become responsible and accountable for their choices here in mortality — hopefully, they payed attention in class in the pre-existance so there’s something to remember and help them out…gulp 😉

    It’s wonderful to know that God loves every one of his children and does everything possible to help them in the exercise of their agency — never forcing, but always encouraging and supporting. It is also so comforting to know that the Savior will judge everyone with the utmost fairness and mercy possible (with maybe even a hint more) because he knows each of us individually and intimately and loves us more than we probably realize.

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