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A pre-existent state?  — Section 53

Was there an existence before mortal life?

Representative of a Christian church:
The LDS church has a doctrine that teaches of a pre-mortal existence, a pre-existence.  This is contradictory to the teachings from the Bible where it states that “And the Lord formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  (Genesis 2:7)   Thus, ‘living souls’ began their existence right here on earth, not in some former existence.

Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
We do indeed believe in a pre-existent state of life, and that we once lived with our Heavenly Father.  We pointed out earlier in our discussion the reference in Isaiah 42:5 that clarifies that the breath and the spirit were entirely separate.  In the creation we see the Lord placed his breath in man by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, but his spirit had come from God.  That is why the preacher wrote in Ecclesiastes 12:7, “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”  The Lord one time told Jeremiah, as recorded in Jeremiah 1:4-5, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest out of the womb I sanctified thee and I ordained thee to be a prophet unto the nations.”  Clearly the Lord told Jeremiah that he had known him before he was even formed in the belly.  Paul wrote, “We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live?”  (Hebrews 12:9)  The preexistence was well known to the Lord’s apostles as is recorded in John 9:1-3 when they asked the Lord if the blindness in the blind man in question had been caused by his parents or himself (and he had been born blind).

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