The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Pre-Existence

"If there had been no free agency, there could have been no rebellion in heaven; but what would man amount to without this free agency? He would be no better than a mechanical contrivance. He could not have acted for himself, but in all things would have been acted upon, and hence unable to have received a reward for meritorious conduct. He would have been an automaton; could have had no happiness nor misery, "neither sense nor insensibility," and such could hardly be called existence. Under such conditions there could have been no purpose in our creation."

Joseph Fielding Smith
"Doctrines of Salvation," 1:64

"The work to be done by John the Baptist, by the ancient Twelve, by Columbus, by the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and by the framers of the Constitution of the United States was all known and arranged for in advance. And all these are but illustrations and patterns, for all of the Lord's work is planned and prepared in advance, and those who are called and chosen to do the work receive their commission and ordination from him, first in the preexistence and then, if they remain true and faithful, again here in mortality."

Elder Bruce R. McConkie 
"God Foreordains His Prophets And His People"
General Conference, April 1974

"Preexistence is not some remote and mysterious place. All of us are but a few years removed from the Eternal Presence, from him whose children we are and in whose house we dwelt. All of us are separated by a thin veil only from the friends and fellow laborers with whom we served on the Lord's errand before our eternal spirits took up their abodes in tabernacles of clay."

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
"God Foreordains His Prophets And His People"
General Conference, April 1974

"In the premortal world before we left the presence of Heavenly Father, He warned and cautioned us about new experiences we would have in mortality.  We knew that we would have a physical body of flesh and bone. Never having been mortal before, we had no experience dealing with the temptations of mortality. But Heavenly Father knew and understood. He charged us to control our mortal bodies and to make them subject to our spirits. Our spirits would have to master the physical temptations that our bodies would encounter in a temporal world. Spiritual power over the influence of Satan comes to us by keeping the commandments of our Lord, Jesus Christ."

M. Russell Ballard 
"Ensign," May 1993 (April Conference) page 6

"I suppose that many of us, if not all, labored as missionaries for the Savior in the premortal life, going among the spirits to persuade others to choose the Savior, and following him in preparing for earth life.  We now have a veil of forgetfulness drawn over our minds. and we do not remember the details of those events; yet the spiritual capacity that we developed in the pre-earth life has come with us into mortality, and when we hear the gospel preached it strikes a familiar note.  We are learning again principles we once knew; that capacity responds to every true doctrine that is taught to us when it is properly stated.  Our main business in this
world is to continue that spiritual development we started so long ago, and this we will do by obedience to the gospel."

Robert J. Matthews
"Why a Savior Is Necessary, and Why Only Jesus Christ Could Qualify"
BYU Speeches of the Year, 4 December 1984

"Why were we then happy? I think it was because good had triumphed over evil and the whole human family was on the Lord's side. We turned our backs on the adversary and aligned ourselves with the forces of God, and those forces were victorious. But having made that decision, why should we have to make it again and again after our birth into mortality? I cannot understand why so many have betrayed in life the decision they once made when the great war occurred in heaven. But it is evident that the contest between good and evil, which began with that war, has never ended. It has gone on, and on, and on to the present. I think our Father must weep because so many of His children through the ages have exercised the agency He gave them and have chosen to walk the road of evil rather than good." - Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Dawning of a Brighter Day," General Conference, April 2004

“How long we were conditioned, schooled, and prepared in the pre-existence for the opportunity to come here to this life, we have no way of knowing. Certainly, as men measure time, it was a period of near-infinite duration. But in any event, after a long schooling and preparatory period, there came a time when this earth was created for us, when the plan of salvation was announced to us, when we were taught that we would come down here for two purposes: first, to gain bodies, mortal bodies, which would be given us again in immortality, in a resurrected state, as a consequence of an infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice which would be made; and secondly, that we would come here to be examined and tried and tested, to see if we would believe the truth, accept the truth, live the truth, walk in conformity to the mind and will of the Lord, as that was revealed to us by his prophets.” – Bruce R. McConkie, April 20, 1960, “BYU Speeches of the Year,” 1960, p. 3

Premortality is not a relaxing doctrine. For each of us, there are choices to be made, incessant and difficult chores to be done, ironies and adversities to be experienced, time to be well spent, talents and gifts to be well employed. Just because we were chosen “there and then,” surely does not mean we can be indifferent “here and now.” Whether foreordination for men, or foredesignation for women, those called and prepared must also prove “chosen, and faithful.” (See Rev. 17:14; D&C 121:34–36.) -
Neal A. Maxwell, “Premortality, a Glorious Reality,” Ensign (CR) November 1985

… you and I, having been spirits and now having bodies, were among those who passed that first test and were given the privilege of coming to earth as mortal individuals. If we hadn’t passed that test, we wouldn’t be here with mortal bodies, but would have been denied this privilege and would have followed Satan or Lucifer, as he came to be known, as did one-third of the spirits created in that premortal existence who were deprived of the privilege of having mortal bodies. These are now among us, but only in their spiritual form, to make a further attempt to thwart the plan of salvation by which all who would obey would have the great glory of returning to God our Father who gave us life. - Harold B. Lee, “Understanding Who We Are Brings Self-Respect,” Ensign (CR) November 1973

I can picture an interview with my Heavenly Father before coming to this earth—an interview in which he called to me and spoke to me, showing me what he had in store for me. It must have been a tender interview with a loving Father who was about to let his son go for a time. I anxiously await my next interview. - Horacio A. Tenorio, “Let Us Build Fortresses,” Ensign (CR) November 1994

This Church stands on a unique foundation, anchored to a bedrock of timeless truth. Brothers and sisters, the holy cause in which we are engaged did not begin in 1820 in the state of New York. It did not begin in Bethlehem. It did not begin in the Garden of Eden. The underpinnings of the everlasting gospel were in place even before the world was. - Russell M. Nelson, "How Firm Our Foundation," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p. 75

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