Jesus The Christ – Study Guide
(2) The Premortal Existence
Genesis 1:26-27 is the biblical account of what is left of the premortal life, which according to some LDS scholars was over 2.5 billion years of existence. In this organizational meeting (Abraham 3:22-28), we were all present and witnessed the Savior’s appointment as the Redeemer. Jesus explained that some souls would be lost and not make it back. Lucifer argued that he could save them (v. 26). In verses 24-25, Jesus is already the Chosen One. He is speaking in past tense that we (God the Father and Him) we prove us to determine if we keep our covenants made (in the premortal existence).
This talk was delivered on June 9, 2013 in the Wollochet Ward.
It was a cold blustery morning in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when Frank Daly, a local teenager was taking the bus home. The bus driver, John Williams, shivered each time he opened the door to let new passengers on. Inside the bus was warm, outside it was 10 degrees. Not far from his stop, Frank noticed a pregnant woman board the bus.
Her clothes were tattered, her socks were ripped and she had no shoes. The woman was heading in the opposite direction of her destination, but she boarded the bus to escape the cold. She was a mother of eight children and had enough money for the children’s’ shoes but not for her own.
The Old Testament prophet Ezekiel teaches a profound doctrine with respect to repentance. “If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.” (Ezek. 33:15.)
Here we have three steps in repentance:
- Restore the pledge
- Commit to change
- Forsake the sin
Notice the phrase ‘restore the pledge.’ What pledge? Each makes pledges to our Father in heaven. Some have been made here on earth, baptism, confirmation, temple ordinances, and the sacrament. All of us made pledges before we were born.
Elder Burton explains repentance by going to the Old Testament. The OT was written in Hebrew and the word for repentance is shube. The meaning of the word is ‘to turn away’ or ‘to change.’
We are commanded to preach repentance. If you consider the meaning of shube, then we are commanded to preach the concept of living differently, to turn away from sin or to change the way we live.
When the Bishop exhorts us to repent, he is suggesting we change or turn away from harmful habits and turn unto the Lord.
Perhaps an understanding of what repentance is not would help us gain clarity on this 1st principle of the gospel.
Repentance is not:
These feelings may accompany repentance, but they are not repentance.
Quoting Elder Burton: “As a General Authority, I have prepared information for the First Presidency to use in considering applications to readmit repentant transgressors into the Church and to restore priesthood and temple blessings. Many times a Bishop will write, I feel he has suffered enough!” Elder Burton continues,
“But suffering is not repentance.”
Having knowledge is not sufficient for happiness or salvation. In life you are given a puzzle to solve. You have forever to solve it. When you do, you become like God. However, you have a problem—you don’t have the ability to solve the puzzle alone.
Are you free?
Freedom is knowing the truth. The truth will set you free (John 8:32). Free from what? Free from mortality and free to live an exalted life.
What is truth? Truth is knowledge of things as they are, as they were, and as they are to come (D&C 93:24).
In D&C 121:34-43 we read the Lord’s blueprint for administering His kingdom. This is also how we are to administer in our families, relationships, and specifically in our personal lives. The contrast between power and force is evident in this and other scriptures. The following list illustrates contrasting approaches to life, relationships, and our space with God.
Take a moment and contrast the words in the table. Each word found under the Power heading is self-evident. Read the word and become aware of your feelings and thoughts. The power words uplift, edify, and create an overall positive feeling.
Force is the natural man; it is experienced through the senses. It is the belief that we are self-sufficient and can navigate the path alone. Nothing has the power to create stress or despair, except that will allow it. Whenever force meets power, force is eventually destroyed.
Hawkins, D. R. (1995). Power vs. Force.
Carlsbad, CA, USA: Hay House, Inc. p. 72
 IBID, pg. 73
There are two energies in the universe, one is power and the other is force. Man perceives we live by forces that we can control, yet we know through revelation that we are governed by an unseen power over which we have no control, except it is given us contingent upon worthiness. This power comes from God and His laws. Its application is the power of an inner awareness of who we are and it is also the source of our happiness.
2 Nephi 2:11 “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things…”
After Jesus was chosen to carry out the Father’s plan, Lucifer, in an act of anger and pride, concocted an alleged plan as a result of a temper tantrum that would force all mankind to be saved. Not through love or grace, but by dominion and compulsion, with pride as the primary drive. Jealousy, anger, and revenge are the forces supporting the adversary. There is no power in Lucifer’s plan.
In the pre mortal existence, there was a plan put forward that would save all mankind contingent upon obedience. Every person would be saved by the power of the Atonement. Blessings and happiness were predicated upon obedience and the saving ordinances, which justified our positions, were performed by the power of the priesthood.
At one moment in our existence we sang for joy because our Father in Heaven agreed to coach us back into His presence.
Then we were born and a veil was placed between that moment and the present. Our memory became clouded even temporarily erased.
In order to accomplish our vision and dream, we needed conflict to make us grow. So the Lord introduces us to conflict every day. The rules of engagement for exaltation are to cope with…
- Getting out of bed in the morning
- Sore muscles
- Too much food
- Toxic family members
While in the pre-mortal life, our Father in Heaven informed us that we had to conduct 5 saving ordinances during our mortal probation.
- Gift of the Holy Ghost
In chiasmatic fashion, the priesthood is the catalyst to all of them. Baptism is symbolic of the Savior’s death and resurrection and in modern-day parlance, it is a signed contract of agency to the Savior. We agree to the terms of membership.
The act of showing love by holding the student accountable for growth
What does it mean to hold someone accountable? Have you ever held someone accountable for what they want? Some years ago my son Stuart asked me to help him prepare for a mission. One of the things he asked me to help him with was cleanliness, or should I say, lack thereof.
During the initial weeks of his preparation, he heard a repeated question: “Stuart is your room up to missionary standards?” He never argued with me from that point on. Having a clean room was something he wanted. He gave me permission to hold him accountable for serving a mission and a clean room was a stepping-stone along the way.
God The Father
Father’s Day 2008
I don’t remember the exact details, but this is what I’ve put together so far. The spirits were innumerable, but we all felt we had front row seats. The Father presented His plan, we would take on a mortal body, different from the spiritual one we currently have. We were all excited, but we didn’t know exactly what that meant.
He taught us that we would be in a fallen state, sin would be rampant and people would make poor choices that would directly and indirectly lead to a lot of suffering and pain. We learned that when we made a poor choice, He would allow the natural consequences to happen, which was another way of saying we would be punished for our own sins.