Well....he didn't know us then, he does now, and thanks to vicarious work for the dead can now make a more informed decision :) Truly I would love to read what he's writing these days. Thanks!
From a national survey my firm conducted a few years ago, we found that 29% of Americans believe that they lived before they came to earth. In other words, for every member of the Church who understands we had a pre-mortal existence, there are 14 or 15 others outside the Church who believe, or at least sense, the same thing.
In the book "The God Who Weeps" written by Terryl and Fiona Givens, one chapter quotes a number of poets, religious leaders, and philosopher mostly of previous centuries who suggested that there we did have a pre-mortal experience. One of the authors quoted also believes that it was important that our memory of the pre-existence be blocked out in order for our mortal experience to be significant. Wordsworth was perhaps the most eloquent but he was not the only one.
It must be said that Wordsworth, a poet I love to distraction for his insights into life, was a man of his time.
He was an Anglican and the nature of worship in Anglicanism at this time included an abhorrence of what was described as 'enthusiasm,'; something for which the Wesleys and Whitgift instroduced when they preached 'holiness' to the common folks that felt shut out of the Church of England.
Critics will always pick on the unfamiliar, the novel, and that which they mistrust. Therefore, Wordsworth felt it appropriate to speak in rather unkind terms about his wife's niece.
The lesson I take away from his letter to Reid is that a man whose verbal expressions rival the best in the world's literature and poetry at any time in its history, would so forget himself and let his anger show. Our charge from Heavenly Father is not to 'Wordsworthise' our enemies, but to bless them using the kindest words we know.
In William's case, because he could piece together such sublime language and expressions, but chose to abandon his gift to express his disapproval, it is likely that his complaint about the young lade would haunt him for the rest of his days.
'To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts
that do often lie too deep for tears.'
How fortunate that the Lord provides ways for us to change our mind and get out of the unkindness we often sow when we should be spreading flowers and the sunshine to make them flourish.
William does not know it, but there was a time in my younger life when his poetry saved my life.
Craig, there are many references, but read Jeremiah 1:4 and 5 (before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee). Also read Ephesians 1:3 and 4 (chosen before the foundation of the world).
Jeremiah 1:5 -- "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." You mention the passage in Revelation 22:18. By that same logic, read Deuteronomy 4:2 and see if there isn't a significant dilemma with everything in the Old and New Testament that follows...John's revelations while on the Isle of Patmos were not part of the Bible at the time he wrote them (none of the prophetic or apostolic writings were) and pre-dated many of the New Testament writings included in the Bible. John was warning about altering his writings, not the Bible as a whole. Hope this helps!
Craig, if you will look online for LDS Scriptures, find study helps and then go to topical guide. There he will find under preexistence at least 12 Biblical references both implicit and explicit regarding preexistence of spirits. As to St. John, the book of Revelation was a separate book written before other books of John. It wasn't until the 10th or 11th century that these separate books were put in the order Close to what we have now. The prophecies given in Revelation should of course never be altered. But neither should the prophecy given and any other scripture be altered I believe that this is what St. John's intended. The concept of preexistence brings me comfort that God knew me and I knew God as a child before I came here. Thank you for your question, David
Hello Craig, A study on the doctrine of the pre-existence of spirits would introduce you to ideas from the early church fathers Origen and Tertullian. Paul said that "...we are the offspring of God..." Acts 17:28. A classic Biblical reference is found in Jeremiah 1:4 "...before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." My favorite Biblical reference regarding the pre-existence of spirits is in Proverbs 8:22-30. It beautifully expresses how the writer was with God prior to and during the creation. Now all of this could just a product of the omniscience of our Heavenly Father. Or, it could be that he created our spirits before we came to this earth where our spirits are clothed in a mortal body and later will be reunited with a resurrected immortal body. I choose to believe that we are begotten spirit children of God. We are…”the morning stars [who] sang together, [when] all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7
May God bless you in your search for truth.
Craig V Schwartz, here is a wonderful article about Revelation 22:18. "No Man Shall Add to or Take Away" by Howard W. Hunter. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1981/04/no-man-shall-add-to-or-take-away?lang=eng. And here are some Bible verses that elude to our pre-existence through our foreordination, being foreknown, predestinated, the war in heaven where Satan fell and we rejoiced, etc. Jeremiah 1:5, Romans 8:29-30, Ephesians 1:4-5, 1 Timothy 1:9, Luke, 10:18, Job 38:4-7, Revelation 12:7, Ecclesiastes 12:7, Hebrews 12:9, Jude 1:6.
In Jeremiah chapter 1 verses 4 and 5 it says,
"Then the word of the Lord came unto me saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
This scripture indicates that we did live before and the Lord not only knew us, he gave us certain responsibilities for when we came to earth.
Also in Moses chapter 3 verse 5 God says,
" For I the Lord God created all things of which I have spoken, spiritually before they were naturally upon the earth.....
This verse indicates that everything including man was created before coming to earth.
2 Corinthians 5 verses 6 and seven also support that we were with the Lord before the earth began,
"Therefore we are always confident that...Wiltst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith and not by sight."
I hope this helps, I encourage you to pray about these and ask the Lord himself if there was a life before earth life.
The same thing is said in Deuteronomy 4:2
"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you." so if that is what was meant then Deuteronomy would be the end of the Bible. The Bible is a collection of Books that were not in chronological order, Revelations was not the last book written. God still talks to prophets today. Not accepting more from God is an attempt to close God's mouth. He can and does speak today. However, the are multiple references to pre-earth life in the Bible...a few of them are below...
God of the spirits of all flesh: Num. 16:22 (27:16).
all the sons of God shouted for joy: Job 38:7.
the spirit shall return unto God who gave it: Eccl. 12:7.
Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: Jer. 1:5.
Lord … formeth the spirit of man within him: Zech. 12:1.
who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind: John 9:2.
poets have said, For we are also his offspring: Acts 17:28.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate: Rom. 8:29.
chosen us in him before the foundation of the world: Eph. 1:4.
subjection unto the Father of spirits: Heb. 12:9.
angels which kept not their first estate: Jude 1:6.
Michael and his angels fought against the dragon: Rev. 12:7.
This is for Craig Schwarts re premortality check the texts.Try this one from the Old Testament: Jeremiah 1:5. And Abraham 3:22-23
The question of the words in Revelation 22:18 would takev a longer time to discus. However note this: The Gospel of John was written BEFORE the book of Revelation which was not added to the Cannon of Scripture was finally formalized, come in as late as the 16 century: see "The One Volume Bible Commentary", by Rev. J.R. Dummelow, an Anglican Minister.
Sun of Nun
Welcome Craig. We are quite accustomed to people who do not realize the close correlation of our teachings with both Old and New Testament. For this specific teaching (we sometimes use the word "premortal") you might start with Jeremiah 1:4-5 and Ephesians 1:3-4. That is just a beginning. You can find more in the references that are free at LDS.ORG and other church websites.
The origin of the idea of our pre-existence came from revelation from God the Father who is the Father of our spirit! See Hebrews 12:9. Paul the wonderful prophet of the book spoke it! See also Act 17:28,29; also Rom 8:16,17, reveals that we are the children of God! And Jeremiah was called before his birth See Jeremiah 1: 4,5 - but how could this be without revealing this marvelous truth about the pre-existence of all mankind? Now more importantly, we have a modern prophet, Joseph Smith, who received many significant revelations on this very important truth: See Moses 4:1-1 and Abraham 3: 22-28! Now for the significant revelation on Satan's rebellion See: Isaiah 14: 12-15; D&C 29: 36-39; Revelations 12: 3-9; D&C 76:25-28;!
Gosh, Craig, there are many revelations on the many truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that reveal who we are and what our potential really is! But in this our day it is very important to open your heart to learn the truths revealed through our modern Prophet Joseph Smith!
Craig V. Schwartz, the Bible does speak of a pre-mortal life, although rather indirectly. See John 9:1:2 when the disciples ask Jesus, "Who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" They assume that he must have lived before he was born. Jeremiah 1:5 says, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee". Ephesians 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world". The idea that we lived before we were born does not conflict with Bible principles. It is very much a pro-life stance because we lived even before conception. God has a mission for each of us on earth.
Loved reading "the rest of the story" :) This article was a great reminder to look at the eternal perspective. Thanks!
For Craig: Read Jerimiah 1:5 and Ephesians 1:4.
As for the reference in Revelations, there is a similar one in Deuteronomy 4:2. In both cases, the writer continues to write more. Part of the confusion results from Emperor Constantine's organization of the books of the Bible. Revelations was one of the first books written of the New testament. The writer went on later to write the Gospel of John. When written, these were separate letters, not part of a book, and the warnings are about specific items, not a book assembled hundreds of years later.
Craig V Schwartz - This is an honest request. Here is the information you seek:
Go to the website: lds.org
click on Scriptures and Study
then click Study helps
click on Topical Guide
then this link: Man, Antemortal Existence of
See also Council in Heaven ; Foreordination ; Man, a Spirit Child of Heavenly Father ; Spirit Creation
Study to your heart's content. If you are interested in more information about the "Mormons" you can click on mormon.org
Success to you.
Craig Schwartz: Revelations 22: 18-19 is sometimes used by critics of the Book of Mormon to show that we should not add more scripture. Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 say the same thing which would make the whole New Testament an addition after Deuteronomy. We believe that ancient prophets existed on the American Continent and that there is a prophet on the earth today that continues to receive revelation for today. We believe in the Bible and The Book of Mormon as scripture.
You and I were there in the Pre-existence with Job when:
"The morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Read Job 38: 3-7 for a better understanding of what Jehova was asking Job. Like Job, you and I are both "Sons of God" and were with him when the earth was created.
Craig, Thank you for your respect. The idea of a pre-existence (actually pre-mortal existence) was revealed to us by the Prophet Joseph Smith. However, there are indirect references to our pre-mortal existence throughout the Bible. For example, Jer. 1:5, Ecc. 12:7, Luke 3:38, Heb. 12:9, Matt. 6:9, etc. are just a few examples in the Bible that hint of the truth that we had a pre-mortal existence, that God is our Father, and that we are his spirit children.
Craig, I think the evidence does exist in the bible. In Jeremiah 1:4-5 It states that Jeremiah was ordained a prophet before he was formed in the belly and that God knew him.
In John 9:1-3 It shows the disciiple must have known of a pre-existence as they asked the question concerning a person blind from birth. "master , who did sin this man or his parents that he was born blind?" If the man's blindness was a result of sin he would have had to had a pre-existence. Also Hebrews 1:1 refers to Jesus as the creator of the world. Therefore he also had a pre-mortal life. Further doctrine is expounded by revelation thru God's prophets raised up in this period of history which also shows God's continual love for us. Hebrews 4:11-14 shows the need of such prophets always.
Craig, there are several references to our pre-existence: Jeremiah 1:4-5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; Acts 17:28 For we are also his offspring; Hebrews 12:9 (God is the father of our spirits); Job 38:7 all the sons of God shouted for joy; Ephesians 1:4 he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world.
Craig, I assume you're wanting scriptures from the Bible. There are a number of them that hint at a pre-mortal life, but two of them are obvious about it; Jeremiah 1:5 and John 17:5.
The idea of Preexistence originated with God himself, he revealed this to his prophets many times in the bible and also the Book of Mormon. Please look at this link for links from the bible which speak of our premortal life.
Craig, there are many references in the Bible that could be construed as supporting the idea of a pre-existence, but pretty much all of them can be interpreted otherwise as well. Perhaps the best reference is in the book of Jeremiah (1:4-5) which says "Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.'" The LDS teaching is much more clearly stated in the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. My personal favorite, for reasons that would take me far too long to summarize here, is in the D&C, section 93:29. It reads in part, "...Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." If you would like me to explain the relevance of this passage as I understand it, please feel free to write to me @ [email protected] I do not speak on behalf of the Church, of course, but for myself only.
@Craig V Schwartz Here is a link I hope you will find helpful: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/premortal-life?lang=eng
Great insight. It is good to know more about W. Wordsworth. It is good to know that our biases may be mended after this life!
Interesting article. We have a young man who is a descendant of Wordsworth (by the same name: William Wordsworth) in our ward.
So in mortality the great poet was at best, ill-informed about the Church and the Restoration, but now has received the gospel and the saving ordinances. What a gracious Heavenly Father we have!
The Napoleon Bonaparte referenced above is actually Charles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, otherwise known as Napoleon III. He is Napoleon Bonaparte I's nephew.
I have respect for people of the Mormon faith. I wonder where the idea of a preexistence originates? I have never read in the Bible about our preexistence. St. John wrote in Revelation, Chapter 22 verse 18 that nothing should be added to "these words of prophecy. Can someone tell me the origin of this idea that we existed before our time on earth?.
Wonderful article...you are a good writer!...I GOT GOOSEBUMPS!....TKS.
Email (will not be published)
Daily news, articles, videos and podcasts sent straight to your inbox.