Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Question!

Most of you know by now that I teach a religion class on Tuesday nights. I teach the New Testament to 18-30 year olds. Tonight we are studying 1st Timothy - Titus.

In Titus, chapter 1, verse 2 we read:




"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began."



If you turn to me to Jeremiah in the Old Testament, chapter 1 verse 5 we read:



"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."



We, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, believe that we lived with God before we came to Earth and got a physical body. I feel that both of these scriptures support that belief. I THINK that we are the only religion on the Earth that teaches that, I might be wrong... if I am please inform me!



So, my question to you (I know I have some readers that are not LDS) is this....



1) Do you believe that we lived with God before we came to Earth?



and



2) Why or why not?

I would sincerely like to hear your views on this...

THANK YOU! Have a great day!



17 comments:

::Jan:: said...

Even though I am lds, I have pondered this question often. It is the one truth that was restored that I have never not questioned. I feel it to be so true. It testifies in the scriptures that we were there. And it makes so much sense to me.

I can understand where it would be a different concept to some. I totally respect that.

But the scriptures that testify are so worth praying about to find that answer of the meaning. For my husband who was raised Lutheran, he believed that without realizing he had never been taught that before. He didn't believe me that it was not a Lutheran concept. And I was grateful that the Light of Christ had testified that knowledge to him instantly.

Hope you get your answers.

wilma said...

Shaila...no I do not believe we were with God before He CREATED US IN THE WOMB. Jer. 1:5 says "formed" you. God is all knowing. He knew me before but I don't believe I was there anywhere with Him before He formed me in my Mother's Womb. I do believe that He had a plan for me from the beginning of my conception. I don't really see how Titus 1:2 relates to this at all. It just basically says He promised eternal life to us ages ago. I don't see anywhere in scripture that it indicates that we were with Him before He formed us in the womb. I do think as an all knowing God He knew before the foundations of the world and before He created the world that He had a plan for mankind. There are scriptures that talk about the angels in heaven being with Him but I do not believe we are angels. Hope this answers your questions.

::Jan:: said...

Shaila. I need to laugh at myself here because I meant that I ponder that question about living in Heaven Before and what I meant by questioning it was as I ponder it, I still know that is where I was before I came here.

I needed to clarify my ponder question/never question. lol....

merrianne said...

you know my answer is definitely YES....
but i want to see what other people say about this :)

McEwens said...

Oh I was going to stay out of this, but what the heck....
in Ecclesiastes we find another hint of living with God before we came in a verse speaking of death: Ecclesiastes 12: 7 … and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Take Note that spirits do not just go to God upon death, they “return.” The Hebrew root is "shuwb" meaning to return, come back, or be brought back

Cherie said...

I have never had a problem with this at all.
I truly know that we are spirit children. Our body houses our spirit. Our spirit had to come from somewhere and it will go somewhere after we leave this mortal existence - that "somewhere" is with our Heavenly family - We didn't just arrive into our earthly bodies from no where.
We also know we were in the war in heaven before the earth was created and when the "plan" was presented - If we were there and we chose who to follow then we existed...WE EXISTED!

Da Bergs said...

Thank you Pam, I had forgotten about that scripture!

Wilma, I guess in Titus I was focusing on the, "God PROMISED before the world began" I feel that He promised us (in spirit) before we came to Earth.

I am just trying to understand why other religions do not believe that we were there with our Father before... we believe that we, as his Spirit Children, lived WITH him before he formed our physical body to come here.... thanks everyone!

Tink said...

I am LDS and served a mission for the Church. Our church uses the King James version as we believe that is the most correct translation. Unfortunately, the many other Bibles out there that list these scriptures are translated differently and don't bring out the concept we so readily believe in. I'm impressed you are teaching! Wish I could sit in on one of your classes. It will be fun to see the feedback you get.

Bren's Life said...

Tink has a interesting point. I am also LDS which you know. But I have only had the King James version of the Bible & am not sure how things are said in other scriptures.
I completely believe that we were in Heaven before we came to earth. I Believe that we all made a choice to come to earth & gain a body. I believe that my children chose to come to Troy & I & to be apart of our family. I know this in my heart. I can't quote scripture & say if it is doctorine though...

heather said...

Totally off topic but one of my favorite scriptures is in Timothy!

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Or something really close to that!

livefromtheguillotine said...

Shaila,

I second what Mom said as that is what I believe, but I would say that it's possible that the difference comes from the fact that while we read only The Bible, you also read the Mormon scriptures?

I don't know if that is the difference since I haven't read the Mormon doctrine in depth, but that might be the difference between the Mormon understanding of what we were before we were born and what other Christians believe about our personal beginnings.

I don't know of any scriptures within the Bible itself that explain our pre-born situation as living with God until such a time that we accept a body and a time on earth. That might not be the right terminology, since I'm not versed in Mormon theology. Apologies if I've misstated it!!!

That's why I'm guessing this doctrine is mainly found in The Book of Mormon instead of just The Bible. That would explain the difference, I think.

Love ya,
Lana

wilma said...

Shaila...you know how I like to discuss the scripture. I was just reading an article yesterday about how we all are a product of our enviornment ...we pretty much believe what we have been taught..how we were raise, etc. So we see through that prism. Of course we do believe that The Holy Spirit speaks to our spirit truth. Anyway...I just think that is interesting and especially when we discuss scripture. One of the comments reminded me of Gen. where God created man ie Adam...so I looked it up.
2:7
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

2:8
And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Now this to me would be when Adam was created and he became a living spirit when God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. I believe breath in the original language is spirit. not sure about that though ..I need to look that up.

Interesting stuff...Love Aunt Willie

Beth at Aunties said...

I loved all this dialogue. I have often wondered what other churchs believe.
I just know with all my being I lived with my Heavenly Father before we came here to earth. There have been too many spiritual eperiences in my life letting me know it is true.
The scripture Pam quoted from Ecclesiastes 12: 7 … and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
I feel my loved ones who have passed on have in deed "returned" home.
This is an innate belief besides a doctrinal one to me.
My darling and wonderful DIL Brandi was an active Catholic when she married my RM son and she also always believed this concept. She joined the LDS church just after a month of marriage and they were sealed in San Diego.

I enjoyed the lesson! This is so interesting.
*C*

McEwens said...

Wilma, you are right. IN the Hebrew the breath means soul, spirit.

Here is another hint in the scriptures to the premortal... Look at vs 5 (In Gen 2) and every plant of the field BEFORE IT WAS IN THE EARTH (sorry for caps, I dont know how to make it bold) and every herb of the field before it grew.

Mormons believe things were created in the spirit form before the physical. Yes, I feel that it is in the mormon scriptures that this principle is taught more.

I grew up going to various churches.
I think the VERY first time I remember ever feeling the spirit was in a Baptist church. A woman was giving a lesson on Paul. Dealing with the stoning of Stephen. I think it was that teacher that taught me what the spirit feels like, and how powerful the spirit of God is. I wish I knew who she was to thank her. I have felt the spirit often since then, but will be forever grateful for a teacher such as her.

McEwens said...

I guess.. I will continue on in my reply. As I went through the bible, I wanted more. I wanted a prophet, I wanted apostles, I wanted to be lead! I went to every church I could find, there were great things in so many churches. But things were still missing. I can honestly say I did my church homework, I spent a couple years attending many churches. In my quest I took the discussions from the Mormon Missionaries. They answered every question I had, oh boy trust me I had LOTS. At one point I even told them they were stupid, we disagreed on doctrine, I thought I was SO right. but they showed me things in the scriptures I never noticed, and boy I had been wrong. I prayed and asked God what to do. AFter reading and attending ALL the churches I could, this is where I found my answers. The LDS church. I love having a prophet!

I LOVE the Bible! I love the Hebrew! I love God!

Mechelle said...

I have pondered this question myself. I think we all need to gain a testimony of each teaching even if we are LDS.

This teaching gives me so much peace. I know and love my Heavenly Family and they know and love me.

This is the foundation of my self esteem. Yes, it is true. It is not founded on what kind of car I drive or what my nails look like. It is total founded on this truth. m

rad6 said...

Shaila, I am Cherie's SIL, and she sent me a link to this post. Since I am also teaching the NT, she knew that I would be interested in not only your post, but also the comments of your friends and family.
I have thought of this much over the years and could write a novel with a lot of scripture references, but will declined. There is a poem that I think describes this doctrine best... (you may recognize it as a hymn)... Eliza R. Snow wrote in the eighteen hundreds, "I had learned to call the Father through thy spirit from on high, but until the key of knowledge was restored I knew not why..." Through my life I have found this to be true, that it is something inside of us that tells us that we knew our Father before we came to this earth. I love teaching this to people for the first time, so often it strikes a cord and just "makes sense" to them. A beautiful experience.
Yes, a very unique doctrine, not taught in other religions, but also not taught against in many venues.
I am also studying the doctrine that Paul taught in Romans 8 (there are other references too) about being joint heirs to our Fathers kingdom, another doctrine that the LDS religion is often criticized for believing.
Shaila, I would love to get your email address and hear more about your teaching experiences. Did you teach seminary before this?
Ruth
rdavis6@surewest.net