Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
We lived as spirits before we were born. This is one of those truths that many people accept and believe when they hear it, yet very few Christian ministers will teach it. It surprises me.
What was it like to live as a spirit? We don’t have all the details, but we do know that we had a Father who loved us. In His hopes for our futures he saw us growing up in integrity and character. To help us in our education and progression, he created the world and offered each of us the chance to live on it in physical, mortal bodies.
The physical realm was a step up for us. It meant becoming a bit more like Father, since his body was physical, immortal, and perfect. Of course, mortality, as we’ve all found out, has its pitfalls. Disease, poverty, hunger, death, and other misfortunes of many kinds are the tests we’ve been given to help us grow, both collectively and individually.
Central to Father’s plan was a Savior, a person who would not only mitigate the challenges of mortal living, but also vanquish death itself. Permanently. He would also bridge the chasm of sin…the chasm we help dig by our own poor decisions.
Jesus Christ, then known as Jehovah, was the first-born of the Father, and the obvious candidate for the job. We shouted for joy at the thought of our eldest brother leading us into this new frontier. We knew we would be fine if He was our Savior. We already had faith in him.
Another of Father’s most clever sons also came, vying for the position. Lucifer’s campaign promises included saving all people from sin and death (by removing their free will). He must have been persuasive, because he drew a third of all spirits with him, but rather than getting their demands, they were denied entrance into physical bodies of their own.
We know that since we are here, we made the right choice. Before we were born we had faith in Jesus Christ, and we can have faith in him still. He will do everything he set out to do, and we can make the choice every day to be on His side.
See “The Plan of Salvation“