Bible References About
Our Premortal Existence
As was previously mentioned in the "We are God's Children" reference page, LDS theology teaches that we lived with our Father in Heaven as spirits prior to our being born into mortality on Earth. This is commonly referred to as the Premortal Life or Preexistence. It was during this time that we learned about our Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness for us. This plan included coming to the Earth that was created for us, receiving our physical bodies, learning by our experience and being tested and preparing ourselves to return back into His presence and inherit our Second Estate. This was also the time that Lucifer rebelled, and was cast out along with the 1/3 that followed him.
There are actually some verses in the Bible that directly and indirectly refer to this time period when we existed spiritually prior to physically.
Genesis 2: 4-5
"These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground."
Moses teaches in Genesis that God created all things spiritually prior to their physical creation. If God would create the spirits of plants, trees and vegetation prior their being grown physically on earth, it is logical to assume that we humans were also created spiritually prior to our physical births.
Genesis 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."
I actually have to thank an Atheist, Religion major (I know, sounds funny doesn't it) friend of mine for inadvertently pointing this one out to me. Even more ironic is that his name is Charles Jeff Darwin. Jeff told me that in Hebrew, the definition of "spirit" is "breath of life". So in this verse, God is placing the spirit of man, (in this case it's Adam), into the physical body God had just created for him. This would imply that Adam's spirit existed prior to his mortal existence.
"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding."
In this verse, God is asking Job if he knew where he was while God was laying the foundations of the Earth. I've always found this question fascinating because it would take no knowledge at all just to say, "I didn't exist yet, or I wasn't born yet, how should I know?" But God adds that if he had understanding he would know where he was, implying that he was somewhere. I believe that the somewhere in question is the Premortal World.
Ecclesiastes 12: 7
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
The keyword in this verse is "return". In order for something to return to anything it would have had to be with it previously. So the only way our spirits could return to God is if our spirits had lived with God at a prior time. Since God gave us our spirits, and created our spirits, it is safe to assume that we lived with Him after our spiritual creation. We left His presence to come to Earth, and one way we will return to Him.
"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."
In this verse, God is telling Jeremiah that He knew him prior to his conception. I would interpret this as God referring to Jeremiah's existence with God in his spirit form in the Premortal world. This verse also has reference to foreordination, which is the belief that God had set apart who would be his prophets, priesthood leaders, etc during the pre-existence, (but that's a topic for another page.)
"The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him."
This one teaches that God formed the spirits within us. Once again, we are all His children because He is the Father of our spirits, and we lived with him prior to coming to Earth.
"Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?"
Paul is teaching us to show respect to our Father in Heaven, the Father of our Spirits. The Father we lived with before coming to Earth.
The overall point of this page was to show that God created our spirit bodies, as well as our physical bodies. Since we were created spiritually first, prior to our birth on earth, we have to assume that we existed and lived somewhere during that period of time. Hence, a Premortal Existence in a Premortal World. I think it is also logical to believe, that if there is an "afterlife" then there must have been a "before-life".
And for those who question whether we have spirits, think about this logical proof I came up with. "No physical object can become animated without the influence of an external or internal force or energy." A glove doesn't move until a hand enters it, a car does drive without an operator, etc. Therefore, the human body does not become animated without the spirit, or breath of life, entering our bodies.