By Bob Webster
PRE-MORTAL EXISTENCE – THE BIG PICTURE
Before our earth was created, God our Father first planned the process. This was not the first earth ever created, nor the last (Read Moses 1:29-38). The laws governing the creation process have always existed. God employs those laws precisely and righteously. But He was not alone.
Both the Genesis and Abraham accounts reveal that more than one person was involved in the planning . . . Let us create man in our image, (Gen. 1:26) Let us go down . . . and they, that is the Gods organized and formed the heavens and the earth (Ab. 4 & 5).
Numerous other passages confirm that Jesus Christ, who is Jehovah of the Old Testament, Mine Only Begotten, The Son of God, etc. created the earth under the direction of God the Father (TG: JESUS CHRIST – CREATOR).
In brief, God is the Father of the spirits of all men and women. Man’s spirit body looks like and conforms to the shape of God’s physical body. God gathered His spirit children and explained His plan to them (us). On an earth, which He would create specifically for them, they would receive their essential physical bodies, similar to His, with which to gain experience, and to prove themselves by obedience to His commandments. By following His guidance on earth, each could progress back into His presence, the ultimate existence. It was also made clear that all memory of pre-earth life would be gone on earth, which would make the test of faith and obedience fair and complete. Each must act and choose for himself. Freedom of choice (agency) is as essential a principle of life as a physical body. It’s a celestial law!
God knew that disobedience (sin) would prevent His children from qualifying to return to His presence. God explained a marvelous arrangement to overcome that lost and helpless condition. It would require a sinless person on earth to earth to sacrifice his own blood to atone (repay) for the sins of all the others, since only innocent blood can atone for sin – another celestial law. A SAVIOR was necessary – a sinless one who would voluntarily suffer out of pure love for his brothers and sisters, in total obedience to our Heavenly Father. To him would God grant the power to then return to life permanently, and to make it possible for all men likewise to resurrect into everlasting life.
The Firstborn Son of all of God’s spirit children, Jehovah, volunteered, committing himself completely to God’s will, and honoring the righteousness of His plan to bless His children. God was pleased.
But another great and persuasive spirit son, Lucifer, foreseeing the difficulties and hardships of earth life, presented an alternative plan. In his scheme, no one should have to risk being lost; all could be saved, by requiring everyone to be tightly controlled – forced to obey – without agency. His true objective, however, was to receive the credit and glory for himself, attempting to accomplish something that not even God could guarantee. Shouldn’t that make him greater than God?
And therefore shouldn’t he deserve to sit on God’s throne instead? Many of the spirits liked the idea of guaranteed security and salvation, as opposed to the personal risks and responsibilities of freedom of choice. (You may recognize that this same contest between our own guaranteed security and calculated risk is a major issue between competing political viewpoints governing socio-economic programs on earth).
Full of vanity and deceit, and possessed with a lust to obtain power and glory without earning it according to eternal laws, this spirit sought a shortcut to the power and glory he desired. His plan would eliminate every individual’s right and responsibility to choose for himself willingly, without external compulsion. However, God said, “I will send the first. And the second was angry, and kept not his first estate; and at that day many followed after him “ (Read Ab. 3:24-28; Moses 4:1-4; TG: COUNCIL IN HEAVEN, SATAN).
With Jehovah accepted and his plan rejected, Lucifer rebelled. But so influential was his debate, and so persuasive was his personality and presentation that it divided the spirits, creating a war in heaven. He became Satan, the Father of Lies, and was cast out of heaven to earth, along with the rebellious one third of the spirit children of God. They became the Devil and his angels, who lost their opportunity forever to have a physical body, and to enjoy its blessings. Instead of progressing, they work continually to influence men on earth to not obey God’s plan of happiness and salvation. They seek to make all men miserable, like themselves.
What does this have to do with CREATION – VS – EVOLUTION? It is essential to understand the true reasons why earth was created, why conditions exist as they are, and how long earth will last in each of its various situations. This is the ultimate reality. This is TRUTH. This is not a children’s fairy tale. This is the real thing! (Remember to study each of the topics in the TOPICAL GUIDE in the back of the LDS KING JAMES BIBLE. TG: SATAN, FALL OF MAN, WAR IN HEAVEN, COUNCIL IN HEAVEN, CREATION. Don’t skip these, or you will miss the most important points!)
Just as all children of God were created first as spirits in heaven prior to coming to a physical earth body, so also were all living things, and even the earth itself, created first as spirit beings, made of a more refined spirit matter. The same sequence of actions used in the spirit creation was then repeated for the physical (temporal) creation of the earth and its life forms. The overall “master plan” or agenda for earth’s existence was to include several stages:
1. Spirit creation in heaven: 6 days plus a day of rest.
2. Physical creation: 6 days of 1000 earth years each, plus one day of rest – a total of 7000 years.
3. The Fall of Adam, initiating both death and the start of the counting of earth’s temporal time in mortality.
4. Mortality: 6 days of 1000 earth years each (We are now approaching the end of the 6th day). The Savior’s atonement came in the meridian (middle) of this overall earth time schedule
5. The Millennium: The 7th day of 1000 years of peace, with Christ/Jehovah the Savior reigning personally on earth, while Satan and his angels will be bound, and rendered even more ineffective by man’s righteousness.
6. Satan will be loosed again to propagate evil for “a brief time.”(1000 years?)
7. Final Judgement of men, and assignment to appropriate kingdoms of glory.
8. Changing of Earth into a celestial globe like God’s home, to be the home for those who kept God’s commandments, and learned to live righteous, obedient lives. Among these are candidates for Godhood.
How refreshing the truth is! How grateful we are to God for providing this knowledge. It gives us hope of eternal life, and kindles our love for God our Father, and for our elder brother Jesus the Christ, the Creator and Savior.
Finally we are now better prepared to examine some of the details of those 1000-year ?God days of the physical creation of earth, and then to determine in Chapter Four, an answer to that anxious question, HOW OLD IS THE EARTH?
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