This talk raises numerous issues of concern, beginning with the section regarding “Premortal Life.” Mr. Ashton said, “In the premortal world, we were born as spirits to Heavenly Parents and lived with them as a family. They knew us, taught us, and loved us.”
He used as a reference Romans 8:15 which is taken out of context. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Truth is, we are not born sons and daughters of God. We are God’s creations. John 1:12-13 declares, “But as many as receive him, to them gave he the power to BECOME the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of men, but OF GOD.” Returning to Romans 8 we read in the previous verse, 7 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” We become sons and daughters of God through adoption, through our faith in believing on his name. THEN we can call him “Abba, Father.”
No where in the Bible or Book of Mormon is premortal life taught. LDS missionaries use passages like 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.” They claim God knew Jeremiah in the preexistence where God ordained him a prophet. The proper interpretation is this: God knows everything there is to know, past, present and future. The verse is saying that God knew He was going to create Jeremiah before Jeremiah was formed in mother’s womb. And that God had a special work planned for Jeremiah to do while he lived. The verse does not say that Jeremiah knew God or had done anything before his earthly conception or birth.
Job 38:4-7 states “Where was thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, if thou has understanding. Who has laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? Or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? Or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” The context of this passage comes when the entire trial of Job is nearing its conclusion. And God steps in and asks Job some probing questions like – Where was he when all this happened? Where was Job when God laid the foundation of the earth? Meaning, Job you weren’t even around then, you didn’t even exist as a spirit. So, who was he to instruct the Lord? And the “morning stars” and the “sons of God” shouting for joy refer to angelic creations and the hosts of heavens which were among the first order of God’s creations in the universe.
Another favorite scripture used by the missionaries is in Hebrews 12:9 “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’s of spirits, and live?” But God is the father of our spirits only in the sense that He is the Creator of each human spirit during the physical conception and development of the human body in the womb. Unlike Jesus who, because He is God, pre-existed prior to the creation of His human body, all other spirits have their origin in the womb. Our preexistence was only in the form of a lump of clay before God breathed life into us, creating a spirit within us. It says in Zechariah 12:1 “Thus says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him…” This forming of the spirit within man takes place at conception.
The Mormon missionaries will use
the Book of Moses 3:5 where it says,
that all things including men were created spiritually before they were created
This Genesis translation of Joseph Smith is in direct contradiction to what Paul taught. Speaking of the human body and whether we first pre-existed as a spiritual being, 1 Corinthians 15:46-49 reads in part, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterword that which is spiritual.” So, according the Apostle Paul the natural was first, then the spiritual. This begs the question: how could we have pre-existed in a spiritual state if the spiritual did not come first?
Jesus addresses this idea in John 1:18 “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” Jesus tells us here that no one, except Himself, has ever seen God at any time. If we pre-existed with our Father in Heaven, why didn’t we ever see Him? Jesus taught that He is the One who came from heaven in John 3:31-32 “He that cometh from heaven is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.” We are made of this earth, therefore we know only the things of the earth. We do not and cannot know heavenly things because we have never been there. Jesus comes from there, so He could tell the people of heavenly things.
Only Jesus had seen the Father before He came to earth. He declared in John 6:46 “Not that any man hath see the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” No human had seen the Father because no one else pre-existed. In that same chapter, the Jews were shocked with Jesus’ statement about coming down from heaven, because they had never heard of the concept of a preexistence. It seems rather odd that if we lived in God’s presence in a pre-mortal state, we at no time saw Him or heard His voice. Jesus stated In John 5:37-38 “And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye hath neither heard his voice at ANY time, nor seen his shape.”
Jesus again declared in John 8:23 “And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” Very clearly Jesus confirms that all humans are from the earth – and He is the only One who came down from above.
The entire Biblical record confirms that we did not pre-exist in a spiritual state before we were created in the physical state. We only become sons and daughters of God through the principle of adoption as, a result of believing on the name of Jesus Christ alone.