Origin • Historical records say nothing about why Section 93 was given. Turning to the text itself, the Lord tells us why in verse 19: "I give unto you these sayings that you may understand, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace” (93:19-20).
Origin of Matter Now, the word create came from the word baurauwhich does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence, we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time he had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning, and can have no end. • Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 350-52
Materiality of the Spirit In tracing the thing to the foundation, and looking at it philosophically, we shall find a very material difference between the body and the spirit; the body is supposed to be organized matter, and the spirit, by many, is thought to be immaterial, without substance. With this latter statement we should beg leave to differ, and state the spirit is a substance; that it is material, but that it is more pure, elastic and refined matter than the body; that it existed before the body, can exist in the body; and will exist separate from the body, when the body will be mouldering in the dust; and will in the resurrection, be again united with it • Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 207
Pre-Mortal Existence in Western Thought • Aristotle: The view we have just been examining, in company with most theories about the soul, involves the following absurdity: they all join the soul to a body, or place it in a body, without adding any specification of the reason of their union, or of the bodily conditions required for it. . . , as if it were possible, as in the Pythagorean myths, that any soul could be clothed upon with any body--an absurd view, for each body seems to have a form and shape of its own. . . . [A different] objection lies against the view expressed in the 'Orphic' poems; there it is said that the soul comes in from the whole when breathing takes place, being borne in upon the winds. Now this cannot take place in the case of . . . certain classes of animal, for not all classes of animal breathe. This fact has escaped the notice of the holders of this view. • Aristotle, De Anima I: iii: 14-17; v: 27-30.
4 Origins of the Soul • (1) they come into being by propagation [Traducianism]; • (2) they are created individually for each person who is born [Creationism]; • (3) they already exist somewhere and are sent by God into the bodies of those who are born ["sent" pre-existence]; • (4) they sink into bodies by their own choice ["fallen" pre-existence]. • It would be rash to affirm any of these. For the Catholic commentators on Scripture have not solved or shed light on this obscure and perplexing question; or if they have, I have not yet come across any such writing. • Augustine, On Free Choice of the Will iii.21, trans. Thomas Williams (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1993), 111.
The Elusive Answer to Theodicy • The Problem of Theodicy • Augustine: “But if, instead, souls that have been created elsewhere are not sent by the Lord God, but come to inhabit bodies by their own choice, it is quite easy to see that the ignorance and difficulty that result from their own wills are in no way to be blamed on their Creator since he is without fault even if he himself sends souls to dwell in bodies.” • The heresies of Origin • The threat of Theosis • The yearning of the Romantics
The Divine Nature of the Soul The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have the privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has the power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits. • Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 354