I was raised Catholic, so, I preface this by saying I had no idea growing up that such a thing as a "premortal life" existed. While it is true that the Mormon religion is the only Christian faith that teaches such a concept, I came to the Church with a strong belief that we existed, with God, prior to coming to mortality. This knowledge came from studying both the Old and New Testament.
Normally, my revelations come from pondering specific questions over an extended period of time. Sometimes even years. Of course, I validate the information I receive through personal prayer to make sure it is coming from the right source. Then normally, a second witness will appear to validate the new revealed truth. Again, sometimes the second witness will come years, even decades after I have received the first.
Since I have learned some of the truths of the eternities, I have been committed to being obedient to them. This has lead to what some might call a truly "blessed" life. It has also resulted in some very difficult experiences. Imagine my surprise when, in spite of my persistant desires to live a righteous existance, everything fell apart. I mean everything. I lost my health, wealth and everything else that mattered to this world of ours. Friends became foes and I became an outcast. I can honestly state here that I was considered the least among my brethren because of my miserable circumstances.
Like Job, my family and acquaintances believed that I had done something to anger the gods and bring about my misfortunes. Looking for iniquity and finding none, I have no doubt that they permitted their imaginations to create some explanation for my dire circumstances. Like Job, I was continuosly counselled by others who were appalled at my condition to "curse God and die."
I tell you this not to brag or boast, but that you might know that I really had some major questions about my purpose in mortality. I remained faithful and loyal to God in-spite of circumstance, and often recited Job's statement: "The Lord giveth and The Lord taketh away. Blessed is the name of the Lord." I knew that my suffering served some Divine purpose, and that, if I were patient, it would lead to an even greater understanding of our human existence.
I was not disappointed.
I was shown in vision the Premortal life where all mankind first existed as the literal Spirit children of God. I saw that Spirit bodies are material, only the matter is much more refined and purer than our mortal bodies. We existed as our perfected Spiritual selves and our education lasted for aeons, the culmination of which, is our mortal experience.
I saw that a Plan was presented to us collectively by Lucifer, whereby he stated that, through compulsory means, he would save all of mankind by taking away their liberty and freedom of choice. He was an arrogant individual, but very persuasive, with a significant following.
I then saw Jesus Christ present an alternative plan. His plan would permit mankind its liberty and freedom of choice. Some would make choices that would lead them to an eternity of darkness and misery, but, their choices had to be respected. All of us would suffer to some degree because of the choices of others, but each act of sufferring would give us the experience we needed to reach our full potential.
I saw that every man and woman would labor under the frailities of the flesh and its corrupting influences. Man would become fallen man and would require help in returning to a perfect state. I saw Jesus offer Himself as a sacrifice for the innocent, ignorant and ill-informed. I also saw that His Atonement would permit the salvation of fallen man, once he became truly aware of his misdeeds and repented himself of them.
I saw that the majority approved of the Plan presented by Jesus. Lucifer, angry with jealosy, swore to destroy the plan by force, and there was a war in heaven. I saw that 1/3 of our spiritual brethren joined Lucifer's rebellion and were cast down to earth. According to the foreknowledge of God, these remained fixed in their determination to destroy all of God's creations, including man.
I saw the Garden of Eden, in its paradisiacal state, prior to the Fall of Adam. I saw myself anxiously waiting for the Fall of Adam and Eve to occur so that our mortal education could progress. I realized that God knew everything Lucifer would do to disrupt His creations but that He permitted this temporary evil on His earth for our benefit.
I saw that certain things were required in mortality for each of us to progress eternally. Fortunately, from an eternal view, our sojourn on this earth would be mercifully short. This was made possible by the physical body in a way I cannot explain here. I saw that each of us met with our Creator and helped create our own mortal plan through our overt consent. Everything, our genetic structure, place of birth, environment, family and society was designed to allow us to develop our own unique talents and abilities.
I also saw that we were well aware of the pain and sorrows we would pass through in mortality. I saw that each of us signed a consent agreement which bound us and God to receiving those miserable experiences as a necessary part of our growth and development. This contract was set in stone.
I saw my contract. I do not remember the contents, but I do remember the specific benefits that would come to me from fulfilling my end of the agreement. I learned the relationship between intelligence and experience. I was told that great intelligences are given greater trials, some of which, will never be resolved in mortality. This concept turned everything else on its head.
In essence, while our obedience does guarantee us the companionship of Deity, it fails to guarantee us a specific set of circumstances. Faith is developed by going through difficult experiences where the odds are stacked against you and you find yourself totally dependant on God to get through them. We are here to learn how God governs over all things, both good and evil. That is the entire purpose of this mortal experience.
I also saw that, I had been granted the privileges of being a special witness for Jesus Christ in mortality. In the moments prior to my birth, I saw that individuals without number would benefit from that witness. As I stood there, feeling both dread and excitement, He personally came to me and gave me a wonderful hug while expressing His gratitude that I had accepted such a role as the one I now play.
I can recall His features vividly, even as I write this article. They seemed to be etched in granite. His masculinity was His greatest attribute to me and I saw nothing I considered feminine about Him. He radiated perfect strength and confidence. I felt peaceful and knew I would be in good hands as I went through my mortal experience.
There, the vision ended.
I think you should do a show on miracles, since it's easy to get
freaked out about the rising tide of evil. In fact, disbelief in
miracles is the Satanists' Achilles heel. Let me remind you of a
little doctrine from your service days. In order to break out of enemy
encirclement, apply maximum force at the enemy's weakest point. Their
weakest point is that they think God is a benchwarmer. The way to
apply maximum force is get people to believe in and rely on miracles.
Keep harping on that and keep digging up fer-instances. Miracles must
be a part of our relationship with God, not some OMGWTF freak
I can think of some anecdotes myself, like:
1. I built a house and did the wiring myself, and also watched as the
city put up the power lines. Not long afterwards, a thunder storm
knocked out power to my neighborhood. My wife and son prayed for power
to come back, and it did. We were without power for two hours. When my
wife asked our neighbors on both sides, one of which is powered by the
exact same transformer as our house, they informed her that they were
without power for six hours. One of them mentioned that they saw we
were running our lights from our solar power plant. We used batteries
and an inverter before we had city power, but at the time of the
outage both the batteries and the inverter were disconnected. I did
all the wiring so I know.
2. In 1991 or 1992, I volunteered to be a parking attendant at the
Hill Cumorah Pageant. I stood in the parking lot watching the cars, so
the anti-mormons wouldn't leave flyers. Well, it started raining.
Hard. Like taking a shower under one of those big pan shower heads. I
regretted not bringing a bar of soap. The thing that amazed me was
that the pageant didn't stop and nobody made a mad dash for their car.
As I found out later, the pageant didn't get rained on. It rained on
either side of the hill and even across the street where the
anti-mormons were standing. But not on the audience.
3. To get money for college, I took a job as a paratrooper. That was
in the days before ragheads and NFL players were used as targets. On
one jump, I prayed for a good landing and felt conformation that I
would have one. I steered toward a clear spot on the drop zone. As I
approached the ground, it started looking like a rough patch of
ground, and I got really nervous the closer I got to the ground. So
I'm looking down (never do that) to see where my feet are going to
land and I instinctively reach for the ground. That's a good way to
break some toes, but as I reached I saw my feet hit dead center in the
middle of a puddle of water about 18" across and 3 feet long. It was
my softest landing ever. As fas as I could tell, by feet were
perfectly aligned with and centered in the hole. On a half-mile drop
There are many more stories.
But consider the words of God after the three days of darkness in
Nephiteland. "How often I would have gathered you under my wings, as a
hen gathers her chickens, but you would not". I think these words were
spoken for our benefit, in our day. It couldn't have been a big "I
told you so". He wanted us to know that he is our refuge.