19 I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness.
20 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.
21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;
22 And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn.
23 Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth;
28 He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.
29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.
31 Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light.
33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;
34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.
35 The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple.
36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.
— Doctrine & Covenants 93:19-23,28-31,33-36
Above is a lengthy quote from a revelation received from the Lord May 6, 1833. In it, the Lord stakes a position that walks all over the lines drawn in the sand by the philosophy Christianity in apostasy.
Harsh? Exegetes have for centuries argued, that Jesus, when he calls God his Father, was serious, and meant it, but when he calls him our Father, he was referring to something totally different. I guess if we wish to believe in modern apostles, who have clearly stated, that God is our Father, that we lived with him in the beginning and we are here to gather experience, and it’s for our eternal good, because our goal is to become like our Father. Without taking this risk (many let the temptations of the world rob them of their chances, or just make them give in), we could never grow up like Father (no child is meant to be kept in the cradle all her/his life.
There is a spark of divine within the most wretched person, who rebels against everything. There can be a strong flame lit by that spark and doing what the Savior taught us to do, and learning to love unconditionally.
And that means, that we are OK with who/what we are ourselves, can forgive ourselves of our weakness, and can even love ourselves, since it is the Lord’s example for us. He didn’t sacrifice himself because he hated himself and his life; he did it because he loves us unconditionally.
The choice is ours. We must and will make choices every minute of our lives. Right now I’m writing this against my best judgment, as it is past one thirty AM, but I know I want to get it done. It’s choice I make…
One reason this resonates with me is, that I have been more or less conscious of this idea all my life. I saw myself as an individual; I could not believe that I had come out of nothing. I came from a woman, and so did everyone else, but I also bought my spirit and intelligence. The scripture above talks about element, spirit and intelligence (means more like understanding or wisdom than ability to solve riddles). In the D&C there is also a statement that there is no such thing as immaterial matter; spirit is matter, but in a higher order than our mortal senses, so we don’t see it.
In other words, we brought from our Heavenly home a character, personality, certain abilities where we may excel, some where we may not be that good. But God has given everyone gifts. We have to find them with the help of the Spirit through prayer and study.
The spirit and the element (the tabernacle; in other words, our glorified body) will be united inseparably in the universal Resurrection. For some, the resurrection will only be a confirmation of what they had begun to apprehend during their wait in Spirit Prison; consciousness will not disappear. Suicide is no way to end consciousness — if anything, our consciousness will be more acute, since we remember our decision before mortality that we are following the path that Christ advocated. We wanted freedom to choose, and now we have used our freedom in a way that affects our future possibilities. The Prophet Joseph said, that this inward burning flame could be called Hell for that person; realizing that you have not reached your potential, and what’s more important, you have chosen not to.
You’d have to have been enchanted by Sartre, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard &co to understand how different this is than what the World thinks. The most popular philosophical movement of the 20th century was ever available that we are on the brink of nothingness. They declared that God is dead, doesn’t care, much less intervene or anything else religion usually promises; we came from nothing and annihilation is our unavoidable destiny. Not so.
We live here to gain experience. There are times, when we gripe when there’s something to do that requires time and hard work without pay; remember that this is experience.
From the first lesson: Our consciousness and personality was not created (especially out of nothing), but has always existed; neither can it be destroyed, so there is no* escape from consciousness; some will be conscious of having lost opportunities because of wrong choices, while some are happy, because they have not only believed in Jesus, but believed Jesus, and followed him and received a forgiveness for their transgressions (everyone has them), and because of the Atonement, have been given more light and truth.
* Edited Jan 28: Added the word no