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inquiringmind

Intelligences

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Was there ever a time when we didn't exist?

Were we intelligences before we were spirit children (and what does that mean--did we exist as conscious individuals)?

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I've always thought the "intelligences" spoken of in the Book of Abraham are the core beings of each individual. So in a sense, we have eternally existed, though not always in the same form I guess.

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I've always thought the "intelligences" spoken of in the Book of Abraham are the core beings of each individual. So in a sense, we have eternally existed, though not always in the same form I guess.

That's what I remember, too. It's kind of interesting to think LDS believe (if this is true) that we are right now made up of "us" (the literal one that has always existed), our spiritual bodies, and our physical bodies. Three in one.

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I'm not really sure what an "intelligence" is, but I always thought of it as the raw essence of who we are...the building blocks or "center", so to speak. Kind of like God (in LDS theology) making the earth from already existing matter, so he also made our souls from some eternal essence (which is also God's essence).

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Was there ever a time when we didn't exist?

Were we intelligences before we were spirit children (and what does that mean--did we exist as conscious individuals)?

Hey inquiring mind, long time, no see =).

But yes, that is the opinion of some (I tend to lean this way myself). It isn't too clear, but that's how it appears to me.

Of course spirits and intelligences are used interchangeably in the scriptures, so it's really hard to tell which they are talking about sometimes.

Sorry I can't be of more help =P.

Best Wishes,

TAO

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But yes, that is the opinion of some (I tend to lean this way myself). It isn't too clear, but that's how it appears to me.

Of course spirits and intelligences are used interchangeably in the scriptures, so it's really hard to tell which they are talking about sometimes.

As to "spirits" and "intelligences", as words referring to our beings in scriptures, it is not true they are used interchangeably. There is some ambiguity on their use, but since there is only one passage in scripture where "intelligences" shows up in that sense, an appeal to scripture alone cannot resolve the issue.

21 I dwell in the midst of them all; I now, therefore, have come down unto thee to declare unto thee the works which my hands have made, wherein my wisdom excelleth them all, for I rule in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, in all wisdom and prudence, over all the intelligences thine eyes have seen from the beginning; I came down in the beginning in the midst of all the intelligences thou hast seen. 22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones; 23 And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born.

Since, doctrinally, the word "soul" means the combination of both spirit and body, we should think of the phrase in v 23 as being written in the "prophetic present", but it does tell us that intelligences" are individual persons.

Since we can't derive doctrine from any source that isn't scripture (and even then ...), we can't say that intelligence is a precursor to spirit based solely on this passage. But we do have a host of statements by prophets and Apostles on the matter, and they are all clear. Unlike in other concepts where there is divergency, they are united in saying that intelligences preexisted our spiritual birth. Joseph Smith, in the famous King Follet Discourse, said that man is (meaning chronologically) co-equal with God. This is logically impossible if, as we do, we believe that God created our spirits and is our Father by that act, unless there was something that predated our spiritual "birth". This "somethign" is intelligence.

There is a strong case to be made that we have, as pre-spiritual intelligences, have existed for eternity. Any case for a different view is much less impressive.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
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My mission president once told us intelligence is that part of us that is completely our own and allows us to have perfect free agency.

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The intelligences are defined as light and truth. No further definition has been given. I would assume that it would mean that some essential part of us has always existed and will always exist. But I don't know what that essential part is for sure.

Edited by thesometimesaint
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From the lds.org study helps:

Intelligence, Intelligences

See also Light, Light of Christ; Spirit; Truth.

Intelligence has several meanings, three of which are: (1) It is the light of truth which gives life and light to all things in the universe. It has always existed. (2) The word intelligences may also refer to spirit children of God. (3) The scriptures also may speak of intelligence as referring to the spirit element that existed before we were begotten as spirit children.

Intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence, D&C 88:40

Intelligence was not created or made, D&C 93:29

All intelligence is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, D&C 93:30

The glory of God is intelligence, D&C 93:36–37

Intelligence acquired in this life rises with us in the resurrection, D&C 130:18–19

The Lord rules over all the intelligences, Abr. 3:21

The Lord showed Abraham the intelligences that were organized before the world was, Abr. 3:22

Intelligences

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"Spirits" and "intelligences", as words referring to our beings in scriptures, it is not true they are used interchangeably. There is some ambiguity on their use, but since there is only one passage in scripture where "intelligences" shows up in that sense, an appeal to scripture alone cannot resolve the issue.

Since, doctrinally, the word "soul" means the combination of both spirit and body, we should think of the phrase in v 23 as being written in the "prophetic present", but it does tell us that intelligences" are individual persons.

Since we can't derive doctrine from any source that isn't scripture (and even then ...), we can't say that intelligence is a precursor to spirit based solely on this passage. But we do have a host of statements by prophets and Apostles on the matter, and they are all clear. Unlike in other concepts where there is diviergency, they are united in saying that intelligences preexisted our spiritual birth. Joseph Smith, in the famous King Follet Discourse, said that man is (meaning chronologically) co-equal with God. This is logocally impossible if, as we do, we believe that God created our spirits and is our Father by that act.

There is a strong case to be made that we have, as pre-spiritual intelligences, have existed for eternity. Any case for a different view is much less impressive.

Lehi

Excellent, I will keep that in mind. I've been looking for a way to explain it all along =D. I could explain it logically, and philosophically, like you have, it's just I couldn't find any precise statements =). Prophets will work though =D.

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Intelligence was not created or made, D&C 93:29

So a rewording of the OP's question might be, "What is the difference between being organized intelligence and unorganized intelligence?"

Edited by BCSpace
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So a rewording of the OP's question might be, "What is the difference between being organized intelligence and unorganized intelligence?"

Any thoughts on the difference?

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Sorry for the unintentional double post.

Edited by inquiringmind
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Any thoughts on this?

"In the beginning the rising intelligences progressed by gaining mastery of the surrounding forces...God was there to point out the way of progress and give direct help when needed...the time came, no doubt, as an earned step in progress... when through the intervention of the Lord, personal intelligences became invested with spirit bodies. Man was born as it were into the spirit world....this is called the First Estate of Man." (Widstoe pp. 202-203; Orme Introduction)

http://www.einareric...nt/view/111/38/

Edited by inquiringmind
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Was there ever a time when we didn't exist?

Were we intelligences before we were spirit children (and what does that mean--did we exist as conscious individuals)?

Was there ever a time when we didn't exist? No--but time may not have always been exactly what we experience it to be now, especially if we are co-eternal with God (we don't experience eternity now; or do we?), so I guess it depends on what time was like eons ago, or if it ever began and what might have been in its place.

Were we intelligences before we were spirit children (and what does that mean--did we exist as conscious individuals)? Yes--and we existed as conscious individuals.

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Was there ever a time when we didn't exist? No--but time may not have always been exactly what we experience it to be now, especially if we are co-eternal with God (we don't experience eternity now; or do we?), so I guess it depends on what time was like eons ago, or if it ever began and what might have been in its place.

Were we intelligences before we were spirit children (and what does that mean--did we exist as conscious individuals)? Yes--and we existed as conscious individuals.

Thank you CV75, but what do you think of the quote from Widstoe?

Does the phrase "rising intelligences" indicate that we had a beginning?

Edited by inquiringmind
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This is how I have always understood the pre-earth life. Which fits beautifully with the Lord being the 1st born Spirit.

On a crazier note: I have no problems when people believe or feel we are all connected "energetically". We were all at one time energetic entities IMO.

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Thank you CV75, but what do you think of the quote from Widstoe?

Does the phrase "rising intelligences" indicate that we had a beginning?

The "beginning" for me is when we were "introduced" to our Heavenly parents. That dang "veil of forgetfulness"! I would have loved to remember that day.

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Thank you CV75, but what do you think of the quote from Widstoe?

Does the phrase "rising intelligences" indicate that we had a beginning?

I'm not much of a scholar so someone might have to delve into what the term "rising" meant when Widstoe wrote it, but to me it seems to refer to their eternal progress or advancement rather than their actually coming about to exist as intelligences. I sometimes consider the term to be a catch-all phrase for the many stages or forms of individual, personal intelligences that existed co-eternally with God. Some stages might in relative terms be considered "nothing" and in this sense one form of intelligence may have given rise to another, just as our choices can give rise to our being born again spiritually (over and over again). From this perspective, Moses acknowledged that "man is nothing" (Moses 1:10) relative to what he becomes next. So maybe there is something to the idea of a spiritual creation ex-nihilo after all!

Edited by CV75
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The "beginning" for me is when we were "introduced" to our Heavenly parents. That dang "veil of forgetfulness"! I would have loved to remember that day.

Perhaps that took place even prior to the intelligence being clothed with a spirit body, just as the introduction of the Holy Spirit is required for us to be born again (and that can occur in advancing steps throughout one's mortal life) prior to the resurrection in a degree of glory. Perhaps we just advanced in awareness of Who was there in front of us all along!

Edited by CV75
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Was there ever a time when we didn't exist? No--but time may not have always been exactly what we experience it to be now, especially if we are co-eternal with God (we don't experience eternity now; or do we?), so I guess it depends on what time was like eons ago, or if it ever began and what might have been in its place...

Time is a mental block that seems difficult, if not, impossible for us to get our minds around.

Some say that eternity is living "in the moment" - but that moment has a start & end. "Be still & know that I am God."

It's also difficult to imagine existing as anything but how we know existence to be.

Edited by HeatherAnn
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Time is a mental block that seems difficult, if not, impossible for us to get our minds around.

Some say that eternity is living "in the moment" - but that moment has a start & end. "Be still & know that I am God."

It's also difficult to imagine existing as anything but how we know existence to be.

This is might be why the Lord’s course is an eternal round. There is no beginning and no end, because each condition serves both purposes. This might also be why, in seeming contradiction, that Jesus is the Beginning and the End, because without Him it would not be possible that every end is the beginning of something else and vice versa.

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This is might be why the Lord’s course is an eternal round. There is no beginning and no end, because each condition serves both purposes.

"Each condition serves both purposes"... wow - I hadn't thought of that before. Thanks for sharing.

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