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First, please be patient as you read these. This question makes sense in my mind but laying it down correctly is kind of tricky.
PGP (Moses 3) states all things were created spiritually before they were created temporally.
Went to the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, NY recently - a very kind senior missionary/guide told me there were a few "Witness trees" still in the Sacred Grove, these would be trees that were there when the First Vision occurred.
Numbers 22:21-38 Balaam and the talking donkey
The animals in the Manger in Bethlehem where the Savior was born
The Trees in the Garden of Gethsemane
Isaiah - Lion and the lamb shall lie down together without any ire, suggesting they have the ability to progress to a state of total peace?
The Story of the Three Trees (which I understand is not doctrine but IMHO could be, as the spirit bodies of those trees could have demonstrated more faith premortally, than other plants and been given temporary probationary lives on earth where they interacted with the Savior):
“Says one, ‘I cannot believe in the salvation of beasts.’ Any man who would tell you this could not be, would tell you that the revelations are not true. John heard the words of the beast giving glory to God, and understood them. God who made the beasts could understand every language spoken by them. The beasts were four of the most noble animals that filled the measure of their creation, and had been saved from other worlds, because they were perfect. They were like angels in their sphere. We are not told where they came from, and I do not know; but they were seen and heard by John praising and glorifying God.” (DHC, vol. 5, pp. 343–44.)
The ask: Though plants and animals don't have free agency, some of them clearly had more spiritual encounters during their lives on earth. Does this suggest some of them were more valiant in the testimony of the Savior premortally?
By Peppermint Patty
My sister-in-law just emailed me three different second hand accounts of dog sacrifice and Joseph Smith. I've never heard anything like this before and it sure feels like some made up anti-Mormon accusations to me.
Can someone with more light and knowledge help me out on this? Is this real or bogus? Have these accounts been debunked before?
-In the time of their digging for money and not finding it attainable, Joe Smith told them there was a charm on the pots of money, and if some animal was killed and the blood sprinkled around the place, then they could get it. So they killed a dog, and tried this method of obtaining the precious metal; but again money was scarce in those diggings. Still, they dug and dug, but never came to the precious treasure. Alas! how vivid was the expectation when the blood of poor Tray was used to take off the charm, and after all to find their mistake. Emily Coburn, in Emily M. Austin, Mormonism; or, Life Among the Mormons, 1882, pp. 32-33
-Hiel Lewis affirmed that Smith translated the Book of Mormon by means of the same enchanting spirit that directed Smith to make dog sacrifices. Dr. Quinn wrote, "A cousin of Smith's wife Emma reported that Smith 'translated the book of Mormon by means of the same peep stone, and under the same inspiration that directed his enchantments and dog sacrifices; it was all by the same spirit' (H. Lewis 1879)" (Quinn, 1987 edition, p. 144).
-Justice Joel King Noble, who tried Smith in an 1830 trial in Colesville, N.Y., related in a letter that when Joe Smith and others were digging "for a Chest of money," they acquired a black dog and offered it as "a sacrafise [blo]od Sprinkled prayer made at the time (no money obtained) the above Sworn to on trial. . . ." (Letter of Justice Noble, dated March 8, 1842, photographically reproduced in Walters, "Joseph Smith's Bainbridge, N.Y., Court Trials," p. 134).
Perhaps someone could shed light on Catholic theology here as well as what Pope Benedict XVI said in 2008. We all know that LDS doctrine is that animals have spirits. See here for example.
Can't say that I agree with PETA though as promoting a Vegan lifestyle is contrary to scripture. (1 Tim 4:3, D&C 49:18)