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What do we inherit from our parents?


inquiringmind

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Given pre-existence, what exactly do we inherit from our parents?

Is it only physical characteristics (like height, pigmentation, hair and eye color), or is there more than that?

This isn't a direct answer, but worth checking out in regards to genetics and the nature/nurture debate:

Matt Ridley, "Our Genetic Slaves and Masters," The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 30, 2010).

Ridley, "What Makes You Who You Are," TIME (June 2, 2003).

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I like to think perhaps our personalities come with our spirits and the physical body is variously opaque or transparent in varying degrees to each of a personality's various aspects.

If that is the case, the variety of bodies could speak to the variety of personalities but such personalities could also speak to multiple parents (plural marriages of God) as well.

Did I say 'various'.....?

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inquiringmind:

Leaving the Spirit aside for a moment that gets into the whole nature/nurture controversy. That fact is that without one, the other won't exist.

Going back to the Spirit. It is hard to tell. We do know from studies of infants that each is has their own personality, likes, dislikes, temperament, tolerance for boredom, etc.. What is genetic and what is Spirit? We just don't know how that could be measured.

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inquiringmind:

Leaving the Spirit aside for a moment that gets into the whole nature/nurture controversy. That fact is that without one, the other won't exist.

Going back to the Spirit. It is hard to tell. We do know from studies of infants that each is has their own personality, likes, dislikes, temperament, tolerance for boredom, etc.. What is genetic and what is Spirit? We just don't know how that could be measured.

I am fascinated by the nature/nuture thing.

My mother and my step-father were married before I turned 1 year old. My biological father had skipped out while my mother was pregnatt with me. I was raised from the age of one years old in the LDS church by my very devout mother and step-father. Our upbringing was a typically mormon one....I was baptized at 8, went through the Primary and Young Mens program, was active in scouting, received my patriarchial blessing at 15 years old, attended church every Sunday, seminary every school day, youth program every Tuesday night, baptisms for the dead at the temple, etc. I was by all appearances a typical mormon youth in a very devout LDS family.

However, the mormon worldview was troubling to me from a very young age (primary) and the belief system just never really "took." I had doubts from an early age and tried to follow the teachings of church leaders to gain a testimony. I read the Book of Mormon (three times) and fasted and prayed to know that it is true. My inability to gain a testimony caused me a great amount of grief and sorrow. All of my LDS siblings were strong in their faith and are devout members to this day. Eventually, I left the church in my mid-twenties, which has been a very good decision for me personally.

When I was thirty, I met my biological father for the first time. And wouldn't you know it, he too struggled mightily with gaining a testimony of the existence of Christ or in believing that God existed. After talking about our experiences, we realized that we had followed similar paths and had both come to the same conclusion, that god did not exist.

It is fascinating to me the power that biology plays in something such as belief. Here I was raised in a devout, LDS home with the same experiences as my siblings and other LDS youth in our community, yet I came away with an understanding of belief that was completey different than that of my peers, yet identical to that of the biological father which I had never met.

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