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Lesser Intelligences or Literal Offspring of God or Both?


Biz

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I am perplexed by this question and have yet to reach a conclusion. As this is a very complex question with relatively limited amount of information I would like to leave it open to any insight you may have to offer. I really could ask multiple subsets of questions but for the sake of simplicity I will offer a few guiding principles. I am confident the perceived truthfulness and interpretation of these statements and passages will vary dramatically nonetheless due your best to assume the guiding passages are accepted as true Doctrine. There are numerous Scriptures that could argue both sides or the middle ground. In the effort of brevity I add only a few.

Lesser Intelligences

· The Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Joseph Smith, Chapter 17: The Great Plan of Salvation (Pages 209-210)

o The Prophet Joseph Smith received the following revelation from the Lord in May 1833, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 93:29: “Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” In April 1844, the Prophet taught: “I have another subject to dwell upon, which is calculated to exalt man. … It is associated with the subject of the resurrection of the dead,—namely, the soul—the mind of man—the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so; and if you don’t believe me, it will not make the truth without effect. …

o “I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits. …

o “… I take my ring from my finger and liken it unto the mind of man—the immortal part, because it had no beginning. Suppose you cut it in two; then it has a beginning and an end; but join it again, and it continues one eternal round. So with the spirit of man. As the Lord liveth, if it had a beginning, it will have an end. All the fools and learned and wise men from the beginning of creation, who say that the spirit of man had a beginning, prove that it must have an end; and if that doctrine is true, then the doctrine of annihilation would be true. But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself.

o “Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age and there is no creation about it. All the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement.

o The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.

· Jeremiah 1: 4-5

o 4. Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5. Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained the a prophet unto the nations.

· Personal thoughts on being lesser intelligences

o Seems to me Joseph Smith was convinced that God did not literally create us or in some form beget us. We were a lesser intelligence as compared to God and he taught us how to progress.

o In Jeremiah it seems as though if there is any relationship to us being created or being the literal offspring of God is has to do only with our mortal physical bodies hence God says, “I formed thee.” In the pre life it sounds as if God knew him as an intelligence and as a result of that relationship God knew Jeremiah was an intelligence who could be trusted and had attained high development in Jeremiah’s progression of obtaining truth and light.

Literal Offspring of God

· The Family: A Proclamation To The World

o All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

o In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.

· Acts Chapter 17: 28-29

o 28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.

· Thoughts of being the literal offspring

o It seems to me that the Family Proclamation is a bold assertion and I would have to interpret the document to mean that since it is the most current revelation given from God we in fact are the literal offspring of Heavenly Parents in the Pre-existence. However, I do not feel as though it is entirely in line with teachings of the scriptures as I read them.

o Acts in my opinion is the boldest attempt to say we are the spiritual offspring of God. However, you could even read it to mean that it is only by the birth of our flesh (mortal physical body) that we are the offspring of God. After being confused for quite some time I have read the other scriptures referencing us as being the sons and daughters of God with scrutiny. It seems to me that it would be a stretch to believe we are the literal spiritual offspring of Heavenly Parents. I sadly almost conclude that our physical birth is the only way in which we can relate ourselves to his offspring. Maybe Christ being the First born is what it is or maybe we should interpret the “born” aspect differently.

o The Doctrine of being the literal spiritual offspring is a teaching I cherish it gives so much meaning to our mortal existence but I am not so sure I believe it literally as it is put forth in the “spoon feeding” context I have been taught in the Church.

Thanks in advance for any contribution, Biz

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Adoption is possibly the most repeated principle in the scriptures, for what it's worth.

Children of Christ through Adoption and Covenant.

Children of Abraham through Adoption and Covenant.

Children of Aaron and Moses through Adoption and Covenant.

I believe we are also God's children through Adoption and Covenant.

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The intelligence of spirits

This phrase could be the beginning of understanding. Can we say that spirits and intelligences are not the same thing yet in some cases use the terms interchangeably (like Abraham 3:22)? Can we say that lesser intelligences exist but are combined or become greater when spirits are procreated?

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Adoption is possibly the most repeated principle in the scriptures, for what it's worth...

I believe we are also God's children through Adoption and Covenant.

Adoption? If you were to reconcile both ends of my question adoption would be sufficient way to bridge the gap. One of my problem would be in DC 132:19 where it describes the glory of eternal marriage as, "which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever." What are the seeds? What is eternal increase in reference to seeds? If we are adopted is the eternal increase or the continuation of the seeds the permission and power to adopt lesser intelligences? Or in no way shape or form is the increase or seed have anything to do with a sealed couples ability to have their own "eternal family" ? Cause our parents/kids essentially would not be our parents in heaven or kids but rather close associates. So we would have an eternal family of close friends? If that is the case what really is purpose of the highest kingdom in the celestial world?

A little off topic but this is a subset of my questions regarding this issue.

Biz

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This phrase could be the beginning of understanding. Can we say that spirits and intelligences are not the same thing yet in some cases use the terms interchangeably (like Abraham 3:22)? Can we say that lesser intelligences exist but are combined or become greater when spirits are procreated?

That I am not sure but entertaining. I had a short discussion with my brother who is a Doctor. He slightly discussed the properties of DNA and the physical body. I need to talk with him or another like minded person who has been formally trained in the sciences after they have given this question some thought. Intelligences could be some sort of spiritual matter or spiritual DNA that was necessary for a spiritual birth?

Biz

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I don't know if this will contribute much to the discussion, but I have thought of each successive state of existence as being "clothed upon". This is how I view it (with no scriptural support)

We started as intelligences. God "clothed" us with spirit bodies through a procreative process. After our schooling with him, he, in partnership with our physical parents, "clothed" us with a physical body. After death, he, in partnership of whomever performs the ordinance of resurrection, will "cloth" us with immortality and glory. This process of "clothing" will continue until we're fully clothed <--that part was supposed to be funny.

Someday I'll search to see if the scriptures supports this idea, but it works well for me for now. If this is how it happens, then I am the literal offspring of God (as much as I am of my parents) even if he no more created me than my parents did.

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Check out Blake Ostler's book, volume one on the attributes of God.

Using quotes from Joseph Smith, BH Roberts, Orson Pratt and others, he suggests that intelligence is any matter that has been organized and infused with the light of Christ. So, particles are combined to form an atom. That intelligence has capabilities and abilities. Atoms are combined into a molecule, which has even new and more capabilities/intelligence, even though the atoms are still individual items.

For example, 2 hydrogen and 1 oxygen atoms combine to make 1 water molecule. It has new capabilities that hydrogen or oxygen do not have by themselves. Eventually, by combining lower intelligences, you obtain to higher intelligences that have individuality. So, in Abraham 3, we read that spirits are "organized intelligences". Well, if intelligences known as spirits are organized, then there are unorganized intelligences: those that are not yet sentient as we know it.

A continuation of organizing intelligences is to combine a spirit with a physical body, and then later to make the combination incorruptible, or unable to break apart as one can do with a water molecule.

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I don't know if this will contribute much to the discussion, but I have thought of each successive state of existence as being "clothed upon". This is how I view it (with no scriptural support) We started as intelligences. God "clothed" us with spirit bodies through a procreative process. After our schooling with him, he, in partnership with our physical parents, "clothed" us with a physical body. After death, he, in partnership of whomever performs the ordinance of resurrection, will "cloth" us with immortality and glory.

You surely contributed and I like the frame work you have developed. I like the creation/partnership aspect of your framework. Sometimes it is important and appropriate to put things on the shelf when what we believe works for us. In thinking in the lines of partnership consider Joseph Smiths teachings, "But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself. “Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age and there is no creation about it. All the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement. “The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that..."

Seems like he says God does not have the power to create spirits but he has the power to institute laws to allow the spirits to have the privilege to advance like himself. How does God not have the power to "create"? Are the laws he instituted the "partnership" or the enabling force that allows for a intelligence to progress to a spirit which is a self creation and therefore God in a sense was involved in a quasi-creation?

Biz

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A continuation of organizing intelligences is to combine a spirit with a physical body, and then later to make the combination incorruptible, or unable to break apart as one can do with a water molecule.

I like this very much! Consider its application to Joseph Smith's teaching, "He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.

Save them in the world of spirits? Why would they need to be saved? Your comment explains this in a very useful and persuasive manner.

Biz

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You surely contributed and I like the frame work you have developed. I like the creation/partnership aspect of your framework. Sometimes it is important and appropriate to put things on the shelf when what we believe works for us. In thinking in the lines of partnership consider Joseph Smiths teachings, "But if I am right, I might with boldness proclaim from the house-tops that God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself. “Intelligence is eternal and exists upon a self-existent principle. It is a spirit from age to age and there is no creation about it. All the minds and spirits that God ever sent into the world are susceptible of enlargement. “The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that..."

Seems like he says God does not have the power to create spirits but he has the power to institute laws to allow the spirits to have the privilege to advance like himself. How does God not have the power to "create"? Are the laws he instituted the "partnership" or the enabling force that allows for a intelligence to progress to a spirit which is a self creation and therefore God in a sense was involved in a quasi-creation?

Biz

Another thought on this that might make things easier to understand (or more difficult depending on how you use it): do you suppose Joseph was consistent in his usage of terms--did he always say "intelligence" when he meant "intelligence" and "spirit" when he meant "spirit"? Or, were they possibly synonymous for him? If he wasn't consistent and they have distinct meanings, it will be very difficult to determine what he meant by the records of what he said--even more complicating is the question of whether those recording what he said viewed them as synonymous or if they were good enough to precisely record what he said.

Imagine if there distinct meanings, but Joseph wasn't consistent in his usage, and those recording were not consistent. Then we'd really be out of luck. :(

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Another thought on this that might make things easier to understand (or more difficult depending on how you use it): do you suppose Joseph was consistent in his usage of terms--did he always say "intelligence" when he meant "intelligence" and "spirit" when he meant "spirit"? Or, were they possibly synonymous for him? If he wasn't consistent and they have distinct meanings, it will be very difficult to determine what he meant by the records of what he said--even more complicating is the question of whether those recording what he said viewed them as synonymous or if they were good enough to precisely record what he said.Imagine if there distinct meanings, but Joseph wasn't consistent in his usage, and those recording were not consistent. Then we'd really be out of luck. :(

Yes for sure. That is why at some point regarding a topic like this you have to convert yourself to a line of realistic thought that you are happy with and move on. When you are no longer convinced of your newly created understanding you have to re-create or develop further understanding at a later time. I am afraid this happens more often than I would like as anytime I look at the stars my mind is blown away.:wacko:

Biz

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Eventually, by combining lower intelligences, you obtain to higher intelligences that have individuality. So, in Abraham 3, we read that spirits are "organized intelligences". Well, if intelligences known as spirits are organized, then there are unorganized intelligences: those that are not yet sentient as we know it.

A continuation of organizing intelligences is to combine a spirit with a physical body, and then later to make the combination incorruptible, or unable to break apart as one can do with a water molecule.

But if everything that has a beginning has to have an end (and these combinations had a beginning) wouldn't they have to have an end?

If individuality and sentience had a beginning, wouldn't they have to have an end?

If a physical body had a beginning, wouldn't it have to have an end?

And if an incorruptible physical body had a beginning (and it's true that anything with a beginning has to have an end), wouldn't it have to have an end?

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I don't know if this will contribute much to the discussion, but I have thought of each successive state of existence as being "clothed upon". This is how I view it (with no scriptural support)

We started as intelligences. God "clothed" us with spirit bodies through a procreative process. After our schooling with him, he, in partnership with our physical parents, "clothed" us with a physical body. After death, he, in partnership of whomever performs the ordinance of resurrection, will "cloth" us with immortality and glory. This process of "clothing" will continue until we're fully clothed <--that part was supposed to be funny.

Someday I'll search to see if the scriptures supports this idea, but it works well for me for now. If this is how it happens, then I am the literal offspring of God (as much as I am of my parents) even if he no more created me than my parents did.

I totally agree with this. Just like our physical bodies were "created" and joined with spirit, I believe our spiritual bodies were "created" and joined with intelligence. How this technically occurs I do not know. I do like this concept of "clothing".

I was wondering - we know that through the atonement, all men will keep their physical "clothing" and the body and spirit may never be divided. Is there something similar (if not the atonement itself) that ensures that the spirit and the intelligence may never be divided? This would concern those that did not keep their first estate, i.e. Lucifer and the third of the host of heaven that did not obtain physical bodies. Do these entities remain joined forever? I've heard the theory that maybe a spirit could be "disorganized" as in the intelligence is stripped away and that spiritual being ceases to exist as it was, which may explain what happens to the those that did not keep their first estate after all is said and done, i.e. outer darkness.

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Adoption? If you were to reconcile both ends of my question adoption would be sufficient way to bridge the gap. One of my problem would be in DC 132:19 where it describes the glory of eternal marriage as, "which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever." What are the seeds? What is eternal increase in reference to seeds?

Biz

Scripturally and doctrinally, how does one become Abraham's seed? Christ's seed?

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Using quotes from Joseph Smith, BH Roberts, Orson Pratt and others, he suggests that intelligence is any matter that has been organized and infused with the light of Christ... Well, if intelligences known as spirits are organized, then there are unorganized intelligences: those that are not yet sentient as we know it.

Assuming this is the way our spirits were created, then it would be the organizer of the intelligences into the greater whole that was ultimately responsible for the character or attributes of that spirit in that the organizer is picking what intelligence 'particles' to organize together.

Or at least that is the way it seems to me and if so, that would leave us in the same state as those who claim God created the universe and therefore man from nothing, giving him all his qualities and thus creating the template by which each individual makes choices, imo. Would this not be a problem for man's agency?

The only way I can see to avoid this if assuming that our eternal intelligences are building blocks rather than whole complete individuals to begin with is to assume that God gathered these elemental intelligences together to form a whole spirit using natural, eternally existing affinities between the intelligences rather than imposing his own choices upon them. IOW, it would be possible for intelligences to naturally coalesce into greater sentient entities on their own given the right circumstances, God 'merely' steps in and speeds things up.

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Scripturally and doctrinally, how does one become Abraham's seed? Christ's seed?

It would seem that we are adopted as Abraham's seed through following laws that God "instituted" and we become apart of Christ seed as part of a form of acceptance or in a sense we are "spiritually begotten" of Christ. However, being spiritually begotten is out of our control as it would require Christ to forgive us. Becoming Abraham's seed is essentially out of Abraham's control and is the result of the application of instituted laws. Does it then matter on who created the law and who the controls the law to determine how one becomes the seed of another? Essentially you would not be created literally but are simply subject to someone who is creating and enforcing higher laws, thus exercising power and dominion over you? If a being has the power to create higher laws and subject others to those laws where does free agency come into play?

You either chose to play the game or you don't and if you don't you are damned? Mind you damned is often associated with a form of punishment, making free will seem as though while you have "free will" you really do not have it at all. This is because you will always be subject to someone else enforcing their higher law over you. Seems like this would be a form of dictatorship? A higher power needs to make others more powerful to make themselves gain more power. Essentially, they exercise and institute higher laws over others, which enables the higher power above you to have more power because they have more power over more people that are subject to laws higher than them. It is like as never ending pyramid scheme.

To me it almost would be more rewarding to die and let your subconscious end and be nonexistence instead of always being subject to someone's higher law and be required to institute and enforce higher laws over forms of unorganized matter. It has to get really old. Maybe the veil is put over you because the thought and knowledge that you live forever is so exhausting this is the only way to find relief? (assuming there is no end) Otherwise you are playing the never ending game of being subject to someone else and subjecting others to yourself.

Biz

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Assuming this is the way our spirits were created, then it would be the organizer of the intelligences into the greater whole that was ultimately responsible for the character or attributes of that spirit in that the organizer is picking what intelligence 'particles' to organize together.

Or at least that is the way it seems to me and if so, that would leave us in the same state as those who claim God created the universe and therefore man from nothing, giving him all his qualities and thus creating the template by which each individual makes choices, imo. Would this not be a problem for man's agency?

The only way I can see to avoid this if assuming that our eternal intelligences are building blocks rather than whole complete individuals to begin with is to assume that God gathered these elemental intelligences together to form a whole spirit using natural, eternally existing affinities between the intelligences rather than imposing his own choices upon them. IOW, it would be possible for intelligences to naturally coalesce into greater sentient entities on their own given the right circumstances, God 'merely' steps in and speeds things up.

This would be a problem of man's agency. However, when does an intelligence or spirit receive the "gift" or when is it "subject to" the law of free agency? It may be an eternal principle that is only applicable to one who is able to understand the principle of agency in and of it self. Because if God merely steps in and speed things up he is taking away free agency unless the intelligence consents to being sped up or the law of agency is not yet applicable to it.

Biz

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It seems to me that the Family Proclamation is a bold assertion and I would have to interpret the document to mean that since it is the most current revelation given from God we in fact are the literal offspring of Heavenly Parents in the Pre-existence. However, I do not feel as though it is entirely in line with teachings of the scriptures as I read them.

My vote is “both.” The Proclamation picks up the doctrine from the point in our eternal progression of being brought into Heavenly Father’s family as His literal offspring. Inasmuch as gender is an eternal characteristic and our heavenly parents are married, how we became their offspring must have something to do with gender, regardless of our understanding of the details or nuances of exactly how that works exactly. For example, very young children know it takes a man and a woman to make and care for them, but really don’t wrap their minds around the difference between sexual reproduction between their parents and adoption by their parents. We are very young children in relation to God.

The referenced scriptures and statements from Joseph Smith address the underlying doctrine prior to the stage of becoming God's offspring, showing that we existed as co-eternal intelligences prior to our association with Him as offspring.

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But if everything that has a beginning has to have an end (and these combinations had a beginning) wouldn't they have to have an end?

If individuality and sentience had a beginning, wouldn't they have to have an end?

If a physical body had a beginning, wouldn't it have to have an end?

And if an incorruptible physical body had a beginning (and it's true that anything with a beginning has to have an end), wouldn't it have to have an end?

Inquiringmind,

What is your opinion regarding the concept of a beginning and a end? I like to entertain both lines of belief. Do you think it would be a "reward" or "satisfying" if your subconscious or existence ended and you no longer existed or had thought?

To me it almost would be more rewarding to die and let your subconscious end and be nonexistence instead of always being subject to someone's higher law and be required to institute and enforce higher laws over forms of unorganized matter. It has to get really old. Maybe the veil is put over you because the thought and knowledge that you live forever is so exhausting this is the only way to find relief? (assuming there is no end) Otherwise you are playing the never ending game of being subject to someone else and subjecting others to yourself.

Biz

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To me, the word "intelligence" implies the ability to think.

But most of you here seem to speak of "particles of intelligence" as though they are not thinking, self-aware individuals.

I get the impression that thinking, self-aware individuals are what you mean by "spirits," and you speak of these as being created.

Wouldn't that mean they had a beginning?

Didn't Joseph Smith say that anything that has a beginning has an end?

If that's true, wouldn't all of our spirits have to have an end?

What about our bodies?

Our mortal bodies have a beginning and an end, but if we don't have incorruptibe bodies now (and we didn't have any when we were particles of intelligence), don't these bodies we hope for have a beginning?

And if it's true that whatever has a beginning has an end (as Joseph said in the King Follet sermon), wouldn't even our new bodies have to have an end?

If our individualities, spirits, and bodies are created, had a beginning, and will have no end, how can it be true that anything that has a beginning has to have an end?

That's what I don't get here.

(Could someone explain it to me?)

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Inquiringmind,

What is your opinion regarding the concept of a beginning and a end? I like to entertain both lines of belief. Do you think it would be a "reward" or "satisfying" if your subconscious or existence ended and you no longer existed or had thought?

To me it almost would be more rewarding to die and let your subconscious end and be nonexistence instead of always being subject to someone's higher law and be required to institute and enforce higher laws over forms of unorganized matter. It has to get really old. Maybe the veil is put over you because the thought and knowledge that you live forever is so exhausting this is the only way to find relief? (assuming there is no end) Otherwise you are playing the never ending game of being subject to someone else and subjecting others to yourself.

Biz

If God ever began anything that He wills to go on existing for all future time, I don't see why it would have to end (simply because it had a beginning.)

If God is Creator, and anything He creates is permanent, I find it difficult to believe that everything that had a beginning will have an end.

And if God is happy (as I believe Paul said somewhere), I believe eternal life with Him will be happy and rewarding.

I think it says somewhere (Psalms, and I think in Romans), that at His right hand there are pleasures forever more.

Nirvana has no apeal to me, and I do believe existence is better than non-existence.

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(Could someone explain it to me?)

I don't think it will be able to be explained, rather it would be left to be a mystery of God. In taking the position of accepting the BOM, BOA, D&C, Family Proclamation, and certain teachings of modern Prophets like the teaching of Joseph Smith the Church published to be true I am left only to believe it and speculate in between the lines. I have never seen a vision, or for that matter specifically a vision of the pre-existence or the afterlife but we are taught Joseph Smith, Moses and Abraham did. It is according to their accounts that we are left to believe there is no beginning or end in reference to our creation/existence. I do not have the slightest clue where or how intelligence began if they had no beginning, that is something I have to take on faith believing that one day I will have the opportunity like Joseph Smith, Moses, and Abraham to be shown these things.

I fully assume that it will be in the next life and not in this one that these mysteries will be shown to me. However, like my previous post I fully accept and believe that a end of my creation or existence would be rewarding. When it is done it is over, no thoughts or existence. This mindset helps me make the most of my life I have here on earth. I find that it encourages me to be as nice as I can to all people and helps me seek to have a greater relationship with my wife as you want to make sure that each day you make it count. I almost feel more accountable in this mindset because I want to make the best use of my time. On the flip side it also make me more selfish as I am not going to waste my time on things that bring me less utility.

What is your rationale and how do you answer the questions you posed? (haha I see that you just posted your answer)

Biz

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And if God is happy (as I believe Paul said somewhere), I believe eternal life with Him will be happy and rewarding.

In the Old Testament we hear of stories like the flood in which God destroyed the people of the earth because they were wicked. We are taught in the New Testament God will destroy the people with fire at the Second Coming. Why would he destroy them? Does it not take away their agency which is a eternal law which is used to explain why God does not intervene in human affairs cause he would cease to be God for breaking a law he instituted? A flood and fire caused by God for the purpose of killing the wicked is a intervention. Is it possible that God in order to obtain more glory relies on the unorganized intelligences he organized into spirits to obey laws and progress becoming powerful beings thus giving him power?

If so, is this a explanation for him killing the wicked because they provide for him no "utility" in making him obtain more power and Glory? I would like to see the scripture saying God is happy or something similar. We know in Enoch he wept for the wickedness of his children or creation. Is it because they were failing to live the laws he instituted, thus causing him to not to obtain as much power and glory as he otherwise would have obtained? Or is it because they could not obtain the power he enjoys? If so why kill them for being wicked? Everyone has their ups and downs and it would be hard at the judgment bar for God to explain to the spirit who has yet to receive his immortal physical body that God killed his body because he God knew they would never obey the higher law. That is not agency that is a form of dictatorship. Then what is the purpose of this life? Is it really to learn for ourselves? If God could tell the spirit he killed it's physical body because the spirit was wicked and God knew that he/she would never change then it seems like gaining a physical body should be done in a different way. That is if that were the case which it almost essentially is or will be for some people.

Biz

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I tend to favor both... due for parallel reasons, which makes more sense to me. I am a person who believes a spirit is encapsulated inside of an intelligence (curiously, the spirit may still be called an intelligence) which is then encapsulated inside your physical body.

Of course, my reasons for believing this are deep... and nor perfectly logical... but I do believe them =).

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It is according to their accounts that we are left to believe there is no beginning or end in reference to our creation/existence

You speak of our "creation/existence" as the same thing, and say you're left to believe that it has no beginning or end, but don't latter day saints believe that there are aspects to creation that had a beginning?

What about your spirit body, your physical body, your marriage, your resurrected body.

You didn't have a spirit body before you were born of heavenly parents, did you?

Didn't that body have a beginning?

You don't have a ressurrected, immortal, incorruptible body of flesh and bone now, do you?

When you get one, wont it be new?

Wont it have a beginning?

You weren't married for time and eternity until you were sealed in the Temple, were you?

If all these things had a beginning, and everything with a beginning has to have an end, how can any of these things be permanent?

How can what Joseph said in the King Follet sermon be true?

How can it be true that anything that has a beginning must have an end?

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