beings, referred to as "sons of God," before the creation of the earth.In the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians is captured the spirit of this truth as theApostle records, ". . . I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,of whom the whole family in heaven . . . is named. . . ." (Ephesians 3:14-15).There was a family in heaven, and it existed before the earth was made.Both Old and New Testament citations substantiate this premise. In the OldTestament the prophet Jeremiah records the circumstances of his call to theministry. In simple terms he tells how God called him and "put my words in thymouth." (Jeremiah 1:9.) God told Jeremiah that he knew him in a pre-earthexistence and further that he ordained Jeremiah to be a prophet before he wasborn on the earth. As Jeremiah records it:
Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctifiedthee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. (Jeremiah 1:4-5.)
The New Testament disciples of Jesus were familiar with the scriptural conceptof pre-earth sonship to God. A careful reading of an incident in our Lord'searthy ministry leaves no other valid interpretation.
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was bornblind?Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents. . . . (John 9:1-3.)
The subject man was born blind. How could he have sinned except in a pre-earth existence? These disciples understood that the spirit within this blindman had an existence before it was tabernacled in the flesh. They knew thatsuch spirit had opportunity to sin in such an existence, indicating that it was anaccountable being at this stage of its life. The Lord assented to the assumptionimplicit in the query and answered that the man's blindness from birth was notcaused by his actions before he was born.The chief Apostle, Peter, makes reference to this concept and adds emphasisto the idea that our characteristics at birth are in compensation for our actionsin a pre-earth life estate, saying that some persons are "elect according to theforeknowledge of God the Father" (1 Peter 1:2).Alma says that the principle that applied to Jeremiah and the elect has generalapplicability to all those who are called to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood. Ina discourse on the "high priesthood being after the order of his son, which
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