- "The scriptures also may speak of intelligence as referring to the spirit element that existed before we were begotten as spirit children." ("Guide to the Scriptures", scriptures.lds.org)
- "What eternal purpose would have come from the Creation of the earth, where intelligences tabernacled with spirits would receive a body, if death were the end of existence and none would be resurrected?" - Elder Richard G. Scott's April 2010 Sunday Morning General Conference talk "He Lives! All Glory to His Name!"
- "I believe that a man's condition here is largely the result of his pre-existence, a subject which has been commented upon a little this morning. A person's future will depend largely upon his life here. Today's condition is largely the result of yesterday's actions, and tomorrow will be largely affected by today." - Samuel O. Bennion
- "In the latter-day Gospel is restored the teaching that God is in a very literal sense the father of the spirits of men. These spirits had a premortal existence in which some were more obedient, and some progressed much farther than others, and herein is found, in a measure, the explanation for the inequalities in the natures of humankind." (Improvement Era, March 1931, No. 5)
- “I do not know what we did in the preexistence to merit the wonderful blessings we enjoy. We have come to earth in this great season in the long history of mankind. It is a marvelous age, the best of all. President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Living in the Fulness of Times,” Ensign (Conference Edition), November 2001, p.4).
- Men are born into mortality with the talents and abilities acquired by obedience to law in their first estate. Above all talents—greater than any other capacities, chief among all endowments—stands the talent for spirituality. Those so endowed find it easy to believe the truth in this life.... The word of truth is sent to some before it goes to others because they earned the right to such preferential treatment in preexistence" (Bruce McConkie, Millennial Messiah 234-35).
- "Further, all men, and the servants of the Lord in particular, acquired, in preexistence, by obedience to law, the specific talents and capacities with which they are endowed in this life. Men are not born equal; they come into mortality endowed with the abilities earned and developed in a long period of premortal schooling. And a just and equitable Being, who deals fairly and impartially with all his children, expects each of them to use the talents and abilities with which they are endowed and the gifts that are given them by a divine Providence." - Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary 3:470
- "Throughout your premortal life, you developed your identity and increased your spiritual capabilities. Blessed with the gift of agency, you made important decisions, such as the decision to follow Heavenly Father’s plan. These decisions affected your life then and now." ("Plan of Salvation," True to the Faith, p.116.)
- "Foreordination: Callings given by Heavenly Father to his children to come to earth at a specific time and place to help with his work in a particular way." (Gospel Principles, Glossary,"Foreordination," pp. 378-379.)
- "In the premortal spirit world, God appointed certain spirits to fulfill specific missions during their mortal lives. This is called foreordination.... The doctrine of foreordination applies to all members of the Church, not just to the Savior and His prophets. Before the creation of the earth, faithful women were given certain responsibilities and faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood duties." ("Foreordination," True to the Faith, pp.69-70.)
- "Even though we have forgotten, our Father in Heaven remembers who we were and what we did before we came here.... He has chosen the time and place for each of us to be born so we can learn the lessons we personally need and do the most good with our individual talents and personalities." (Gospel Principles, "Our Heavenly Family," p.33.)
- "All these rewards were seemingly promised, or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premortal spirit world. Some may question these assumptions, but at the same time they will accept without any question the belief that each one of us will be judged when we leave this earth according to his or her deeds during our lives here in mortality. Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth life was given to each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here?" (Harold B. Lee, as quoted in "Doctrines of the Gospel" (Student Manual, Religion 430 and 431, 2004, p.56.)
- "Men must obey because they desire to. We brought our desires with us to this life. They shape the mold that we are. Desires initiate thoughts, which trigger our deeds. We are what we desire. If we desire to be meek and patient we'll grow. But those who desire seats in the Celestial Kingdom must battle every day. Because there's so little time in this second estate, there's a compression of challenges and trials. There aren't many recesses in the education of life. God honors our agency. He will work with us but the initiating desire and resolve must be ours. God can correct us if we want Him to. That's why we need to educate our desires." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Educate Your Desires, LDS Church News, 08/17/96)
From The Gospel and the Productive Life Student Manual - Religion 150:
- All the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal Presence, developed aptitudes, talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind, and degree. During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics; Michelangelo turned his attention to painting. . . . Abraham and Moses and all of the prophets sought and obtained the talent for spirituality. . . . When we pass from preexistence to mortality, we bring with us the traits and talents there developed. True, we forget what went before because we are here being tested, but the capacities and abilities that then were ours are yet resident within us. Mozart is still a musician; Einstein retains his mathematical abilities; Michelangelo his artistic talent; Abraham, Moses, and the prophets their spiritual talents and abilities. . . . And all men with their infinitely varied talents and personalities pick up the course of progression where they left it off when they left the heavenly realms. (Elder Bruce R. McConkie of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Mortal Messiah, 4 vols. [1979–81], 1:23, 25)
- In this prior life, this premortal existence, this preexistence, we developed various capacities and talents. Some developed them in one field and some in another. The most important of all fields was the field of spirituality-the ability, the talent, the capacity to recognize truth. (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, then of the Seventy, Making Our Calling and Election Sure, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year [Mar. 25, 1969], 5–6).
- During the ages in which we dwelt in the pre-mortal state we not only developed our various characteristics and showed our worthiness and ability, or the lack of it, but we were also where such progress could be observed. . . . Under such conditions it was natural for our Father to discern and choose those who were most worthy and evaluate the talents of each individual. (Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, The Way to Perfection , 50–51).
- In the premortal world we were taught the Father’s plan of redemption and enjoyed moral agency. Through the use of this agency, men and women developed varying appetites, talents, and capacities over time and no spirits remained the same. (Elder L. Tom Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Give Heed unto the Word of the Lord [CES fireside for young adults, May 2, 1999], 2).
- "He is the Firstborn of the Father. By obedience and devotion to the truth he attained that pinnacle of intelligence which ranked Him as a God, as the Lord Omnipotent while yet in His pre-existent state" M.D. p. 129
- Mormonism's Teaching on pre-existence - Did everyone pre-exist in heaven? (LetUsReason.org)
- Were We There Yet? - Response to "On Pre-existence and the Bible" (Tektonics.org)
- The Development of the Doctrine of Preexistence, 1830–1844, by Charles Harrell
- A friend of mine says that there is nothing in the Bible that gives conclusive evidence one way or the other about the pre-existence. Can you clarify this?
- The Idea of Pre-existence in the Development of Mormon Thought, by Blake Ostler
- Tripartite existentialism, by J. Stapley
- On Preexistence in the Bible, by Kevin L. Barney
- Teachings About Premortality, by W. John Walsh
- Spiritual Birth: Challenges for Philosophers, by aquinas
- Preexistence- An overview, by Matt W.