To Which We Have Been Born…

There are many who believe that man is insignificant on earth. Some cling to flawed pseudo-scientific theory that in a distant past the human race crawled out of a primordial slime to evolve by chance into the sentient and highly ordered upright standing creatures that have by natural selection become the dominant life-form on this planet. Those who espouse these ideas are mistaken. Nature did not spew human-kind randomly forth, neither is this world mother of man, but the earth was created that the children of God might have place to grow and to learn beyond our pre-mortal sphere.

Jehovah Creates the Earth, by Walter Rane

“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Genesis 1:27-28). Man was not created by the earth, the earth was created for the sons and daughters of Heavenly Father.

As poet William Wordsworth with inspiration wrote:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home…

“But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home…”

William Wordsworth

We lived, all of humankind, before we came here to sojourn on Earth. Every child, every woman, every man, is a son or daughter of heavenly parents. With Heavenly Father we lived as spirit children, spirit offspring of the Almighty God. He knows and loves each and every one of us personally.

As we read in the words of the prophet Jeremiah, upon receiving his calling from the Lord, “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 sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations’” (Jeremiah 1:4-5). Life does not begin at birth, or even in the womb, but in our heavenly realm with God our Father.

President Russell M. Nelson taught that we are eternal, with purpose and promise for the time of our birth. “Your spirit is an eternal entity. The Lord said to His prophet Abraham: ‘Thou wast chosen before thou wast born’ [Abraham 3:23]. The Lord said something similar about Jeremiah [see Jeremiah 1:5] and many others [see Alma 13:2–3]. He even said it about you [see Doctrine and Covenants 138:55–56]. Your Heavenly Father has known you for a very long time. You, as His son or daughter, were chosen by Him to come to earth at this precise time, to be a leader in His great work on earth. You were chosen not for your bodily characteristics but for your spiritual attributes, such as bravery, courage, integrity of heart, a thirst for truth, a hunger for wisdom, and a desire to serve others. You developed some of these attributes premortally. Others you can develop here on earth as you persistently seek them” (President Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, October 2013).

“Your spirit is an eternal entity… Your Heavenly Father has known you for a very long time. You, as His son or daughter, were chosen by Him to come to earth at this precise time.…”

President Russell M. Nelson

As spirit children, we stand as heirs to all our father has in the eternal world. He has the hope in us of any parent to child, that we may grow and learn to become more like Him. As it is the work of earthly parents to help their children achieve and become more than they can otherwise be without challenge and struggle, so this is the work of the Lord on a much bigger, practically incomparable, scale. “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

God so loves us that He sent His First Born in the spirit, His Only Begotten in the flesh, that we might be redeemed and receive an eternal inheritance with Them. He created the earth that there might be place for the precious blood of the Savior to be spilled, and for us to be saved as children of God. So dear are we to Him that all this is done.

As the Naomi W. Randall hymn declares:

I am a child of God,
And He has sent me here,
Has given me an earthly home
With parents kind and dear.

I am a child of God,
And so my needs are great;
Help me to understand his words
Before it grows too late.

I am a child of God.
Rich blessings are in store;
If I but learn to do his will
I’ll live with Him once more.

Lead me, guide me, walk beside me,
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.

The Resurrected Jesus Christ, by Harry Anderson

May me recognize the immortal beginnings and eternal potential of our spirits as children of a loving Heavenly Father. He knows us and loves us, and therefore as brothers and sisters we ought to share the same familial love for humankind as we do for those who are closest to us in the flesh. Let us stand united with Christ on behalf of our fellowmen, showing that love of a brother and sister, which we have inherited from heavenly parents. May we in all our actions, and most importantly in our repentance, with God’s grace prove worthy of the divine inheritance to which we have been born, having hope in Christ that our beloved brothers and sisters will follow with us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Daniel Malcolm is an entrepreneur, journalist, photographer, husband to Monica and father of twelve. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Atonement.