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MARK - If our spirits were "born" to our Heavenly Parents rather than created does that mean our spirits once looked like babies in the pre-existence and then grew to adult spirits that look like us?

JOEL - The concept of growing from something that looks like an infant to something that looks like an adult, is an earthly, mortal process. The premortal Christ told the brother of Jared that "all men were created in the beginning after mine own image." (Ether 3:15.) A comparison of this statement with the one in which the Lord says that "every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning" (D&C 93:38) seems to indicate that all spirits of men were organized in their premortal state to be in the image and likeness of God. Church authorities have described spirit birth as an organization of existing matter.

Spencer W. Kimball wrote, "Our spirit matter was eternal and co-existent with God, but it was organized into spirit bodies by our Heavenly Father" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 5, Salt Lake City, 1969). Marion G. Romney, of the First Presidency, speaking of people's divine origin as children of God, stated, "Through that birth process, self-existing intelligence was organized into individual spirit beings" (Ensign 8 [Nov. 1978]:14).

The exact process of how this "organization" of intelligence into spirit beings happened has not been revealed to us yet'. If our heavenly parents did create spirits that looked like infants at first, at some point in time they would have had to stop doing it so the spirits could progress to a point where they could use their intelligence and agency to make the choice between Gods' and Satan's plans. Even though people say we were "born" as "offspring" of our Heavenly parents, and that we are "begotten sons and daughters of God" (D&C 76: 24), that does not necessarily mean that our newly organized spirit bodies looked like infants. The scriptures do indicate that our spirits were innocent as a child at first and we do know that it took both a Heavenly Father and Mother to create our spirits, but exactly how that was done is a mystery to us.

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