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RICHARD - I have a question regarding a statement made by a high priest in a high priest quorum group. He made a statement that we are 'Spirits having a human experience', and I asked him where he got that information from or where in the scriptures it mentions that. My understanding is that we are mortal or human beings having a spiritual experience. Can you clarify this with scriptures or words from our prophets in conference talks etc. ?

JOEL - He misquoted it a little but he was taking his comment from the following:
"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience."

This was first spoken by a man named Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) who was a French philosopher, paleontologist, and Jesuit priest. It's a valid concept, supported by both scripture and latter-day prophets, to realize that we are first and foremost spirit children of our Heavenly Father who have been sent down to earth to experience this mortal life for a brief period of time. And we must never forget that spiritual relationship we have with Him.

President Monson has used this quote in talks he has given.
"It can at times be easy to fall into the erroneous thinking that we ourselves are capable of handling anything that comes our way, that we have all the answers, and that there is no need for assistance from a higher power. When we realize, as French philosopher and priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put it, that “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience,” we come to understand where our main emphasis should be and on Whom we are reliant. (A Prophet's Voice: Messages from Thomas S. Monson, Deseret Book)

There are scriptures that refer to this:
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (1 Cor 2:14)

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man.." (Mosiah 3:19)

We need to put off the natural man; to not rely on the arm of the flesh (2 Nephi 4: 34), and remember the most important part of what makes us who we are; eternal spirits of our Heavenly Father.

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