GEO - Depending on your definition of a soul, which of these ideas is most attractive?
Idea I - One soul brings into being all other souls.
Idea II - All souls are immortal and had no beginning.
Idea III - All souls come from and are sustained by biological matter.
In the LDS faith is there something about a human being that pre-exists?
JOEL - In the LDS sense of the word a soul is the combination of a body and a spirit. If this is true then Idea I is true. God would be considered a soul. Idea II can not be true. Idea III is only partly true.
Some confusion comes in the fact that sometimes "soul" and "spirit" are used interchangebly. There is a difference between the two however. LDS believe that our spirits are literal off-spring of our Heavenly Father and that we lived with Him as a spirit in a pre-existant state before we are born. When we are born into this world our spirits unite with our body to make a "soul"(spirit + body = soul). When we die, the spirit and body separate until we are resurrected and they are brought back together again. Since God has a resurrected body He could be considered a soul, but one that is immortal and exalted. Therefore:
"Idea I - One soul brings into being all other souls."
God the Father is an immortal exalted soul that brought into being all our spirits. When our spirits unite with our bodies, which were brought forth by our earthly parents, a soul is created. Idea I is correct if you consider that God is the creator of everything, including our first parents, Adam and Eve.
"Idea II - All souls are immortal and had no beginning."
Our souls have their beginning at birth when the spirit and body unite. According to LDS beliefs, we first existed as "intelligences" which had no beginning. Then we were spiritually born of our Heavenly Father where our intelligences became a spirit body. This is one interpretation of what we have been told. However, not much is really known about this yet.
"Idea III - All souls come from and are sustained by biological matter."
Our bodies come from and are sustained by biological matter, but our spirits come from God.
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