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Roper

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Spirits and bodies
« on: October 08, 2021, 09:41:41 am »
If there is an abortion, does the spirit get to have another chance for a body?

I guess this brings up the other question: At what point is the spirit\body union sufficiently established for the purposes of God's plan? I understand we don't have definitive doctrine. Some believe conception. Others believe birth. I've heard some say that the spirit "comes and goes" during gestation.

And that brings up another question: Without settled doctrine on the "when" part of the calculus, what is the rationale for the church's position on abortion? I'm not asking to be confrontational on the issue. I fully support the church's position. My question is this: If we believe that God's spirit children will have the opportunity for mortality, then wouldn't a spirit get another chance if the intended physical body was aborted? 
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Jana at Jade House

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2021, 10:40:08 am »
At some point some GA actually taught that those spirits actually do get a second chance. Dunno who and when. This information was relayed to me in the late 70's. It is a comfort for the parent, I think.

And it makes sense to me because while spirits are eternal, many bodies for many reasons do not make it whole into the world. Thus the spirit gets back in line, so to speak.  I think that is why there is a narrow narrow definition of allowance for termination...that spirit will live on in another body. How ever I also understand that elective termination for birth control or convenience is forbidden territory.

The standard of live birth was one breath back in the day.. I have no idea what today's teaching is.  I know Saints who celebrate stillborn children birthdays ....

Termination will always be a tarbaby in a minefield.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2021, 11:05:52 am »
This is actually all problematized by a Joseph Smith declaration that was meant to bring peace, but actually causes some ramifications we don't often think through, the whole idea that children who die before the age of accountability are automatically saved in the Celestial Kingdom.

Here's where it leads me:
A) If all children who die are NOT predestined to be killed, and
B) Perfection can't just be granted as a 'Free Pass' because something unfair happened
and
C) Eternal Life IS promised universally to all children who die

THEN

A) Further mortal development isn't actually completely necessary, and
B) Because individuals were not pre-selected to die early, therefore
C) This declatation of a promise for Eternal Life seeming also applies to all individuals whatever age they are, leading to
D) It's a stealth declaration that eventually, everyone will make it to the Celestial Kingdom

I'm okay with that one ;)

Any other option, as I've seen it, when you follow its conclusions, have some SEVERE problems in regards to agency and predestination/determinism that sit incredibly wrong for me.

I don't know the mechanics. And while it's interesting that in the Book of Mormon Christ is announcing on his Birthday that that's the day HE is coming into the World, I'm also not convinced we should take that as a formal declaration of when the Spirit (or even his Spirit) became united with his body.

I've come to like the idea that human bodies (independent from spirit) as they grow develop their own consciousness, identity, and decision-making ability, and that the Spirit, one of God's adopted intelligences, is a companion to the mortal conscious body working in a symbiotic relationship with another fully unique Person, until they become As One. The Spirit and the Body are BOTH consciousnesses working to be better aligned with each other. That the spirit requires, to a degree,  a partner /consciousness/ to link to up. It's not just the mortal biology(the 'meat suit') in and of itself it needs. It's the pairing of emerged consciousness.

I've also found the idea interesting that the Spirit doesn't as much physically 'inhabit' the body in the same physical space, as much as it is linked in some way. (Hi Matrix and James Cameron's Avatar!).

Ultimately, I'm not worried. I think we have the most solid doctrinal foundation of nearly anyone to not worry about disrupting the Eternal options for Children Taken Too Soon, (which is behind the Church's position, I believe) while at the same time having a strong doctrine of caring for and protecting those in need.

I obviously have no authority behind my thoughts, but the idea that a /consciousness/ of some degree is the key for an initial link-up makes sense, and ties into some other concepts I appreciate.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2021, 11:46:16 am by Taalcon »
 
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Jason

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2021, 11:53:54 am »
Here are things that influence my thoughts on life.
Ova are alive.
Sperm are alive.
At no point are they dead, so life does not start when they meet. It continues.
50% of conceptions never implant.
 
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Jen

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2021, 02:08:05 pm »
Back when we were doing intense fertility treatments, we dug pretty deeply into this question. Read everything we could find, talked to our bishop, talked with our doctor who was LDS. There isn't one answer to be found. When it came down to it, we had to get personal revelation, which I won't even share because I feel like it's very personal.
 
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Enochscion

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2021, 01:45:03 am »
I donít want to try to find the source right now (Iím assuming if anyone finds it interesting enough they will do so), but my recollection was that Joseph Smith said the spirit comes into the womb when the mother feels the life come into the developing child. Of course, thatís the only time Iíve heard of any such phenomenon, so maybe he just meant that he wasnít sure but if the Spirit letís you know the baby spirit has arrived, well there you go.

A friend and I were once seriously considering the fact that often people have certain personally important experiences that we missed in our life and which seem like they canít really be had as spirits nor as resurrected beings. This seemed unsettling to us, and an idea struck me, which I donít know concerning the truth thereof, but made a lot of sense. It also relates to Joseph Smithís statements about mothers having an opportunity to raise their children that died in infancy.

The Millennium is basically the time for taking care of all the stuff that has to be resolved before this earth and everyone attached to it will be resurrected and enter their appropriate kingdoms. We know from the scriptures that Christ can raise people from the dead not just as resurrected beings, but alternatively back into their mortal probations like Lazarus. Maybe that is exactly what happens during the Millennium in situations where a personís mortal journey wasnít completed in the way that is necessary for their probation or that is necessary for their personal satisfaction with it. While Iíve never before heard any such idea, I canít think of a single doctrine or principle it even appears to conflict with, and it might solve a lot things that otherwise donít make a lot of sense.
 
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AndrewR

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2021, 11:20:34 am »
I have spent a lot of time thinking on these issues - even before I was married (which happened at 19) and children (at 20).

Since the stillbirth of our son, 22 years ago, I have thought more. I have spoken with others in the same position (one was a Patriarch, who had also been Stake President and Bishop. Another a member of a temple presidency who approached me) none had anymore light and knowledge than I.

I have my beliefs in connection with this, and whilst I claim no personal revelation in these matters, I have also not had a "stupor of thought" when praying about them.

I believe the body can quite well grow, to viability and beyond, quite well in the mother's womb. I think the spirit of that individual can, and maybe does, move in and out of the body to "get used" to it. John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth's womb - I can only assume this was the spirit of John. As mentioned by others, Jesus spirit was in the Americas when Mary was about to give birth.

My opinion on whether a child will be resurrected - ie a spirit was assigned to the body - is completely connected to viability. I do not believe that a 16 week mis-carriage is going to be resurrected. I do believe that many, not maybe not all, stillbirths will be resurrected. Whether our son is one of them, I do not know. But I hope.

Taalcon does bring up some things that I have often thought about. And I do not believe we have the complete picture. Maybe we will know before the Millennium. But if not, I am sure we will then.
Don't ask me, I only live here.
Nauvoodle since March 2005 #1412
 
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pnr

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2021, 02:19:36 pm »
It is precisely because God has not specifically revealed when a specific spirit is permanently attached to a mortal body that there is no church disciplinary action taken for a pregnancy that results from rape or incest or the mother's health.  The Church doesn't say it approves in those situations, just that it won't decide without revelation to treat that choice from women as sinful/wicked in those specific circumstances more appropriately left to the agency of the one who bears the unfortunate burden of those experiences.

Scripturally, we know that John the Baptist's spirit recognized Jesus's spirit before either was born.   We know that Jesus wasn't in Mary's womb the night before He was physically born, when he was in the America's chatting with the Prophet Samuel.   

But we don't know whether/when all spirits or any specific spirit is permanently assigned to its body, or even whether any is.   We read about parents who get testimonies that their miscarried/stillborn babies had been.   I'm not sure how that would be possible before a child was able to breathe or have a heartbeat, since resurrection requires a physical body doesn't it?  One that is a complete body? 

And we also don't know whether and what is identical to every birth.  And given that we have agency, and foreordination does not equal predestination,  how can every spirit get a body AND have the kind of mortal existence that they require to become what they need to become if assigned to a body that someone terminates, or which prenatal body is not even born?
Nauvoo 1270, Feb 2005
 
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Roper

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2021, 04:45:43 pm »
I've come to like the idea that human bodies (independent from spirit) as they grow develop their own consciousness, identity, and decision-making ability, and that the Spirit, one of God's adopted intelligences, is a companion to the mortal conscious body working in a symbiotic relationship with another fully unique Person, until they become As One.

There are certainly scriptural parallels for two distinct things becoming one through the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

- Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." (Also Matthew 19:5,  Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31, D&C 49:16, ).

- John 17:11: "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are."

- 3 Nephi 19:23, 29: "And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one. ... Father, I pray not for the world, but for those whom thou hast given me out of the world, because of their faith, that they may be purified in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one, that I may be glorified in them."

- D&C 38:27: "27 "Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine."

There's also the teaching of King Benjamin.

- Mosiah 3:19: "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 and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."

There's also the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We receive the gift through confirmation after baptism. We ask for it when we take the sacrament, "That they may always have His spirit to be with them." We acknowledge that the Holy Ghost dwells in us.

- D&C 130:22: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as manís; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us."

So it certainly isn't a far-fetched idea that our sentient mortal bodies and sentient spirit bodies become linked at some point, and that the purpose of mortality is for our dual nature to become One through Christ. The pattern is well established in scripture.

But I still don't know if that "linking," even though it's a process, begins at conception, during gestation, or birth. That link gets broken in many unintended ways, such as miscarriage. When is it verboten for humans to intentionally break that link? After birth, of course. But before that? Perhaps the basis for the church's policy is, "We don't know when; therefore, let's be cautious."
« Last Edit: October 10, 2021, 04:59:45 pm by Roper »
Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. - John Dewey
 
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cook

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2021, 11:46:35 pm »
I don't think it's one and only answer. I think it varies.

I was able to be present when my father -in-law died. It was a wonderful spiritual experience. I don't  believe the spirit leaving the body  "at this exact moment in every case", like after the final breath etc is accurate either. I think it depends, when exactly it happens.

My mother had a quite early miscarriage about 4 years before me. As a kid I thought I have a sister or a brother in heaven and I get to see  her/him. I had a strong imagination so I think that was part of it. I remember one night dreaming about her/him. I kind of believed it was actually him/her visiting me. But I don't know. The human sized black cat who threathened me with an over one meter sized injection if I didn't go to bed by a certain time was also very real to me. Later on I wondered/ felt if it was actually me trying come earlier. Perhaps because I always felt so much older.

I had a vision of my future kids before they were born. Three were clear, the fourth was later added as an optional. I said ok, if that is your will. I had two early miscarriages before he was born. In both case it was clear to me that it was just biology, no spirit there yet, the body he was going to have just didn't develop properly - (the current one has issues too).

When pregant, you do feel it is a person. But I think some of it is because we know we exist before we are born, we know there is "someone" who is coming. When I "talked" in my mind to the baby, I felt it more like with my dead mother - that the spirit is there, around me, next to me, instead of in my womb.

I do believe that the spirits of those who are aborted whether they have attended the body yet or not, do get a chance to actually be born. With stllborns I'm more inclined to the thought of them existing in spirit and being part of the family. May depend of when it happened. My friend who experienced this does not feel there is a child waiting for her in the spirit world. But it was quite early weeks, just past the mark of miscarriage.

I do believe that how ever it is, those spirits who are involved in abortion are not to suffer or be denied anything they need to receive exaltation because of actions of others. I don't believe that those who do it in the world are really held that much accountable for it either, because judgment comes based on the knowlwedge we have. I do not believe those in the church who do it after prayer and receiving the feeling it is ok, will have any eternal consequences either. Or those whose circumstances are such that they make the decision without praying because they feel it is the only option and have much baggage with them to carry on their shoulders.

So while I understand the words grievious sin, I think it refers to the sadness attached and the grief it causes to the woman, no matter how determined she is about it. The woman will suffer. That's "punishment" enough. The reason why it is such a big thing and should not be done "just for birth control" is that it interferes with God's plan for his children. Just like does cohabitation, same sex couples, abuse in the family etc.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 01:39:16 am by cook »
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2021, 09:07:22 am »
Quote
There's also the companionship of the Holy Ghost. We receive the gift through confirmation after baptism. We ask for it when we take the sacrament, "That they may always have His spirit to be with them." We acknowledge that the Holy Ghost dwells in us.

This is admittedly unrelated to the general topic at hand, but it was once pointed out that when we are baptized, we become part of the singular Body of Christ, and the Holy Ghost is symbolically the shared spirit among that Body. I thought that was a fascinating perspective. (cf 1 Corinithans 2:16, "...But we have the mind of Christ.")

(Also interesting that Joseph's original version of what became D&C 130 after his death was the direct opposite of what is presented now: “The Holy Ghost is a personage, and a person cannot have the personage of the H. G. in his heart.” - fascinating history of this text. Just as Joseph felt he could revise ancient revelation texts -and his own- with further understanding as to what they believed they 'would have said' if they had known better when originally given, it appears later leaders felt the same in regards to their relationship to  Joseph's words in this regard.)
« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 09:25:03 am by Taalcon »
 
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Enochscion

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2021, 01:46:50 pm »
I read that link, and Iím not understanding what the authorís understanding of Orson Prattís understanding is.  ;)

To me, it was very clear that Orson Pratt believed that it is the diffuse energy referred to as the Holy Ghost that dwells in us, and that the human spirit personage of the Holy Ghost could not. The authorís statements make it seem to me that that was not clear to him.

Iíve always understood it more or less like Orson Pratt: maybe the human spirit personage of the Holy Ghost can descend on us, since less wholesome spirits most certainly can, but like the next verse said in an earlier incarnation, while it may descend upon a man ďbut not to tarry with himĒ. Ie, if the Holy Ghost personally super-imposed himself over a mortal body, it would be a brief event, not an ongoing thing. So maybe a combination of Orson Prattís words looking like they agree with me, combined with being tired as Iím reading is confusing me, but it just really stood out in a ďis he even reading the same text I amĒ sort of way.
 
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Taalcon

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2021, 02:48:46 pm »
The author is pointing out Pratt adjusted and accomodated, sort of. Joseph/Pratts/BY were always in motion with their conceptualization of stuff. While it's easy to find a begin point, and and end point, it's rare to find one position that they always held to in terms of speculative theology/cosmology. The point of an open canon isn't just to add more, but it's to be willing to revise backwards, too. And I think that understanding has a lot to do with why there aren't lots more revelation texts - the understanding of fluidity in understanding and development is sort of key. The canonizing of a set text make it that much harder in the eyes of members to move past it. I mean, over the century, there's tons of non-canonized ideas that are hard enough to move past, yet some we have, and others we haven't. Imagine if they had been printed in the scriptural text. The process would be a lot harder. The existing printed canon models us how it developed, and how it worked.

The closest thing to adjusting/adding/revising of canonical texts currently going on is, in my opinion, the Temple Liturgy. Which is why I thought President Nelson's talk in that regard was particularly fascinating.

That said, and getting back, I would think the relative softness of the Church's position should cause more members to pause before labelling those who advocate for (or vote for those who advocate for) the ability for those in need to acquire a safe option to be, essentially, murderers.
 
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Jen

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2021, 10:44:03 pm »

That said, and getting back, I would think the relative softness of the Church's position should cause more members to pause before labelling those who advocate for (or vote for those who advocate for) the ability for those in need to acquire a safe option to be, essentially, murderers.

Yeah, being called a potential murderer (you know, if fertility treatments didn't work as expected) by a "friend" was one of the crappier things to hear at an already difficult time.

Obviously we're not friends anymore.
 
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Roper

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Re: Spirits and bodies
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2021, 11:55:52 pm »
When we lived in Texas, one of our friends had a miscarriage at about 16 weeks. She needed to have a D & C to ensure everything had come out properly. Because of the weirdness of Texas laws at the time, she had to get it done at a clinic which also provided abortions (the only one for several miles.) She had to park and walk down the sidewalk past the picketers who called her a "baby killer." She had to walk past them again when she came out. Even though someone was with her to support her, she was sobbing so hard that she almost collapsed before she reached the car.  The picketers were very vocal about being Christians. There was nothing Christian in the way they treated our friend.
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