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What am I doing here    on Earth? 


The Spirit of God

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One of the greatest questions man has ever asked of himself.  With the veil of forgetfulness placed over the mind of all who live on earth so that our remembrance of a pre-earth life is gone, it is easy to be confused.  Having read from Elder McConkies information about the "Preexistence" of man, read now what other inspired modern day men of God have written on the subject that answers the above question.

Ludlow, Daniel H., ed. Latter-day Prophets Speak: Selections from the Sermons and Writings of Church Presidents. Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1948.

2 The Mortal Probation
A. PURPOSE OF THE MORTAL PROBATION
THE OBJECT of our being placed upon this earth is that we may work out an exaltation, that we may prepare ourselves to go back and dwell with our Heavenly Father; and our Father, knowing the faults and failings of men, has given us certain commandments to obey, and if we will examine those requirements and the things that devolve upon us we will find that they are all for our individual benefit and advancement. The school of life in which we are placed and the lessons that are given to us by our Father will make of us exactly what He desires, so that we may be prepared to dwell with Him.
—Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era 48:123, March, 1945

We have come to sojourn in the flesh, to obtain tabernacles for our immortal spirits.…The object of our earthly existence is that we might have a fullness of joy and that we may become the sons and daughters of God, in the fullest sense of the word, being heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, to be kings and priests unto God, to inherit glory, dominion, exaltation, thrones, and every power and attribute developed and possessed by our Heavenly Father. This is the object of our being on this earth.
—Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses 19:259, April 11, 1878

I sometimes wonder if people realize the purpose of their existence, and the importance of the labor that men and women are expected to perform while on the earth. … We have been placed here for a purpose. That purpose is that we may overcome the evil temptations that are placed in our way, that we may learn to be charitable to one another, that we may overcome the passions with which we are beset, so that when the time comes for us to go to the other side we may be worthy, by reason of the effort we have put forth, to enjoy the blessings that our Father has in store for the faithful… 12  We are not here to while away the hours of this life and then pass to a sphere of exaltation; but we are here to qualify ourselves day by day for the positions that our Father expects us to fill hereafter.
—George Albert Smith, Conference Reports, p. 59; 61-62, April, 1905

The object of our being here is to do the will of the Father as it is done in heaven, to work righteousness in the earth, to subdue wickedness and put it under our feet, to conquer sin and the adversary of our souls, to rise above the imperfections and weaknesses of poor, fallen humanity, by the inspiration of Almighty God and His power made manifest, and thus become indeed the Saints and servants of the Lord in the earth.
—Joseph F. Smith, Conference Reports, p. 85, April, 1902

We are here to cooperate with God in the salvation of the living, in the redemption of the dead, in the blessings of our ancestors, in the pouring out (of) blessings upon our children; we are here for the purpose of redeeming and regenerating the earth on which we live, and God has placed His authority and His counsels here upon the earth for that purpose, that men may learn to do the will of God on the earth as it is done in heaven. This is the object of our existence.
—John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 21:94, April 13, 1879

The Lord designs to bring us up into the celestial kingdom. He has made known, through direct revelation, that we are His offspring, begotten in the eternal worlds, that we have come to this earth for the special purpose of preparing ourselves to receive a fullness of our Father's glory when we shall return into His presence. Therefore, we must seek the ability to keep this law, to sanctify our motives, desires, feelings and affections, that they may be pure and holy, and our will in all things be subservient to the will of God, and have no will of our own except to do the will of our Father… One of the chief difficulties that many suffer from is that we are too apt to forget the eat obect of life, the motive of our Heavenly Father in sending us here to put on mortality, as well as the holy calling with which we have been called; and hence, instead of rising above the little transitory things of time, we too often allow ourselves to come down to the level of the world without availing ourselves of the divine help which God has instituted, which alone 13 can enable us to overcome them. We are no better than the rest of the world if we do not cultivate the feeling to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect.
—Lorenzo Snow, Journal of Discourses 20:189; 191, April 7, 1879

It is the wish of our Heavenly Father to bring all His children back into His presence. The spirits of all the human family dwelt with Him before they took tabernacles of flesh and became subject to the fall and to sin. He is their spiritual Father and has sent them here to be clothed with flesh and to be subject, with their tabernacles, to the ills that afflict fallen humanity. When they have proved themselves faithful in all things, and worthy before Him, they can then have the privilege of returning again to His presence, with their bodies, to dwell in the abodes of the blessed. If man could have been made perfect, in his double capacity of body and spirit, without passing through the ordeals of mortality, there would have been no necessity of our coming into this state of trial and suffering. Could the Lord have glorified His children in spirit, without a body like His own, He no doubt would have done so.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 11:43, January 8, 1865

IMPORTANCE OF OBTAINING A MORTAL BODY
We came to this earth that we might have a body and present it pure before God in the celestial kingdom. The great principle of happiness consists in having a body. The devil has no body, and herein is his punishment. lie is pleased when he can obtain the tabernacle of man, and when cast out by the Savior he asked to go into the herd of swine, showing that he would prefer a swine's body to having none.  All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him.
-Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 181, January, 1841

Our mortal bodies are all important to us; without them we never can be glorified in the eternities that win be. We are in this state of being for the express purpose of obtaining habitations for our spirits to dwell in, that they may become personages of tabernacle.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:286, February 28, 1862

It is absolutely necessary that we should come to the earth and take upon us tabernacles; because if we did not have tabernacles 14 we could not be like God nor like Jesus Christ. God has a tabernacle of flesh and bone. He is an organized being just as we are, who are now in the flesh. Jesus Christ … had a fleshly tabernacle; He was crucified on the cross; and His body was raised from the dead… We are precisely in the same condition and under the same circumstances that God our Heavenly Father was when He was passing through this or a similar ordeal. We are destined to come forth out of the grave as Jesus did, and to obtain immortal bodies as He did… This is the object of our existence in the world.
—Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses 25:58-59, February 17, 1884

Man was created in the image of God, and he was the offspring of Deity Himself and consequently made in His likeness; and being made in that likeness, he was a Son of God, and the very object of his being planted upon the earth was that he might multiply Why? That the spirits which had existed with their Heavenly Father might have tabernacles to inhabit and become mortal, and, through the possession of these tabernacles and the plan of salvation, that they might be raised to greater dignity, glory and exaltation than it would be possible for them to enjoy without these … God had a purpose, therefore, in the organization of this earth, and in the placing of man upon it, and He has never deviated one hair to the right or to the left in regard to man and his destiny from that time until the present.
—John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 17:370, April 8, 1875

The object of man's taking a body is that through the redemption of Jesus Christ both soul and body may be exalted in the eternal world, when the earth shall be celestial, and obtain a higher exaltation than he could be capable of doing without a body. For when man was first made, he was made a little lower than the angels." But through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ he is placed in a position to obtain an exaltation higher than angels. For, says the Apostle, "know ye not that we shall judge angels." … Another object that we came here for and took bodies was to propagate our species For if it is for our benefit to come. here, it is also for the benefit of others. Hence the first commandment given to man was to "Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth." (Genesis 1:28)
—John Taylor, Millennial Star 13:81, March 15, 1851 15

There were certain great principles involved in the organization of this earth, and one was that there might be a place provided whereon the children of our Heavenly Father could live and propagate their species and have bodies formed for the spirits to inhabit who were the children of God; for we are told that He is the God and Father of the spirits of all flesh. It was requisite, therefore, that an earth should be organized; it was requisite that man should be placed upon it; it was requisite that bodies should be prepared for those spirits to inhabit, in order that the purposes of God pertaining to His progeny might be accomplished, and that those spirits might be enabled, through the medium of the everlasting gospel, to return unto the presence of their Heavenly Father, as Gods among the Gods.
—John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 25:303-304, October, 1884

MORTALITY IS A STATE OF TRIAL FOR MAN
The whole mortal existence of man is neither more nor less than a preparatory state given to finite beings, a space wherein they may improve themselves for a higher state of being.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:334, December 5, 1853

Yours, as well as my eternal destiny, our future position throughout the ages of eternity, depend upon the few hours, the few days, the few weeks we spend in the flesh.
—Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses 19:362, June 30, 1878

The trials and temptations have been very great to many of our people and more or less, perhaps, to all of us. The Lord seems to require some proof on our part, something to show that He can depend upon us when He wants us to accomplish certain things in His interest. The reason is that the condition in which we will be placed in the future, as time passes along, as eternity approaches, and as we move forward in eternity and along the line of our existence, we shall be placed in certain conditions that require very great sacrifice in the interests of humanity, in the interests of the Spirit of God, in the interest of His children and our own children, in generations to come, in eternity.
—Lorenzo Snow, Conference Reports, p. 2, October, 1900

We are placed on this earth to prove whether we are worthy to go into the celestial world, the terrestrial, or the telestial, or 16 to hell, or to any other kingdom, or place, and we have enough of life given us to do this.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4:269, March 8, 1857

I heard the Prophet Joseph say, in speaking to the Twelve on one occasion: "You will have all kinds of trials to pass through. And it is quite as necessary for you to be tried as it was for Abraham and other men of God, and (said he) God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings, and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the celestial kingdom of God."
—John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 24:197, June 18, 1883

We have been called to pass through trials many times, and I do not think we should complain, because if we had no trials we should hardly feel at home in the other world in the company of the prophets and apostles who were sawn asunder, crucified, etc., for the word of God and testimony of Jesus Christ.
—Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses 23:328, December 10, 1882

We are here that we may be educated in a school of suffering and of fiery trials, which school was necessary for Jesus our Elder Brother, who, the Scriptures tell us, was made perfect through suffering. It is necessary we suffer in all things, that we may be qualified and worthy to rule and govern all things, even as our Father in heaven and His Eldest Son Jesus.
—Lorenzo Snow, Millennial Star 13:363, December 1, 1851
It has been decreed by the Almighty that spirits, upon taking bodies, shall forget all they had known previously, or they could not have a day of trial—could not have an opportunity for proving themselves in darkness and temptation, in unbelief and wickedness, to prove themselves worthy of eternal existence.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:333, June 19, 1859

There is not a single condition of life that is entirely unnecessary; there is not one hour's experience but what is beneficial to all those who make it their study and aim to improve upon the experience they gain. What becomes a trial to one person is not noticed by another.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 9:292, May 25, 1862

"WHAT IS MAN, THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM?"
What is he? He had his being in the eternal worlds; he existed before he came here. He is not only the son of man, but he is the Son of God also. He is a God in embryo and possesses within him a spark of that eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God's eternal fire in the eternal world, and he is placed here upon the earth that he may possess true intelligence, true light, true knowledge,—that he may know himself—that he may know God—that he may know something about what he was before he came here—that he may know something about what he is destined to enjoy in the eternal worlds—that he may be fully acquainted with his origin, with his present existence, and with his future destiny—that he may know something about the strength and weakness of human nature—that he may understand the Divine law, and learn to conquer his passions, and bring into subjection every principle that is at variance with the law of God—that he may understand his true relationship to God; and finally, that he may learn how to subdue, to conquer, subject all wrong, seek after, obtain, and possess every true, holy, virtuous, and heavenly principle; and, as he is only a sojourner, that he may fulfill the measure of his creation, help himself and family, be a benefit to the present and future generations, and go back to God, having accomplished the work he came here to perform.
—John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 8:3-4, February 19, 1860

OUR IDENTITY WILL NEVER CHANGE
We will progress and develop and grow in wisdom and understanding, but our identity can never change. We did not spring from spawn. Our spirits existed from the beginning, have existed always, and will continue forever. We did not pass through the ordeals of embodiment in the lesser animals in order to reach the perfection to which we have attained in manhood and womanhood, in the image and likeness of God. God was and is our Father, and His children were begotten in the flesh of His own image and likeness, male and female …
They change from worse to better; they may change from evil to good, from unrighteousness to righteousness, from humanity to immortality, from death to life everlasting. They may progress in the manner in which God has progressed; they may grow 18 and advance, but their identity can never be changed, worlds without end—remember that God has revealed these principles, and I know they are true.
—Joseph F. Smith, Improvement Era. 12:595;598, June, 1909

THE SOUL IS COMPOSED OF SPIRIT AND BODY
We are called mortal beings because in us are seeds of death, but in reality we are immortal beings because there is also within us the germ of eternal life. Man is a dual being, composed of the spirit which gives life, force, intelligence and capacity to man, and the body which is the tenement of the spirit and is suited to its form, adapted to its necessities, and acts in harmony with and to its utmost capacity yields obedience to the will of the spirit. The two combined constitute the soul. The body is dependent upon the spirit, and the spirit during its natural occupancy of the body is subject to the laws which apply to and govern it in the mortal state.
—Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses 23:169, June 18, 1882

All spirits came from God, and they came pure from His presence, and were put into earthly tabernacles, which were organized for that express purpose; and so the spirit and the body became a living soul. If these souls should live, according to the law of heaven, God ordained that they should become temples prepared to inherit all things.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:291, August 15, 1852

What is the body without the spirit? It is lifeless clay. What is it that affects this lifeless clay? It is the spirit, it is the immortal part, the eternal being, that existed before it came here, that exists within us, and that will continue to exist, and that by and by will redeem these tabernacles and bring them forth out of the grave.
—Joseph F. Smith, Journal of Discourses 25:250, July 18, 1884

THE BLESSINGS OF LIVING A WORTHY LIFE
A man or a woman who places the wealth of this world and the things of time in the scales against the things of God and the wisdom of eternity, has no eyes to see, no ears to hear, no heart to understand.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 15:18, April 28, 1872 19

Upon our lives here is predicated the degree of perfection in which we shall arise, as well as the time when that event shall take place. A man will not awake on the resurrection morning to find that all that he neglected to do in mortal life has been put to the credit side of his account and that the debit side of his ledger shows a clean page. That is not the teaching of the gospel. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." He whose every act has fitted him for the enjoyment of eternity will be far in advance of the man whose all has been centered on the things of this life.
—Heber J. Grant, Millennial Star 56:201, March 31, 1904

All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. If we obtain the glory that Abraham obtained, we must do so by the same means that he did… we must pass through the same experience and gain the knowledge, intelligence, and endowments that will prepare us to enter into the celestial kingdom of our Father and God … Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:150, August 26, 1860

Will you spend the time of your probation for naught and fool away your existence and being? You were organized and brought into being for the purpose of enduring forever, if you fulfill the measure of your creation, pursue the right path, observe the requirements of the celestial law, and obey the commandments of our God. It is then, and then only, you may expect the blessing of eternal lives will be conferred upon you. It can be obtained upon no other principle.
—Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 1:113-114, February 27, 1853

    Again, I bear humble testimony of the truthfulness of all that you have just read.  There is so much more to learn and it is all available to you through the restored truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    Next question to be answered:  Where do I go when I die?

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