This sort of follows Don’s last entry. How I understand it, we were all distinct and authentic individuals in the pre-existence, children of Heavenly Father. I imagine we had friends, positions, we took classes. We may have dated, but I doubt it. We probably just hung out like the singles today. I wonder what sort of entertainment we enjoyed in those heady, pre-mortal salad days. Was there an equivalent to TV, sports, iPad? Did we watch the “Historical Documents” of other universes? Did we play practical jokes, or even know what sarcasm was?
Before we were spirits, we’re taught, we were intelligences, and this is where the imagination gets blurrier. Me, I picture little pixie lights darting around, or iridescent amoebae capable of witty conversation but not mixers because of, you know, the opposable thumbs thing.
“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be… For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy.” D&C 93:29, 33
The revelation that we always WERE, in one form or another, begs the question, when did our personalities come into play? Did we possess a kernel of personality even in intelligence form, in the very beginning? I tend to think so, particularly since we developed them in the spirit world, as we did from infancy to childhood. We’re mortally born with prefab personalities and we build upon them. We adopt certain strengths, weaknesses, habits and traits that steer– construct or deconstruct– their development over the course of our earthly lives. This is what I believe, anyway.
Then comes the curve ball:
Personality is a gift from God. It is indeed a pearl of great price, and eternal blessing. David O. McKay, Improvement Era, August 1955
It’s funny, I can easily accept the idea that all my possessions, including my health, my body, etc., belong to Heavenly Father. Never thought twice about that. But I’ve always taken for granted that my relationship with Him was ME, MYSELF and my Father– and that included MY PERSONALITY, MY INDIVIDUALITY. Is President McKay saying that even though we were in the beginning with God, He endowed us with personalities when we became spirits– or the ability to have personalities? Yet we were always “intelligences”– is that possible without possessing personalities? Our personalities are like the rudders of our free agency. Are we stewards or owners of our personalities?
Or perhaps I’m misinterpreting President McKay’s statement; that he is referring to an exuberance of personality.
And if it turns out we DID date in the pre-existence, I wonder if the phrase, “She’s got a great personality” sent off the same warning bells it does today.