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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : When Does the Spirit Enter the Body? » When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?

When Does the Spirit Enter the Body?

Don - September 14, 2004

I think the “brethern” have avoided answering this question, and probably for good reason. Does life begin when the spirit enters the body, or does life begin at conception? We all recognize the fact the the embryo, depending on it’s stage of development, can move, feel pain, is sensitive to music and much more. Does that mean its spirit has entered into its body?

Many parents have been conforted by assuming (for whatever reason, personal revelation?, a statement by a friend, Bishop, or G.A.?) that they’ll have the opportunity of raising their still born baby in the Millenium. I’m not disputing that.

The reason the question entered my mind, I was studying my S.S. lesson and in 3Ne. 1:13 Jesus speaks to Nephi and tells him that the next day he will be born.

Obviously (at least to me) from this scripture Christ’s spirit had not entered into his body. His spirit was wherever it had been since the creation of the earth and he was still functioning as the God of this earth. So if Christ’s spirit didn’t enter His body until birth, does that apply to all of our spirits?

1 Comment »

  1. Well, it would seem to apply to all spirits, wouldn’t it? But that gets into difficulties with the rationale for opposing abortion (if no spirit is really harmed, it seems less morally offensive), so the Brethren deal with the question . . . by simply avoiding it.
    Dave | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 – 10:03 pm | #

    Don,
    I have one thought:

    1. There are times in the scriptures where, using Divine Investiture of Authority, someone speaks for someone else, using their identity. The Savior does this for the Father frequently. COuld this be at play here?

    Dave,
    I’m not sure what you are saying. Are you suggesting that the Brethren want to oppose abortion and so they don’t talk about this subject because that would weaken their anti-abortion position?
    Braden | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 – 11:45 pm | #

    Dave,
    Which question are you saying the Bretheren avoid? Abortion or when the spirit enters the body? From my understanding they oppose abortion (with exceptions), but I’ve never heard them say anything regarding when the spirit enters the body.

    Then follows the next logical question: Assuming the spirit enters at birth, is there another reason the Bretheren oppose abortion other than the of taking innocent life? I can think of a few. But none of them seem as bad as taking life.
    Rusty Clifton | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 – 11:48 pm | #

    Braden, so if the Divine Investiture of Authority were at play here, who would be speaking for the Savior at that moment? God? That would be an funny exchange, “I’ll speak on your behalf if in a couple thousand years you’ll do the same for me.”, “It’s a deal.”

    Maybe this just falls under, “God can do anything.” I mean if he can be listening to my prayers and be telling my dad to get out of the movie business at the same time, why couldn’t he be in Mary’s womb and be talking with Nephi at the same time?
    Rusty Clifton | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 – 11:56 pm | #

    The scriptural “evidence” I’ve heard that the spirit does in fact enter the body sometime before birth is from Luke 1:41, when the unborn John the Baptist leaps in his mother’s womb upon Elisabeth’s hearing the salutation of Mary (who is pregnant with the Christ child).

    I’ve only seen a couple quotes by General Authorities on the matter, including the following:

    President Brigham Young said he believed that “when the mother feels life come to her infant it is the spirit entering the body.” (Journal of Discourses, 17:143.)

    “The Origin of Man” issued by the First Presidency in 1909 stated: “The body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man.”
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 – 11:57 pm | #

    So I might challenge the idea that Christ’s spirit had not entered His body prior to His speaking to Nephi. Being a God, why couldn’t He have “stepped out” for a moment to take care of some important business? Who knows.

    And who knows why the Brethren don’t outright ask for a revelation on the subject. Perhaps the specifics don’t really matter as much as we think they do?
    Amy | Email | Homepage | 09.14.04 – 11:58 pm | #

    I’m with Rusty and Amy on this one. An omnipotent being can do things we cannot. Whether that be leaving the womb briefly or being the exception of not entering in the first place till the day before (or sooner) is as exceptional as the conception of Christ itself.
    Bret | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 1:56 am | #

    Dave and Rusty, your comments bring up a point I thought about but made me think further about it. Who took care of Christ’s “duties” while he was a mortal on our earth? We’ve got 33 years (especially the early ones) where he’s physically here. So who took care of His job during that time. Or was it like a heavenly vaction…you know 2 weeks off?
    don | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 2:33 am | #

    Maybe he already took care of them. I mean, time doesn’t really affect him.
    Rusty Clifton | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 8:34 am | #

    It has always been my thinking that the spirit enters the body “permanently” at birth, but is present from conception to help guide and direct the growth of the fetus.
    Also, many times in the scriptures we read of someone stating that they did now know whether they were in the body or not. So, we can be “connected” to our bodies but retain a measure of movement outside the body.
    John | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 11:37 am | #

    While my mom was pregnant with one of my brothers, she would feel as if something was wrong and ask dad for a blessing. When he was born, the cord was wrapped around his neck a few times.
    What’s interesting is that he can remember once when his spirit came out from my mother, looked at us while she was being blessed, then came back into her body. He told us this when he was younger. Obviously, his spirit was in his body. When he officiall got there, who knows? But he was there then.
    Sister T | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 12:34 pm | #

    The Lord’s “presence” can be where his physical body is not:

    “D&C 109:12 That thy glory may rest down upon thy people, and upon this thy house, which we now dedicate to thee, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may be continually in this house;”

    Obviously this does not confine His physical body to the vicinity of the Kirtland temple. The Lord is able to appear in vision to anyone He wants to even though He is not necessarily there, or rather, since He is “omnipresent,” He can be in more than one place at a time. In fact, He can appear in vision to millions of people simultaneously throughout all the vast realm of His sovereignty. When you consider the endless nature of His creations you have to concede that there would not be enough time for Him appear to all the souls worthy of seeing Him one at a time.

    (continued on next comment)
    Carl Youngblood | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 1:31 pm | #

    (continued from previous comment)

    Emanuel Swedenborg, a swedish mystic who wrote about many fascinating visions of the eternities, and who Joseph Smith said may very well have received the visions he claimed, says in his book HEAVEN AND HELL that the Lord is able to make a perfect representation of His physical person appear in any place that He wants even though His actual body may be somewhere far away.

    So the Lord could very well have appeared to anyone while He was in a mortal body on the earth. In fact, I think He could have appeared in vision to other inhabitants of other earths even while He was in His mortal body on our earth.
    Carl Youngblood | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 1:31 pm | #

    I’m not sure I’d trust Swedenborg as a source for theology…
    Clark | Email | Homepage | 09.15.04 – 10:34 pm | #

    Rusty,
    I’m not sure why that is preposterous, or any different than an angel speaking for the Son, or the Son speaking for the Father.
    Braden | Email | Homepage | 09.20.04 – 12:37 pm | #

    Rusty,
    I wanted to note I’m not advocating that my idea is true–it was just an idead, but I don’t see why it is all that strange.
    Braden | Email | Homepage | 09.22.04 – 3:50 pm | #

    Braden,
    Actually, I’m not suggesting it’s preposterous. I just thought it would be a funny conversation. In fact, I think it’s a very possible possibility. I’m sure there are a bunch of conversations they might have that would seem funny to our mortal minds…or not.
    Rusty | Email | Homepage | 09.22.04 – 7:36 pm | #

    That’s a good point, Rusty. Perhaps preposterous was too strong a word for me to use…(sorry blogging while sleep deprived, you know)
    Braden | Email | Homepage | 09.23.04 – 10:13 am | #

    Please note that I didn’t appeal only to Swedenborg but also to the scriptures.
    Carl Youngblood | Email | Homepage | 09.28.04 – 2:24 pm | #

    Comment by Comment Restore — November 28, 2005 @ 12:39 am

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