Every one of us had a perfect, wonderful and happy childhood


Old Photos

My wife recently asked me to scan in some old photos of our family.  As I looked over them, it made me once again realize how fleeting childhood is.  My kids are currently all over the childhood age spectrum.  They are all adorable to me just as they are right now, but viewing these photos and seeing how very young they were and how cute and cuddly they used to be in their earlier childhood stages, caused me to feel an acute nostalgia.  I longed for another chance at holding each one of them again in my arms, as babes and infants, or playing with them as toddlers, or watching them develop again as boys and girls.  It pained me that I wasn’t able to do that and also that my memory of those years wasn’t absolutely perfect, so as to re-live those precious experiences merely by accessing my memory.

My own childhood was very happy, but again, my memory of it is only of instances, not of continuous days, hours and minutes.  I cannot relive it by memory.  The most I can do is enjoy the childhood my kids are currently going through and to take advantage and cherish every moment I can.

Although my childhood was what I consider a happy one, it wasn’t perfectly so, of course.  None of us live perfectly happy lives, in perfect conditions.  And very many of us go through childhoods that are very far from happy, miserable even.  This is quite the shame, as childhood is so different than adulthood.  Childhood comes once and then is gone forever, whereas adulthood comes and stays with you throughout the eternities.

To have experienced a rotten childhood is such a bummer.  A child is the most alive creature on the planet and deserves to be around adults who are also alive and vibrant.  Often, though, life turns adults sour and adults take out that sourness on everyone around them, including the children.  This is unfortunate because once the sparkle of childhood, which can be seen in each child’s eyes and in their smile, is gone, it is gone forever.

At least, that is the conventional view.  My understanding is a bit different.

Memory of Mortality

When I was eighteen years old, I was once praying to God about something and in the midst of the prayer the Holy Ghost responded.  I cannot recall what I was praying about, but I do recall the communication.  It made quite the impression on me because it was the first time I had received anything from the Spirit while praying.  Here I was talking to God and then I get interrupted by a message.  Anyway, the Spirit told me that, by divine design,  our memory during mortality was not perfect.  She told me that the ability to forget was a gift of God given to us during our mortal existence, so that the purposes of God would not be thwarted.  Apparently, a perfect mortal memory, meaning a perfect memory of mortality, or of our mortal existence, would create tremendous guilt in mankind and we, having a perfect remembrance during mortality of all the bad things we’d done, would, essentially, end our lives.  Guilt, apparently, if it cannot be removed from one’s brain or mind or heart, is an unquenchable fire that destroys humanity.  Mankind self-destructs if faced with non-stop, perfectly rememberd guilt.  The atonement has power to remove that guilt, but much of mankind does not apply the atonement, or does not know of it, therefore, if mankind had a perfect memory here on earth Satan would conquer all and frustrate the plans of God.  The Spirit explained to me, then, that God had given us the ability to forget with the passage of time and the inability to recall things perfectly, to extend the lives of man upon the earth, giving them the opportunity to learn of the gospel and accept the atonement.

Again, I don’t recall exactly what I was praying about, but I think I was praying about memory, which is why I got this answer.  At any rate, I remember I was satisfied by this answer, and I was content to not have a perfect memory during mortality.

Memory of Pre-Mortality

We are all taught that there was a veil of forgetfulness placed upon us before we were born here on Earth.  This is why we cannot remember our pre-mortal existence.  This veil of forgetfulness allows us to exercise faith in the Lord because it takes away our memories of Him.  If we all had perfect memories of our pre-mortal existence, there would be no test or trial.  Mortality would be as easy to pass as if we were still living in God’s presence, for with a perfect memory of our life there, sin would hold no temptation to us here.  So, God temporarily took away our memory of our life there, so that we wouldn’t be influenced in our decisions here.  This veil of forgetfulness appears to have been placed upon our spirits, or spiritual bodies.  In other words, the veil of forgetfulness is not an aspect of our physical, mortal bodies.  On the other hand, I learned from the Spirit that God made our physical, mortal bodies in such a way as to limit our mortal memories.  In other words, the faulty or imperfect memory we have here during mortality is a result of the physicality connected to our spirits, the physical clothing acting as a dampener of the spiritual senses, limiting what we can see and perceive (and remember) through the spiritual senses.

The Restoration of All Memories

In the resurrection, we get our memories back.  We’ll remember both our pre-mortal existence perfectly and also our mortal experiences perfectly.  The immortal bodies we receive will have the intentional limitation that was placed there taken out, so as to be able to recall every instance of our lives, back to the very starting day when we first came into existence.  The blood of Christ will have been applied to everyone who inherits the kingdom of God (any of the three glories), so there will be no more guilt upon us and it will be expedient to see the sum of our lives finally.

Again, this happens in the resurrection, not in upon death.  Upon death, we all will enter into the spirit world, some of us going to paradise, others to spirit prison.  Without the physical body, the limitation that the body imposed upon our spirits concerning the dampening of the senses, including the memory, will be lifted, so that all will be able to sense fully, with perfect remembrance of every instance of their mortal lives.  Those with unrepentant guilt will have that guilt ignited into a fire that will consume them until they accept the gospel and repent, while those who have already repented will have peace of mind.  Unlike mortality, the guilt felt by the unrepentant sinners in the spirit world will not cause them to take their lives, for they cannot die, being immortal spirits, but it will merely give them the misery associated with the suffering of the damned, with gnashing of teeth, etc., until they repent and obtain the relief brought by the blood of Christ and forgiveness of sin.

The spirits in prison or in paradise, although possessing a perfect memory of their mortal existence, will still not remember their pre-mortal existence, as the veil of forgetfulness was placed upon their spirit bodies and will not be lifted until the resurrection.  Because of this, missionary work still needs to be done among the spirits in prison, for, if they could remember their pre-mortal existence, they would also be able to remember the plan of salvation and all that we learned then, and would have no need of missionaries preaching to them.  Their memories would be a sufficient preacher.  However, while residing in the spirit world, prior to the resurrection, nobody will recall their pre-mortal existence.

Two childhoods

Childhood being such a special time of life, one of the blessings that God has in store for each of His children is the restoration of the memory of their mortal childhood.  Now, that can be both good and bad.  Good if you had a happy childhood, bad if you were abused or otherwise had a miserable childhood.  However, He’s got that covered, too.

In the heavens, we also had a childhood.  Unlike our earthly parents, our heavenly Parents did everything right.  They provided the best environment, full of love and opportunities to learn and grow.  Whereas our mortal childhood is fleeting, our heavenly childhood lasted a veritable eternity.  We were perfectly happy in every sense of the word.  We enjoyed our siblings, our environment, the animals and other creations of God, the beauty seen everywhere, our own spirit bodies and those of others, and most especially, we enjoyed our Parents.  They were perfect in every way.  Every expression they had, ever word they spoke, every action they took, was perfectly calculated to make their children happy.  We were ectatic in their presence.  They understood how special childhood is and did not let time slip away from them.  They enjoyed our childhood as much as we did.

No comparison

Take the happiest child in the world, or the adults who claim to have had the happiest children of all and compare them with the childhood we all had in the heavens and we’d all see that there is no comparison.  The heavenly childhood lasted virtually an eternity.  In comparison, here it is less than an instant.  There we had all our needs taken care of, with perfect bodies, with unlimited opportunities and an infinite number of new things to confront our senses.  It was a continuous marvel of new wonders 24-hours a day, non-stop.  Imagine a kid in such a situation!  He or she would be giddy with excitement.  Such was our heavenly childhood.  Here, as children we have the same inclinations of wonder at all the new things, but rarely do we get to indulge ourselves in wonder and excitement.  Mostly, children are taught here to conform to the rules, not to explore their world.  Children often don’t have their needs taken care of.  Many are in loveless or abusive environments.  And many have imperfect bodies, being lame, blind, mutilated, etc.  Still, the spirit inside is a child and thus, is holy and heavenly, having come from a place of wonder.

Additionally, children here on earth have their adulthood forced upon them.  They get to a certain age and their bodies forcibly change them into an adult.  There is nothing they can do about it.  In yonder heavens, though, we had untramelled agency.  Want to stay a child?  Okay, stay a child for as long as you want.  Want to become an adult? (and the adult of our species is called a god, with reproductive capabilities), well, okay, you can go through the process of becoming an adult by being born into a physical, mortal body and then following the plan of salvation.  This is why our heavenly childhood was of a seemingly endless duration.  Every child placed into such a heavenly situation would voluntarily choose to stay in that state for an exceedingly long time, a veritable eternity.  Only when we had had our fill of being children, having reached the point of learning and playing that the next new wonders were with adulthood, only then did we have the desire to become an adult, and only then did we leave behind our heavenly childhood and enter mortality to begin the process.  Due to the quantity of new wonders in heaven, our heavenly childhood must have been mindboggingly long and exciting.  Any way you look at it, the heavenly childhood was superior to what we experience here.

When our memories come back

In the resurrection, we all will remember our heavenly childhood and will be able to re-live it, through our perfect memory, over and over again.  That memory will bring us so much joy and will wipe away or overpower any sorrow we might have felt about our mortal childhood.  Everyone, then, is going to get the memories of the perfect childhood.  With the perfect Parents.  And the perfect environment.  The Lord, in His mercy and foreknowledge, in this way can mend our broken mortal childhood memories and give us something infinitely better.

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12 Comments

  1. Beautiful. Positive. What a time to look forward to!

  2. Hope you are right. It is a beautiful thought. This life is wearing me out.

  3. Here are some other thoughts that ocurred to me as I wrote the above:

    Childhood and Adulthood defined

    Childhood can be defined as a state in which the individual is still learning new things. On the other hand, adulthood can be defined as a state in which the individual is incapable of learning new things, having learned all there is to know.

    If these two definitions are true, then we were children in our pre-mortal existence and we are still children here on earth, even when we’ve reached physical adulthood (maturity of the physical body).

    At what point do we become adults?

    I believe the answer to that question is found in D&C 88:

    “Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And they who are quickened by a portion of the terrestrial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness. And also they who are quickened by a portion of the telestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.” D&C 88: 29-31

    My understanding is that the word “fulness” in these verses is referring to the inhabitants of these worlds becoming an adult of our species. This means that they have learned all there is to learn and know all there is to know, for their respective worlds.

    The fulness of the three worlds are degrees of knowledge. The telestial adult body knows all there is to know of the telestial world, but has no capacity, due to the resurrection, to know or understand or experience the terrestrial and celestial things. And the terrestrial adult body knows all there is to know of both the telestial and terrestrial, having the capacity to comprehend both worlds, but, due to the resurrection, cannot comprehend the celestial. Finally, the celestial adult body comprehends all things.

    God is both a Child and an Adult

    God is at a peculiar stage of progression, in that He is both a Child and an Adult. He is an Adult in that He knows all things. There is nothing new in the universe for Him to learn. On the other hand, the universe is expanding, as He continually creates more things, new things, things that never existed before. The creative power of God allows Him to retain His Childhood while his knowledge of all things created allows Him to retain His Adulthood.

    Those who become like God, exalted men and women, will likewise be adults and children at the same time, knowing all created things yet continually experiencing newly created things, which they themselves create. It may be that the scriptures direct mortal, adult men and women to become like a little child for this very reason: in order to become like God, we must learn to be both children and adults.

    Mere speculation

    I will speculate that those who do not become exalted, who inherit one of the other glories, or who become angels and not gods, that these people also retain their childhood status, through the creative work and mercy of God. As new telestial wonders are created by God, those of the telestial glory must learn of them. The same goes for the terrestrial and celestial new wonders and inhabitants. You cannot have a fulness unless you know all there is for your particular sphere, and as new wonders in each sphere are brought into existence by the gods, all are enabled to learn the new things, which are created in the now.

    It may even be that God allows each of His children to participate in the creative process to some extent, according to the degree of knowledge or fulness which they have attained.

  4. In 1843 Joseph Smith taught that paradise and prison were the same place.

    Wilford Woodruff Journal, 11 June 1843, quoting Joseph Smith:
    “Hades shaole paradise, spirits in prison is all one it is a world of spirits, the righteous & the wicked all go to the same world of spirits”

    Franklin D. Richards recorded notes of the same public discourse in his “Scriptural Items”:
    “The words Prison Paradise & Hell are different translations of the Greek Hades which answers to the Hebrew Shaole the true translation of which is ‘The world of spirits where the righteous & the wicked dwell together.'”

    (I got these quotes from Andrew Ehat’s book Words of Joseph Smith.)

  5. I agree with you that the veil remains in place when we die. And in some ways our probation continues. However, not having a physical body will be a barrier in some ways. For instance, without a physical body, we will not be able to fast. I believe fasting is a powerful way to grow spiritually, and I think spirits separated from their bodies must mourn their loss of opportunities to grow from fasting.

    I wonder what we will be able to see. When we are in the world of spirits. For instance my mother-in-law died when I was pregnant with her first grandchild. At her funeral and memorial services many attendees talked casually about how she was probably playing with the spirit of her unborn grandchild in heaven. Do pre-mortal spirits mingle with post-mortal ones?

  6. The world of spirits is the spirit body of our planet Earth, which is why the spirit world is said to be “here”, because the Earth is alive, its spirit still being attached to its physical body. So, yes, paradise and prison are the same place, in the sense that it is all the same world, however, prison is located within the outer shell of the Earth, whereas paradise is located within the inner sphere at the center. (See Teachings on hell and the spirit world.)

    All spirits in the spirit world are in a continual state of fast, in fact the most intense kind of fast you can do. Fasting is abstinence from physical element entering the spiritual confines of our spirit body, so that the normal bodily functions for survival are changed from reliance upon element to reliance upon spirit. (That’s an over-simplification, but you ought to be able to get my drift.) Nevertheless, most fasters are never able to make the switch to 100% spiritual reliance, instead have some ratio between the physical and spiritual. The most spiritual individuals on the planet, such as Moses, were able, through their faith in Christ, to perform spirit world-type fasting while still remaining in the flesh upon earth, meaning that they were able to survive without food or water for extended periods, relying solely upon the Holy Spirit for sustenance.

    Once a person dies, they enter into intense, extended fasting such as what Moses and others went through. This causes the wicked who find themselves in hell to howl in agony, for they are hungry, even starving for element. The spirits who find themselves in paradise use the situation to spiritually progress, and, relying upon the Holy Spirit through their faith in Christ, are able to rejoice in the fast, instead of suffer, for they know the day will come that the fast will end and they will satisfy their hunger for element in the resurrection.

    “Do pre-mortal spirits mingle with post-mortal ones?”

    My understanding is that the answer to your question is, it depends. If the post-mortal spirits go to that division of the spirit world called paradise, then they mingle with the unborn spirits who reside there, for this is where we came from, being, in the words of Alma, “that God who gave [us] life” {Alma 40:11.) If they go to hell, they do not mingle with pre-mortal spirits until they finally repent and are released from hell through their faith in Christ, at which point they will return to “that God who gave them life,” and will likely reside on the outside surface of it until the work for the dead has been performed for them, at which point they will be enabled to enter the gates of righteousness and be received into paradise, to mingle with the post-mortal and pre-mortal saints.

  7. because the Earth is alive, its spirit still being attached to its physical body.

    The Earth is alive, asserts a new scientific theory of life. The trans-disciplinary theory demonstrates that purportedly inanimate, non-living objects — for example, planets, water, proteins, and DNA — are animate, that is, alive.

    The single organism that is “Earth” exists [in its natural state] on the principle of sharing.

    Once upon a time, there lived a single organism called LUCA.

    It essentially was the ocean. All life that emerged on Earth come out of this single watery-womb scientists call “LUCA” — which was a communal swap-shop where biomolecules and cells freely exchanged useful parts with each other without competition — effectively creating a global, bound-less, mega-organism.

  8. Andrulis is quite the clever man.

  9. Hi! I am just confuse of what you said in your statement in the section Memory of Mortality.

    This is your statement

    “This veil of forgetfulness appears to have been placed upon our spirits, or spiritual bodies. In other words, the veil of forgetfulness is not an aspect of our physical, mortal bodies. On the other hand, I learned from the Spirit that God made our physical, mortal bodies in such a way as to limit our mortal memories. In other words, the faulty or imperfect memory we have here during mortality is a result of the physicality connected to our spirits, the physical clothing acting as a dampener of the spiritual senses, limiting what we can see and perceive (and remember) through the spiritual senses.”

    You said that the veil of forgetfulness was placed upon our spirits or spiritual bodies, and, the reason why we forget the memories of the past is the result of physicality connected to our spirits. The physical clothing is the dampener of spiritual senses.

    My question is that *why does the physical body needs to be a dampener of spiritual senses if the spirit was able to forget? ( you said that the veil was placed in our spirit bodies)
    *If our physical body blocks what we can perceive as humans, does it means that the veil of forgetfulness that you are referring to is our physical bodies?
    and what do you mean by “physicality connected to our spirits”?
    I am a bit confused about that phrase.

    Your answer to my question is highly appreciated.
    😀

  10. who is the author of this website?
    is this website recognized by The Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter Day Saints?

  11. Elmer,

    who is the author of this website?

    There are many contributors to this blog. Click the “Contributors” tab at the top of each page to see the list of contributors.

    is this website recognized by The Church of Jesus Christ of
    Latter Day Saints?

    I don’t know how to answer this question. What does it even mean to be “recognized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”?

  12. Elmer,

    My question is that *why does the physical body needs to be a dampener of spiritual senses if the spirit was able to forget? ( you said that the veil was placed in our spirit bodies)

    I am going to suppose that the veil of forgetfulness operates in the following manner:

    I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

    Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

    Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

    I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

    If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

    Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:1-8)

    As we are essentially “hanging fruit,” attached by a part of our spirit bodies (the branch) to a much larger spiritual body (a vine), I suppose that it is through this attachment (the branch part of us) that our knowledge and memories come from. While we were in the pre-mortal courts on high, we were attached to the “main vine” and thus had access to the full memory and knowledge banks of God. When we came here, God transplanted us and grafted us into a new vine (this planet Earth’s spirit) which was a new planting, and thus it did not contain the former memories and knowledge. This allowed a “veil of forgetfulness” to occur, in which we forgot all that occurred prior to our being born here. Thus, the veil of forgetfulness is an aspect of our spirits being attached, at present, to Earth’s spirit, through this branch part of us.

    However, the veil of forgetfulness only covers what came before birth, not the memory loss, or faulty memory, that we have here in mortality, in which we forget where we put the car keys, or people’s birthdays, etc. The mortal physical bodies that we currently have dampen our spiritual sense, otherwise, from birth to now, we would remember absolutely everything we have ever experienced from birth to now, with perfection, for this is how perfectly attuned, or how perfect, are our spirit bodies. It would be impossible to forget anything, not even the smallest thing.

    It was manifest to me many years ago, (I believe it was in 1989), by the Holy Ghost, that the perfect memory of guilt would entirely cripple humanity, for all men sin, but our imperfect memory allows the feeling of guilt to not be so overwhelming that it entirely destroys us. Thus, we have been allowed a time to repent of our sins, before our memories are restored to perfection, as they were before we were born.

    *If our physical body blocks what we can perceive as humans, does it means that the veil of forgetfulness that you are referring to is our physical bodies?

    No, the veil of forgetfulness is an aspect of our spirits (or spirit bodies) being attached to a new, fresh planting, a new world, with a clean slate, not having the previous history in it. When we return to God in the resurrection, that branch attachment will be restored to its previous grafting, meaning to the previous vine, and all the old memories will instantly come back, and we will know that this was all planned from the beginning, etc. The physical body just blocks us from having, from birth onward, a perfect remembrance of all that occurs here on earth. It doesn’t cover what came before birth.

    and what do you mean by “physicality connected to our spirits”?

    The “physicality connected to our spirits” is our physical, mortal bodies. I hope this comment clears up your confusion, but I suspect that unless you have read my other writings, this comment may end up creating even more confusion…


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