079b: Pre-Existence and Book of Abraham; OT Lesson 2 (Core)

“Thou Wast Chosen Before Thou Wast Born”

The Book of Abraham commands fascination, with its theological distinctiveness (plurality of gods and teaching about the pre-existence) and connections to the Egyptian papyri. Not everyone may be aware that many struggle with this book of scripture, however. This episode digs deeply into the value of the Book of Abraham theologically, focusing on teachings about the pre-existence and foreordination. We also explore the implications of the relationship between scripture and history.Class Reading:Abraham 3; D&C 138; Moses 4:1–4

Additional Reading: Isaiah 14:12–15; Revelation 12:7–9; Alma 13:3–5; D&C 29:36–39

Other Reading: None

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The discussion with David, Joshua and Maxine at times gets technical and runs long, but is worth the time and effort.

You can access the Annotated Reading here.

You can access my Lesson Notes here.


Episode Outline

Lesson Part 1

0:00            Intro

6:17            Stars, Intelligences, Plan of Salvation

18:22         Foreordination


Discussion Part 1

24:23         Introductions

26:10         Pre-Existence

42:07         Foreordination

55:03         Plural Gods

1:08:04      Book of Abraham: Source Papyri

1:14:34      Abraham 3

1:34:23      Closing Theological Thoughts

Recommended Resources

Also consult his very worthwhile extra resources:

  • Charles Harrel, “The Development of the Doctrine of Preexistence, 1830–1844″ BYU Studies 28:2 PDF.
  • Teryl and Fiona Givens, The God Who Weeps, chapter 2, is all about the premortal existence. It’s an excellent book. See Rosalynde Welch’s review here, Julie Smith’s review here, and Adam Miller’s semi philosophical discussion of chapter 2 here.

Thanks to James Estrada for going above and beyond to get this episode out in time, and to to Steven Nelson for the beautiful bumper music.

Latest Comments

  1. Haggoth says:

    I have listed to only two of your podcasts, 78b and 79b. First, I really enjoy these. Thank you for the great discussions. Second, I’m curious about why you haven’t addressed the issue of the existence of Satan/Lucifer in Moses and Abraham as juxtaposed to his absence in the Hebrew Bible. I thought that the Hebrew Bible didn’t have references to Satan/Lucifer but that the 8 or 9 references that we see in our OT are really to the “adversary” or “prosecutor” but have been interpreted to be Satan/Lucifer by later scribes and translators. Would you mind commenting on this?

    It is my understanding that Jewish practitioners and scholars certainly came to believe in Satan/Lucifer but that this happened after biblical times.


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