"Where did I come from? What am I doing here? Whither am I going? And what is my destiny after having obeyed the truth, if faithful to the end?"
For her benefit and all others concerned, we will endeavor to answer the questions in brief, as we understand them. The reason will be apparent for our belief in the pre-existence of spirits and in marrying for time and all eternity.
Lady, whence comest thou? Thine origin? What art thou doing here? Whither art thou going, and what is thy destiny? Declare unto me if thou hast understanding. Knowest thou not that thou art a spark of Deity, struck from the fire of His eternal blaze, and brought forth in the midst of eternal burning?
Knowest thou not that eternities ago thy spirit pure and holy, dwelt in thy Heatrenly Father's bosom and in His presence, and with thy mother, one of the queens of heaven, surrounded by thy brother and sister spirits in the spirit world, among the Gods? That as thy spirit beheld the scenes transpiring there, and thou grewest in intelligence, thou sawest worlds upon worlds organized and peopled with kindred spirits who took upon them tabernacles, died, were resurrected, and received their exaltation on the redeemed worlds they once dwelt upon. Thou being willing and anxious to imitate them, waiting and desirous to obtain a body, a resurrection, and exaltation also, and having obtained permission, madest a covenant with one of thy kindred spirits to be thy guardian angel while in mortality, also with two others, male and female spirits, that thou wouldst come and take a tabernacle through their lineage, and become one of their offspring. You also chose a kindred spirit whom you loved in the spirit world (and who had permission to come to this planet and take a tabernacle), to be your head, stay, husband, and protector on the earth and to exalt you in eternal worlds. All these were arranged, likewise the spirits who should tabernacle through your lineage. Thou longed, thou sighed, and thou prayed to thy Father for the time to arrive when thou couldst come to this earth, which had fled and fallen from where it was first organized, near the planet Kolob. Leaving thy Father's and Mother's bosom and all thy kindred spirits, thou camest to earth, took a tabernacle, and imitated the deeds of those who had been exalted before you.
At length the time arrived, and thou heard the voice of thy Father saying, go, daughter, to yonder lower world, and take upon thee a tabernacle, and work out thy probation with fear and trembling, and rise to exaltation. But, daughter, remember you go on this condition, that is, you are to forget all things you ever saw, or knew to be transacted in the spirit world; you are not to know or remember anything concerning the same that you have beheld transpire here; but you must go and become one of the most helpless of all beings at I have created, while in your infancy; subject to sickness, pain, tears, mourning, sorrow, and death. But when truth shall touch the cords of your heart, they will vibrate; then intelligence shall illuminate your mind, and shed its lustre in your soul, and you shall begin to understand the things you once knew, but which had gone from you. You shall then begin to understand and know the object of your creation. Daughter, go and be faithful as thou hast been in thy first estate.
Thy spirit, filled with joy and thanksgiving, rejoiced in thy Father and rendered praise to His holy name, and the spirit world resounded in anthems of praise to the Father of spirits. Thou bade Father, Mother, an all farewell, and, along with thy guardian angel, thou came on this terraqueous globe. The spirits thou hast chosen to come and tabernade through their lineage, and your head having left the spirit world some years previous, thou came a spirit pure and holy. Thou hast obeyed the truth, and thy guardian angel ministers unto thee and watches over thee. Thou hast chosen him you loved in the spirit world to be thy companion. Now, crowns, thrones, exaltations, and dominions are in reserve for thee in the eternal worlds, and the way is opened for thee to return to the presence of thy Heavenly Father, if thou wilt only abide by and walk in a celestial law, fulfill the designs of thy Creator and hold out to the end that when mortality is laid in the tomb, you may go down to your grave in peace, arise in glory, and receive your everlasting reward in the resurrection of the just along with thy head and husband. Thou wilt be permitted to pass by the Gods and angels who guard the gates, and onward, upward to thy exaltation in a celestial world among the Gods, to be a priestess queen upon thy Heavenly Father's throne, and a glory to thy husband and off- spring, to bear the souls of men, to people other worlds (as thou didst bear their tabernacles in mortality) while eternity goes and eternity comes; and if you will receive it, lady, this is eternal life. And herein is the saying of the Apostle Paul fulfilled, that the man is not without the woman, neither is the woman without the man, in the Lord; that man is the head of the woman, and the glorv of the man is the woman. Hence, thine origin, the object of thy ultimate destiny. If faithful, lady, the cup is within thy reach; drink then the heavenly draught and live.
-John Taylor, "The Mormon," August 29, 1857
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