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Did we choose our own weaknesses?


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#1 codell

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 11:59 AM

I have heard lots of talk over the years that many believe we chose our earthly trials and challenges while still in the pre-existance. This belief, for me, would make facing my trials easier, but I cannot find any documentation, scripturally or from any general authority stating that this indeed is the case. Does anyone know if there is any documentation surrounding this topic?

#2 miztrniceguy

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 12:16 PM

I doubt it. I can hardly think I would have chosen mine.

#3 codell

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:13 PM

It just seems that I've heard so much speculation that in the pre-existence we had a hand in choosing our mortal trials. It seems that I've heard so much talk surrounding this but cannot find any documentation, scriptural or otherwise for any type of a discussion.

#4 changed

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:24 PM

I have heard lots of talk over the years that many believe we chose our earthly trials and challenges while still in the pre-existance. This belief, for me, would make facing my trials easier, but I cannot find any documentation, scripturally or from any general authority stating that this indeed is the case. Does anyone know if there is any documentation surrounding this topic?


We have an example in the scriptures where a trial was chosen.

trying to find it - the one where they were going to be punished with a war, and the trial was changed to being one of famine instead... sorry, I should know where this is.

OK - here is one case, (don't know if this is the one I was remembering, but it works).

12 Either three years' famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.
13 And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let me fall now into the hand of the LORD; for very great are his mercies: but let me not fall into the hand of man.
14 So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.

(Old Testament | 1 Chronicles 21:12 - 14)

Either A, B, or C... pick your trial! Which one would you have picked? I would have picked a famine - I don't like trials that involve having to forgive people - I prefer natural rather than man-made affairs. :) "let me not fall into the hand of man" I agree - I don't want anything that has hard feelings involved with it!

Heavenly Father believes in giving us agency... in all things. That's a fact :)

Edited by changed, 24 January 2010 - 02:32 PM.

1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, ...we shall be changed.

#5 hordak

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 04:22 PM

The idea we choose our trials is a way to say "you can get thought it" or "don't complain you picked it" Works great for the day to day stuff but makes no sense if we look at the big picture "So i will own a nice business, which will be taken over by the Government. My family will be shot and I will beaten and tossed into a concentration camp where i will do slave labor until dieing of starvation. Where do i sign" Plus where does that leave freewill and accountability? "Yes Brother Jones I stole your car and drove it into a lake, but you choose this in the preexistence so don't get all uppity with me."
"There are not enough general authorities to do all the thinking for the membership of the church." J. Golden Kimball


"I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord." Elder Oaks

#6 Misshalfway

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:01 AM

I have heard lots of talk over the years that many believe we chose our earthly trials and challenges while still in the pre-existance. This belief, for me, would make facing my trials easier, but I cannot find any documentation, scripturally or from any general authority stating that this indeed is the case. Does anyone know if there is any documentation surrounding this topic?


I don't think that everything terrible that happens to us is something we signed up for in the pre earth life. I do think we knew the deal with earth life though and we did agree to come knowing the risks and, I think, trusting that whatever life brought would be good for our growth. Or that the Atonement would take care of our pains.

But I do believe that there are singlular circumstances that perhaps we did discuss with God before we came here. Maybe God asked us our goals for earth life or maybe asked us to participate in constructing personalized earth lessons. Maybe God just unilaterally decided what was best for each of us. And perhaps he prepared some of us in advance.

I don't know of any scriptural documentation but I know that I have my own personal "documentation" that has come by way of personal revelation/priesthood blessings. And when I heard those words, I felt an inner knowing that I did indeed agree to one particular trial. So, I spose you can take that for what its worth.

#7 LostSheep

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:04 AM

Lol...I would have chosen my weakness to be Kryptonite, sinse you don't see to much of that stuff laying around to begin with. :P

#8 Wingnut

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 08:29 AM

I think it's more that we knew that there would be trials and we would have weaknesses in this life, because that was part of this life, but I highly doubt that we handpicked our own. If we did, they wouldn't be much of a trial, would they? I also don't think you're likely to come up with any doctrinal backing for it.
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed. -- C.S. Lewis

If we're going to be stupid about this, we're going to be stupid on my terms. -- my husband

#9 lydlou

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:23 AM

The idea we choose our trials is a way to say "you can get thought it" or "don't complain you picked it" Works great for the day to day stuff but makes no sense if we look at the big picture

"So i will own a nice business, which will be taken over by the Government. My family will be shot and I will beaten and tossed into a concentration camp where i will do slave labor until dieing of starvation. Where do i sign"

Plus where does that leave freewill and accountability?

"Yes Brother Jones I stole your car and drove it into a lake, but you choose this in the preexistence so don't get all uppity with me."


the questin was did we pick our WEEKNESSES, not whether we picked our trials. the examples you stated are trials, weeknesses are such things as having an adictive personality, having on overactive labido, being fixated on finacial issues, having violent tendancys or even having truble understanding the importance of honesty.

I'm not sure it matters whether we chose them ourselves of if God chose them for us. what truly matters is identifying them and dealing with it.

#10 hordak

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:29 AM

the questin was did we pick our WEEKNESSES, not whether we picked our trials. the examples you stated are trials, weeknesses are such things as having an adictive personality, having on overactive labido, being fixated on finacial issues, having violent tendancys or even having truble understanding the importance of honesty.

I'm not sure it matters whether we chose them ourselves of if God chose them for us. what truly matters is identifying them and dealing with it.


I see your point, trials and weekness being diffrent but...

I have heard lots of talk over the years that many believe we chose our earthly trials and challenges while still in the pre-existance.


It appears you read the heading and I read the post:),
"There are not enough general authorities to do all the thinking for the membership of the church." J. Golden Kimball


"I only teach the general rules. Whether an exception applies to you is your responsibility. You must work that out individually between you and the Lord." Elder Oaks

#11 lydlou

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:41 AM

I see your point, trials and weekness being diffrent but...



It appears you read the heading and I read the post:),


lol. good point! while weeknesses are a type of trial, not all trials are weeknesses.

#12 dazed-and-confused

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:59 AM

well, guess it's time for the old hippie convert to step up. yes, i have heard that. it is, in fact, VERY popular with many people. it seems to get most attention from new age/christian/eastern religion/all paths lead to rome/you don't have to follow any specific religion as long as you have a good heart, kind of people. it gives many people a sense of "i'm in control of my own kharma", kind of thing. as best as i can see, anyway. peace.

#13 NeuroTypical

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:56 AM

"So i will own a nice business, which will be taken over by the Government. My family will be shot and I will beaten and tossed into a concentration camp where i will do slave labor until dieing of starvation. Where do i sign"

Since we're engaging in rampant speculation, I'll share two reasons I've heard for people to sign. Keep in mind, this is rampant speculation. I've never caught the vaguest hint of doctrinal foundation for any of this.

There was a movie a few years back, about the last official Exorcism done by the Catholic church. I forget the name. The possessed chick wanders off into the woods in a rare moment of lucidity, and has a vision of the Virgin Mary. The Virgin offers her a way out of her anguish and torture (i.e. death), but she also lets the possessed chick see what will happen to the next umpteen people the demons will torment. Then the Virgin says if the posessed chick stays in her body and endures to the end (a sucessful exorcism), these demons will not be able to make those people miserable, because they're all trapped in her. In other words, the posessed chick, merely by having a very crappy time of things, will bless the lives of others.

Someone told me once about a possible justification for years of horrible child abuse eventually resulting in the abused committing suicide. As the story goes, in the pre-existence, a person was offered the life of the abused person. The life could go two different ways - the abuse would not be so bad, but she would pass it on to her children, and it would continue on through the generations. Option two, was abuse so bad that it would eventually result in suicide, but her children and all generations after would be free of abuse - it was a way to end the cycle.

Remember - this is all speculation firmly in the realm of fiction as far as I'm concerned.

LM
If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack, to sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all.

Ohhh....
If I were a rich man...

#14 Blackmarch

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 12:00 PM

I have heard lots of talk over the years that many believe we chose our earthly trials and challenges while still in the pre-existance. This belief, for me, would make facing my trials easier, but I cannot find any documentation, scripturally or from any general authority stating that this indeed is the case. Does anyone know if there is any documentation surrounding this topic?

I certainly hope we didn't choose which trials we'd be getting... or I might have to turn myself in as haveing sadomachistic tendencies or something.

However a reasonable thought to me is perhaps we had a little say in what time period we'd come to earth.

No documentation I am aware of that would say yea or nay to this question.

#15 dazed-and-confused

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 02:45 PM

by the way, my previous post?....i was very much a part of this group of people and i mean them no disrespect at all. personally, i've always liked to be open to things not always considered "normal". i still do adhere to a great many things i learned from eastern religions.

#16 Seminarysnoozer

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 03:12 PM

I can't see why we would have a hand in choosing something we had no experience in. If we did choose our weakness it would be a shot in the dark because we would have no reference to what that would be like. There would be no reason for any specific choice if you had no idea what it was like. Like asking for Guarana at a restaurant when you've never tried it before, it wouldn't be based on anything more than the fact that you haven't tried it before .... well, everything in this life, I haven't tried. I think that is one of the reasons we are here is to have those experiences. In a sense we have chosen certain pathways before coming here that play a role in what God assigns us here, whether we were valiant in the pre-existence or not. But it is all too far from our memory to make any inferences about why we have certain talents and abilities here based on our "personalities" in the pre-existence ... there are too many unknowns.

#17 Traveler

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 10:45 PM

We had at least 12 billion years to prepare and figure out what we would do in this life. I am quite certain that not only does G-d know the end from the beginning but so did we and that is part of the reason for the vile. Isaiah 46:9-10 is an interesting scripture concerning this subject. Not only does G-d know all things from the “beginning” to the “end” but he declares all things. It is part of our purpose and life experience to obtain“knowledge” of good and evil. In LDS theological circles this knowledge comes to us in this life in a form known as “types and shadows”.

We all like to think that our burdens are unique and we alone carry certain hardships. But in truth the patterns of life are all the same. In all things there are opposites – a dichotomy of good and evil. The choice boils down to a choice of life or death. This mortal existence is neither the beginning nor the end of our choice and to judge ourselves or anyone by this life only is a gross misunderstanding of G-d’s eternal Plan of Salvation.

The Traveler

#18 ColorMEreal

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:07 PM

You are correct Traveler, indeed God does know all things from the beginning to end. God is familiar with each of us personally. He knows our stories. I suspect their's a lot we too knew, but I'm not sure to what extent. I'm a writer by profession and sometimes when I write poetry I find that I am strangely familiar with how my poems should go. This stirs up all kinds of questions and curiosities in me. Perhaps it has something to do with coming to a remembrance of things, I don't know for sure...

#19 Saturnfulcrum

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:53 PM

I'm not sure if I picked my own weaknesses and trials, but I do know that we had personalities in the pre-existance. I'm sure we had personality weaknesses there that transfered over to this life. I have been told in a couple blessings that I was aware of my trials before I came to earth, but that doesnt necessarily mean i hand picked them. I also like to think that my patriarchal blessing is a letter to myself through Heavenly Father because I could see what I'd be getting myself into in this life...as well as what weaknesses would give me problems. But then again, this is all speculation on my part. No scriptural background on my part. Sorry.

#20 RanMan

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 12:25 AM

My thought on this is that we probably had a good idea of the situation we would be placed in mortal life and that could lead to a resonable expectation of what difficulties might go along with it. But probably more importantly, I feel that when we are done with this life, we will be able to look back on it and see how our trials, and even our weaknesses, were important to our eternal progress. :)




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