We have always existed and always will exist. This is a truth that God revealed to Abraham. Abraham 3:18-19. We each as independent intelligences, strove to become more intelligent by gaining more knowledge and intelligence (although what knowledge we strove for then I can only guess at) but no matter what we did or tried, nothing substantial could ever come of it. What one intelligence would gather seeking to create, another would interfere with seeking their own purpose in using those same intelligences and matter. Much like children in a sandbox, each seeking to build their own creations and others destroying those creations to use the sand for their own creations. Chaos was the rule of that realm. This realm seems to be described by Hugh Nibley as he paraphrases an ancient text.
“Here is an interesting description from the Apocalypse of Abraham. Abraham is taken on a wonderful journey (just as much science fiction begins with the wonderful journey). The whole field of testamentary literature and testaments has seen many discoveries recently, and we learn that any prophet you can name, and any apostle, has a testament; and that testament always ends with a great trip, a guided tour through the universe. The prophet or apostle usually gets in a vessel of some sort, in which he travels around, inspecting things). Guided by an angel, Abraham passes with violent winds to heaven above the firmament. He sees an indescribably mighty light, and within the light there is a vast, seething fire; and within the fire is a great host of moving, changing forms—moving within each other—of mighty forms that exchange with each other and constantly change their forms, as they go and come and alter themselves. They seem to call out to each other, in strange, confused noises.84
Abraham asks the angel, “What is this all about? Why have you brought me here? I can’t see anything. I don’t know what is going on. I’ve become weak. I think I am out of my mind.” The angel answers, “Stay close to me and don’t be afraid.” The angel is beginning to shake, though. He himself is seeing too much. Then they are wrapped in fire and hear a voice and a mighty rushing of waters. Abraham wants to fall down on his face and worship. But there is no more earth under their feet and nothing to fall on. They’re just there, suspended.85
Abraham cries out with all his voice, and the angel cries at the same time, “Oh God! Oh, thou who has brought order into this terrible confusion, into the great confusion of the universe, and hast renewed the worlds of the righteous.”86 There is a power that actually can master these terrible forces whose simple contemplation is absolutely appalling. This is what the great Catholic scholar, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a paleontologist who just died, says: man is the most refined being there is. He is much more complicated, in chemistry and everything else; he is far more complicated than a star, even a giant star, or a star system, or a galaxy. This must be the end product of the thing—to be organized and controlled, to be able to carry on like this, with all these terrible forces unleashed all around. This appalling performance is the story of Abraham, who sees it all and says there is a God who can actually bring a world out of such chaos where the righteous can dwell. This is quite an idea.” Temple and Cosmos, Science Fiction and the Gospel
And since I don’t have the book in front of me right now (in fact they are being borrowed by a friend) I have found the concepts found in Orson Scott Cards “Children of the Mind” portrayed quite accurately here. Rather than placing that information twice (once here and once in the Intelligence section) I have placed a link to a post with this information below.
So, God, in His infinite love and wisdom, enters this chaos of intelligences and organizes them by the amount of intelligence each has achieved and clothes them in appropriate bodies of spirit. The greatest spirits He clothes in spirit bodies patterned after His perfect body. These He made His children, His firstborn being Christ. Thus, we were enabled to gain more intelligence and knowledge (or often called light and and knowledge in scripture) and grow under the teachings of our Father. In order for us to continue to progress, we needed to gain physical bodies like our Father had (to be able to gain the experiences had in such a body we could not otherwise understand). We learn that the pre-mortal realm had the Church of God (represented by the woman in Revelation 12:1) and that Church became the kingdom of God when a Savior was chosen. The Church was organized with sun, moon and a crown of twelve stars. Those of the future Celestial and Terrestrial kingdoms (represented by sun and moon respectively) were active participants with the Twelve Apostles (twelve stars) answering to the Godhead even then. This Church formed the great council in Heaven (likely the people who will receive the Telestial kingdom were there as well but back then all were good and noble, none were wicked. The Father laid before all of us His plan for us to gain bodies, mortal experiences and to continue our progression to become like Him. Knowing we would make choices that would separate us from Him (which we could not repair on our own), He asked who would be a Savior for everyone and everything to overcome death and sin. Jesus Christ volunteered to be our Savior. Lucifer, another mighty spirit (his name meaning Lightbringer, Shining One, or Son of the Morning) volunteered as well but desired to become more glorious than the Father in the process (and hoped to destroy our ability to choose, ensuring everyones return). Lucifer, with a third the host of heaven, rebelled against this plan an began to accuse the noble and great ones before God, night and day. Michael led the forces in support of God’s plan with Christ as Savior and Lucifer led the hosts against God. By the power of Jesus Christ’s Atonement, because we had faith in Him that He would accomplish the atonement perfectly, we overcame Lucifer and he was cast out to the realm where earth would be with his hosts Abraham 3:24-28. After this great war in Heaven, Christ stands in the midst of His rulers, the noble and great ones (Abraham 3:22-23), the seven stars Revelation 1:12-16, 20 (head prophets of each dispensation or approximately 1000 year period?). More than just these seven stood with Him as the candlesticks represent the Church (in each dispensation) and the members of the Church in every generation. We see that the reference to candlesticks is dualistic because He refers to the leader (one of the Presidents of the 70?) of the saints (or members of the church) in Ephesus as a candlestick too Revelation 2:5. So calling the candlestick a local leader at John the Beloved’s time or a dispensation head are both correct. Going more detailed in Revelation 4 , we see the throne in Heaven, with numberless concourses of angels (also seen in 1 Nephi 1:8, Alma 36:22), with 24 seats for 24 Elders and various Celestialized beasts Doctrine and Covenants 77:2-5. Christ (referred to as the Lamb that was slain) is spoken to as though He had already accomplished the Atonement (since time isn’t a factor when dealing with infinite Eternity, technically He had). A book is shown forth to see the future and events of the world. Father reviews the Plan and Vision with us beforehand, Revelation 5. He has Christ, the Anointed one, open the book, (which contains all that happens in this life Doctrine and Covenants 77:6-7) and read it to us. We shout for joy Job 38:4-7. We are told of how a veil will block our memories (and some of the glory we had already attained to) of pre-mortal life that we might learn to follow by complete faith. They also remind us of the fact that we can choose good or bad. The first three chapters of Revelation serve as a reminder of the promised blessings for choosing to follow Christ. All who experience this life were present for this full counsel. (It seems Satan or Lucifer and his followers were already gone and had no knowledge of this vision). Many Prophets in this life are privileged to see this Plan once more, to remember it, and to have the Book read to them and see the events detailed in it.
Next: The Creation
References: Some of these are already referenced above, but I will place them in the order I found them in my study notes.
Revelation 1:12-20 Christ and His church in the Spirit world. (both pre-mortal and during John’s time)
Abraham 3:22-28 The Grand Counsel in Heaven
1 Nephi 1:8-15 Lehi sees many of the same elements of John’s vision in Revelation 1-5 (although the warnings of repentance are for the people at Lehi’s time as compared with John’s promises/warnings in Revelation 2-3)
Job 38:4-7 The Morning Stars (us?) sang together in the Grand Counsel.
Moses 7:3, 20-69 Enoch is privileged to behold the Vision in it’s entirety. It is written in the Book of Enoch (which is yet to come forth).
1 Nephi 8 Lehi’s dream is The Vision.
1 Nephi 11-15 Nephi has The Vision, he gives details concerning his posterity and the future inhabitants of America specifically. (He also see’s John. He is forbidden to write all he see’s because John is the one chosen for that)
Ether 3:6-28, Ether 4 The Brother of Jared is privileged to behold the Vision in it’s entirety. He is commanded to write it all and to seal it up. (This is the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon that has yet to be translated)
Doctrine and Covenants 138 Joseph F. Smith beholds details of the Vision especially pertaining to the Spirit World and Life after Death. (This comes as he is pondering on the words of John)
Alma 36:22 Alma believes he see’s what Lehi had described, that is, God sitting upon His throne surrounded by numberless concourses of Angels.
Doctrine and Covenants 137 Joseph Smith beholds the Celestial Kingdom in the Vision. This shares elements with Revelation 4, 1 Nephi 1, and Alma 36 as cited above)
Doctrine and Covenants 93:7-11,21-38 Accounts more of John’s record that is missing. These verses also imply that there is more of John’s record to come, as we study and prepare ourselves for it.
Psalms 2:1-12 Not sure why I put this scripture here.. It seems to be a dualistic promise, The Father’s promise to the Son and the Son’s (and by extension the Father’s) promise to those who are faithful to Christ.
Jeremiah 1:5 Jeremiah was faithful before and was ordained to be a Prophet if he continued faithfully here on earth.
Alma 13:1-12 Alma explains how pre-ordination works. That those with the Priesthood in this life (and those with the potential to receive the Priesthood) were exceedingly faithful and valiant to their testimonies of Christ. Thus, these are the noble and great ones that Christ stood in the midst of. D&C 138 gives a recorded account of some of these people (because He again stood in their midst in the Spirit world during the three days between His death and resurrection).
Revelation 12 John’s account of the war in Heaven and it’s continuation here.
2 Nephi 2:17 Lehi states his belief that the scriptures suggest an angel (Lucifer) fell from heaven and became the Devil.
Job 1:6-12 Seems to suggest that those who had not yet come to earth and those who had already come to earth would gather before the Lord on the Sabbath day, to partake of the Sacrament and present themselves to Him.
Doctrine and Covenants 29:36-38 The Devil and his angels were cast out of Heaven. A place that is prepared for them is Hell.
Doctrine and Covenants 76:25-29 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon have a shared vision where they see the fall of Lucifer and his angels becoming sons of perdition.
Jude 1:6 Jude accounts the misery of those who kept not their first estate.
This next reference is the bridge between Pre-mortal life and the Creation.