I was able to teach lesson 17 from the Joseph Smith manual to the Elder’s Quorum today. This lesson included the pre mortal existence, and the famous ring analogy of Joseph Smith. Preparing, giving, and reflecting on the lesson has brought some thoughts to mind. I have been questioning how something can be both eternal and progressing. (This was not part of the lesson.)

One might think that if a being has an eternal past, that the being must be static. That if any progress could have been made, it would have been made. If this is the case, then why the apparently dynamic nature of reality? Why should progress be being made now, instead of at some time in the eternal past?

I think that if an individual intelligence were all alone in the universe that a static existence would probably be a reality. But we are not alone. Intelligences can influence each other for good or evil. This influence can bring about real change, which then opens up a vast array of options, which makes for a dynamic reality.

In this way, God, who is greater than all the intelligences, can offer opportunities for real, meaningful, and positive change to lesser beings. We can accept His help, and make progress. We can also reject Him. Thus, our eternal past could be a highly dynamic existence, with a series of positive gains and negative losses. The progress of each individual being different, based on their abilities, choices, and desires.

It has been said of God that His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I think that part of the way he does this, is by offering us a positive, meaningful change, that can bring eternal progression.

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