I'm interested primarily in LDS doctrine, but I welcome the perspective of other sects as well, as I believe that all of Christianity shares the same roots. Please specify from what denomination your view is from in your answer.

In reference to the vision of Mosiah Hancock, how are spirits born or created? We know from the scriptures that:

4 ... Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, (Matthew 19:4; KJV)


11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. (Corinthians 11:11-12; KJV)

There are more scriptures that reference how man and woman are twain without each other, and how united they are one flesh.

We know it is impossible to be exalted without being married and sealed, so there is obvious significance to the sexes being reunited.

Mosiah Hancock mentions in his vision that before the creation of Earth, all the children of God were arranged in pairs, a male with a female, and that each pair seemed to have been created mates.

I'm looking for further knowledge and insight into this. Considering we are created in His LIKENESS and image, I'm left to assume that all spirits are born unto heavenly parents like children on earth are born unto mortal parents. But if that is so, then why are they born with spirit bodies, and not bodies of flesh and bone like unto their resurrected parents? Are all spirits born as male-female twins? Are they actually born, or are they created? If created then how are they created?

Update, Aug 12th 2014

I was reading this article: “In the Beginning”: A Latter-day Perspective, and stumbled onto this:

“‘And I, God, blessed them [Man here is always in the plural. It was plural from the beginning.] and said unto them: Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over [it].’ (Moses 2:27–28.)

“And the scripture says,

“‘And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man [not a separate man, but a complete man, which is husband and wife] in our image, after our likeness; and it was so’ (Moses 2:26).

The part I found most interesting was, "The likeness of God is a complete man, being husband and wife." This seems to be inline with Mosiah Hancock's vision, and spirits being created mates.

  • I can't believe you've gotten this far without a proper welcome! Welcome to the site. We are glad you decided to participate. This is a good question and fits well for this site. A small suggestion is that you edit in somewhere that you are looking specifically for the LDS teaching. Though I think it is obvious, and you probably do to, some will likely miss it.
    – user3961
    Jul 29, 2014 at 21:30
  • 2
    You tagged this question lds and if that's the perspective you're looking for, I assume the answer will be "It hasn't been revealed." LDS doctrine isn't heavily concerned with mysteries that hardly pertain to the salvation of souls.
    – Matt
    Jul 29, 2014 at 22:21
  • I know this qualifies as an Alma 37:11 question, I just curous to see if anyone has any relevant insights. Mosiah Hancock's revelation itself was a personal revelation, and therefore NOT canon, but still offers some of the most detailed insights into pre-earth life that I know of.
    – ShemSeger
    Jul 29, 2014 at 22:26
  • Better to keep this LDS only. You can only accept one answer.
    – Narnian
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:19
  • I don't think the LDS have an answer, not one that has been shared with the public at least. The LDS church doesn't dwell on issues that are not established canon, or do not immediately affect our path to exaltation, that's why I asked the question on SE. Like Matt said, the LDS answer is most likely, "It hasn't been revealed." That is why I've kept it open to all denominations.
    – ShemSeger
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


First, we don't even know what a spirit is, really. Is is heavy? Is it strong? Is it colorful? Can two spirits give each other a high five?

The collective understanding of (LDS) scripture is essentially:

  1. Everyone had/was a spirit from before they were born. (Jeremiah 1:5)

  2. It has the form of a person.

  3. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes

    Doctrine and Covenants 131:7

And that's it.

It's hard to even ask intelligent questions, let alone answer them, about something that is so little understood.

Joseph Smith talked about the creation of spirits in the King Folliet discourse:

I have another subject to dwell upon, which is calculated to exalt man...It is associated with the subject of the resurrection of the dead — namely, the soul — the mind of man — the immortal spirit. Where did it come from? All learned men and doctors of divinity say that God created it in the beginning; but it is not so: the very idea lessens man in my estimation. I do not believe the doctrine; I know better. Hear it, all ye ends of the world; for God has told me so; and if you don’t believe me, it will not make the truth without effect...

I am dwelling on the immortality of the spirit of man. Is it logical to say that the intelligence of spirits is immortal, and yet that it has a beginning? The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. That is good logic. That which has a beginning may have an end.

One directional eternity doesn't make sense, at least to Joesph Smith. Anything that is fundamentally eternal is eternal in any direction.

And Doctrine and Convenants 93:29:

Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

Of course, God is said to be the Father of spirits (Hebrews 12:9, D&C 76:24). How does that fit into the picture?

In the same sermon, Joseph Smith also said:

You ask the learned doctors why they say the world was made out of nothing, and they will answer, "Doesn’t the Bible say he created the world?" And they infer, from the word create, that it must have been made out of nothing. Now, the word create came from the word baurau, which does not mean to create out of nothing; it means to organize; the same as a man would organize materials and build a ship. Hence we infer that God had materials to organize the world out of chaos—chaotic matter, which is element, and in which dwells all the glory. Element had an existence from the time He had. The pure principles of element are principles which can never be destroyed; they may be organized and re-organized, but not destroyed. They had no beginning and can have no end.

It is the same way with the "intelligence" or "spirit" mentioned. It is eternal (in both directions), and was organized by the Father and Creator.

Now whether this is literally the Casper-like spirit normally thought of or something more principal elemental that was organized, or created, into a full fledged spirit we don't really know...because we don't really know what a spirit is.

  • This is an excellent answer, but it doesn't touch on Mosiah Hancock's observation that all spirits appear to be created mates. One could suppose that it is a natural law to organize intelligence in male/female pairs–to maintain an order of balance–much like it is a natural law to satisfy both justice and mercy. I don't suppose you could dig up any more quotes from the brethren that could shed some light on this?
    – ShemSeger
    Aug 10, 2014 at 1:25
  • @ShemSeger, if you rely on Mosiah Hancock too heavily, you are essentially asking about the religion of Mosiah Hancock. He was never an apostle or prophet in the LDS Church, and nothing he said was ever endorsed by the Church either. He observations are likely just his own. Aug 10, 2014 at 3:00

Although I am technically a Baptist, I study the Scriptures for myself and draw my opinions from them, and not from any Denominational interpretation.

I will give you what my understanding is concerning the Spirit as I understand the Scriptures.

All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation unless otherwise noted.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

To begin with lets start by defining what the three parts of man (and woman) are:


this is what God formed out of the dust of the ground, but it is just a lifeless mass at that time.


This is the immortal component created by the breath of God which he breathed into the lifeless form he had made from the dust.


There is no reference to the Spirit in the account of God creating man.

The first reference to spirit is in Genesis 1:2 and that refers to the Spirit of God.

According to Strong that word was:

רוּח, rûach, roo'-akh; From H7306;

wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; 
figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by
resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and 
functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side,
spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

This would appear to be the characteristics of the person which are formed by life experiences.

The Spirit of man then would not be present at formation, or for modern understanding conception. It would be in the case of man an ever changing thing as more and more things were experienced, and that may be the reason Spirit was not mentioned in the creation of man. We may have better insight into this from these Scriptures:

Exodus 28:3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.

Exodus 31:2 and 3 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,

From these two passages, I have come to believe that Spirit is interchangeable with experience. Please correct me if I am wrong.

From the following Scripture I glean that there are both good and evil Spirits:

Leviticus 20:27 A man also or woman that hath a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones: their blood shall be upon them.

These have apparently abandoned the teachings of the Spirit of God and opted for the teachings of the Spirit of Satan.

Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,

When we accept Christ we lose our old evil Spirit and gain the Spirit of God;

Matthew 10:19 and 20 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

These are the conclusions I have reached in my studies, and there is much more that can be said about the Spirit, But to me the thing that is important is that God has a purpose for every person he places in the womb, and he in his perfect knowledge knows how each Spirit will develop and what ones will accept him.

The Soul is that part of man which once established is eternal. Once established it will continue to exist in perpetuity. The Spirit and Soul are the two elements of human existence which will either spend Eternity in Heaven with God or in the lake of fire with Satan. The soul then is that part which given by the breath of God is that part which is Eternal and makes the Spirit eternal.

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The soul is given to man when God breathes the breath of life into man, whether that is at conception or at physical birth is the contentious argument on which abortion is based. Most Christians believe that that is at conception, and therefore abortion is killing a living Soul. We are somewhat comforted by the fact that that soul never attained a spirit and therefore will not be subject to the eternal wrath of God.

Together the Soul and Spirit will either experience the Grace of God or the wrath of God.

Why would the Spirit experience the wrath of God? What would be the purpose of punishing the Soul for eternity if it had no memory of being informed about the Grace of God and yet rejecting that free gift of God?

Revelation 20:14 and 15 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

The body will return to Dust, but the Spirit and soul; one established by God himself and the other established by man, will live for eternity. It is not the Soul that condemns us to eternal punishment it is our Spirit, (or the knowledge that the grace of God was offered to us, but rejected.), that brings on eternal wrath of God. The soul unlike the body and spirit is strictly a spiritual gift from God and it can be either a good or bad gift depending on the actions of our minds once we know the grace of God is available to us.

Hope this helps.

  • Interesting, thank you for your answer. My faith defines a Soul as the Spirit and Body combined, the breath of life is when a spirit enters the body that was created for it, and by so doing it becomes a living soul. There are good and evil spirits, the evil are those that followed Lucifer and were cast out of heaven, the good have the privilege of obtaining bodies and salvation.
    – ShemSeger
    Aug 1, 2014 at 15:20
  • I read this as indicating how the Spirit came to be: Eccl. 12:7 (ESV2011) and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. It appears to me that when God "breathed" into Adam, He gave Adam his spirit (a play on words, as breath and spirit is the same). Similarly, God gives each person a spirit, which I assume is newly created when given.
    – Bit Chaser
    Aug 10, 2014 at 4:57
  • @disciple After rereading my answer I noticed that the part concerning the soul is missing I will edit it to include that missing part. Thank you.
    – BYE
    Aug 10, 2014 at 11:51
  • @disciple does my edit help?
    – BYE
    Aug 10, 2014 at 12:40
  • @Bye yes that makes your understanding clearer. I have started a chat room if you can join me. No need to post in real-time, just read and respond at your convenience if you want to. chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/16356/spirit-and-soul
    – Bit Chaser
    Aug 12, 2014 at 1:14

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