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I was wondering whether the pre-human existence of a believer was accepted among any christian groups/denominations other than Mormons, or are Mormons the only group that believe in a pre-human existence.

I noticed a few Mormons quoting Jeremiah 1:5 as support for their belief in the pre-human existence of a child of God.

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 KJV)

I feel that this verse is more about God's omniscience rather than our pre-human existence.

So are the Mormons alone in this belief, or are there Christian denominations that also believe in a pre-human existence?

  • As far as denominations taking that stance, I am unaware of any at the moment. But I know many individuals outside of mormans that do. Origen apparently believed something like this and was one of the reasons cited for calling him a Heretic . – 2tim424 Aug 9 '14 at 22:50
  • I have looked into Christian religions quite a bit and have never come across any that believes the same that was not an offshoot of the mormons – tr33hous Aug 10 '14 at 4:43
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There are no other common Christian denominations that believe in a pre-mortal existence of man.


There are instances of individual Christians with this belief.

Clementine, quoting Peter, said in Clementine Recognitions:

Last of all He made man whose real nature, however, is older and for whose sake all this was created.

Origen of Alexandria (ca. 200 AD) believed in a pre-mortal existance. He used it primarily to explain the disparities of mortal circumstances. Otherwise, according Origen, God would be a respecter of persons to give such varying circumstances of birth.

English poet William Wordsworth wrote in Intimations of Immortality that we forget our previous life when we are born.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar:

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come

From God, who is our home:

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!

And various other Christians have said something similar to "we come from God", though typically this means God put us here, not that we had a pre-life in the presence of God.


FYI, Biblical references besides Jeremiah 1:5 commonly quoted in support of this belief are men rejoicing at the creation of the Earth:

Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.

Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?

Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;

When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

Job 38:1-7

and the inquery referencing a blind man's own pre-mortal righteousness

And his disciples asked him, saying Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

John 9:2

(Of course, there are alternative interpretations of these verses.)

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