IF I CUT AN APPLE IN HALF,
HOW MANY PIECES WILL I HAVE?
Joe is in his 50s. He has Down’s Syndrome. Early in his life he obtained a temple recommend. Since that time, he has been attending the temple regularly typically doing 3 sessions a day. At first he lived at home with his parents. After their death he was moved into a state ran group home. He continued to attend the temple- year after year.
While completing an IQ test Joe-as an older man- was asked “If I cut an apple in half, how many pieces will I have?” He responded “Four.”
After a life time of temple service that was the best he could do. Joe still suffered from Down’s Syndrome and related mental retardation.
Joe’s earthly physical body has limited the capacity of his spirit body and mind to express themselves.
To better understand The Spirit Body, The Physical Body, and The Mind – See: Anatomy of a Soul
SPIRIT BODY IS PERFECT
Joseph Fielding Smith explained that
“ALL spirits while in the pre-existence were perfect in form, having ALL their faculties and mental powers unimpaired. … Deformities are … physical.” (Answers to Gospel Questions, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith, Jr., 5 vols., Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979, 3:19.)
Check out this quote:
We, as Latter-day Saints, believe that the spirits that occupy these tabernacles have form and likeness similar to the human tabernacle. Of course there may be deformities existing in connection with the outward tabernacle which do not exist in connection with the spirit that inhabits it. These (physical)tabernacles become deformed by accident in various ways, sometimes at birth, but this may not altogether or in any degree deform the spirits that dwell within them, (Parley P. Pratr, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 15, pg. 243)
ALL DISABILITIES ARE TEMPORARY
Joe IS NOT HIS DOWN’S SYNDROME DISEASE NOR IS HE MENTALLY RETARDED.
ALL disabilities – mental illness, blindness, mental retardation, etc etc are temporary conditions. (The Church provides a “General List of Disabilities‘ the physical body can experience.)
A physical disability can ONLY EXIST while we are on earth in a physical body. ALL physical disabilities DIE when our earthly physical body DIES. (Remember our physical body becomes perfect when it is resurrected. See Alma 40:23-26)
TO THE CAPACITY OF YOUR PHYSICAL BODY
While we are here on earth, our Spiritual Body and Mind can be limited or restricted by our Physical Body.
“Wherefore, men (women, children, dogs, cats, etc etc) are free according to the flesh; (capacity of their phyiscal body & brain)“
Here are a few more quotes supporting this “Physical Body” doctrine:
“Freedom may be qualified or taken away by physical laws, including the physical limitations with which we are born…” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Free Agency and Freedom” Brigham Young University on 11 October 1987.)
“…the conditions of mortality can limit our freedom…” (Dallin H. Oaks, Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct 1995)
Let’s take a look at the Physical Body. We’ll use a “house” to illustrate the Physical Body.
There are two houses below-one a beat up old shack and another a mansion. The “old shack” has a floor plan equivalent to a physical body with Cerebral Palsy. The “mansion” has a floor plan equivalent to the Gold medalist Phelps.
At birth each perfect Spirit Body and Mind takes up residence in a particular “physical body” or “house“.
The pictures above illustrate how two perfect Spirit Bodies (of equal worth) are placed into two different Physical Bodies (not of equal worth) create quite a contrast in earthly physical abilities.
Our Spirit Bodies and Minds have a capacity for emotions and intelligence in addition to physical. (Remember our personality and thoughts exist in the Spirit Body and Mind.) The neurotransmitters, hormones etc etc of the Physical Body limit or enhance our emotional and intellectual abilities.
It has been my experience to one degree or another, that our Spirit Body’s (and Mind’s)capacity to experience happiness, to pay attention, to think clearly, to form close relationships, etc etc can be restricted or enhanced by our Physical Body. (When the disabilities are significant we call them “mental illnesses.”)
Each Physical Body has some imperfections-some more noticeable than others. Disease, accidents, poor self-care etc etc can cause a perfectly healthy “mansion” to have problems-even burn a few rooms down or interfere with the plumbing etc etc.
Sometimes – Priesthood blessings, medications, counseling, exercise, nutrition etc etc can “repair the disabilities” of a particular “floor plan” of a particular house, making it more livable for our Spirit Body and Mind.
Sometimes – interventions do not work. For example, while Joe is in his earthly body he’ll never teach even 1st grade math.
THE “PHYSICAL BODY” DOCTRINE
The doctrine of the Physical Body limiting the freedom of The Spirit Body and Mind helps us understand homosexuality, addictions, mental illnesses, etc etc
“… some people seem to be unusually susceptible to particular actions, reactions, or addictions. Perhaps such susceptibilities are inborn or acquired without personal choice or fault, like the unnamed ailment the Apostle Paul called “a thorn in the flesh…” (2 Cor. 12:7). (Dallin H. Oaks, “Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct 1995)
DON’T WORRY BE HAPPY
If your house “floor plan” or the “floor plan” of a loved one isn’t the best and has some faulty wiring or plumbing here or there. It’s only temporary. Just do the best you can.
Only the resurrection can do that.
YOUR JOB is simple “Meet the measure of your creation–
My Friend Joe
I believe my friend Joe living in his “beat up old shack” is reaching the measure of his creation and after he is rid of the limitations of his physical body (Down’s Syndrome & Mental Retardation) he will most certainly be some fantastic engineer somewhere in a Galaxy Far Far Away – helping God build a new Earth or something. 🙂
“There is little room for feelings of guilt in connection with handicaps (disabilities of the physical body). Some handicaps may result from carelessness or abuse, and some through addiction of parents. But most of them do not. Afflictions come to the innocent” (Boyd K. Packer “The Moving of the Water,” Ensign, May 1991).
You are still responsible for your thoughts, feelings and behavior. See “The Gift- Between God and I” Remember the Physical Body has no living parts. The “breath of life“ resides in the Spirit Body and Mind.
Ponder this thought:
Joseph F. Smith wrote, “Deformity will be removed; defects will be eliminated, and men and women shall attain to that perfection of their spirits, to the perfection that God designed in the beginning. (Our Indestructible Mortal Enemy, Improvement Era, June 1909, p. 592.)
Ponder this thought:
“If healing does not come in mortal life, it will come thereafter. Just as the gorgeous monarch butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, so will spirits emerge.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Moving of the Water,” Ensign May 1991.)
For extra credit watch this video- My Brother Hyrum 🙂
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