Did we preexist as spirits in heaven before we were born on earth as Mormonism teaches?
When a person leaves Mormonism, they are often surprised to learn that the Mormon doctrine of premortal life is not found in the Bible and that it is not even taught in the Book of Mormon. The only real support for the Mormon belief in a preexistence is found in the Mormon Scripture, the Book of Abraham, which Joseph Smith created from an Egyptian burial manuscript.
While no Bible-believing Christian today believes in human preexistence, that doesn’t stop the Mormon Church from trying to find verses in the Bible to support this false belief by citing several Scriptures, which show that Jesus existed in heaven before He came to earth. (See “Question & Answers,” New Era, Feb. 1972.)
Of course, Jesus preexisted in Heaven because He is fully God (Philippians 2:5-9) and has always existed, “having neither beginning of days, nor end of life… ” as it says in Hebrews 7:3. But Jesus Himself taught that there is a difference between Himself and all of us when He said to the people around Him: “Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.” (John 8:23). By telling them that they are not from Heaven like He is, He showed that no human person (but Himself) can claim preexistence in Heaven.
Another Bible verse that disproves premortal life is 1 Corinthians 15:46-47 which says, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.”
Other Bible verses that the Mormon Church cites to try to support this false belief can be easily refuted by examining them in context. By misrepresenting the beliefs of the Bible, Mormonism cannot be considered Christian.
The Mormon Church cites Jeremiah 1:5 where God tells Jeremiah that He “knew” him before he was formed in the womb. Yet, this doesn’t prove preexistence because God is all-knowing, so He “calleth those things which be not as though they were” (Romans 4:17). Likewise, Jesus also disproved premortal life when He told the Jews at John 5:37, “the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” And at John 1:18, Jesus tells us that, “No man hath seen God at any time.” See also John 6:46. If we all preexisted in Heaven as spirit-children of God before we were born on earth, we would have seen God or at least heard His voice. This is why the Bible teaches at Zechariah 12:1 that our spirits were created within our bodies.