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This is my first post. I created an account here just so I could ask this question: Is the mind spirit? I've been reading a lot of success books lately (7habits, etc) which have lead me to think about both the conscious and subconscious mind in particular. The information I'm learning regarding the mind has been very helpful in my life but I still don't know exactly WHAT the mind is. I feel I have a pretty good understanding of the body and spirit, but I am not sure whether or not the mind is physical or spiritual, or if it's possibly something separate?
I've always had a hard time understanding this scripture. D&C 88:15 "15 And the spirit and the body are the soul of man." and yet the Gospel Topics definition on the LDS website of soul is; "in scripture, the term soul is used as a synonym for spirit to describe a person in four different phases of his or her eternal existence." Like in Abraham 3:23; "And God saw these souls that they were good, and he stood in the midst of them, and he said: These I will make my rulers; for he stood among those that were spirits, and he saw that they were good; and he said unto me: Abraham, thou art one of them; thou wast chosen before thou wast born." So, D&C 88:15 is kind of like saying 1 + 1 = 1. And then in Alma 40:23 it says; "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame." Well, if the soul is the spirit plus the body, how is that going to be restored to another body? So, in this case it seems that the "soul" is just referring to the spirit alone. I guess the question is why do we use the term "soul" at all, when in reality what is meant is spirit? Isn't "spirit" good enough? Or is there some added significance to the term "soul"? And D&C 88:15 makes it seem like "soul" is something more than the spirit alone. My feeling is that the word "soul" is used to describe the full faculties of an individual depending on what circumstance or period of life they are in. In the pre-existence the "soul" would be synonymous to "spirit" as there is no body. In this life, the "soul" is the combination of the effects from the spirit and the body. In the spirit world it is again by itself so the spirit once again equals the soul. And then once we receive a glorified body it goes back to being a spirit plus a body equals a "soul." And then we have scriptures like Abraham 5:7; " 7 And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul." that make it sound like "soul" is not an appropriate term for a pre-existence person because it is not a "living soul" until it is added to the body. So, does that mean the "soul" is dead in the pre-existence? These are confusing and interchangeable terms. What makes the term "soul" any different than "spirit"? What is the value of using the term "soul" over "spirit" or vice versa?
I have a younger cousin, who is 22, and currently serving a mission. We exchange letters from time to time, just to keep tabs on each other. But now there is a problem-- my cousin is teaching a new member, and claims to be "falling in love" with that person... The exact quote was "I know its a bad distraction, but the second we shook hands, I got this feeling that we knew each other all our lives, and I got a flash of us being married with kids-- it felt so right, and so real." In our letters, the subject of soul mates came up, and my cousin asked me what I think about soul mates... Well... I'm currently sitting here working on a letter back to my cousin, wondering what to say. Of course, I plan to say the obvious-- DON'T DO ANYTHING WHILE ON YOUR MISSION! And my cousin knows better than to do such a thing (or at least I hope so!). But beyond that, I was also asked what I thought about "contacting someone you teach after your mission is over". Anyway-- It now seems that both my cousin and I are wondering what the church thinks about soul mates, eternal companions, and weather or not they are the same thing? Also, the "pre-existence" and how it ties into all this. Does the church believe that we "remember" our eternal companion from the pre-existense? Is there a specific person we are all meant to be with? (lord knows, it certainly seems so!). For me, this can all be a bit confusing. My personal deffinition of a "soul mate" is someone that you either knew and cared for before you came here and throughout your life you "remember" loving that person, and search for them again while on earth. Or it could be someone who is your "complementing oposite", meaning that although you are different, all your oposites complement each other-- and that god created one for each person. Weather or not you care to find that person while you are on earth, is up to you. And sometimes, you may have to wait until the afterlife, because they may have lived in a different time, or much too far away from you (hint-hint people who just "never found the right one" lol). I'm not sure how I would define an "eternal companion" though, especially by the church's standards. Or weather or not the church has a different view on them than I do on "soul mates". Well, actually, I guess my deffinition of the church's "eternal companion" label, is just someone you met on earth, and later decided that you wanted to spend eternity with them, because.... Well, just because, lol. Would that be correct? I guess what I'm confused about is--- does the church believe that two specific people can be "predestined" to be together, or not? I ask, because I've heard two conflicting statements on this: 1-- More than one long-standing church member has told me that ANY two "worthy" people can "make it" together, and I have also heard that the church encourages this. 2-- But then my cousin says that their bishop AND their MP preach to them that they "will not meet their eternal companion while on their mission", and that most MP's preach the same thing. This (to me) implies that there is a "certain person" we were each meant to end up with, and god will make sure you do not meet that person while on your mission... I personally think they are told that just to keep them focussed on their mission-- which they should stay focussed! But if the church does not believe in something similar to MY deffinition of a predestined "soul mate", and if they really do believe that any two worthy people can make a marriage work... Then why on earth CAN'T you meet your eternal companion while on your mission? That is, assuming you would only act on your feelings AFTER you have returned home-- after all, you do know their name and address, if you've been teaching them... Gosh this is confusing, lol. Help?