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Nov. 13th, 2006 at 1:27 pm
As far as I’m concerned, free will coexists with divine preordination just fine. However, it apparently hinges on a different understanding of “preordination” than other Christians have.
For me, what makes it all work is the Pre-existance. “Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee,” God told Job and I believe it. We lived with Him; He knew us as well as any loving father knows his children. Without the docterine of the Pre-existance, preordination seems very, very random. God creates this spirit and arbitrarily designates him as the next prophet or her as the one worthy to be the mother of the Messiah. The argument that God creates each soul and so creates the soul he needs for each task just makes it worse in my opinion. That argument means that God would then create some souls simply for damnation and that is not the action of a loving Father. (Besides, it implies that God does shoddy work and that’s so wrong as to be approaching blasphemy.)
However, with the docterine of Pre-existance we have something quite different happening. As a loving father aware of His children’s strengths and weaknesses, He can ordain spirits to the paths which they need and in which they are needed. Thus they are preordained. However they still have free will and if their choices in life lead them away from those paths then nothing but sincere repentence can restore them to the right path.
“Free will” is just that: free will. It does not mean that every soul sent to Earth will be lost. We can use our free will to choose to follow Him and when we do that, when we make ourselves open to Him and His wishes, then we can follow the path that He put us on before we were born. Then He can give us all that He promised and we can do all that we promised to do, whether that’s re-establishing the gospel or being the quiet light that guides our friends and neighbors to God’s love.