Articles on Pre-earth life? Help?

Do you know of any good articles about Mormon thought about the pre-existence? I am looking for something academic, though it can be of an apologetic nature. I need sources for documenting my account of the role of the pre-existence in Mormon thinking. I would also be interested in anything dealing with the council in heaven.

This is part of my dissertation chapter that I started addressing in this post.

I realize that I have the research skills should allow me to this on my own. But I am tired and overwhelmed. I need help from my bloggernacle brothers and sisters. Thanks.

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  • AHLDuke

    Ask Terryl Givens. If anybody has the sources gathered, it will probably be him.

  • Chris Henrichsen

    I do have the Given’s book (I chatted with him very briefly about the project last fall). I will take a closer look.

  • Chris Henrichsen

    Oh, and thanks.

  • Justin
  • W. V. Smith

    Blake Ostler’s article in Dialogue (1985, I believe) should be of interest. Given’s doesn’t do too much with Mormon thought in his book. Also, you will find interesting stuff at Van Hales site:



  • Ben

    Harrell has a decent article on it in BYU Studies from like 1988. If you email me I can send you a pdf.

  • Matt W.

    The comments and post here are one of the best sources I am aware of.

  • Kevin Barney

    If you click on the link to my paper from Justin above, I give the citations to both the Harrell and Ostler articles.

  • W. V. Smith

    Some of what Givens does in biblical interpretation might be useful for you. He mentions some of what have become standard LDS biblical references to preexistence, but as they were seen among non-LDS exegetes. “before I formed thee in the belly. . . ” etc.

  • Jared T.

    Section two of Daymon Mickel Smith’s dissertation, “The First Shall Be the Last and the Last Shall Be the First: Discourse and Mormon History” deals in part with BY and the Pratts’ concepts of Intelligence and Matter–I haven’t actually read it, so I can’t say whether it works or not or what it adds to the discussion, but I know it’s there.

  • Clark

    Is that thesis of Smith available electronically or just at the BYU library?

  • Kevin Christensen

    Truman Madsen, Eternal Man has a thoughtful discussion.

    John W. Welch has a FARMS Preliminary Report comparing Oh My Father to the Hymn of the Pearl. Nibley also discusses the Hymn of the Pearl in the Appendices to An Egyptian Endowment.

    Nibley discusses the early Christian Timothy’s Discourse on Abbaton in Enoch the Prophet, and Howard Hopkins has put the discourse online at his

    Kevin Christensen
    Bethel Park, PA

  • J. Stapley

    It’s available digitally via UMI. It is very interesting. The introduction is generally incomprehensible, but I have found his treatment of 20th century priesthood dynamics very useful. And his sources for the section on correlation are simply amazing.

  • Happy Lost Sheep

    On the council in heaven:

    One in Thine Hand: The Stick of Judah and the Stick of Joseph By Lynn F. Price

    Page 165

    Page 337

    Discourses of Brigham Young

    A Marvelous Work and a Wonder – Legrand Richards

  • Chris Henrichsen

    Thank you all. This is really a great help. I plan on finishing this chapter by mid-February. So, I hope to get some of my further work on this up on FPR soon.