Pre-existence & Original Sin

D&C 93:38; “Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God.”

Romans 5:12; “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

The sad reality about D&C 93:38 is how many false teachings there are in this one little sentence. 

First of all man’s spirit was not innocent in the beginning; we’ve provided scriptural proof of that. 

Secondly, other LDS teachings disagree with the statement that the spirit of man was born innocent.  The Mormons believe that while in the pre-existence you either chose the side of Lucifer or Jesus.  If you chose Jesus you were born into a white and delightsome family.  If you chose Lucifer then you were born with a dark and loathsome skin color. (Mormon Doctrine, 1966 edition under “negroes”; Moses 7:8, 22; also see Mormon Doctrine later editions, pg. 526-527)1 

According to Mormon theology, because some people are living with the “restrictions imposed upon them” for being “less valiant”, reason dictates they aren’t innocent. 

Third, Mormons don’t really believe Jesus redeemed man from the fall in the way the Christian world understands it. 

The LDS Church teaches Jesus paid for sin in the Garden of Gethsemane to give man the chance to work for their salvation. Without Jesus spilling blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, man wouldn’t have the opportunity to do works for the dead or any other good works for their own salvation. 

They believe that Jesus’ atonement paid for Adam’s original sin. Article of Faith #2-3;

“2 We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.

3 We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

1. “Of the two-thirds who followed Christ, however, some were more valiant than others. Adam and all the prophets so distinguished themselves by diligence and obedience as to be foreordained to their high earthly missions. (Abra.  3:20-24) The whole house of Israel was chosen in pre-existence to come to mortality as children of Jacob. (Deut. 32:7-8) Those who were less valiant in pre-existence and who thereby had certain spiritual restrictions imposed upon them during mortality are known to us as the negroes. Such spirits are sent to earth through the lineage of Cain, the mark put upon him for his rebellion against God and his murder of Abel being a black sin. (Moses 5:16-41; 7:8; 12, 22)” – Mormon Doctrine, pgs 526-527, Bruce McConkie