Discuss this article or ask questions at the LDS.net Forums.
Foreordination recognizes that God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have foreknowledge of events on this earth and of the individual actions of God's spirit children before they occur in mortal time. Time is not a barrier to their omniscience, for "all things are present before mine eyes" (Doctrine and Covenants 38:2); "past, present, and future are continually before the Lord" (Doctrine and Covenants 130:7). God the Father declared to Moses, "all things are present with me, for I know them all" (Moses 1:6). Alma, in the Book of Mormon, stated, "all is as one day with God, and time only is measured unto men" (Alma 40:8).
Based on this foreknowledge and also their knowledge of the desires, inclinations, degree of love for truth and light, and the talents of God's spirit children, God the Father held a Grand Council in heaven before Adam and Eve were sent to this earth, wherein He presented the Plan of Salvation and asked for volunteers to accept important assignments in mortality so that the plan could be brought about. The plan of salvation would be contingent upon the agency of each spirit, and was only possible because the Father knew that His Firstborn Son in our pre-earth life was capable of accepting the preeminent assignment of living a sinless mortal life and suffering the infinite atonement to redeem mankind from the effects of the eternal law of justice by the great plan of mercy.
Jesus Christ, who was like the Father in His great love for all the spirits in the pre-mortal life and in His knowledge of eternal truths, including the powers of creation through faith and priesthood power, volunteered to be the foreordained Redeemer of mankind. He became the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" (Moses 7:47), and could offer to mankind a predestined condition--that is, the sure promise of eternal life for those who would follow Christ through faith, repentance, baptism, and the acceptance of other covenants and ordinances, and enduring in those covenants to the end of their probationary period of living by faith.
Other faithful spirits capable of leadership roles because of their desires and talents, volunteered to accept assignments as prophets, leaders among their nations, and bearers of priesthood responsibilities, and were foreordained in those assignments. The Pearl of Great Price includes revelations to Abraham that he was foreordained to be a prophet of God:
- Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;
- 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 (Abraham 3:22, 23).
Others foreordained to their earthly missions were Enoch, Moses, Jeremiah, Joseph Smith, and other latter-day prophets, and many others (Doctrine and Covenants 138:53-56). During their mortal lives, their spirits have been inclined toward the desires they expressed in the pre-mortal life, and they have carried out their foreordained missions based on their faith and following the promptings of the Holy Ghost through exercising their agency in righteous ways.