by Christopher R. Greenwood
and Spiritual Atrophy
So... When We Will Remember Everything?
Sometime ago, my Dad asked me the question, “When we die, will we remember our pre-mortal existence? If not, when will that happen?”. The following quotes and narrative is to provide insight into that wonderful topic. I would encourage you, however, that like all doctrine, we need to study this out, pray about it, and determine for ourselves what we believe and what we need to do additional research on. The following paragraphs encapsulate what I have been able to find on the subject copied from a variety of resources.
We are told that we are to function in this life by faith. If the gospel is preached in the spirit world as it is here and one remembers everything there, they could not very well exercise faith because when one has sure knowledge, it excludes the need for faith.
There is sometimes an expectation that the veil is removed when we die, an assumption that may have originated some decades ago with the landmark film, Man’s Search for Happiness. Near its conclusion, the grandfather in the film dies and his spirit is depicted emerging into a circle of loved ones who pre-deceased him. Juxtaposed over this scene the commentary mentions that the veil over our memories will be removed and that we will recall our pre-mortal existence. While it is true that we will eventually have the veil of forgetfulness removed, that does not take place when we leave mortality. Not until the day of our resurrection, when our physical and spirit bodies are inseparably joined, will our pre-existent memories be restored. And that agency seems to be necessary after death if those in spirit prison are to freely choose and accept their proxy temple work.
On October 25, 1831, during a general conference, Joseph Smith taught,