It had seemed like hours, maybe days since Christopher had arrived in this city. Time seemed to have no meaning here. He began to wonder about his work. Were people back home waiting for him? Were his students sitting in class waiting for their professor to show up? Would someone be trying to contact him?
Then a horrifying thought crossed his mind. Am I dead? Why would I be here if I were not?
Jesus perceived his thoughts and smiled. “You are not dead Christopher – and nobody is waiting for you. You are asleep and only moments have passed. So please, put your cares behind you for a moment and learn all you can while we have this time together.”
Christopher's stress was immediately taken away, and he felt very comfortable here. In fact, he wondered if he really wanted to go back to work. It was peaceful here. No stress, no worries.
He turned to Jesus and said, “Why did you bring me here? Does this happen to everyone?”
Jesus looked at him thoughtfully, “No Christopher. What you are experiencing is very unique. Only a few have had such a great opportunity to glimpse the spirit world, and as I believe you have already sensed, this experience is nothing to be taken lightly. There are many purposes for this visit, only some of which we have already discussed. Before long you will know all – but there is more foundation that must be laid in order for you to understand fully why you are here.”
“I am grateful. Proceed.” said Christopher.
“I stated earlier that you knew you would be blessed with a superior intellect before you were born.”
“I recall,” said Christopher. “But I have no recollection of anything before I was born.”
“Nobody does,” said Jesus. “And there is a purpose in that. Imagine if everyone remembered life before they were born. It would remove the need for faith, which would influence choice, which would make the test of life null and void. So a forgetfulness comes upon all who are born, so they are free to make their own choices, without knowledge of their pre-mortal life.”
“That does make sense I suppose,” said Christopher. “But if I were to give a test to my students when they didn't know the material, it would be unfair.”
“Point taken,” Jesus said grinning. “However, this is different than taking a test on a specific topic. Life is more about testing the character of man. But we are broaching on the subject of life's purpose, so we must go back to the current subject - life before you were born.”
“Very well,” agreed Christopher.
“This subject must be taken on faith. I cannot show you the pre-mortal world where you were just a short time ago. I have commanded my prophets to write about it – Isaiah, Jeremiah, Abraham, and John for example, but for the most part their prophetic words are misunderstood.”
Christopher nodded. He had not read the prophecies mentioned, but was eager to find out what was written.
“Every living soul was created as a spirit before coming to earth, and we all lived together in the pre-mortal world. Even then we had free agency to choose and many chose to not live righteously – despite the fact that they could see me and our Father. I'm sure you have heard of the devil, or Lucifer as he is known.”
Again Christopher nodded, although he started to think that he was hearing a fable or story instead of facts.
Although Jesus knew what Christopher was thinking, he continued. “You have seen how spirits have been influenced by the world. In the pre-mortal world, each spirit was created as unique as people are on earth. They started innocent. However, people were free to choose and think for themselves. They were all aware that the goal was to go to earth to receive bodies and be tested. But for some this process didn't seem very attractive. They knew life would be difficult and challenging, and some tried to think of an easier way, although there was no easier way – for the purpose of life had been set.”
“Lucifer however had the idea that he could change the plan. He craved power, and was very convincing to many that he could do it. Just as a leader has subjects on earth, Lucifer had his loyal followers who believed in him – that he could make life easier but still serve the same purpose in the end. As John the Revelator wrote, many of the hosts of heaven in the pre-mortal world believed the words of Lucifer – and as a result they rebelled and the opportunity for a mortal body was taken away from them. They were banished from the pre-mortal world and have been allowed to be on earth as spirits to wreak havoc and to try to drag as many as would go with them down to hell. The people who succumbed to those hosts of hell and the base pleasures of the world, you have already seen.”
Christopher shuddered at the thought of that miserable scene. After a moment of reflection he asked, “Why do you allow Lucifer and those banished spirits to come to earth? Doesn't that provide an unfair environment for mortal man – to be outnumbered by ‘the hosts of hell’ that attempt to influence them?”
“There must be opposition Christopher – or there would be no growth. Have you always had success with everything you do? Are your hypothesis always correct?”
“Of course not.”
“Do you not learn the most when you struggle to understand a concept or prove a theory? Does it not make you stronger as a teacher when you can look back on a challenge that you have been able to overcome?”
“The school of experience and hard-knocks, as it were, certainly does give you knowledge that cannot be learned academically.” agreed Christopher.
“Man was not sent to earth merely to learn words on a page – but to work and struggle, to gain that knowledge that only experience can bring. The opposition they face with Satan and his hosts, and opposition faced by other natural forces help to build and strengthen. The weak will give in and give up, but those who are willing to face opposition and overcome are much stronger in the end.”
“Then what of the spirits that remained after Lucifer was exiled?” asked Christopher.
“The spirits that remained were willing to come to earth and fulfill the plan. Although those spirits were willing to come to earth, there was a great difference between them with regard to personalities, just as we see on earth. Some were strong, some were weak. Everyone is given their own set of challenges they would face on earth to help them grow and meet their potential.”
“You Christopher – were among those spirits who were strong. You were given a purpose and the tools to fulfill that purpose – a mind that very few would possess. But you also knew that your intellect would be a challenge to harness. Many who are wise feel they have no need of me.” Jesus looked tenderly at him and spoke softly, “and you knew that would be a possibility.”
Christopher couldn't hold Jesus' gaze so he stared blankly out the window, hoping the discomfort would leave.
Could this really be true? Was he really chosen in a pre-earth life to have this special talent? It had been very difficult growing up being a “freak”. At times he wished he could just be normal like the other kids. He had been tired of being “special”, or “that smart kid”, or “the prodigy.” Many times growing up he had asked the question, “why me?”
He had since grown very comfortable with his genius and was determined to use it to its full potential, but it had been many years since he had thought about why he had this mind. It's just the way it is – a little luck, talent and hard work. That's all there was to it. But now he was considering that perhaps there was something more to it. “Could I be the way I am for a greater purpose?” he mused.
 – Revelation 12:7-9
 – Jeremiah 1:5