That part of a living being which exists before mortal birth, which dwells in the physical body during mortality, and which exists after death as a separate being until the resurrection. All living things—mankind, animals, and plants—were spirits before any form of life existed upon the earth (Gen. 2:4–5; Moses 3:4–7). The spirit body looks like the physical body (1 Ne. 11:11; Ether 3:15–16; D&C 77:2; 129). Spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure than mortal element or matter (D&C 131:7).
Every person is literally a son or a daughter of God, having been born as a spirit to Heavenly Parents before being born to mortal parents on the earth (Heb. 12:9). Each person on earth has an immortal spirit body in addition to a body of flesh and bone. As sometimes defined in scripture, the spirit and the physical body together constitute the soul (Gen. 2:7; D&C 88:15; Moses 3:7, 9, 19; Abr. 5:7). A spirit can live without a physical body, but the physical body cannot live without the spirit (James 2:26). Physical death is the separation of the spirit from the body. In the resurrection, the spirit is reunited with the same physical body of flesh and bone it possessed as a mortal, with two major differences: they will never be separated again, and the physical body will be immortal and perfected (Alma 11:45; D&C 138:16–17).
- A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have:Luke 24:39;
- The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:Rom. 8:16;
- Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit:1 Cor. 6:20;
- This body is the body of my spirit:Ether 3:16;
- Man is spirit:D&C 93:33;
- Christ ministered to the righteous spirits in paradise:D&C 138:28–30; ( 1 Pet. 3:18–19; )
- Ye were born into the world by water, and blood, and the spirit:Moses 6:59;
- He stood among those that were spirits:Abr. 3:23;
- Jesus cast out many devils:Mark 1:27, 34, 39;
- Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit:Mark 5:2–13;
- The evil spirit teacheth a man that he must not pray:2 Ne. 32:8;
- In the name of Jesus did he cast out devils and unclean spirits:3 Ne. 7:19;
- Many false spirits have gone forth deceiving the world:D&C 50:2, 31–32;
- Joseph Smith explained three keys for determining whether a spirit is of God or the devil:D&C 129;