Editor's Note: On March 10, 1987, at 9:00 in the evening, a 14-year-old boy sat down and started writing his thoughts about his soul, the nature of our relationship to God, and what man's existence is all about. This young man would go on to attend Harding University with the dream of working with retarded children and becoming a teacher who could change the lives of people who did not understand their uniqueness as a creation of God. He had done campaign work with Owen Olbricht and had maturity and wisdom beyond his years. In December, 1993, this young man was killed in a tragic automobile accident. His mother was going through her son's things and came upon this paper. It is so unique and unusual for a 14-year-old that we thought our readers would like to read it. Pat Layton, the mother of the author, lost her husband in 1992 and has begun her own ministry to people who have suffered incredible losses. She can be reached at PO Box 10604, Palm Desert, CA 92253-0604.

Thoughts from a mind of a 14-year old...

Tonight I sat in my room and pondered for a glimpse of insight to fill this paper, and I felt like discussing "The Journey of the Soul." In the Bible, it states that God knew us before we were born so, therefore, we were a new soul at that time--freshly molded by God's work. We had no knowledge or wisdom and were then placed in a form of flesh, our second stage of the soul. We went from the spiritual realm into a fleshly realm to be tested for a short duration compared to our spiritual life. Our soul is then living in a fleshly state and is interactive between the spiritual and flesh. The soul is bound to the fleshly realm and, therefore, must deal with fleshly problems and thoughts. Yet those close to God can be given hope and glimpses of the spiritual plane that is the third stage. When the flesh dies, the soul escapes the flesh and accomplishes spiritual unity with the third realm. There it spends eternity. So to summarize, there are three stages: First stage--new soul with no knowledge or wisdom. Second stage--the soul is placed in a fleshly form bound to the flesh's problems and interactivity with other souls in the flesh. Third stage--the soul escapes the flesh when it dies and returns to where it came from. If it lived its fleshly life the way it should, it is blessed; if not, it is put away and cast forever into torment. As I see it, a soul is a member of God. God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and all our souls are one and the same and God takes parts of Himself and puts them in the flesh. Often those parts (souls) forget where they came from, forget who they are, and are caught up in the fleshly thoughts and feelings and lose touch with that much larger part of themselves. The body is only a tool that the soul uses to carry out his needs in the life. My soul is writing this right now, not my hand, nor brain, nor eye; they are only instruments which my soul uses. When I die, my soul will go back to join God again and will be wiser and wholer . The soul grows through its stages, becoming wiser and wiser. So when those parts of God stray and forget who they are, then it is my duty and others' duty to guide them back to the Maker and Source. My soul is young now and has much to gain, yet I feel God has put it in me to write these insights of mine for others to better understand and never lose contact with who they are, where they came from, and where they're going. This stage is short, and we should remember to always stay in touch with God so that we will spend eternity with Him rather than lose our souls for a moment's passing pleasure.

--Jim Layton

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, Sep/Oct 1996