The Lord told Jeremiah, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
God also assured Abraham, “Thou was chosen before thou wast born” (Abraham 3:22-23).
Peter testified that Jesus “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20). The Greek word translated “foreordained” in that passage is proginosko (προγινώσκω), which means literally “to know beforehand.” (Pro means “before,” and ginosko means “to know.”)
The prophet Alma elaborated on this doctrine in his sermon to the people of Ammonihah. Those who serve as priests, he said, were “called and prepared before the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God” (Alma 13:3).
Did this guarantee that they would be ordained priests in this life? No. They would first be left alone, given the opportunity to make decisions. Only after exercising faith and demonstrating that they would not harden their hearts would they be given those callings which they had been foreordained to receive (Alma 13:3-6).
President Spencer W. Kimball taught that we were all chosen to fulfill specific responsibilities in this life:
Remember, in the world before we came here, faithful women were given certain assignments while faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood tasks. While we do not now remember the particulars, this does not alter the glorious reality of what we once agreed to. You are accountable for those things which long ago were expected of you just as are those we sustain as prophets and apostles! (“The Role of Righteous Women,” Women’s Fireside, 15 September 1979).
Today, I will remember that God has known me longer than I can remember, and that He selected me to perform specific callings and assignments before I was born. I will strive to live faithfully so that I can receive and act upon those opportunities to serve.