I'm trying to ponder this, but I'm afraid the anti-seizure medication I'm on has fried my brain and it is making it very hard to think. I'm hoping writing out what I know here will help...
I know that death is the separation of body and spirit. (See Eccl 12:7)
I know that body and spirit together make a soul. (See D&C 88:15)
I know that God created man's spirits. (See Moses 6:36)
Doctrine and Covenants 93:29-36 says:
Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation. For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy. The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple. The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.While I find this incredibly confusing at the moment, I understand it to mean that man's spirit is made from "intelligence", something that has always existed (This is supported in Abraham 3:22, which suggests that the intelligences were organized). The body is made up of elements (i.e. oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, etc.) and when spirit and element are inseparably connected - as will happen in the resurrection - they will receive a fullness of joy.
President Russell M Nelson gave a great talk years ago, when he was just Elder Nelson, in which he said:
The Lord said that “the spirit and the body are the soul of man” (D&C 88:15). Each one of us therefore is a dual being—a biological (physical) entity, and an intellectual (spiritual) entity. The combination of both is intimate throughout mortality.
In the beginning, man, as that intellectual entity, was with God. Our intelligence was not created or made, nor can it be (see D&C 93:29).
That spirit, joined with a physical body of such remarkable qualities, becomes a living soul of supernal worth. (Body and Spirit: The Magnificence of Man, 1987)Here, he defines the body as the biological and the spirit as the intellectual components.
I always imagined my spirit as the part of me that thinks, the part that sits up in my head and looks out through my eyes and processes the information coming in. Like in that movie, "Inside Out", I imagined my spirit as the little dudes in command central, only there's only one of them, and they are less emotional. Usually.
But how much of what comes out of command central is the intellectual "spirit" and how much is the effects of the biological?
I've always understood the warnings about avoiding addictions because they can affect the spirit. In President Nelson's talk he said, "Substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and harmful drugs are forbidden by the Lord. We have similarly been warned about the evils of pornography and unclean thoughts. Appetites for these degrading forces can become addictive. Physical or mental addictions become doubly serious because, in time, they enslave both the body and the spirit. Full repentance from these shackles, or any other yokes to sin, must be accomplished in this life while we still have the aid of a mortal body to help us develop self-mastery."
What happens to the soul who is addicted to drugs when they die? A spirit without a body can't satisfy the cravings, couldn't experience the highs even if they could take the drug. Do they go through the entire process of withdrawal, cold turkey? Are the effects greater or less because they are psychological without the biological support? Will those who rely on coffee and stimulants to stay awake in this life suffer from drowsiness or brain stupors in the spirit world? Will we need sleep in the spirit world, or is that just a biological thing?
Some time ago I had the thought that there is a good reason that we won't be judged until after the resurrection. We need to have our memories in tact - so we can remember all things we have done on this earth, when we are judged, and that can't happen with our imperfect memories now. When our bodies are perfected, and combined with our spirits permanently, then I imagine we will remember everything we have ever experienced, which might be a bit uncomfortable, come to think of it... Which makes me wonder, how well does our spirit remember by itself, without a body? Is the Spirit like the processor, and the body the hard drive?
If I take a pill and it messes with my intellect, making my thought process slow and cumbersome, or a little bit random, is that affecting just my biology, or is it affecting my spirit, too? Would another medicine work better? Or would it be better to just take nothing at all and deal with the occasional seizure when it comes?