He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. This is the scope of this text. It takes Jesus Christ, even Jehovah from his beginnings as an eternal intelligence and firstborn Son of God the Father in spirit before the world was to the end of this creation when the Earth is Celestialized and beyond. While beyond the scope and knowledge of any text to cover all there is to know about our Lord and Savior, from the beginnings of this earth’s creation to its end, the life and times of Christ will be chronicled.
In an attempt to come to know our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, His pre-mortal, mortal and ante-mortal life will be covered. Before the world was, Christ was selected and ordained and anointed of God to His most high position and calling to the 'First Presidency' of the Godhead, being given the power of God to act for God the Father through 'divine investiture'. He is the Lord of Creation and the God of the Old Testament. His life fulfilled God the Father’s plan for the redemption of mankind. And His Work and His Glory is fulfilled in bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
The wheres, whys and hows are brought out. Why did Jehovah the Son have to be the Savior of the world? Could not God the Father do His own Work? When was Jehovah's name first given to be Jesus? How is it that Christ is the Creator, the Everlasting Father and the Almighty God, yet able to give God His Father the honor and the glory? What is our personal and special relation to Christ and His work? These questions and many more are explored as the God of the Universe is brought into focus and becomes our personal Redeemer and Friend.
It is only through developing a personal relationship with Christ that men are to be saved. We are commanded to search and study the scriptures and learn of Christ. Coming to know Jesus and all we can about who He is, becomes one of the primary aims of this text. Beyond mere words, there lies a marvelous being. Coming to know of and understanding His humility, unparalleled love, the extent of service He rendered, His feelings and much more, begins to make Him real, the living Christ our Lord as both our universal and personal redeemer.
Coming to know Christ in a matter of gaining Godly intelligence. When one has searched Him out and has come to know and understand Him, then one can follow, emulate and become like He is. Then one begins to enable himself to become one with God, to become like God. Christ prayed that we might become one as He and His Father are one. You cannot become what you do not know and understand. For this is life eternal to come to again know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. And in the day of judgment, to those who never come to know the Lord, to them will he state, ‘Depart from Me ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew thee; For ye never knew Me.’ And why does not Christ know them? It is because they never took the time to develop a true and everlasting personal relationship with Him. For if one does develop such a personal relationship of personal knowledge and understanding of Christ, then one will most assuredly come to love Him. And if one loves Him, they will keep His commandments, which he has given them.
The threads of coming to know and understand our Lord evolve over time. From youthful teaching in the home, in Junior Sunday School and Primary, to Sunday School, and Priesthood, then to Institute, an LDS Mission, and more Institute, and thence on to Gospel Doctrine, High Priest Quorum as student and teacher, and from all the various Church Meetings of Instruction, a life time of scripture study, prayer and coming to build a personal relationship with Jesus; from all this and more one comes to know our Lord. Yet it is not something that can come to pass by some scholarly honor awarded for such and such academic achievement. Indeed, an understanding, personal testimony and relationship which brings one to a knowledge of Christ is not accomplished and merely taught in some classroom. It never was, and never will be. It can only be written from coming to know him through his scriptures and by building a personal one to one relationship with Him throughout one's life's experiences and including the Lord in one's everyday walk of life.
From simple events of being taught that Jesus was a Jew, while the birthright and responsibility of fulfilling the Covenant of Abraham rested upon the seed of Joseph and his sons Ephraim and Manasseh to finally being able to resolve that apparent dichotomy, the journey of coming to know Him has been long. And I suppose if not for a debilitating physical condition over these last few years, this account may never have been written, for time in our otherwise busy society is somewhat at a premium. To carefully put down into words what one has come to understand about our Lord does take much time and long periods of undisturbed thought processes not to mention the deep and personal feelings within the spirit and soul of a man.
The Greek 'Iesous' or Hebrew 'Yeshua' is made in the English to be the name JESUS. In the Greek, the name does not mean merely 'a savior' but really means 'JEHOVAH OUR SAVIOR'. JESUS is the New Testament name which is the same Old Testament name as that of Joshua. The meaning of the word is translated to be ‘God’s Help’ or ‘Jehovah is Salvation’. Jesus is ‘God’s Help’ given to fallen man whereby man may find his way back to God’s presence. Christ is the New Testament name which is the same Old Testament name as that of Messiah. Messiah is an Aramaic or Hebrew word. The meaning of the word is translated to be ‘the Anointed One’ formally referring to God’s Anointed Son. JEHOVAH is the God of the Old Testament. He is the same as Jesus Christ. Lost in the confusion of corrupted religious truth, Jehovah is the son of God, who we may refer to in great reverence as ELOHIM or more commonly as God the Eternal Father or simply as Heavenly Father.
JEHOVAH is the firstborn Son of ELOHIM in the spirit and JESUS CHRIST is ELOHIM’S Only Begotten Son in this flesh, that is in this Earth. And JEHOVAH and JESUS CHRIST is one and the same person. This was known and understood anciently but due to corruption in belief and understanding and due to the lack of faithfulness of God’s ancient peoples, this knowledge has become lost to the world in general.
The word Elohim frequently appears in the Hebrew Old Testament transcripts. It is there presented in the plural form of the word ELOI or GOD. And while in the eternal scheme of things there are many Gods as the eternities are unfolded, ELOHIM in reference to God the Eternal Father is to be understood more in implying infinite in intensity and expansiveness being all powerful, all knowing and everywhere present denoted by the words omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. Even King David speaks of the ‘Lord of his Lord’, which refers to the Father of his God Jehovah, who is Elohim the Father of Jehovah.
While the text of this history of Jesus will contain throughout its entirety a full and correct understanding of Jesus Christ and His Father, a more concise rendering, which delineates the roles of The Son and The Father, can be found as ‘A DOCTRINAL EXPOSITION BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE TWELVE’ in Appendix I. There it well set out the Father as the literal parent of Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ as the Creator of Heaven and Earth, Jesus Christ as the ‘Father’ of those who abide in His Gospel, and the role of Jesus Christ the vicarious personification of God the Father by ‘divine investiture’ being the Advocate and Mediator between Elohim and man. Similar to one who holds the Power of Attorney of another, so is Christ His Father’s proxy. The logistics and ‘need’ for this relationship will be more fully presented in the course of this text.
To many the jump from the image portrayed by the Almighty God the Creator of the Universe to a one on one personal God and immediate father figure within one’s private grasp is not easily obtained. Indeed, a personal relationship with God takes some effort and work upon the part of an individual to develop.
My Chosen and Beloved Son
Amid the various scriptures are found a congruent and harmonious rendition of the events of the preexistent heaven from whence we all have come. From the book of Abraham we learn of our pre-mortal state of our origin as intelligences before God and we learn of the seeds and roots formed by Lucifer which caused the great war in heaven (Abraham 3). In his book, Moses sets out more details of the words, actions and motives behind Lucifer’s rebellion (Moses 4). Isaiah speaking of the fate of Satan’s kingdom, refers to that kingdom’s rudimentary beginnings and confirms the lying intents of Lucifer and the resulting consequences of his rebellion against the God the Father and his Only Begotten Son (Isaiah 14 & 2 Nephi 24). A bit more detail, information and clarification is provided concerning this rebellion in the book of Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 76). And from the prophetic perspective of the ‘eternal now’, the book of Revelations also references that war in heaven with further eternal perspectives of detail (Revelations 12). Through a study and coordination of these scriptures and others, a very coherent and detailed picture of the events of the preexistence may be developed.
Before the world was, was God. All the intelligences of the spirit children of God the Eternal Father where brought together and there was a great pre-existence council held in heaven to set before all of God’s children the Plan of Salvation and Exaltation. Among these where many great a noble ones including Jehovah the firstborn of God the Father in spirit and also Lucifer, an angel of God who was in authority in the presence of God, even a son of the morning (D&C 76:25-26). From these great and noble spirits God the Father would select those who would be his appointed and anointed leaders
Now God the Father was already an exalted being, having himself passed through the Plan of Salvation and Exaltation successfully. Thus he was an exalted being of flesh and bone, all knowing, powerful and his presence and influence filled the expanse of existence. We, His children, were in his presence and totally under his influence. But we lacked the experience of passing through the Plan of Salvation and Exaltation being only children, whereas God our Father in the spirit had already gained his exalted state of self actuation and maturity, having become the Eternal God the Father.
Only one who would come to this mortality could perform the atoning work required to redeem God’s children. Only one of God’s spirit children could be selected to perform this great calling. It is contrary to the laws of eternal progression for one such as God the Father who had already advanced far beyond the second estate having gained his exalted state to retrogress to this second estate of mortality. Only one who had never before processed through mortality could perform the atoning sacrifice. He had to be selected as ‘One From Among Us.’ He had to be a spirit child who was still in the first estate with the second estate experience still ahead and yet to come.
In this respect Christ as Jehovah was and is our Elder Brother. He is ‘One From Among Us.’ While his status and achieved progress was that to be anointed and positioned to be God the Father’s representative, advocate and mediator, thus reaching the level of ‘God’ anointed and appointed, he as yet had not passed through the second estate. Only those who are a part of the second estate can have any direct effect upon that estate. The sealing of earth to heaven has to be performed here within this estate in order to tie it back to that heaven from which it has fallen.
This estate we are now in, this mortality of experiencing good and evil, all who are to become as God is, must pass through. Thus, ‘As man is today, God once was. And as God is today, a glorified and exalted eternal being, man may become.’ He is our Father, and by our right as his children, it is our possible heritage, if we so earn and achieve it, that we may become as God is. We may become Gods and Goddesses in the kingdom of our Father.
This is the design of the Plan of God for his children. And it was the matter being addressed in that great preexistent council in heaven. In order to become as God, we too had to passed through the maturation estate of experiencing good and evil and earning our self actuated status by the exercise of free agency whereby we would be tested to see whether we would successfully select the ways and paths of God and goodness over sin and evil. In the preexistent first estate as God’s children, we knew not what evil was through first hand experience. In God the Father’s presence, where we were, there was no sin and evil as we know it today in this fallen mortal second estate. And being in the ‘house’ of our Father, like our young children of today, we where under his direct influence as children. We were not mature self governing or self actuated being of maturity, having not have been out on our own to make the choice and selects between good and evil as we are in this life.
However, in order to become a God, we had to experience first hand, without God the Father’s direct influence good and evil. We had to come to this mortality to gain our own free agency and learn to act for ourselves. We had to so mature and become self actuated beings, learning and knowing of good and evil first hand in this fallen mortal setting. Yet it was a matter of our choice to come into this second estate. God the Father gave that choice to us. We chose to be so test of the world so that we might become even as God is.
Yet, once fallen from the presence of God, into this mortal estate to experience the contrast between good and evil, we would have to experience the pains and effects of evil and mortality. It would not be an easy and pleasant path to take. And once exposed to sin and evil, we of our own fallen existence could not bring ourselves back into God’s presence. For every one who has lived has sinned. There is no man without sin. And sin and evil cannot enter into the presence of God. But if we all chose to come into the world after the order of the Fall of Man, which would be Adam and Eve, the first man and women upon the earth; we could only be redeemed by a high and eternal sinless and Godly sacrifice to remove these sins from us and provide a way and means by which we could then once again enter back into God’s Kingdom.
Thus in the course of the grand preexistent council in heaven, God the Father asked, ‘Who shall I send?’ Who would and could he send to redeem his children from the fallen second estate? Who would be capable of taking upon himself the sins of the world and thus provide the way whereby man, the children of God, might return unto Him?
And one answered and said, “Here am I, send me.” This was Jehovah, who was God the Father’s firstborn in the spirit. By the rights of the firstborn, it was Jehovah’s responsibility to take upon himself this great burden.
1 AND I, the Lord God, spake unto Moses, saying: That Satan, whom thou hast commanded in the name of mine Only Begotten, is the same which was from the beginning, and he came before me, saying—Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.
But another ‘a son of the morning’ of authority know as Lucifer, even Satan, also answered and said, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.” (Moses 4:1) But in his heart laid the root of the lie he had just proclaimed for there he thought to himself
And he proposed his own variation of the Plan of God. He would govern with total control all who would inhabit this second estate and force and require that none would sin. And thus he would insure that all would return unto the presence of God as now would have sinned. Such a plan would mean that man would not have the full experience directly contrasting good with evil. And it also meant that man would not have the full exercise of their own freedom of agency and choice. Therefore man would not learn to be self actuated and man would not be able to become as God is, knowing and choosing good over evil. Thus Lucifer would have thwarted God’s Eternal Plan of Salvation and Exaltation. He would have made us all subject unto him, and her would become God over us and the glory would be his and his alone.
In response to this, Jehovah stated again. ‘Here am I, sent me. I will do the will of the Father. And Thine will be the glory.’ Jehovah reasserted that it would God the Father’s Plan of Salvation and Exaltation. That man would be free to choose and become a self actuated being making it possible for each individual to become as God is.
The Genesis accounts of the creation are familiar enough, whether they be in the King James Bible, the Joseph Smith Translation, which is the same as the Pearl of Great Price book of Moses account, or even that account of the creation as in the book of Abraham. What is not as clear is just how John the apostle's reference to that beginning fits together with the creation and that preexistent realm before the foundation of the earth. John states:
Understanding that the name 'Word' is one of the names of Jehovah, the Firstborn spirit son of the Father of Spirits in Heaven helps. It also helps in understanding to know that through Jehovah the Gospel, the Plan of God, that 'word' was preached in heaven unto all the spirit children of the Father by Jehovah the Firstborn son, that they might know and understand the Plan of God, also helps. Also presented in John's eloquant summary introduction is that empowerment of Jehovah the Firstborn son of the spirit to be he who by that empowerment from the Father, he stands as the creator of the temporal heaven and earth under the direction of the Father. And no such temporal creation was so made that was made without Jehovah's involvement. For it is he who is the life and the light of man, that is the temporal creation of man, under the direction of the Father; Jehovah also being the same as Jesus Christ our Redeemer and Lord God Jehovah both of the Old and New Testament.
This was clearly understood by the early church fathers of the Christian Church as it is well set out in the first recognized Ecclesastical History of the Chruch as written by Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea (see Ecclesiastical History of the Chruch, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, Book 1, Chapter 2, Paragraphs 1-4 etc.). And it is also further clarified by the Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of John 1:1-4 as well.
In his appearance to Mahonri Moriancumr, Jehovah, the God of spirit of the Old Testament gives a very clear statement of the creation of man by him as he speaks to the brother of Jared:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes; eyes, ears, mouth and nose; the appearance of the spirit body is also that of the appearance of the physical body which houses that spirit. Despite the fact that Hollywood have most often theatrically displayed this relationship to be the case, it is certainly the scriptural truth of the matter as well. And when it state in the scriptural account that that the Gods, that is Jesus Christ as Jehovah and God the Father of Spirits, said, "Let us make man in our likeness: ... " (Genesis 1:26), in either terms of the Father and his Celestial Glorified body or Jehovah/Jesus in respect to but his them body of spirit, it was the same image, for that is the likeness and image of God. And that is the same image and appearance of which man has and is made.
Promised Redeemer from the Fall
God of Our Fathers
Multiply and replenish the earth. (refill or restock)
Adam, Enoch and Noah
Dispersing the People
In the Abrahamic Covenant
Seeking the Blessings of the Fathers
Descendant of Joseph and Judah
Joseph Foreshadows Him
God of Israel’s Deliverance
I AM that I AM.
The Story of Ruth
David and Solomon
Sealing Heaven and Earth
Preparation for Christ
To Fulfill All Righteousness
Fulfillment of the Performances and Ordinances of the Law of Moses
His Mission of Atonement Complete
The Age of Darkness
The Prolog to Restoration
Lord of the Restoration
The Lord’s Work: Fulfilling the Promises
Signs of His Times
Wars and rumors of wars.
Symbolic Latter-day Fall of Babylon
His Second Coming and First Judgment
His Millennial Reign
And then the End
THE FATHER AND THE SON: A DOCTRINAL EXPOSITION BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY AND THE TWELVE—
The scriptures plainly and repeatedly affirm that God is the Creator of the earth and the heavens and all things that in them are. In the sense so expressed, the Creator is an Organizer. God created the earth as an organized sphere, but He certainly did not create, in the sense of bringing into primal existence, the ultimate elements of the materials of which the earth consists, for "the elements are eternal." (D. & C. 93:33.)
So also life is eternal, and not created; but life, or the vital force, may be infused into organized matter, though the details of the process have not been revealed unto man. For illustrative instances see Genesis 2:7; Moses 3:7; and Abraham 5:7. Each of these scriptures states that God breathed into the body of man the breath of life. See further Moses 3:19, for the statement that God breathed the breath of life into the bodies of the beasts and birds. God showed unto Abraham "the intelligences that were organized before the world was;" and by "intelligences" we are to understand "personal spirits" (Abraham 3:22, 23); nevertheless, we are expressly told that "Intelligence" that is, "the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be." (D. & C. 93:29.)
The term "father" as applied to Deity occurs in sacred writ with plainly different meanings. Each of the four significations specified in the following treatment should be carefully segregated.
1. "Father" as Literal Parent—Scriptures embodying the ordinary signification—literally that of Parent—are too numerous and specific to require citation. The purport of these scriptures is to the effect that God the Eternal Father, whom we designate by the exalted name-title "Elohim," is the literal Parent of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and of the spirits of the human race. Elohim is the Father in every sense in which Jesus Christ is so designated, and distinctively He is the Father of spirits. Thus we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?" (Hebrews 12:9.) In view of this fact we are taught by Jesus Christ to pray: "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name."
Jesus Christ applies to Himself both titles, "Son" and "Father." Indeed, He specifically said to the brother of Jared: "Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son." (Ether 3:14.) Jesus Christ is the Son of Elohim both as spiritual and bodily offspring; that is to say, Elohim is literally the Father of the spirit of Jesus Christ and also of the body in which Jesus Christ performed His mission in the flesh, and which body died on the cross and was afterwards taken up by the process of resurrection, and is now the immortalized tabernacle of the eternal spirit of our Lord and Savior. No extended explanation of the title "Son of God" as applied to Jesus Christ appears necessary.
2. "Father" as Creator—A second scriptural meaning of "Father" is that of Creator, e.g. in passages referring to any one of the Godhead as "The Father of the heavens and of the earth and all things that in them are." (Ether 4:7; see also Alma 11:38, 39 and Mosiah 15:4.)
God is not the father of the earth as one of the the worlds in space, nor of the heavenly bodies in whole or in part, nor of the inanimate objects and the plants and the animals upon the earth, in the literal sense in which He is the Father of the spirits of mankind, Therefore, scriptures that refer to God in any way as the Father of the heavens and the earth are to be understood as signifying that God is the Maker, the Organizer, the Creator of the heavens and the earth.
With this meaning, as the context shows in every case, Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ the Son of Elohim, is called "The Father" and even "the very eternal Father of heaven and of earth" (see passages before cited, and also Mosiah 16:15.) With analogous meaning Jesus Christ is called "The Everlasting Father" (Isaiah 9:6; compare 2 Nephi 19:6.) The descriptive titles "Everlasting" and "Eternal" in the foregoing texts are synonymous.
That Jesus Christ, whom we also know as Jehovah, was the executive of the Father, Elohim, in the work of creation is set forth in the book, Jesus the Christ, Chapter 4. Jesus Christ, being the Creator is consistently called the Father of heaven and earth in the sense explained above; and since His creations are of Eternal quality He is very properly called the Eternal Father of heaven and earth.
3. Jesus Christ the "Father" of Those Who Abide in His Gospel—A second sense in which Jesus Christ is regarded as the "Father" has reference to the relationship between Him and those who accept His Gospel and thereby become heirs of eternal life. Following are a few of the scriptures illustrating this meaning.
In the fervent prayer offered just prior to His entrance into Gethsemane, Jesus Christ supplicated His Father in behalf of those whom the Father had given unto Him, specifically the apostles, and more generally, all who would accept and abide in the Gospel through the ministry of the apostles. Read in our Lord's own words the solemn affirmation that those for whom He particularly prayed were His own, and that His Father had given them unto Him; "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are mine. And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled." (John 17:6-12.)
And further: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:20-24.)
To His faithful servants in the present dispensation the Lord has said: "Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me." (D. & C. 50:41.)
Salvation is attainable only through compliance with the laws and ordinances of the Gospel; and all who are thus saved become sons and daughters unto God in a distinctive sense. In a revelation given through Joseph the Prophet to Emma Smith the Lord Jesus addressed the woman as "My daughter," and said: "for verily I say unto you, all those who receive my gospel are sons and daughters in my kingdom." (D. & C. 25:1.) In many instances the Lord has addressed men as His sons (e.g. D. & C. 9:1; 34:3; 121:7.)
That by obedience to the Gospel men may become sons of God, both as sons of Jesus Christ, and, through Him, as sons of His Father, is set forth in many revelations given in the current dispensation. Thus we read in an utterance of the Lord Jesus Christ to Hyrum Smith in 1829: "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the life and the light of the world. I am the same who came unto mine own and mine own received me not; But verily, verily, I say unto you, that as many as receive me, to them will I give power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on my name. Amen." D. & C. 11:28-30.) To Orson Pratt the Lord spoke through Joseph the Seer, in 1830: "My son Orson, hearken and hear and behold what I, the Lord God, shall say unto you, even Jesus Christ your Redeemer; The light and the life of the world, a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not; Who so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons of God. Wherefore you are my son." (D. & C. 34:1-3.) In 1830 the Lord thus addressed Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon: "Listen to the voice of the Lord your God, even Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, whose course is one eternal round, the same today as yesterday, and for ever. I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one." (D. & C. 35:1-2.) Consider also the following given in 1831: "Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I AM, even Jesus Christ—The light and the life of the world; a light which shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not: The same which came in the meridian of time unto my own, and my own received me not; But to as many as received me, gave I power to become my sons, and even so will I give unto as many as will receive me, power to become my sons." (D. & C. 39:1-4.) In a revelation given through Joseph Smith in March, 1831 we read: "For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the light and the life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not. I came unto my own, and my own received me not; but unto as many as received me, gave I power to do many miracles, and to become the sons of God; and even unto them that believed on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life." (D. & C. 45:7-8.)
A forceful exposition of this relationship between Jesus Christ as the Father and those who comply with the requirements of the Gospel as His children was given by Abinadi, centuries before our Lord's birth in the flesh: "And now I say unto you, Who shall declare his generation? Behold, I say unto you, that when his soul has been made an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. And now what say ye? And who shall be his seed? Behold I say unto you, that whosoever has heard the words of the prophets, yea, all the holy prophets who have prophesied concerning the coming of the Lord—I say unto you, that all those who have hearkened unto their words, and believed that the Lord would redeem his people, and have looked forward to that day for a remission of their sins, I say unto you, that these are his seed, or they are the heirs of the kingdom of God. For these are they whose sins he has borne; these are they for whom he has died to redeem them from their transgressions. And now, are they not his seed? Yea, and are not the prophets, every one that has opened his mouth to prophesy, that has not fallen into transgression, I mean all the holy prophets ever since the world began? I say unto you that they are his seed." (Mosiah 15:10-13.)
In tragic contrast with the blessed state of those who become children of God through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that of the unregenerate, who are specifically called the children of the devil. Note the words of Christ, while in the flesh, to certain wicked Jews who boasted of their Abrahamic lineage: "If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. . . . Ye do the deeds of your father. . . . If God were your Father, ye would love me. . . . Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." (John 8, 39, 41, 42, 44.) Thus Satan is designated as the father of the wicked, though we cannot assume any personal relationship of parent and children as existing between him and them. A combined illustration showing that the righteous are the children of God and the wicked the children of the devil appears in the parable of the Tares: "The good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one." (Matt. 13:38.)
Men may become children of Jesus Christ by being born anew—born of God, as the inspired word states: "He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3:8-10.)
Those who have been born unto God through obedience to the Gospel may by valiant devotion to righteousness obtain exaltation and even reach the status of godhood. Of such we read: "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God." (D. & C. 76:58; compare 132:20, and contrast paragraph 17 in same section; see also paragraph 37.) Yet, though they be gods they are still subject to Jesus Christ as their Father in this exalted relationship; and so we read in the paragraph following the above quotation: "and they are Christ's and Christ is God's." (D. & C. 76:59.)
By the new birth—that of water and the Spirit—mankind may become children of Jesus Christ, being through the means by Him provided "begotten sons and daughters unto God." (D. & C. 76:24.) This solemn truth is further emphasized in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ given through Joseph Smith in 1833: "And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn." (D. & C. 93:21, 22.) For such figurative use of the term "begotten" in application to those who are born unto God see Paul's explanation: "for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel." (1 Cor. 4:15.) An analogous instance of sonship attained by righteous service is found in the revelation relating to the order and functions of Priesthood, given in 1832: "For whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies. They become the sons of Moses and of Aaron and the seed of Abraham, and the church and kingdom, and the elect of God." (D. & C. 84:33, 34.)
If it be proper to speak of those who accept and abide in the Gospel as Christ's sons and daughters—and upon this matter the scriptures are explicit and cannot be gainsaid nor denied—it is consistently proper to speak of Jesus Christ as the Father of the righteous, they having become His children and He having been made their Father through the second birth—the baptismal regeneration.
4. Jesus Christ the "Father" by Divine Investiture of Authority. A third reason for applying the title "Father" to Jesus Christ is found in the fact that in all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. This is true of Christ in His preexistent, antemortal, or unembodied state in the which He was known as Jehovah; also during His embodiment in the flesh; and during His labors as a disembodied spirit in the realm of the dead; and since that period in His resurrected state. To the Jews He said: "I and my Father are one," (John 10:30; see also 17:11, 22.); yet He declared "My Father is greater than I," (John 14:28.); and further, "I am come in my Father's name." (John 5:43; see also 10:25.) The same truth was declared by Christ Himself to the Nephites (see 3 Nephi 20:35 and 28:10.), and has been reaffirmed by revelation in the present dispensation. (D. & C. 50:43.) Thus the Father placed His name upon the Son; and Jesus Christ spoke and ministered in and through the Father's name; and so far as power, authority and Godship are concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father.
We read, by way of analogy, that God placed his name upon or in the Angel who was assigned to special ministry unto the people of Israel during the exodus. Of that Angel the Lord said: "Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him." (Exodus 23:21.)
The ancient apostle, John, was visited by an angel who ministered and spoke in the name of Jesus Christ. As we read: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John." (Revelation 1:1.) John was about to worship the angelic being who spoke in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but was forbidden: "And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book; worship God." (Rev. 22:8, 9.) And then the angel continued to speak as though he were the Lord Himself: "And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." (verses 12, 13.) The resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ, who had been exalted to the right hand of God His Father, had placed His name upon the angel sent to John, and the angel spoke in the first person, saying "I come quickly," "I am Alpha and Omega," though he meant that Jesus Christ would come, and that Jesus Christ was Alpha and Omega.
None of these considerations, however, can change in the least degree the solemn fact of the literal relationship of Father and Son between Elohim and Jesus Christ. Among the spirit children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ to whom all others are juniors. Following are affirmative scriptures bearing upon this great truth. Paul, writing to the Colossians, says of Jesus Christ: "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell." (Colossians 1:15-19.) From this scripture we learn that Jesus Christ was "the firstborn of every creature" and it is evident that the seniority here expressed must be with respect to antemortal existence, for Christ was not the senior of all mortals in the flesh. He is further designated as "the firstborn from the dead," this having reference to Him as the first to be resurrected from the dead, or as elsewhere written "the first fruits of them that slept." (1 Corinthians 15:20, see also verse 23.); and "the first begotten of the dead." (Revelation 1:5; compare Acts 26:23.) The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews affirms the status of Jesus Christ as the firstborn of the spirit children of His Father, and extols the preeminence of the Christ when tabernacled in flesh: "And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him." (Hebrews 1:6; read the preceding verses.) That the spirits who were juniors to Christ were predestined to be born in the image of their Elder Brother is thus attested by Paul: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:28, 29.) John the Revelator was commanded to write to the head of the Laodicean church, as the words of the Lord Jesus Christ: "These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God." (Revelation 3:14.) In the course of a revelation given through Joseph Smith in May, 1833, the Lord Jesus Christ said as before cited: "And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn." (D. & C. 93:21.) A later verse makes plain the fact that human beings generally were similarly existent in spirit state prior to their embodiment in the flesh: "Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth." (verse 23.)
There is no impropriety, therefore, in speaking of Jesus Christ as the Elder Brother of the rest of human kind. That He is by spiritual birth Brother to the rest of us is indicated in Hebrews: "Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people." (Hebrews 2:17.) Let it not be forgotten, however, that He is essentially greater than any and all others, by reason (1) of His seniority as the oldest or firstborn; (2) of His unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and of an immortal, or resurrected and glorified, Father; (3) of His selection and fore-ordination as the one and only Redeemer and Savior of the race; and (4) of His transcendent sinlessness.
Jesus Christ is not the Father of the spirits who have taken or yet shall take bodies upon this earth, for He is one of them. He is The Son, as they are sons or daughters of Elohim. So far as the stages of eternal progression and attainment have been made known through divine revelation, we are to understand that only resurrected and glorified beings can become parents of spirit offspring. Only such exalted souls have reached maturity in the appointed course of eternal life; and the spirits born to them in the eternal worlds will pass in due sequence through the several stages or estates by which the glorified parents have attained exaltation.
The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City, Utah, June 30, 1916.*****
His names are vast and many. Each tends to tell more about Him. And many of the names applied to the Son of God are also applied to His Father, God the Father. This is not uncommon. When a son is so much like his father, the sames names do well apply to both. And it is common for the father to give his son his own name. That is the Son is named after the Father. In the case of Jesus Christ of God His Father, this is very much the case. To we who study the scriptures, it is important that many of the names applied to God are all in reference to Jehovah, whether Jehovah is speaking as though being His Father or is speaking for and in behalf of the His Father, it is Jehovah, the Son, who is the administrating God of the Old Testament. And when he speaks as His Father, he is speaking in the name of the Father, having been given full power and authority to do so.
Like Joseph Smith Jr. was named after his father Joseph Smith Sr. and just Alma the younger was name after his father, Alma the elder, and so on. Mosiah II was named after his grandfather Mosiah I. Mormon was named after his father Mormon. And so it is with Christ, not only in the many similar roles in discriptive names are the Father and the Son often called by the same name, but in many other seemingly proper names is the Son also called after and by many of the names of his Father. Once we understand this, then we possess another key to understanding the scriptures. Christ stated in the first section, the Lord's preface, of the Doctrine and Covenants 'that whether it be by my own voice or by the voice of by prophets, it is the same.' So it is the same 'whether by the voice of the Father or by the voice of the Son, it is the same. And God the Father established Christ, one from among us, to be a member of the Godhead and to be God's chosen redeemer to act for and in behalf of the Father in all things. Thus Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament is one and the same as Jesus Christ. He was appoint, anointed and ordained to be so by the hand of the Father. It is through Christ, God the Father's chosen Redeemer that we are saved. And there is none other under heaven by whom we are saved. Christ is our God as appointed by the Father from the very foundations of this creation.
In short, the names of God, the names which may be applied to the Father may also be applied to the Son of the Father. The attributes and names which represent the one, also represent the other. Not that they are one and the same being, for they are two separated and individual beings. But that what the Father is, the Son is also. They are both Eternal, they are both Almighty, they are both God. And the Father has placed the Son to be his mediator between he and his children of the spirit. For Christ was one among us, and his Father, our Father did select him and place his power and authority upon him, that he might be our king and represent God the Father unto us.