Now let’s dig a bit deeper…
I believe that because of the benevolent government of our Father in Heaven, we are free to make choices. I believe that Father doesn’t just want us to make good choices, he wants us to choose to make good choices. Choosing to do good rather than being forced to do good is the only way to become like Father. I believe that laws which govern the universe will dictate the consequences of our choices. I believe our Father in Heaven’s laws are the same as the eternal laws of the universe, and his compliance to these laws gives him maximum power and authority.
As we learn to obey the laws of the universe, we like Father can gain maximum power and authority to govern our posterity like he governs his. Father made our spirits, and sent us to earth to get bodies. Some day when we have passed through our trials on earth, we too will be able to make spirits and send them to earths to learn and grow to become like ourselves.
There is no beginning of existence. Father in heaven has a father, and so on. Life continues forever and everyone including God himself has parents. Our Father in Heaven once dwelt on an earth like we are dwelling on. Father in Heaven has a wife, whom is our Mother in Heaven. They progressed together until they reached their current exalted status of Gods. The purpose of the human race isn’t just to worship God, but is to become like God.
As the children of God, we can, through the help of Jesus Christ and each other, find our way to the blessings and inheritance of God. Jesus Christ found his way to Godhood by worshiping the Father. If we follow the example of Jesus Christ in word and deed, sincerely repenting when we fall short, we like Jesus Christ and like our heavenly parents, can become exalted Gods. We will then do what they do, namely benevolently rule our innumerable posterity on thrones in kingdoms of glory forever, helping our posterity to find joy like us.
Only in abiding by the laws of the universe can one find complete and never-ending joy. A God is someone who has found this fullness of joy by obedience to eternal law, and the offering of self for the sake of others. In addition to complete joy, the office of Godhood includes never ending glory and power for good.
We are the literal posterity of our Father and Mother in Heaven, in that their spiritual goodness and their physical DNA are at the core of our spirits and bodies, and in that they are responsible for helping each of us intrinsically & independently intelligent beings to progress in spirits and bodies in ways similar to how our parents on earth help us. For their absolutely essential role in our development, we will forever praise both our Heavenly Parents, and our earthly parents. Our need for the help of God to make progress in life is so great, that we must worship God and rely upon his power and teachings to obtain the highest outcome of our eternal existence. The life we live now is called the second estate. The first estate was our pre-earth life when we lived in the presence of God. For doing well in our first estate, we have glory. If we do well in this our second estate, we will have glory forever, and much more so than we currently enjoy.
Before coming to earth, some of Father’s children rejected his teachings, and chose to not come to earth to obtain bodies and continue on the path toward Godhood. Those children tragically account for 1/3 of all of Father’s children. The leader of these fallen 1/3 is named Lucifer. Lucifer was a beloved son of God, but because he unrighteously sought to gain power which he had not earned, and to use that power to force others to obey him, he was thrust out from the presence of God, and is the enemy of God who we call Satan.
Satan will never receive a body, and thus can never have a fullness of joy. The 2/3 of Father’s children who chose to come to earth to be tested and tried in bodies will all die, but will regain their bodies in their perfect form in what is called the resurrection of the dead. After the resurrection of the dead, all people who lived on earth will have bodies again, and will never taste of death again.
Father’s plan for us his children involved sending us to earth to gain bodies, obtaining character growth on earth through the difficulties of life including eventual death, the reception of bodies in the resurrection. Note that Father respects us his children and allowed us to choose whether we wanted to come to earth, and once on earth, Father allows us to do as we please. Father assists us by eventually blessing those who make good choices, and cursing those who make poor choices. These blessings and cursings are from Father, and are often manifest as natural consequences of our actions. Our heavenly parents weep for us when we make bad choices, because they know those choices will inevitably bring suffering. Remember, no one can break the rules of the universe, not even God.
In order to further assist us, Father’s plan involved a Savior. The Savior would be someone strong enough to take upon himself the natural punishments for the wrong doings committed by the human race. This intersession would make possible a loving learning environment with second chances, helping us to grow up without experiencing the full weight of consequences, similar to how an earthly parent removes many of the natural consequences of its young children by acting in their behalf.
Jesus Christ, formerly known as Jehovah before he was born on earth, was the only person qualified to satisfy this role of Savior of mankind. He chose to accept this calling. Because he chose to accept his calling for us, he suffered more than we can comprehend, and the laws of the universe were upheld. Justice was served. The natural results of imperfect compliance with the laws of the universe are pain and death of the body, and anguish of spirit. Lucifer was incapable of paying this price to redeem the human race from their fallen and incomplete condition, he was satisfied to allow the human race to remain in anguish and without bodies, and wanted to replace Father as ruler of all people.
Lucifer erroneously thought that he could force everyone to obey the laws of the universe, and thus save everyone to some degree, at least enough to make them his subjects forever in his kingdom. Forced charity is of the Devil,
and doesn’t help humans grow into their divine
potential. This of course would deny Father’s children the opportunity to fully mature into the status of Gods themselves, as forced charity isn’t charity at all, and the trait of charity is the bedrock of Godhood. Father’s plan involved letting people chose for themselves whether they wanted to participate in his plan and come to earth, and his plan involved allowing them to grow from freedom to make mistakes while on earth. The Savior would give essential assistance to the human race in their quest for the divine and the fullness of joy that comes with it.
When Jehovah was born on earth, he assumed the title of Jesus Christ, which translated has the general meaning of anointed (chosen) savior. He then accomplished his intersession for the human race by both suffering anguish in his spirit, and both pain and death in his body. Because of his unique divine power similar to that of Father himself, which power he indeed received from Father, Jesus experienced the equivalent of tens of billions of deaths, tens of billions of pains, sorrows, and torments of every kind, satisfying the demands of justice for every person who chose to come to this earth and other earths inhabited by children of our Father.
The 1/3 in pre-earth life who rejected God’s plan and chose not to come to earth but to rather elect Lucifer as their leader who could offer them a compromised but to them seemingly more realistic reward had this in common: they did not trust Jehovah’s ability to redeem them, and they thought that life on earth would just be too hard overall, so why even bother trying when so much war death pain and sorrow would invariably be involved as a natural consequence of giving the human race the power to make their own choices, for good or evil.
The 2/3 who chose to follow Father’s plan centered their hopes on Jehovah, that mighty firstborn son of God who had remarkably already obtained the character needed to save all of us his fellow kin. Because of the breathtakingly critical and massive role that Jehovah would assume in our salvation, he became a God to us, and in a large sense of the word, he became a father to us.
A third major assistant was made available to us, a man who would be known as the Holy Ghost. This man does not yet have a body, and as a spirit, uses the mighty power he developed in the pre-earth existence to communicate to us truths from Father. The bible and the book of Mormon are the most historically well-preserved books of all time. They show us that Jehovah (translated as LORD in most English versions of the text) played a very close role with the human race throughout the history of human experience on the earth. In 1820, Father appeared to Joseph Smith, and with him Jesus Christ appeared. Father told Joseph “this is my beloved son, hear him”. Both the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ always bear witness that Father in Heaven is our God who upholds the just laws of the universe. We love Father in Heaven because not only does he uphold justice and fairness, but he provided a Savior for us, so we could overcome the many hurdles in our path toward becoming people of justice and perfect character like himself.
In this life, generally speaking, we do not see Father, and the Holy Ghost assists us in our quest for truth and righteousness. Every person who comes to this earth, because of having elected Jesus Christ in the pre-earth life, possesses the light of Christ. This light is a power within us which comes from Jesus Christ to assist us in our quest. Another term for the light of Christ is conscience. Everyone on this earth, no matter how little they have been formally exposed to the teachings of Jesus Christ by his authorized texts and messengers, can respond to conscience, or reject it. We all know deep down that we should treat each other fairly, and be merciful to each other whenever possible.
Couples of man and wife can combine their powers to become like our heavenly parents. The ultimate expression of power and authority can only operate when man and woman make an eternal covenant of marriage to act together in all things for good. We all die, but will come back to live with our bodies in the near future, and like Father and Mother in heaven, we will forever possess bodies of flesh and blood which we will use to have joy. Our spirits are incomplete without our bodies. I believe that our Father in Heaven has, in every generation, made us aware of the truths and laws of the universe through face to face personal demonstrations in the pre-earth existence, then again, a second time during this our mortal life through the operations of conscience, from divine angelic messengers sent from the presence of God (God meaning Father and Mother in heaven), and from the messages of prophets.