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Christ's Glory before and After his Mortal Life


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John 17 is known as the Great Intercessory Prayer. Many times, I have read this. Many Times I have used this in defense of the LDS position that Christ is separate and distinct from the Father. Yet, as I am preparing a new blog article, I noticed something quite peculiar in the 17th chapter of this magnificent gospel.

4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
The peculiarity that I noticed here is the wording. First, Christ states that he had glorified the Father here on Earth. The Greek word here is doxazo and means several things:

1) to think, suppose, be of opinion

2) to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate

3) to honour, do honour to, hold in honour

4) to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendour

a) to impart glory to something, render it excellent

b) to make renowned, render illustrious

1) to cause the dignity and worth of some person or thing to become manifest and acknowledged

We know that in Christ's life, he did exactly that - Glorified the Father through praise, extolation, magnifying and celebration. He also honored his Father and His Father's will. Even more interesting is that as Christ continued to pray, he requested that the Father to Glorify Him (Christ) with the Glory he (Christ) had before his mortal ministry. The second Glory refers to the Greek doxsa and means a variety of things, including a most exalted state of existence.

Now, why do I find this interesting? Well, something has bothered me quite some time. I could not put my finger on it until now.

We all know and agree that one of the tenets of Mormonism is that Jesus Christ is our older brother, that we all are spiritually begotten (how we are, we do not know for sure, but one verse in Abraham states that we were intelligences prior to our spiritual creation), and that Satan is not only our brother as well, but Christ's brother.

In dealing with the treatment of Christ and Satan being Spirit brothers, many critics of the LDS Faith vehemently deny this. They also deny that Christ is not a created being because he created all things in Heaven and in Earth. They make a leap that by including the creation of our spiritual beings prior to coming to this earth. They reason that if Christ created all things, including our pre-existent spirits, then Christ could not be the creator of all things, but that he was also created as well. This latter part hints toward the Arain controversy that caused the first major doctrinal schism within the early Church.

Yet, here is my question: Where is the proof that Christ existed eternally without being created? What scripture do they base this on? While the critics may bring up some Old Testament Passages that state that God existed from all eternity to all eternity, there is severe flaws in their reasoning and interpretation. One, those scriptures speak specifically about Christ. In the Old Testament, he is the God of Israel. He is the Son of the Most High who received Jacob as his alloted inheritance. In the New Testament, he is the Great Redeemer and Savior of fallen humanity. Post New Testament, he is the resurrected Lord and Savior that is exalted and seated on the right hand of God, the Father.

In these two passages of John 17, Christ speaks about his purpose behind the mortal ministry he had participated in. He came to do the will of the Father. What was the will of the Father? The Plan of Salvation is the Will of the Father. So, when Christ prays that he receives back his exalted state that he held previously in the pre-existence, this leads me to believe that Christ had achieved a higher state of existence that alloted him a greater glory than any other one of us. It is the reason why he was chosen by our Heavenly Father as to being the Redeemer of the World, because the Father instinctively knew that Christ had already attained something we have not yet attained in the pre-existence.

What does this have to do with Christ being created or not being created? The essence Christ shares with the Father is the state of exaltation and glory. So, in one sense, yes, Christ emptied himself of His divine Glory. He left his Pre-existent state of Exaltation to come and do the will of the Father. He received his Exalted state upon his return, and took back his seat of authority and power. Yet, this does not prove that Christ existed from all eternity, from everlasting to everlasting. Nowhere in Scripture do we find anything that says Christ had always existed with God, except from that which has already been revealed in due time and course. Meaning, we do not know how long Christ existed with the Father. We do not know how long we had existed with the Father. We do know that we all were created from intelligences, fashioned with spiritual bodies, and that we were created in the image of God, the Father. We also know that Christ created everything that exists in Heaven and Earth by and through the authority and power of Heavenly Father.

We also know that Christ is separate and distinct from the Father, having a body of flesh and bone, resurrected, glorified and exalted.

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John 1

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2The same was in the beginning with God.

3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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The point here is that Christ requests to have the same Exalted Glory reinstated that he had with the Father in the Beginning.

A) This truly points to Christ and the Father being Separate and distinct from another

B) Christ had attained an exalted state in the Premortal existence and therefore was able to be the chosen redeemer of humanity

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