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My understanding is that it was a very distinct doctrine of the LDS church that you had to obtain a body before being able to obtain godhood. It's a very interesting point you bring up about the Holy Spirit. What then was the importance of us obtaining a body (per LDS doctrine)?

 

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3 hours ago, Becky Anderson said:

I really need help on this topic so I appreciate your help. 

How was Jesus God in heaven if he had not yet obtained a body?

 

He was a little g God not a Big G God before he came to earth an obtained his body. Upon his return to his father, he received his big G status. That’s exactly what happened.

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This is still over my head, because it's only recently (last few years) that I'm told that Jesus is God. And separate from the big G God, as Mike Drop mentioned. And still have trouble with Jesus being God and our elder brother, but maybe it's brother with a big B. ;) And I'm not the brightest when it comes to scripture. I'm glad you presented the question and hopefully it will teach me how to look at this the right way. But really, I shouldn't have only seen Jesus as only our elder brother before but glad I was wrong because it never sat well with me to begin with and has not been the case, and I was late to the party.

Edited by Tacenda
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1 hour ago, Mike Drop said:

He was a little g God not a Big G God before he came to earth an obtained his body. Upon his return to his father, he received his big G status. That’s exactly what happened.

I'm quite certain that capitalization has nothing to do with it.

5 hours ago, Becky Anderson said:

I really need help on this topic so I appreciate your help. 

How was Jesus God in heaven if he had not yet obtained a body?

Welcome, Becky.  Good question.

Obtaining a physical body is definitely part of progressing to become like God the Father, but it isn't necessarily part of the definition of what makes a being a "God".  And people from different faiths have different ideas on the definition of "God".

God is eternal, God is sinless, God is a creator, God is holy.  Jesus was all these things in the pre-mortal life.  

In the book, Jesus the Christ, James E. Talmage had this to say about "The Antemortal Godship of Christ":

Quote

The Antemortal Godship of Christ

It now becomes our purpose to inquire as to the position and status of Jesus the Christ in the antemortal world, from the period of the solemn council in heaven, in which He was chosen to be the future Savior and Redeemer of mankind, to the time at which He was born in the flesh.

We claim scriptural authority for the assertion that Jesus Christ was and is God the Creator, the God who revealed Himself to Adam, Enoch, and all the antediluvial patriarchs and prophets down to Noah; the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of Israel as a united people, and the God of Ephraim and Judah after the disruption of the Hebrew nation; the God who made Himself known to the prophets from Moses to Malachi; the God of the Old Testament record; and the God of the Nephites. We affirm that Jesus Christ was and is Jehovah, the Eternal One.  (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Ch.4, p.32)

In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Nephi refers to the pre-mortal Jesus Christ as "God" in no uncertain terms:

2 Nephi 26:12;  "And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;"

There are several other examples of Jesus being called "God" before he received a body in the Book of Mormon too.

Edited by InCognitus
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9 hours ago, Becky Anderson said:

My understanding is that it was a very distinct doctrine of the LDS church that you had to obtain a body before being able to obtain godhood. It's a very interesting point you bring up about the Holy Spirit. What then was the importance of us obtaining a body (per LDS doctrine)?

 

I truly think that must have been taught somewhere. I remember when I realized that Jesus was God without a body, but I have never figured out where that idea came from.  It's obviously not true.

 

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11 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Jesus obtained  body in mortality and He did what He saw His Father do. All of us spiritual peons will also have a resurrected body . Speculation alert !!! The Holy Ghost maybe be a titled position. 

A wise suggestion, since Holy Spirit is clearly not a name.

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12 hours ago, Becky Anderson said:

My understanding is that it was a very distinct doctrine of the LDS church that you had to obtain a body before being able to obtain godhood. It's a very interesting point you bring up about the Holy Spirit. What then was the importance of us obtaining a body (per LDS doctrine)?

Two problems:  (1) Our own liturgy makes clear that there are multiple gods at Creation, organizing everything.  (2) The accepted sequence of time is ignored by that same liturgy in that it has authoritative characters from later periods teaching in the primeval period.  This is only possible if we suspend time constraints, or we define everything as merely symbolic.

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4 hours ago, Rain said:

I truly think that must have been taught somewhere. I remember when I realized that Jesus was God without a body, but I have never figured out where that idea came from.  It's obviously not true.

 

Specifically taught here if we assume that becoming like our Father is how we become gods…but perhaps becoming gods is just part of becoming like our Father, it is just a step on the way.

Quote

One of the great blessings we received when we came to earth was a physical body. We need a physical body to become like our Heavenly Father.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-29-the-lords-law-of-health?lang=eng

It is sort of taught in lots of places…for example:

Quote

One foundational gospel truth about the body is the principle that having a physical body is a godlike attribute—you are more like God with a body than without. Our religion stands virtually alone in believing that God has a tangible body of flesh and bone and that our bodies were literally created in His likeness. In the Pearl of Great Price we read that “in the image of his own body, male and female, created he them” (see Moses 6:8–9). To become as God is requires gaining a body like He has and learning to correctly comprehend and use it.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2005/07/the-body-a-sacred-gift?lang=eng


And here:  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-5-the-creation?lang=eng

I am guessing it is required for us because we were not as gifted as the Father nor the Son and we needed either the experience of having a body to learn how to control the physical nature of things or having a body gives us additional abilities that Christ had prior to mortality…he had obviously already learned how to control his own physical nature even before he had a physical body given he was sinless.

Spirit is refined matter in our doctrine, whatever that means, so we are not saying Christ had an immaterial body when he was a spirit, nor is the Holy Ghost what we think of when we typically hear “ghost”.  We should probably stick to calling him the Holy Spirit.

Edited by Calm
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13 hours ago, Becky Anderson said:

My understanding is that it was a very distinct doctrine of the LDS church that you had to obtain a body before being able to obtain godhood. It's a very interesting point you bring up about the Holy Spirit. What then was the importance of us obtaining a body (per LDS doctrine)?

 

In order to have a fullness of joy, we must have both the spiritual and physical.

Quote

33 For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy;

34 And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy.


https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/93?lang=eng&id=33#p33

Quote

17 Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/138?lang=eng&id=17#p17
 

 That which made God God was present in Christ before he was born, but that which makes the Father all that he is was not, in my belief.  Even Christ needed to progress to become all that the Father is (in my opinion)…he just had much less progression to make than the rest of us, I am guessing.

This might be interesting for some:

https://rsc.byu.edu/jesus-christ-son-god-savior/premortal-godhood-christ-restoration-perspective

Edited by Calm
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It has been awhile, but we have discussed whether a physical body is needed for Godhood before…one such time:

cksalmon, who opens the thread, is not a Latter-day Saint and challenges many of our beliefs:

 

Edited by Calm
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I appreciate all the respectful replies to my question. I was born and raised in a Pentecostal church and have studied the Bible quite extensively. I had so many questions through the years and those which could not be answered,  I was told to accept on "blind faith". I converted to the LDS church after studying diligently for 2 years and I have a strong testimony of the restored gospel. However, this appears to be another topic to take on blind faith. I struggle with this. I will continue to study and I sincerely would appreciate any further thoughts you may have regarding  this topic. Although I am well educated, I'm still in the weeds on this one. I may have shared more in this post than you are interested in but I thought it might be helpful to understand some of my history. This is one of the questions I get asked most often from friends and family of my previous faith. I simply want to be prepared with an answer. Once again, thank you for your help.

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20 hours ago, strappinglad said:

Apparently , having a body is not an absolute requirement for being a part of the Godhead. ( see Holy Spirit )

You could also say (see the devil) because if Jesus was a god before his mortal life here on earth, before he had a body, that means Satan was also a god and still is possibly. No?

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1 hour ago, Mike Drop said:

Satan was also a god and still is possibly. No?

I suppose, if you can provide the correct definition. It is suggested that he is the " god of this world " Mind you , it seems he will be ruled by the SOP because they have a body and he doesn't. 

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3 hours ago, Becky Anderson said:

However, this appears to be another topic to take on blind faith.

May I ask you to clarify what it is that needs to be given blind faith?  I am not sure what you mean…that Jesus was God before he was born?  That we need bodies to progress to be gods even if he didn’t?  That a fullness of joy can only be found in the joining of the spiritual and the physical?  Something else?

Edited by Calm
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36 minutes ago, strappinglad said:

I suppose, if you can provide the correct definition. It is suggested that he is the " god of this world " Mind you , it seems he will be ruled by the SOP because they have a body and he doesn't. 

I’m confused, do you believe Jesus was god (a god) before his mortal ministry here in earth? 

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38 minutes ago, Calm said:

May I ask you to clarify what it is that needs to be given blind faith?  I am not sure what you mean…that Jesus was God before he was born?  That we need bodies to progress to be gods even if he didn’t?  That a fullness of joy can only be found in the joining of the spiritual and the physical?  Something else?

The blind faith element comes into play (for me) when I have been continually taught,  since joining the church,  is that you "must" have a mortal body before you could progress to godhood. This is a doctrine very distinct to the LDS faith which concerns me that members do not even have a clear understanding of this doctrine.  Speculation? There is a lot of it out there but that brings me right back to blind faith on how Jesus was God "before" obtaining a mortal body. How is the Holy Spirit part of the Godhead without a body?  It is my opinion that if there is a doctrine of this magnitude then the leaders of the church should be able to provide clarity on this doctrine so people aren't scrambling to find answers. That only creates confusion and causes LDS doctrines such as this to be less credible / believable. 

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40 minutes ago, Becky Anderson said:

It is my opinion that if there is a doctrine of this magnitude then the leaders of the church should be able to provide clarity on this doctrine so people aren't scrambling to find answers.

Hopefully this doesn’t come across as condescending, I am just trying to describe the reality of our experience.  Ultimately we don’t have answers for very much on how stuff works outside of mortality.  It is something members need to learn to live with once they start thinking in those terms rather than assuming we have more than the basic answers.  Why don’t women hold priesthood offices?  Why do we need temple proxy work when the dead could just make commitments on their own?  Why do some people suffer horrendous lives, how can they learn when they are in too much pain to even think or are too young to understand what is happening?  Why do we need baptism so badly we even baptize the dead in proxy and how does that work anyway?  Why is a physical baptism ritual necessary since what is important is our acceptance and commitment and why must it be done by mortals?  Why can’t they just be baptized in their resurrected bodies if a physical baptism is required?  I could go on quite a bit as I have put a lot of thought into this topic.  :) 

What is a question of magnitude to you and likely others or an question of high magnitude to me may not be important from the perspective of what we need to know in order to be prepared to receive salvation and exaltation.  Answers like this can give us comfort and reassurance, but is it necessary for progression?  I think when we look at the purpose of revealed knowledge as to help us in our journey of sanctification, it becomes easier to wait for the answers (speaking as someone who is very curious about how this all works).  Even when it comes to an issue as fundamental to our belief as the Atonement, when you start exploring that, we don’t really know that much.  Another question of even more magnitude from my POV is why did Christ have to suffer in the way that he did, treated as a criminal, humiliated and murdered?  Why wasn’t his suffering in the Garden enough and after that he could have simply laid down his life and died in order to defeat death or lived to an old age and then allowed his body to break down like the rest of ours (since it appears the physical process worked the same for him for the most part since he could feel hunger and could be wounded)….and how did his dying defeat death for us anyway? 

We have at times set up false expectations of revealed knowledge in these areas because we teach we have additional layers of revelations not possessed by other faiths….for example, we present ourselves as having the answers to “where did I come from, why I am here, where am I going”…but those answers are global, general answers about purpose and meaning and do not address the mechanical aspects of eternity.  It is like discussing the meaning of love.  We can focus on how it makes us happier, adds meaning to our lives, makes the world more interesting and enjoyable as well as more anxiety because we are concerned with others besides ourselves and want to protect them or we can discuss love in terms of what part of our brains become more active, physical responses in our bodies or we can talk about love in the abstract as an ideal and get into poetry or philosophy.  We need not to assume because we have been given additional highly significant revelation in one category, God has provided detailed explanations of how it all fits together. Our expectations will eventually run into questions we have no answers for.

The first principle of the Gospel is faith after all.

Edited by Calm
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2 minutes ago, Calm said:

Hopefully this doesn’t come across as condescending, I am just trying to describe the reality of our experience.  Ultimately we don’t have answers for very much on how stuff works outside of mortality.  It is something members need to learn to live with once they start thinking in those terms rather than assuming we have more than the basic answers.

What is a question of magnitude to you and likely others may not be important from the perspective of what we need to know in order to be prepared to receive salvation and exaltation.  Answers like this can give us comfort and reassurance, but is it necessary progression?  I think when we view the purpose of revealed knowledge is to help us in our journey of sanctification, it becomes easier to wait for the answers (speaking as someone who is very curious about how this all works).  Even when it comes to an issue as fundamental to our belief as the Atonement, when you start exploring that, we don’t really know that much.  Another question of even more magnitude from my POV is why did Christ have to suffer in the way that he did, treated as a criminal, humiliated and murdered?  Why wasn’t his suffering in the Garden enough and after that he could have simply laid down his life and died in order to defeat death or lived to an old age and then allowed his body to break down like the rest of ours (since it appears the physical process worked the same for him for the most part since he could feel hunger and could be wounded)….and how did his dying defeat death for us anyway? 

We have at times set up false expectations of revealed knowledge in these areas because we teach we have additional layers of revelations not possessed by other faiths….for example, we present ourselves as having the answers to “where did I come from, why I am here, where am I going”…but those answers are global, general answers about purpose and meaning and do not address the mechanical aspects of eternity.  It is like discussing the meaning of love.  We can focus on how it makes us happier, adds meaning to our lives, makes the world more interesting and enjoyable as well as more anxiety because we are concerned with others besides ourselves and want to protect them or we can discuss love in terms of what part of our brains become more active, physical responses in our bodies or we can talk about love in the abstract as an ideal and get into poetry or philosophy.  We need not to assume because we have been given additional highly significant revelation in one category, God has provided detailed explanations of how it all fits together. Our expectations will eventually run into questions we have no answers for.

The first principle of the Gospel is faith after all.

I did not perceive your response as condescending at all. Thank you for the response. 

My testimony is not affected by not having a full understanding of this topic however, I'm sure you can understand how it is frustrating at times, especially when trying to defend our faith to others. 

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15 minutes ago, Becky Anderson said:

My testimony is not affected by not having a full understanding of this topic however, I'm sure you can understand how it is frustrating at times, especially when trying to defend our faith to others. 

Most definitely.  I am a FAIR member and people write to us a lot looking for answers to questions including the hard, unanswerable ones***.  I would love to be able to give them the security and comfort they are often seeking, but most of the time in the end it comes down to ‘if you want peace, the only truly satisfying source is God, you need to find a way to trust God in this’.
 

 I do believe there is great comfort in knowing you are not the only one struggling and that there is nothing wrong in struggling and that is probably our greatest service beyond the apologetic answers, information about historic events, etc.

***we do apologetics if you don’t know of us, have quite a few scholars providing history and context for scriptures and such as well as those like me who scavenge others’ research if those who write in just want info, but often share personal experiences in hope it opens more options for them to trust the process of life so they can find the one that works for them https://fairlatterdaysaints.org 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, strappinglad said:

yes. He had creative power and admin power.

And that’s where everything gets a little tricky when discussing the Godhead with Christians. If Jesus is a separate God from Heavenly Father even before receiving a body, then his brother Lucifer was probably a god. Was Lucifer part of the Godhead before the war in heaven? And if you think about, the way he’s portrayed in certain LDS videos, is he part of the Godhead now? Heavenly Father has given our brother Satan a lot of power to influence us with! He seems to play a very important an essential role influencing us while here on earth.

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