Before there was a sun, a moon, or even ground to sit on, we all lived in heaven with our heavenly parents. We were their spirit children, and we didn’t have physical bodies yet.
We loved Heavenly Father. And He loved us so much that He wanted us to grow up to be like Him and live with Him forever. He wanted us to know everything He knew. But how could we learn all that?
Heavenly Father had a wonderful plan. He gathered us all together and told us about His plan. He would create a beautiful world with rivers, mountains, flowers, and animals. Then He would give each of us a chance to come to earth and have a physical body. We would be able to hold warm sand in our hands and feel soft grass under our feet.
On earth we would have families. They could feed, protect, and love us.
On earth we wouldn’t be able to remember Heavenly Father, so we would need to learn about Him. The scriptures, the prophets, and our parents could teach us about Him. We would be tempted to disobey, and sometimes we would make mistakes. Sometimes we would get sick, and eventually we would all have to die.
Jehovah was the firstborn of Heavenly Father’s children. He always obeyed His Father. He was like Heavenly Father. He accepted Heavenly Father’s plan. One of the other spirit children of our Heavenly Father, Lucifer, rebelled against the plan. He said we shouldn’t be able to choose between right and wrong.
Heavenly Father said that for His plan to work, someone needed to go to earth to help us learn how to get back to heaven.
Someone needed to show us how to follow Heavenly Father. Who was obedient enough to do it?
Someone needed to atone for our sins so we could repent when we made mistakes. Who was good enough to do it?
Someone needed to die and be resurrected so we could all be resurrected and return to heaven. Who was brave enough and loving enough to do it?
Was anyone willing to do all this for us?
One person was. Our oldest brother, Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27).
How we loved Him for that.
When Jehovah came to earth, He was our Savior. He was called Jesus Christ.
The Name Jehovah
Jehovah is another name for Jesus Christ. In the Old Testament, Jehovah is usually called LORD. After He was born in Bethlehem, He was known as Jesus Christ.
The Godhead has three separate people:
God, our Heavenly Father, is the Father of our spirits. We pray to Him. He has a perfected body of flesh and bone.
Jesus Christ is our Savior. He showed us how Heavenly Father wants us to live. He died and was resurrected. Because of this, we can repent, and we will all be resurrected. Jesus has a perfected body of flesh and bone. We pray to Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ. We also know Him as Jehovah.
The Holy Ghost has a spirit body. Heavenly Father sends the influence of the Holy Ghost to us to comfort us and to help us choose the right.
Physical Bodies and Spirit Bodies
Our physical bodies look like our spirit bodies. After we die and are resurrected, our bodies will be made perfect. They will be healthy and strong. Anything that was wrong with our bodies while we were alive on earth will be corrected. We will each look like our own best self.
Plants, animals, and people on earth are mortal. That means they will live, grow, and eventually die. Death is part of our mortal life on earth, and it is part of Heavenly Father’s plan. If we did not die, we could not return to our home in heaven.
Left: Christ’s Image by Heinrich Hofmann, courtesy C. Harrison Conroy Co. Inc.; background © Nova Development; Storytime in Galilee, by Del Parson; center: illustration by Sam Lawlor; right: photograph © Getty Images; illustration by Beth M. Whittaker