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JERRY - Was Jesus a God before he came to earth and received a body? If so then why is a body needed to progress?
JOEL - Of course we know that Jesus eventually came down to obtain a body, which fullfilled that particular requirement for godhood. The question should be why did Jesus do things out of order compared to the rest of us?
The status of Jesus being a God, without obtaining an exalted resurrected body first, should be considered a special case. He was the first born in the spirit and the only begotten in the flesh. He was destined to be born on earth, atone for our sins and bring about the resurrection. If He already had a body he could not have done this. Consider the following scripture where, while on earth, Jesus prayed for the return of His pre-earth
"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was" (John 17:5).
Jesus was "like unto God" (Abr. 3:19, 24) in the pre-earth life and and served as the representative of the Father in the creation of "worlds without number" (Heb. 1:1-3; D&C 76:24; Moses 1:33; 7:30).
John testifies that Jesus was God before His birth,
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." (John 1: 1, 14)
"The Word" (Jesus) "was God" before He "was made flesh". Doing things a little out of order compared to us, does not disqualify Him for Godhood. We however have been commanded to obtain our bodies first so we can experience this life prove ourselves worthy and become the kind of person that would merit eternal life and eventual exaltation. We must become perfect as explained by the Savior in the following verses:
"And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me." (Matt 19: 16-21)
Jesus was somehow able to perfect Himself without experiencing life first.
JERRY - Were the angles that appeared to Joseph Smith the prophets from the bible, or where they resurrected beings?
JOEL - Yes, they were resurrected prophets from the Bible. We learn from the Doctrine and Covenants that all the prophets from Moses to John the Revelator were resurrected with Christ.
"And from Moses to Elijah, and from Elijah to John, who were with Christ in his resurrection, and the holy apostles, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, shall be in the presence of the Lamb. (D&C 133: 55).
Oscar McConkie in his book "Angels" said, refering to the appearance of Moses to Joseph Smith:
"Moses, in his indispensable role in committing "the keys of the gathering of Israel . . . and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north" (D&C 110:11) in this dispensation, was a resurrected personage. It has been heretofore observed that when he appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration in the meridian of time, he was a translated being." ("Angels", Oscar McConkie, p. 26)
Any angels involved in the restoration of the gospel such as Elias, Moroni, John the Baptist, Peter, James, John and Moroni were resurrected beings (D&C 129:1); a requirement necessary for any physical interaction with mortals such as bestoal of the priesthood or handling the gold plates as in the case of Moroni.