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TOM - I'll bet you have already answered this question a time or two. How is it that Christ was a God and was a member of the Godhead in the pre-mortal life and in mortality even before he was perfected and resurrected and exalted? How can he be eternal, if like us he had a spiritual beginning, being born of the father in the pre-mortal life? Is it Devine investiture...he's so united with the father that he can speak as though he were him there for those things are true of him until he receives them for himself?

JOEL - I have indeed tried to answer this question several times, as have many others, without much success. It's a hard concept to understand.
Actually, in a sense we are all eternal. We all, including Jesus, existed in the eternal past as intelligences, until our spiritual bodies were created. Therefore Jesus, who was destined to become our God before he was born spiritually, can be considered eternal God, as well as some of us who are destined to become Gods in the future.

One definition of the word "God", describes Our Heavenly Father who is a resurrected, exhalted being who went through the entire process of becoming "God the Father" a long time ago. Christ fulfilled another definition of the word "God" when He took part in the creation of this earth. He did come closer to becoming a God like His Father after he obtained a body and was resurrected. 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 life status:

"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)

in other words the glory of being a God.

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 before or after he was born.

The Holy Ghost has always been considered a God even though He does not have a body. This was necessary for him to do what is needed for him to do.

The rest of us must first gain a body before we can ever consider becoming fully God ourselves, even though we might consider ourselves "gods in embryo". When we become fully Gods ourselves, we can also be called "eternal god".

Another way to look at the title "eternal God", is to apply it to the divine rather than to the physical nature of God or to time. For example when we say "eternal life", we are not just talking about living forever; we are describing the kind of life we would have living with eternal God. In the same sense "Eternal God" can equate to the state of being devine, or to the kind of person God is as a glorified being.

Your idea of devine investure might be just as valid an explanation as the ones I have offered.

In the Book of Mormon we read:
..and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. (Alma 11:44)

Because Jesus is a member of the godhead and they work together as one eternal God, Jesus can represent the eternal Father and therefore be called "eternal God".

So I suppose some of this might depend on what the word "eternal" means. There really is no clear way to fully understand how Jesus can be eternal God but still have had a beginning as a spirit or physical being. The scriptures are sometimes a little confusing on this subject.

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