He Received Not of the Fulness at First: When did Jesus Christ BECOME the Son of God?

In a recent interview with John Dehlin, LDS bible scholar David Bokovoy pointed out that some Bible passages declare Jesus Christ to have become (or been “begotten”) as the “Son of God” at the time of Mary’s virgin birth, while others claim that he became the Son of God at his Baptism, and yet others claim it took place AFTER his Crucifixion when he was resurrected, or at the time of his ascension.

Bokovoy finds that to be inconsistent.

He is just one more casualty of higher education and intellectualism who claims he loves the gospel and is a believer in the LDS restoration even though he believes that Joseph Smith fabricated the Book of Mormon, the revelations in the D&C, and virtually everything else.

Go figure.

BTW the Church has been paying this fellow to teach the youth of the Church.

Here is an excerpt of some of Bokovoy’s remarks from the interview:

.. the early Christology was that Jesus Christ became the son of god when he was resurrected, that’s when he became the son of god, then if we take that view which is the earliest one we can document historically and compare that with what we see in Mark, which is the earliest new testament gospel, (Mark was written in about 68 CE or so) and in Mark when was Jesus identified as the Son of God? At the baptism… Mark puts the Godship of Jesus Christ at the start of his ministry, God speaks from heaven:

“This is my beloved Son THIS DAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.”

.. then you get to the next gospels that have been written historically you get to Matthew and Luke and they are the ones that say no no no, jesus was born to a virgin as the Son of God, so Jesus’ divine sonship goes back to his birth.

You can see the way this is evolving, and the last new testament gospel to be written is John

“Before the World Was” (interjected by John Dehlin)

 Exactly.. so you see these things evolve over time and they are just clearly there, you cannot deny them it is just a reality of how Christology developed..”

Listen to 6:45 to 8:55

Again, Bokovoy seems to characterize the supposed multiple declarations of Christ’s Sonship as a delemma. He apparently sees it as proof of doctrinal evolution and how the New Testament supports the notion that Christology evolved and was developed over time with multiple inconsistencies along the way. He ends his synopsis by emphatically declaring that “you cannot deny” the passages he quoted. “it is just a reality of how Christology developed“!

Hmm… so that is how Christiology was developed? by men?

HA!

In my humble opinion, there is no inconsistency or discrepancy at all in the scriptures that have not been corrupted or misinterpreted. The real problem is the uninspired interpretations and interpolations of uninspired commentators.  The New Testament does not represent an evolving doctrine of Chrisiology over time nor does it demonstrate that the doctrine of the Godhood and divine Sonship of Christ was developed over the course of time by men.

Before pondering some of these concepts further, let me point out that Brother Bokovoy misquoted the gospel of Mark, the most important passage to his supposition.

Here is what Bokovoy states as “a fact you cannot deny“:

“Mark puts the Godship of Jesus Christ at the start of his ministry, God speaks from heaven: ‘This is my beloved Son THIS DAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU.’ ”

Wrong!

Actually, that is not what the Gospel of Mark says.

This is what the Gospel of Mark says:

9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.

10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

As you can see, the account does not have the Father declaring “I have begotten you this day“. Rather, the text reads, “in whom I am well pleased“.

The Father simply declares that Christ is the Son of God. It is not saying that Christ had just been begotten as the Son of God.

So why did Bokovoy replace some of the actual content and where did he get the replacement content from?

It turns out that the borrowed content is taken from Psalms 2:7:

Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

David Bokovoy is inserting the above snippet from Psalms 2:7 in the Old Testament into Mark’s account of Christ’s baptism in the New Testament.

He doesn’t seem to think that he needs to explain to his audience that he is taking the liberty of inserting text into the passage or why he is inserting text into the passage!

Wow, talk about taking some liberal literary license!

Obviously, Bokovoy believes that the prophecy in Psalms was referring to Christ’s baptism that would take place thousands of years in the future.

A contextual reading of Psalms 2 reveals that the Old Testament passages in question are indeed part of an end times prophecy about an event that is yet in the future.

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

As you can see, the prophetic narrative above is speaking about the end times when the heathen are raging and the kings of the earth are conspiring against the Lord’s Davidic servant.

The Lord takes his servant David and sets him upon the holy hill of Zion, anoints him as King, gives him power over all the heathen nations, and makes the decree: “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”

Regardless of whether you are interpreting the “David” spoken of in Psalms 2 as the return of the Old Testament David, or a future Davidic Servant, or Christ himself, the event being spoken of is clearly referring to a future end times event, not the baptism of Jesus in the New Testament.

There goes the foundation of David’s construct.

David’s observation that the scriptures possibly declare Christ’s Sonship to have originally taken place during his earthly ministry and that there are arguably multiple events in which his sonship was possibly being declared, is actually a common doctrine among Christian scholars. Here is a quote from an article written by Christian Bible Scholar Don Stewart:

There is a question as to whether Jesus was always the eternal Son of God or that He became the Son of God only when He came to earth. This is technically called the “eternal generation of the Son.”

Some Bible teacher’s believe that Jesus became the Son of God at a certain time in history. There is an Old Testament passage that seems to teach that Jesus became the Son at some point in time.  (Psalm 2:7).

There are four particular times that are suggested: His coming into the world; His baptism; His resurrection; His ascension

According to Stewart, the doctrine of eternal generation of the Son has to do with the belief that Christ first became the Son of God during his earth life. He states that there are four possible times when Christ might have become “begotten” as the Son.

As you can see, Bokovoy seems to have borrowed from and modified a long discussed theme from Christian scholars. It is interesting that Stewart uses Psalm 2:7 to suggest the possibility of Christ being begotten during mortality but he does not have the audacity to authoritatively declare that the prophetic passage was referring to Christ’s baptism like Bokovoy does.

In my opinion, if the Father had made that declaration at the baptism, it would be stated in the passage or at least reinserted as a clarification by Joseph Smith in the Inspired Version of the Bible.

Frankly, the suggestion that Christ was begotten as the Son of God for the first time during his baptism or any time during his earth life is not congruent with scripture. If one visits all of the references provided by Bokovoy and Stewart, it becomes obvious that there is no credible evidence to suggest that Christ was begotten as the Son of God for the first time during his earthly ministry.

Perhaps one of the most revealing passages of scripture that verifies the Godhood and Sonship of Christ in the pre-existence is as follows:

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

Clearly Christ was the Son of God who shared in the Father’s glory from before the foundation of the world. His Godship and Sonship should also be evident by virtue of the fact that he created the world(s).

It is true that Christ went through a progression of multiple landmark events that seem to be requisite in having the glory of the Father restored to Him.

Certainly his baptism was a landmark event that seems pivotal.

His suffering and eventual death on the cross were pivotal events. 

His resurrection and his ascension into the presence of the Father were pivotal events.

This progression of Christ going through multiple pivotal events may seem confusing counterintuitive to his proclaimed status of Godhood from the beginning but I would suggest that they are completely consistent with the larger narrative.

One of the many advantages of having the scriptures of the restoration is that they provide additional testimony to the pre-earth divinity of Christ. They provide much needed information about his divine and mystical intercession and condescension. 

The Condescension of God

The CONDESCENSION of Christ was necessary in order to provide a plan of salvation that would meet the criteria of eternal law in redeeming fallen man.

Why did mankind need to go through a fall?

Only an understanding of the pre-existence and what took place in it can provide that answer. The restoration scriptures provide very important information about the pre-existence and yet we have precious few details about the pre-existence or the condescension of Christ.

The Doctrine of Condescension is introduced and made mention in four separate books within the Book of Mormon. 

The scriptures do not provide a long detailed narrative explaining what Christ’s condescension consisted of. It is assumed that the reader knows what condescension means and what Christ’s condescension(s) consisted of:

1 Nephi 11:16,26

16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the condescension of God?

2 Nephi 9:53

53 And behold how great the covenants of the Lord, and how great his condescensions unto the children of men; and because of his greatness, and his grace and mercy, he has promised unto us that our seed shall not utterly be destroyed, according to the flesh, but that he would preserve them; and in future generations they shall become a righteous branch unto the house of Israel.

2 Nephi 4:26

26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercycwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

Jacob 4:7

Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our aweakness that we may know that it is by his bgrace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

What Exactly Does Condescension Mean?

Condescension means to descent from rank and relinquish rights:

Condescension

CONDESCENSION, noun Voluntary descent from rank, dignity or just claims; relinquishment of strict right; submission to inferiors in granting requests or performing acts which strict justice does not require. Hence, courtesy.

Christ’s condescension in putting off the fulness of the Father’s glory in order to come to earth and provide an intercession explains why Christ needed to go through a progression of events beginning with his physical birth, followed by his baptism,  intercessory suffering, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension. All of that was part of the condescension and necessary in having his previous power and glory restored to him.

Both Separate and Apart

The scriptures show that the Father and Son can manifest themselves and act as separate and distinct beings or they can manifest themselves and act as one composite being.

Numerous scriptures can be employed to show both possibilities.

Although many students of the Bible seem to pick one or the other to believe and defend, I believe that both are true. The Father and the Son are separate and distinct when their work requires them to be, yet they are one God dwelling in the same tabernacle when their work does not require them to separate.

One of the differentiating features between the Father and the Son, when they are manifesting themselves separately and acting separately, is that the Son was a created or begotten being while the Father is without beginning or end.

Indeed, the Father is the supreme God over all other gods.

“..shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times— According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest.” (D&C 121:31-32)

The Father is the Eternal God over all other gods. He had no beginning and no end.

The above passage, the Lectures on Faith and many other scriptures expose the false doctrine that is contained in the infamous King Follett Sermon.

Christ also is unique and is the “only begotten of the Father” out of all of the Sons of God. None of the other Sons of God in the divine council were begotten directly by the Father. All other created things were created through the Son.

One way we can validate that Christ had a creation starting point as an organized intelligence and as the only begotten Son of God is that the Son is BEGOTTEN.

The term denotes a beginning point:

Begotten

BEGOT’, BEGOT’TEN, participle passive of get. Procreated; generated.

As you can see, begotten means procreate and generate.

To begat or procreate or produce, or engender or generate presupposes a beginning point.

Procreate

PRO’CREATE, verb transitive [Latin procreo; pro and creo, to create.]

1. To beget; to generate and produce; to engender

Generate

GEN’ERATE, verb transitive [Latin genero. See Gender.]

1. To beget; to procreate; to propagate; to produce a being similar to the parent. Every animal generates his own species.

2. To produce; to cause to be; to bring into life; as great whales which the waters generated.

3. To cause; to produce; to form.

The definitions all become rather interrelated and circular. Suffice it to say that although Christ had always existed as an unorganized intelligence, he had a beginning as an organized intelligence and he became the Son of God in the pre-existence.

The Father refers to the Son as the “word of my power“. He informs us that the Son was created for the sole purpose of creating all other creations.

“..by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.

And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.” Moses 1:32-33

Later in the Book of Moses we are informed that Christ always has been and always will be the ONLY BEGOTTEN by the Father. Section 76 reveals that others have been and will be begotten UNTO the Father. Not only did Christ create all things, he is also the redeemer for all men who will repent:

“I am the Only Begotten of the Father from the beginning and henceforth and forever, that as thou has fallen thou mayest be redeemed , and all mankind, even as many as will ” (Moses 9-10)

Christ’s work as a creator and redeemer required his condescension followed by the restoration to him of the fulness of the Father that he had attained in the pre-existence. Following that restoration of power, he freely laid down his life and took it up again requisite to providing an infinite and eternal atonement for fallen man.

His willingness and choice to lay down his life and temporarily give up his power once again, required him to regain his power and Sonship following his crucifixion.

Hence I see no contradiction where brother Bokovoy does. I see the chronological progression of a mystical set of condescension’s and restorations of power and authority requisite for providing the atonement intercession for fallen man.

I find it all very mystical and mind-blowingly beautiful.

All of this leads me to the next topic I would like to address. It is the assumption that many Mormons make about the earth life and ministry of Christ.

Thanks to a book written by Bruce R. McConkie, many Mormons believe that Christ was Mortal. (The Mortal Messiah)

They believe he had human blood flowing through his veins despite the very clear declaration in the Book of Mormon stating that Christ did not offer up a human sacrifice. 

They assume that Christ evolved from a state of imperfection to a state of perfection and that he was not God from the time he was born into the world.

Frankly, I find it difficult to comprehend a being that is imperfect, yet sinless.

I think one of the problems is that people assume that innocence and perfection are synonymous with having a fulness of power. I do not believe that is true.

Scripture informs us that Christ condescended and  temporarily gave up the fulness of his Fathers power that he had obtained in the pre-existence, yet nowhere is it even implied that his condescension resulted in leaving the grace of the Father or giving up his perfection.

Christ was the Son of God from before the world was created and he was the Son of God from the time he entered his earth life until he ascended to the Father.

The New Testament reminds us that Christ knew of his Sonship from an early age:

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? (Luke 2:48-49)

One of my favorite passages in the apocrypha has the new born baby Jesus declaring his Sonship to Mary:

“Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which you brought forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to you, and my Father has sent me for the salvation of the world.”

There are those that believe that Christ started out growing from grace to grace in the sense of growing from imperfection to perfection. However the state of grace does not represent a state of imperfection.

Nevertheless, people who believe that Christ had to become perfect during his earth life usually throw two very compelling scriptures at me to support their belief.

The first comes from Hebrews chapter 5:

8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

The above passage seems to be saying that Christ grew from a state of disobedience to a state of obedience as a result of the things he suffered.

Of course we have covered this before. The JST reveals that the passage is referring to Melchizedek, not Christ:

*The 7th and 8th verses allude to Melchizedek, and not to Christ.

However the discussion often transitions to the next verse which is clearly referring to Christ, not Melchizedek:

9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

It is important to remember that since that verse is not an extention of the Melchizedek narrative, his “being made perfect” could just as easily have been referring to his creation and begotten sonship in the pre-existence than to some evolution that took place on earth. After all, it was in the pre-existence that he was elected by the Father to be the author of eternal salvation.

The next passage that is often presented to substantiate the notion that Christ went from imperfection to perfection in this earth life is found in section 93:

12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;

13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

A fulness of what?

Perfection, or power?

Is it possible to have a fulness of perfection without having a fulness of power?

I would suggest that the two terms are not synonymous.

Although it may be true that during Christ’s earthly life he was not restored to the fulness of the Father’s glory at first he continued to grow from grace to grace until he received the fulness.

While the above passages seem to be applicable as a “type”, to his earthly life, it is interesting to note that contextually, John’s vision of Christ had to do with the re-existence.

In Mormonism we are conditioned to highlight and focus on just a few passages and interpret them at face value without considering the full context of what is being said.

Lets back up and read a few verses leading up to those passages for greater context.

Note that beginning in verse six, Christ informs us that John the Baptist had been given a vision of Christ’s evolution in the pre-existence.

In this vision of the pre-existent Christ, John saw the glory of Christ before the world was:

6 And John saw and bore record of the fulness of my glory, and the fulness of John’s record is hereafter to be revealed.

7 And he bore record, saying: I saw his glory, that he was in the beginning, before the world was;

8 Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation—

9 The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men.

10 The worlds were made by him; men were made by him; all things were made by him, and through him, and of him.

11 And I, John, bear record that I beheld his glory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.

Verses 6 through 11 above are referring to Christ’s pre-existence.

He was begotten of the Father in the pre-existence.

He was glorified in the pre-existence.

He created all of the worlds in the pre-existence.

He became the messenger of salvation in the pre-existence!

Why do we assume that the next three verses are not operating in the same context?

Why do we assume they are referring to his earthly ministry instead of the very topic being discussed?

12 And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;

13 And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

I would suggest that John saw that Christ had a beginning point in the pre-existence. Christ went from being an unorganized eternal intelligence to being an organized eternal intelligence. He was begotten by the Father as the Son of God in the pre-existence. Indeed, he was the only begotten directly of the Father.

It is very possible that John was shown in vision that Christ did not enjoy the fulness at first in the pre-existence.

He grew from grace to grace in the pre-existence.

The God of all other gods is a Personage of Glory
who has Always had the Fulness

Verse 14 provides a remarkable differentiation between the Father and Son.

Christ is designated as the “Son of God” because he did not always have the fulness!

The same would be true of the Father if the Father was a created being that did not have the fulness at first upon his creation. But the Father is not a created being. There is no variation in him. There was no God before him. There is no beginning or end to him. He has always been.

If the Father would have had a Father who had begotten him, then he would also be called the Son of God but that is not the case. The Father has always existed as a personage of spirit glory.

Conversely, the Father created or begat Christ as a personage of tabernacle.

That is a major differentiating characteristic between the Father and the Son. The Father was not a personage of tabernacle before he created the Son, nor is he a personage of tabernacle when the Father and Son manifest themselves independently. However, when the Father and Son dwell within each other, it could be said that the Father dwells in the physical tabernacle of the Son.

2 There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things—by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible: whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space—

They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;

—he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Father; being begotten of him, and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh..” (Lecture Fifth)

Lectures on Faith reminds us that Christ differs from the Father in that Christ had a beginning point of creation.

Christ was a created being. He was “made“, or “fashioned” ..”in the form and likeness of man..” as well as in “the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father

The Father cloaks himself in the tabernacle of the Son. Conversely, the tabernacle is infused with the spirit of the Father enabling Christ to inherit and manifest the fulness of the nature and character of the Father, enjoying the same mind and will when they are combined.

The Fulness of the Father

The doctrine of the fulness of the Father was revealed in Lectures on Faith as it pertains to Christ and also to all those who become the sons of God by being begotten UNTO the Father ( D&C 76:24)  through Christ’s redemption. Here is an excerpt from Lectures on Faith:

2 There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things—by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible: whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space—They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;—he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Father; being begotten of him, and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh—and descended in suffering below that which man can suffer, or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be. But notwithstanding all this, he kept the law of God, and remained without sin: Showing thereby that it is in the power of man to keep the law and remain also without sin. And also, that by him a righteous judgment might come upon all flesh, and that all who walk not in the law of God, may justly be condemned by the law, and have no excuse for their sins. And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fulness: Filling all in all—the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father—possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father—a Mediator for man—being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments: and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fulness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.

We know from scripture that Christ has the ability to separate out of the Father to bring about the purposes of God. Hence, the Son was able to separate from the Father and condescend and come to earth to do the will of his Father.

Not only does scripture document the Son condescending into his earthly ministry and having a conversation with the Father, he even displays a will that is not necessarily the same as the Fathers which substantiate two separate and distinct wills upon separation.

“Not my will but thine…”

And yet the scriptures document that the Son has the capacity to literally be one with the Father and through the doctrine of the fulness, he IS the Father because the Father dwells within him!

But he has the mystical capacity to separate out as an independent being and member of the Godhead.

John 1:18 informs us that Christ is:

“. . in the bosom of the Father . . “

D&C Section 76:13 also makes reference to :

 . . his Only Begotten Son . . . in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning.”

D&C Section 93 informs us that the Father and Son literally reside in each other:

 . . I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—”

Isn’t that just another way of saying the Son is the Father and the Father is in the Son?

In JST Luke 10:23 Christ declares-

“and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.”

From scripture one could argue that God the Father jointly participated in the suffering of the atonement with the Son prior to the forsaking that enabled the separation of body and spirit

“..I God have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent…” D&C 19:16

On the other hand Christ may have simply been referring to his own Godship.

Mosiah 15:1-4 states that God himself redeems his people-

1 …I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—
3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—
4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.

Bottom-line of the point I want to make is that Christ walked a sinless, perfect life from the time he was born into this world until his mission was complete despite the fact that his intercession may have required multiple condescensions and multiple restorations of keys and authority, ultimately resulting in the restoration of the fulness of His Father’s power and glory that He had enjoyed in the pre-existence. 

https://www.mormonstories.org/podcast/david-bokovoy-applying-higher-criticism-to-mormon-scripture/

6 Responses to He Received Not of the Fulness at First: When did Jesus Christ BECOME the Son of God?

  1. Kathryn Walling says:

    I have always enjoyed your posts and leaned much from them but this post dated Dec,1 2018 was overwhelming, exciting, and much appreciated. I learned and received answers to so many previous questions and I can only say THANK YOU. Kathryn Walling

  2. bucknerweb says:

    It’s good to see a new post, got worried when you said you wouldn’t be posting for awhile!

  3. Jessi H says:

    Great article! I totally agree, and once I understood this, it was weird to remember that I used to not know it.
    Now I get really uncomfortable in church when people talk about Jesus being our spirit brother and Heavenly Father being a created man with a “body of flesh and bone”. Mormons are so…naive? I often think of them as “good-hearted dupes” who have been tricked into practicing idolatry by the promise of eternal families. The basis for idolatry is elevating man to the level of God, and bringing God down to the level of man. Mormonism does both. And then those sweet, kind members (including my TBM parents) unwittingly participate in watered-down occultism in the temples. Masonry for Mormons.
    I had actually just received my recommend at the time that I found your blog, Watcher. I ended up never using it. It expired a couple months ago, and I declined to renew it. I feel bad about disappointing my mom, who was so excited that one of her daughters was finally going to be “endowed”. (I’m 37, the oldest of 4 girls, and the only one who attends church.) But, there’s no way I could attend the temple now without standing up and shouting, “How can you be so blind?!”
    When I prayed for the truth, the first thing God showed me was the corruption of the modern corporate church. Then I learned to do word searches (thank you so much!) and spent hours a day for several months doing just that. After becoming more familiar with scripture and the voice of my Shepherd than at any time in my life, I started learning about the occult and ancient mystery schools. I finally understood why I had always felt so AWFUL in the temple as a youth. I had assumed, of course, that it was my unworthiness that caused me to feel that way, but now I know that it is because the temple is not the house of the Lord that I want to worship. I seriously don’t know how anyone who reads the Book of Mormon can not see all the red flags and warnings about secret signs, tokens, and rituals. It truly is amazing how people can be blind to truths they are not ready for.
    Back to the subject at hand, I always think of Abinadi explaining Isaiah to King Noah and his priests, and wonder at the members inability to understand who Christ really is.

  4. An Earnest Searcher says:

    Watcher, I echo each of the others who have commented with a heart-felt Thank You. I found this post rich in doctrine and insight. Your reliance on the Word of God and your ever-present goal to understand all scripture in one, great whole is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and insights!

    Much of the intellectualism and scholarship of today tends to distance people from a correct understanding of God and His Word. It is refreshing to find someone who is always striving to bring people together in an effort to agree upon Gods Word, and not the philosophies of men.

    Thank you again.

  5. JN says:

    Hey Watcher, thanks for this blog post and all others. They always make me think and turn to the scriptures, so thank you!!!

    I just reread this post because this topic has been on my mind. This is a tough subject with no easy answers. I have some ramblings I want to pass by you. If you have time, I’m super curious of your response.

    The Snufferites believe this begotten at baptism doctrine. They also changed the Mark passage in their own scriptures to read:

    And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized of John in Jordan. And immediately coming up out of the water, he saw the Heavens opened and the spirit like a dove descending upon him. And there came a voice from Heaven, saying, You are my Son; this day I have begotten you. And John bore record of it.

    I’m not sure where this idea originated, but the Snuffers believe it. Maybe Bokovoy is a Snufferite?

    The Nature of God and Christ is always a tricky topic and I’m not sure we can get a complete and accurate understanding at this point, but, after much of my own searching I think I have to agree with biblical Christians that the Son was not and is not a created being; but, is coeternal with the Father. Maybe I’m only seeing one side of the coin right now, but I see a many scriptures showing Christ as being from eternity to all eternity and that he is the Eternal God.

    Have you thought much about the translation of “only begotten”? I think the original Greek should be considered, especially in light of older manuscripts. I’m sure you know all this, but I’ll bring it up anyways.

    The term “Only Begotten” comes from the translation of the Greek “Monogenēs”. Monogenēs used to be thought of as two words: monos (only) and gennaw (to beget) – hence the translation of “only begotten” and the idea of a starting point. But later through the discoveries of older papyri a more accurate translation can now be made: monos (only) + genē (kind). In other words, one of a kind, unique. Christ is one of a kind and unique. I love this view because it elevates Jesus to being my Lord, my God, versus my older spirit brother.

    We can use Hebrews 11:17 as evidence of this uniqueness translation. Issac was not the only son or even the firstborn son, but was Monogenēs, unique, one of a kind, as the son of the promise.

    That can bring up the idea that many (Mormons and JWs) believe that Christ was the “firstborn” or first creation of God and that of course was the topic of the Nicene creed, i.e. “The Arian controversy”. If Christ was begotten/ created by God the Father, then how can he be equal to him and be God?

    Again I think the Greek can help. “Firstborn” or prototokos is more of a reference of superiority and preeminence rather than first in time, first in series. Collosians 1:15; Jeremiah 31:9; Exodus 4:22; etc.

    Here a few of my favorite scriptures showing Christ’ eternal nature:

    From the Angel to King Benjamin in Mosiah 3:

    5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases.

    8 And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary.

    17 And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.

    Throughout the rest of his discourse King Benjamin refers to Christ as the “Lord God Omnipotent”.

    D&C 39
    1 Hearken and listen to the voice of him who is from all eternity to all eternity, the Great I Am, even Jesus Christ

    Book of Mormon Title Page
    And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God

    How can Christ be from all eternity to all eternity or the Eternal God yet be a created being or have a “begotten” point? Do you think these verses are only referring to Christ when he is composite with the Father only?

    You said:
    “Suffice it to say that although Christ had always existed as an unorganized intelligence, he had a beginning as an organized intelligence and he became the Son of God in the pre-existence.”

    What do you mean that Christ was an unorganized intelligence?

    I suppose Mormonism teaches that we were all “intelligences” that were created into spirit beings in the pre-mortal world, but can this be verified from scripture? I think the following scriptures are used as incorrect evidence for this.

    29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

    I see this as a non sequitur. I don’t see the intelligence referenced as referring back to man. In other words this verse is not saying that man was intelligence. Later we are given the definition of intelligence:

    36 The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.

    So the glory of God was not created or made, neither indeed can be. That makes sense since God is eternal.

    And this one:

    22 Now the Lord had shown unto me, Abraham, the intelligences that were organized before the world was; and among all these there were many of the noble and great ones;

    Again I don’t see this as evidence of intelligences being created. The “organized” has reference to the council that was created, an organized meeting.

    Anyways, am I missing something about Christ and mankind being unorganized intelligences pre-pre-mortal world?

    Also Isn’t Christ called the “Son of God” because he would take on flesh?, not because he went through some process?
    Lecture 5, “and is called the Son because of the flesh”
    Mosiah 15:2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God.
    D&C 93:14: 14 And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.

    I see the connection of not having the “fulness at first” with its relation to condescending in the flesh and not in the preexistence. I agree that John was talking about the beginning before the world was, but I believe that shifts in verse 11 when he mentions Christ condescending coming down and dwelling in flesh.

    You said, “Christ was a created being. He was “made“, or “fashioned” ..”in the form and likeness of man..” as well as in “the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father“”

    I read that part of Lecture 5 differently. I read that his tabernacle was made or fashioned like unto man or as it corrects itself, “rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image”, not that Christ was made or fashioned.

    “The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;—he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father:”

    I believe that Joseph and Sidney used Mosiah 7 for the above text because the wording is so similar. Even with the correction/ clarifying part, “in other words” vs “or, rather”.

    27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man (tabernacle), and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth.

    Any thoughts?

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