Rockledge Florida, USA
In the context of speaking about Jesus, the word condescension means voluntary descent from one’s rank or dignity in relations with an inferior.
If we take time to ponder what that simple word really entails, the Holy Ghost can open to our spiritual eyes a grand panorama, an eternal vista through which we may begin to understand how profoundly our Heavenly Father loves us, and how intimately we are connected to our Heavenly Parents, and to the Firstling of the Father, and to the Holy Ghost, who is also a spirit offspring of our Heavenly Father.
As we look at images taken by modern deep space telescopes orbiting the earth, we can see countless points of light. At first glance, we may think those points of light are stars within our galaxy. But then we learn that each of those points of light is actually an entire galaxy, or a cluster of many galaxies, each composed of hundreds of billions, even trillions of stars, and vast expanses of gas and dust and planets and moons and asteroids and comets and all sorts of matter, most of which have never been discovered, let alone understood by man (see Moses 1:3-5, 33, 37-39; Doctrine and Covenants 76:20-24).
Now, let’s picture in our mind’s eye our Heavenly Parents when they were newly exalted to Godhood. Remember, they once experienced a mortal probation on an earth much like ours. They followed a plan of salvation just like the one we are trying to follow.
They were married in a temple on their earth. They received and honored the same ordinances of salvation and exaltation we have available to us. They had heavenly parents and a savior to whom they looked for redemption, just as we look to our Heavenly Father and to our Savior, Jesus Christ, for our redemption (see 1 Nephi 10:19; Doctrine and Covenants 35:1; 3:1-2).
Now, imagine our Heavenly Parents, how they must have rejoiced in the day of their glorious resurrection, and in the day of their exaltation. As a resurrected, exalted couple, they could begin having spirit children. They could finally clothe our intelligences with spirit matter (see Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; 131:7-8), which is something only resurrected, exalted parents can do.
You and I and everyone here were among the intelligences they had known without beginning. We have always existed as intelligences. Our intelligences were not created or born. We have always been (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:29-30).
Our spirits were born as spirit children of our Heavenly Parents. Our Heavenly Parents gave us spirit bodies much the same way our earthly parents gave us mortal bodies.
Our intelligences were given spirit bodies by our Heavenly Parents (see Abraham 3:22-23; Doctrine and Covenants 138:55-56). Our spirit bodies were given bodies of flesh and bones by our earthly parents.
To put it simply, our intelligence is inside our spirit, and our spirit is inside our body of flesh and bones. Sort of like the little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other.
Now, visualize how happy our Heavenly Parents must have been when their very first spirit child was born. The very first spirit child born to our Heavenly Parents is Jesus Christ. He once was a spirit Baby Jesus, born a spirit in brilliant glory in his Father’s eternal kingdom, a kingdom so vast and ever-expanding there can be no end to it.
Since Jesus was the very first spirit child of our Heavenly Parents, he is called the Firstling. Firstling means the first offspring, or firstborn.
If we ponder the premortal role of Jesus, who was called Jehovah in premortal life, we can see that Jesus has been around for a very, very long time.
Look at all those galaxies and clusters of galaxies, each composed of trillions of stars and planets. They were all created by Jesus Christ. He is our creator (see Moses 1:35; 2 Nephi 2:14; Doctrine and Covenants 67:2; 88:42-47; 93:10). Under Heavenly Father’s direction, Jesus created all those magnificent cosmic structures, and many, many more that we have not yet discovered. He made all those creations long before he made this earth. Yes, Jesus has been around for a very, very long time. He adorned the heavens with glorious cosmic lights. We decorate Christmas trees with beautiful earthly lights.
Now, imagine being a royal prince, like Jesus, the firstborn prince of the God of gods, and the creator of worlds that cannot be numbered by man, even more than all the grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth (see Moses 7:30; Doctrine and Covenants 121:28-32). That Divine Prince, even Jesus of Nazareth, condescended, came down to this earth which he had created after creating countless other earths.
He was born onto this earth, into a mortal body, having a mortal mother, Mary, and a Heavenly Father, Elohim. That is what it means when he is called the Only Begotten Son of God. It means Jesus is the only child of our Heavenly Father that received both his spirit body and his mortal body through Heavenly Father. He received his spirit body from Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, but he received his mortal body from Heavenly Father and mortal Mary. Thus, he is the only one begotten in the flesh by Heavenly Father. The rest of us are begotten in the spirit by our Heavenly Parents, and we are begotten in the flesh by our earthly parents.
Jesus began his mortal experience in a lowly manger, during a time of great political peril. His mortal life was short, just thirty three years.
He lived and ministered among a people so wicked they rejected him, mocked him, and brutally tortured and crucified him. At that time, they were the most wicked of all nations on the earth. The only nation wicked enough to murder their own Savior (see 2 Nephi 10:3-5; Moses 7:36).
Also upon this earth were and are some of the most righteous of all our Heavenly Father’s children. Many of the very elect were held in reserve to live upon this earth, the same earth upon which Jesus atoned for the sins of all his Father’s children. We are among the elect, inasmuch as we remain valiant and faithful in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This earth is called the footstool of our Savior (see Doctrine and Covenants 38:17; 1 Nephi 17:39; Moses 6:44; Moses 6:9; Abraham 2:7). This is the earth upon which he set foot in the flesh to fulfill his mortal mission and complete his infinite atonement. Jesus Christ is our supernal gift from our loving Heavenly Parents (see John 3:12-21).
Jesus Christ is our only hope and the only means whereby we can return to our Heavenly Parents
and become equal to them, if we so desire (see Doctrine and Covenants 76:92-95; Mosiah 3:17; Alma 38:9; Helaman 5:9; Moroni 7:48).