John 10:1-42 — The Father and The Son — LeGrand Baker and Benjamin Tingey

Tucked away in the parable of the Good Shepherd is a great deal of information about Jehovah/Jesus’s relationship with his Eternal Father, and also about our relationship with both of them. Within the parable, Jesus says:

10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
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15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
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27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one (John 10:1-42 ).

My old Strong’s definition for “one” in verse 30 reads “a prime number: one” (# 1520). However, the word is also translated as “first” in the phrase “the first day of the week” in Luke 24:1, John 20:1, and Acts 19:34. In the sentence, “I and my Father are one,” the “one” asks all sorts of questions. However, “first” would supply all sorts of answers. It would say the same thing that the Prophet Joseph dictated to his scribe when he and Sidney Rigdon saw the vision that is Section 76.

12 By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—
13 Even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, even from the beginning;
14 Of whom we bear record; and the record which we bear is the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who is the Son, whom we saw and with whom we conversed in the heavenly vision (D&C 76:12-14).

That concept, that Christ was with the Father from the beginning, is what Heavenly Father explained to Moses. It is interesting to me that the Father applies the name/title Only Begotten to the Savior so very early on in the description of their relationship.

1 And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the words which I speak. I am the Beginning and the End, the Almighty God; by mine Only Begotten I created these things; yea, in the beginning I created the heaven, and the earth upon which thou standest.
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26 And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning: Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so. And I, God, said: Let them have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth ( Moses 2:1, 26).

We find more about the Father’s relationship with the Savior, and his with us, in the Great Intercessory Prayer.

5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
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9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
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21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world (John 17:5-24). {1}

Paul explains those relationships as our ultimate adoption to be children of the Father. “Ultimate” is the key word here, because we are initially adopted unto Christ when we embrace the Gospel and are baptized, taking upon us the name of Christ through the covenants and ordinances, becoming His Sons and His daughters, as he explained to the brother of Jared.

13 And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said: Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you.
14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters (Ether 3:13-14).

But the ultimate reunion occurs when we enter the presence of our Father with Christ are adopted as children of the Father. Paul described that sequence, and it has been elaborated on by other prophets. Paul wrote,

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
5 Having predestinated [foreordained] us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself [Heavenly Father], according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 To the praise of the glory of his [Heavenly Father’s]grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved [Christ](Ephesians 1:3-6).

As I understand it, the need for that adoption is this: We were Heavenly Father’s children before we came here. But we, like the prodical son, forfeited our birthright when we left home and came to this sin-bound world. Now, through the Atonement of the Savior, and by accepting correct covenants and ordinances, we are adopted back into the family with full rights of birthright as though we had never left. It is like Psalm 2 where the king is anointed king and adopted as a child and heir of Jehovah. Symbolically, all the men in the congregation are also anointed and adopted so they may claim their birthright blessings as priests and kings. {2}

Our premortal relationship with the Father and Jehovah are clearly shown in Lehi’s sode experience (1 Nephi 1:8-15). There we see the Father siting upon his throne, presiding. Jehovah conducts the meeting and gives Lehi his assignment. Other prophets who describe their sode experiences also report that it was “the LORD” (Jehovah) who made the assignments. Similarly, in the First Vision, the Father introduced his Son, and the Savior gave Joseph his assignment. When the Savior came to the Nephites in 3 Nephi we see that same pattern.

Apparently the Savior’s role as Advocate extends far beyond our accepting the initial blessings of the Atonement. The Savior explained, “unto as many as received me gave I power … to become the sons of God; and … power to obtain eternal life.” His full statement reads:

3 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him—
4 Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold th e blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified;
5 Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life.
6 Hearken, O ye people of my church, and ye elders listen together, and hear my voice while it is called today, and harden not your hearts;
7 For verily I say unto you that I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the light and the life of the world—a light that shineth in darkness and the darkness comprehendeth it not.
8 I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not; but unto as many as received me gave I power to do many miracles, and to become the sons of God; and even unto them that believed on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life (D&C 45:3-8).

John describes that very succinctly where he writes,

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name (John 1:12).

“Name” is often code for covenant because one always receives a new name when he makes a new covenant. So it would probably not change the meaning if it read, “even to them that believe on his covenant.”

The covenant is between us and the Father. For his part, the Savior is the terms, the validation and the fulfillment of that covenant. Moroni explained our part of the covenant in the last verses of the Book of Mormon.

32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.
33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot (Moroni 10:32-33).

The fellowships created by these covenants and validated by the ordinances are eternal. Through the Savior’s Atonement we may be adopted again as children and heirs of our Heavenly Father, but even then, our relationship with Savior never changes.

When this earthly experience is completed for all of us, the Savior will be triumphant.

107 When he shall deliver up the kingdom, and present it unto the Father, spotless, saying: I have overcome and have trodden the wine–press alone, even the wine–press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.
108 Then shall he be crowned with the crown of his glory, to sit on the throne of his power to reign forever and ever (D&C 76:106-07).

When he delivers his kingdom to his father, the Savior will be crowned with glory and sit upon his own throne as the Only Begotten of the Father. However the promise is that there will be a place for the righteous there as well. With very similar words both John and Mormon promised we would be with them.

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (1 John 3:1-3).

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen (Moroni 7:48).

For the just, the promise is, “all things are theirs … all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God‘s.”

50 And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
51 They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
52 That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
53 And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
54 They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
55 They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—
56 They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
57 And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
58 Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
59 Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
60 And they shall overcome all things.
61 Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
62 These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever (D&C 76:50-62).

From eternity to eternity our relationships with the Savior and his Father has and will always be the same.
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FOOTNOTES

{1} The word “one” in verses 11, 21, and 22 are also Strong’s # 1520. It would read differently, but interestingly, if “first” were to go in some of those places.

2} For an explanation of Psalm 2 see “Psalm 2, The Ancient Israelite Royal King-name,” in Who Shall Ascend into the Hill of the Lord, first edition 499-517; second (paperback) edition, 360-373.

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