Although we cannot remember it, before any of us were born on Earth, we lived for an immeasurably long time in the presence of Heavenly Father in heaven—a home more wonderful and beautiful than anything we know on Earth. All the people who ever lived or will ever live on Earth were our brothers and sisters, and all loved each other and were happy.
With our spirit bodies we were able to talk to each other, move about, make choices, and know the difference between good and evil. In our premortal life, Heavenly Father bestowed on us the gift of moral agency—the right to choose between good and evil and to act for ourselves, and we were subject to Heavenly Father's laws.
Our heavenly parents provided us with loving care and guidance as we were reared to maturity. We were taught the principles and commandments that would lead to happiness. We grew in intelligence and developed an infinite variety and degree of talents, but we were not all alike. We had different desires and abilities. We learned to use our abilities in different ways. The right of free agency enabled some to outstrip others and become more intelligent and more faithful.
Some of Heavenly Father's children achieved high degrees of spiritual attainment in the premortal life. Two of his most noble offspring were Adam and Eve. Adam was known in the premortal life as Michael the archangel, and he was second only to Jesus in intelligence and power. And Lucifer, a Son of the Morning, was a spirit son of God who was an angel in authority in the presence of Heavenly Father.
Jesus Christ far surpassed all other of Heavenly Father's other spirit children in intelligence and performance. He never broke any of Heavenly Father's laws or commandments, and there was no deceit or deviousness in his heart. Jesus grew from grace to grace in obedience and devotion until he attained the rank and almighty power of godship while still in the premortal life.
There was a Church organization in our premortal lives in heaven, and Heavenly Father gave priesthood authority to Jesus. Priesthood is the power by which Heavenly Father brings into existence and governs all his creations—the system which brings worlds into existence and peoples them, and the law by which the worlds are, have been, and will be for all eternity.
Jesus conferred the priesthood—the sacred power and authority to act in the name of Heavenly Father—on select others, starting with Michael. In order to conform to Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness, the priesthood is conferred only on worthy males. This patriarchal order is of divine origin and will continue throughout time and eternity. In the premortal existence we lived in a perfectly arranged society and every person knew their place.
• Gospel Fundamentals, (2002), Chapter 17: The Followers of Jesus Christ: Part Six: The Church of Jesus Christ, Romney, Marion, G. "Priesthood". General Conference Report, April 1982.
• Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual, (2000), 67–68
• Eternal Marriage Student Manual, (2003), 63–72
• Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, (2011), 117–26
• A Parent’s Guide, (1985), 10–17
In addition to God the Father and God the Son, God the Holy Ghost is the third member of Godhead that presides over us and to whom we are subject. The Holy Ghost shares all attributes of the Father and the Son and acts under their direction. He has the form of a man and thus, like the Father or the Son, he can not be at more than one physical place at a time. Nothing has been revealed about the origin or destiny of the Holy Ghost.
When we dwelt in the presence of Heavenly Father we knew what kind of being he is, how glorious he is, and how great his wisdom and power are. We wanted to be like him. The supreme objective of those who understand Heavenly Father is to become a god like he is and have the kind of life that he enjoys for all eternity.
Heavenly Father's progression consists not in the increase of any of his godly attributes, but in the multiplying of his kingdoms. His own reasons for existing are to give birth to spirit children and set them on the road to becoming gods who create and people worlds of their own. In this way, Heavenly Father becomes the father of many fathers, the king of many kings, exalting him ever higher.
• Church History In The Fulness Of Times Student Manual, (2003), 562–578
• Doctrine and Covenants Instructor’s Guide: Religion 324-325, (1981), 99–100
• Eternal Marriage Student Manual, (2003), 167–83
• Gospel Principles, (2011), 8–12
• Smith, Joseph. “The King Follet Sermon” Ensign: The Magazine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, April 1971.