As I consider the philosophers, scholars and clerics who have debated for centuries over the nature of God, I marvel at the clarity that has been given the world by the power of revelation from God. When Joseph Smith saw Christ standing on the right hand of the Father, centuries of error and confusion were corrected in a flash. And we receive more powerful information about the physical nature of God and Christ in the Book of Mormon as well, where the Resurrected Christ showed himself to people on this continent anciently, and the saw and touched Him, and could feel that He was a real, tangible Being with flesh and bone. But what of Jesus Christ before His birth in Jerusalem? Did He exist, and if so, what form did He have? The Book of Mormon provides the answer in the Book of Ether, chapter 3, where the brother of Jared not long after the Tower of Babel has a majestic encounter the Lord. Following commandments from the Lord, he and his group have constructed ships of some kind that are closed vessels to permit them to cross the ocean and to survive temporary submersion by the monstrous waves that they would encounter. They’ve been given directions on how to bring fresh air into the vessels, but he is troubled by the thought of making the crossing largely in darkness. Thus, he has gone to the Lord in prayer requesting that the Lord use His power to cause some clear glassy stones to glow and act as lights for the journey. And thus, after laying down his case to the Lord, he makes his request and receives a fascinating response:
 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
 And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his finger. And the veil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear.
 And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?
 And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should smite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.
 And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me flesh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger. Sawest thou more than this?
 And he answered: Nay; Lord, show thyself unto me.
 And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
 And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and canst not lie.
 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.
 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.
 And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.
 Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.
 And now, as I, Moroni, said I could not make a full account of these things which are written therefore it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he showed himself unto the Nephites.
 And he ministered unto him even as he ministered unto the Nephites; and all this, that this man might know that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had showed unto him.
As the Bible explains, we are created in the image of God – in the physical image of God the Father, and in the image of the spirit body of Christ (now spirit clothed with resurrected flesh and bone).
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, existed before He was born and worked with the Father to create this earth and to guide mankind through revelation to His prophets. God and Christ are one God – but not one incorporeal Being. They are two real, tangible Beings who are one in heart, mind, will, and purpose. We believe in their unity, but we differ with Trinitarians about the nature of the unity. In John 17, when Christ prays that Christians might be one even as He and the Father are one, we can only conclude that He was asking us to be one in heart, not to be one in body. But such clear concepts were clouded after centuries of Hellenizing Christianity to better conform with the demands of Greek philosophy. How grateful I am that such clouds have been blown away with the fresh breeze of revelation in the Book of Mormon and the revelations to Joseph Smith.