20 Roles and Missions of Heavenly Father

Jul 16
20 Missions of Heavenly Father

As in the past posts on roles and missions of the Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ, this short presentation lightly covers unique roles and missions of our Heavenly Father as found in the scriptures. Because I categorized certain things together, the figure 20 is loose because sometimes multiple different things are part of one category and when I counted them up, that’s about what I got. I’m sure more will be added in the future as I study the scriptures and things occur to me. This wasn’t a comprehensive study, but one based on a topical guide entry, and a few searches. However, this is a great way to dig into a topic and seek to better understand it.

Watch video here:


This study is slightly tricky because Jesus Christ is also identified as the Eternal Father, or Father of Heaven at times due to:

1) divine investiture of authority (John 3:35)

2) being the father of creation under the direction of the Father

3) being the father of our salvation

Roles and Missions of Heavenly Father

  • Head of the Godhead
    • The Father directs the Godhead. He sent Jesus Christ into the world (John 3:16) and he sends the Holy Ghost (John 14:26).
    • The Father has direction over the angels (Matt. 26:53)
  • Where did God come from?
    • Scientists estimate the universe to be about 14 billion years old.
    • If God has always existed, what was he doing 30 billion years ago? 100 billion? 1 trillion? 10 trillion? 100 trillion? Keep adding zeroes. Why this earth now, populated with us?
    • Jesus said he only did that which he saw his Father do (John 5:20, 25, 32, 36; 10:37). We can therefore infer that the Father, in some distant past, carried out a role as Savior of mankind for his Father (John 10:32). Jesus has been shown this and emulates the behavior showing us the acts of the Father (John 14:7, 9-10). The Father sent the Son to remind us who *He* is and that he is concerned for his family (John 17:21; John 20:21)
    • Jesus makes us kings and priests to God (theos (supreme diety) / theh’-os) AND HIS Father (pater / pat-ayr). (Rev. 1:6)
    • “If Abraham reasoned thus—If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father (Rev. 1:6),you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly (Heb. 8:5),Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.
      I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying. Jesus said that the Father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him (John 5:19). As the Father had done before? He laid down His life, and took it upthe same as His Father had done before. He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys. I know it is good reasoning.” – Joseph Smith, TPJS, pg. 373
    • Brigham Young, June 18, 1873, Deseret Weekly News 22:308-309
      “If we look forward, we can actually comprehend a little of the idea that we shall live forever and ever; but you take a rearsight, and try and contemplate and meditate upon the fact that there never was a beginning and you are lost at once. The present and the future we can comprehend some little about, but the past is all a blank, and it is right and reasonable that it should be so. But if we are faithful in the things of God, they will open up, open up, open up; our minds will expand, reach forth and receive more and more, and by and by we can begin to see that the Gods have been forever and forever.”
  • What is God’s purpose?
    • To propagate his species just as we do.
    • How does he do that? By creating spirit children and offering them the opportunity to become like him by going through an earth experience to obtain a glorified, resurrected body.
  • Creation and Planning Periods
    • Elohim, the head God, stands at the head of the Godhead as our Father (1 Cor. 8:6; 1 John 5:7).
    • Father of all spirits (Num. 16:22; 27:16; Matt. 23:9; Acts 17:29)
    • Master of all elements, even our spirits such that Christ commended (entrust or give in charge) his spirit into his hands (Luke 23:46).
    • He is greater than Jesus (John 10:29, 14:28; Eph. 4:6) and the Holy Ghost, but they are one in purpose (John 10:30; 17:11, 21; 1 John 5:7). God the Father perfectly shares power and authority
    • He is the God we worship (John 8:54; John 14:28; Romans 15:6).
    • All things are OF the Father (according to his will), but all things are BY Jesus Christ who carried out the will of the Father. (1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6).
    • Divides the inheritance of nations (Deut. 32:8), meaning, God assigned spirit children to be born where and when they were and into the circumstances they were, knowing how they would all be benefitted in their eternal journey by a brief sojourn into mortality. God formed the nations that would rise and fall to bring about his purposes (Dan. 2:37).
  • Plan of Salvation
    • The Father presented a plan of salvation for his spirit children to obtain physical bodies by going down to an earth. He knew they would need a Savior and he chose Jesus for that role. (Matt. 26:39; Luke 22:42; John 5:18; Moses 4:1-3)
    • The Father taught Christ and prepared him for his mission (John 8:26-28). He directs all work. It is his plan of salvation which Jesus carries out (John 5:36).
    • Jesus was appointed and ordained (Acts 17:31) to come down to represent and act as if the Father was here (Romans 1:20; Col. 2:9; Col. 2:9; 1 John 4:14)
    • Inference: The Father would also have taught the individual serving as the Holy Ghost to prepare him for his mission (John 14:26).
    • Knows the full plan and orchestrated it from the beginning including the first and second comings of Christ (Matt 24:36; Mark 13:32; John 3:16; Moses 4:1). The Father is the husbandman (John 15:1) of the vineyard. With his foreknowledge, he helped us create our life plan/path, what we would experience that would be of the greatest eternal benefit for us so we could return to a place of final inheritance which is “prepared of [the] Father.” (Matt. 20:23)
    • The whole purpose of the plan is to allow us to obtain the mind of God, grow from grace to grace, and become one with God the Father and Jesus Christ (LOF 5:2). They want us to be one with them.
  • The Garden and the Fall
    • Taught Adam and Eve
    • Set up the conditions for the fall
    • After the fall, the primary communicator with man would be Jehovah, Jesus Christ.
  • The Father would at times announce the Son and testifies of him (Matt. 3:17; 17:5; Luke 10:22; JSH 1:16-17)
    • The Father commands us to come unto Christ. He directs the Holy Ghost to testify of Christ. We learn of the Father to come to Christ (John 6:44-45; 8:18).
    • Reveals the Son to many. Those who reject the Son after the Father reveals him become sons of perdition (D&C 76:43).
  • Mortal Time
    • The Father corrects us so that we come into subjection to him and abide in eternal law (Heb. 12:9)
    • The Father gives us good and perfect gifts (James 1:17)
    • Unless we do the works of the Father, we will be condemned just as the Pharisees were (John 8:39).
    • Rewards “every man according to his works” (Matt. 16:27)
    • Judges every man according to their works (1 Pet. 1:17; Alma 11:44 (all Godhead mentioned as judges); 3 Nephi 27:14 (Jesus will judge)).
    • The Father proves us to see if we are worthy to be given to Christ (John 6:37; Abr. 3:25)
  • Ordinances
    • The Father promises an endowment of power on his children who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ his Son (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8, 4:33; D&C 95:9)
      • What is this endowment of power? (Mission story: D&C 11:21 – “power of God unto the convincing of men”)
    • Puts his name on 2 ordinances (baptism and temple sealing) recognizing the validity of them. (Matt. 28:19)
    • Temples are the house of Heavenly Father (John 2:16). In them, the ordinances offer us to become kings and queens unto the most high by taking upon us the name of Christ.
  • Gospel Purpose – glorify God
    • God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Our purpose is to live to bring that glory to God. How?
    • What is God’s purpose in having us glorify Him with our good works? (Matt. 5:16; 3 Nephi 12:16) To show others what the Father would be like if he were here. That was the life of Christ. Full of “grace and truth” to show the glory of the Father (John 1:14) and how he would live on earth (John 14:9-12). We are simply “little children” who must “grow in grace in and the knowledge of the truth” (D&C 50:40).
    • Striving to glorify God by living the gospel allows us to have fellowship with the Father and the Son (Matt. 5:16; 1 John 1:3)
    • The Father’s purpose is for us to worship (honor, respect, adore, imitate) Him in the name of Jesus Christ, because by doing so, we bring him glory and he in turn exalts us. To receive this glory, we have to do it in the same way Jesus did by becoming one with them (LOF 7:15).
    • God the Father has a plan for each of us. When we partner with him and follow the Spirit, we then go about his business (Luke 2:49).
  • Protector of Celestial Kingdom
    • It is the Father’s kingdom which Christ is bringing people to under his authority (Luke 11:2)
    • No unclean thing can enter God’s presence (Alma 11:37; 3 Nep. 27:19; Moses 6:57)
    • Jesus is our advocate who can enter God’s presence and advocates for us (1 John 2:1; D&C 45:3-5)
  • Answers Prayers
    • We are commanded to ask the Father for the things we are in need of. He then chooses how and when and by what means to bless us. This is part of the process of working out our salvation with fear and trembling (Mormon 9:27).
    • Alone we cannot approach the Father because we are unclean. Because he answers Jesus Christ who is clean, we must ask in the name of Jesus Christ to have our prayers answered (Matt. 6:6; John 15:16; Eph. 2:18) (Yet God still answers the prayers of those that don’t know Jesus Christ and provides for his children because he loves all his children and is merciful to those that don’t know him yet.)
  • Forgives us our trespasses (Matt. 6:15; Matt. 11:26; Luke 23:34)
  • The “work of the Father” – The work of the Father is to scatter Israel and then restore the dispersed tribes of Israel in a miraculous way after the return of the city of Enoch with Christ dwelling in the midst of Zion, and bring them to the New Jerusalem (3 Nephi 21:25-29).
    • Jacob 5: Read as the Father is the Lord of the Vineyard, and Christ is the servant.

About the Author

Oak Norton - Just trying to share a love of the scriptures with others.

  • Chris Wright says:

    Wow Oak. Absolutely loved this video and your collected thoughts. You quoted a couple of my favourite Joseph Smith quotes especially on fathers and sons, and I have the same thoughts and conclusions about our Saviour coming to earth to represent our Heavenly Father almost as if He was here in person himself. In fact doing for us that which He (the father) could not do directly Himself, as in the atonement.

    However I do have question because following your logic as brought me to the conclusion I had previously arrived at or at least contemplated and thought, and that is if the Saviour was only doing that which He saw His father do then our Heavenly Father (Elohim) must have been a Saviour (A Jesus Christ) then how do the rest of us become Gods?

    Hyrum Andre explored this subject quite deeply in his lectures and a book. He explained that when everything is finally completed at the end of the millennium Christ/Jehovah is elevated to the our Heavenly Fathers spot as Elohim and Elohim moves up in glory.

    Our Saviour/Jehovah who is now Elohim presiding over the universe, he now has a firstborn whome He prepares to be like himself and become a Saviour to the newly created worlds by the next group of exalted beings. He (the new Jehovah) is able to do this because He is created in the image of His Father and can be shown all that His father did (how achieve the atonement).

    So again my question is, and wondered if from your insights you had any thoughts on this or do we possibly remain, kings and Queens, and Priests and Prietesses to our new Heavenly Father (Elohim) which is an idea that has presented to me by several different people now.

    Would love to know your thoughts on this!

    • Oak Norton says:

      There are many mysteries that we don’t have a full knowledge of. We speculate a lot because of it. Although I don’t comprehend exactly how this will all work, how can we advance to our fullest potential without doing the works of the Father and the Son? There will be a lot of training and preparation that goes on after this round of life.

  • Mavin Swapp says:

    Does Christ’s Father have a Father?
    Be careful what you believe which is not in the scriptures or that does not come from the Holy Ghost. Some at the time of Joseph Smith used the verse in Rev. 1:6 to show that Christ’s Father had a Father, but Joseph Smith rendered a better translation to show that the verse did not show that but that it referred to God as the Father of Christ. Revelation 1:6; “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:6, NKJV reads, “to His God and Father.” Joseph Smith says, “unto God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The King Follett Sermon does not say that Christ’s Father had a Father! It does say that the intelligence of man is eternal and has always existed. See D&C 93:23, 29; And the scriptures tell us that the intelligence of Christ’s God is more intelligent than all other intelligences that have always existed. If this is true then how can Christ’s Father have a Father, and if so was His Father less intelligent? See Abr. 3:17–24.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Hi Mavin, thanks for commenting. The particular quote I shared above by Joseph Smith does indeed directly contradict the JST translation. I was also puzzled by that a little bit when I discovered it. However, here is something to consider. Joseph worked on the inspired translation of the Bible around 1830-1833. The quote about “God and His Father” came from a meeting in the grove, East of the Temple, June 16, 1844, 2 weeks before he was murdered. He never finished his inspired version of the Bible, but it seems his views matured and he shed some greater light on the subject just before his death years after working on the JST.
      As for Abraham 3:17-24, Christ is not indicating his Father is greater than all others, he was indicating that HE was greater than all the intelligences that were part of this round of creation coming to this earth to be tested. He later stated in the New Testament that his Father was greater than he. If they were both all-knowing and all-powerful and so on, how was his Father greater than he? It must be in some other way, and when we discover that way as some form of advancement that doesn’t involve intelligence and knowledge and power, then we may begin to comprehend that if the Father can be greater than the Son, then a being beyond the Father can be greater than the Father in a way that also doesn’t violate those traits.
      Here is an interesting quote to consider by Dr. Chauncey Riddle, given at the Sperry Symposium in 1989:
      “Though there be gods and lords many, there is but one God, and that God is the priesthood – ordered community of all the righteous exalted beings who exist. To be invited to join them by hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to receive the greatest message in the universe; to be enabled to join them by receiving the New and Everlasting Covenant is to have the greatest opportunity in the universe; to be joined with them is the greatest gift in the universe, which gift is life eternal, sharing with them all the good they have and are. This good which they share is righteousness. Righteousness is that necessary order of social relationships in which beings of knowledge and power must bind themselves in order to live together in accomplishment and happiness for eternity. They bind themselves to each other with solemn covenants to become predictable, dependable and united so that they can be trusted. They bind themselves to be honest, true, chaste and benevolent so that they can do good for all other beings, which good they do by personal sacrifice to fulfill all righteousness.
      The contrary of this good is evil. Evil is departing from God’s order of righteousness by twisting and/or diminishing it. Evil enables one being in a social order to fulfill his own personal desires at the expense of others, thus to be a law unto himself.”

  • >