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All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

John 1:3

There are also Book of Mormon verses saying that God created all things as well.

There is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are.

2 Nephi 2:14

How do Mormons interpret these verses in accordance with their belief that God was not always God (and so could not have created the things that existed before he became God)?

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The proper doctrinal context for all questions of this nature is Moses 1:35 (emphasis added):

But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

All pronouncements in the scriptures about the nature of God's works are limited in scope to what's actually relevant to us. Any questions outside that scope are nothing more than distractions.

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There are a lot of unknowns at play here. First, what is the revealed doctrine?

  1. There are worlds without numbers that God created, but most of what is revealed is restricted to this Earth (Moses 1:33-35). Already, this creates a big uncertainty when we talk about what "everything" is when prophets say "God hath created all things" - does it mean all things on this earth? All things we see when look at the sky? All things in the observable universe? All things in the whole universe? Is there a multiverse?

  2. Joseph Smith understood creation as forming pre-existing matter or spirit, not creatio-ex-nihilo. (D&C 93:29,33; Abraham 3:18-19; Abraham 5:4 - do note the "Gods" in Abraham are not necessarily interpreted as literally other, unknown Gods, but normally as the Godhead as well as potentially mankind working together in the creation)

  3. Creation and spirits is a funky subject full of uncertainty - already when we just look at Jesus. At the same time eternally God, son of God, a spirit that incarnated on this earth then resurrected and took his place as exalted, resurrected being. But at the same time the fact that he is a son means he has to have been begotten/formed/created at some point, right? Right? Bringing these together seems difficult with our understanding of time, even in traditional christianity. And in LDS theology, the answer to this question basically applies to us as well, and, by extrapolation into the unknown, to God the Father. How does time work, anyway?

  4. The point Joseph is trying to make is that we are like God, by saying God is like us, in some respect. Or, when seen from another angle, God is like Jesus, Jesus is like God, and we are like Jesus. Jesus was always God, but a spirit who incarnated, then ressurrected and exalted. Nowhere that I am aware of does he talk about God having a God or something like that. Now, there is of course evidence that this is something LDS believe or have believed (see the Hymn "If you could hie to Kolob"). But this seems to me to be extrapolation from the doctrine of exaltation, and nothing of note about the doctrine as a whole changes if this turned out to be wrong.

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God was not always God is not the Church of Jesus Christ doctrine, see this SO answer to: When did the LDS church start teaching that God the Father had a beginning?, basically everyone (spirit/intelligence) is eternal. God...[being] created by another God is also not quite true/explicit (it can be implied or theorized but not official doctrine), see this SO question: According to LDS teaching, Does God have a God?

That said, assuming God does have a God (or if he did have a beginning), nothing is contradictory with OP statements. Lets use an analogy (this is imprecise as most analogies are). Your biological father, has a father, and so on. Your grand-father is not your father (If God has a God, he is not our God), you becoming a father eventually doesn't mean your father stops being your father (If we become like God, it doesn't take away that we still have a God)1. Your father having a father does not mean he didn't accomplish what he said he did. There are a great many unknowns regarding heaven, God, creation, and the eternities.

1 Biblical basis of exaltation (LDS)

See Also:

EDIT based on OP edit

created the things that existed before he became God, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do not have an doctrine on what there might've been around before this point (though again the wording is sort of off, and this is assuming certain things based on a few select phrases). Almost all the doctrine the LDS church has revolves around the creation of this universe.

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  • But the Bible says that God created all things, and that nothing was created without God. Jan 23, 2023 at 16:15
  • But Mormons believe that God only created this world, and not other worlds, which would seem to go contrary to the Bible? Jan 23, 2023 at 16:20
  • @TerjijKassal no they don't
    – depperm
    Jan 23, 2023 at 16:21
  • I edited my question to be inline with your answer. Jan 23, 2023 at 16:22
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    But the question I have is, if God was not always God, then who created the things that existed before he became God? The Bible says nothing came into existence without God. Jan 23, 2023 at 16:31
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Well, that depends which God you mean. The LDS view of God, and gods, is very different to mainstream Christianity. Elohim is Father in Heaven: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/god-godhead?lang=eng&letter=g Father in Heaven: The Father of the spirits of all mankind. Jesus is his Only Begotten Son in the flesh. Man has been commanded to obey and give reverence to the Father and to pray to him in Jesus’ name. God the Son: The God known as Jehovah is the Son, Jesus Christ… he is the eldest of the spirit children of Elohim… it was actually Jesus who was the Creator under the direction of God the Father [but see further down for 3]. Jesus Christ: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/jesus-christ?lang=eng
Jehovah: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/jehovah?lang=eng&letter=j It denotes “the eternal I AM.” Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth as a son of Mary (Mosiah 3:8; 15:1; 3 Ne. 15:1–5). Michael the Archangel: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/michael?lang=eng&letter=m The name by which Adam was known in the premortal life. He is called the Archangel. In Hebrew the name means “Who is like God.” Adam: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/adam?lang=eng&letter=a Adam is the Ancient of Days and is also known as Michael (Dan. 7; D&C 27:11; 107:53–54; 116; 138:38). He is the archangel and will come again to the earth as the patriarch of the human family, preparatory to the second coming of Jesus Christ (D&C 29:26).

Because the LDS teaches that it was Michael who was put on Earth as Adam, and Michael was one of three gods, they have their Adam-God doctrine. Adam is said to be the incarnation of a god who is ‘related’ to man. Brigham Young said on April 9, 1852 “When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days about whom holy men have spoken – He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do… the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely Elohim, Jehovah and Michael, these three forming a quorum… (Journal of Discourses 1:50-51). All of that, however, is denied as being official LDS doctrine.

The LDS speaks of “the law of eternal progression” which is also necessary to understand in order to answer the question. The basic principle of the law of eternal progression was stated by their fifth President, Lorenzo Snow who is famous for the following couplet: “As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be3” That's in the LDS magazine Ensign, May 1977 page 49.

The LDS believes in a hierarchy of various gods and goddesses, some who rank much higher than others. There is Elohim and his goddess wife who birthed Jehovah as their first-born spirit baby; Jehovah then created our universe but had to be born as the man Jesus to progress his plan of salvation. All Mormons believe they were once born as spirit babies to their own god and goddess parents, and if they do as Jesus did, being obedient to the Mormon faith on earth and being married, they could attain the highest level of the kingdom and eventually get their own planet to populate with spirit children who will later become mortal.

When it was time for Elohim to prepare the earth for occupancy, the HEAD OF THE GODS called a Council of the gods and there the gods agreed the plan for earth should be Jehovah's plan. Notice plural gods?
References - LDS Journal of Discourses Vol. 6 pp 3-5; The Seer by LDS Apostle Orson Pratt, pp 37-38; Mormon Doctrine by LDS Apostle Bruce R McConkie pp 163-164; Doctrines of Salvation by LDS prophet Joseph F. Smith, Vol 1 pp 64-66.

Now, if the LDS response to all this is to say such ideas are not doctrine, there’s no point in anybody doing any verbatim quotations from documents because those will simply be dismissed as unofficial writings, or statements. But what cannot be denied is that the LDS way of thinking about God, and gods, means there is a massive semantics problem here, which is why I said at the start, "Well, that depends which God you mean."

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    Michael was one of three gods no LDS don't teach that, see christianity.stackexchange.com/q/4766/22319, nor is there specific doctrine about Elohim and his goddess wife who birthed Jehovah as their first-born spirit baby, and the LDS only believe in one God see christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/55135/…
    – depperm
    Jan 24, 2023 at 15:39
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    @depperm I found the following article where Mormonism denies Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Spirit. How do you reconcile your claims with the Bible? thirdmill.org/answers/answer.asp/file/40532
    – Mr. Bond
    Jan 24, 2023 at 22:01
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    @Mr.Bond you found an article about Mormonism (third mill is not an official or unofficial LDS site). If you have an additional question ask it on the site, not in the comments
    – depperm
    Jan 25, 2023 at 11:33

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