I will herein use a couple quotes by the Prophet Joseph Smith, in his great King Follett Sermon (KFS) (LINK), and discuss them a bit,
Joseph said about God that He is “…not trifling with you or me.” This is all very serious, we are not on vacation, nor should we be preoccupied with feeding our bellies. There is a real plan from the beginning, and this is our time on stage.
Joseph quotes the New Testament, "This is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." But Joseph goes further and teaches that not only must we know God, we must understand our true relationship with God. If we miss this, we really know nothing.
“There are but a very few beings in the world who understand rightly the character of God. The great majority of mankind do not comprehend anything, either that which is past, or that which is to come, as it respects their relationship to God. They do not know, neither do they understand the nature of that relationship; and consequently they know but little above the brute beast, or more than to eat, drink and sleep. This is all man knows about God or His existence, unless it is given by the inspiration of the Almighty.”
So what was our relationship with God in the “past,” and what will our relationship be in that which is “to come?” What do we know?
We know that we always existed like God:
“The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. …That which has a beginning may have an end. There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal with our Father in heaven.” (KFS)
What made Him our Father is that He reached back into eternity, to bring us forward.
“The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with Himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.”
This ability to be “exalted,” to receive “knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence” is the promise of God, from before creation, through the atonement, otherwise known as the Abrahamic Covenants, or our inheritance.
We know that before this world was created there was a grand council, made up of the Head (rosh) God, Eloheim, and the other Gods in the council. These are the noble and great ones that Abraham saw (LINK), the priesthood holders of this life. Some of these achieved the rank of god before the world was, as Christ did. The Hebrew word “El” means God. The Hebrew “im” is the plural suffix.
“In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it. When we begin to learn this way, we begin to learn the only true God, and what kind of a being we have got to worship. Having a knowledge of God, we begin to know how to approach Him, and how to ask so as to receive an answer.”
So we existed forever like God. He is our Father because He brought us forth from intelligences, to spirits. He is our Father because He created our physical bodies, as planned in the Council of the Gods. This is the present or the past. What is our relationship “to come?” If worthy:
“…[A]lthough the earthly tabernacle is laid down and dissolved, they shall rise again to dwell in everlasting burnings in immortal glory, not to sorrow, suffer, or die any more, but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. … To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before…”(KFS)
This is all a family affair. Parents passing on an inheritance to the children. Elijah said:
“And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to their fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.” (JSH 1:39)
And modern prophets said it this way:
“All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.”
“In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshiped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize his or her divine destiny as an heir of eternal life. The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally.” (LINK)
The Prophet Joseph said “That [this] is the great secret.”