1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this border of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.
There is an interesting theological conundrum in Mormonism that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. The above passage is the first part of it. The doctrine taught in section 131 teaches that a person cannot be exalted singly and separately — rather a man must be sealed to a woman (and vice versa) for either to exalted.
Here is the second part of this conundrum:
Jehovah is the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth being born of Mary (LDS Bible dictionary)
Jesus was already exalted before coming to earth. The pre-mortal Jesus was God.
So the question is, how do we reconcile these two beliefs? We are taught that a major purpose of our mortality is to allow us to progress to become like God in ways that were impossible prior to our receiving a physical body. Among the requirements to do that is to become sealed in marriage by the priesthood authority. We are further taught that there are required ordinances that must take place in mortality because a physical body is required to accomplish them (and thus we do even proxy ordinances for the dead). So how then did the Savior and Holy Ghost manage to become exalted and full members of the Godhead without participating in these ordinances in the body?
There are three general methods I have seen people use to try to reconcile this seeming contradiction. People generally assume that:
(1) Gods are fundamentally different beings than us humans and thus the rules that apply to us don’t apply to them
(2) D&C 131 is just wrong and any one of us can become fully exalted in the absence of marriage
(3) Jesus had already lived a regular mortal probation on a previous world, was married by the proper authority there, was exalted as a result of that probation, and later left his resurrected body to condescend to be our savior
Of course most people in the church would find things to object to in each of these reconciliations. Solution (1) is objectionable because it places a massive gap between us and the Godhead. It either assumes unbridgeable ontological gap between us and them or at least something similar to that. While creedal Christians might love that idea, it seems to fly in the face of the teachings we got from Joseph Smith and his successors that we are of the same kind/species as the members of the Godhead. Solution (2) is objectionable because it requires a flat out rejection of clear and emphatic canonized revelation. Solution (3) is objectionable because it requires one to accept that a resurrected divine person could indeed choose to separate their spirit from their resurrected body and condescend to a mortal body (as opposed to being permanently and inseparably connected to their resurrected body).
So what do you think? Are there other general reconciliation methods that I have not heard or thought of yet? If not which of these three do you prefer and why? Just how do we reconcile the teaching that one must be sealed to a spouse in mortality in order to become exalted with the notion that the Savior and Holy Ghost were already Gods and full members of the Godhead prior to their mortalities?