President Brigham Young, the second president of this dispensation, said: “It is supposed by this people that we have all the ordinances in our possession for life and salvation, and exaltation, and that we are administering in those ordinances. This is not the case. We are in possession of all the ordinances that can be administered in the flesh; but there are other ordinances and administrations that must be administered beyond this world. I know you would like to ask what they are. I will mention one. We have not, neither can we receive here, the ordinance and the keys of resurrection.” (Journal of Discourses, 15:137) . . . .
Perhaps there is something else that we will learn as we perfect our bodies and our spirits in the times to come. You and I – what helpless creatures are we! Such limited power we have, and how little can we control the wind and the waves and the storms! We remember the numerous scriptures which, concentrated in a single line, were said by a former prophet, Lorenzo Snow: “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” This is a power available to us as we reach perfection and receive the experience and power to create, to organize, to control native elements. How limited we are now! We have no power to force the grass to grow, the plants to emerge, the seeds to develop. . . .
Millions of us have contributed toward the creation and the development of a spirit, but “the germ of this, God has placed within us. And when our spirits receive our bodies, and through our faithfulness we are worthy to be crowned, we will then receive authority to produce both spirit and body. But these keys we cannot receive in the flesh.” (Journal of Discourses, 15:137) Again, the powers of heavens. . . .
God has taken these intelligences, given to them spirit bodies, and given them instructions and training. Then he proceeded to create a world for them and sent them as spirits to obtain a mortal body, for which he made preparation. And when they were upon the earth, he gave them instructions on how to go about developing and conducting their lives to make them perfect, so they could return to their Father in heaven after their transitions. Then came the periods of time when souls were to be placed upon the earth and born to parents who were permitted to furnish the bodies. But no parent has ever yet on this earth been the parent of a spirit, because we are so far yet from perfection. Remember what was said a while ago, that “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” They came with the definite understanding that they could return to become like God and go forward in their great development and progress.
Could you produce a spirit? Has anyone whom you know ever produced a spirit? This is a power not given to mortal man, so there is much for us to learn. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “Our Great Potential,” General Conference, May 1977