Help! My TBM [Mormon] bro sent me the latest essay

PapaKen Feb. 2014

He's saying he wants to know what I think about the "like god" essay, and as he put it, the eternal future of our family.

I read (i.e., waded through) the essay. I fell asleep twice trying to focus on the concepts of it. To me, it was mostly watered down Mormonism. I kept wondering what happened to boldly proclaiming the gospel - "you can become a god(ess)."

I was also RE-pissed off when I read the part accounting for Gordon Hinckley's public statements about Mormons becoming gods. I mean, I spent TWO YEARS pushing that idea on my mission. And then Hinckley can't even muster the courage of proclaiming that basic and important principle of his message when he was speaking to such a vast audience. What a moron!

Anyway the question for me now, regarding my overly TBM brother, is should I ignore? engage? or run like hell?

What do you think?

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

Of course the denial of the becoming God's doctrine was an outright lie. A day or two later, I checked my daughter's Young Womens' manual, and my Priesthood manual, and BOTH had a lesson or more teaching it.

But it was compounded later with Hinckley's comments in General Conference, "I know the doctrine. Don't worry about what we tell the press." Wink, Wink. Tacit approval from the masses for lying for the Lord. Congregation arrogantly snickers.

As for a reply, I'd say something like "Well, the answer depends on which decade you ask it."

Elder What's-his-face
Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

You could just copy paste your post. The question is legit, and really to the point- what ever happened to boldly proclaiming the gospel? And then reply with a ton of official gods in embryo teachings.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

I would say something like "well, we both know that's not the church we grew up in."

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

"Bro~ Are we talking about the same church?"

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay
It's strange that a TBM would send this out to you, since it's clearly back-pedaling and LYING from the LDS Church division about a core Mormon belief and DOCTRINE.

It's up to him - as a core believer - to explain and justify this change in doctrine. Why are they doing this? Did your bro have any chance to have input into these important changes? Did they present these changes to the church, or even to the priesthood, before they changed it? Finally, as your bro why they're outright LYING?

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

When I point out problems my brother the Institute director
points out that only the President of the Church can say what
the doctrine is. The only thing the president of the Church
has said on the topic in this century is that he doesn't know
and "it's only a couplet."

An anonymous "essay" hidden deep in the Church's website which
does nothing but waffle (does it actually come out and say
that no Mormon will actually get a planet? or does it just
waffle with weasel words that Mormons don't appreciated a
"caricature" of the idea or a "cartoonish" treatment of it?)
is hardly official Church Doctrine.

We USED to have a prophet who declared doctrine. Now we have
managers who delegate responsibilities to anonymous committees.

The history of Mormonism in the last 100 years has been a
retreat from doctrine. We are not progressing in knowledge,
we are regressing.

Edit: Maybe you should point to the Gospel Fundamentals
manual online at the Church's website:

"They will receive everything our Father in Heaven has and
will become like Him. They will even be able to have spirit
children and make new worlds for them to live on, and do all
the things our Father in Heaven has done."

It's in the third paragraph on the page.

How I'd answer
This is how I'd answer:

"I think this is an attempt by a false church to deflect criticism without actually clarifying anything."

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

Copy and paste this entire thread and send it to him. I am thinking he probably wants out and is feeling for a bit of support. He obviously is unsettled in his beliefs about it.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

I think I'll compose a short reply along the lines of,

"Hmmm. Where did THIS come from? Who wrote it? It couldn't possibly have been written by one of the GAs, since they've long proclaimed that we can all become gods & godesses. That's something I remember from the temple.

"So is this official? It's hard to believe they'd publish something that contradicts the well-known basic principles of the Plan of Salvation."

I saw the question he asked as a passive aggressive threat

to make you worry about the future of your eternal family. Or perhaps it was a fear-filled plea.

He asked, so I would answer.

"Brother, I don't even know why you'd ask, when you know I don't believe in the LDS church any more. Any promises or threats made by the church are completely without effect.

In the LDS church, the whole concept of eternal family is used, to badger members with the fear of losing their families for all eternities, or win them over with promises of eternal glory and Godhood. And it works pretty well, when one believes it. But I don't believe it. All the statements in the world by LDS leader mean practically nothing.

I'm sorry if they have brought you concern over my eternal welfare. But I want to reassure you that I am confident in my decision and I'm moving forward in my life, confident that I am on the right path."

-sincerely, your Brother

I look at this essay as an attempt to sugarcoat and downplay the doctrine of eternal progression (godhood). This used to be widely and openly taught at church, and now it seems they are waffling and side stepping it. But I have to say, the essay was masterfully written. I was irritated that they colored the "we don't know much about that" statement by GBH.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay
President Hin kley, you commented on the Mormon doctrine that men can become gods by saying, "I don't think we teach that".. are you certain?

GBH: Certain about what?

About not teaching you can become a god.

GBH: Where's my pudding?

When we've finished this interview you can have your pudding.

GBH: zzzzzzzzzzz

Dave the Atheist
how can he have any pudding when he didn't teach us the meat ?

Maggie Lindsey
Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

Have you read the blog on MT written by the ex bishop and currently high counselor? Seems like a similar predicament for both parties. Might be something you could use.

Deacon's Clip-on Tie
Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

THAT is the best response. It totally paints him in a corner.

Toss it back into his court.
Perhaps the time honored tennis maneuver will serve you well here. (Accidental pun there!)

“I think it’s very interesting that you sent me this. What do YOU think about all this?”

Get him talking. Find out why he sent it to you and what he hopes to gain from you by doing it. Does he a want change in your behavior? Does he want to discuss something troubling or frightening to him? Is he looking for reassurance for a crumbling testimony, and perhaps considering ways out, but isn’t yet ready to admit that possibility, even to himself?

You won’t know until you ask and he tells you what is really going on in his head. What seems clear to me is that he really loves you and wants both of you to be on the same page. Whether or not you end up agreeing on religious beliefs, this appears to be a perfect opportunity to show your brother you love him enough to care and ask what’s going on with him. The results may surprise both of you.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

"only the President of the Church can say what
the doctrine is"

This sums it up for me. How can I have a testimony in a faith that has only one member that knows what the doctrines are?

I was taught that we should build our home upon a rock and not upon the shifting sands. Yet, Mormonism is just one big pile of shifting sand. The only sure thing is a demand for tithing.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay
Good Mormons have the potential to become gods - or exMos. This is a great opportunity.I would be thoughtful and non antagonistic. Discuss how the constant shifts in what is taught about doctrine and history in the One True Everlasting church are confusing.

How you liked that doctrine as did some investigators when you taught it for 2 years. How this essay seems like reversal approved by top leadership but not presented as revelation by a prophet. This lets the church say different things to different audiences. This was written for mainstream Christian outsiders who watched the musical or South Park. It also fits with a lot of the real BoM and bible - one god. But it contrasts sharply with the newest scriptures we have: Book of Abraham and D&C 132.

Invite him to read those closely. Maybe he will and eventually he'll see what we do when we read those. Nowhere else that I know of is Joseph Smith's self-serving "revelation," and inability to actually translate better illustrated than in the verses about Emma in 132 and the labels on the BofA illustrations. Maybe later you can show him the other essays - I can't wait for the BofA and Joseph's marriages to already married women to be addressed.

Note those scriptures refer explicitly to GODS and are openly polytheistic.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay
You could say 'Do you not think it's strange that like much other once-essential church doctrine it is now being changed/denied?'.

Re: how can he have any pudding when he didn't teach us the meat ?

I finally got the double pun! Brilliant - pulls in the song AND church teachings. And wow, isn't Pink Floyd's The Wall a nice metaphor for the disfunctional effects the TSCC has on some people?

I myself was lucky in that it was never allowed by my NOM parents to be a negative force in our lives, but there are stories on this board that break your heart.

Well done!

Eric K
Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

Very clever replies.

I am trying to archive some of the best. It is amazing how clumsily the church has created so much publicity on these essays, in particular the "denying having your own planet one." It even made my small town newspaper on Friday. They are making themselves look more like Scientology every day (which it actually parallels in many aspects). It is fun and depressing to watch. I used to believe that crap.

It is a strange essay. I am copying it because I believe they may take it down. It does not answer a thing. When the church tries to create ambiguity out of something that was once clear and was a motivating factor for many to build the kingdom, it will cause more disaffection.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay
Worse than shifting "sand".

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

Do you have a link? I looked on their site but wasn't sure which article you were talking about. Thanks.

Truth Matters
Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

If it is just a "caricature" of the teachings of the "Church," then it is the fault of the so-called prophets, who drew the "caricature" in the first place. For example:

Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.2, p.48:

"The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fulness of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring. We will have an endless eternity for this.

Re: Help! My TBM bro sent me the latest essay

It’s my understanding that you become gods and goddesses after the 2nd anointing. Perhaps Tom Phillips would know more about this, lol.

I haven’t been to the temple in a very long time (mercifully) and I couldn’t remember if the ceremony specifically used the word Gods and Goddesses.
I thought it did, but I checked and here is the ceremony:

“Brethren, you have been washed and pronounced clean, or that through your faithfulness, you may become clean from the blood and sins of this generation. You have been anointed to become hereafter Kings and Priests unto the Most High God, to rule and reign in the House of Israel forever.
Sisters, you have been washed and anointed to become hereafter Queens and Priestesses to your husbands.
Brethren and Sisters, if you are true and faithful, the day will come when you will be chosen, called up, and anointed Kings and Queens, Priests and Priestesses, whereas you are now anointed only to become such.”

The temple itself didn’t say “gods and goddesses” but other references did.

The Mormon leaders teach that those who receive their endowments and are married in the temple can become Gods. In a speech published in The Ensign, Nov. 1975, page 80, Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th prophet of the LDS Church, made some comments which were broadcast to those men serving in the priesthood of the church: "Brethren, 225,000 of you are here tonight. I suppose 225,000 of you may become gods."

The church's message, he explained, "is a message of Christ. Our church is Christ-centered. He's our leader. He's our head. His name is the name of our church." At first, Hinckley seemed to qualify the idea that men could become gods, suggesting that "it's of course an ideal. It's a hope for a wishful thing," but later affirmed that "yes, of course they can." (He added that women could too, "as companions to their husbands. They can't conceive a king without a queen.") On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, he sounded uncertain, "I don't know that we teach it. I don't know that we emphasize it... I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others know a lot about it."- Time, August 4, 1997

Regarding Hinckley's statements:
After a spokesman for the LDS Church questioned the accuracy of the Time quotation, the transcript was released:

“Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follett discourse by the Prophet [Joseph Smith, Jr.]
Hinckley: Yeah.
Q: ... about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?
Hinckley: I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.”

- Full transcript of Interview with Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Time, August 4, 1997

“Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?
A: [Gordon B. Hinckley] I wouldn’t say that. There was a little couplet coined, ‘As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.’ Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.”

- San Francisco Chronicle, interview with Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, April 13, 1997, Sunday Interview, by Don Lattin, p. 3/Z1.

“None of you need worry because you read something that was incompletely reported. You need not worry that I do not understand some matters of doctrine... I think I understand them thoroughly.”

- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 4, 1997

“First, we believe that God is a being with a body in form like man’s; that he possesses body, parts and passions; that in a word, God is an exalted, perfected man.
“Secondly, we believe in a plurality of Gods.
“Third, we believe that somewhere and some time in the ages to come, through development, through enlargement, through purification until perfection is attained, man at last may become like God – a God.”

- LDS Historian B.H. Roberts, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity: The Roberts-Van Der Donckt Discussion, p. 11

“God must have been engaged from the beginning, and must now be engaged in progressive development, and infinite as God is, he must have been less powerful in the past than he is today.... We may be certain that, through self-effort, the inherent and innate powers of God have been developed to a God-like degree. Thus he has become God.”

- Apostle John A. Widtsoe, Rational Theology, 1915, pp. 23-24

“The Father became the Father at some time before ‘the beginning’ as humans know it, by experiencing a mortality similar to that experienced on earth... Gods and humans are the same species of being, but at different stages of development in a divine continuum, and that the heavenly Father and Mother are the heavenly pattern, model, and example of what mortals can become through obedience to the gospel.... Knowing that they are the literal offspring of Heavenly Parents and that they can become like those parents through the gospel of Jesus Christ is a wellspring of religious motivation.”

- Encyclopedia of Mormonism

The below comment from fair actually makes sense to me.
“The real question should be, is President Snow's couplet an accurate reflection of LDS doctrine? Everything Latter-day Saints teach about God is in agreement with the rest of the Christian world, with the exception of His nature. Joseph Smith said God is in the same form as we are, because we were created in His image as the Bible plainly and clearly tells us... But again, we do not emphasize Heavenly Father's past, but the possibility of our future.”- The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research,

Smith was extremely clever to pick up on the bible scripture that said man is created in God’s image. He must have figured that out after his various first various differing first vision accounts. Whatever apologist say Smith was an unintelligent farm boy is not familiar with Smith.

Here’s what Mittens has to say about it:
Q: If so, does the Church believe that God lives on a planet named Kolob?
A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.
Q: Where is the planet Kolob? What significance does the planet have to Mormons?
A: 'Kolob' is a term found in ancient records translated by Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith did not provide a full description or explanation of Kolob nor did he assign the idea particular significance in relation to the Church’s core doctrines.
Q: Does the Mormon Church believe its followers can become "gods and goddesses" after death?
A: We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being 'joint heirs with Christ' reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.
Q: Does the Mormon Church believe that women can only gain access to heaven with a special pass or codewords?
A: No.
Hmm, I recall reading that God resided on a planet NEAR Kolob. That’s very specific application if you ask me.
Mitt apparently falls asleep during the temple ceremony or he would have known that one of the major purposes of the temple ceremony is to provide passwords, signs and tokens thereby gaining access through the portals and gates to heaven.

The June 2009 issue of Ensign magazine sheds some light on LDS teachings related to the above statements. In “Our Refined Heavenly Home” by Seventy Douglas L. Callister we learn,
“I imagine that our heavenly parents are exquisitely refined. In this great gospel of emulation, one of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like them in every conceivable way…” (page 55)
“Your Father in Heaven has sent you away from His presence to have experiences you would not have had in your heavenly home–all in preparation for the conferral of a kingdom. He doesn’t want you to lose your vision. You are children of an exalted being. You are foreordained to preside as kings and queens.” (page 58)
“…may we become worthy to enjoy the refined society of heavenly parentage, for we are of the race of the Gods, being ‘children of the most High’ (Psalm 82:6).” (page 58)

The Doctrine and Covenants contains a verse that states that those who are exalted will "be gods" and, thus, will inherit God's glory through Christ's atonement. D&C 132:20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from aeverlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be bgods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them.
"That higher state, promised in the eternal marriage covenant, is called becoming kings and queens, priests and priestesses unto the most high God.
(As Women of Faith: Talks Selected from the BYU Women's Conferences [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989], 117.)

Nyman and Tate:
"The Holy Priesthood after the order of the Son of God is from eternity to eternity, from everlasting to everlasting, meaning from one existence to the next. It was in operation in the first estate, it blesses lives and seals souls to eternal life in mortality, and it will continue into the world of spirits and beyond, on into the kingdoms of glory wherein dwell kings and queens, priests and priestesses."
(Monte S. Nyman and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds., Alma, the Testimony of the Word [Provo: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1992], 70.)

Sister Chieko Okazaki:
"Esther was a queen, but all of us have the potential of being kings and queens, priests and priestesses, gods and goddesses. Like Esther we are called to live with faith and with service. We, too, whatever our circumstances, must meet those circumstances as queens and kings who are called and challenged to be here in this hour."
(Chieko N. Okazaki, Aloha! [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], 126.)

Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith:
"The main purpose for our mortal existence is that we might obtain tabernacles of flesh and bones for our spirits that we might advance after the resurrection to the fulness of the blessings which the Lord has promised to those who are faithful. They have been promised that they shall become sons and daughters of God, joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and if they have been true to the commandments and covenants the Lord has given us, to be kings and priests and queens and priestesses, possessing the fulness of the blessings of the celestial kingdom."
(Joseph Fielding Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 4: 61.)

RS President Eliza R Snow Smith:
"Inasmuch as we continue faithful, we shall be those that will be crowned in the presence of God and the lamb. You, my sisters, if you are faithful, will become Queens of Queens, and Priestesses unto the Most High God. These are your callings. We have only to discharge our duties."
(Eliza R. Snow and the Woman Question by Jill C. Mulvay Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 16 (1975-1976), Number 2 - Winter 1976 264.)

"Judging from such indications as the floor plan of the Nauvoo Temple fn and public statements made about its ordinances, one can conclude that this temple offered a model for understanding eternal human existence that taught and embraced, among other things, the following elements: ... a promise that all righteous men and women may become kings and priests, queens and priestesses, to rule eternally and become like God."
(Doctrine and the Temple in Nauvoo by Larry C. Porter and Milton V. Backman, Jr. Fn, BYU Studies, vol. 32 (1992), Num. 1 and 2 - Winter and Spring 1992 45.)

"We are priestesses and queens, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory";
(Chieko N. Okazaki, Disciples [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 23.)

"...But, the central purpose of the holy endowment as it relates to the temple program is to build a patriarchal family, and to give those who have been anointed to become kings and priests, and queens and priestesses, the higher ordinances of the priesthood through which they can become patriarchs and matriarchs, or fathers and mothers, spiritually."
(Hyrum L. Andrus, The Divine Patriarchal Order [1972], 13.)

"The idea that the Lord our God is not a personage of tabernacle is entirely a mistaken notion. He was once a man. Brother Kimball quoted a saying of Joseph the Prophet, that he would not worship a God who had not a Father; and I do not know that he would if be had not a mother; the one would be as absurd as the other. If he had a Father, he was made in his likeness. And if he is our Father we are made after his image and likeness. He once possessed a body, as we now do; and our bodies are as much to us, as his body to him. Every iota of this organization is necessary to secure for us an exaltation with the Gods."

- Prophet Brigham Young, "True Character of God," Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 23, 1862, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p.286

"What, is it possible that the Father of Heights, the Father of our spirits, could reduce himself and come forth like a man? Yes, he was once a man like you and I are and was once on an earth like this, passed through the ordeal you and I pass through. He had his father and his mother and he has been exalted through his faithfulness, and he is become Lord of all. He is the God pertaining to this earth. He is our Father. He begot our spirits in the spirit world. They have come forth and our earthly parents have organized tabernacles for our spirits and here we are today. That is the way we came.

- Prophet Brigham Young, 14 July 1861, recorded in The Essential Brigham Young, p.138

"That exalted position was made manifest to me at a very early day. I had a direct revelation of this. It was most perfect and complete. If there ever was a thing revealed to man perfectly, clearly, so that there could be no doubt or dubiety, this was revealed to me, and it came in these words: "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be." This may appear to some minds as something very strange and remarkable, but it is in perfect harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and with His promises."

- Prophet Lorenzo R. Snow, Unchangeable Love of God, Sunday, September 18, 1898.

"We all know that like begets like and that for the offspring to grow to the stature of his parent is a process infinitely repeated in nature. We can therefore understand that for a son of God to grow to the likeness of his Father in heaven is in harmony with natural law. We see this law demonstrated every few years in our own experience. Sons born to mortal fathers grow up to be like their fathers in the flesh. This is the way it will be with spirit sons of God. They will grow up to be like their Father in heaven. Joseph taught this obvious truth. As a matter of fact, he taught that through this process God himself attained perfection. From President Snow's understanding of the teachings of the Prophet on this doctrinal point, he coined the familiar couplet: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." This teaching is peculiar to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ."

- Apostle Marion G. Romney, General Conference, October 1964

"We often say, and you have heard the expression as it has already been referred to in this conference, that "as man now is, God once was, and as God now is, man may become." The only way man may become as God now is, is through fulfilling the laws of celestial marriage and the laws of the gospel, as I have just read to you the word of the Lord from the D&C. Can we afford to overlook such opportunities for exaltation? Temple marriage is not just another form of church wedding; it is a divine covenant with the Lord that if we are faithful to the end, we may become as God now is."

- Patriarch Eldred G. Smith, General Conference, October 1948

"Mormonism be it true or false, holds out to men the greatest inducements that the human mind can grasp. And so it does... It teaches men that they can become divine, that man is God in embryo, that God was once man in mortality, and that the only difference between Gods, angels and men is a difference in education and development. Is such a religion to be sneered at? It teaches that the worlds on high, the stars that glitter in the blue vault of heaven, are kingdoms of God, that they were once earths like this, that they have been redeemed and glorified by the same laws, the same principles that are applied to this planet, and by which it will ascend to a perfected and glorified state. It teaches that these worlds are peopled with human beings, God's sons and daughters, and that every husband and father, may become an Adam, and every wife and mother an Eve, to some future planet."

- Apostle Orson F. Whitney, Divine Evidences of Truthfulness, Y.M.M.I.A. Annual Conference, June 9th, 1895.

"So the Prophet Joseph Smith, in this age, has added to this truth by the assertion that "As man is God once was, and that as He is man may became," because He is our Father, and like begets like, and inherent within us are the attributes of divinity that shall lead us into perfection, which Christ intended His Saints to attain unto."

- Elder Joseph E. Robinson, General Conference, April 1912

"God our Heavenly Father is still progressing. While He knows all that is, all that has been, and possibly all things that He designs for the future and what will be in the future, yet He is constantly adding to His dominion, constantly increasing His power, constantly developing in His resources and in His glorious aspirations. This, at least, is our understanding of the condition of our Father in heaven. The thought has been expressed and accepted as a truth, that as we are now, God has been, and as God is now we may be; and if we admit this to be a truth—and I have no disposition to dispute it—then I repeat that even God our Heavenly Father has not reached the ultimatum of His greatness, His power, or His capacity, but that He is continually increasing and expanding in power, in dominion, in glory and in greatness, if I may be permitted to use such terms as these which some people who know no better would call blasphemous, in connection with the Supreme Being, the Father of us all."

- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Sustaining Each Other in the Gospel, Sunday, February 16, 1896.

"We are His children in Very deed, having been born of Him in the spirit, and we have inherited the very attributes which he possesses. They are in us, and they make us God's embryo, We believe that as we are now God once was, and by the practice of virtue and righteousness, by obedience unto law and authority, He has become what He is, and as He is, man may become, on the same principle."

- Apostle George F. Richards, General Conference, April 1913

"The doctrine of the relationship between God and men, as made plain through the word of revelation, is today as it was of old, though in the light of later scripture we are enabled to read the meaning more clearly. It is provided that we, the sons and daughters of God, may advance until we become like unto our Eternal Father and our Eternal Mother, in that we may become perfect in our spheres as they are in theirs. That grand truth, taught by the Prophet Joseph and ridiculed for the time, has now gripped the minds of the thinkers and philosophers of the age... It was crystallized into what we may call an aphorism, by President Lorenzo Snow: 'As man is God once was; as God is man may be'."

- Apostle James E. Talmage, General Conference, April 1915

"I don't understand that the Mormon doctrine, announced by President Lorenzo Snow, and so often quoted by us: "As man is God once was, and as God is man may become" means that all men are going to become what God is, not by any manner of means. It is possible they may become; yes, when men keep and obey the fulness of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I understand, my brethren and sisters, this great scheme of our Father contemplates that the privilege of gaining celestial glory has been extended to nearly all of his children. There are a very few in the world who are barred from all the privileges. Evidently according to the revelations of the Lord, those races and divisions existing among us now, existed before we came into this world, and some had failed to carry out the will of God and to conform to his plans in their former life to prove themselves worthy to receive the highest of privileges, namely, salvation in the celestial kingdom of our God."

- Apostle Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, October 1917

"It is a Mormon truism that is current among us and we all accept it, that as man is God once was and as God is man may become. That does not signify that man will become God. I am sorry to say, and yet it is a truth, that not many men will become what God is, simply because they will not pay the price, because they are not willing to live up to the requirements; and still all men may, if they will, become what God is, but only those who are heirs of the celestial glory shall ever be possible candidates, to become what God is."

- Apostle Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, April 1921

"We believe that God is a personal being. By a personal being, we mean that he is a man--an exalted man. Approximately one hundred years ago, soon after Lorenzo Snow became a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ, he formulated a remarkable couplet which has since that time become famous. He said: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." (Lorenzo Snow, The Millennial Star 54:404.) Time and time again during the period of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith, various evidences were given to him sustaining, amplifying, and explaining the personality of God. If time would permit, many excellent quotations could be cited from the D&C which would help to describe the personality of our Eternal Father."

- Apostle Milton R. Hunter, General Conference, October 1948

"... the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62; and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! (See The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 1.)."

- Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, "Don't Drop the Ball," Ensign, November 1994, p. 46

"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."

- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, "Our Great Potential," Ensign, May 1977, p. 49

"After men have got their exaltations and their crowns---have become Gods, even the sons of God---are made Kings of kings and Lords of lords, they have the power then of propagating their species in spirit; and that is the first of their operations with regard to organizing a world. Power is then given to them to organize the elements, and then commence the organization of tabernacles."

- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 6, pp. 274-275

"Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome until He has arrived at the point where He now is."

- Apostle Orson Hyde, Deseret News Weekly, October 27, 1853, p. 78; also see Melchizedek Priesthood Study Guide, 1979-80, p. 82; online at

"Recovery from Mormonism -"