Lorenzo Snow once stated:
“As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.”
I’ve heard this often growing up as a child. To a youthful boy this sounds wonderful. “God was once a man? I can become like God if I live worthy?” Going on a mission, you would think this sort of “doctrine” (although I don’t believe this is “official” church doctrine) would be something that people would jump on. I was suprised to later learn while on a mission that this is one one of the most controversial teachings in the Chruch.
While chatting with a friend on IM, he said:
One problem that I have with the LDS church (if you don’t mind) is that in the Bible, God reveals his name as “I Am” and it says that God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the End… etc… which is what “I Am” represents… time has no bounds on God… got is Eternal… no begining, no end.
Mormons teach that God was once Man and that man can become gods too…. where does that “pattern” of thinking begin? Who is the first “god” then?
That “logic” lines up with the what happened in the Garden of Eden when the serpant (satan) told Eve that they would become “like god” if they ate the fruit… now the mormon church has a better one… you won’t become “like god” but you will become a god.
I suppose the fear is that if you claim you may one day become as God, God will smite you for even thinking you may become like him. Or it may be that we are becoming too prideful to ever think we may be as God and this pride is a sin. Or, at the very least, they may just think we are fools for thinking this and there is no real danger in believing it. I don’t know for sure, it’s probably all of the aformentioned reasons, but whatever the reason, the Christian community really frowns on this thinking.
I’ll try to approach each aspect of my friend’s question. First, “Mormons teach that God was once Man and that man can become gods too…. where does that “pattern” of thinking begin? Who is the first “god” then?”
This is my belief and understanding: There was no first God. Gods are eternal. I’m sure just as there are innumerable planets in outer space, there are innumerable gods. This is not to say we worship any of these other gods. I don’t think our minds can really comprehend this. In this mortal life, there is a beginning and an end to everything. Just try to grasp the fact that you can’t possible count the stars because there will always be more that you cannot see. Try to write the highest number… It is impossible because there is always a higher number. It’s overwhelming to think about really. As for whether God was at one point a man, I don’t know. Maybe he had a different plan of salvation than we have. I really can’t say and I really don’t think we need to know. These are just pondering thoughts and I’m not trying to relate any point of doctrine here.
As for man becoming Gods someday, I can see how this must sound obsurd to the general Christian community. How dare we think we may ever become “equal” with God – or better yet, take his place? I guess this is a view of perspective. I don’t believe we will become equal with God, nor will we ever take his place. We will eternally worship God as our Creator and our Father. As we become exalted (“like God”), more glory will be added to our God.
To make an analogy, I would consider my son. I hope that one day he will grow up to be successful. Nothing will make me happier than to see my children grow in righteousness and become good charitable people. If they become successful, this will in no way diminish my reputation nor status. Instead, “glory” will be added upon me.
The argument to this is that the general Christian world may not believe that we are God’s offspring. This is something that surprised me. I thought everyone believe that we were God’s children. Instead, my friend points out, “That is not relevent… God to man is not equal… a child to a parent (human = human)…. your argument would be better suited to be me telling my dog that he will be like me someday (human != dog)…”
This is something I just disagree with. In the book of Genesis, verse 27 it says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Why would God create us in his image and give us dominion if we were simply as dogs? I believe what is stated in The Family: A Proclaimation to the World: “All human beingsâ€”male and femaleâ€”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.”