Exaltation isn't a new doctrine

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  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 12, 2012 6:33 p.m.

    The Scientist,

    Twin Lights here.

    Sorry I did not reply to your 6:04 am post. It was not on screen when I last posted.

    How could I not agree with your statements on judgment and being Pharisaical? Christ was very pointed about this.

    Gaining a testimony is not seeing the emperor’s new clothes. I had hardly heard of Mormons and had no desire to know about them. But the testimony came. I know many who had similar situations.

    As to youth being pressured. Some but certainly not all. I know many parents who work very hard for their children to take the steps to get their own testimony and not just rely on what mom or dad says.

    Should investigators read and pray? Of course. Should they attend church? Absolutely (to know what they are getting into).

    Like Jeanie, I have been in a very tough situation because of a member. Going to church was incredibly tough. My spouse and I contemplated leaving but we could not because of our testimonies. John 6:68 is very relevant to me. Our testimonies are the only reason we are active.They were the only thing that kept us active.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 3:41 p.m.

    Scientist -

    Feeling betrayed by your religion is not only reserved for those who have "left the faith". There are those who have felt just as betrayed but remain active.
    I can’t speak to your case, but I can speak to mine.

    Growing up I embraced all that I was taught and tried my best to live it. Then through no fault of mine my life was shattered, nothing that I was taught made sense anymore or worked. It was more painful to attend church, read scriptures and pray than not ....and none of this came from "sin". I felt very betrayed.

    In time I found that the "God" I had believed in was a small, limited one whereas as I pieced my life together again the God I came to know was much larger and had methods to perfect me that I had not understood (like Job).

    That you did not gain a testimony does not mean that no-one has. You are not the litmus test. However, you are right that - LDS members must put an end to the pervasive mentality that finds fault with, judges and condemns, and ostracizes those who do not… "gain a testimony".

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Nov. 12, 2012 8:40 a.m.

    A Scientist
    Thanks for the response. I respect your knowledge and intelligence but agree with others why so aggressive against the church that your wife loves?
    BTW I too am madly in love with my wife. I cherish the belief we can be an eternal family and you believe when life is done that is it? Pretty easy choice for me which belief I like.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 7:45 a.m.

    Skeptic -

    Twin Lights said:
    "My spouse and I are both LDS but my sister has beliefs that I do not share. Still, I try to see the value in what she believes because of my love and respect for her. I would never characterize her beliefs as fairy tales even though I think some are incorrect."

    What about this post says "It sounds like what you feel is that you are tolerant and considerate of others feelings and opinions so long as they agree with yours."??

    A/The Scientist -

    Good for you for loving your spouse so much you would do things you fundamentally disagree with. I hope however that your comments about god-believing people are not known to your wonderful wife. Considering how much she values her faith and how much she must love you I can't imagine how hurtful that would be to her.

  • Semi-Strong Louisville, KY
    Nov. 12, 2012 7:07 a.m.


    Twin Lights here.

    I said “I would never characterize her beliefs as fairy tales even though I think some are incorrect.” Also, “If you (or anyone) is an atheist or simply agnostic, no problem.”

    I fail to understand how that can be interpreted as are being “tolerant and considerate of others feelings and opinions so long as they agree with [mine].”

    My point was simply that, in trying to reach an understanding, conversation is more productive than attacks.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 12, 2012 6:04 a.m.

    LDS members must put an end to the pervasive mentality that finds fault with, judges and condemns, and ostracizes those who do not "see the Emperor's New Clothes" (I.e., "gain a testimony").

    Youth growing up in the Church are pressured to "see", and until they publically confess that they can "see" the Emperors new clothes, they are suspected of sin and unworthiness. Investigators are encouraged to pray, fast, attend meetings, pay tithing, and all the rest in order to "gain a testimony", but if they honestly do NOT get a positive (or any) answer to their prayers, they are told they have not been sincere enough, or worthy enough, or faithful enough.

    Such a system is fundamentally flawed. It is literally identical to the system set up by the fraudulent tailors in the story of The Emperor's New Clothes, and creates a judgmental, arrogant, condemning culture among LDS that contributes to anxiety, depression (when you can't "see" and consider yourself unworthy), and Pharisee-ism.

    It is not healthy. It is not right.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 11, 2012 9:42 p.m.

    Twin lights,
    It sounds like what you feel is that you are tolerant and considerate of others feelings and opinions so long as they agree with yours. Good luck with that.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 11, 2012 12:58 p.m.

    A/The Scientist,

    So you are madly in love with a Mormon? We are a lovable lot . . .

    I assume that you do not tell her that her beliefs are fairy tales or wishful thinking. Are we then your outlet? Your escape valve?

    My spouse and I are both LDS but my sister has beliefs that I do not share. Still, I try to see the value in what she believes because of my love and respect for her. I would never characterize her beliefs as fairy tales even though I think some are incorrect.

    As to Moroni's Promise. No worries. I had left the faith of my parents. I looked to other Christian faiths, non-Christian faiths, and atheism. I found my testimony in a most round about way (while reading Jesus the Christ). It was rather inconvenient at first (not too many LDS were I grew up) but I had promised that if I found the truth I would follow it wherever it led.

    If you (or anyone) is an atheist or simply agnostic, no problem. But please try to rein in the attacks. Cool conversation yields more than the hot scoring of "points". Peace.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 11, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    per the truth (1:15 p.m. Nov. 10, 2012)...

    "If you have not done it with Faith in Christ, you have NOT followed Moroni's challenge and it's protocols.

    With Faith in Christ the results are reproducible, and have been reproduced millions of times."

    Ah, Faith. The ability to believe in the intangible.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 11, 2012 8:23 a.m.

    Stay the Course and Twin Lights,

    Thank you for asking.

    I am married to a Mormon. It is important to her, so we attend regularly, pay tithes, fast offerings, attend the temple (I golf while she does sessions), and all the rest.

    Yes, I have repeatedly "asked with faith in Christ". The complete and utter absence of an answer is what ultimately convinced me to abandon "faith" (which seems to be more aptly described as 'wishful thinking').

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 11, 2012 4:23 a.m.

    Thank you for asking.

    Simple answers:

    I am married to (and madly in love with) a Mormon. We attend meetings, pay tithes, fast offerings, and all the rest.

    And, yes, I did "ask with faith in Christ". But that never stops the faithful from attacking me to preserve their infallibility hubris.

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 11, 2012 1:57 a.m.

    Another thing that atheists have in commonality is their blank stares when asked to hypothesize where Matter, Life or Energy came from...

    Amazing how only one planet could divine what specific food humans and animals needed to thrive on. That man can create computers but not the information... That Black Holes and Gravity still baffle astrophysicists... Oh and evolution is still a theory...

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Nov. 10, 2012 11:17 p.m.

    The Scientist ( aka Vanka)
    I do give to you credit
    You do know lds doctrine. Still with your posting I have no idea why you attend the LDS church as much as you say you do when your posts are so aggressive against the church You have said you pay tithing as well
    Many of us would be interested to hear why you go wouldn't you rather watch football or something else on a Sunday?

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Nov. 10, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    "Not a single atheist I have ever met has a contradictory, nonsensical, inconsistent, controversial, or absurd claim about god. We all have come to a perfect "unity of the faith" about god: there isn't one!"

    You can't have a "unity of faith". Faith is believing that something is real that cannot be proven using physical evidence. A unity of faith is people who share a similar belief of something that they have faith in - unless you are saying that you atheists have a unifying faith (lack of physical evidence) that there is no God, which would put you in a strange position of sitting next to the invisible spaghetti monster with the Christian.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 10, 2012 8:47 p.m.


    Truth is also truth whether you are willing to act on it or not. Why did he not keep so many of Christ disciples from leaving him when he declared he was the Son of God (John 6)? No force.

    Further, how are we to know truth? From the Bible? Sure. But how do we know that is it is true? Not an historical text but that it contains the word of God? If not by prayer, then how?

    A Scientist,

    “It is NOT a characteristic of atheism to ‘know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no god’". But your posts sure come across as certain.

    “Not a single atheist I have ever met has a contradictory, nonsensical, inconsistent, controversial, or absurd claim about god.” Perhaps not but you continue to attend church fairly regularly though you don’t believe in it. That strikes me as contradictory (not enough “kicks” in church to justify going if you don’t believe any of it).

    Ad Rem,

    Look at the wiki article on Theosis. The concept was more comprehensive than you claim.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 10, 2012 3:39 p.m.

    Ahawk wrote:

    "please show scientific, unbiased, "proof" that there is no God. An atheist knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God doesn't exist.".

    To illustrate the absurdity of your question, please show scientific, unbiased 'proof' that there is NOT an invisible, omnipotent, omniscient spaghetti monster sitting right next to you right now.

    There can be no proof of the absence of a hypothetical (or a fiction).

    It is NOT a characteristic of atheism to "know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no god". Atheism simply means one has no belief in god. And as "gnosis" is the esoteric "knowledge" of god, then an agnostic is simply one who has no such knowledge. That you try to define atheism and agnosticism as the inverse, negative of theism demonstrates a believers bias. Faulting an atheist for not believing in a god is as absurd as faulting a Christian for not believing in the invisible spaghetti monster and calling them "aspaghettists" for it.

    The epistemic burden for proof of god rests on those who assert he exists. Atheists need not prove his nonexistence anymore than you must prove the non-existence of the invisible spaghetti monster.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Nov. 10, 2012 2:15 p.m.

    @ the Truth,
    I certainly have faith in Christ, but it is not based solely in my praying Moroni's prayer. I agree, Millions of LDS haves prayed to receive the "truth", but please understand, millions and millions more have prayed the same prayer with differing results. Truth is truth whether you believe it or not. Truth does not change, truth is eternal. Truth today is truth tomorrow. The missionaries speak with millions upon millions of people throughput the world and yet the LDS Church continues to slow in growth. Would you agree that the majority of those that pray Moroni's prayer do not join the church? If the church is true, why wouldn't the Holy Spirit bring more people to the church?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 10, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    @A Scientist

    If you have not done it with Faith in Christ, you have NOT followed Moroni's challenge and it's protocols.

    With Faith in Christ the results are reproducible, and have been reproduced millions of times.

    Without eternal laws, there would no wrong and there would no right, just whatever you or any groups you surround yourself with decide it would be. There would be nothing intrinsically wrong with any of the most horrible things you can imagine man doing. And to call any of those things wrong is just lip service to others or nothing.

    So thanks heavens there are eternal laws, and there really is a right and wrong,
    and God the Father is there to nurture us, and help us progress and fulfill our potential.

    Otherwise our development and progression would be utterly stopped. And no amount scientific knowledge will change that nor ever could. You could surround yourself with computers, dvd players, the best medicines, indoor plumbing, and books of philosophy, and so forth, but are you individually a better person than those who lived a hundred years ago? a thousand years ago? Or Christ who lived two thousand years ago?.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Nov. 10, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    @ A Scientist,

    You make a false assumption, I am not LDS and do not subscribe to a prayer based truth. I agree with you that prayer for truth is open to false, man generated, subjective truths. I am not attacking you personally, I am only asking you to think about your assertions made in previous posts. My question still exists, "please show scientific, unbiased, "proof" that there is no God. An atheist knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God doesn't exist. An agnostic simply states that the verdict is still out. Do you KNOW or do you just "don't think so"?
    I do take a leap of faith. I look at creation and marvel at Its complexity. A complexity unexplained by random chance. I have more faith in an intelligent, omnipotent God and Creator that designed and spoke the universe into existence. I, too, subscribe to the scientific process and see the benefits of it. What happens when a hypothesis isn't proven false? It is either true or the experiment is repeated. As far as I know, God hasn't been proven false yet. Therefore, the verdict is still out or God is true.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 10, 2012 11:38 a.m.


    personal attacks against me add nothing.

    I, too, have completed extensive A-B testing, strictly following the "Moroni'sChallenge" protocols. On every trial of that Idiographic approach, my results have been exactly opposite what you report. And I also know many who have replicated my results.

    Your attempts to derive Nomothetic conclusions, however, are undermined by a "file drawer" bias. Those like me who get non-faith-promoting results are not allowed to "publish" our results in DN, Church testimony or other meetings, etc.

    Given that bias, we would be prudent to at least tentatively conclude that there is a non-effect for the prayer efficacy hypothesis.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Nov. 10, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    @A Scientist,

    You mock those that have faith in God. I challenge you to think about your position. What is your claim as an atheist? Is it not, "Beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no god."?

    How do you "know" that there is no god? How much "faith" must you have in science and Man to disprove God? In fact, your religion is just as faith based as any established religion. What makes your faith in Man and science true and faith in God false?

    Please enlighten us.

    My hypothesis is this:
    You are not a true atheist. After evaluation, you will prove to be an agnostic. You just don't know if there is a God.
    Your job, as a scientist, is create a experiment to test this hypothesis.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 10, 2012 9:12 a.m.

    The corollary of deification\divinization is that God also started out as "a man".

    But in their gnostic attempts at theodicy, LDS apologists make even the current "exalted" god of Mormonism into little more than a man by rejecting "absolute creation" and "the philosophical definition of divine omnipotence which affirms that there are no limits to what God can do". This makes "eternal laws" more powerful than God, and the ultimate governing power in the universe, to which God Himself is subject.

    On this view, the Creator becomes a mere "assembler" of "coeternal, self-existing parts" (intelligences assembled into spirit bodies, then nested into physical bodies - like matryoshka dolls!). And they deny that God can violate "eternal laws" ("natural laws"), stating that if God were ever to violate such eternal laws, he would "cease to be God".

    the unidentified man-who-became-god was able to "earn" and "work" his way up the chain of deities to assume the position of "God" in the Priesthood hierarchy. As such, it is ultimately not God Mormons worship and obey, it is the "eternal laws" that are omnipotent and provide salvation and exaltation!

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Nov. 10, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    As an atheist, I enjoy reading these speculative theological discussions. It makes me laugh to see people who are so confident that they "know, beyond a shadow of a doubt", run headlong into others who "know beyond a shadow of a doubt" the opposite or contradictory idea about the supposed god you all claim to worship.

    This is also why I get a kick out of attending LDS Church meetings.

    Not a single atheist I have ever met has a contradictory, nonsensical, inconsistent, controversial, or absurd claim about god. We all have come to a perfect "unity of the faith" about god: there isn't one!

  • Ad Rem Falls Church, VA
    Nov. 10, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    @BrentBot - Actually, your claim that theosis and the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression are basically the same thing is a gross misunderstanding of theosis. In Eastern Christianity, theosis is a claim with respect to the experience and relationship of the believer to God. It is not making an ontological claim, as the Mormon doctrine is. Thus, they are not the same, or even similar.

  • Ahawk89 Ankeny, IA
    Nov. 10, 2012 6:59 a.m.

    Another example of the Transitive Property:
    Jesus says in John 4:24
    "God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth."
    Jesus says in Luke 24:39
    "See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

    Using the same principle Dr. Peterson used, we must understand the following:
    1. God is a spirit
    2. Spirits do not have bodies of flesh and bones
    3. Therefore, God does not have a body of flesh and bones

    Please show me where in the BoM that God has a body of flesh and bones.
    Thank you

  • true huddersfield, england
    Nov. 10, 2012 1:57 a.m.

    I wish to congratulate Daniel Petersen for another excellent article. But also the additional comments, quotes and scriptures that have been given have added immensely to this article. These are definitely worth retrieving for a future talk or lesson. Thanks to all who have contributed with positive and uplifting quotes and comments.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    Nov. 9, 2012 3:26 p.m.

    So "The Godmakers" book and film were right all along?...

    Why all the stress and Stürm over it then? There was nothing unfactual in either, yet the disclaimers and furry have not ceased to this day. I've been teaching classes on Mormonism from 1990 on, 4 years after I left. There has been so much confusion and denial on the deification subject that it is a wonder anyone can keep it straight.

    Thank you, Dr. Petersen for clarifying what Dr. Walter Martin defined 40 years ago: "Mormonism is thoroughly polytheistic, polygamous and (pagan), vis-a-vis the Biblical doctrines and historic Christianity."

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 9, 2012 1:41 p.m.

    Broken Clay,

    I love that couplet too.

    But who said Heavenly Father was of this universe and that the universe is not His creation? He says his creations are innumerable. Our galaxy is huge, but I don't think that modern science would describe the worlds contained therein as innumerable. But the universe (as we currently understand it) is that big. From Moses 1:33-35

    33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.

    34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.

    35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Nov. 9, 2012 10:55 a.m.

    3. Accept science, along with the belief that the Mormon father god evolved out of a purposeless, godless universe, sometime after the Big Bang.

    As you can tell, each of these choices has its issues. Number one is hard to choose, because the Big Bang is a well-established theory, which even Mormon scientists accept as truth.

    Number two is difficult, because it would essentially undo the Mormon church. Without the LDS conception of the godhead, there's no reason for it to maintain that it is the only true church out there.

    Number three suffers from an enormous number of philosophical problems. Basically any charge that could be leveled at the atheist worldview could be leveled at those who hold to choice three. Such a system is morally bankrupt. There is no absolute foundation on which to determine how humans should behave. In this view, the only reason god is god is because he got there before you did. There is no more meaning in the universe for this god than there is for you or me.

    Out of the three choices, the LDS will find none satisfactory. Of course, I would recommend choice two, as an orthodox Christian.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Nov. 9, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    Now, as far as the problems with the second half of the couplet . . .

    As I've already touched upon, the Eastern tradition does not teach an LDS understanding of deification. They always maintained a qualitative difference between the eternal Creator and the finite creature.

    Now, if modern science is correct that the universe began at the Big Bang, this would require the Creator to be immaterial and timeless. He would have to exist outside of creation and independent of it. The Mormon father is none of these things. If God is truly an eternal and necessary being, then it is philosophically impossible for men to become exactly like him in every way. Man is not eternal; he could never, by definition, become eternal (you can't exist prior to the beginning of your existence!). If man is a contingent being, he could never, by definition, become a necessary being.

    Now this is all philosophical jargon, but perhaps some of you out there understand what I'm getting at. In light of all this, there are only three options for the Mormon:

    1. Deny science, and insist that the universe is eternal.
    2. Accept science, along with the orthodox conception of God.
    3. Or

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 9, 2012 10:40 a.m.

    Perhaps if one uses Mr. Peterson's formula for the transitive property of equality then we can get to the root of the truth. Beginning with the knowledge that a dodge is and omission that is an untruth of knowing that is a falsehood behavior that is deceptive that all adds up to? Who has the answer.

  • brokenclay Scottsdale, AZ
    Nov. 9, 2012 10:14 a.m.

    I love Lorenzo Snow's quote: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." It sets forth the LDS teaching so clearly. And yet the LDS nowadays are often so cryptic about the first half of the couplet; it's as if they're ashamed to admit the teaching. Is it a political move on their part?

    There are a number of devastating problems with believing that God the Father was once a man, just like you or I. These problems are theological, scientific, and philosophical.

    Theologically, see representative passages such as Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 43:10; 44:8; 45:5.

    Scientifically, the entire universe came into existence at the Big Bang. This eliminates the possibility of an infinite regression of father gods. And even if the Mormon father god were the first god to evolve, why does that mean we have to worship him? If he found a way to ultimate power by himself, why can we not do the same?

    Philosophically, an infinite regression of father gods is nonsensical, like saying the universe is eternal. The Mormon god also falls to the horns of the Euthyphro dilemma. Where is this ethereal power-granting moral law?

  • LValfre CHICAGO, IL
    Nov. 9, 2012 8:38 a.m.


    "President Hinckley's reticence was just a concern about putting meat before milk."

    Always love that excuse for not discussing church questionable church concepts. When you can't directly answer something ... it's obvious you're dodging something for a reason. There's a lack of integrity when you answer questions like this.

  • Stay the Course Salt Lake City, utah
    Nov. 8, 2012 11:40 p.m.

    Sharonna I could have predicted your reponse

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Nov. 8, 2012 11:03 p.m.

    @ Kevin J. Kirkham:

    14. 1 John 3:2
    Our bodies shall be like Christ's glorious body. God does not have a body of flesh and bones. He is a Spirit Personage.

  • Michigander Westland, MI
    Nov. 8, 2012 9:37 p.m.

    Exaltation means to be raised or resurrected to eternal life as the eternal sons and eternal daughters of God the Eternal Father [JEHOVAH] to dwell eternally in the new heaven and the new earth in a state of never ending happiness. Exaltation does not mean Godhood and Goddesshood. It never has and never will mean that.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 8, 2012 8:11 p.m.

    If God loves us as a father, why would he create us to be servants? Would any of us do that to the children we love - create them to forever be an underclass? I do not think so and he says that he loves us far better than we love our children.

    And what would be the purpose of our creation? To forever worship him and sing praises to him? That would be rather narcissistic and not indicative of a God worthy of our total devotion (as he is). Further, of what use is the struggle and learning of our mortal lives if our eternity is to be so limited? It would make little sense.

    We feel our families are of extreme importance. But why would they be if we cannot retain them in eternity? An omniscient God would have devised another manner of raising the next generation and to have avoided our becoming attached to beings for which our attachment will have to end. If our memories will be dimmed, then of what purpose is the learning we undergo as families?

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 7:57 p.m.


    You seem to nitpick at sciptures , but miss the big picture.

    Why did God create man?

    Id we are his children, what do children become when they "grow up"?

    Why do we need to aspire to perfection? What is repentance for?

    What is the point of our life here?

    Why send his only begotten son?

    If there is no exhaltation, what is point of it all?

    What is God's glory?

    What is the point of eternal life?

    What do we inherit?

    Is eternal life a purposeless existence? Would God do that to us? Why would God do that?

    No. Our "childhood" is for us to develop and grow our divine potential to become like our father. It is God's glory to provide way for that to happen.

    Just like life here, we are children, we become fathers, and have children of our own to raise, we are still the child of our father, and we are a father as well.

    It is an eternal pattern.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 6:49 p.m.

    RE:Only Begotten(mongenes) Son. Better translation than KJV. “ For God so loved the world that he gave his “one and only Son”, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16 NIV,NET). “ As translated correctly.”

    @Kevin J. Kirkham: 1. We are the offspring of God - Acts 17:29, Heb. 12:9. True, For in him we live and move and have our being.’[Acts 17:28) Creation is dependent on God for its very existence.(Ex Nihlio)
    3.. We are joint heirs with Christ - Rom. 8:14-17, …(BY) “Adoption to sonship”. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children .

    5. We shall receive a mansion=(mone/rooms) Jn. 14:2. Heaven, dwelling places.

    7. We will be given a crown of glory - 1 Pet. 5:4, , When the Chief Shepherd returns he will reward those who have served as shepherds. see v 1-4.

    15. We will partake((koinonoi=communion) of God's divine nature - 2 Pet. 1:4. Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Nov. 8, 2012 5:42 p.m.

    President Hinckley very nicely removed himself from the discussion. There is a picture of the Saviour and the Father I believe in the temple that teaches in a matter of speaking of what others have been saying. In the picture both have their hands out as in the Christus with nail prints in both hands.

    The painting comes from the verse that mainly states that Christ did nothing that he himself saw the father do. This is where the concept of God being man at one time and then becoming God. It is also written in the scriptures that the Earth is not the only world that has been created but many and all are numbered to the Father. There are many who don't like this reasoning and thus it is very much you don't talk about the meat until the milk has been given. Did President Hinckley dodge the question.? Yes, he did just as the savior dodged questions as well.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 2:52 p.m.

    The doctrine of exaltation is also seen in several scriptures. Please consider the following:
    1. We are the offspring of God - Acts 17:29, Heb. 12:9
    2. We are heirs of God - Gal. 4:7
    3. We are joint heirs with Christ - Rom. 8:14-17
    4. We shall inherit all things - Rev. 21:7
    5. We shall receive a mansion - Jn. 14:2
    6. We shall sit on God's throne - Rev. 3:21
    7. We will be given a crown of glory - 1 Pet. 5:4
    8. We shall receive the same glory and image as the Lord - 2 Cor. 3:18
    9. We will receive the same type of body as Christ - Phil. 3:21
    10. We will be given power - Rev. 2:26
    11. We will be made rulers - Matt. 25:21,23
    12. We shall judge the world and angels - 1 Cor. 6:2,3
    13. We will bear the image of the heavenly - 1 Cor. 15:49
    14. We will be like God - 1 Jn. 3:2
    15. We will partake of God's divine nature - 2 Pet. 1:4

  • mulrich Columbia, SC
    Nov. 8, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    Re: elchupacabras

    If you look at the full context of what Pres. Hinckley was referring to you'll see that he was talking about the belief that God was once a man. This is not a doctrine I hear talked about very often at all. The doctrine of exaltation on the other hand is discussed regularly.
    There's a FairLDS article on the topic that will clarify this further.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Nov. 8, 2012 11:37 a.m.


    "....Origen believed in the pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him....."

    All the heresies of the early centuries CE doesn’t exactly paint a harmonious picture of early Christianity, does it? Martin Luther regarded the Church of Rome as a paganized corruption of the early Church. Three centuries later, Joseph Smith would argue that there had been a great apostasy. He and Luther were essentially saying the same thing.

    A view more attuned to our times is that what happened is what we today would call cultural assimilation. As the Hellenistic world of which Judea was but one remote corner absorbed what began as a localized movement, both were being changed forever.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Nov. 8, 2012 11:18 a.m.

    No. The presidents and other leaders and members for that matter like to disguise the truth. He was asked a very direct question and he dodged it. It it is a doctrine, state it as such. He wasn't asked to go into great detail, just answer the question. It isn't that hard. Don't use the milk before meat saying, it doesn't fly when somebody asks a direct question and is decieved.

  • CougarinVegas HENDERSON, NV
    Nov. 8, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    I frankly can't understand how a believer in God could believe anything else but in the possibility of our deification. What kind of loving Father would not want his children to have all that he has and more? Matt 7:9-11 teaches that he is a better and more loving Father than we are and that he knows how to give good things to his children. If we as weak mortal parents want our children to have all that we have how could we think God is a jealous Father that does not want his children to achieve his stature?

    The New Testament is filled with this teaching. Matthew 5:48, Rev 3:21, Eph 4:13 (till we all come . . . unto a perfact man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ).

    President Hinckley's reticence was just a concern about putting meat before milk.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Nov. 8, 2012 10:57 a.m.

    The idea of man becoming a god did not originate with Joseph Smith. It was an integral part of the religious culture of the Hellenistic world. Greek mythology is a virtual smorgasbord of gods, goddesses, and heroes who became gods, some of them historic figures who actually lived. Even the Galilean carpenter named Jesus could be elevated to deity status. That was antithetical to Jewish belief but it was precisely what happened as the rising Gentile Church was rapidly eclipsing its Judean prototype.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 9:48 a.m.

    RE: Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God: James Talmage ,’Divinely Appointed Judges[men] Called ‘gods’ In Psalm 82:6 ,judges invested by divine appointment are called ‘gods’. Jesus the Christ p. 501.

    @BrentBot, Anthanasius: "The Word became flesh … that we, partaking of his Spirit, might be deified" and Cyril of Alexandria: you may become partakers(koinonoi=communion) of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:4 ) Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 14: 16-17). The Apostles creed: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic(universal) church, the “communion “of saints,…
    They were all Trinitarians, which would eliminate them from thinking they would be a God in the Godhead.
    Origen believed in the pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him.

    @Northernern Lights, …(by) “Adoption to sonship”. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children (Romans 8:15-16)

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Craig is correct, the facts point to speculative theology over divine revelation.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Nov. 8, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Insightful article on the nascent beginnings or an area of LDS belief that today’s Church leaders don’t seem to want to encourage.

    As a skeptic of the idea of divine revelation I was raised to believe in, I’ve since come to see the concept of speculative theology as a more rational explanation for Mormonism’s distinctive theology. The trajectory of Joseph’s thought processes from his earlier writings don’t seem to veer off near as much as one might at first think in light of the Book of Mormon and D&C passages Daniel Peterson calls our attention to.

  • Northern Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 8, 2012 8:56 a.m.

    Daniel Peterson refers to a wonderful doctrinal concept: to become joint heirs with Christ as recorded in the Bible (Romans 8:17) and to inherit the Kingdom of God (as taught through a parable in Luke 15:31 and also in the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 9:18.)

    The LDS Church practices those things that it believes will allow each individual to qualify for such blessings and to gain eternal life. As an active member, I personally haven't encountered much discussion on what each returning to the presence of God will be doing from that time on, other than they will be able to continue to progress as promised in Galatians 3:26-29 and the Doctrine and Covenants Section 132). Going beyond that just doesn't make for a very productive discussion in my opinion. I suspect that is the reason behind President Hinckley's comment.

    Right now, I interact with many members are simply trying to live their religion to the best of their abilities with a hope and a promise of blessings in mortality and eternal blessings and opportunities still to come.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    After saying that He and his Father are one, the Pharisees took up stones to kill Jesus. He asked "Many good works have I showed you from my Father, for which of those do you stone me?" They Jews replied, "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. And Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods?" (John 10:32-34) KJV

    The doctrine is not new. But it is incredibly humbling. For (as Christ taught) he who would be one with him must make himself the basest servant and shepherd.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    Origen in reference to 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 said "Now it is possible that some may dislike what we have said representing the Father as the one true God, but admitting other beings besides the true God, who have become gods by having a share of God . . As, then there are many gods, but to us there is but one God the Father, and many Lords, but to us there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.”

    The Gospel of Thomas (which pre-dates the 4 Gospels, but was considered non-canonical by the Nicene Council) quotes the Savior: "He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him," (Gospel of Thomas 50, 28-30, Nag Hammadi Library in English, J.M.Robinson, 1st ed 1977; 3rd ed. 1988)

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was part of Early Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote, regarding theosis, "The Son of God became man, that we might become God." Irenaeus wrote in the late 2nd Century: "we have not been made gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods" Justin Martyr in mid 2nd Century said: "all men are deemed worthy of becoming gods,and of having power to become sons of the Highest."

    St. Jerome the translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible, (d. A.D. 419), wrote that "God made man for that purpose, that from men they may become gods. They who cease to be mere men, abandon the ways of vice, and are become perfect, are gods and sons of the Most High"

  • elchupacabras Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 8, 2012 5:38 a.m.

    The LDS newsroom earlier this year tried to play this down. Gordon Hinckley attempted to do the same thing with his statement, "I don't know that we teach that-- I don't know that we emphasize that." So what is it?