Once again in the recent General Conference there were a number of references to exaltation and eternal life. For example, Elder D. Todd Christofferson said, “If we are faithful to the covenants made there, we become inheritors not only of the celestial kingdom but of exaltation, the highest glory within the heavenly kingdom, and we obtain all the divine possibilities God can give (see D&C 132:20).”
D&C 132:20 says: “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things aren’t subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”
In a similar vein Elder Quentin L. Cook said: “The desire of our hearts, of course, is not only to acquire salvation and immortality but also to attain eternal life with a loving Father in Heaven and our Savior in the celestial kingdom with our families.” This is in the same vein because eternal life equals exaltation and thus equals becoming a god. (For example, as the True to the Faith Manual explains eternal life it simply says, “eternal life, or exaltation.”)
With eternal life and exaltation regularly referred to and striving for it is regularly encouraged, it is puzzling to me that a common reaction I have received from Mormons when I asked them are they striving to become a god is denial! Some have been quite fervent in saying that if they remain obedient, they might become like god, but they don’t think that they will become a god. In fact this reaction has been so common that I find it refreshing when a Mormon agrees with this foundational teaching of Mormonism! When that happens, we can at least talk about that issue and not debate whether or not Mormonism teaches that.
Do me a favor. The next time you are with your LDS friend or family member, ask them if they are striving to be a god. I would be curious if you get the same reaction I often get.
And to my LDS friends – is asking that question in anyway offensive – if it is asked sincerely and politely?