I spent a good portion of October traveling to various speaking engagements. After spending a lot of time in airports and on planes, it’s good to be home for awhile.
Once again on this trip I met various people who questioned my assertion that Mormonism teaches that people can become gods. Almost all questioned that because they had Mormon friends who told them that Mormonism doesn’t teach that. Although I have talked about this in the past, it needs to be addressed again.
As it so happened, I received the new edition of Gospel Principles shortly before I left, so I had opportunity to read it while I was traveling. Gospel Principles is the basic manual that gives on overview of LDS teachings. It is revised about every five or six years.
Therefore when somebody questioned my statement about Mormonism teaching that people can become gods, all I had to do was point them to p. 277 and the chapter on exaltation. There it simple says, “They will become gods (see D&C 132:20-23).”
Here are a couple other statements from Gospel Principles that support this. “We learned that if we followed His plan, we would become like Him. We would be resurrected; we would have all power in heaven and earth; we would become heavenly parents and have spirit children just as He does (see D&C 132:19-20).” (my emphasis) “Having all power in heaven and earth” – that’s quite a statement.
Or what about this one? “Everyone who becomes like Heavenly Father eventually knows all things.” (p. 128). First omnipotence. Now omniscience. Both are characteristics of God.
Yes, Mormonism does teach that people can become gods. Why then do so many Mormons deny that? Some probably are unaware of it. Some members of the LDS Church have told me that they probably don’t admit it to me or other Christians because they know we are not asking the question sincerely. That’s quite an act of judgment. At least in regard to the Christians I recently talked with, that didn’t seem to be the case at all. They were just trying to verify with their Mormon friends some things they had heard about Mormonism.
I don’t know how many times Mormons have told me that if I want to learn about Mormonism, I shouldn’t listen to Christian observers of it, but talk directly to Mormons. That would be good advice if most Mormons accurately articulated Mormonism’s beliefs. In the case of this teaching, that has not been my experience – or the experience of many others.