“As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.” -Lorenzo Snow, Fifth President of the LDS church. When pondering that statement for a moment, you learn a lot about Mormon doctrine and the Mormon God. The LDS church teaches that God was once a man living in a world like ours. The church teaches that He was once an imperfect man like us and finally over time became perfect and that we can become gods like Him one day.
The teaching of the church is that after achieving perfection God became the God of His own world. They believe that is why we are on earth; so that we can have the opportunity to become gods of our own world too one day. The Mormon religion is actually a polytheistic religion. They worship only one God, however they do believe there are many, many gods in the universe.
In order to examine Mormon beliefs on this topic about Man becoming gods we must first compare the nature of the Christian God vs Mormon God:
- God in the Flesh: After leaving the Mormon church, one of the most vital concepts for me to begin to understand was the Trinity. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is vital knowledge and this scripture is what changed my life. The bible says the Word was with God and the Word was God. And then later in John 1:14 it says, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” So Jesus Christ, the Word, was God in the flesh. Isaiah 9:6 backs this up, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” It says it right there. Jesus Christ shall be called “The mighty God, The everlasting Father”. Jesus is not our brother as the LDS church teaches. Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus says, “I and my Father are one.” John 10:30.
- Unchanging God: Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever”. So if Jesus Christ was God incarnate, and Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then God is unchanging. If God is unchanging then He could not have possibly have ever been an imperfect man on another world somewhere and been perfected into God as the LDS church teaches. God has not changed. He never will change.
- No other Gods: Next is Isaiah 43:10, “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” There you go. End of argument if you believe the Bible is the word of God. Before God there was no other God and after God there will never be another. He is the one, true God. Mormons will never become a god of their own world because there never was, nor ever will be, any other God formed!
- Jesus is Alpha and Omega: In Revelations 22:13, Jesus says, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” We all understand that in the Greek alphabet Alpha was the first letter in the alphabet and Omega was the last letter in the alphabet. Jesus is saying I am the beginning and the end. He is A to Z and there is none other. He is all and everything, the One and only, no other gods but Him.
- Jesus is the Almighty: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8. Here is the Lord Jesus speaking, saying he is the beginning and the end, The Almighty. So there you go. Jesus is God, the Almighty, in the flesh. Jesus came in human flesh from God the Father, the one and only God, and there shall be no other God before or after Him. There are many, many other scriptures that support this. This link has more: http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/bible-verses-like_Revelation-1-8/
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6
As great as God? Sin of Pride:
Lorenzo Snow was the man who stated, “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.” Below is the description of the “prophet” Lorenzo Snow getting his Patriarchal Blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr:
“The Patriarch was the father of Joseph, the Prophet. That was the first time Lorenzo had met him. After the services, they were introduced, and Father Smith said to my brother that he would soon be convinced of the truth of the latter-day work, and be baptized; and he said: ‘You will become as great as you can possibly wish—EVEN AS GREAT AS GOD, and you cannot wish to be greater.’” (Eliza R. Snow, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow,Salt Lake City: Deseret News Co., 1884, pp. 9–10.) Source: https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng
The Patriarch, the father of Joseph Smith, told Lorenzo Snow that he would be “AS GREAT AS GOD”. This is exactly what Satan told Adam and Eve in the garden, by the way…that they could become like gods. Romans 3:10 says, “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”. It is a serious sinful state of pride to think you could ever become as great as God. This was Satan’s sin when he was cast out of heaven. His pride caused him to think he could be greater than God. God hates pride. “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Proverbs 8:13
2 Timothy 3:1-5 says (emphasis added), ” This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23.
Lorenzo Snow & Joseph Smith:
The quote above about Lorenzo Snow’s patriarchal blessing states that he would be “as great as God”. If you go to the LDS website at this link (https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng) you will see the full story that I’m quoting from. To summarize it, Lorenzo Snow said he received the “revelation” that, “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.” He kept this “revelation” to himself for a long period and then one day he finally shared it with Joseph Smith. I guess Joseph Smith must have really liked this idea Lorenzo Snow gave him because a year later, Joseph Smith started publicly teaching this doctrine, too. Below is a quote from the LDS website:
The Prophet Joseph Smith himself publicly taught the doctrine the following year, 1844, during a funeral sermon of Elder King Follett: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1938, pp. 345–46.)
God, an exalted man?
Joseph Smith states that God is an “exalted man”. Yet, John 4:24 says, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” And 1 Timothy 1:17 says (emphasis added), Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, …” God, the Father, is a spirit who is invisible. The bible states that God, the Father is an invisible spirit many times. If he is an invisible spirit, then how in the world did Joseph Smith supposedly see God the Father standing next to Jesus in the grove? No other man has ever seen God as the bible states many times, yet somehow Joseph Smith saw God? From what I understand of bible scripture, the Father in Heaven is an invisible spirit and Jesus is God in fleshly form.
Thinking yourself as equal to God:
The LDS website article that I have been referencing from quotes from 2 Timothy: 5-6 and uses this scripture as biblical defense of their argument that man can one day be equal to God. The scripture says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” They use this scripture completely out of context trying to say that Jesus made himself equal to God, so we can too! This is not at all what this scripture is saying. It is saying that Jesus was equal to God (because he was God in the form of human flesh), but he humbled himself anyway and came to earth to take our sins upon Him! Here it is in context:
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
It is evident from reading it in context that these scriptures are talking about Jesus being equal with God, not about man ever becoming equal with God! Jesus humbled himself, becoming like a servant, obediently died on the cross and now every knee shall bow to Him and confess Jesus Christ is Lord. We won’t profess ourselves as gods! We will confess Jesus is Lord! This is not at all saying that it is okay to make ourselves equal to God. Once again, pride is a serious issue in Mormon theology.
Poem by Lorenzo Snow:
The LDS article ends with the following poem written by Lorenzo Snow:
The boy, like to his father grown,Has but attained unto his own;To grow to sire from state of son,Is not ’gainst Nature’s course to run.A son of God, like God to be,Would not be robbing Deity.(As cited in LeRoi C. Snow, p. 661.)
In Lorenzo Snow’s poem, he is pulling from 2 Timothy 3-5 saying that we are all sons of God and are not robbing God’s deity by proclaiming we will one day become like God. Well, that’s exactly what you’re doing if you say you’ll be like God one day: You are robbing God of His Deity and exalting your own self.
I began this article with the quote by Lorenzo Snow, which is now accepted as official LDS Church doctrine, “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be”. When examining the bible, we see that it is evident that this teaching by the LDS church is not only false, but very dangerous and prideful thinking. There is only one God, the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty. God is unchanging and eternal.
“For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” Romans 1:25
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17