When the Mormon concept of eternal progression unto Godhood is exposed (i.e. brought out of relative obscurity to explicit consideration), one common response from Mormons is that it shouldn’t be made such a big deal because common Mormons don’t think about it very often. There are some big problems with this:
1. The issue matters for its own sake. If it is true that we can become Gods, worshiped and prayed to as the Most High Holy of Holies by billions of our own spirit children someday, that in and of itself is a big deal. The issue warrants focus even if it receives none. Let me offer a lame but useful analogy: What if congress had put forth an Affordable Health Care bill that emphasized better cost control measures, better use of technology, efficiency, and regulations on health insurance providers, yet in one footnote in only one of thousands of pages, required that every citizen–while living–donate one of their kidneys? Do you think the excuse, “But that wasn’t the focus of our bill!”, would be a reasonable response to those concerned?
2. It betrays a cringe of conscience, an internal conflict between endorsement and embarrassment. It’s almost like saying, “Look, I believe that this idea is true, beautiful, glorious, and central to the larger plan of salvation and very purpose of life, but I want to assure you that I try NOT to think about it very often.” Consider an analogy on a topic far less important, polygamy: “I believe that polygamy is acceptable, beautiful, righteous, eternal, something that is to be celebrated, something to be anticipated, and something that even the Gods participate in, but *shudder* I can assure you, we do NOT currently practice it!”
3. That it isn’t repudiated speaks to the condition of the heart. I have elsewhere written that in Mormonism there is power seen in ambiguity, strength in ambivalence, solidarity in equivocation, encouragement in non-officiality. But some things are so horrific and evil, that to not willingly and readily repudiate them speaks to a satanic sickness of the heart. We would be rightly aghast if a confessing Christian wasn’t willing to deny the idea that Jesus sinned, or that Jesus did not resurrect from the dead. The same goes for the issues of whether God the Father sinned, or whether sinners can ever be rightly worshiped as Most High Gods. These negative repudiations should be effortless if one positively affirms what every Christian believes: God alone is the true Most High God for all, God the Father never sinned, Jesus never sinned, and Jesus resurrected from the dead. An unwillingness to hate a horrific falsehood can be evidence of a lack of love for a central and beautiful truth.
4. Despite the human tendency to lose sight of the big picture, our view of the big picture still shapes what we believe and do. It is reasonable and right for any religion to consider the small in light of the large, the temporary in light of the eternal. Mormonism gives its people a meta-narrative, a grand, basically coherent, unified worldview with answers to where we came from, who we are, and where we are going. Mormonism frequently encourages to live out the mundane in light of the eternal—in principle, it should. Mormons who are inwardly embarrassed over Mormonism’s big-picture view of where humans are going cannot ultimately take solace in shortsightedness. It isn’t a virtue to mentally disassociate from one’s eternal future. Indeed, I don’t really believe humans are entirely able to.
5. God ultimately matters more than anything. The issue of whether we can become worshiped Gods ultimately relates to our view of who God himself is. Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) God gave his witness and bore his personal testimony, “Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” (Isaiah 43:10) Do you trust him? Do you love this God? Can you sing with the angels in Revelation 4:8, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”
Grace and peace in the Most High God,
PS. If your spirit-kids try to worship you in the after-life, spank them.