1. Since our inheritance in Christ is infinite and immeasurable, it will take eternity to appropriate and enjoy. Ephesians 2:7 implies eternal progression: “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ever-increasingly beholding the kindness of Jesus.
2. Since our inheritance is received, we may never rightly boast in ourselves. To us it can be said, “What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” (1 Corinthians 4:7) But of God alone it can be said, “For from him and through him and to him are all things.” (Romans 11:36)
3. Since our inheritance is that of being conformed to another, we cannot rightly claim to be the original, the prototype, or the “firstborn.” “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29) The sons are conformed to the image of the Son. Why? “That in everything he might be preeminent.” (Colossians 1:18)
In all my years as a Mormon, I was taught to look at Jesus as my elder brother who had achieved godhood, just as I could some day achieve Godhood. Of course, I was also taught, Jesus is far more advanced than I am now, and by the time I reached His current level of perfection He will have advanced far more than He is now.
You’ve heard the Mormon couplet, “As Man is, God once was. As God is, Man may become.”
They’re serious about that. In Mormon theology, we are all of the same species, constantly advancing before this life, during this life, and after this life. We can all become gods, serving greater gods like Jesus and Elohim, who of course are separate entities in LDS theology.
Granted, this is heresy to traditional Christianity, but it makes perfect sense to Mormons. Most Mormons find it to be a very comforting concept, a closer kinship with Elohim and Jesus, an expanded family. They think of Jesus today much like He was in New Testament times: a real person, walking and teaching, nurturing and loving. In fact, if you scratch an ex-Mormon you’ll likely find the concept is still residing there, deep inside.
This is all tied together in the LDS “Plan of Salvation”, which is quite different from the traditional Christian version. In LDS theology, everyone is saved (resurrected) and everyone goes to one of the three degrees of heaven, unless you’re one of the handful of truly vile persons who truly know and actively fight Christ, in which case you join Satan in “Outer Darkness.” (Among Mormons, there is debate about whether people like Stalin or Hitler, or even Judas, will go to Outer Darkness.)
And you can progress after death. As missionaries, we sometimes discussed how we’d feel if we died, arrived in Paradise, and saw missionaries there teaching one of our former prospects who had rejected our invitation to baptism. That would mean that we had been lacking in our presentation of the gospel to him on Earth and he was getting another chance in Paradise. Even people like Hitler, we supposed, could conceivably repent in Spirit Prison, be “transferred” to Paradise, and then on to the Judgment, where he could be assigned to maybe even the Celestial Kingdom. Unlikely, we thought, but remotely possible. And by that line of reasoning, Hitler could also become a god.
Like I said, scratch an ex-Mormon and you’re likely to find this concept still lurking somewhere inside…
I don’t doubt that residues of certain Mormon doctrines can reside for a long time in many ex members minds . That’s to be expected considering how much time, energy , emotion , Mormons put into giving the type of allegiance to their prophets they do , and working in the system of Mormonism . Now obviously not everything a person learns while a Mormon is false , but as concerns the topic of becoming a God ( like the Mormon God did before them ) is at the top of the list of teachings a Mormon can hopefully expunge from their hearts and minds in short order once they discover their their leaders are not who they have claimed to be and leave the church . But I realize that may be easier said than done .
So this restored gospel and doctrine of the nature of Jesus was taught by the NT church? That is, the primitive Christian Church taught that God was a former man and just like millions and billions of men before Him, became a god.
No wonder Mormons have to degrade the Bible and contend that God’s Word was corrupted in an attempt to keep these precious truths from people. Other than their testimony repeats of “I know…..” do Mormons have any historical evidence that what they teach, preach and practice was present in the NT Church? What evidence we do have is that Joseph Smith at the beginning of the creation of his religion didn’t teach or preach any of this. That’s why we have the further invention of a concept called “progressive revelation”. Through this technique, a “prophet” can swim in any stream of thought he wishes even if it contradicts what other “prophets” have proclaimed or even what he has proclaimed himself.
But for a TBM it makes no difference. There’s always an explanation to cover the inconsistencies and the out right reversal of previously taught doctrine.
One of the LDS doctrines closely related to this idea of mortals progressing to become gods is the LDS Adam-God doctrine. It gets bizarre and complicated, so I’ll quote from Wikipedia:
“The Adam–God doctrine… was a theological doctrine taught in mid-19th century Mormonism by church presidents Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff, and the apostles who served under them in the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). … According to Young, he was taught by Joseph Smith that Adam is “our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do”.
“According to the doctrine, Adam was once a mortal man who became resurrected and exalted. From another planet, he then came as Michael to form the earth. Adam brought Eve, one of his wives, with him to the earth, where they became mortal by eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. After bearing mortal children and establishing the human race, Adam and Eve returned to their heavenly thrones where Adam serves as God, and is our Heavenly Father. Later, Adam returned to the earth to the ancient prophets, and to become the literal father of Jesus.”
It’s very clear that Brigham Young taught the doctrine.
In fact, he declared it to be scripture:
“I say now, when [my sermons] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible . . . ” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264)
“I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95)
LDS leaders today discredit the doctrine, claiming that Prophets Young, Taylor, and Woodruff were mistaken. Which raises the questions:
Where else have LDS prophets been mistaken?
In what areas is the current LDS prophet mistaken?
Every so often a believing Mormon will assert that the progression of mortals to godhood is just LDS folklore, and that the LDS do not believe that God was once a mortal man. But according to the LDS Church, it’s true. The Church states on its own web site, with the concurrence of the Prophet and the Council of the Twelve, —
“GOD “WAS ONCE AS ONE OF US” and “all the spirits that God ever sent into the world” were likewise “susceptible of enlargement.” Joseph Smith preached that long before the world was formed, God found “himself in the midst” of these beings and “saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege TO ADVANCE LIKE HIMSELF” and be “exalted” with Him.”
President Joseph F. Smith stated, “We are precisely in the same condition and under the same circumstances that God our heavenly Father was when he was passing through this, or a similar ordeal.” Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 64
Joseph Smith even responded to the familiar Lorenzo Snow couplet that “as man is, God once was” by stating, “Brother Snow, that is true gospel doctrine , and it is a revelation from God to you .” “
[ Search these Commandments — Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide , 1985 p 152 ] https://www.lds.org/ensign/1982/02/i-have-a-question?lang=eng
I realize it sounds incredible, but LDS doctrine is clear: they believe God (Elohim) was once a mortal man, and that we may all become gods like Him. When Mormons refer to Christ as their older brother, they mean it literally. It’s not a metaphor; it’s not an allegory.
I must repeat my oft stated sentiment regarding people in cults.
“The more convoluted and bizarre an idea, the more cultists embrace it.”
Why is that? Well it’s because the ridiculous nature of an idea, especially a religious one, makes people think they are smart and super spiritual. This is especially so if the idea is going against orthodoxy. In the case of Joseph Smith, he just swept the table clear of orthodox Christian doctrine by declaring it, through his created god, an abomination. Smith went on further to declare that after the death of the apostles, the gospel message disappeared from the earth and needed to be restored. The Bible was declared corrupt by Smith and away he went, a false prophet on steroids.
I was reading the account in Matthew last night regarding the birth of Jesus and the prophesy regarding where He would be born, Bethlehem. It reminded me of the BoM where Jesus is said to be born in Jerusalem. I had read an account of a young LDS woman being troubled by this and asking her bishop. He said the Jerusalem was “close enough”. Mormons will defend this rather glaring mistake by saying that it was the “land of Jerusalem” which would include Bethlehem. Earth to Mormons; that’s not how it works.
From a favorite website:
It is obvious that this is a very sensitive issue with these Mormons. According to them, Alma was referring to the surrounding area of Jerusalem and not the city itself. They insist that Alma was a real person, so to credit him with saying that Christ would someday be born in Jerusalem and not in Bethlehem would be a serious faux pas. To say otherwise casts doubt upon the historicity of Mormonism’s sacred Book of Mormon.
We do not hide the fact that we do not believe the Book of Mormon is an ancient text. Because we believe Alma is a fictitious character, we naturally wouldn’t credit him with such a gaffe. We are not implying that Joseph Smith was ignorant as to where Jesus was born. Instead, we believe that this was a simple slip of the pen. Joseph Smith may have mistaken the better-known Jerusalem for the lesser Bethlehem. It is not like this has not happened before. For instance, “in October, 1966, a study was initated by the Indian Committee of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to determine an effective method of teaching the gospel to Lamanite people, the result of which is this lesson manual.” On page 2 of lesson five of this manual, it reads, “Nephi lived in America at the time Jesus was born across the ocean in Jerusalem.”