Tuesday, October 06, 2020

Becoming Like God

D&C 132:20 “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 are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) accepts four sacred texts as scripture which contains the words of Christ. LDS accept the Bible including both the Old and New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pear of Great Price. Revelation 22:18 warns not to add nor subtract from the “prophecy of this book”. LDS understand that the “prophecy of this book” is only referring to the prophecy contained in the Book of Revelation. The New Testament wasn't even put together in its current form at the time. Also, John wrote several letters (John 1, John 2, John 3) found near the end of the New Testament which were written after the Book of Revelation chronologically. Rev 22:18 is not meant to be some kind of seal or final end of the Bible in the same way Muslims consider Muhammad to be the “seal of the prophets”. For LDS, God can and will continue to reveal truth and scripture from heaven. LDS believe “all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and that God will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God” (Articles of Faith, Pearl of Great Price)

The Doctrine and Covenants is a book of scripture that contains the words of Jesus Christ received through Joseph Smith concerning the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ. These revelations were received from about 1830-1844. The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, is a collection of ancient writings of “lost ten tribe” prophets who lived in the Americas from 600 BC to 400 AD. Joseph Smith received these ancient writings on gold-appearing plates and translated the writings into English. The Book of Mormon records the events of the appearance of Jesus Christ in America after His resurrection and ascension in Israel.

Many Christians raise concern over a few misunderstood scriptures found in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants. One of these scripture is D&C 132:20 which speaks of the promise that God's children would one day, through Christ, become gods like Heavenly Father who is the Most High God.

D&C 132:20 is NOT saying that men take God's place, or become gods unto themselves. This scripture is NOT saying that LDS people are superior and will rule over everyone else. This is just saying that we are all children of God who is our Heavenly Father. God describes Himself in the Bible as the God of gods, who seeks to exalt His children to become gods (little 'g') like Himself who is and will continue to always be the Most High God (big 'G').

The way God's children become like our Father in Heaven, through Christ and with Christ, is to participate with God in His work of eternal parenting. LDS believe that our spirits existed and lived with God before coming to Earth (Jer 1:5). The angels that are “subject” to us, are not other Christians, but other spirits who have not yet come to their Earth. Faithful followers of Christ will be blessed to help prepare others of God's children to gain a body, come to their Earth, and be tested as we have done. There are likely many jobs and calling in heaven, but the job of preparing spirits to come to Earth is the highest reward reserved only to the most faithful in Christ. This is Eternal Life and Celestial glory.

The Wiki article [Divinization (Christian)] contains quotes from 12 very respected Early Christian writers including Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, Athanasius, etc. who say the same thing. But more importantly is what the Bible says on the matter.

Deut 10:17 “For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:”

Psalm 82:1 “ God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.”

Psalm 82:6 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”

John 10:33-35 “The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;”

Romans 8:16-17 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”

2 Corinthians 3:18 “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.”

Rev 3:21 “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”