Mormon Authorities on Theosis
The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 5: 7-10
And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters. And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives. And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ. And now it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall not take upon him the name of Christ must be called by some other name; therefore, he findeth himself on the left hand of God.
The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 6: 2
And it came to pass that there was not one soul, except it were little children, but who had entered into the covenant and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
The Book of Mormon, Mosiah 25: 22-24
And thus, notwithstanding there being many churches they were all one church, yea, even the church of God; for there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God. And now there were seven churches in the land of Zarahemla. And it came to pass that whosoever were desirous to take upon them the name of Christ, or of God, they did join the churches of God; And they were called the people of God. And the Lord did pour out his Spirit upon them, and they were blessed, and prospered in the land.
The Book of Mormon, Alma 1: 19
But it came to pass that whosoever did not belong to the church of God began to persecute those that did belong to the church of God, and had taken upon them the name of Christ.
The Book of Mormon, Alma 5: 19
I say unto you, can ye look up to God at that day with a pure heart and clean hands? I say unto you, can you look up, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances?
The Book of Mormon, Alma 5: 38
Behold, I say unto you, that the good shepherd doth call you; yea, and in his own name he doth call you, which is the name of Christ; and if ye will not hearken unto the voice of the good shepherd, to the name by which ye are called, behold, ye are not the sheep of the good shepherd.
The Book of Mormon, Alma 34: 38
That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.
The Book of Mormon, Alma 46: 15-21
And those who did belong to the church were faithful; yea, all those who were true believers in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come. And therefore, at this time, Moroni prayed that the cause of the Christians, and the freedom of the land might be favored. And it came to pass that when he had poured out his soul to God, he named all the land which was south of the land Desolation, yea, and in fine, all the land, both on the north and on the south—A chosen land, and the land of liberty. And he said: Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions. And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying: Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them. And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.
The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 9: 17
And as many as have received me, to them have I given to become the sons of God; and even so will I to as many as shall believe on my name, for behold, by me redemption cometh, and in me is the law of Moses fulfilled.
The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12: 8-10
And blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God. And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 12: 48
Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27: 5-9
Have they not read the scriptures, which say ye must take upon you the name of Christ, which is my name? For by this name shall ye be called at the last day; And whoso taketh upon him my name, and endureth to the end, the same shall be saved at the last day. Therefore, whatsoever ye shall do, ye shall do it in my name; therefore ye shall call the church in my name; and ye shall call upon the Father in my name that he will bless the church for my sake. And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel. Verily I say unto you, that ye are built upon my gospel; therefore ye shall call whatsoever things ye do call, in my name; therefore if ye call upon the Father, for the church, if it be in my name the Father will hear you;
The Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 27: 21
Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my agospel; and ye know the things that ye must bdo in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;
The Book of Mormon, Mormon 8: 38
O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?
The Book of Mormon, Moroni 6: 3
And none were received unto baptism save they took upon them the name of Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end.
The Book of Mormon, Moroni 7: 26
And after that he came men also were saved by faith in his name; and by faith, they become the sons of God. And as surely as Christ liveth he spake these words unto our fathers, saying: Whatsoever thing ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is good, in faith believing that ye shall receive, behold, it shall be done unto you.
The Book of Mormon, Moroni 7: 48
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 11: 30
But verily, verily, I say unto you, that as many as receive me, to them will I give power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on my name. Amen.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 18: 21-25
Take upon you the name of Christ, and speak the truth in soberness. And as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is Jesus Christ, and endure to the end, the same shall be saved. Behold, Jesus Christ is the name which is given of the Father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved; Wherefore, all men must take upon them the name which is given of the Father, for in that name shall they be called at the last day; Wherefore, if they know not the name by which they are called, they cannot have place in the kingdom of my Father.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 34: 3
Who so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons of God.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 35: 2
I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who was crucified for the sins of the world, even as many as will believe on my name, that they may become the sons of God, even one in me as I am one in the Father, as the Father is one in me, that we may be one.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 45: 8
I came unto mine own, and mine own received me not; but unto as many as received me gave I power to do many miracles, and to become the sons of God; and even unto them that believed on my name gave I power to obtain eternal life.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 76: 51-58
They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given – That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true. They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things – They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory; And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son. Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 86: 11
Therefore, blessed are ye if ye continue in my goodness, a light unto the Gentiles, and through this priesthood, a savior unto my people Israel. The Lord hath said it. Amen.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 88: 40-50
For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things. He comprehendeth all things, and all things are before him, and all things are round about him; and he is above all things, and in all things, and is through all things, and is round about all things; and all things are by him, and of him, even God, forever and ever. And again, verily I say unto you, he hath given a law unto all things, by which they move in their times and their seasons; And their courses are fixed, even the courses of the heavens and the earth, which comprehend the earth and all the planets. And they give light to each other in their times and in their seasons, in their minutes, in their hours, in their days, in their weeks, in their months, in their years—all these are one year with God, but not with man. The earth rolls upon her wings, and the sun giveth his light by day, and the moon giveth her light by night, and the stars also give their light, as they roll upon their wings in their glory, in the midst of the power of God. Unto what shall I liken these kingdoms, that ye may understand? Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power. I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 93: 1-4, 19-40
VERILY, thus saith the Lord: It shall come to pass that every soul who forsaketh his sins and cometh unto me, and calleth on my name, and obeyeth my voice, and keepeth my commandments, shall see my face and know that I am; And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. And that I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one — The Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world and made flesh my tabernacle, and dwelt among the sons of men.
I give unto you these sayings that you may understand and know how to worship, and know what you worship, that you may come unto the Father in my name, and in due time receive of his fulness. For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace. And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn; And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn. Ye were also in the beginning with the Father; that which is Spirit, even the Spirit of truth; And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come; And whatsoever is more or less than this is the spirit of that wicked one who was a liar from the beginning. The Spirit of truth is of God. I am the Spirit of truth, and John bore record of me, saying: He received a fulness of truth, yea, even of all truth; And no man receiveth a fulness unless he keepeth his commandments. He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things. Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be. All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. And every man whose spirit receiveth not the light is under condemnation. For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; And when separated, man cannot receive a fulness of joy. The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, even temples; and whatsoever temple is defiled, God shall destroy that temple. The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth. Light and truth forsake that evil one. Every spirit of man was innocent in the beginning; and God having redeemed man from the fall, men became again, in their infant state, innocent before God. And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 103: 9-10
For they were set to be a light unto the world, and to be the saviors of men; And inasmuch as they are not the saviors of men, they are as salt that has lost its savor, and is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenantes 121: 26-33
God shall give unto you knowledge by his Holy Spirit, yea, by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now; Which our forefathers have awaited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fulness of their glory; A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest. All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And also, if there be bounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars – All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times – According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest. How long can rolling waters remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 128: 15-23
And now, my dearly beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles in relation to the dead and the living that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers—that they without us cannot be made perfect—neither can we without our dead be made perfect.
And now, in relation to the baptism for the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul, 1 Corinthians 15:29: Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?
And again, in connection with this quotation I will give you a quotation from one of the prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, namely, the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th and 6th: Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know, in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse unless there is a welding link of some kind or other between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other—and behold what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they nor we be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times, which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole and complete and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed from the days of Adam even to the present time. And not only this, but those things which never have been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this, the dispensation of the fulness of times.
Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!
And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfilment of the prophets—the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the wilderness of Fayette, Seneca county, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book! The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an angel of light! The voice of Peter, James, and John in the wilderness between Harmony, Susquehanna county, and Colesville, Broome county, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times!
And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer, in Fayette, Seneca county, and at sundry times, and in divers places through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little; giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope!
Brethren, shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.
Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 130: 1-2, 6-11
When the Savior shall appear we shall see him as he is. We shall see that he is a man like ourselves. And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.
The angels do not reside on a planet like this earth; But they reside in the presence of God, on a globe like a sea of glass and fire, where all things for their glory are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord. The place where God resides is a great Urim and Thummim. This earth, in its sanctified and immortal state, will be made like unto crystal and will be a Urim and Thummim to the inhabitants who dwell thereon, whereby all things pertaining to an inferior kingdom, or all kingdoms of a lower order, will be manifest to those who dwell on it; and this earth will be Christ’s. Then the white stone mentioned in Revelation 2:17, will become a Urim and Thummim to each individual who receives one, whereby things pertaining to a higher order of kingdoms will be made known; And a white stone is given to each of those who come into the celestial kingdom, whereon is a new name written, which no man knoweth save he that receiveth it. The new name is the key word.
Joseph Smith, Doctrine and Covenants 132: 18-20
And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power, then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them – Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths – then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. 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 Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4: 11
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
The Pearl of Great Price, Moses 6: 8-9
Now this prophecy Adam spake, as he was moved upon by the Holy Ghost, and a genealogy was kept of the children of God. And this was the book of the generations of Adam, saying: In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; In the image of his own body, male and female, created he them, and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created and became living souls in the land upon the footstool of God.
The Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 3: 16-19
If two things exist, and there be one above the other, there shall be greater things above them; therefore Kolob is the greatest of all the Kokaubeam that thou hast seen, because it is nearest unto me. Now, if there be two things, one above the other, and the moon be above the earth, then it may be that a planet or a star may exist above it; and there is nothing that the Lord thy God shall take in his heart to do but what he will do it. Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal. And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all.
The Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 4: 1
AND then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth.
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 346-347
Here, then, is eternal life -- to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power.
Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 354-355
The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge. He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits.
This is good doctrine. It tastes good. I can taste the principles of eternal life, and so can you. They are given to my by the revelations of Jesus Christ; and I know that when I tell you these words of eternal life as they are given to me, you taste them, and I know that you believe them. You say honey is sweet, and so do I. I can also taste the spirit of eternal life. I know it is good; and when I tell you of these things which were given my be inspiration of the Holy Spirit, you are bound to receive them as sweet, and rejoice more and more.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3: 93
The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like himself.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3: 336
You may now be inclined to say, 'We wish to hear the mysteries of the kingdoms of the Gods who have existed from eternity, and of all the kingdoms in which they will dwell; we desire to have these things portrayed to our understandings.' Allow me to inform you that you are in the midst of it all now, that you are in just as good a kingdom as you will ever attain to, from now to all eternity, unless you make it yourselves by the grace of God, by the will of God, which is a code of laws perfectly calculated to govern and control eternal matter.
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 4: 199-200
You have the words of eternal life in your possession. What next? Take your own philosophy; if I am organized and capacitated to receive this glory and this exaltation, I must be the friend of Him who has brought me forth and instituted this exaltation for me; I must not be His enemy at any time. Again, you say, 'we are organized to become Gods, even sons of God; to act independently.' You expect to see the time when you will have at your control worlds on worlds, if your existence endures. . . . 'Now,' say you, 'we are to have kingdoms, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions, &c.' Can you read it in this book? This is the Old and New Testament, which you and I were taught, from our youth, to believe is the word of God. If I am to receive these blessings I will be an independent character, like those who dwell in eternity. If this is the case, let me pause for a moment and use my own natural philosophy. How can I prove myself the friend of God, who has placed all this glory within my reach, unless His influences are withdrawn from me, to see whether or not I will be His friend? At the time when you receive the greatest blessings by the manifestations of the power and Spirit of God, immediately the Lord may leave you to yourselves, that you may prove yourselves worthy of this exaltation. Multitudes, on the right hand and on the left, when this Spirit and power are withdrawn from them, sink into unbelief, and do not know whether there is a God, or not. Ask them, 'What did you realize and experience yesterday?' The reply is, 'I do not know anything about it. I can see this house, I can see the sun I can see men and women, but I can say no more.' 'Do you believe what you believed yesterday?' 'I do not know.'
Do all people realize that? If they did, let me tell you, they would cling fast to their integrity. When the mind of a righteous man is beclouded by darkness, when he does not know the first thing about the religion he believes in, it is because the vail is dropped so that he may act on the organization of his own individual person, which is calculated to be as independent as the Gods, in the end. When you are fully aware of this, then you are ready to lay down your lives for the cause of God and for His people, if you act on your own integrity and philosophy.
One of the greatest trials that ever came on the Son of God when he was in the flesh, upon that man whom we hold as our Saviour, was when the mob had him in their possession. They spit on him, scourged him, mocked him, and made a wreath of thorns and placed it upon his head, (and I will insure that it was so placed on his head as to cause the blood to start) and said to him, 'Here is your cross, you poor, worthless scamp, take and carry it on to that hill, for there we are going to nail you to it.' How would you feel in such a time, and at that very hour and moment when this tabernacle suffers, should the Father then withdraw Himself and say, 'Now, my son, I will see whether you will prove yourself worthy or not.' Did he walk up the hill? He did, and carried the cross until he fainted under it; then they took it and went on, and he submitted patiently to the will of his Father.
Will you submit patiently to the will of your Father in the hour of darkness? Will you say that you are the friends of God?
Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7: 333
He [God] . . . was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted being . . . It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God was once been a finite being.
Heber C Kimball, Journal of Discourses 5: 19
We shall go back to our Father and God, who is connected with one who is still farther back; and this Father is connected with one still farther back, and so on.
Heber C Kimball, Journal of Discourses 8: 211
Our God is a natural man . . . where did he get his knowledge from? From his father, just as we get our knowledge from our earthly parents.
Orson Pratt, The Seer 23
The Gods who dwell in heaven . . . were once in a fallen state . . . they were exalted also, from fallen men to celestial Gods.
Orson Pratt, The Seer 132
Our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father; He was begotten by a still more ancient Father; and so on from generation to generation, from one heavenly world to another.
Wilford Woodruff, The Journal of Discourses 6: 120
If there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end. It is just so with us.
Elder E. L. T. Harrison, The Millennial Star, 20:641-644, Saturday, October 9, 1858
Concerning Jesus Christ, who had studied him (the Father), practiced him, and was then acting him out; so that all who wanted to see what kind of a person the Father was could behold him in the words and actions of the Son. For this same purpose were we ordained to the priesthood. In this ordination was conveyed the condition that we should walk not merely in the authority of the appointment, but in the virtues and qualities that are Christ's.
One thing is certain, authority alone is not sufficient to make us representative sof God. Some men possess that, but nothing else. There is scarecely an attribute of God about them. They walk in the authority of their appointment, but not in the virtue, the grace, or the righteousness of it. Strip such men of their authority, and there is nothing of God left to be counted.
Neither does faithfulness in carrying out the duties of our calling prove we are getting much nearer to God or porgressing toward celestial perfection. Shall the priesthood consider they meet the demand of God simply because they are faithful to the truth? As God lives, we may do all this and have it done well, too, and then be no better than any sectarian who sincerely believes his faith and upholds it.
We are called to be exemplifiers of the very virtues of the eternal God. Jehovah's principles should shine in us, so that seeing us, he may be seen. If we are content to be less than this, we are shams. When a man is called to the priesthood, he is then and there ordained to put down evil. He is not merely called to form part of a splendid organization. The Priesthood has been conferred on us for the express purpose that the Father and Son may have representatives of their Spirit and their actions upon Earth. The world are to comprehend God through us.
Godliness is not going to be loved, understood, or appreciated by the world, buy the preaching of a cold theory of its nature. We have got to make them feel God by the force of his very nature diffused in us. The great thing, the ruling desire with us should not be merely the getting distinction in the priesthood, but the celestialization of the world by the introduction of celestial practices in ourselves and others.
Ordinations do not celestialize; appointments do not elevate: they only authorize us to be channels of light to others and to ourselves, if we will. Our standing in the priesthood, therefore, does not necessarily represent our progress, although there will come a day when it will; for priesthood authority will, finally, only be vested where the eternal attributes of God exist.
It takes intelligence, ruled by meekness, benevolence, justice, mercy, and uprightness in spirit and in deed, to celestialize. This then, is true priesthood--to be images of the living God, to bless, and bless, and bless again, notwithstanding ingratitude in some, building, sustaining, and protecting all the time; to help, the weak, the down-trodden, and the helpless, till helping becomes our natural food, working on all principles that yield nourishment, support, and strength, till our very presence is as the sun, cheering and blessing all.
Then, no good thing shall be withheld from him. He shall save and gain influence over the hearts of men. He shall be as God among his own; and they shall feel the attributes that live within him, till their hearts are stolen from them and linked to him forever. So shall he gain dominion, and increase in strength, and be really, truly, and eternally a representative of the Most High.
As man now is, God once was: as God now is, man may be.
Lorenzo Snow, Improvement Era, June 1919, 658–59
These children are now at play, making mud worlds. The time will come when some of these boys, through their faithfulness to the gospel, will progress and develop in knowledge, intelligence and power, in future eternities, until they shall be able to go out into space where there is unorganized matter and call together the necessary elements, and through their knowledge of and control over the laws and powers of nature, to organize matter into worlds on which their posterity may dwell, and over which they shall rule as gods.
Lorenzo Snow, “Address to the Saints in Great Britain” 362–63
Godliness cannot be conferred but must be acquired, a fact of which the religious world seem[s] strangely and lamentably unconscious.
Orson F Whitney, Collected Discourses 3: 45
Mormonism, to me, is but another name for God's truth, and to find the fullness of that truth we would have to bring together and aggregate the truth of all religions, adding thereto all others that God would or could reveal.
Truth is truth, where'er `tis found,
On Christian or on heathen ground.
This religion called Mormonism is no new thing. According to our view it is the oldest of all religions. It has been upon the earth in different ages, being revealed from heaven from time to time as often as it became necessary to renew the sacred fire upon the altar of the human heart, and revive in men's souls the knowledge of truth which they had turned from and forgotten. Its object from the first has been man's salvation -- the salvation of all men, who are universally the children of God. You who have supposed that Mormonism is a narrow and exclusive faith, have not understood it aright. If I knew of a religion that was broader and better I would embrace it. But to me it is the broadest, the best, the most reasonable of all religions, and consequently I remain a Mormon. My religion proposes to save all men, but to save them upon just and consistent principles; not the rewarding of one soul for the good done by another, nor the punishment of the innocent for the misdeeds of the guilty, nor the never-ending punishment of any soul; but the judging of all men according to their works, and their salvation according to their merits in different degrees of glory.
Mormonism teaches that God was once just like ourselves; that the eternal part of Him was enshrined in mortal flesh, subject to mortal ills and earthly pains and toils. I do not now refer to the experience of the Savior in the meridian of time. I mean that in the far away aeons of the past God once dwelt upon an earth like this, and that through its trials and vicissitudes and the experience they afforded He became a more intelligent being than before, ascending finally by obedience to certain principles, ennobling and exalting in their nature, to the plane which He now occupies. These truths, forming the ladder up which He climbed to celestial heights, up which we too are expected to climb from earth to heaven, from mortality to immortality, from a world where grief and sorrow reign, to a better and brighter sphere where sorrow and suffering are unknown--these truths are self-existent and eternal. God did not create them. Intelligence, the light of truth, cannot be created. But by means of His superior intelligence, which is his glory and which makes Him God He instituted laws whereby the rest, the lesser intelligences, might advance like Himself. These laws we call the Gospel, the plan of salvation, formulated in the heavens before this world was, and revealed again and again to the children of Adam for their salvation. We hold that men are literally the sons and daughters of God; that He intends we shall become like Him; and it is certainly reasonable to expect that the child will eventually develop to the status of the Parent. We are divine beings in embryo, and it is only a question of time when we shall blossom in perfection.
Joseph F Smith, Gospel Doctrine, 5th ed. , 442
Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission. We will not finish our work until we have saved ourselves, and then not until we shall have saved all depending upon us; for we are to become saviors upon Mount Zion, as well as Christ. We are called to this mission. The dead are not perfect without us, neither are we without them.
James Talmage, A Study of the Articles of Faith 430
We believe in a God who is Himself progressive . . . whose perfection consists in eternal advancement . . . a Being who has attained His exalted state.
James Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1st Edition, 1899, pp. 420-421
It is reasonable to believe, in the absence of direct revelation by which alone absolute knowledge of the matter could be acquired, that, in accordance with God’s plan of eternal progression, advancement from grade to grade within any kingdom, and from kingdom to kingdom, will be provided for. But if the recipients of a lower glory be enabled to advance, surely the intelligences of higher rank will not be stopped in their progress; and thus we may conclude, that degrees and grades will ever characterize the kingdoms of our God. Eternity is progressive; perfection is relative; the essential feature of God’s living purpose is its associated power of eternal increase.
John A Widtsoe, History of the Church, 6: 59-61
In our preexistent state, in the day of the great council, we made a certain agreement with the Almighty. The Lord proposed a plan, conceived by him. We accepted it. Since the plan is intended for all men, we become parties to the salvation of every person under that plan. We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but measurably, saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.
Milton R Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages 104
God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing. He became a God.
Milton R Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages 114-115
There was a time when the Deity was much less powerful than He is today . . . He grew in experience and continued to grow until He attained the status of Godhood. In other words, He became a God by absolute obedience.
Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine 250
God . . . is a personal Being, a holy and exalted man . . . an anthropomorphic entity.
Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine 322
As the Prophet [Joseph Smith] also taught, 'there is a God above the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ'.
Bruce R McConkie, Mormon Doctrine 642-643
God himself, the Father of us all, is a glorious, exalted, immortal, resurrected man.
Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 1: 10-12
God is an exalted man . . . our Father in Heaven at one time passed through a life and death and is an exalted man . . . The Prophet [Joseph Smith] taught that our Father had a Father and so on . . . promises are made to us that we may become like him.
Boyd K Packer, "The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness," General Conference, Oct 1995
Some years ago I was in Washington, D.C., with President Harold B. Lee. Early one morning he called me to come into his hotel room. He was sitting in his robe reading Gospel Doctrine, by President Joseph F. Smith, and he said, “Listen to this!
“‘Jesus had not finished his work when his body was slain, neither did he finish it after his resurrection from the dead; although he had accomplished the purpose for which he then came to the earth, he had not fulfilled all his work. And when will he? Not until he has redeemed and saved every son and daughter of our father Adam that have been or ever will be born upon this earth to the end of time, except the sons of perdition. That is his mission. We will not finish our work until we have saved ourselves, and then not until we shall have saved all depending upon us; for we are to become saviors upon Mount Zion, as well as Christ. We are called to this mission.'"
“There is never a time,” the Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “when the spirit is too old to approach God. All are within the reach of pardoning mercy, who have not committed the unpardonable sin.”
And so we pray, and we fast, and we plead, and we implore. We love those who wander, and we never give up hope.
Gordon B Hinckley, "Closing Remarks", October 2004 General Conference
The element of selfishness crowds in upon us constantly. We need to overcome it, and there is no better way than to go to the house of the Lord and there serve in a vicarious relationship in behalf of those who are beyond the veil of death. What a remarkable thing this is. In most cases, we do not know those for whom we work. We expect no thanks. We have no assurance that they will accept that which we offer. But we go, and in that process we attain to a state that comes of no other effort. We literally become saviors on Mount Zion. What does this mean? Just as our Redeemer gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for all men, and in so doing became our Savior, even so we, in a small measure, when we engage in proxy work in the temple, become as saviors to those on the other side who have no means of advancing unless something is done in their behalf by those on earth.
Thomas S Monson, "Until We Meet Again", April 2009 General Conference
Great service is given when we perform vicarious ordinances for those who have gone beyond the veil. In many cases we do not know those for whom we perform the work. We expect no thanks, nor do we have the assurance that they will accept that which we offer. However, we serve, and in that process we attain that which comes of no other effort: we literally become saviors on Mount Zion. As our Savior gave His life as a vicarious sacrifice for us, so we, in some small measure, do the same when we perform proxy work in the temple for those who have no means of moving forward unless something is done for them by those of us here on the earth.
David Bednar, "The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn", October 2011 General Conference
We are the Lord’s agents in the work of salvation and exaltation that will prevent “the whole earth [from being] smitten with a curse” when He returns again. This is our duty and great blessing.
Tad Callister, "Our Identity and Our Destiny", BYU Education Week 14 August 2012
The scriptures, early Christian writers, poetry, logic, and history testify not only of the divine possibility but of the divine reality that man may become as God.