I recently read a fascinating post entitled "Robbery: To Be Equal With God". I've been wondering why we don't see more of this kind of discussion in LDS blogs. I've given a lot of thought to this "Becoming like God/becoming gods" debate lately, both within LDS circles and also in evangelical circles.
I enjoy reading the comments and hearing the opinions of people from all sides of the spectrum. I feel so much truth in the statement that whatever we become or attain only adds to God's glory, and that as we become one with Him, hierarchy becomes meaningless.
One helpful clarification about the idea that we can become like God was given by the Church in response to an interview by Fox News:
"We believe that the apostle Peter's biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul's reference to being 'joint heirs with Christ' reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes."
I remember hearing, as a kid, about "becoming a god of my own planet"--but not from official sources. This must have been one of those popular "folklore" ideas spread around for long enough that people started believing it. I wasn't appalled by that idea then, but I've also come to know that that is not "Mormon doctrine" and not something I really believe, but nor is it something I totally disbelieve. I'm not required to believe it, but I'm not ruling it out. But there is no way I'm ever going to think myself so important and great that I would ever cease praising and worshipping the Godhead for eternity. There is no way I could ever get over all that has been done for me. No matter what I become in eternity, I will will always (eternally) recognize I was completely and utterly dependent on God and the merits, mercy, and grace of His Son. God, my Heavenly Father, will always be my Father. God, the Son--Jesus Christ--will always be my Savior.
So I'm not going to spend much time or put any stock into things we just don't know beyond my current covenants. There are some "far out there" statements that some people have made, and some suckers both in and out of the church make the mistake of thinking that's what all Mormons must believe.
What I do believe is that we can and need to strive to become like God--not become Him or replace Him--but become like Him and one with Him. That, too me, is the plan. I don't have any greater ambition than that. So that's what I say when I go onto other blogs and try to clarify those common misperceptions--sometimes intentional misperceptions about us that are taught more in other churches about us than we ever even discuss among ourselves! But I realize that I can only speak for myself and not all Mormons as a whole since there isn't a well defined standard understanding. There's always bound to be some confusion.
On the other hand, I'm not going to rule something out if He has greater plans for us than we even realize. But I'm not one to dwell in speculation.
I tend to think that it would be better if more of us Latter-day Saints would more often celebrate our ignorance rather than pretend we have all the answers to the complexities of this life or eternal life.
I enjoy "marinating my mind" with questions a lot more than I enjoy feeling smug in thinking I have all the right answers. I take some gratification in all that I do know, but I think there should be a greater satisfaction, even an exhilaration, to realize how much potential we haven't even begun to tap into or understand waiting for us on the other side of the veil.
Bill Smith on Polygamy
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