Current Examples of Mormonism’ Emphasis on Becoming a God
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find current LDS references that discuss in any detail the foundational LDS teaching of exaltation. Exaltation, in Mormonism, is becoming a god. It is based on their scripture, D&C 132 which states: “they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation. . .Then shall they be gods.” It appears that current LDS writers are downplaying exaltation and other unique LDS teachings in an attempt to appear more Christian.
It’s against that background that two articles in the August 2015 Ensign caught my eye. (The Ensign is the official magazine of the LDS Church). They got my attention because they both talked about exaltation.
The first article sounded like classic Mormonism because it is. It was written by Parley P. Pratt, a contemporary of Joseph Smith and one of the original twelve apostles of the LDS Church. In it he talks about the eternal family, one of the essential aspects of exaltation. Elder Pratt clearly shows that the LDS teaching of eternal families does not just refer to a person living eternally with their earthly families. He emphasizes that it centers on the fact that “the result of our endless union would be an offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven, or the sands of the sea shore” (p. 80). In other words, he says that people who are exalted will produce countless spirit children just as we are the supposed spirit children of Heavenly Father and Mother. In that connection he further writes, “I learned that the highest dignity of womanhood was, to stand as a queen and priestess to her husband, and to reign for ever and ever as the queen mother of her numerous and still increasing offspring” (my emphasis). Not once in this article about eternity is living with God mentioned.
The other article was based on a speech given by Elder Allen F. Packer at BYU Idaho. His theme is that God has set standards for people to qualify for exaltation. (He repeats this phrase six times in his brief article.) Not only was I struck by the fact that he even talked about exaltation but also by his emphasis that all are capable of meeting the necessary standards. You just have to do it. The biblical doctrine of man’s inability to keep the commandments was nowhere in sight.
Many Christians and Mormons today are claiming that Mormonism has changed – that the differences between the two are not very great. These two articles are proof that the fundamental teachings of Mormonism haven’t changed. It still emphasizes that people have the capability of keeping the commandments. It still holds out for its members an eternity of godhood where they will have an eternal family of “offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven”. Mormonism has been and continues to remain a non-Christian religion.
That is why we need to share with them the truth about the wonderful eternal family that we will be members of through faith in Jesus – the eternal family of Christ and all believers. They need to hear that the only way to qualify for this eternity is by making Jesus’ perfection their own through faith. We will have a blessed eternity not because of any commandment keeping on our part but because of Jesus’ keeping the commandments perfectly for us.
God’s blessings as you share the TRUTH in love to Mormons.