Teachings Concerning
The Divine Potential of Man
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Man, The Offspring of God

Lorenzo Snow

Our spirit birth gave us godlike capabilities. We were born in the image of God our Father; He begot us like unto Himself. There is the nature of deity in the composition of our spiritual organization; in our spiritual birth our Father transmitted to us the capabilities, powers and faculties which He Himself possessed -- as much so as the child on its mother's bosom possesses, although in an undeveloped state, the faculties, powers, and susceptibilities of its parent. [Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.4]

First Presidency Message: Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund

Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God. [Messages of the First Presidency, 4:206]

Joseph Fielding Smith 

We believe in the dignity and divine origin of man. Our faith is founded on the fact that God is our Father, and that we are his children, and that all men are brothers and sisters in the same eternal family.

As members of his family, we dwelt with him before the foundations of this earth were laid, and he ordained and established the plan of salvation whereby we gained the privilege of advancing and progressing as we are endeavoring to do.

The God we worship is a glorified Being in whom all power and perfection dwell, and he has created man in his own image and likeness, with those characteristics and attributes which he himself possesses. [Conference Report, April 1970, p.4]

 


God's Work and Glory

Moses 1:39

For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Spencer W. Kimball

If we are true and faithful, we shall rise, not alone in immortality but unto eternal life. Immortality is to live forever in an assigned kingdom. Eternal life is to gain exaltation in the highest heaven and live in the family unit. [Conference Report, Oct. 1978, p. 109; or Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 72]

Marion G. Romney

Immortality connotes life without end. Eternal life, on the other hand, connotes quality of life--exaltation, the highest type of immortality, the kind of life enjoyed by God himself. . . . The crowning work and glory of God is, therefore, as he has said, to bring to pass the eternal life of man. Such is the worth of a soul. Surely it "is great in the sight of God" (D&C 18:10). They should be of like value in the sight of men. As God's work and glory is to bring to pass the eternal life of man, so the desire, hope, and work of every man should be to obtain eternal life for himself. And not for himself only but also for his fellowmen; and it will be when he fully appreciates who and what he is--his nature, origin, destiny, and potentiality. In comparison to eternal life, all else sinks into insignificance. For, as Jesus said: "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? "Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Mark 8:36-37.) [Conference Report, Oct. 1978, p. 19; or Ensign, Nov. 1978, p.14-15]

Bruce R. McConkie

Since it is the prophetic purpose to lead men to full salvation in the highest heaven of the celestial world, when they speak and write about salvation, almost without exception, they mean eternal life or exaltation. They use the terms salvation, exaltation, and eternal life as synonyms, as words that mean exactly the same thing without any difference, distinction, or variance whatever. [The Promised Messiah, pp.129-130]

 

Achieving Godhood: The Purpose of the Gospel

Gordon B. Hinkley

The whole design of the gospel is to lead us, onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62) and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is a grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become! (See The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, comp. Clyde J. Williams, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1984, p. 1) [From October 1994 General Conference, Ensign, November 1994, p. 48; alsoTeachings of Gordon B. Hinkley, 179).

Brigham Young

The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like himself; when we have been proved in our present capacity, and have been faithful with all things he puts into our possession. [Discourses of Brigham Young, p.57]

 
 

The Prophets on Man's Potential for Godhood

Joseph Smith

Brigham Young John Taylor Lorenzo Snow

Obedience and purity are requirements of godhood. That exalted position was made manifest to me at a very early day. I had a direct revelation of this. It was most perfect and complete. If there ever was a thing revealed to man perfectly, clearly, so that there could be no doubt or dubiety, this was revealed to me, and it came in these words: "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be." [Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.5]

Heber J. Grant

These duties and obligations are calculated to make us Godlike in our disposition. They are calculated to make Gods of us, and to fit and qualify us that we may become joint heirs with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. [Gospel Standards, p.38]

Joseph Fielding Smith

Spencer W. Kimball

Mortal man has not become what he may become. Perhaps there is something else that we will learn as we perfect our bodies and our spirits in the times to come. You and I -- what helpless creatures are we! Such limited power we have, and how little can we control the wind and the waves and the storms! We remember the numerous scriptures which, concentrated in a single line, were stated by a former prophet, Lorenzo Snow: "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be." This is a power available to us as we reach perfection and receive the experience and power to create, to organize, to control native elements. How limited we are now! We have no power to force the grass to grow, the plants to emerge, the seeds to develop. (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.26)

Ezra Taft Benson

As God's offspring, we have His attributes in us. We are gods in embryo, and thus have an unlimited potential for progress and attainment. (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.21)