Are We Gods in Embryo?

23

March 6, 2013 by FHElessons

we came to earth as a tiny baby

Let me just tell you up front that this is a controversial post.  I never expected it to be controversial, but I am finding that it is.  Let me tell you how the subject came up.

A few weeks ago, I was substituting in my daughter’s Sunday School class.  The lesson was on how we come to Earth to learn. (You can find the lesson I gave BY CLICKING HERE.)  I expected the lesson to conclude with the point that after we have learned what we come to Earth to learn, we will eventually become gods and goddesses and do the things that our Father in Heaven does. This was not a new concept to me.  This is something that I have understood ever since I was very young, and I thought that everyone else in the LDS church understood it as well.  But my class was filled with 13 & 14 year olds who are all children of the strong, active families in our ward, and apparently this was a totally new concept to them.

In fact, not only was it new, but some of them didn’t even believe me.  They argued with me, saying that our ultimate goal is only to become angels to our God.  They looked at me in confusion and found it mind-warpingly difficult to understand the idea that God could once have been a man, at the same state in His progress as we are now.  They also had never heard the idea that now that God has progressed to Godhood, He has created innumerable worlds inhabited by innumerable people.  I was very surprised that these teens from stalwart families had never heard of the concepts that I was teaching!  So surprised that I even started to doubt myself.

I began to do some research.  And by research, I mean Google (heehee).  I found a whole bunch of articles online where people said something like, “The Church is steering away from the concept that man can eventually become a god and is aligning its views more closely with mainstream Christianity.”  What?!!!!  Apparently many other churches believe the idea that man can be as God is to be a blasphemous concept.  This doctrine – that our ultimate goal is to become gods and goddesses ourselves – appears to be a doctrine unique to the LDS faith.

Anyway, when discovering what doctrines are actually taught and believed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the best source of information may not be internet articles, right?  Instead we should look to printed statements by prophets and apostles published by the Church.  Yes, I was surprised that this doctrine that I had always firmly believed and understood was turning out to be something controversial, but what I needed to do to confirm what we, the LDS people, actually believe and know to be true, is to search the words of the prophets.  Now, sometimes there is some random statement by some apostle that never really gets confirmed by repetition.  But if a doctrine is taught over and over again by many different prophets and apostles, then we can know that doctrine to be true and to be a part of the teachings of the Church.

So, because of the apparently controversial nature of this subject and because the teenagers in my own ward who ought to have understood this concept had never heard of it before, I thought it was important to prepare a Family Home Evening lesson about it.  I hope that all of you will make it a point to teach this concept in your own Family Home Evenings.  I hope that your own children will not be sitting in a Sunday School class one day, hear about being gods in embryo, and be totally flabbergasted.

I feel like this is an important concept to understand because without the goal of one day becoming as God is, what is the point of learning and growing in this life?  Do we really want to live for eternity just so we can be angels?  If we truly understand our own eternal nature and our own potential to be gods and goddesses, we will have the motivation necessary to work hard, to strive for perfection, to avoid the snares of the devil, and to refuse to let him drag us away from our eternal goal of becoming what God is and doing what He does.

With all that said, here is the lesson:

Hymn Suggestions:

To Begin:

Show a picture of you or your spouse when you were the age that your kids are now (or several pictures).

daddy was once the same age you are now

Ask: Did you know Daddy (or Mommy) used to be the same age as you?  In fact, Daddy was once a tiny, little baby.  (Note:  You can use either Dad or Mom for all of the following discussion or you can use both).

we all begin as babies but will become gods and goddesses by fhelessons.wordpress.com

It’s been a lot of years between the time Daddy was a baby and how he is now.  What kinds of things do you think Daddy had to learn in order to grow from being a baby to being an adult?

Can you do all the things now that your Dad can do?  Do you think you will ever be able to do all the things he can do?

what daddies can do from fhelessons.wordpress.com

Right now it seems almost impossible that you will be able to do everything your dad does and know everything that he knows.  But, if you think about it logically, you will see that, yes, by the time you get to be as old as he is, you will most likely have progressed to the point that he is at now.  You will want to try to do everything right and learn as much as you can learn so that you can get to be as great as him someday!

Now, let’s talk about your Heavenly Father.  Do you think He was ever at the point of development that you are currently at?  Let’s look at some of the teachings from our prophets for the answer to that question:

Here is what Joseph Smith said in an LDS Church Conference in 1844:

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all Eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . 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, . . .” (Teachings, pp. 345-346)

Brigham Young confirms it:

The great architect, manager and superintendent, controller and dictator
[absolute ruler] who guides this work is out of sight to our natural
eyes. He lives on another world; he is in another state of existence; he has
passed the ordeals we are now passing through; he has received an experience,has suffered and enjoyed, and knows all that we know regarding the toils, sufferings, life and death of this mortality, for he has passed through
the whole of it
, and has received his crown and exaltation and holds the
keys and the power of this Kingdom. (Young, Brigham. Discourses of Brigham Young. 1941, p.22)

The Manual published by the LDS Church entitled Gospel Fundamentals, also teaches this doctrine:

It will help us to remember that our Father in Heaven was once a man who lived on an earth, the same as we do. He became our Father in Heaven by overcoming problems, just as we have to do on this earth. (Gospel Fundamentals, 2002, p.204)

Lorenzo Snow, who became the fifth president of the Church, coined this couplet which succinctly sums up the doctrine (See Lorenzo Snow, “The Grand Destiny of Man,” Deseret Evening News, July 20, 1901, 22.):

As man is God once was.

As God is, Man may become.

From these prophets, we learn that our God has progressed to the perfect state in which He now exists, and we learn that it is possible for us to do so as well.

gods in embryo from fhelessons.wordpress.com

Our earthly parents want us to progress until we achieve our full potential.  They want us to become the best we can be!  And our Heavenly Father wants that for us as well.  When we are little children, we look to our earthly parents and strive to emulate them.  We model their behavior, learn from them, and, eventually, we grow into adults and become very much like them.  So, too, it is with our Heavenly Father.  If we wish to become like Him, we must strive to emulate Him.  We must model His behavior, and we must learn the lessons He teaches us.

Because we are His children, eventually we can become like Him!

Possible object lesson to use here:  Show pictures of baby animals.

New Born LambA baby African elephant eats under the protection of its mother. Africababy gorillababy orangutanpuppy and kitten at food dishbaby pig

For each picture, ask, “What will this baby grow up to be?”

When the correct answers are given, show a human baby:

we are gods in embryo from fhelessons.wordpress.com

Ask, “What will this baby grow up to be? Will he grow up to be an elephant? A gorilla? A cat?”  “Of course not!  He will grow up to be a man!”

Remind your family of the opening song: “I Am a Child of God”.  Knowing that, what can we eventually grow up to be? (Gods and Goddesses)

Because we are children of God, we can grow up to be like Him.  We can become what our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother are now.

For a lesson for young children, you can support this statement with any of the statements by prophets below and then conclude this lesson now by bearing your testimony of the divinity of man and of his potential to become like God, made possible by Christ’s atonement.

For teenagers or adults, you may want to explore this subject more deeply.

Let’s turn to the scriptures to read about this doctrine.  You can present the following scriptures as a scripture chain that your family/group can mark in their scriptures. (A scripture chain is where you highlight one scripture and write in a link to the second scripture.  The second scripture has a link to the third one and so on, until the last one links back to the first.  Thus, all the scriptures on one topic are linked together to allow for study on that subject in the future. My 13-year-old daughter LOVES marking scripture chains in her scriptures.)

Genesis 1:27:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

D&C 76:24:

That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.

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.

Psalms 82:6:

Ye are Gods; and all of you are children of the most High.

John 10:34 – 35:

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?… he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.

D&C 132:1920:

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.

Matthew 5:32:

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

What do we learn from this scripture chain?

  • We are created in the image of God.
  • We are His begotten spirit children.
  • If we are His children, then we are His heirs.  Heirs to all He has.  Joint heirs with Christ.
  • This means that we also are Gods.
  • Jesus Christ himself confirmed that this is true and that the scripture cannot be broken.
  • The D&C teaches this doctrine in detail: We must be married in order to become gods and goddesses and once we become such, we will have all power and be everlasting.
  • Jesus exhorts us to strive for this perfection that our Heavenly Father possesses – to be like Him.
  • Because this doctrine seems to have become controversial, and because there are some in the Church today who do not even believe it, I would also like to give you a long list of quotes from prophets to support this idea.  You certainly don’t need to use them all in your lesson, but I think it is good to see that this doctrine, which some try to refute today, has actually been taught to us by many of our prophets.  God establishes His word in the mouth of 2-3 witnesses, so when a certain doctrine has been taught by many of our leaders, we can be assured that it is a true doctrine.  Here are some quotes for you to peruse and share:

 

Statements from Presidents of the LDS Church:

 

President John Taylor:

What is [man]? He had his being in the eternal worlds; he existed before he came here. He is not only the son of man, but he is the son of God also. He is a God in embryo, and possesses within him a spark of that eternal flame which was struck from the blaze of God’s eternal fire in the eternal world, and is placed here upon the earth that he may possess true intelligence, true light, true knowledge,—that he may know himself—that he may know God—that he may know something about what he was before he came here—that he may know something about what he is destined to enjoy in the eternal worlds.

If we take man, he is said to have been made in the image of God, for the simple reason that he is a son of God, and being his son, he is, of course, his offspring, an emanation from God, in whose likeness, we are told, he is made. He did not originate from a chaotic mass of matter, moving or inert, but came forth possessing, in an embryonic state, all the faculties and powers of a God. And when he shall be perfected, and have progressed to maturity, he will be like his Father—a God, being indeed His offspring. As the horse, the ox, the sheep, and every living creature, including man, propagates its own species and perpetuates its own kind, so does God perpetuate his. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church:John Taylor, p.2-3)

President Lorenzo Snow:

We were born in the image of God our Father; he begat 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.

I believe that we are the sons and daughters of God, and that He has bestowed upon us the capacity for infinite wisdom and knowledge, because He has given us a portion of Himself. We are told that we were made in His own image, and we find that there is a character of immortality in the soul of man. There is a spiritual organism within this tabernacle [the physical body], and that spiritual organism has a divinity in itself, though perhaps in an infantile state; but it has within itself the capability of improving and advancing, as the infant that receives sustenance from its mother. Though the infant may be very ignorant, yet there are possibilities in it that by passing through the various ordeals of childhood to maturity enable it to rise to a superiority that is perfectly marvellous, compared with its infantile ignorance.

Through a continual course of progression our Heavenly Father has received exaltation and glory and he points us out the same path and, inasmuch as he is clothed with power, authority and glory, he says, “walk ye up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness that I possess.” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, 2012, p.84-85).

President Joseph F. Smith:

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]

President Heber J. Grant:

If we examine the plan of life and salvation, if we examine the commandments that are given to us as members of the Church of God, we will find that each and every one of those commandments has been given for the express purpose that we may be benefitted, that we may be educated, that we may be qualified and prepared to go back and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father. These duties and obligations are calculated to make us godlike in our dispositions. They are calculated to make Gods of us, and to fit and qualify us that we may become, as it is promised that we can become, joint heirs with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and dwell with Him in the presence of God the Eternal Father throughout all the countless ages of eternity. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p.30)

President George Albert Smith:

Being created in the image of God, we believe that it is not improper, that it is not unrighteous, for us to hope that we may be permitted to partake of the attributes of deity and, if we are faithful, to become like unto God; for as we receive of and obey the natural laws of our Father that govern this life, we become more like Him; and as we take advantage of the opportunities placed within our reach, we prepare to receive greater opportunities in this life and in the life that is to come. (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, p. 71)

President Spencer W. Kimball:

Through him God has abundantly confirmed that man is the supreme creation, made in the image and similitude of God and his Son, Jesus Christ; that man is the offspring of God; that for man, and man alone, was the earth created, organized, planted and made ready for human habitation; and that, having within him the seeds of godhood and thus being a god in embryo, man has unlimited potential for progress and attainment. (Miracle of Forgiveness, p.3)

President 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. The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), 21.

President Gordon B. Hinckley:

On the other hand, 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 ProphetJoseph Smith in the King Follet sermon (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342–62; and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this 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.)

Our enemies have criticized us for believing in this. Our reply is that this lofty concept in no way diminishes God the Eternal Father. He is the Almighty. He is the Creator and Governor of the universe. He is the greatest of all and will always be so. But just as any earthly father wishes for his sons and daughters every success in life, so I believe our Father in Heaven wishes for his children that they might approach him in stature and stand beside him resplendent in godly strength and wisdom. (General Conference, October 1994, “Don’t Drop the Ball”)

 

Statements from other Apostles and Seventies:

 

Bruce R. McConkie:

Thus those who gain eternal life receive exaltation. . . They are gods. (Mormon Doctrine, pg. 237).

George Q. Cannon:

We are the children of God, and as His children there is no attribute we ascribe to Him that we do not possess, though they may be dormant or in embryo. The mission of the Gospel is to develop these powers and make us like our Heavenly Parent. ( Gospel Truth, compiled by Jerreld L. Newquist (Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1974))

Milton R. Hunter:

Men and women in general are the greatest of God’s creative work, being made in his own image, and endowed through inheritance from our heavenly parents with godly characteristics just as mortal children are endowed with the characteristics of their earthly parents. In other words, we are gods in embryo…(General Conference Reports, October 1945)

George F. Richards:

We are placed here upon the earth for the purpose, in part, of improving, magnifying and perfecting those qualities and attributes; so that, while we are now but gods in embryo, having been born of God, in His likeness, in His image, and having received from Him the attributes of Deity, through perfecting those attributes in time and in eternity we will be like Him in very deed, and be glorified with him in His kingdom. (General Conference Reports, October 1914, 16)

Tad R. Callister:

But how is it possible that you and I, with all our faults and weaknesses and shortcomings, could ever become a god?  Fortunately, a loving Heavenly Father has given us resources, … made possible because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ….It is critical to have a correct vision of this divine destiny of godliness because with increased vision comes increased motivation…As we better understand our potential destiny, our level of self-worth and confidence and motivation is greatly heightened.  Youth will understand that it is shortsighted at best to take easy classes and easy teachers rather than ones that will stretch them toward godhood….There are no ordinary people, no ciphers, no zeros – only potential gods and goddesses in our midst.  While many witnesses testify of this truth, the most powerful of all are the quiet whisperings of the Spirit that confirm both to my mind and to my heart the grandeur and truth of this glorious doctrine.

 

Not an apostle, but still a great theologian:

C.S. Lewis:

The command Be Ye Perfect is not idealistic gas.  Nor is it a command to do the impossible.  He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command.  He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good on His words… The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for.  Nothing less.  He meant what He said. (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1960, pp.174-75).

we shall be like Him from fhelessons.wordpress.com

 

I would like to leave you my testimony that I believe this to be a true doctrine.  Logically, it just makes sense.

Where did God come from?  He has progressed to the state at which He is today.

Why has He created us?  So that we too can progress to become like Him.

From my personal experience so far, I know that life is only enjoyable if I can continue to learn and progress.  There is not much purpose to life unless we can continue to improve ourselves, to learn more and to become better at using that knowledge.  This, in addition to serving others, is what brings joy in life.  Why would we ever want to stop learning and progressing?  If we will continue to exist for eternity, wouldn’t we want to use that time to get smarter, stronger, wiser, more understanding, more compassionate, more patient, and better able to help our fellow man?  If at some point we can progress to the perfect state in which our Heavenly Father exists, then we will use our knowledge and power to help others to get there as well.  We know that God’s purpose is to do just that.  He tells us, “This is my work and my glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

I love this quote from Brigham Young:

[Man’s Godhood] will not detract anything from the glory and might of our Heavenly Father, for he will still remain our Father, and we shall still be subject to Him, and as we progress, in glory and power it the more enhances the glory and power of the our Heavenly Father. (Journal of Discourses 10:5)

So, logically, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that there exists some other God, of whom our Heavenly Father is the spiritual offspring, who raised Him and helped Him to become God as He is today.  In turn, He created us and works to effect our salvation.  Someday we will do the same for our eternal offspring.

The doctrine makes sense logically.  It is supported by the scriptures and the teachings of our prophets and apostles.  And it gives us something to look forward to, something to work toward, motivation to be the best that we can be.

If we wish to help our children combat the terrible evils that they face everyday in our world today, if we wish to motivate ourselves to continue to strive even when the outlook seems discouraging, let us bring to the front of our minds and hearts this doctrine, let us know the truth of our own identity and our own potential.  Let us remember that we are children of God and that we may someday become like Him, gods and goddesses with all the power and majesty that He possesses.

I hope to be able to fulfill my own divine potential, and I am eternally grateful to my Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, for making this possible for me.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

we are gods in embryo

Additional Study:

It just so happened that right as I was contemplating this subject, the BYU magazine showed up, and there was a fantastic article in it by Elder Tad R Callister.  You can read his full article BY CLICKING HERE.

23 thoughts on “Are We Gods in Embryo?

  1. That’s crazy that those kids didn’t know this! I will be sure to teach this specifically to my boys!

    • Susanne Creer says:

      thanks for all your research and articles to back it up… now here is my question which i generally turn off the second i get it… where did it start..if Heavenly Father was like us once and He probably had a spiritual Father.. where did it start. It makes my brain hurt lol. 🙂

      • FHElessons says:

        Yes, it’s mind boggling, isn’t it? I guess it’s the same as the whole concept of eternity – that we all have existed forever and that there is no beginning or end to anyone’s existence. I don’t let questions like that worry me, though. I’m just happy to know that I can keep progressing and just keep swimming along, doing my best. 🙂

      • dan mortensen says:

        That’s the very point. That is what eternity and one eternal round means. No beginning and no end. Chicken or the egg argument comes to mind. The very fact that new science is showing that there is the greatest possibility that the universe did not start with a big bang but has always existed and in Flux makes more sense to me. When we think of populations and numbers of beings just on this planet who have ever lived and needing to have eternal families of their own. Where to put them and their heirs? In the infinities that truly exist now. What would the purpose of, after eons in a premortal existence, an average lifespan in this sphere, the necessity of ordinance work for every person who has ever lived, the teaching and acceptance of the gospel to all of mankind, the concept of Atonement whereby wretched man has a chance by choice and by Diety to resolve damnable choices and thereby qualify to “be ye therefore perfect” decreed and commanded by the Savior himself. To what end? To actually as God, not the devil, would encourage us to ‘be like him, try, try, try!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Your comments here made me feel much better. I teach the same class and several times have wondered why the kids at this age don’t know some of what should be fundamental concepts. I initially based my lessons knowing that these kids have all grown up in strong LDS homes and have had to scale back to the basics.
    Thank you for all your work to put together these FHE ideas and lesson plans.

    • FHElessons says:

      The worst part of it is that my own daughter is in that class too! But my older kids are fully aware of this doctrine, so maybe I’m just expecting too much for that age. It’s great to teach an age where there’s still a lot they can learn and they are ready to absorb it all! My daughter is enjoying your lessons, Suzanne!

  3. Rob Richards says:

    Elder Tad R. Callister of the Presidency of the Seventy gave a BYU Devotional recently titled “Our Identity and Destiny” where he details how we are children of our Heavenly Father and thus destined to become gods ourselves. Great talk you will enjoy.

  4. Amanda says:

    Another C.S. lewis quote: “It is a serious thing,” says Lewis, “to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.

  5. Joan Lawson says:

    Thank you, Laura. Since Kearns and I are on our “second time around” we sometimes forget that we haven’t taught essential lessons to Alaina during our FHE.

  6. RGG says:

    Wow, this is deep and educational. My question is this, if the church is attempting to become “main stream” by not teaching this doctrine, what is the future of our lessons learned in the Temple? The main stream idea does seem to go counter against what is taught in the Temple. Will those ordinances become main stream too? If one “jot” is changed, then will the entire foundation of the church will have to change?

    I am a Primary teacher too; I have had a variety of ages, starting from five, to 12 year old’s. I can say that there may be “lapse” and a possible lack of the knowledge of deeper things in children; sometimes it due to their parents, either being diligent in teaching and helping their children to gain a testimony of the gospel or not.

    But what I am learning about children can apply to adults too; children have to progress and gain a testimony of their own. I know children who are amazing, and have strong testimonies for one so young, and others who struggle. As parents and teachers it our responsibly to hopefully teach them what they are able to “take in” and most of all pray for them and their families.

    I feel that if a child and their family are active enough in church and the child can progress through Primary and Young Women and Men and even Seminary, the hope is that they will gain a testimony of the gospel and they will be motivated to seek those things for themselves.I can testify that gaining a testimony requires faith and some work and some trials, it doesn’t come just be cause we are “taught”
    All is not lost; nor will it be allowed to be lost, God is still in charge.
    Thank you, I love your blog and maybe I can use some of your ideas even in Primary.

    Here are some of my favorite verses for anxious days:

    D&C 64 And behold, I the Lord, declare unto you, and my words are sure and shall not fail that they should obtain it.

    Matthew 24: 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will no means pass away.

    Ephesians 3:17-19
    17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love
    18 May be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height
    19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

    • FHElessons says:

      Thanks for sharing! As for your question, I don’t think the Church is actually trying to move toward “mainstream.” True doctrine is true doctrine and will not change with the trends or the beliefs of others. I think there may be some in the LDS Church who fear to believe something so different from what other churches believe and so try to “tone down” the doctrine to try to fit in better with the rest of Christianity. But, as we can see from the multitude of statements by our prophets, the doctrine of the LDS Church is that we may one day progress to be gods and goddesses. It is my hope that as we talk about it more and teach our children, there will be less LDS people who are in ignorance of this doctrine. Thanks for your comment!

  7. Kristie says:

    I taught this lesson from the Lorenzo Snow book last week! It’s chapter 5 of the manual and includes that quote “As man now is …” which I love. It’s definitely still being taught, but it seems on a quieter level.

  8. Jessica says:

    Hi, I enjoyed reading this. I am not Mormon, but I am curious about this teaching. “What do Mormons believe” occasionally comes up – with a lot of confusion – so I would like to know what you really believe. Does the teaching differ for men and women? What about if someone is unmarried? I guess I had heard that women could not be saved/have eternal life/be a god(dess). That they essentially had to be married to a man, and they would be part of that man’s future kingdom/planet/heaven. thanks! Great job sticking to your guns on a tricky, unpopular idea. That takes guts.

    • FHElessons says:

      Thanks, Jessica! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. As far as what Mormons believe concerning this subject, it does not differ for men and women. In order for either a man or a woman to become a god or a goddess in eternity, he or she would have to be married. To be a god and a goddess means to create spirit children and create worlds for those spirit children to live on and on which to gain a body and then to guide those children toward exaltation. It takes both a man and a woman to create children. Thus, a man cannot be a god all by himself and a woman cannot be a goddess all by herself. The union of the two is essential to be able to progress to godhood.

      If someone is unmarried, we believe that person will still be able to achieve salvation, but his or her role in eternity would be that of a ministering angel. However, we also don’t know all of God’s plan for us. It seems logical to me that if someone did not have the opportunity to get married during this earth life, a loving Father in Heaven would provide a way for that person to find a mate during eternity so that he or she could progress toward godhood.
      I hope that answered your question. If you have any more or would like to discuss it further, please let me know. Also, check the link in my sidebar for Mormon.org to learn more about what we believe.

      Have a great day!

      • Jessica says:

        Thanks. That is really helpful.

      • dan mortensen says:

        It goes even deeper than ministering angel status. Many have been born who either died in childbirth, infancy, early mortality (wars, disease, etc.) Those souls will be given a chance to marry and be sealed to a family unit as well. The millenium is a period of sorting out, tying loose ends and provides an opportunity for those who didn’t get a chance to be married, raise families and gain the experience they need in mortality. Only the Lord can be a perfect judge to reward his children. I have heard thoughtless, errant, well meaning members of our Church who would have a cut and dried judgement for individuals who have not married, committed suicide, and otherwise ‘defaulted’ on the eternal god path. It is not true. There is an adage in the Church that sometimes gets misinterpreted. . .”this life is the time to prepare to meet God”. . . thinking that as soon as we die, that’s it, and the opportunity for growth, advancement, and the path to Godhood is somehow closed. This life is where we qualify to progress to the next stage. If we are lucky enough to have the ordinances of salvation completed (baptism, confirmation of the Holy Ghost, temple endowment, temple marraige, etc) the better, but it does not garantee a thing if the good works, required humility, and obedience to sacred covenants are not carefully cultivated. Likewise, if one so happens to live a Christ-like life, and hasn’t had the opportunity to fulfill the mandatory entrance requirements of eternal progression while in this life, that opportunity will be afforded them before a final judgement. We must all remember that the Lord is the only one who can fully discern the intent, extant, and omniscient ability to judge His spirit children. Good luck with your exploration of the Church and Restoration of the Gospel. It’s fun, ongoing, and ultimately the most satisfying thing you can do and pursue.

      • FHElessons says:

        Thanks for your comments. I listened to this amazing talk by Brad Wilcox last week on Grace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLXr9it_pbY
        He basically says that Christ has paid the price for all of us for our entrance into eternal life, no matter what our actions may be. That is Grace. The reason we seek to do good works and follow the commandments is to better ourselves, to learn to become more like God. It is for our own eternal progression, not to pay God back or earn entrance into His Kingdom. It’s a great talk that I think applies to this discussion. Enjoy!

  9. This is a fantastic page. You did a wonderful job gathering all of the information and creating a clearly outlined, powerful lesson plan from this most essential and important piece of doctrine. This is a page I would be happy to refer any one of my friends, LDS member or non, in order to help them understand the basic and powerful concept that we are indeed the literal “offspring of God” with a mighty heritage and infinite potential.

    (I’m quite baffled by your Sunday School class’s reaction. Hopefully they went home full of questions which opened up a long-overdue teaching opportunity for their parents).

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Hi! I'm Laura. I started this blog to continue to teach FHE lessons to my children who are grown and living away from home. I also hope to serve my six sisters by preparing FHE lessons that they can use with their younger children, and I hope the lessons will be helpful to you as well! If you would like to contact me, please e-mail me at FHElessons@aol.com.

What is FHE?

FHE stands for Family Home Evening and is a night set aside each week (usually Monday) by families who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FHE is a chance for parents to teach lessons to their children about the gospel of Jesus Christ as well as other important topics. The lesson is frequently accompanied by a fun activity together as a family and a yummy treat.
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