RANDALL - I was taught and believed that God was once a mortal
man who lived worthy enough (on another planet similar
to our earth) to become our God, and that we have the
potential to become Gods like un to Him.
Is the Church back peddling on this belief?
JOEL - I don't think the Church is "backpeddling" on believing in this concept; but church representatives do refrain from trying to explain it to the general public for a few reasons.
Long-time members who have the Holy Ghost with them and are more familiar with the doctrines and scriptures of the church are able to both see the logic in this teaching and also receive confirmation through the Spirit of its truthfulness; while those unfamiliar to the church would consider it blasphemous to claim that God may have been anything else but God; or that we could ever become equal to Him.
Despite what our critics think, we don't really See Him in that way. We worship Him as if He has always been our God and always will be. We know we can never equal Him in glory because He will always continue to advance far ahead of us in glory compared to where we are at any point in time
When Church representatives are asked questions about this teaching in interviews, there is no way in the short amount of time given them, that they could adequately explain the basis for the concept, nor could the general public accept it on a spiritual level.
"Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."(Matt. 7:6)
Church representatives try to follow this counsel when speaking to the general public. Unfortunately, many who are only minimally aware of some of the more peculiar doctrines of the Church, such as this one, see it as back peddling when church representatives refuse to fully answer certain questions about them.
Another aspect of this concept (the part about God once being a man like us) is that it is something that we really can't tell the world is "official" church doctrine, because we don't know enough about it ourselves. Official Church doctrine can be found in such places as the scriptures and other official publications of the Church and official proclamations and statements.
The concept of God once being a man is not thoroughly explained in any of these sources, even though it may be a true concept, based on the inspired opinions of church leaders.
The possibility of us becoming gods can be considered official church doctrine because it will always be found in scriptures; like the following:
"Then shall they(who obtain the Celestial Kingdom) 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 call power, and the angels are subject unto them." (D&C 132:20)
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