August 22, 2007

I Said 'Ye Are Gods'

Brigham Young June 3, 1855 The Bible is pretty big on genealogies. There are several places where we get to read a long list of whom begot whom. One of the most interesting family trees is found in the third chapter of Luke, where we get the genealogy of Joseph, Jesus of Nazareth's "step-father," if you will:

And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi...[one, two, skip a few]...Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God (Luke 3:23-38).
Well, there you have it. In case there was any doubt, we can trace the genealogy of the human family directly to God the Father, whom the LDS Church generally refers to by the name-title Elohim. Acts 17 is pretty unequivocal on the subject, as well, where we are called the "offspring of God." The word "offspring" in the original Greek herein is Genos. What is genos according to a Greek lexicon?
1) kindred a. offspring b. family c. stock, tribe, nation (i.e. nationality or descent from a particular people) d. the aggregate of many individuals of the same nature, kind, sort
In the scriptures we are called the children of God, He is called the Father of our spirits. We are promised that, after this life, we will return [how can we return unless we were already there to begin with?] back home to God who gave us life. Indeed, we are spirit children of our Father in Heaven. We have the opportunity in this life to renew that relationship with God, and to become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. We may jointly inherit what Christ inherited, namely: all that the Father hath. This unique doctrine, revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in this dispensation, raises many questions. What is it like being "gods"? If we can become gods, won't there be millions of gods running around, all doing their own thing and negating the greatness and uniqueness of our Father, the one who gave us life? Will we supplant Him? Christ answered that question in His great intercessory prayer when he asked the Father to make the disciples one with them, even as Christ was one with the Father. Brigham Young explained it in these terms:
If men are faithful, the time will come when they will possess the power and the knowledge to obtain, organize, bring into existence, and own. 'What, of themselves, independent of their Creator?' No. But they and their Creator will always be one, they will always be of one heart and of one mind, working and operating together; for whatsoever the Father doeth so doeth the son, and so they continue throughout all their operations to all eternity (Journal of Discourses 2:298-309).
Deification was discussed openly and more often in the Journal of Discourses, and I will use this post as a home base for all the interesting selections on deification, or the ability of God's children to become like their Father. For more on the topic of "deification," see FAIR. Also see Robert L. Millet, Noel B. Reynolds, "Do Latter-day Saints believe that men and women can become gods?" Latter-day Christianity: 10 Basic Issues.

2 comments:

Mr. Grey Spaceman said...

I for one am glad the knowledge the Gospel gives us about our Divine origins and our potential as children of God. One of my coworkers was killed Tuesday in a car wreck. His wife was with him, and they both died instantly. They were both active members of the Church. The other driver passed out and hit them head on. Knowing what comes after this life makes it a bit easier to get my head around it. I just wonder if they were needed beyond the veil for some important purpose. Doesn't make any sense otherwise. On my mission in Spain, one of the members died of cancer. Her whole family was Catholic. They came to her viewing at the LDS chapel, and were weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth in grief. It was most sad to see their lack of understanding of such an important principle. The members of the branch were of course sad at her purpose, but thanks to our knowledge of the plan of salvation, we also had joy.

LifeOnaPlate said...

Thanks for that, Ben. I have no doubt there is a lot of work going on at the other side of the veil.

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