Subject: What's the Mormon TRUTH? Was God once a man or not?
Date: Nov 29 18:56 2002
Author: Deconstructor

Mormon apologists give the impression that Mormon Doctrine does not include the belief that God was once a man.

"The real question should be, is President Snow's couplet an accurate reflection of LDS doctrine? Everything Latter-day Saints teach about God is in agreement with the rest of the Christian world, with the exception of His nature. Joseph Smith said God is in the same form as we are, because we were created in His image as the Bible plainly and clearly tells us... But again, we do not emphasize Heavenly Father's past, but the possibility of our future.
- The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research,

"Reporter: Don't Mormons believe that God was once a man? Hinckley: I wouldn't say that. There was a little couplet coined, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become." Now that's more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about."
- Interviewing Gordon B. Hinckley, San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 1997, p 3/Z1

From this you'd think that Mormon doctrine never included the belief that God was a man.

What did Mormon Prophets and Apostles teach as doctrine from the pulpit?

"The idea that the Lord our God is not a personage of tabernacle is entirely a mistaken notion. He was once a man. Brother Kimball quoted a saying of Joseph the Prophet, that he would not worship a God who had not a Father; and I do not know that he would if be had not a mother; the one would be as absurd as the other. If he had a Father, he was made in his likeness. And if he is our Father we are made after his image and likeness. He once possessed a body, as we now do; and our bodies are as much to us, as his body to him. Every iota of this organization is necessary to secure for us an exaltation with the Gods."
- Prophet Brigham Young, True Character of God, Salt Lake Tabernacle, February 23, 1862, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 9, p.286

"What, is it possible that the Father of Heights, the Father of our spirits, could reduce himself and come forth like a man? Yes, he was once a man like you and I are and was once on an earth like this, passed through the ordeal you and I pass through. He had his father and his mother and he has been exalted through his faithfulness, and he is become Lord of all. He is the God pertaining to this earth. He is our Father. He begot our spirits in the spirit world. They have come forth and our earthly parents have organized tabernacles for our spirits and here we are today. That is the way we came.
- Prophet Brigham Young, 14 July 1861, Recorded in "The Essential Brigham Young", p.138

"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." This may appear to some minds as something very strange and remarkable, but it is in perfect harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ and with His promises."
- Prophet Lorenzo R. Snow, Unchangeable Love of God, Sunday, September 18, 1898.

"We all know that like begets like and that for the offspring to grow to the stature of his parent is a process infinitely repeated in nature. We can therefore understand that for a son of God to grow to the likeness of his Father in heaven is in harmony with natural law. We see this law demonstrated every few years in our own experience. Sons born to mortal fathers grow up to be like their fathers in the flesh. This is the way it will be with spirit sons of God. They will grow up to be like their Father in heaven. Joseph taught this obvious truth. As a matter of fact, he taught that through this process God himself attained perfection. From President Snow's understanding of the teachings of the Prophet on this doctrinal point, he coined the familiar couplet: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." This teaching is peculiar to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ."
- Elder Marion G. Romney, General Conference, October 1964

"We often say, and you have heard the expression as it has already been referred to in this conference, that "as man now is, God once was, and as God now is, man may become." The only way man may become as God now is, is through fulfilling the laws of celestial marriage and the laws of the gospel, as I have just read to you the word of the Lord from the D&C. Can we afford to overlook such opportunities for exaltation? Temple marriage is not just another form of church wedding; it is a divine covenant with the Lord that if we are faithful to the end, we may become as God now is."
- Elder Eldred G. Smith (Patriarch to the Church), General Conference, October 1948

"Mormonism be it true or false, holds out to men the greatest inducements that the human mind can grasp. And so it does... It teaches men that they can become divine, that man is God in embryo, that God was once man in mortality, and that the only difference between Gods, angels and men is a difference in education and development. Is such a religion to be sneered at? It teaches that the worlds on high, the stars that glitter in the blue vault of heaven, are kingdoms of God, that they were once earths like this, that they have been redeemed and glorified by the same laws, the same principles that are applied to this planet, and by which it will ascend to a perfected and glorified state. It teaches that these worlds are peopled with human beings, God's sons and daughters, and that every husband and father, may become an Adam, and every wife and mother an Eve, to some future planet."
- Orson F. Whitney, Divine Evidences of Truthfulness, Y.M.M.I.A. Annual Conference, June 9th, 1895.

"So the Prophet Joseph Smith, in this age, has added to this truth by the assertion that "As man is God once was, and that as He is man may became," because He is our Father, and like begets like, and inherent within us are the attributes of divinity that shall lead us into perfection, which Christ intended His Saints to attain unto."
- Elder Joseph E. Robinson, General Conference, April 1912

"God our Heavenly Father is still progressing. While He knows all that is, all that has been, and possibly all things that He designs for the future and what will be in the future, yet He is constantly adding to His dominion, constantly increasing His power, constantly developing in His resources and in His glorious aspirations. This, at least, is our understanding of the condition of our Father in heaven. The thought has been expressed and accepted as a truth, that as we are now, God has been, and as God is now we may be; and if we admit this to be a truth—and I have no disposition to dispute it—then I repeat that even God our Heavenly Father has not reached the ultimatum of His greatness, His power, or His capacity, but that He is continually increasing and expanding in power, in dominion, in glory and in greatness, if I may be permitted to use such terms as these which some people who know no better would call blasphemous, in connection with the Supreme Being, the Father of us all."
- Prophet Joseph F. Smith, Sustaining Each Other in the Gospel, Sunday, February 16, 1896.

"We are His children in Very deed, having been born of Him in the spirit, and we have inherited the very attributes which he possesses. They are in us, and they make us God's embryo, We believe that as we are now God once was, and by the practice of virtue and righteousness, by obedience unto law and authority, He has become what He is, and as He is, man may become, on the same principle."
- Elder Goege F. Richards, General Conference, April 1913

"The doctrine of the relationship between God and men, as made plain through the word of revelation, is today as it was of old, though in the light of later scripture we are enabled to read the meaning more clearly. It is provided that we, the sons and daughters of God, may advance until we become like unto our Eternal Father and our Eternal Mother, in that we may become perfect in our spheres as they are in theirs. That grand truth, taught by the Prophet Joseph and ridiculed for the time, has now gripped the minds of the thinkers and philosophers of the age... It was crystallized into what we may call an aphorism, by President Lorenzo Snow: 'As man is God once was; as God is man may be'."
- Elder James E. Talmage, General Conference, April 1915

"I don't understand that the Mormon doctrine, announced by President Lorenzo Snow, and so often quoted by us: "As man is God once was, and as God is man may become" means that all men are going to become what God is, not by any manner of means. It is possible they may become; yes, when men keep and obey the fulness of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I understand, my brethren and sisters, this great scheme of our Father contemplates that the privilege of gaining celestial glory has been extended to nearly all of his children. There are a very few in the world who are barred from all the privileges. Evidently according to the revelations of the Lord, those races and divisions existing among us now, existed before we came into this world, and some had failed to carry out the will of God and to conform to his plans in their former life to prove themselves worthy to receive the highest of privileges, namely, salvation in the celestial kingdom of our God."
- Elder Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, October 1917

"It is a Mormon truism that is current among us and we all accept it, that as man is God once was and as God is man may become. That does not signify that man will become God. I am sorry to say, and yet it is a truth, that not many men will become what God is, simply because they will not pay the price, because they are not willing to live up to the requirements; and still all men may, if they will, become what God is, but only those who are heirs of the celestial glory shall ever be possible candidates, to become what God is."
- Elder Melvin J. Ballard, General Conference, April 1921

"We believe that God is a personal being. By a personal being, we mean that he is a man--an exalted man. Approximately one hundred years ago, soon after Lorenzo Snow became a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ, he formulated a remarkable couplet which has since that time become famous. He said: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." (Lorenzo Snow, The Millennial Star 54:404.) Time and time again during the period of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph Smith, various evidences were given to him sustaining, amplifying, and explaining the personality of God. If time would permit, many excellent quotations could be cited from the D&C which would help to describe the personality of our Eternal Father."
- Elder Milton R. Hunter, General Conference, October 1948

How many of us were taught this growing up as doctrine?

How could such a plain and precious Mormon doctrine be denied today and brushed off as a mere "couplet?"

What's going on here?

Subject: What's the Mormon TRUTH? Slippery accommodation!
Date: Nov 30 00:32
Author: lm

Deconstructor wrote:
Mormon apologists give the impression that Mormon Doctrine does not include the belief that God was once a man...
How could such a plain and precious Mormon doctrine be denied today and brushed off as a mere "couplet?"

How indeed! The pattern in the church is to NEVER directly repudiate doctrines that have become too uncomfortable for whatever reason.

The church ultimately reversed it's policy on blacks having the priesthood without ever accountably acknowledging its prior position was wrong.

Same with polygamy.

Same with the former oral sex questions in the temple recommend interview.

Same with the blood oaths in the temple ceremony.

In the case of the famous little couplet it is not a political issue, but a social acceptance issue. God once being a man, and man becoming God was a doctrine that was just too "out there." It made the mormons a little too "peculiar" for their own good; it handicapped attempts to mainstream without appearing to mainstream.

GBH used a little exercise in plausible deniability to smooth the pathway, that coupled with people's fading memories, and a subconscious desire not to appear to odd, and the new doctrine slides in.

A common pattern: first a certain doctrine is taught, then when it needs replacing it is not mentioned for a few years, then a new doctrine is slowly introduced with little/no mention being made of the previous doctrine ever having existed.

It's all a process of convenient accommodation without having to confront the issue of why prophets who supposedly speak for God can't agree with one another.


Subject: One of the many things that bothers me about this is if you ask
Date: Nov 30 00:53
Author: SamIAm

a number of TBM's about it and you quote Gordon Wrinkley. They say "well if the profit say's that, then it's so, blah, blah, blah.

Then ask them what a couplet is...I have yet to find one who could answer this question.

The most entertaining response was "couplet...that which joins things together". Most simply say they don't know and are embarassed.

Leaders of the Morg delight in the ignorance of their sheep for they are more easily manipulated this way. They love to speak as if their communicating great things and the ignorant eat it up. In reality they are wolves in sheeps clothing devouring the flock.


Subject: Hinckley hisself preached it in GC in '94
Date: Nov 30 01:10
Author: kilgore

From "Don't Drop the Ball"

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 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 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.)

"I don't know that we teach that" my $#@!

Subject: And Kimball in GC in '77
Date: Nov 30 01:19
Author: kilgore

From "Our Great Potential"

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 said by a former prophet, Lorenzo Snow: “As man is, God once was; and as God is, man may become.” 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.

Subject: That's what makes Hinckley's comments so astonishing
Date: Nov 30 13:09
Author: sonoflds

this is, without question, Mormon doctrine. I taught it more times than I can count..

Subject: Even in the heavily sanitized BY book from '97
Date: Nov 30 13:49
Author: kilgore

You remember, the Priesthood and RS manual that makes BY out to be a monogamist? Well, even IT suggests that this "couplet" is true (and was therefore being "taught" a mere five years ago).

From p. 29:

'He taught further that God the Father was once a man on another planet who "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." (DBY, 22).'
Subject: God was only speaking as a man when he said that. n/t
Subject: How can they get around it?
Date: Dec 01 01:15
Author: Shakjula

If they want to distance themselves from that doctrine, then they'd have to shut down the Temples, or at least remove "Oh My Father" from the Hymnal.  

In the Mormon hymn, "Oh My Father", is the phrase "...I've a mother there" referring to our mother in heaven.


Subject: How many of you were taught that God was once a man?
Date: Dec 06 16:50
Author: name not important
Mail Address:

I asked that on a Mormon discussion board, and got various answers. Some believe that of course, God was a man, some believe the church does not teach that God was ever a man.

From what I have read on-line, I conclude that they did teach this at one time, but they have either changed their minds and do not teach it now, or they do still teach it, but are trying to hide this belief from the general public, including prospective members. The missionaries don't even give a straight answer. All in all this is a confusing church.

Subject: all of us. anyone who was not taught this was sleeping in church (nt)
Date: Dec 06 16:52
Author: danboyle
Mail Address:


Subject: Amen Dan!! Why do they even try to deny this. It is a basic mormon doctorine n/t
Date: Dec 07 00:24
Author: Turok72
Mail Address:


Subject: Not only is it taught, but historically it is one of the distinguishing doctrines in which the morg has taken the greatest pride. n/t.
Date: Dec 06 17:04
Author: takes one to know one...
Mail Address:


Subject: Of course it was taught, it is central to the plan of salvation and eternal progression
Date: Dec 06 17:13
Author: SusieQ#1
Mail Address:

It is key to a major part of the doctrines of Mormonism.

Subject: I was and my TBM mom refers to it quite often. n/t
Date: Dec 06 17:15
Author: Patty
Mail Address:


Subject: It is basic to any believing Mormon
Date: Dec 06 17:28
Author: Bert
Mail Address:

"the LDS teaching that men can become Gods was coined by
fifth LDS President Lorenzo Snow. In June of 1840, Snow
declared, "As man is, God once was; as God is, man may

"Both the "Journal of Discourses" (JOD) and the "Teachings
of the Prophet Joseph Smith" (TPJS) record that, on April
6, 1844, LDS Church founder Joseph Smith preached to a
congregation of 20,000 saying, "Here then is eternal life -
to know the only wise and true God; 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"
(JOD 6:4; TPJS p.346)."

"Brigham Young, the second prophet and president of the
Mormon Church, delivered a message in the Salt Lake
Tabernacle on August 8, 1852, in which he affirmed this
teaching when he said, "The Lord created you and me for the
purpose of becoming Gods like Himself" (JOD 3:93)."

""gods in embryo" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.286)."

Subject: In my opinion
Date: Dec 06 17:31
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac
Mail Address:

It is the entire basis for the temple ceremony.

'Give us everything you have in this life and we promise you will have everything in the next life'

The faithful members who don't know this little fact are the same ones who have burning testimonies of truthfulness and The Book of Mormon but have never gotten past 1st Nephi.


Subject: You all seem clear on this! Why don't they answer the same way?
Date: Dec 06 18:10
Author: name not important

Some of the Mormons insist Mormon doctrine teaches this. Others firmly deny it is taught, and back up their denials with scripture. Will the they eventually be let in on the secret? Or have they truly changed this aspect of their doctrine, and haven't told everyone? The members of that other Mormon forum do not agree with each other. Of course, I think they would call this forum anti-Mormon, but they do enough themselves to confuse people about their religion.

Subject: Its just a couplet...
Date: Dec 06 18:23
Author: Hai Kolob

I believe that this is doctrine the church is slowly backing away from currently.

I remember it being and integral part of church doctrine growing up and in my TBM days. Today GBH says "its just a couplet..."

In the church's efforts to become more mainstream, they seem to be shying away from more controversial doctrine.

Just my 2 cents

Subject: The church has also started taking the mind-boggling position...
Date: Dec 06 18:30
Author: Nick

...that while they still teach that men may become Gods, the belief that God was once a man is not doctrinal.

Soooo... we have the big kahuna God who was always God, and then the rest of us, who can become Gods (no doubt of a lesser caliber, of course - maybe we get the leftover raw materials to work with, when we create our worlds).

Hell, it makes as much sense as anything else the LDS Church says.


Subject: Like jello
Date: Dec 06 18:33
Author: Bert

Defining Mormon doctrine is like trying to nail jello to
the wall. It has no substance. In order for TBM’s to
remain such, the reasoning part of the brain must be bent.
If the current Prophet says something even hugely different
than previous doctrine, the brain immediately goes into
self-preservation mode. “I believe he is a prophet, he
talks to God, all is well Zion. Isn’t it wonderful that
god loves us enough to give us modern revelation!”

Even allowing a single doubt to enter the mind is a sin.
It must be put away and never thought about. “Everyone
else around me obviously believes. If I doubt, there is
something wrong with me.”

Subject: It is right here in Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Brigham Young
Date: Dec 06 19:38
Author: Adieu LDS

Chapter 4
Knowing and Honoring the Godhead

God the Father designed and governs countless worlds, created mankind, and is a personage who can be known and worshiped.

• What did President Young teach about the importance of knowing God the Father? (See also John 17:3.) How does knowing someone affect our relationship with that person? What things have helped you come to know God the Father?

• How can God’s influence be “considered to be everywhere at the same moment”? What are some examples of Heavenly Father’s concern for even the “minutest object of his creations”?

• The doctrine that "God was once a man" and has progressed to become a God is unique to this Church. How do you feel, knowing that God, through His own experience, “knows all that we know regarding the toils [and] sufferings” of mortality?

• President Young taught that all good and true discoveries in science and art have “been given by direct revelation from God.” How have inspired advances in these areas helped to move God’s work forward?

• What does President Young say is the “calling and duty of the children of men”? How can we better understand things within our reach and be acquainted with our purpose on earth? Where should we seek for such understanding?
Subject: Re: Yes, this was taught. Hinckley initiated a change in doctrine . . .
Date: Dec 07 01:07
Author: Suzanne

Are you serious? Do you have a reference on this? I'm dying to see how he's rationalizing this one! Do they have a clue how ridiculous this is going to make them? The doctrine itself has been laughable, but now to try to wriggle their way out of it, well, that's just the cherry on the sundae, it really is.


Subject: I heard that regularly through the 70's, 80's, and not as much in the 90's. nt

Subject: I was taught this from the time I was born.
Date: Dec 07 01:16
Author: TLC

It's been one of the overriding tenets of mormonism all along. How interesting that they're trying to back off from it now?


Not that I really give a rat's ass - but it would be interesting to understand why.

Subject: I think the "why" is clear
Date: Dec 07 02:03
Author: Nick

The doctrine of Eternal Progression, and especially the teaching embodied in Snow's couplet, is one of the main roadblocks standing in the way of the church repositioning itself as a mainstream Christian faith.

This doctrine is a key reason that many mainstream Christian sects do not accept Mormon baptism as a Christian baptism.

Eternal Progression and Adam-God (which was already abandoned, of course) are the doctrines which are the easiest ammunition for claims that Mormonism is polytheistic.

Add it all together, and it is clear that in the marketing-driven reality of GBH's LDS Church, the couplet has got to go.

Subject: Re: I think the "why" is clear
Date: Dec 07 03:01
Author: Suzanne

Yep, you said it. Not only polytheistic, but blasphemous, as well. Next will be the "God has a body of flesh and bones." Any bets as to what will go after that? When will they decide that the BofM is just a "faith-promoting work" with no doctrinal force?

Subject: The ironic thing (to me) about the BofM...
Date: Dec 07 03:42
Author: Nick

... is that it has almost no doctrinal force. It has value to the church as an historical artifact - not because of the history it purports to relate, but because of its place of pride in the works "translated" by JS, and because the account of its receipt is a key chapter in the official stories of JS' life and the "restoration" of the gospel. But doctrine? If it were only the doctrine contained within that was the concern, the BofM could be dropped tomorrow, and Mormon doctrine would be almost completely unaffected.

The problem is that if the LDS church openly admits that the BofM is anything but what it claims to be, then the account of its receipt and translation is damaged almost irreparably; that would then call into question all of JS' visitation accounts, and the restoration itself.

I see only two paths available to the church here: They could begin floating (through their lapdogs at FARMS) the theory that the plates revealed by Moroni to JS (this angelic revelation of the plates is still essential) actually contained a collection of faith-promoting fables - with seeds of historical fact, but without a requirement for total historical accuracy. Of course, this approach would have all sorts of problems, in terms of conflicts with published statements by church leaders; but as others have pointed out, that's the beauty of letting FARMS do the dirty work: if the church membership eventually swallows the story, great; if not, it's just the opinion of some "intellectuals", and can be formally disavowed.

They only other option that I can see is the one that the church already seems to be following: de-emphasize the BofM more and more over time, without formally retracting the church's claims to its historicity (lack of formal disavowal of obsolete doctrine is a long-established practice in the church). Just as JS is already being transformed into a one-woman man (and BY into a man who only took a second wife upon the death of his first, for that matter), his official life story would continue to be transformed, with the translations (BofM, BoA, etc.) receiving less and less attention. If the church can maintain a solid membership base through a few generations of this process, then the issue of BofM historicity becomes moot: like the JS "Inspired" version of the Bible, the BofM will be just another work that members don't really know (or need to know) much about.

Subject: Oh, you're good!
Date: Dec 07 03:53
Author: Suzanne

Both plans sound like winners to me. I think you're right about them going with the second one.

As I said elsewhere, I've been away from "them" for nearly 20 years -- I moved to New York the year I left, and have only been back to Utah for visits with family -- so I don't know what's current.

By doctrinal, I meant the belief in the BofM as the "cornerstone" of the church; if it isn't true, nothing is; if it is, then so is everything else. I was also thinking of the idea of Jesus visiting the Americas. Aren't they still on the "Second Testament of Jesus" kick? Those beliefs were doctrine. I wasn't referring to the BofM particularly as containing doctrine -- how's that for Mormon double talk?

Subject: Thanks :) And yes, they still use the "Second Testament" line at times.
Date: Dec 07 04:09
Author: Nick

However, whereas they used to use that line in their television and radio ads (and a call to an 800 number got you a free copy of the BofM), these days it is almost always the case that the ad does not mention the BofM at all (and a free copy of the Bible is offered instead).

I doubt we will hear too many GAs spouting the "either the BofM is 100% true, or the entire church is false" line in the future; much more likely (and from what I've seen, already being used) is the copout of "well, are you going to through out the entire book, because 5% of it is in question?" (Of course, that's a tough line to keep repeating, concerning a work of scripture, when that percentage starts climbing higher and higher.)

In a twisted way, I am kind of curious to see what happens after GBH's death. He has been the main force behind the marketing- and PR-driven mainstreaming, and I don't think it is entirely certain that the next few likely successors share his feelings.


Subject: after GBH
Date: Dec 07 04:37
Author: Harding

i think that after GBH, the church will do one of two things: get more conservative, and possibly slowly start to renew some of those dusty doctrines that used to define Mormonism so differently from the rest of Christianity. (this could be possible, as you pointed out about the next couple guys in line might not be so PR oriented...) i think that if this happens, it will be bad news for the church, because i think that the awareness, and overall general public interest in the church has increased with GBH's PR drive. if the Church then returns to its old ways, embracing the crazy doctrines and all, then most people who were once vaguely interested in the church will say "what the hell?" pretty much.
i think that the church will have to stay on the current track it's on with the PR stuff, or else it will be easily seen as fake and its reputation will be further damaged.
or something like that.
my .02


Subject: I disagree with those who say that Hinckley is changing the doctrine...
Date: Dec 07 02:44
Author: unconvert

For background on my opinion, I was an adult convert. I questioned this doctrine extensively before joining the church, and was a temple-going TBM for five years, leaving in September of this year.

The reason there are mixed messages on this issue is NOT because the doctrine is changing, but because mormons are big on the "milk before meat"/"casting pearls before swine" thing. When Hinckley is asked about this doctrine in national interviews, and when missionaries/members are asked about this, they evade the question, give a watered down answer, or lie outright. It's called "lying for the lord", just like they used to lie 150 years ago when outsiders asked about polygamy. You only get to hear the whole story once you have a testimony of JosephsMyth - once you are willing to accept him as a prophet, you are more receptive to the wackier doctrines such as this one.

In my experience, this doctrine is taught constantly, whether directly or indirectly, in church meetings of all kinds. Whoever said if you weren't taught this, you were sleeping in church - had it absolutely right! LOL They don't just believe he was a man - they believe he was the savior of another planet eons ago, crucified, resurrected, and all that! In mormon doctrine, everything Jesus did on this earth, was done previously in another world by his father.

Think about the First Vision - Heavenly Father had a body of flesh and bone, that was the big thing we learned from that. Hinckley said that just about every conference. The whole plan of salvation revolves around this doctrine. The whole point of attending the temple is to earn the right to exaltation eventually.

So, when Hinckley says, "I don't know that we teach that", I think he is telling a ball-faced lie, not revealing a doctrinal update. I also don't think the church is interested in becoming mainstream, just in *appearing* mainstream, so you see public comments that disagree with the actual practice of the religion.

Subject: Going back 20 years
Date: Dec 07 02:58
Author: Suzanne

For some reason, I haven't kept my old missionary discussions, but I could swear that 20 years ago, we taught this as part of one of the discussions. I know that the First Vision emphasizes that God had a "body of flesh and bones as we have" (well, I said it in Spanish, but it was more or less that), and I thought one of the later ones talked about "as man is, God once was; as God is, man may become." I'm pretty sure we gave out pamphlets to that effect, too. Spaniards found it all more than a little blasphemous.

And I KNOW that I heard it all my life.

Subject: i learned it and accepted it as true probably when i was 8 or 9
Date: Dec 07 04:08
Author: Harding

the best argument they can make up to defend themselves in saying that "the church doesn't teach that God was ever a man" is by defining 'official' doctrine as only what the standard works say and what the living prophet says. by this definition of 'official doctrine', they will probably admit that God's manhood is the logical conclusion of many doctrines, but they might say that "it isn't official doctrine, as it isn't in the standard works"... or is it? The Pearl of Great Price teaches of a "council of the Gods" in the book of abraham, chapters 4 and 5. i'm not sure if the D+C teaches the same, but my book of Abraham does. If it's polytheism they're trying to avoid, they're out of luck... not to mention all the books like McConkie's Mormon Doctrine, which teach it all the time (the doctrine that God was once a man)

Subject: I don't remember when I was first taught it -- the idea that God was once a man was programmed into me as a young child. nt
Date: Dec 07 06:45


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