Question: How do Mormons view the nature of godhood?

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Question: How do Mormons view the nature of godhood?

One view of being "divine" in LDS thought holds that to be "god" means to have entered into a covenant relationship with God the Father such that you are "one" with Him

What can you tell me about the nature of godhood in LDS theology? How does this apply to the critics' claims that pre-mortal Christ and the Holy Ghost cannot have been divine because they didn't have physical bodies?

One view of being "divine" in LDS thought holds that to be "god" means to have entered into a covenant relationship with God the Father such that you are "one" with Him. When we are "one" with God the Father we are completely united mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. He sees us completely and we see him completely. It a relationship of indwelling love similar to the classical Christian idea of "perichoresis". This type of relationship does not require one to have a physical body of flesh and bones. Certainly, a physical body of flesh and bones can somehow enhance our joy and make us more powerful (see XXX), but having a physical body is not a requirement for entering into an intimate relationship with God the Father. Perhaps having a body of flesh and bone somehow helps to prepare us spiritually for that relationship, but it is not a requirement.

LDS theology does not see God as totally "Other." Rather, it sees humanity's relationship with God as though we are on a spectrum. We are the same fundamental "species" (for lack of a better word) as him, but we are inferior in some ways because we have not reached our full potential. One way to reach our full potential is to pass through mortality where we can be tested. Mortality is a powerful schoolteacher and a furnace of affliction and joy that teaches us to rely on God and cast aside our selfishness. It prepares us for a relationship of indwelling love with God the Father....to be "one" with Him as it says in John 17:.

But mortality is not necessarily a prerequisite for all in order to prepare them for eternal life (being "one" with God, and thus being a "god"). Clearly, two individuals who did not need mortality in order to be prepared for eternal life were Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Also, we recall the millions of individuals who have been born and died without really experiencing mortality: infants and little children, who are saved through the grace of Christ (Moroni 8:8-24). To be sure, they received bodies, but they did not really experience mortality. It isn't as if mortality is an item on a checklist that we must go through in order to become divine.

So with God at one end of the spectrum, and sinful man on the other end, we are all at different stages on our path along the spectrum. Hopefully we are all progressing towards God. We are left to make the decision to enter into that relationship, because the offer is always on the table. The vast majority of us require a Savior to help us do so; fortunately we have a Savior who helps us do that through his grace, ordinances, and enabling power.

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