Does the LDS church teach that men can evolve into a God?

dberrie2020

Well-known member
I was told by all the Mormons on here on the lasts boards, that your church does NOT teach that men can evolve into Gods. In no uncertain terms, I was told that I was wrong, when I wrote that on here. BUT--your church's very own First Presidency teaches just that! Your church's very own prophet, seer, and revelator teaches just that--that man is capable of evolving into a God! Why not own it, Zerinus? It is on your church's official website. Why does the idea of men "evolving" into Gods seem to disturb you so much?

Why does it seem to be an issue with you--seeing most all the Early Church Fathers testified man may become gods, IE---

Tertullian - Adv. Hermogenes 5 Well, then, you say, we ourselves at that rate possess nothing of God. But indeed we do, and shall continue to do—only it is from Him that we receive it, and not from ourselves. For we shall be even gods, if we shall deserve to be among those of whom He declared, “I have said, Ye are gods,” and “God standeth in the congregation of the gods.” But this comes of His own grace, not from any property in us, because it is He alone who can make gods. (ANF 3.480).

Justin - Dial. 124 ...thereby it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming "gods", and of having power to become sons of the Highest. (ANF 1.262).

Irenaeus - Adv. Her. 5.Pref ...the Word of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, who did, through His transcendent love, become what we are, that He might bring us to be even what He is Himself. (ANF 1.526).

Clement of Alexandria - The Instructor 3.1 It is then, as appears, the greatest of al lessons to know one's self. For if one know himself, he will know God; and knowing God, he will be made like God...But that man with whom the Word dwells does not alter himself, does not get himself up: he has the form which is of the Word; he is made like to God...and that man becomes God, since God so wills. Heraclitus, then, rightly said, "Men are gods, and gods are men." (ANF 2.271).

Athanasius - De Incarnation 54 For He was made man that we might be made God. (NPNF, second series, 4.65).
 

Bonnie

Super Member
The ECFs are not the Bible; therefore, what they wrote must be judged in light of what the ENTIRE Bible says. Also, what they wrote must be taken in context.

Theo has put down the following on here several times:

1) The ECF's were strict MONOTHEISTS. So when they spoke of men "becoming gods", they were not speaking of actually becoming deities (which is impossible by definition, since deities have existed from eternity, and one doesn't "become" a god). They are simply speaking of redeemed men receiving God's gifts of (1) impassibility, (2) incorruption, and (3) immortality, which is basically what we see taught in 1 Cor. 15:50-54.

2) The same ECF's who wrote on "theosis", ALSO wrote on MONOTHEISM, and how it is IMPOSSIBLE for more than one god to exist. So any writing on "theosis" has to be interpreted IN ACCORDANCE with their teachings on monotheism.


Irenaeus (ca. AD 115-202)
Chapter I.—There is but one God: the impossibility of its being otherwise.


-- Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book II, Ch. 1

“Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is.”—Against Heresies, Book 5, preface Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215)

And:

First off, CARM rules prohibit simply linking to a website to respond to a post, since this is a DISCUSSION forum, not a "referral" forum.

Secondly, none of the ECF quotes on that website "magically" makes the "only one god" passages in the Bible and Book of Mormon go away. They are STILL in those Scriptures, and therefore STILL true (in the Bible) or regarded as true (for Mormons concerning the Book of Mormon).

Third, NONE of those ECF quotes teach "plurality of gods". They teach of something called "theosis", which is basically the Eastern teaching that we become united with God, specifically LIMITED to the attributes of immortality and impassability, but NOT "full godhood".

Fourth, every one of those ECF's, in their writings, they ALSO teach "monotheism", the truth that "only one god exists". So either one or two things is possible regarding those ECF's, either (1) you are MISINTERPRETING their proof-texts, or (2) the ECF's are inconsistent and contradictory, and should be rejected on that basis. Either option is a "loss" for Mormons.

And I don't think for a MOMENT that you've actually READ any of those passages in context, nor have done any study of the ECF's in general.

So, having gotten that out of the way, would you like to actually address (your) SCRIPTURES?:

Both Christianity and Mormonism accept the Bible as the word of God.

The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Deut. 4:35).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Deut. 4:39).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (1 Kings 8:60).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 43:10).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 44:6).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 44:8).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 45:5).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 45:21).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 45:22).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (Isa. 46:9).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (John 17:3).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (1 Cor. 8:4).
The Bible teaches that only one god exists (1 Cor. 8:6).

Mormonism accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God.

Alma 11:28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? 29 And he answered, No.
Alma 11:35 Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God;
Alma 14:5 And the people went forth and witnessed against them—testifying that [...] that there was but one God,
Ether 2:8 [...] from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God,

The OP was not about the Mormon doctrine of men becoming Gods, but about HOW they supposedly do so--that they can EVOLVE INTO GODS. I was told by the three Mormons that were still on the old boards, that I was wrong about that. I found the quote in the OP and put it down on here but almost immediately after that, the boards went down. I proved that I was correct--that the LDS Church DOES teach that men can EVOLVE into Gods. EVOLVE. The LDS First Presidency actually uses the term "evolving into a God." Which means that once again, I was correct. I proved it from the official LDS church website, quoting its own First Presidency.
 
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dberrie2020

Well-known member
The ECFs are not the Bible; therefore, what they wrote must be judged in light of what the ENTIRE Bible says. Also, what they wrote must be taken in context.

Theo has put down the following on here several times:

1) The ECF's were strict MONOTHEISTS. So when they spoke of men "becoming gods", they were not speaking of actually becoming deities

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

"For 'the Sun of Righteousness,' ... pervades equally all humanity, ... having bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, deifying man by heavenly teaching, putting His laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts."(Clement of Alexandria. "Exhortation to the Heathen 11." Ante-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Alexander Roberts. Vol 2. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. 1905. 203. Print.

"But let us, O children of the good Father - nurslings of the good Instructor - fulfil the Father's will, listen to the Word, and take on the impress of the truly saving life of our Saviour; and meditating on the heavenly mode of life according to which we have been deified, let us anoint ourselves with the perennial immortal bloom of gladness - that ointment of sweet fragrance - having a clear example of immortality in the walk and conversation of the Lord; and following the footsteps of God, to whom alone it belongs to consider, and whose care it is to see to, the way and manner in which the life of men may be made more healthy." (Clement of Alexandra. "Instructor 1:12 "Ante-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Alexander Roberts. Vol. 2. New York.: C. Scribner's Sons. 1905. 234. Print.)

"A true man is one who understand that the body is corruptible and short-lived, whereas the soul is divine and immortal and, while being God's breath, is joined to the body to be tested and deified." (Antony the Great. "On the Character of Men and the Virtuous Life." Philokalia. Ed. G.E.H. Palmer. Vol. 1. London. Faber and Faber. 1981. 348. Print.)

So, Bonnie--if the Early Church Fathers were not referring to man becoming deified--then were they deities all along?
 

Bonnie

Super Member
The answer is in my last post, where I quoted what Theo has written about it. That is all I am going to say, as I will not respond anymore to your off-topic posts. Especially since my posts are not taken seriously at all. Good-bye.
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
The OP was not about the Mormon doctrine of men becoming Gods, but about HOW they supposedly do so--that they can EVOLVE INTO GODS.

The definition of "evolve" can be as such:

verb---- evolve--Dictionary.com​

1) to develop gradually

So--are you claiming man isn't deified slowly--but, all at once?

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

That seems to be a gradual process. How does the above testimony defy the term "evolve", in your opinion?
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
The answer is in my last post, where I quoted what Theo has written about it.

And didn't I address Theo's very quote?

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

"For 'the Sun of Righteousness,' ... pervades equally all humanity, ... having bestowed on us the truly great, divine, and inalienable inheritance of the Father, deifying man by heavenly teaching, putting His laws into our minds, and writing them on our hearts."(Clement of Alexandria. "Exhortation to the Heathen 11." Ante-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Alexander Roberts. Vol 2. New York: C. Scribner's Sons. 1905. 203. Print.

"But let us, O children of the good Father - nurslings of the good Instructor - fulfil the Father's will, listen to the Word, and take on the impress of the truly saving life of our Saviour; and meditating on the heavenly mode of life according to which we have been deified, let us anoint ourselves with the perennial immortal bloom of gladness - that ointment of sweet fragrance - having a clear example of immortality in the walk and conversation of the Lord; and following the footsteps of God, to whom alone it belongs to consider, and whose care it is to see to, the way and manner in which the life of men may be made more healthy." (Clement of Alexandra. "Instructor 1:12 "Ante-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Alexander Roberts. Vol. 2. New York.: C. Scribner's Sons. 1905. 234. Print.)

"A true man is one who understand that the body is corruptible and short-lived, whereas the soul is divine and immortal and, while being God's breath, is joined to the body to be tested and deified." (Antony the Great. "On the Character of Men and the Virtuous Life." Philokalia. Ed. G.E.H. Palmer. Vol. 1. London. Faber and Faber. 1981. 348. Print.)

So, Bonnie--if the Early Church Fathers were not referring to man becoming deified--then were they deities all along?
 

Bonnie

Super Member
I was simply responding to your post, that we have discussed the ECF's and what they meant by theosis. It has nothing to do with my claim that your church teaches that men can EVOLVE into Gods. I was told that your church does not teach that men EVOLVE into Gods. But I proved that it DOES teach that very thing.

Theo addressed your claims quite thoroughly in the quotes from him I put down on here.

Now, back to the use of "evolving" into a God on the LDS website. Do you believe what it says? Do you believe men can EVOLVE into a God? EVOLVE? Yes or no?
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
I was simply responding to your post, that we have discussed the ECF's and what they meant by theosis.

Very well---but I was responding to your post here:

Bonnie said:
The ECFs are not the Bible; therefore, what they wrote must be judged in light of what the ENTIRE Bible says. Also, what they wrote must be taken in context.

Theo has put down the following on here several times:

1) The ECF's were strict MONOTHEISTS. So when they spoke of men "becoming gods", they were not speaking of actually becoming deities

Two points here:

1) The Early Church Fathers did testify man may be deified, IE--

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

So--how do you respond to that, as the claim above denies that?

2) The Early Church Fathers testified through theosis--men become gods:

Tertullian - Adv. Hermogenes 5 Well, then, you say, we ourselves at that rate possess nothing of God. But indeed we do, and shall continue to do—only it is from Him that we receive it, and not from ourselves. For we shall be even gods, if we shall deserve to be among those of whom He declared, “I have said, Ye are gods,” and “God standeth in the congregation of the gods.” But this comes of His own grace, not from any property in us, because it is He alone who can make gods. (ANF 3.480).

If God "makes gods"--then that is a process--and "evolve" fits that process well:

verb---- evolve--Dictionary.com​

1) to develop gradually

So--what is your qualm about that definition--or that men are deified and become gods--as the above quotes of the Early Church Fathers show?
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
Now, back to the use of "evolving" into a God on the LDS website. Do you believe what it says? Do you believe men can EVOLVE into a God? EVOLVE? Yes or no?
Yes--I believe man may become gods--as the Early Church Fathers, and Christ-- testified to.

What is your evidence otherwise?

John10:33-34

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

 

Bob Carabbio

Well-known member
I was told by all the Mormons on here on the lasts boards, that your church does NOT teach that men can evolve into Gods. In no uncertain terms, I was told that I was wrong, when I wrote that on here. BUT--your church's very own First Presidency teaches just that! Your church's very own prophet, seer, and revelator teaches just that--that man is capable of evolving into a God! Why not own it, Zerinus? It is on your church's official website. Why does the idea of men "evolving" into Gods seem to disturb you so much?
You OBVIOUSLY didn't hold your mouth just right when you said it. (Chuckle)
 

John t

Super Member
So--are you claiming man isn't deified slowly--but, all at once?

Beware aware of errors of logic. This one is called "false choice dilemma:. It happens when there are only two equally unacceptable choices offered, both in error.

I usually reply to such things with the rhetorical question, "Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes, or no"
 

John t

Super Member
Yes--I believe man may become gods--as the Early Church Fathers, and Christ-- testified to.
Wow, is that warped!

Now you are saying that one man can become his own pantheon.

What is your evidence otherwise?

MORE errors of logical discourse.

You are moving the goalposts to shift the burden of proof, and you are attempting to have him prove a negative.

John10:33-34

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

HERE is another violation of the First Axiom of apologetics: Any verse ripped from its context is ALWAYS a pretext; no exception to this and that is why it is an axiom
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Yes--I believe man may become gods--as the Early Church Fathers, and Christ-- testified to.

What is your evidence otherwise?

John10:33-34

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

You are showing the same old, same old, dberrie....ignore, deflect, refuse to answer a simple question. Which is--Do YOU agree with your church's First Presidency that men are capable of EVOLVING into a God? Yes or no? It's not an essay question. No need to drag in what the ECF's believe about theosis, since that was not in my OP or my question. I am not asking if Mormons believe man CAN become a God, but I pointed out that I was told on the last boards that the LDS church does NOT teach that man can evolve into a God. But I proved from what the LDS's First Presidency has on the official LDS website, that your church DOES teach that man is capable of EVOLVING into a God.

So, do you agree with your church's First Presidency, OR with the Mormons that posted that their church does not teach that?
 

Bonnie

Super Member
Beware aware of errors of logic. This one is called "false choice dilemma:. It happens when there are only two equally unacceptable choices offered, both in error.

I usually reply to such things with the rhetorical question, "Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes, or no"
I know. I didn't answer that yet; I had to get off the boards and do some stuff. I too thought of the "Have you stopped beating your wife--yes or no?" false choice dilemma. :) Thanks for pointing that out. OF course, no true Christian believes that man becomes actual deity, like God, gradually, all at once, or any way, shape, or form. But whether or not man is capable of becoming a God isn't my point in the OP. It was whether or not Mormons on here agree with their First Presidency that man are capable EVOLVING into a God. The Mormons on the last boards claimed their church does NOT teach that. But their First Presidency DOES teach that. It is right there on their own official LDS website. So, Mormons, why not own what your church actually teaches? I have had Mormons tell me that if I want to know what their church officially teaches, I should get it from:

1. Their church's official website
2. General conference talks
3. Their church's leadership, especially their prophets and the First Presidency

So, I do just that. But still I am told I am wrong, or that the First Presidency sort of misspoke and used "imprecise" language. But it sounded pretty precise to me! :)
 
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Bonnie

Super Member
The definition of "evolve" can be as such:

verb---- evolve--Dictionary.com​

1) to develop gradually

So--are you claiming man isn't deified slowly--but, all at once?

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

That seems to be a gradual process. How does the above testimony defy the term "evolve", in your opinion?
I did not say anything about developing gradually. "Evolve" also means to change, usually from a lower form of life to a higher one. That too is one of its meanings. Seems to me, going from a mortal man to a God is changing from a lower form of life to a higher one.

But I am not discussing whether or not men can become deities, but whether or not Mormons on here agree with their own First Presidency that men are capable of "evolving into a God." I was told by Mormons on the last board that the LDS church does NOT teach that men can evolve into Gods. Yet, right here, their very own First Presidency claims man can EVOLVE into a God. So, do YOU, dberrie, as a Mormon, agree that man can EVOLVE into a God? yes or no? Do you agree that that is what your church teaches? Yes or no? OR do you agree with the other Mormons on the last boards that your church does NOT teach that men can evolve into Gods?

Simple question. Please give us a straight-forward answer, instead of obfuscating, attempting to change the subject, ignoring my questions, and just repeating yourself.
 
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dberrie2020

Well-known member
Wow, is that warped!
What do you feel is "warped" about the posted testimonies?

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

John10:33-34
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?


 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
You are showing the same old, same old, dberrie....ignore, deflect, refuse to answer a simple question. Which is--Do YOU agree with your church's First Presidency that men are capable of EVOLVING into a God? Yes or no?
[/QUOTE]

So--let's revisit your question, and my answer:

Bonnie said:
Now, back to the use of "evolving" into a God on the LDS website. Do you believe what it says? Do you believe men can EVOLVE into a God? EVOLVE? Yes or no?

dberrie2020 said:
Yes--I believe man may become gods--as the Early Church Fathers, and Christ-- testified to.

You asked for a yes or no answer. I answered--yes.

Why is that diversion?

Bonnie--both the Early Church Fathers--and Christ--testified men may become gods.

So--what is your point?
 

dberrie2020

Well-known member
Read what you wrote:
https://forums.carm.org/goto/post?id=552
dberrie2020 said:

Yes--I believe man may become gods--as the Early Church Fathers, and Christ-- testified to.

I read it--please read what Christ and the Early Church Fathers testified to--in writing:

"... He Himself has made us sons of the Father, and deified men by becoming Himself man. Therefore He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to deify us. ... And if all that are called sons and gods, whether in earth or in heaven, were adopted and deified through the Word, and the Son Himself is the Word, it is plain that through Him are they all, ..." ( Athanasius of Alexandria. "Against the Arians 1:38-39. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. Ed. Phillip Schaff. Vol 4. New York: Christian Literature.1892. 329. Print. Ser.2)

John10:33-34
33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

So--what do you believe isn't their testimonies there?

 
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