One of the most common objections of the LDS faith by mainstream Christianity is the belief that God used to be mortal man, and man can become a God.
What does LDS canonized literature say about Eternal Progression, and Personal Exaltation?
Orson Pratt in The Seer says, "The Gods who dwell in the Heaven from which our spirits came, are beings who have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this Earth were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a fallen state... they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods".
The logical next step to the idea that God was once a man is that God has a father, or at the very least, God used to have a father while he was still in his pre-exalted state. To expand on this thought, Bruce R. McConkie in his book Mormon Doctrine p. 577 says, "...there is an infinite number of holy personages drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation, and are thus gods... If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that he had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a Father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son?
Exaltation – Man may become a God.
James E. Talmage's book A
Study of the Articles of Faith on page 430 he writes, "We believe in a God who is Himself
progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists of eternal advancement - a
being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow
... the Church proclaims the eternal truth: 'As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.'"
James E. Talmage's book A Study of the Articles of Faith on page 430 he writes, "We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists of eternal advancement - a being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow ... the Church proclaims the eternal truth: 'As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.'"
2 Nephi 27:23 says, "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of Miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever".
2 Nephi 29:9 And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today and forever".
Alma 11:39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last".
Alma 11:44 says, "Christ the Son, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit which is one Eternal God".
Alma 18:28 "Believest thou that this Great Spirit who is God, created all things which are in heaven and in the earth"
2 Nephi 26:12 says, "It must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God". This passage gives some pretty strong language that the gentiles should not just hear or understand, but that they should be convinced. Why should they be convinced of something that was misleading or untrue?
Mormon 9:9-10 says, "For do we not read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is not variableness neither shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whome there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles". The Book of Mormon teaches that God is a God of Miracles from 2 Nephi 27:23 above. Here we learn that there is no variableness or shadow of changing. This seems to be focusing on the mind of God rather than his person. Someone might be able to make the argument that when these verses say that God is the same, and he does not change it means that God doesn’t trade places with others. This verse seems to focus more on Gods mind and thoughts rather than his person.
Mosiah 3:5 says, For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven..." Omnipotent means all knowing. How can someone that is all knowing learn? This passage also says that the Lord was and is from all eternity. I find this very interesting considering the Prophet Joseph Smith’s quote from above “We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity” Why would Joseph Smith say it was an imagined doctrine since it is a word for word reference from right here in the Book of Mormon?
Mosiah 15:4 says, And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
Moroni 8:18 says, "For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity" Again this is a direct reference from Joseph Smith’s quote claiming that this is an imagined doctrine.
All these verses from LDS scripture make it clear that God is Eternal and unchanging from the beginning to the end. How can these verses be true if God is an exalted man? These verses also make it clear that God doesn't have a father because God created all things under heaven and under earth. However, LDS church doctrine teaches otherwise, and an incompatibility is found with the prophets words, and the writings in the Book of Mormon. I’m not trying to be sarcastic here, but it seems to me that these passages would be more accurate if they said very much the opposite of how they currently read. Mormon 9:9-10 would be more accurate if it read, "For do we not know that God is not the same yesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is indeed variableness and shadow of changing? And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth not vary, and in whome there is not shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles". Clearly this is not the message that is being portrayed in the original passage. If I were to become LDS, I would either have to reject the Book of Mormon’s teaching on God, or reject the prophet's teachings on God because both of them can't be true; again I find that they are mutually exclusive.