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Dilemmas of Mormon Exaltation

By Aaron Shafovaloff

Created August 11, 2021

Consider the following in light of both halves of the Lorenzo Snow couplet:

“As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.”

1. Subordination vs. independence between gods

(a) If we will forever be dependent on and subordinate to our God, then it stands to reason that God himself remains dependent on and subordinate to his own God (our Heavenly Grandfather).

or (b) If God is no longer dependent on or subordinate to his own God, then it stands to reason that we can someday become gods who are independent of, and no longer subordinate to, our own God.

Yet the Christian conscience affirms:

(c) God is independent of, and not subordinate to, any other gods.

(d) We will forever remain dependent on, and subordinate to, our God.

2. Expanding Godhead vs. overlapping godheads

(a) If, when Jesus becomes a father over another set of worlds with his own begotten spirit children, he does not cease to be the Son of the Godhead we know, then he will belong to two overlapping Godheads, one in which he is the Son, and another in which he is the Father (over a different jurisdiction).

or (b) If, when we become exalted gods governing over our own worlds and begotten spirit children, we join the existing godhead, then the Godhead is expanding with the addition of many other exalted gods.

(c) If the oneness of a godhead is shared purpose, and there are multiple godheads, then there are differing purposes around which godheads unite.

or (d) If there are multiple godheads but all share the same purpose, then purpose is not what truly defines their oneness; otherwise they would merge with others into a larger godhead.

Yet the Christian conscience affirms:

(e) There is only one purpose suitable for any Godhead.

(f) Only one Godhead exists.

(g) Jesus does not belong to multiple Godheads.

(h) The Godhead consists of only three persons, not expanding to other gods.

(i) The Son will not exit the Godhead or become independent of it.

3. Shared vs. independent dominion between gods

(a) If those who become exalted as gods obtain a dominion, and include in their own dominion the sub-dominions of their exalted spirit children, then it stands to reason that our own God’s dominion is a subkingdom of his own divine ancestors.

or (b) If those who who become exalted as gods obtain their own exclusive dominions, and do not include in their own dominion the dominions of their exalted spirit children, then it stands to reason that, if we became exalted as gods, our own dominions will be exclusive from God’s dominion.

Yet the Christian conscience affirms:

(b) God has exclusivity over his own domain.

(c) No one has dominion over God’s dominion.

(d) Any dominion we obtain will in fact be under God’s dominion. He owns whatever we have.

(e) God’s domain is comprehensive; there is nothing outside of it.

4. Exhaustible vs. infinite pool of coeternal intelligences

(a) If intelligences are coeternal, and the gods cannot create them, then their total number cannot be added to.

(b) If the exalted gods fashion spirit bodies for coeternal intelligences, and the number of intelligences is finite, then someday this pool will be exhausted.

or (c) If the pool of coeternal intelligences is infinite but fixed, then there will always be an infinite number of intelligences that never have any god fashion a spirit body for them.

Yet the Christian conscience affirms that:

(d) The very essence, existence, potential, and beginning of any intelligent persons is owing to God.

(e) God’s ability to create more persons is not capped by any external limitations.

(f) No person is out of God’s reach.


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