I have often heard from critics that the doctrine of “deification,” or the idea that faithful followers of Christ will become like God, is blasphemous and the invention of prideful zealots. For many Christians, this is one of the biggest points of contention with the LDS faith. I would like to appeal to the Bible to argue that this doctrine is not unbelievable or blasphemous. The following argument is not meant to provide irrefutable proof of LDS doctrine, but to show that the Bible is often unclear about humankind’s potential, and that the LDS doctrine of deification is not an impossible interpretation of the Bible. Critics and members of the LDS faith have very different understandings of deification. Critics tend to interpret the doctrine of deification as blasphemy against God (because there is only one God, the greatest of all) and that it shows that prideful members of the LDS faith lust for God-like power in the afterlife. LDS members, however, believe than an all-loving God wants us to become like Him, bless us with all that He has, and allow us to experience the joy He experiences. While I agree that the Bible does not clearly or explicitly state that mortal men and women can achieve god-like status (otherwise there would be no debate), I would like to present the following argument based on New Testament scriptures from the KJV Bible to support this LDS doctrine. I will not argue that the Bible says that “we will become gods,” (an oversimplified phrase often used by critics), but that the Bible suggests that we can be like God if we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.
- We must obey all of the commandments of God the Father and Jesus Christ
a) “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:19
b) “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” –John 14:15
2. Jesus commanded that we must be perfect
a) “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” –Matthew 5:48
3. We can be made perfect through Jesus Christ
a) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” –Colossians 1:28
b) “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” -1 John 3:3
4. Those who are perfect will be like the master
a) “The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master” –Luke 6:40
b) “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” -1 John 3:2-3
We must obey the commandments. One of these commandments is to be perfect like God. All can be made perfect through Christ. Those who are perfect shall be as God.
Therefore, we can be like God.