Scripture-Study List: Eternal Progression
The Old-Testament psalmist referred to God’s children as “gods” themselves, though still subject to (“children of”) the Father (“the most High”). Mormons interpret this to mean that men can progress to become like God, though always subject to “the most High.”
- I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
Referring to the above scripture in Psalms, Jesus Christ confirmed the notion that those who follow God’s words will progress to become more like He is. While not stated explicitly in this scripture, other scriptures indicate that Christ did not believe that men could become greater than God. Likewise, Mormons believe in eternal progression but reject the idea that men and women can ever exceed the glory of their Father.
- Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
- If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
Christ commanded His followers to be perfect, to become more like our Father. Mormons take this commandment seriously; while we do not think perfection is possible in this life, we do believe that, under God’s tutelage, progression towards perfection is possible.
- Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Christ also taught through the apostle John that those who repent will overcome their sins through His atoning sacrifice and will sit with Him on His thrown, suggesting progression from this our mortal state to a state of glory.
- As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
- Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
- To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
The apostle Paul taught that the righteous are heirs of God, join-heirs with Christ, and that they will be glorified with Him. He taught that the Holy Ghost bears witness of that fact, confirming the Holy Ghost’s role as a testifier of the truth.
- The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
- And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
- For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
The New-Testament book of Galatians also describes Paul’s belief that the righteous are heirs of God through Christ.
- Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
- But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
- Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
- But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
- To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
- And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
- Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Paul described the process of progression in 2 Corinthians: step by step, men and women can progress towards greater glory.
2 Corinthians 3:18:
- But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
The apostle John likewise taught that those who follow Christ (“the sons of God”) will one day be like God.
1 John 3:1-2:
- Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
- 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.