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Kirby: This Mormon won't worry about 'becoming like God'

Published February 27, 2014 9:32 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The lesson in High Priest Group last Sunday was on the plan of salvation. How did we get here? Where are we going? And, more important to me, why should I worry about it?

It was a lively discussion. Factored in were elements of premortal existence, Adam and Eve (including my insistence she was the brightest of the two), Garden of Eden, evolution, borrowed alien technology, dinosaurs as draft animals and anecdotal pioneer hardship.

I don't know if the lesson's timing was intentional. The church ... wait.

Note to pickers of nits: My use of the phrase "the church" in no way implies that the one I go to (Mormon) is the only church that matters. It's just handier in the same way that you might say "the Bible" or "the gospel" or "the Lord" even though there are differing opinions on all of those.

Another note: If "the church" still bothers you, read something THE hell else.

Anyway, the church recently issued a statement regarding Mormons believing human beings can become gods or that God was once a man. Just how much this is a solid part of Mormon doctrine is a subject for debate by people with more time than I have.

I don't recall exactly when I first heard about this idea, primarily because I rarely paid attention in church. When I finally did learn of it, I immediately recognized it as something I would never have to worry about. I say this for two reasons.

First, under any stretch of imagination, I won't get to be a god. At best I will make one of the lower degrees of glory. The motor pool or something. Oh, Department of Lesser Lightning.

Second, I don't want to be a god. It's OK with me if you do as long as you don't end up being mine. I only mention this because a surprising number of people already seem to think they are.

Suggesting that I'll become like God is poor incentive for a guy who already doesn't think much of the idea. Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to be that? I base this opinion entirely on Scripture.

Currently, the only examples of godhood are the Old Testament version, a God whose idea of human resourcing is to kill everyone who doesn't play along or run away fast enough.

There's also the New Testament God who promised to return "soon" but hasn't yet, sparking a 2,000-year-old debate that so far has produced nothing but long-winded church.

Finally, if you're LDS, there's the Book of Mormon God. In this particular case ... well, see Old Testament God. And New Testament. But mostly Old Testament.

These are oversimplifications of God, I know. I only have so much room here and a finite amount of interest.

But just consider it. Even with a lot of cleaning up, is there anyone you know right now whom you would trust to be God? I can only think of one and she's already mad at me.

You wouldn't want it to be me. While I can imagine the fun in creating a simple-minded creature, then occasionally turning myself into something frightening just to scare the hell out of them, it would eventually get boring.

The good news is that I won't ever have to worry about it. And I have a pretty good idea that neither do you.

Robert Kirby can be reached at rkirby@sltrib.com or facebook.com/stillnotpatbagley.