Saturday, October 1, 2016

Our Divine Potential

By Lacey Gunter

One of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that is often ridiculed and misunderstood is that of the potential of man to become like God. For those who are not of the LDS faith, I want to share with you a little about what exactly we believe and why it is such an important part of my personal beliefs about the nature of God and our relationship with him.

Members of the LDS faith believe that God is our Father in Heaven. When we say the word 'Father', we mean so much more than some amazingly powerful being that delights in creating things and created us in some artistic or skilled fashion. Rather, when we say he is our Heavenly Father, we are saying our spirits or our souls are the literal offspring of God. We also believe in a Heavenly Mother who participated in this procreation of our souls. We are their spirit children. We believe that we existed as spirits with our Heavenly Parents before coming to earth and joining our spirit with a body. This life, in essence, is a period of growth and progression in what we believe to be our eternal existence.

Just like any good earthly parents, we believe Heavenly Father is actively involved it teaching us and helping us to achieve our best potential, which is to become like our Heavenly Parents. And just like good earthly children, as we grow and demonstrate our ability to manage ourselves and make good choices that help ourselves and those around us, Heavenly Father will continue to bless us with greater knowledge and greater responsibility until, with the help of our spirit brother Jesus Christ and his infinite atonement, we can ultimately become like God.

Some Christian faiths suggest that this belief in the potential to become like God diminishes the glory and greatness of God by pulling him down to our level. On the contrary, I can only see that it adds to the glory and greatness of God that he is capable of building us up to achieve his potential. It is one thing for a being to be great of themselves. It is even more glorious and amazing for a being to be personally great and also be capable of making others around them just as great.  Truly isn't this far more glorious and amazing?

With this knowledge that we are children of God, we not only get a better sense of our relationship to God, but also a better understanding of his relationship with us. When we recognize that all of us are God's children we are better able to understand why bad things sometimes happen and God doesn't just "destroy the wicked" when they hurt other people. Any of us who have more than one child and have had to discipline a child for hitting or hurting their sibling can grasp this concept. God loves all his children, even when they sometimes misbehave. He hopes that they can learn to behave and act better and continues to try and teach them and help them to become the best they are capable of being, despite their mistakes.

Understanding our divine potential also helps us better understand the purpose of our life here on earth. This earth life is difficult and challenging to help us gain knowledge and grow in our ability to act wisely. If we possess the potential to become like God, this kind of glory and power requires great responsibility in understanding the consequences of our actions and how they affect others.

These beliefs are also my beliefs and I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who believes in my potential and helps me to grow and improve.  If you would like to learn more about the LDS faith and our beliefs about God, I encourage you to check out or leave a comment with any questions you have.


  1. What you said makes a ton of sense. We were part of a family before we came to this earth. We are part of a family now and will be part of a family in the hereafter.



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