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Non-Mormons frequently accuse Mormons of believing in plural gods. In one way that is true. Mormons believe that godhood is the fully-mature state of development for mankind. All Christians believe that Christ will bestow "all that He has" upon those who are exalted in heaven. Someone who inherits all that Christ has, also inherits His divine attributes. However, it is incorrect to condemn Mormons as not accepting God the Eternal Father, i.e. (Heavenly Father, or Elohim) as their God. Mormons believe that this supreme being will always be their Father and their God and will always look to Him as such. His importance to them can never dim. They believe that He is the head of two other gods—Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost—over whom He will always have preeminence, as He will always have preeminence over mankind, even when they achieve godhood. Perhaps it would be easier to understand by comparing these relationships to those in earthly families. Each person born on earth has a father. No matter what happens to that person, even after he achieves the adult status of his father, his father will always be his father. That fact won't—and can't--change. When that person becomes an adult human, he will—or should if the father is worthy—revere, honor, and respect his father. He will listen to his father and follow righteous suggestions and advice. Mormons also believe that it is this way in the eternities.
Mormons believe that God the Eternal Father is just that—he will always be their father. They believe He once was a human man who lived on an earth but, through following the principles of righteousness, has reached an exalted, perfected, glorified state. Through His own personal resurrection, He attained his own tangible, immortal, and incorruptible body of flesh and bones, so He can be both seen and touched, though people still on earth rarely have the opportunity to know this for themselves. (The glory of God is so profound, no man can stand in His presence unless he is transfigured first.) The title Father, Mormons believe, should be understood as a literal fact. They believe that He is the father of the spirits of all men, including Jesus Christ (and is literally the physical father of Christ as well), which is why people refer to the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men. This is also reflected in the Lord's Prayer, which begins “Our Father which art in heaven” (Matthew 6:9). Christ clearly taught this principle throughout his lifetime. He said, “Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17).
It is important to know that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe in God the Father as an omnipotent, all-knowing, God of perfect love. The Lord revealed himself to Moses and explained the vastness of His power, as recorded in the Pearl of Great Price:
- And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?
- And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.
- And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.
- And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten (Moses 1:30-33, emphasis added).