The nature of God vs. the nature of man

The most important, most distinctive, and most defended doctrine of Mormonism can be summed up by the famous couplet of Mormon President Lorenzo Snow (president from 1898-1901). This couplet can be recited by every moderately knowledgeable Latter-day Saint (as Mormons call themselves): As man now is, God once was; As God now is, Man may become.

Any Bible-savvy Christian recognizes this statement as patently unbiblical. Not only is it unbiblical, it is of paramount importance. Such a teaching blurs the distinction between the almighty, self-existent God, and the creatures He has made. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, claimed, "Man is co-equal with God himself." (History of the Church, vol.6, pp.310-312.
      •Smith taught—and his successors have maintained—that there are many gods in the universe. He told his congregation: "You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves. . .the same as all Gods have done before you. . .until you are able to sit in everlasting burnings and to sit in glory."(Journal of Discourses, vol.6, p.4.)

Joseph Smith's most noted successor, Brigham Young, taught, "Man is King of Kings and Lord of Lords in embryo." (Journal of Discourses, vol.10, p.223.)

This pervasive teaching about the godhood of man is called, in Mormon theology, the doctrine of eternal progression. Mormon theology says Mormon men will one day rule over their own worlds as a God. This doctrine is foreshadowed in Smith's version of the creation of the earth: "In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843-44 p.349)

Man, according to Smith, is himself self-existent with God; Man's intelligence is coequal with that of God: "The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is coequal with God himself." (Journal of Discourses, vol.6, p.6.