Do Latter-day Saints believe that, when they die, they will become a god of their own planet?

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Answered by: Judson, An Expert in the Jewish Beliefs and Doctrine Category
There are many misconceptions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Some of them are nothing more than a misunderstanding of minor details and others are a little more complex. I remember in high school, I thought Mormons were the oddest bunch of people I had ever encountered. My opinion of Mormons was an uneducated one to say the least. Here's a recap of some of my previously held misunderstandings: They don't drink soda or coffee or tea because of the caffeine, but they can eat chocolate, which also has caffeine. They worship a guy named Joseph Smith. The only people allowed at a Mormon wedding are Mormons. And, finally, I thought that Mormons believed that when they die they become a god of their own planet. Now, though these statements are not true some of them are not completely untrue, however, in no way shape or form do Mormons worship Joseph Smith. But, we'll leave that topic for another day. What I want to do now is try to shed some light on the idea that Latter-day Saints believe that when they die they become a god of their own planet. For the sake of this discourse, I ask you as a reader, no matter your belief, to assume that Joseph Smith was a literal prophet of God (just like Adam, Moses, Abraham, et cetera). That being said, Joseph Smith was once quoted as saying, "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man..." That basically states that God became God, He progressed to godhood, and that He was not created as such. If you are finding this hard to comprehend or difficult to believe, think back to Genesis in the Old Testament. It reads that God created man in His own image and likeness. If Adam was created in God's own image and likeness, then God must be a man. Much of Latter-day Saint teachings revolve around this doctrine. There is an idea of constant progression inherent within it. The commandment to be perfect is taken quite literally. We are commanded to be as the Savior, Jesus Christ, the only perfect man to walk among men. Obviously, perfection is not something any mortal man has achieved, that we know of, but Latter-day Saints teach that after death we are to continue to progress, even until we obtain Christ-like perfection. Charity is defined in the Bible Dictionary as "the pure love of Christ." It has been my experience that Latter-day Saints teach charity more than almost any other doctrine. It is through having charity, pure love, for our fellow man that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe we can be as Christ-like as possible. After getting to know more about the LDS church, I can see that my previous thoughts about their beliefs were false. As a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have learned that if I do not question a belief, I will never discover the truthfulness (or lack thereof) behind it. If you think that a church believes something that seems ridiculous, like the idea that after we die, we become a god of our own planet, go to the source and ask. Chances are, you might have been mislead.

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