Mormonism teaches that finite humans can actually progress into infinite gods as the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit once did. Mormons proselytize the belief that human deification, or attaining godhood, is in fact the restored LDS gospel message of salvation to the world. This LDS salvation doctrine of the possibility of humans' becoming gods best defines the exclusive teaching of Mormonism, and sets the LDS Church totally apart from all monotheistic faiths, including every branch of historic or contemporary Christianity. This revealing statement from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism clarifies the LDS teaching concerning the possibility of humans' becoming gods:
It is LDS teaching that all the Father's children possess the potential to strive toward the same godhood that the Godhead already has; because in their humanity there is a divinity that is progressing and growing according to the faith, intelligence, and love that abounds in their souls.
And so we must ask the following question: On what authoritative basis can Mormons advocate such an unchristian doctrine? The answer to this question is that Latter-day Saints believe that humans and gods possess the same essential eternal nature.
The Eternal Nature of God and Humans Is the Same
The Mormon teaching concerning human exalted deification or attaining godhood is based on the LDS belief that all humans are of the same species and kind of eternal spirit as God. Although Jews and Christians have always maintained the absolute distinction between God and humans, Dr. Robert Millet emphasizes that Latter-day Saints teach that "man is not of a lower order or different species than God." For Mormons, God and humans are the same species of being or race, and differ only in our degrees of advancement, development, and progress. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism makes this LDS teaching clear:
Like Jesus Christ, all mortals live in a state of humiliation, but through the mediation of the Christ they may progress to a state of exaltation. There is no ultimate disparity between the divine and human natures; Joseph Smith asserted that mankind is the same species as God, having been made in God's image and being eternal, with unlimited capacity.
Humans Possess Eternal Intelligences or Spirits
Mormonism teaches that the eternal nature of God and humans is exactly the same and that human spirits originate or are begotten from eternal divine minds or intelligences. In the eternities, our divine intelligences were clothed with spiritual bodies and became personages of spirit. Every human spirit once existed as a divine intelligence before becoming a spirit-offspring of the heavenly Father. The human spirit is not uniquely created by God, but is formed and birthed from eternal existing divine minds or intelligences. They have no beginning, and they will have no end. In this light, Mormonism believes that uncreated eternal intelligence has the innate capability of growing in knowledge and power into god-existence and status.
Becoming Fully God
In Mormonism, the strong distinction that Christians make between the natures of the human and the divine applies only in our present earthly condition of mortality. In fact, the term human in Mormonism is relevant only to this earthly life because in future eternity, humans have the potential to become fully equal with God, possessing his divine attributes and abilities. LDS writers claim that the Christian distinction between God and humans is a historical product of Greek philosophy and not the teaching of the Bible. Many Mormons argue that the absolute distinction that Christians believe exists between humans and God is simply a negative by-product of Christianity's being theologically distorted by Hellenistic philosophy.
In other words, the distinction between humans and God is only a temporary and mortal dissimilarity. Humans are different from God only in our fallen earthly condition, but in our exalted and glorified state of exaltation, humans become fully gods. Mormonism teaches that humans can become entirely and completely what God is now, possessing the fullness of God's unique attributes, and engaging fully in all the activities that God does. Dr. Stephen Robinson emphatically states that exalted humans will share both God's communicable and incommunicable attributes:
Granted there is a gulf between fallen humanity and exalted divinity, but Mormons believe this gulf is bridged in Christ Jesus. In our fallen condition, we are utterly different, but in our saved and glorified state we will be what God is through God's grace, even in God's so-called incommunicable attributes. If the redeemed really do become one with the Father and the Son, in the same way that they are one with each other, then how can anyone deny that the redeemed share their divine attributes-even the so-called incommunicable attributes?
In his statement below, Dr. Robinson goes on to further argue for humans' being able to progress fully into gods:
If the divine can become fully human and then as human be raised up again to be fully God (Phil. 2:6-11), then it is established that what is fully human may also be divine.
In other words-according to Mormon teaching-humans can progress into gods in the fullest sense. Mormons have no theological problems in claiming that the finite can become infinite. In absolute contrast with all branches of Christianity, Mormonism teaches that humans can become "identical in kind" with God in exaltation, as we read in Doctrine and Covenants 76:94-95:
They who dwell in his presence are the church of the Firstborn; and they as they are seen, and know as they are known, having received of his fulness and of his grace; and he makes them equal in power, and in might, and in dominion.