Psalm 82:6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High
"THE DOCTRINE OF A PREMORTAL LIFE, once common to the faith of Jews and Christians alike, is now the exclusive province of Latter-day Saints. We alone bear witness that the God of heaven is actually the Father of our spirits, that we are his sons and daughters, sired in his image and likeness. We alone possess the faith that as children of divine parentage we have the capacity to become as God is and that the text declaring Adam and Eve to be in his image and likeness is literally true. We accept the plain meaning of the psalmist's words: 'Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High' (Ps. 82:6). We believe ourselves to be children of destiny who in principle and intent have claim upon the words uttered by the Lord to Jeremiah: 'Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations' (Jer. 1:5)." (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Answers: Straightforward Answers to Tough Gospel Questions [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1998], 80)
"The revelations of the Restoration plainly teach that we are God's children and thus were created in his image and likeness. We approach such declarations with a sense of sacred reverence, for they are chief among those plain and precious truths that were taken from the scriptures by evil and designing men. The book of Moses, which comes from the Joseph Smith translation of Genesis, evidences these truths: 'In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; in the image of his own body, male and female, created he them' (Moses 6:8-9; emphasis added). Thus we learn that the countless efforts to explain away the declaration that man is in the image and likeness of God (see Gen. 1:26) as merely a figurative expression are mistaken. God is not a spirit essence lacking body and parts. Exalted beings have bodies, and Adam and Eve were given a physical body in the image and likeness of their divine parents. Indeed, this same revelation declares the name of God to be 'Man of Holiness' and his Only Begotten in the flesh to be 'the Son of Man' (Moses 6:57). In the same text we are also told that Adam is 'the son of God' (Moses 6:22). Again we are without justification to suppose that this is a figurative declaration. Christ, we are told, is the Only Begotten in the flesh, meaning the only child ever begotten of the immortal Father and a mortal woman, the only child ever begotten of the Father who had blood coursing in his veins. Only in their transgression did Adam and Eve obtain blood, and thus it was a blood fall that necessitated a blood atonement. It was father Abraham who told us that Adam was the 'firstborn' of all the Father's children upon this earth (Abr. 1:3) and Moses who told us that a genealogy was kept of the family of Adam, who were 'the children of God' (see Moses 6:6-8). No longer do the words of the Psalmist, wherein he said, 'Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High' Ps. 82:6), stand alone, and no longer need there be any question as to who we are." (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Joseph Smith: The Choice Seer [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1996], chap. 11)
Joe J. Christensen
Latter-day Saints have been criticized for believing that the Savior really meant what he said, and that becoming like our Father in Heaven and the Savior is a commandment-not just a suggestion. Over the years, many vindictive books and articles have been written condemning our beliefs as blasphemous. How dare we believe that we could and even should try to become like our Father in Heaven!
We are attacked for these beliefs even though the Bible, which is accepted as scripture by all Christians, makes frequent reference to the fact that we are children of and should become like our Father in Heaven. Note the following small sampling of the many biblical scriptures on the topic:
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour (Psalm 8:4-5).
"I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High" (Psalm 82:6; emphasis added). The Savior even referred to this idea: "Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?" (John 10:34)
Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device (Acts 17:29; emphasis added).
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:17; emphasis added).
(One Step at a Time: Building a Better Marriage, Family, and You [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1996], 107)