In an answer to this question Calvin quoted some LDS scripture from this search on the LDS scripture site.

It seems that the word "eternal" might mean continuing forever from some point in time in LDS theology, rather than the forever past until forever future as it does for many Christians. However, some of these specifically say from forever past to forever future. How can these scriptures be consistent with their "eternal progression" doctrine?

God is same yesterday, today, forever: Morm. 9:9

No change here, so no eternal progression? When this sentence occurs in the Bible, it is usually believed to refer to forever past as well as forever future, however it could be from "sometime past" to "now" to "forever future".

God knows all things, being from everlasting to everlasting: Moro. 7:22

This definitely refers to eternity past to eternity future.

God’s course is one eternal round: D&C 3:2

OK, this could be future only, unless round means it's an unbroken cycle.

God is endless: D&C 19:4, 10

No end in either past or future? Or could it be no end in space?

God is infinite, eternal, unchangeable, from everlasting to everlasting: D&C 20:17

Past eternity to future eternity, no eternal progression?

Endless and Eternal is God’s name: Moses 7:35

OK, maybe a beginning is not considered an end, so one-direction eternity might work.

Am I seriously misinterpreting these statements here?

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    To the typical Protestant or Evangelical, the Book of Mormon, in particular, is more explicitly Trinitarian than the Bible itself and does attribute God as being infinite and eternal and unique. However, LDS will interpret these as being in relation to this world only, as they believe God was once a man like us and attained godhood. He can therefore change.
    – Narnian
    Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 21:09
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    @Narnian, Certain passages certainly do seem explicitly Trinitarian, such as Mosiah 15, which speaks of Christ as being Father and Son. I do have to respectfully contradict your last statement, He can therefore change. As Christ said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect" -- the perfect meaning "complete" or "finished". We are to become "finished" as God is, and to me that means He doesn't change, and hopefully we can become "finished" and need no further change, but be "complete". Commented Aug 29, 2014 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


The premise to your question is that "the word eternal might mean continuing forever from some point in time." Just so you know, this is a fairly ambiguous starting point.

There are some contexts and perspectives where the meaning of the word eternal is only no end, but others where eternal means no beginning and no end. And this is not necessarily specific to LDS theology.

For example: from our perspective as mortals, one's eternal life and salvation begins after the resurrection. Thus, eternal life, in a sense, has a beginning. Theologically, you might argue that that "beginning" is in Christ, who is without beginning and without end, and from God's perspective, it has always been that way and will always be that way because it is an absolute truth.

You see, there are many ways to perceive eternity and to try to understand it and learn from the scriptures. For instance, where one scripture says that God is the same forever, and another says that there is eternal progression, are talking about two different things. One way to approach the scriptures is to try to find contradicting passages, and if you find some, then they must not be true. Another way to read scriptures is to believe that they are true and then adjust our learning according to what they say.

Ultimately, eternity is a concept that our mortal minds cannot fathom, so precise and universal definitions are hard to come by. These minutia do not matter too much to Latter-day Saints. The scale of eternity is humbling to consider, and even being able to comprehend that we cannot comprehend it is enough to help us learn about God.

In short, yes, those scriptures are consistent with LDS doctrine.


The phrase "Eternal progression" is referenced and expounded in various teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It can be summarized as the idea that we are intended to progress toward eternal life until we receive the fullness as Jesus Christ did, and the concept of increase in God's dominion is directly proven from the Scriptural fact that God creates. If God creates more, or has more children and redeems and exalts them, is His glory not increasing? Of course it is.

It is as absurd to say that God cannot increase in glory and dominion as it is to say that a person cannot make any investment that will increase based on his knowledge or ability. A farmer may have a perfect, unchanging knowledge of how to grow crops, and yet increase his crops every year through successive planting.

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    For clarification, when you say "If God creates more, or has more children..." does that refer to the procreation of spirit children by heavenly father and heavenly mother? I understand these spirit children have to come to earth to be born as human children in order to progress to godhood. I also understand that Jehovah had to come to earth to be born as Jesus in order for him to progress to godhood. Or am I mistaken?
    – Lesley
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 14:49
  • @Lesley "does that refer to the procreation of spirit children by heavenly father and heavenly mother?" Yes. God can have children in no other way than by procreation, just as earthly parents can have children in no other way than by procreation. This includes not just this Earth, but every earth of His creation. Jehovah has always been referred to as Lord, God or the Son of God, even before His birth, suggesting that He was always sinless and had no need of repentance either during His mortal life or before. But nowhere is He referred to as perfect until after His Atonement and resurrection.
    – pygosceles
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 18:12

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