This question discusses the LDS teaching that

“As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be.” ( The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.)

The teaching is partially motivated by the passage from John5:19,

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.

Joseph Smith himself said:

As the Father hath power in Himself, so hath the Son power in Himself, to lay down His life and take it again, so He has a body of His own. The Son doeth what He hath seen the Father do: then the Father hath some day laid down His life and taken it again

-- History of the Church 5:426

I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying. Jesus said that the Father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him. As the Father had done before? He laid down His life, and took it up the same as His Father had done before. He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys. I know it is good reasoning.

-- History of the Church 6:373

From LDS.org:

The Prophet Joseph Smith himself publicly taught the doctrine the following year, 1844, during a funeral sermon of Elder King Follett: “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.”

As to this notion in the modern LDS church, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Joseph Fielding Smith said in an address in 1971:

“This is a doctrine which delighted President Snow, as it does all of us. Early in his ministry he received by direct, personal revelation the knowledge that (in the Prophet Joseph Smith’s language), ‘God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens,’ and that men ‘have got to learn how to be Gods … the same as all Gods have done before.’

So, in summary:

  • God the Father was once a man who became exalted to Godhood, and created us in his own creation.
  • The man who is exalted now will be God of his own creation, as God is God of this one.
  • All Gods have endured this process.

My question is:

From a Mormon perspective, does God still worship the God he worshipped when he was a man on his own Earth?

  • So I think this and the other two questions are really interesting, but for clarity's sake, it might be nice to remove (or trim down) the identical background information in each?
    – lish
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 20:22
  • 1
    It seems so because they are next to each other in the feed now, but that's not likely to remain the case. They really do all have the same background and motivation, so I decided to include it in each of them. A year from now it won't seem like overkill if a user comes across just one of them.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 20:27
  • 1
    Answer is same as christianity.stackexchange.com/a/4761/1003
    – Matt
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 20:56
  • @Matt I disagree- It has bearing on my practice! I just want to make sure I direct my worship to the greatest God.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 21:09
  • 2
    Artificial bearing, as in you are playing devil's advocate, meaning the circumstances generating the question are not real. Just doesn't bode well for getting good answers.
    – Matt
    Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 21:30

2 Answers 2


We don't know the details, and it's possible we will never know in this life.

We know that (1) God was like us (a literal spiritual father-child relationship), and (2) that we can be become like him (heirs of all that he has, and joint-heirs with Christ). Beyond that, little else is known about the exaltation of God.

The notion that God had a Father does have certain symmetry to it, but it isn't discussed in the scriptures.

But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you...

And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.

Moses 1:35-36

In fact, in the very same King Follett discourse you quoted -- which is probably the most detailed description on God's exaltation -- Joseph Smith says:

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world.


Especially in recent years, I feel like this principle has been de-emphasized. Based on those quotes, it certainly sounds like, and reason seems to agree that God has a God, but that information is irrelevant to us. The most important principle is that for us, in this realm, there are no other Gods.

I also don't think it is a coincidence that the commandment is honor thy father and thy mother as opposed to honor thy grandfather and thy grandmother.

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