There is an LDS doctrine which appears in catchy couplet form as follows:

As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may be

5th LDS President Lorenzo Snow is said to have formed this couplet on the heels of a revelation. He related this revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith, who not only confirmed the revelation but later taught the doctrine himself:

President Snow’s son LeRoi later told that the Prophet Joseph Smith confirmed the validity of the revelation Elder Snow had received: “Soon after his return from England, in January, 1843, Lorenzo Snow related to the Prophet Joseph Smith his experience in Elder Sherwood’s home. This was in a confidential interview in Nauvoo. The Prophet’s reply was: ‘Brother Snow, that is a true gospel doctrine, and it is a revelation from God to you.’” (LeRoi C. Snow, Improvement Era, June 1919, p. 656.)

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.

  • An article by Gerald N. Lund, Teacher Support Consultant for the Church Education System, on the Church of Jesus Christ website

If God the Father created everything that there is (heavens, earth, sun, moon, stars, etc.), and if this creation took place after God became God (what non-God could create the universe?), upon what earth did he live as a man while he was evolving/becoming God and prior to His creation of everything?


2 Answers 2


There is no official LDS doctrine on what earth God lived on. The LDS believe in continuing revelation so this may be revealed at a later time.

There are plenty of questions that we currently don't have the answer to, but IMO those questions aren't pertinent to one's salvation and so don't matter currently.

1 Nephi 11:17

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

See also You Know Enough, Elder Neil L Anderson

related SE post on exaltation please read this post to gain better context of below


From OP post

...he was once a man like us...

God has a god of his own, just like we have a God who created worlds, and we can also become gods(but do not replace God). God's god is NOT worshipped by mankind. His worlds are his own/separate.

Think of it as a family. You can become a father(god), you have a father(God), and your father has a father(his god). Your father's father is not your father, just as you becoming a father(exaltation) does not replace/reduce your father.

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    In Isaiah 44:6-8 the LORD, the King of Israel, claims that there is no other God besides Him and also that He does not know any other Gods (this is far from the only place such a claim is made). This doesn't reconcile very well with God having a God of his own. Sep 10, 2021 at 18:30
  • So it's turtles all the way down, and gods all the way up? :)
    – alephzero
    Sep 11, 2021 at 1:00
  • @MikeBorden there are no other Gods besides him. One becoming god does not replace God. His god is NOT our God. You only have one father, no other fathers besides him (biologically)
    – depperm
    Sep 11, 2021 at 13:58
  • But you cannot be saying that our Father God does not know his Father God? This is what Isaiah 44 says...that He does not know of any other Gods. Sep 12, 2021 at 12:59
  • @MikeBorden he is talking to us(mankind) he wouldn't reference someone that isn't pertinent to our salvation. Doing so would add confusion (IMO at least)
    – depperm
    Sep 12, 2021 at 16:06

A problem with this question is that you do not specify what God is being spoken of here (as having once lived as a man on some planet somewhere).

A second problem is that this quote by Joseph Smith - "that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did" - identifies two different gods because they say Jesus Christ is a created creature who became a god, a different god to their idea of God the Father. But because mention is made of "the Father of us all" it's important to see from LDS doctrine who they say this Father of us all is.

As far as I can gather from the official LDS website links here, this is what they believe: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/god-godhead?lang=eng&letter=g
Father in Heaven is the Father of the spirits of all mankind. Jesus is his Only Begotten Son in the flesh.

God the Son is the God known as Jehovah [in the O.T.] and is the Son, Jesus Christ… he is the eldest of the spirit children of Elohim [who is not the same deity as the one known in the Bible as Jehovah]… it was actually Jesus who was the Creator under the direction of God the Father [Elohim].

Jehovah: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/jehovah?lang=eng&letter=j
Jehovah is said to be the premortal Jesus Christ and came to earth as a son of Mary (Mosiah 3:8; 15:1; 3 Ne. 15:1–5).

Michael the Archangel: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/michael?lang=eng&letter=m
The name by which Adam was known in the premortal life. He is called the Archangel.

Adam: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/adam?lang=eng&letter=a
Adam is the Ancient of Days and is also known as Michael (Dan. 7; D&C 27:11; 107:53–54; 116; 138:38). He is the Archangel and will come again to the earth as the patriarch of the human family, preparatory to the second coming of Jesus Christ (D&C 29:26).

They seem to teach that it was Michael who was put on earth as Adam, and Michael was one of three gods who created this planet. Adam is said to be the incarnation of a god who is ‘related’ to man. Brigham Young said on April 9, 1852:

“When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is Michael, the Archangel, the Ancient of Days about whom holy men have spoken – He is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do… the earth was organized by three distinct characters, namely Elohim, Jehovah and Michael, these three forming a quorum…” (Journal of Discourses 1:50-51).

This is confusing, because Adam is being called "our Father and our God".

I suggest that only after all the confusion about the various gods of the LDS religion has been cleared up can any progress be made as to answering your question. At the moment, we need to know which god was supposed to have lived on another earth-like planet somewhere else, as a man.

I will end with my encounter with three LDS men who had come to visit a friend of mine, in her house. The two American missionaries' superior claimed that Jesus created everything in this universe, in an attempt to agree with orthodox Christian doctrine, based on John 1:1-3 which I had quoted. He agreed that John 1:3 says that the pre-human Christ is stated to have made everything that was made. I pointed out that that meant he could not have been made himself. Cue startled looks on three faces. I then suggested that this contradicted Mormon theology because Mormons claim that Jesus was the firstborn spirit son of the god Elohim and his wife, and that Lucifer was one of myriad other spirit babies born to this couple, making Jesus and Lucifer brothers. "So, how come you say Jesus created everything if he and Lucifer were brothers?" Cue panic-stricken looks on the three same faces.

I suggest that investigation about this god Elohim needs to be made, and then comparison made with LDS claims about the pre-mortal Jesus creating everything. Until it's clear what god the LDS religion is speaking of, orthodox Christians will assume it's God the Father as per our Trinity doctrine, but the LDSs have a different god as their 'God the Father' - apparently it is Adam who is our Father and our God, and the only God with whom we have to do.

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    the journal of discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It included some doctrinal instruction but also practical teaching, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest.
    – depperm
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:01
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    @depperm What you call my 'insinuations' are my expressed confusions about what LDS doctrine really teaches regarding who "God the Father" is. Can we just get a qualified LDS person stating in simple language who "God the Father" is, please? Can you tell us in straightforward language? Is it God the Father as in the Christian Trinity doctrine, or not?
    – Anne
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:24
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    @depperm I've checked the Joseph Smith Translation link you gave, and it says, "1 In the beginning was the gospel preached through the Son. And the gospel was the word, and the word was with the Son, and the Son was with God, and the Son was of God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made which was made. 4 In him was the gospel, and the gospel was the life, and the life was the light of men;... This does not inspire confidence on the LDS 'take' of holy scripture.
    – Anne
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:32
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    @depperm The LDS god/godhead is clearly not the Godhead of the Authorised Version, as proven by the Joseph Smith interpretation of Joh 1:1-3 as shown in the link you gave.
    – Anne
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:36
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    @depperm The Holy Spirit inspired all the canonical books of the Holy Bible, and Christians believe that God kept the transmission of it pure throughout the ages. The Received Text (as used in the Authorised Version) was never corrupted so that modern-day 'prophets' had to interpret it differently, thus coming out with their 'amendments' to the text, and their novel doctrines about who God the Father actually is. But because Joseph Smith felt the need to 'amend' the text, this does not inspire confidence in whether he was a prophet of the living God, or not.
    – Anne
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:54

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