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The claim can be found in the article Mormonism’s Infinite Regression of Gods:

Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith seems to have understood that Joseph Smith was teaching what is known as an “infinite regression of gods.” This can be seen by the words “and so on,” in Joseph Fielding Smith’s book, Doctrines of Salvation (1:12). In what appears to be an obvious reference to the Sermon in the Grove, he wrote, “The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on. Is not this a reasonable thought, especially when we remember that the promises are made to us that we may become like him?”

Is this true?

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    This has not been revealed. Speculation abounds, but it remains speculation. Jan 2 at 15:01
  • 2
    . . . . . thus if the first, suggested, "Father" is eternal (and one supposes the theory would cover that) then once that Father" begets another "Father" (who also is eternal) then there are (it is suggested) two "Fathers" . . . . . which is polytheism.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 2 at 15:15
  • 2
    No, that would be like saying admitting the existence of satan means you worship satan. Admitting the existence of someone/something does not equate to worship
    – depperm
    Jan 2 at 15:32
  • 3
    @depperm Polytheism does not require worship of but mere belief in the existence of other Gods. Monotheism insists that there is only 1 God anywhere. Jan 2 at 15:33
  • 2
    there in lies the debate/meaning behind polytheism. I don't believe everyone accepts one standard meaning of this word as there have been several recent questions on this topic: christianity.stackexchange.com/q/99459/22319 and christianity.stackexchange.com/q/99472/22319
    – depperm
    Jan 2 at 15:36

3 Answers 3

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I note that the article in the link you provided does not support the views of the LDS on this subject. However, it may be useful to simply quote from LDS sources without making any comment or attempt to interpret. That way, the reader can draw their own conclusions.

Tenth President Joseph Fielding Smith seems to have understood that Joseph Smith was teaching what is known as an “infinite regression of gods.” This can be seen by the words “and so on,” in Joseph Fielding Smith’s book, Doctrines of Salvation (1:12). In what appears to be an obvious reference to the Sermon in the Grove, he wrote, “The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on. Is not this a reasonable thought, especially when we remember that the promises are made to us that we may become like him?”

[Joseph] Smith went on to tell his audience, “I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.” He added, “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.” 1

In a general conference message in 1977, Apostle Richard G. Scott stated, “Jesus Christ possessed merits that no other child of Heavenly Father could possibly have. He was a God, Jehovah, before His birth in Bethlehem” (“The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness,” Ensign, May 1997, 53). This concurs with what Apostle Bruce R. McConkie taught twenty years prior. He wrote, “Christ himself, the Firstborn of the Father, rose to a state of glory and exaltation before he was ever suckled at Mary’s breast” (“The Salvation of Little Children,” Ensign, April 1977, 3).

Yet in an undated message Joseph Smith also gave in Nauvoo, he stated, “There is no God in heaven but that God who has flesh and bones” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church – Joseph Smith, 42, see footnote 13).

The article concludes that if humanity is required before godhood, there is no reason to accept “in the beginning, God.” This passage from Genesis 1 must be rejected for the alternate understanding that “in the beginning, Man.”

I realise that the above quotations from Joseph Smith, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and Apostle Richard G. Scott may be rejected as not official LDS doctrine, or even given under prophetic inspiration. Nonetheless, the article which is partially quoted in my post helps to shed some light on the subject.

1 Joseph Smith Papers, History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

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    I'm unclear on the beginning: I note that the article in the link you provided does not support the views of the LDS on this subject. However, it may be useful to simply quote from LDS sources without making any comment or attempt to interpret then you quote the article from OP
    – depperm
    Jan 4 at 11:29
  • Ah, I see where I've gone wrong. I will delete the opinions given in the second quote from Smith's 1844 sermon. If you go to the article given in the link by the O.P. you will see the references to the quotations that I have copied. I am under the impression that the quotes come from official LDS sources.
    – Lesley
    Jan 4 at 15:39
  • While attempting to source some of the quotes I think there may be a missquote by Joseph, should be: There is no other God in heaven but that God who has flesh and bones. which has 2 sources with that wording
    – depperm
    Jan 4 at 15:56
  • glad to actually look up some of these sources to get things in context. Many of the conclusions drawn don't match surrounding text/explanation
    – depperm
    Jan 4 at 16:13
  • @depperm - I appreciate your editing efforts and to find sources/links which I will examine carefully.
    – Lesley
    Jan 5 at 7:48
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Maybe*


* (speculation) There is much, even in LDS theology, that is not stated about heaven, God, or the pre-existence. For all we know God the Father could have been the first of the 'infinite' gods going forward. Or he is one in a chain, but that does not change who we worship.1

Based on Gospel Topics: God the Father:

God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe, whom we worship, and to whom we pray. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things.

It could be concluded that God is the first God.

Related:

1 Do Mormons actually believe in any sort of supreme being/ultimate reality/"Absolute"?

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    So is Joseph Fielding Smith correct to attribute the quote to 'the Prophet' ? “The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on. Is not this a reasonable thought,.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 2 at 15:18
  • 2
    The quotation The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on. is not speculation. And it is from the mouth of a 'Tenth President'. Seems like a full, factual statement to me.
    – Nigel J
    Jan 2 at 15:24
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    the tenth president does state a theory made by the prophet Joseph Smith (that is factual) but he continues/clarifies that it is a nice thought (clarifying that this is not doctrine but speculation) Every statement made by a prophet is not doctrine
    – depperm
    Jan 2 at 15:29
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    This Father became God by properly living as a man and achieving exaltation, correct? If he was the first God, to what standards did this man adhere in order to achieve exaltation and what being instituted these standards? Jan 2 at 15:30
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    @MikeBorden no, as stated in the answer, much is unknown. There are statements that he was, but no official doctrine. As this is not doctrine, imagined standards will not be found
    – depperm
    Jan 2 at 15:40
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Yes.

There is no such thing as a child without a father and a mother.

The Scriptures teach that "we are the children of God" (Romans 8:16).

The central message of Scripture is that God has a Son, who is like His Father in every respect, and through whom we can be joint-heirs in all that the Father has. This certainly includes family.

The highest teaching and the central objective of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is exaltation, namely, a man and a woman who rise to the full level of maturity of the children of God, and become Heavenly Parents of their own eternal offspring.

This is the logical consequence of all of the Savior's teachings.

To fall short of this is damnation.

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    So you're saying that the heavenly father had a father and so on backwards infinitely? That the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ was once a child? Mar 27 at 19:40
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    That is the logical conclusion of the fact that God the Father has a Son who has become even as His Father is, and who enables all who follow Him to do likewise.
    – pygosceles
    Mar 28 at 16:31
  • Thank you. So, LDS believe in the existence of an infinite number of Gods? Mar 29 at 13:38
  • @MikeBorden It is said that in the last days all these things will be revealed to those who are worthy to abide when the Savior comes again. It matters nothing to those who do not believe God or His Beloved Son.
    – pygosceles
    Mar 30 at 2:59

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