Selected Teachings on
In Our Spirit Birth We Inherited Divine
Attributes and the Potential for Godhood

First Presidency (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, Anthon H. Lund)

The doctrine of the pre-existence, revealed so plainly, particularly in latter days, pours a wonderful flood of light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of man’s origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body to undergo an experience in mortality.... Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and eons, of evolving into a God. (Messages of the First Presidency, 4:205)

Lorenzo Snow (President)

Our spirit birth gave us godlike capabilities. We were born in the image of God our Father; He begot us like unto Himself. There is the nature of deity in the composition of our spiritual organization; in our spiritual birth our Father transmitted to us the capabilities, powers and faculties which He Himself possessed—as much so as the child on its mother's bosom possesses, although in an undeveloped state, the faculties, powers, and susceptibilities of its parent. (Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p.4)

Ezra Taft Benson (President)

As God's offspring, we have His attributes in us. We are gods in embryo, and thus have an unlimited potential for progress and attainment. (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.21)

George F. Richards (Quorum of the Twelve)

We all had a spiritual birth, a spiritual existence and experience and we were born of God. Think of it, brethren and sisters, sons and daughters of God inheriting from Him through our spiritual birth the very attributes and qualities of Deity, which in our Father in heaven are perfect and make Him what He is. We are placed here upon the earth for the purpose, in part, of improving, magnifying and perfecting those qualities and attributes; so that, while we are now but gods in embryo, having been born of God, in His likeness, in His image, and having received from Him the attributes of Deity, through perfecting those attributes in time and in eternity we will be like Him in very deed, and be glorified with him in His kingdom. (Conference Report, October 1914, p.16)

Richard G. Scott (Quorum of the Twelve)

The scriptures record, “And I, God, created man …male and female created I them.”  This was done spiritually in your premortal existence when you lived in the presence of your Father in Heaven. Your gender existed before you came to earth. (“The Joy of Living the Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign, Nov. 1996, p. 73)  

M. Russell Ballard (Quorum of the Twelve)

Before the world was created, we all lived as the spirit children of our Heavenly Father. Through a natural process of inheritance we received in embryo the traits and attributes of our Heavenly Father. We are His spirit children. Some of what our Eternal Father is, we have inherited. What he has become we may become. (For scriptural enlightenment on this important concept, please see Acts 17:29 and Romans 8:16.) (Our Search for Happiness [1993], p.70)

George Q. Cannon (First Presidency)

There was a period when we, with Jesus and others, basked in the light of the presence of God and enjoyed His smiles. We are the children of God, and as His children there is no attribute we ascribe to Him that we do not possess, though they may be dormant or in embryo. The mission of the Gospel is to develop these powers and make us like our Heavenly Parent. I know this is true, and such knowledge makes me feel happy.... God has revealed it, that we are literally His children, His offspring, that we are just as much His children as our offspring are our children, that He begot us, and that we existed with Him in the family relationship as His children. (Gospel Truth, 2 Vols. [1987], 1:1)