There have been some interesting discussions recently that have made me ponder the question of degrees of divinity. J. Stapley wondered at another thread whether the pre-earth Christ was “fully divine” and thus worthy of our worship. He also expressed doubt that we should currently worship the Holy Ghost along with the Father and Son.
These are interesting questions. How divine must a God be to be worthy of our worship? Since we believe in the Godhead in Mormonism – three separate divine persons joined in perfect unity and thus we refer to that perfect union of divine persons as “one God” – is each of the members of the Godhead worthy of worship? Is the Holy Ghost as divine as the Father and the resurrected Son? I’m curious to see what others think.
As for me, I suspect that J. is partially right. I think that the disembodied Holy Ghost is divine and worthy of our worship along with the Father and the Son, but I suspect he is not as divine as they are. In other words the Father and Son have intelligence and glory that the Holy Ghost (whoever he is) lacks. I suspect, though, that in the eternities to come He will have the chance follow in the footsteps of the Father and Son.
What this all leads to is the concept of degrees of divinity. Have you ever thought of divinity on a continuum? I think it is so. And not only that, I think all of humankind fits somewhere on that divine continuum. As my evidence for this I present Abraham 3. Beautiful and terrifying Abraham 3… The chapter that brings us Kolob (and thus the best hymn in the LDS hymnal) and our best insights into our pre-mortal existence. I recommend you read it again if you haven’t in a while. Among the concepts it teaches is that for every star there is one brighter (or more intelligent). It seems clear to me that while the lesson to Abraham is about stars, it also applies to spirits. This does not continue in an endless regress as some Mormons believe, however. Nope, it is a finite regress that stops at God.
I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all (Abr. 3:19)
So one question is – If humans and God are of the same “species”; if there is no ontological gap between us and Him; how wide is the divide between us? Are we the equivalent of an embryo to God being a full grown adult? Here is what is how I responded to that suggestion by John C. today:
I think your embryo-adult analogy is a strong one. My only caveat is that Abraham 3 says to me that each of us is already at a different level of progression on that embryo to adult continuum. Some are indeed just embryos, but where do you think the pre-mortal Christ was on that scale? A young adult? A late teen? A pre-teen? A toddler? Well wherever you put him — just remember that he “stood among” the other noble and great intelligences there. Abraham was one of them. I take that as evidence that some of humankind is much closer to being like God prior to arrival here than others.
So there you have my latest theory. Divinity is on a continuum. We are somewhere on that continuum. At some point divine persons become worthy of human worship. I believe that the pre-mortal Christ and the Holy Ghost were and are beyond that point on the divinity continuum and thus worthy of human worship. I also believe that every person in the human family is somewhere on the divinity continuum and that “noble and great ones” like Abraham are relatively close to full divinity even before arrival here. Other humans are much farther down the continuum (but trying to move upward on it).
What do you think?