One-Minute Answers by Stephen R. Gibson

Contents of One-Minute Answers

Can Men Become As God?

Question: Why do Latter-day Saints perpetuate the same lie that the devil told Adam and Eve, that "ye shall be as gods"?
Critics are right, the devil did lie in the Garden of Eden; but he mixed his lie with truth. Let us read the text and see what God said would happen to Adam if he partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then compare it to what the devil said would happen. Then we will see what God observed after the forbidden fruit was eaten. The account in question is found in Chapter 2 of Genesis, verses 16 and 17:
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. The beast, or the devil, then entered the garden and talked to Eve.
In Genesis 3:4-5 we read:
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
In this passage we see that the serpent truly did mix truth and falsehood. He told one lie and two truths:
  1. your eyes shall be opened, (true)
  2. you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil, (true)
  3. ye shall not surely die, (lie)
Adam and Eve then ate of the fruit of the tree. What happened?

Just as the devil said, their eyes were opened; they realized they were naked and hid. Then, just as the devil had said, they became as one of the Gods. Verse 22 relates the word of God confirming that this portion of the serpent's statement was true, not a lie: "And the Lord God said, Behold the man is become as one of us to know good and evil."

However, Adam and Eve were then cast out of the Garden of Eden and out of God's presence; therefore they died spiritually and would someday die physically. So, Adam and Eve did die, just the opposite of what the devil said. This was Satan's lie. Yet in perfect plainness, the scriptures show us that the other things Satan told them were true. Critics are certainly quick to point out that the devil said we could become as gods. Do they not know that God verified this in verse 22?

A beautiful reminder of our ability to ultimately become as God is found in John 10:34-36:

Jesus answered them. Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are Gods'! If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?