Quotes on God

See also: Power of God: Helaman 12:6-22; Isaiah 55:8  

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens.  That is the great secret.  If the veil were rent today and the great God who holds this world in its orbit and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power was to make Himself visible – I say, if you were to see Him today, you would see Him like a man in form – like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God and received instruction from, and walked, talked, and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another. . . . I wish I was in a suitable place to tell it, and that I had the trumpet of an archangel so that I could tell the story in such a manner that persecution would cease forever.  What did Jesus say?  The scriptures inform us that Jesus said, As the Father hath power to Himself, even so hath the Son power – to do what?  Why, what the Father did.  The answer is obvious – in a manner to lay down His body and take it up again.  Jesus, what are you going to do?  To lay down my life as my Father did, and take it up again.  Do you believe it?  If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible.  The scriptures say it and I defy all the learning and wisdom and all the combined powers of earth and hell together to refute it. — Joseph Smith, “King Follett Discourse.”  This excerpt is not a part of the Lectures on Faith.

When we talk about the nature and kind of being that God is, we start with the proposition that it is life eternal to know him and that he is known by revelation.  There is no other way.  He is not found in a test tube or by research in the laboratory.  God stands revealed, or he remains forever unknown. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord God of Joseph Smith,” Speeches of the Year, January 4, 1972, p. 2

            We learn the following things respecting the character of God:

            First, that he was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was after it was created.

            Secondly, that he is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting to everlasting.

            Thirdly, that he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.

            Fourthly, that he is a God of truth and cannot lie.

            Fifthly, that he is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.

            Sixthly, that he is love.  Lectures on Faith, pp. 35-36. (Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord God of Joseph Smith,” Speeches of the Year, January 4, 1972, p. 6

God is almighty.  There is no power he does not possess, no wisdom that does not reside in him, no infinite expanse of space or duration of time where his influence and power are not felt.  There is nothing that the Lord God takes into his heart to do that he cannot do.  He has attained to a state of glory and perfection where he is from everlasting to everlasting.  To be from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable, unvarying being means, in effect, that he is from one preexistence to the next.  He is from one eternity to the next – the same in knowledge, in power, in might, and in dominion.  And yet he became such on the same system that you and I have power so to attain. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord God of Joseph Smith,” Speeches of the Year, January 4, 1972, p. 7

If any of us could now see the God we are striving to serve – if we could see our Father who dwells in the heavens, we should learn that we are as well acquainted with him as we are with our earthly father; and he would be as familiar to us in the expression of his countenance and we should be ready to embrace him and fall upon his neck and kiss him, if we had the privilege.  And still we, unless the vision of the Spirit is opened to us, know nothing about God.  You know much about him, if you did but realize it.  And there is no other one item that will so astound you, when your eyes are opened in eternity, as to think that you were so stupid in the body. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 8, p. 30

            [Discourse on the subject:  “The Father and I are one.”]

Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God.  I say that is a strange God anyhow – three in one, and one in three!  It is a curious organization. . . . All are to be crammed into one God, according to sectarianism.  It would make the biggest God in all the world.  He would be a wonderfully big God – he would be a giant or a monster.  I want to read the text to you myself – “I am agreed with the Father and the Father is agreed with me, and we are agreed as one.”  The Greek shows that it should be agreed. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 372

If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also.  Where was there ever a son without a father?  And where was there ever a father without first being a son?  Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor?  And everything comes in this way.  Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly.  Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also?  I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.

I want you to pay particular attention to what I am saying.  Jesus said that the Father wrought precisely in the same way as His Father had done before Him.  As the Father had done before?  He laid down His life, and took it up the same as His Father had done before.  He did as He was sent, to lay down His life and take it up again; and then was committed unto Him the keys.  I know it is good reasoning. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373

The whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even eventually to Godhood. . . . Our enemies have criticized us for believing in this.  Our reply is that this lofty concept in no way diminishes God the Eternal Father. . . . But just as any earthly father wishes for his sons and daughters every success in life, so I believe our Father in Heaven wishes for His children that they might approach Him in stature and stand beside him resplendent in Godly strength and wisdom. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Gen. Conf. Priesthood Session, October 1, 1994

There is a statement in our literature that says that the Prophet and his associates learned, by translating the papyrus received from the catacombs of Egypt, that life had been going on in this system for 2,555,000,000 years.  It seems reasonable to me that a god who has been creating, expanding, governing, and regulating worlds for a period that is so infinite that you and I have no way of comprehending its duration has attained a state where he knows all things and nothing is withheld. — Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord God of Joseph Smith,” BYU Speeches of the Year, January 4, 1972, p. 7

God is almighty; there is no power he does not possess, no wisdom that does not reside in him, no infinite expanse of space or duration of time where his influence and power are not felt.  There is nothing that the Lord God takes into his heart to do that he cannot do.  He has attained to a state of glory and perfection where he is from everlasting to everlasting.  To be from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable, invarying being means, in effect, that he is from one preexistence to the next.  He is from one eternity to the next–the same in knowledge, in power, in might, and in dominion.  And yet he became such on the same system that you and I have power so to attain. — Bruce R. McConkie, “The Lord God of Joseph Smith,” BYU Speeches of the Year, January 4, 1972, p. 7

If any of us could now see the God we are striving to serve, if we could see our Father who dwells in the heavens, we should learn that we are as well acquainted with him as we are with our earthly father. — Brigham Young

 I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form–like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:305

In his infinite wisdom, our Father has provided for every problem or difficulty that may arise to stop or hinder the progress of his work.  No power on earth or in hell can overthrow or defeat that which God has decreed.  Every plan of the Adversary will fail, for the Lord knows the secret thoughts of men, and sees the future with a vision clear and perfect, even as though it were in the past.  Jacob, son of Lehi, in his rejoicing declared:  “O how great the holiness of our God!  For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.”  (2 Nephi 9:20.)  He knew that Satan would try to frustrate the coming forth of the Book of Mormon by the stealing and changing of the manuscript, and provided for it hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus Christ.  (President Joseph Fielding Smith, Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:26.) Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 10

God does not live in the dimension of time as do we.  We are not only hampered by our finiteness (experiential and intellectual), but also by being in the dimension of time.  Moreover, God, since “all things are present” with him, is not simply predicting based solely on the past.  In ways that are not clear to us, he sees rather than foresees the future, because all things are at once present before him” (Neal Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, p. 29; see also Alma 40:8; D&C 130:4-7). The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 5

I want to tell you, each and every one of you, that you are well acquainted with God our Heavenly Father, or the great Eloheim.  You are all well acquainted with Him, for there is not a soul of you but what has lived in His house and dwelt with Him year after year; and yet you are seeking to become acquainted with Him, when the fact is, you have merely forgotten what you did know….

There is not a person here today but what is a son or a daughter of that Being [Heavenly Father].  In the spirit world their spirits were first begotten and brought forth, and they lived there with their parents for ages before they came here (President Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:216). The Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, pp. 70

For now, I offer this comfort:   God is our Father!  All the love and generosity manifest in the ideal earthly father is magnified in Him who is our Father and our God beyond the capacity of mortal mind to comprehend.  His judgments are just, his mercy without limit, his power to compensate beyond any earthly comparison. — Boyd K. Packer, BYU 18-Stake Fireside, March 1992, pp. 8-9

That God has a physical body is one of the most important of all truths restored in this dispensation; it is inextricably tied to such doctrines as the immortality of the soul, the literal resurrection, eternal marriage, and the continuation of the family unit into eternity.  In his corporeal or physical nature, God can be in only one place at a time.  His divine nature is such, however, that his glory, his power, and his influence, meaning his Holy Spirit, fills the immensity of space and is the means by which he is omnipresent and through which law and light and life are extended to us (see D&C 88:6-13). — Robert Millet, “What We Believe,” BYU Devotional, Feb. 3, 1998, p. 3 [file]

Although we know from modern revelation that godhood comes through the receipt of eternal life (D&C 132:19-20), we do not believe we will ever, worlds without end, unseat or oust God the Eternal Father or his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ; those holy beings are and forever will be the Gods we worship. — Robert Millet, “What We Believe,” BYU Devotional, Feb. 3, 1998, p. 4 [file]

President Ezra Taft Benson said: “When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives.  Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue, and the order of our priorities.”           

This is not for the fainthearted or unstable.  Our submission to His will can require some wrenching sacrifices.  We do not know what may come.  We must be able to say with the Prophet Joseph Smith, “Whatever God requires is right” (Teachings, p. 256), and with the Savior, “I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29). — D. Todd Christofferson, “Allegiance to God,” Ensign, January 2005, p. 13

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God.  We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity.  I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . 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; and I will show it from the Bible . . . .

Here, then, is eternal life – to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. . . heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.  What is it?  To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:305-06

Like Laman and Lemuel, many today would consign God only to the past; He thereby ceases to be the constant God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow (see 2 Nephi 27:23). Actually, God has the past, present, and future ever before Him, constituting an “eternal now.”   (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 220; see also D&C 130:7).  — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1999, p. 7

We know in part, and see in part, and comprehend in part; and many of the things of God are hid from our view, both things that are past, things that are present, and things that are to come.  Hence the world in general sit in judgment upon the actions of God that are passing among them, they make use of the weak judgment that God has given them to scan the designs of God, to unravel the mysteries that are past, and things that are still hid, forgetting that no man knows the things of God but by the Spirit of God; forgetting that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God; forgetting that no man in and of himself is competent to unravel the designs and know the purposes of Jehovah, whether in relation to the past, present, or future; and hence, forgetting this, they fall into all kinds of blunders; they blunder over things that are contained in the Scriptures, some of which are a representation of the follies and weaknesses of men, and some of them perhaps may be the wisdom and intelligence of God, that are as far above their wisdom and intelligence as the heavens are above the earth.  — President John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 1:368

What we mortals encounter as the unforeseen, God has already seen, such as how the oil deposits of this earth would shape the latter-day conflicts among nations.  God’s “is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations” (Isa. 14:26 ).  He likewise foresaw all the awful famines, some resulting from the unwise, unnecessary erosions of precious topsoil.  He surely foresaw the terrible persecutions of the Jews.  Having created the earth, He has anticipated the impact of continental drifts on the frequency and intensity of latter-day earthquakes.

He who analogized that “the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest” (Isa. 57:20) also knows where and when, in latter days, the seas’ tidal waves will heave themselves savagely “beyond their bounds” (D &C 88:90). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Yet Thou Art There’,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 30

I bear personal witness this day of a personal, living God, who knows our names, hears and answers prayers, and cherishes us eternally as children of His spirit.  I testify that amidst the wondrously complex tasks inherent in the universe, He seeks our individual happiness and safety above all other godly concerns.  We are created in His very image and likeness, (see Gen. 1:26–27; Moses 2:26–27) and Jesus of Nazareth, His Only Begotten Son in the flesh, came to earth as the perfect mortal manifestation of His grandeur.  In addition to the witness of the ancients we also have the modern miracle of Palmyra, the appearance of God the Father and His Beloved Son, the Savior of the world, to the boy prophet Joseph Smith.  I testify of that appearance, and in the words of that prophet I, too, declare: “Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive. . . . God does not look on sin with [the least degree of] allowance, but . . . the nearer we get to our heavenly Father, the more we are disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls; we feel that we want to take them upon our shoulders, and cast their sins behind our backs.”  (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith (1976), 257, 240–41) — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Grandeur of God,” Ensign, October 2003

God knows even now what the future holds for each of us.  In one of his revelations these startling words appear, as with so many revelations that are too big, I suppose, for us to manage fully:  “In the presence of God, . . . all things . . . are manifest, past, present, and future, and are continually before the Lord” (D&C 130:7).  The future “you” is before him now.  He knows what it is he wishes to bring to pass in your life.  He knows the kind of remodeling in your life and in mine that he wishes to achieve.  Now, this will require us to believe in that divine design and at times to accept the truth which came to Joseph Smith wherein he was reminded that his suffering would be “but a small moment” (D&C 121:7).  — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “But For a Small Moment,” BYU Fireside, September 1, 1974

The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you. — Unknown

It can at times be easy to fall into the erroneous thinking that we ourselves are capable of handling anything that comes our way, that we have all the answers, and that there is no need for assistance from a higher power.  When we realize, as one person put it, that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience,” we come to understand where our main emphasis should be and on whom we are reliant. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Be a Light to the World,” BYU Devotional, November 2011

The Lord is more merciful to the people than we are . . . . He has compassion on the works of his hands. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:149

I wish the people to understand that they have no interest apart from the Lord our God.  The moment you have a divided interest, that moment you sever yourselves from eternal principles. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:31

To whom do these elements belong now?  To the same Being who owned them in the beginning.  The earth is still His, and its fulness, and that includes each one of us, and also includes all that we seem to possess. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 2:300

Let every person be the friend of God. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 4:372

He is our Heavenly Father; he is also our God, and the Maker and upholder of all things in heaven and on earth . . . he knoweth every thought and intent of the hearts of all living, for he is everywhere present by the power of his Spirit – his minister, the Holy Ghost.  He is the Father of all, is above all, through all, and in you all; he knoweth all things pertaining to this earth, and he knows all things pertaining to millions of earths like this. Discourses of Brigham Young, 19

In the spring of 1840, Lorenzo Snow was in Nauvoo, Illinois, preparing to leave for a mission in England.  He visited the home of his friend Henry G. Sherwood, and he asked Brother Sherwood to explain a passage of scripture.  “While attentively listening to his explanation,” President Snow later recalled, “the Spirit of the Lord rested mightily upon me – the eyes of my understanding were opened, and I saw as clear as the sun at noonday, with wonder and astonishment, the pathway of God and man.  I formed the following couplet which expresses the revelation, as it was shown me. . . .

“As man now is, God once was:

“As God now is, man may be.”

— In Eliza R. Snow Smith, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, 1884, p. 46

Feeling that he had received “a sacred communication” that he should guard carefully, Lorenzo Snow did not teach the doctrine publicly until he knew that the Prophet Joseph Smith had taught it.  (See Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow, 46-47.) Once he knew the doctrine was public knowledge, he testified of it frequently.

In addition to making this truth a theme for many of his sermons, he adopted it as the theme for his life.  His son LeRoi said, “This revealed truth impressed Lorenzo Snow more than perhaps all else; it sank so deeply into his soul that it became the inspiration of his life and gave him his broad vision of his own great future and the mighty mission and work of the Church.”  (LeRoi C. Snow, “Devotion to a Divine Inspiration,” Improvement Era, June 1919, 656.)   It was his “constant light and guide” and “a bright, illuminating star before him all the time – in his heart, in his soul, and all through him.”  (LeRoi C. Snow, “Devotion to a Divine Inspiration,” Improvement Era, June 1919, 661) Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Chapter 5, pp. 83-84

The earth is spherical.  If all the four billion people in the world think it flat, they are in error.  That is an absolute truth, and all the arguing in the world will not change it. Weights will not suspend themselves in the air, but when released will fall earthward.  The law of gravity is an absolute truth.  It never varies.  Greater laws can overcome lesser ones, but that does not change their undeniable truth. . . . 

God, our Heavenly Father – Elohim – lives.  That is an absolute truth.  All four billion of the children of men on the earth might be ignorant of him and his attributes and his powers, but he still lives.  All the people on the earth might deny him and disbelieve, but he lives in spite of them.  They may have their own opinions, but he still lives, and his form, powers, and attributes do not change according to men’s opinions.  In short, opinion alone has no power in the matter of an absolute truth.  He still lives.  And Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Master of the only true way of life – the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The intellectual may rationalize him out of existence and the unbeliever may scoff, but Christ still lives and guides the destinies of his people.  That is an absolute truth; there is no gainsaying. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth,” BYU Devotional, Sept. 6, 1977

Much of the world today does not have this knowledge of God, and even in latter-day Israel there are those who have not perfected their understanding of that glorious being who is our Eternal Father.  To those without this knowledge we might well say:  “Why dost thou limit the glory of God?  Or why should ye suppose that he is less than he is?  Hast thou not known?  Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, is infinite and eternal; that he has all power, all might, and all dominion; that he knows all things, and that all things are present before his face?” — President Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Most Important Knowledge,” Ensign, May 1971

Just because God is God, just because Christ is Christ, they cannot do other than care for us and bless us and help us if we will but come unto them, approaching their throne of grace in meekness and lowliness of heart.  They can’t help but bless us.  They have to. It is their nature.  That is why Joseph Smith gave those lectures on faith, so we would understand the nature of godliness and in the process have enough confidence to come unto Christ and find peace to our souls.  There is not a single loophole or curve ball or open trench to fall into for the man or woman who walks the path that Christ walks.  When he says, “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22), he means that he knows where the quicksand is and where the thorns are and the best way to handle the slippery slope near the summit of our personal mountains.  He knows it all, and he knows the way.  He is the way. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Fireside, March 1997

God is our God in whom we put our trust; we have nothing ourselves to boast of. Have we wealth? Who gave it to us? The Lord. Have we property? Who put us in possession of it? The Lord. Our horses, cattle and sheep, our flocks, herds and possessions, are his gifts. . . . and we are his, and in his hands, and all nations are in his hands, and he will do with us and with them as seemeth him good. 

And as a kind, wise Father, he will watch over their interests . . . . We ought always to remember that our strength is in God; we have nothing to boast of ourselves, we have no intelligence that God has not given unto us; we have nothing in life, or property, but what has been given unto us of the Lord. Everything we possess pertaining to time and eternity has been imparted to us by him. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, p. 176