Eternal Progression

(Taken from Bruce Mckonkie's Mormon Doctrine)

Endowed with agency and subject to eternal laws, man began his progression and advancement in pre-existence, his ultimate goal being to attain a state of glory, honor, and exaltation like the Father of spirits. During his earth life he gains a mortal body, receives experience in earthly things, and prepares for a future eternity after the resurrection when he will continue to gain knowledge and intelligence. (D. & C. 130:18-19.) This gradually unfolding course of advancement and experience -- a course that began in a past eternity and will continue in ages future -- is frequently referred to as a course of eternal progression.

It is important to know, however, that for the overwhelming majority of mankind, eternal progression has very definite limitations. In the full sense, eternal progression is enjoyed only by those who receive exaltation. Exalted persons gain the fullness of the Father; they have all power, all knowledge, and all wisdom; they gain a fullness of truth, becoming one with the Father. All other persons are assigned lesser places in the mansions that are prepared, and their progression is not eternal and unlimited but in a specified sphere. There will be truths such persons never learn, powers they never possess. They are "ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory," and they so continue "to all eternity, and ... forever and ever." (D. & C. 132:16-17.)

Those who gain exaltation, having thus enjoyed the fullness of eternal progression, become like God. It should be realized that God is not progressing in knowledge, truth, virtue, wisdom, or any of the attributes of godliness. He has already gained these things in their fullness. But he is progressing in the sense that his creations increase, his dominions expand, his spirit offspring multiply, and more kingdoms are added to his domains. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 5-10.)

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