Print Friendly, PDF & Email




I was reading something interesting and instead of wrestling myself over it, I thought of you and thought you might be able to help (if you don’t mind of course). I was interested in the Mormon view of the nature of God. I’ve been reading different quotes of ‘eternal progression’. Both Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff taught that “God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power and dominion and will do so worlds without end.” While Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce McConkie disagreed. McConkie actually said “There are those who say that God is progressing in knowledge and is learning new truth. This is false, utterly, totally and completely. There is not a sliver of truth in it…I have been sorely tempted to say at this point that anyone who so suppose have the intellect of an ant and the understanding of a clod of miry clay in a primordial swamp. But of course I would never say a think like that.” I don’t understand the position of the church but I think it’s really sad that Bruce McConkie would say something like that about a former Prophet of his church. Any reply would be greatly appreciated, Thanks,





Dear Chelsea,

I think that if you were to get Brigham Young, Wilford Woodruff, Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie together in the same room you would find them in perfect agreement on this subject. What we do not have in these quotes is the context in which they were given. Could you imagine that any of these great prophets would disagree on the meaning of the scriptures? If they were to discuss the following scripture found in 2 Nephi 9:20, do you think that there would be any disagreement between them?

O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

The scriptures also speak of God’s power, might and dominion. God rules in the universe over all his children, both his spirit children yet to come to mortality as well as the spirit children to be born to those who will inherit exaltation in the celestial kingdom because they have lived by every word that has proceeded forth from the mouth of God. As these pure souls have glory added upon their heads, God’s dominion will necessarily increase, as it will encompass the acquired glory, power and dominion of his faithful children.

So, although their words may be in conflict, knowing who they are, and that they all receive their inspiration from the same source, I can only believe that if we were to understand the context in which each of these statements were made we would be very comfortable with them.






Copyright © 2020 Ask Gramps - Q and A about Mormon Doctrine. All Rights Reserved.
This website is not owned by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the Mormon or LDS Church). The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. The views expressed by individual users are the responsibility of those users and do not necessarily represent the position of the Church. For the official Church websites, please visit or

Pin It on Pinterest