I’m wondering if you could help me with a question I have, please. In section 132: 8 & 19 the word gods is mentioned. Who are these gods? I don’t think the reference is to the Savior or Heavenly Father, but of course I could quite possibly be wrong. I did notice the use of similar words in the temple on my last visit, also, which I had not noticed on the old video. We just received new videos here in Australia. I would really appreciate your reply. Kind regards.
Brigham Young, in reference to these verses and in explaining the endowment, said this:
Let me give you the definition in brief. Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell. (JD 2:29)
And John Taylor, in JD 24:166:
I have heard Joseph Smith say…that in this world we may pass along comparatively unknown, but when we appear behind the veil, we shall have to pass by the angels and the Gods, and this can only be done by the righteous and the pure.
Much as we must “pass by” our bishop and stake president to receive a temple recommend, we must also be able to pass by these angels and gods who act as sentinels in a similar way, in order to proceed to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom. We must be able to vouch for our worthiness.
We read from section 132:17 the angels are likely those who have fulfilled every ordinance except for entering into celestial marriage, and serve as angels in the Celestial Kingdom for all eternity. It stands to reason, and is evident from verse 20 that those who have entered into celestial marriage and have fulfilled every other requirement listed in verse 19, “shall be gods.”
If we want to know exactly who these gods are, George Q. Canon offered this explanation:
He [Joseph Smith], therefore, received the ministration of divers angels—heads of dispensations—from Michael or Adam down to the present time; every man in his time and season coming to him, and all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their Priesthood. So that Joseph, the head of this dispensation, Prophet, Seer and Revelator, whom God raised up, received from all these different sources, according to the mind and will of God, and according to the design of God concerning him; he received from all these different sources all the power and all the authority and all keys that were necessary for the building up of the work of God in the last days, and for the accomplishment of His purposes connected with this dispensation. He stands at the head. He is a unique character, differing from every other man in this respect, and excelling every other man. Because he was the head God chose him, and while he was faithful no man could take his place and position. He was faithful, and died faithful. He stands therefore at the head of this dispensation, and will throughout all eternity, and no man can take that power away from him. If any man holds these keys, he holds them subordinate to him. You never heard President Young teach any other doctrine; he always said that Joseph stood at the head of this dispensation; that Joseph holds the keys; that although Joseph had gone behind the veil he stood at the head of this dispensation, and that he himself held the keys subordinate to him. President Taylor teaches the same doctrine, and you will never hear any other doctrine from any of the faithful Apostles or servants of God, who understand the order of the Holy Priesthood. If we get our salvation we shall have to pass by him; if we enter into our glory it will be through the authority that he has received. We cannot get around him; we cannot get around President Young; we cannot act around President Taylor; we cannot get around the Twelve Apostles. If we ever attain to that eternal glory that God has promised to the faithful we shall have to pass by them. If we enter into our exaltation, it will be because they, as the servants of God, permit us to pass by, just as the revelation says, “pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there,’ to our exaltation.” (JD 23:357)
While we must assume the “gods” mentioned in verse 18 are patriarchs and dispensation heads and others of those the Lord has designated, it’s important to note the Church has no official doctrine as to their identity.