Mormon cosmology is the description of the history, evolution, and destiny of the physical and metaphysical universe according to Mormonism, which includes the doctrines taught by leaders and theologians of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Mormon fundamentalism, the Restoration Church of Jesus Christ and other Brighamite denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement. These views are not generally shared by adherents of other Latter Day Saint movement denominations who do not self-identify as "Mormons", such as the Community of Christ. Mormon cosmology draws from Biblical cosmology, but has many unique elements provided by Latter Day Saint movement founder Joseph Smith, Jr.
According to Mormon cosmology, there was a pre-existence, better described as a pre-mortal life, in which human spirits were literal children of heavenly parents. Though their spirits were created, the essential "intelligence" of these spirits is considered eternal, and without beginning. During this pre-existence, two plans were said to have been presented, one championed by Lucifer (Satan) that would have involved loss of moral agency, and another championed by God the Father. When his plan was not accepted, Lucifer is said to have rebelled and taken "the third part" of the hosts of heaven with him to the earth to serve as tempters. According to a plan of salvation as described by God the Father, Jehovah (the antemortal Jesus Christ according to Mormonism) created the earth, under the direction of God the Father, as a place where humanity would be tested. After the resurrection all men and women except spirits that followed Lucifer and the sons of perdition would be assigned one of three degrees of glory. Within the highest degree, the Celestial Kingdom, there are three divisions, and those in the highest of these divisions would become gods and goddesses through a process called exaltation or "eternal progression". The doctrine of eternal progression was succinctly summarized by Lorenzo Snow: “As man now is, God once was: As God now is, man may be.”
The Earth's creation, according to Mormon scripture, was not ex nihilo, but organized from existing matter. The faith teaches that this earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and that there are many governing heavenly bodies, including a planet or star Kolob which is said to be nearest the throne of God. According to the King Follett discourse, God the Father himself once passed through mortality like Jesus did, but how, when, or where that took place is unclear. The prevailing view among Mormons is that God once lived on a planet with his own higher god.
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... Exaltation is "the kind of life God lives" ... In other words, exalted beings will live in great glory, be perfect, and possess all knowledge and wisdom ...
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