As man now is, God once was;
as God now is, man may become
So declared Lorenzo Snow, fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since this pronouncement on Sept. 18, 1898 the couplet has been quoted hundreds of times by LDS general authorities and instructors to summarize the Mormon concept of "eternal progression."
In 1884, Lorenzo Snow's recollection of an an 1840 experience was published:
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. I felt this to be a sacred communication, which I related to no one except my sister Eliza, until I reached England, when in a confidential private conversation with President Brigham Young, in Manchester, I related to him this extraordinary manifestation.
However Mormon Church President Brigham Young stated in 1849 "Lorenzo Snow put out some principles arguing that Jesus Christ is our father and not our elder brother and asked for light." Brigham Young replied to Lorenzo Snow:
While on a mission to England, the following came forcibly to my mind - As God was, so are we now; as he now is, so we shall be.
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