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“On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, [Hinckley] sounded uncertain, ‘I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it…’”

After a spokesman for the LDS Church questioned the accuracy of the Time quotation, the transcript was released:

Interviewer: “Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follett discourse by the Prophet [Joseph Smith, Jr.].”

Gordon B. Hinckley: “Yeah.”

Interviewer: “About that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?”

Gordon B. Hinckley: “I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.”

Interviewer: “There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?”

Gordon B. Hinckley: “I wouldn’t say that. There was a little couplet coined, ‘As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.’ Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.”

~Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle – 13 April 1997, page 3/Z1, “Interview with Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley”~