Monday, April 21, 2008

Q & A on God

If there are other Gods then the one we are supposedly obligated to worship, why don't we worship them? Are they not worthy of worship?

Other gods would not be worthy of praise and worship (obedience) because they are not our Heavenly FAther. Obeying anyone other than our God will not bring about our exaltation. They have nothing to do with our salvation and eternal life. This is the context of God saying that there is no other Gods like him, before him, or after him. Only Our God can save us because he is our Eternal Father and we are his spirit offspring. "I said, ye are gods and children of the Most High". (children is not contingent on our current acceptance but our past acceptance)

Even though Christ is the mediator of the Atonement between God the Father and man, we do not pray to Jesus Christ or to the Holy Ghost. We only pray to the Father in the name of Christ (forever). Christ is the medium by which we reach the Father. The Holy Ghost is the medium by which the Father responds.So, yes we believe as Paul did 1 Cor 8:5-6 "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Who was the First God? or When was the First Exaltation? What God was present at the First Exaltation?

All things are before God, past, present and future (col 1:17). Gods have no beginning and no end. So, it makes no sense to apply time to God in this way. Yes, it has been taught in the past that "As man now is, God once was" and that suggests that God had an Eternal Father and so on. But since the Spirit of Our God always existed and had no beginning, The Father of God the Father did not come before because both have been and are co-existent and co-eternal beings. So, the word of Isaiah is not violated.

Are the other Gods good or evil?

Lucifer was a member of the grand heavenly council and was and is considered a god in the same sense man is. Revelations tells us that he was able to draw a third part of the stars of heaven (spirits of God the Father) So we see that we had the ability to choose in the pre-mortal existence. Thus Jude comments, "And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day" (Jude 1:6)

Do they all have the same wills as our God?

God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one in purpose but do not have the same wills. Will is a huge, fascinating concept. The Book of Mormon talks about two kinds of creations; things which act and things which are acted upon (2 Ne. 2:13-14,26). But it is our will that is an essential aspect of our being and an essential aspect of what it means to be considered a god.

The Bible goes into great detail concerning our will. It is what God the Father desires and values above all other things. The Bible suggests that our will is something that God did not own prior. In that sense, the Bible says that our will has been purchased or "bought with a price" (1 Cor. 6:20), and redeemed. Our will is what God wants of us. Christ tells us that the only acceptable sacrifice is of a "broken heart and a contrite spirit" or in other words "a willing heart and a willing mind." Christ expressed his independent will from the Father when he said in the Garden "O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thouwilt."

The doctrine of will has important implications. One implicatation is that God is not to be blamed for the choices of Satan or others. God created/organized all things. But had God conjured Satan from nothing (ex nihlo) and not from pre-existing intelligence with the essential characteristic of will, then God is responsible for either: creating a defective product, rolling the dice with the universe (I granted him his agency and let things happen [conclusion of Rabbi Kushner]), or dealing unjustly to Lucifer (Satan is serving God's higher purposes). But, because the spirit of Satan with its inherent will was co-existent with God, God allows the expression of Satan's will to serve God's higher purposes but is not responsible for Satan's choices and behavior.

Are they of the same essence as our God?

Well, since the will of God is an essential characteristic of His Godhood, then I would have to say no because the Bible teaches that although Christ is one in purpose with the Father, He is of separate will.

Are the three gods of the LDS Trinity one in essence?

Same as above. But, let me say that all mankind who have kept their "first estate" accepted God the Father, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost as Gods, and members of the GodHead. But only God the Father is accepted as our Eternal Father to who we were created/organized sons. But interestingly, we are also born again when we accept Christ as our savior and Christ becomes our Eternal Father in the sense that he becomes the author and means of our Eternal Life. We then becomes His sons and His daughters. But before coming to Earth we had already accepted Christ once (first estate [choice]), and we overcame Lucifer by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (faith in Christ). Now we must choose again (second estate). God asks us, "what think ye of Christ?"

By what standard do the Gods call themselves "good" or "evil"?

"God is love" That is that God's whole purpose (work and glory) is to bring about the eternal life and exaltation of his children. God is God based on his Eternal Fatherhood. Paul said in heaven and earth there are many gods but there is only One Father to us. God the Father desires to give his children everything he has, to make us heirs of God, and to have us sit in his throne."

God is faithful" Also, what makes God good is that he keeps His word.

If we were procreated by two Gods in the spirit realm, then why were we not immediately Gods as they are?

For starter, spirit procreation does not involve pregnancy. God the Father is embodied and our spirits have always existed and were co-existent with His. We were created/organized sons of God in the grand heavenly council but we have always been considered gods with the essential characteristic of will.

Since covenants are retroactive and are from eternity to eternity, it can be said that by accepting God as our Eternal Father that he can always be considered our Eternal Father from eternity to eternity. Christ's sacrifice was similarly retroactive. Christ's atonement was infinite and eternal. Eternal Covenants don't operate exactly like laws and contracts (which has implications on why it's a sin to have sex before marriage among other reasons).

How do you interpret 1 Cor. 8:5-6 which says there is only one God?

1 Cor. 8:5-6 For though there be that are called gods (idols) , whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ,There are many gods in the heavens and the earth according to the Bible but there is only One God the FAther, and One Lord Jesus CHrist.

The Bible teaches that God is a God of gods, Lord of lords, King of kings, Judge of judges, Holy of holies; The Most High God. The scripture is talking about idol worship but the parenthetical acknowledges that in the heavens there in reality many god-like beings. Doesn't it praise God and give him more glory that he is the God of gods, or just a god of degenerates. What good are Christians over Darwinist if you believe that man is scum. What good are Christians over Abortionists if you believe "gods in embryo" make them less then gods. Satan has tried to hide who we really are and the true worth of souls in the eyes of God. This belief does not demean God but elevates man and brings Glory to the Father who is the Father of excellent sons and daughters in Christ.

What attributes set God and man apart and how are they alike?

1Cor 13:1-8 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

I think that Paul is telling us that knowing everything, or having all power, or having all time isn't so special in heaven where there is no time, and no sickness, and no learning disabilities, and we have access to all truth. Being omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient may be overrated in a sense. However, as spirits in the pre-existence we did not foreknow the outcome of the test of mortality and had to exercise faith in Christ.

Although this scripture is used by some to say that miracles and signs would no longer continue in Christ's church, I think Paul is saying is that "God is love" and characteristics like charity and traits that make a good friend and a good parent are what make us a good disciple. Love is what sets God apart from man. The Love of God is manifest in His sacrifice of his Only Begotten Son and His Eternal Parenthood and His desire to share all that He has with his children. So, that His children become like Him and can share in the fullness of joy He experiences.

So, man is alike God in the sense that he is created in the image of God, and man knows good from evil. The spirits of man and God are alike in that they are timeless in that they had no beginning. Man is unlike God in that we lacked a glorified body, and we lacked procreative power, spiritually speaking (pregnancy not required) in addition to being omniscence, omnipotence, omnipresence, and dynamically immutable.

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