Thursday, September 04, 2008

Children of the Promise

There are many who misunderstand and mis-characterize the LDS belief that man has an eternal and divine potential that than all men are considered spiritual offspring of God. Yes, it is clearly stated in LDS doctrine as well as the Bible that "ye are gods and all of you are children of the Most High God" (Ps 82:6 and John 10: 34). But being considered "gods" is way different that being "God." There is only One God and man will never take His place. So, what do LDS mean when they say men are "gods in embryo." What LDS are trying to convey is the Biblical differentiation between those who will be considered angels in the next life and those who will exist eternally and continue on under the classification of "gods."

The Bible is what teaches that Christ was exalted higher than the angels. It is the Bible that promises that those who accept Christ will be glorified together with Christ to be "heirs of god" (Rom. 8: 17, Gal. 4: 7, and Heb. 6: 17) and, like Christ, will also be made "more excellent" and "better than the angels" (Heb. 1: 4) The sanctifying ordinances that LDS do are given by God as part of the "everlasting covenant" that God would restore in Ezek 37:26 which is the same "sealing in the forehead" that John is talking about (Rev. 7: 3). Those who are made kings and priests unto God and who are "called, chosen, and faithful" according to Rev. 1: 6 and Rev. 17: 14 will through the merits, mercy, and power of Christ continue on in their eternal progression to continue to mature as gods in embryo which we are already (Ps. 82: 6 and John 10: 34).

Those who do not accept Christ in they way Christ has established will fall again from their potential and while they will be saved in heaven and may dwell with Christ and the Father for Eternity will be angels but be damned or their eternal progression will have an end. Those who, through Christ, overcome and maintain their eternal course, are and will be considered "gods." But this designation does not take the place of the Most High God. God the Father will remain our Only True and Living God forever and ever (1 Cor. 8: 6, Eph. 4: 5-6, Gal. 3: 20, 1 Tim. 2: 5 and James 2: 19). But we will be empowered as we mature to participate with God in His work of creation.

Whats with all this business about living on our own planets, eternal pregnancy etc, etc?

In the Book of Revelations, John sees the Earth in its final, purified, and Celestial state after the Millennial period . John describes the Earth as a "sea of glass"(Rev. 15: 2). We know from Christ that the "meek shall inherit the Earth" (Ps. 37: 11, Matt. 5: 5). Therefore, this Earth will be the eternal home to the faithful in Christ forever. So, I'm not sure where this living on our own planet idea comes from. Assisting God in creation I speculate that planet creation is part of that, but the Earth will be our eternal home.

What about marriage in Eternity?

Yes, "that which is sealed on Earth is sealed in Heaven" (Matt. 16: 19) " What God hath joined together let no man put asunder" (Matt. 19: 6). "Neither is man without the woman neither woman without the man in the Lord" (1 Cor. 11: 11). While the angels are not given in marriage in heaven (Matt. 22: 30). Man who are gods and children of God on the Earth are married while in mortality which stays in effect in the next life. This is the power of God that Pharisee was denying. The Pharisee was denying the sealing power and authority given to Peter (Matt. 16: 19 and Matt. 18: 18).

What about polygamy?

If 2 women agree to claim the same husband and the 1st wife agrees for her husband to be the husband of another wife, then there will be polygamy. But there is nothing in LDS doctrine which would force or coerce this situation. Marriage is required for the highest degree of salvation and exaltation but not polygamy. Polygamy was required of the early LDS but not of us today for a specific purpose then, but not today (Ex. 21: 10, Deut. 25: 5-10, 1 Tim. 5: 14-17).

On Earth men have greater power to choose their wife. But according to LDS doctrine, in the Millennium, women will have the greater power to select who they will claim as their eternal companion. There is nothing about eternal marriage that would force a woman to be with a man forever who has neglected or abused her in mortality. While the LDS and most Christians discourage divorce on Earth that does not mean the same rules will apply in the next life. If a man has "buried his talent" so-to-speak, that which has been given to him by God may be taken from him and given to someone else who has been more faithful (Matt. 25: 24-28). Of course, this would be up to the woman to decide and why LDS couples are encouraged to have their marriages "sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise" which means that both individuals feel the power and love of God in their marriage relationship both for God and for each other (Matt 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-9). There is no coercion, force, or unrighteous dominion in the LDS marriage (D&C 121: 37-46).

What about pro-creation?

Part of the work of creation is the organization of spirits. LDS believe that spirits were organized before they were born and they then enter in and quicken the human embryo and fetus at conception and before delivery (Jer. 1: 5). But Joseph Smith taught that creation is not "from nothing" but it means organized or formed, and that the spirits of man have always existed (Col. 1: 16, Heb. 3: 4 and Rom. 9: 21). Therefore, there is nothing regarding uterine gestation and vaginal delivery that would be required for a resurrected, tangible being in "creating" or organizing an intangible spirit. If there were, that would one easy delivery.

Again, no-one will take God's place. And being considered children of god, gods in embryo, and having a divine and eternal potential just means that through Christ the faithful will participate with God in His work of creation (whatever that is). Some can try as they do to make that sound evil, wrong, and twisted. I would wish they would be more clear in how they communicate our beliefs.

Yes, we do believe that the Bible talks about men being considered "gods" "I have said ye are gods and all of you are children of the Most High God" (Ps. 82: 6 and John 10: 34). But that doesn't mean that we will become "God." While there is only One God. Men are considered gods (lowercase g), and will be made "better and more excellent than the angels."There will be different rewards to those who are saved in heaven (John 14: 2, 1 Cor. 15: 40-41).

Remember that all those who accept and believe in Christ become sons and daughters of Christ. But like Abraham's son's Isaiah and Ishmael, some of the saved will be considered children of the bond woman , and others will be children of the promise (everlasting covenant) (Gal. 4: 7 and Gal. 4: 31) . There will be those who are saved on God's left hand and those who will be saved and exalted at God's right hand (Matt. 25: 33-34). There will be those who will fall from their current state as "gods in embryo" and be saved in their sins and become angels to circle Gods throne. On Christ right hand there are those who through Christ are saved from their sins and will continue on to eternal progression to sit with Christ in His throne with Him and be glorified together as an heir to God and a joint-heir with Christ (Rev. 3: 21).

So, it is up to each of us to decide. While angels circle God's throne and worship Him with their mouths, gods will be empowered and enabled through Christ to sit with Christ (the King of kings, Lord of lords, and God of gods) in his throne with Him and worship Him through word and creative works (James 2:17-18). This Eternal Life and Exaltation and truely coming to know God because heirs of God will be empowered to participate in the kind of work God does (John 17: 3).

John 17: 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Mosiah 5: 13 For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?

2 comments:

Daniel in Temecula said...

Dave, I have read all your postings and had to let you know how much I needed to understand most all of what you wrote! thank Heavenly Father for you and this type of format!! I'm a convert,baptized 6 yrs. ago I'm 44 years old with 5 daughters who were all baptized also!! my wife was born into the church. lately I have had many ?? of doctrine and my heart and mind have been touched,not that I wanted to quit church,but just hungry for truth and knowledge so just a word of thanks to you

Anonymous said...

While I might agree with some ideas what author wrote, there is in many thing that are not the fact but just his opinion. For example: he keep repeating about that we(the humans) will never become God( or take His place) and forever will assist Our Heavenly Father in His work. How I understand the LDS doctrine - we will become Gods on the same level as Our Father in Heaven . We will have our own spiritual children and have all the power, and attributes of the Heavenly Father. To become God on the same level with Our Heavenly father does not mean we will take His place, we will have our own places and kingdoms in the universe. To achieve anything less is belittle us as the children of the God. According to this article we should become "gods" and assist God in His work. I think this line of thought make us no more than servants, forever in the service of the other Being. This just does not looks logical. Our Father in Heaven is just like any loving father here on this Earth would want for his children to have their own family, independence, work , ect. Their own kingdom so to speak. And just like we will all ways respect and love our earthly fathers(and mothers too) we will love and respect Our Heavenly Father. Again, by becoming the Gods we in no way taking place of Our Heavenly Father, we will have our own place and our own Godhood.